It is the first day of 2014 and I find myself reflecting on the previous year with a full heart and a smile of contentment on my face. Many positive things have occurred in my life during the preceding year. Attaining several personal goals that I had set for myself in my own life only affirm what I have known for a very long time… what I tell those who doubt their own capabilities; we can do anything that we set our minds to do. Nothing is beyond our reach if we are willing to put in the time and the effort to achieve our goals, reach for the stars and work hard for what we want.
I attained a very personal scholastic goal with the completion of my MFA in creative writing program. This, I must say, ranks highest on my list of achievements for the year, although I embarked on that path more than two years earlier. This accomplishment is followed closely by the completion of my debut short story collection If Walls Could Write and Other Stories which I expect to publish in early 2014. I also reached a milestone in photographic print sales in 2013, surpassing the $1000 mark in photographic art print sales. In 2013 I ran my first half marathon and logged over 82 hours running covering more than 409 miles. As a result of this and the other physical activities that I am involved in such as yoga and mountain biking, I am in the best physical condition of my life. I also started a new job in October that I love, and for the first time in years I actually look forward to going to work each day.
The past few years have not been without their challenges, but these challenges have been met with resilience and a determination to maintain my forward momentum. I am a firm believer that God will not place anything in our path that with faith and the help of those who love us, we cannot handle.
There is a quote by Henry Ford that I am fond of referring to. I have had it framed over my computer monitor at work for the past seven years. They are words to live by… words that I have been living by for some time now:
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
If there is something in this world that you are passionate about, hunt it down and capture it. Life is far too short not to fill our time doing what we love… what makes us happy. I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but in the coming year I WILL devote more time to my passions in life.
I see great things in store for me in the upcoming year… I hope that each of you will find the same foresight for a prosperous future for your lives as well. Make your dreams come true in 2014… I am. – JLJ