Over this past very busy holiday week, I had a few minutes to read a splendid little book by Ann Patchett, called What now? It’s an expansion of a commencement address she gave a few years ago. In it, I found some words to live by as the new year approaches:
“The secret is finding the balance between going out to get what you want and being open to the thing that actually winds up coming your way. ‘What now’ is not just a panic-stricken question tossed out into a dark unknown. ‘What now’ can also be our joy. It is a declaration of possibility, of promise, of chance. It acknowledges that our future is open, that we may well do more than anyone expected of us, that every point in our development we are still striving to grow. There’s a time in our lives when we all crave the answers. It seems terrifying not to know what’s coming next. But there is another time, a better time, when we see our lives as a series of choices, and ‘What now’ represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life. It’s up to you to choose a life that will keep expanding. It takes discipline to remain curious; it takes work to be open to the world — but oh my friends, what glorious and noble work it is.”
I think the end of a year and the beginning of a new one is certainly a time to ask… What now? Oh, the possibilities…
Cheers to 2009!