You in the year ahead.

Pat Davids wishing everyone Happy New Year. Happy 2013!!

This time of year is filled with renewed hopes and dreams for a better year, for ourselves and for others. Resolutions are made, and for the most part, not kept. I know. I do it every January.

Weigh less, spend less, save more, exercise more, and write more.

This year, I want to start the New Year, not with a list of resolutions, but by asking you a question.

It's a tough one. Are you ready?

What is your value?

Not what do you value, but what is your value?

I told you it was a tough question. It's not the only question I have for you, but it's my first one.

Think about it. Are you valuable because you are the breadwinner? A grandmother? A homemaker? The better half? An awesome friend? What makes you a valuable person? Are you an efficient worker? Do you have empathy for others? Are you a problem solver? Every life is valuable. You are valuable. Look inside and see if you can give a voice to that value.

On to my second question. What is your strength?

What is the most indelible part of you? What makes you tick? It can be more than one thing. Perhaps it's your faith. Maybe it's your children or your husband. Perhaps it is your ability to care for others. Perhaps your strength lies in teaching, fixing things or in the belief that what you do matters. Search your heart. What makes you strong?

Did you think the questions would get easier? They don't.

My third question. What do you enjoy?

Think about this carefully. What do you enjoy? Just you. Quiet time or going out with friends? I enjoy both. Family time? Traveling? Serving others? The New Year will be dull and lifeless if you don't make time for what you enjoy. Pick a date and mark your calendar for some you time.

So now, drum roll, please…What is your passion?

Now that you have focused on what you enjoy, pick out your passion. It's the one thing you love above all else. It can't be family. That's a given for most parents. This is about you. You are not just a parent or a spouse. You have a core that goes much deeper. What would you want to do, or to be, if every distraction was removed from your life?

A side note about passions. They change, evolve, migrate, and even disappear completely. What you were passionate about when you are 20 can be a lot different from what you are passionate about when you reach 60. And that's okay. Live in today, not yesterday and not tomorrow. What are you passionate about today?

As romance writers, many of us will say our passion lies in writing romance, but does it really. Are you passionate about weaving a spellbinding story from a simple idea? Taking that word count from 0 to 20,000, 60,000 or 100,000? Or, are you passionate about getting lost in a breathtaking story that someone else served you whole and unblemished and makes you sigh when it's done? We can love books and romance without writing it. We can love horses and cowboys without getting manure on our shoes, too. When you uncover your passion, you won't care what you have to step in to achieve it.

Okay, one more question. What is your weakness?

Lack of focus is mine with procrastination a darn close second. You will notice I didn't tell you my answers to the other questions. I'm still pondering them.

What keeps you from following your passion? What holds you back from accepting your full value? Is it fear? Is it a lack of confidence? Over commitment? It can't be family, or your crappy job, or anything outside of you. This is about you. This is about finding out what makes you tick.

To know and understand you is the key to finding inner peace and happiness.

When you have your answers to my questions boiled down to their most simple elements, you may share them here, or not, but write them down somewhere. Then you will have a place to start making the coming year a more productive and a happier one.

You will see your value. You can make time for what you enjoy. You will know your strengths. You will find your passion, and you will understand what is holding you back. From there, you can go forward with a clearer picture of who you are and what you need in order to accomplish the things you want to get done.

I blog again on the 16th. I'll share my answers with you then.


Rox Delaney said...

Good questions, Pat! I can only answer one of them without much thought. I'll give them some thought and maybe be back with answers.

Pat Davids said...

I'm still thinking about my answers, too.

Jeannie said...

Tough questions, Pat. Maybe thinking about them will give me some insight this year. Good way to open a dialogue for us.

Pat Davids said...

Hi Jeannie, I'm delighted to see you. Yes, the questions are tough, but they are a good way to help set priorities.

J. Hilton Steele said...

They are tough but I have some of my answers...for the moment.

Thanks for getting me pondering.

Peace, Julie

Pat Davids said...

Good to see you here Julie. Most of us will have some answers at first glance, but they deserve pondering.

Anonymous said...

Geese Pat,
You pick some hard ones. Very well written article. These things are well and truly things to think about occasionally--just to check up with ourselves and see how we are. Last year flattened me somehow. But like Rox's article said, we can't do anything with the past, perhaps the answers to your questions will help my flatness issues.

Pat Davids said...

Nina, glad you stopped by. I've been flattened, too, in my life, but somehow we find the strength to plump up again. Maybe not all at once, but over time. Sometimes we even need extra help. (Hey meds work wonders.) I can atest to that.
Don't let the flatness win.

Reese Mobley said...

Geeze, woman. Way to start the year off!! My first answers didn't feel right when I said them aloud. I think this would be easier if we asked someone what they would say about us. Maybe the things we think are valuable aren't really. I tend to mother everyone. But, does anyone else see that as valuable? Or just annoying?

Joan Vincent said...

Very tough questions but they make us confront truths that will, as You said, Pat, lead to peace and happiness. To find peace you do have to know yourself. Introspection is difficult. Last year I felt I was wandering in a desert. Perhaps pondering your questions will help me find my way out.

Penny Rader said...

Oh my gosh, Pat. I though I'd answer these in my post tomorrow...but so far answers are evading (eluding?) me. Here's hoping I come up with something in the next couple hours.

Penny Rader said...
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