Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking Stock and Stocking up

This is a fun time for many - full of renewed hopes and elevated expectations. Of course, the reality is that this day is no different than any other. It is just a series of moments, each one of which is the only moment that exists and within which you have all the power of creation. But we deem it to be a special day and, therefore alone, it is. (Still, I believe the secret lies in treating every single day like New Year's Day ... because it is. And can you imagine if you renewed your resolutions every single day, instead of just the once each time the Earth completes a 585,000,000 mile trip around the sun? How would your life unfold then?)

But back to today, New Year's Eve. This is my 43rd New Year's Eve. Looking back, I celebrated the first dozen, at least, at home with my parents. Then a half dozen out with friends, tobogganing or skiing or the like. The next ten or so are pretty fuzzy to be honest (honouring that age-old tradition of inebriation). Then I spent the next several with my kids, shouting "Happy Jun-years!!" at 10pm to convince them it was time! Tonight I am home, on call for my kids, as they straddle the teenage line between "tobogganing" and "fuzzy". I love that we have a relationship in which they can be honest about their plans and know that my intention is to protect them and not restrict them. So, my cell phone is charged up and at my side. As is my mug, but just with coffee :)

It was with those very same teenage kids that I had a fantastic lunch today. This was our third straight New Year's Eve Summit, where Katy and Jack and I go to a favourite restaurant, with a fresh notepad, and make two lists.

The first list is a Highlight Reel of the calendar year that is ending. This is such a fun exercise. You would be surprised by how much you forget, or take for granted, until you start writing it down. Achievements, milestones, trips, events, insights. Once you get the pump primed they will just keep coming. And it is such a great feeling to bask in 12 months worth of celebration all at once.

Then, as soon as we have fleshed out our lists of what WAS, we turn our attention to what WILL BE in the year ahead. This is not just a wishlist, though there is that component. This is an act of creation. We are actually intending our next 365 days. Everything that goes on the list must be something that is exciting, inspiring and real to us. And by sharing and recording each commitment, we have taken the first step to bringing that result into our respective realities.

As evidence of the effectiveness of this ritual, each year we also look back and compare what we have done with what we set out to do. It is truly remarkable to see how much of that list gets "checked off". Jack did every single thing he set out to do in 2011, and much more! Katy only missed getting a summer job and attending summer camp, but that is because she far exceeded her expectations in wrestling and qualified to compete for Canada at the Pan American Championships in Mexico and then spent the rest of the summer in Poland and Germany wrestling at their national training centers. My year was everything it was designed to be, with the resulting momentum carrying me even farther.

Here are our "GREATEST HITS OF 2011" (Not in chronological, alphabetical, monumental, or any other kind of order. This was pure stream of consciousness, baby!)

Silver at wrestling nationals, Bronze at Canada Cup, 43kg for Team Canada at Pan American Championships in Mexico, Ontario Development Program camps, Summer wrestling in Poland and Germany, undefeated in regional wrestling, Gold at GBSSA, two wins at OFSAA, learned to backflip on trampoline, excelled at flag football for school team, bought Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera plus zoom lens, honour roll, pierced belly button, played baseball, season pass at Canada's Wonderland, skied at Horseshoe Valley with season pass, learned to play squash, worked out at YMCA, went to Great Wolf Lodge with extended family, ran a 22 minute 5km in fitness testing, learned to waterski, coached youth basketball, retired from wrestling happy and proud.

Attended Camp Bisco music festival in NY State, epic canoe trip on Missinaibie River, week long paintball camp, snowboarding at Horseshoe Valley with season pass, got MW3 for PS3, crewed for Dad at Death Race in Vermont, volunteered at Spartan Race, trampolining on Thursdays mastering all sorts of flips and twist combos, played flag football, played baseball, played soccer, learned to play squash, Canada's Wonderland season pass, brand new snowboard and gear, Great Wolf Lodge with extended family, fixed both paintball guns, learned to wakeboard, mastered kneeboard 360, waterskied, Long Point camping trip and skimboarding, caught "record" stringer of pickerel that fed eight, got certified for weight room at YMCA, saved up and bought Mac Book Pro laptop, got Countour HD camera, made first snowboard movie with awesome dubstep soundtrack.

Completed 45hr Spartan Death Race (against considerable odds), raised over $6,000 for Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, did two Death Race training camps, Easter Weekend hike, third straight Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, attempted first 100 mile ultramarathon, travelled to Pittsfield VT in fall to help repair damage from Hurricane Irene, epic canoe trip on Missinaibie River, Camp Bisco music festival, Skrillex in Toronto night before marathon (including afterparty), Girl Talk in London, Explosions in The Sky in Ohio, Ben Harper at Sound Academy, Ray LaMontagne at Massey Hall, Blitzen Trapper at Opera House, completed Scuba Diving certification, hosted 13 episode season of Rogers TV "Arts Scene Orillia", started snowshoeing, coached Mariposa Wrestling Club including at national championships, ran in Snowflake Series of 5k and 10k races, First place team in Dragon Boat Festival, helped several friends with key real estate sales, played squash with kids, organized "4000 Ways to Fuck Up a Ten Mile Run" (over 100 people doing epic all day workout at same time across 5 countries), hired to speak to Ontario Provincial Police GHQ re "Leadership Lessons from The Death Race", spoke re Death Race to several service clubs and schools, hired to present to Ontario baseball umpires clinic on "Stepping up to A Bigger Game", furthered hypnosis practice and assisted many people, developed coaching business, coached 4 month Self-Expression and Leadership Program, made many phenomenal friends in racing community, committed to absolutely awesome racing schedule for 2012, spent lots of great time with parents and siblings and nieces and nephews and cousins, published FIFTY blog posts with over 17,000 views.

I am sure that we all left out things that we will remember later, but you get the idea. When we write it all down it is a pretty neat list to on which to reflect.

So, with that energy to draw on, we each began to map out 2012 ...

Katy: summer job, summer soccer or lacrosse, baseball, play Lakers basketball, attend World Electronic Music Festival, honour roll, skiing at Horseshoe Valley, Spartan Race, photography course, beach camping at Long Point, badminton team, flag football team, run cross-country, squash, soccer team, working out at Y, trampolining, Canada's Wonderland pass, play in school band, One Direction in concert, Summer Rush Music Festival, SWEET SIXTEEN!!

Jack: snowboarding at Horseshoe Valley, making great videos with Contour and Mac Book Pro, summer soccer, attend World Electronic Music Festival, baseball team, paintball camp, lots of wakeboarding, canoe trip, Spartan Race, Long Point beach camping, working out at Y, play squash, trampolining, Canada's Wonderland pass, graduation, Grad Trip, start Grade Nine at ODCVI!!

John: Death Race, Winter Death Race, 100 mile ultramarathon, 3 adventure races, 4 marathons, triathlon, Tough Mudder, World's Toughest Mudder, Spartan Race, Spartan Beast, Warrior Dash, run in Snowflake and canirunning series, extend barefoot running, "Burpee Mile", start Hash House Harriers club in Orillia, launch consciousness raising film series, squash with kids, run every day (totalling at least 2012 kms), meditate every day, build speaking business, build coaching business, attend World Electronic Music Festival, canoe trip, snowboarding, wakeboarding, coaching wrestling, Canada's Wonderland pass, GoRuck Challenge in Iowa, new tattoo (galactic butterfly - "hunab ku"), Grand Canyon Run - Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim.

So, while tonight may be just another night and next year may be just another year, I am spending tonight pretty damned excited about next year! 

I highly recommend that you adopt this practice of "reflecting and projecting". Focus on the good stuff and you will see it expand exponentially.

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