Monday, January 10, 2011

A new start (Monday on my Mind)

Don't forget to enter to win a copy of Beth Revis' debut novel, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, in the first of my weekly giveaways.


On Christmas morning, I went to Church. Doesn't sound all that random? Well, I can't remember the last time I've been to church (in English) but I strongly suspect it was some time around 6 years ago. I don't make that much of an effort to go here because the service is in Japanese and the church my neighbours is a a $18 return, 20 minute train-ride away.

Anyways I went to church. I picked an empty pew and sat in it- I was by myself because my Dad's a Eucharistic Minister, so he's always up front with the priest. And my former neighbour, N, sat down next to me. I haven't seen him in about 10 years. We used to talk back in the day. ("Talk" is the Bajan equivalent of dating. In American culture, a guy (or girl) asks their love interest out and if things work out for a few dates, they start a relationship. That's not the format we have in Bim. I guess it's more like old time wooing. You talk for a while, and then you decide to get together. And then they start going to places together.)

N and I, we mumble all through the service. It turns out he hasn't been in church in 12 years. And the 'dangerous' priest (in Bajan, being dangerous is akin to the words 'snitch' or 'rat out') preaches about people who haven't been to church all year. It's kind of laughable, considering how long the two of us haven't been. And me and N promise one another that we'll be back the next day for the regular Sunday service.

And we both come.

And we're both there the next week, too.

For the last 12 and 6 years respectively, there's been nothing stopping either of us from going to church, but we didn't. And it's not just about church. You stop going to the gym, due to illness or because you're swamped at work or for whatever legitimate reason, and you never start back up.

Or you stop studying.

Or hockey practice.

Or you never even start singing in the choir.

Or going to the dance class you're interested in.

The thing is that if you'd started immediately, you'd have been fine. But then the excuses start piling up. And even the time you haven't been doing the activity becomes an excuse.

"How can I start back now after 12 years?"
"Why should I bother to start? I'm doing fine without it!"

And you get to a stage where you no longer need an excuse for not doing the thing you're not doing. You'd need an excuse to do it.

That's what New Year's Resolutions are all about. Using the changing of the year and all that inspiration to start all the things that you could have started eons ago but needed an excuse to get to. It's an excuse to get closer to bein the person you want to be.

There are some people who go on about what a waste of time NYRs are. Most people don't keep them anyhow. And then they'll just get depressed about how much they haven't done this year. January 1 is just another day.

And as pessimistic as it is, they're right. You could start any day. You don't need a new year, or even a new month to begin. Your studies. Your workouts. Your writing.

You don't need a reason.

You don't need an excuse.

You don't need a resolution.

You just need to start.

It's Monday. That's what's on my mind.


Abby Stevens said...

Excellent point. The first step is often the hardest.

Alleged Author said...

That is awesome that you are so brave to sit by yourself! I'm such a wuss.