Reinventing the Blog – Please Bear With Us!

JULY GUEST:

07/22 – MICHELLE MONKOU’S TROPICAL ROMANCE

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DREAMS OF FUTURE PAST by Sarah Raplee


Hi! I'm Sarah Raplee, and I write scary, funny paranormal and steampunk romances. I write because I can't help it, and it's more fun than most of the alternatives. My short story, The Telltale Heart, was published this month in GIFTS FROM THE HEART  from Windtree Press.


Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you’d kept all your past years' New Years’ resolutions?

Your first reaction may be to think your life would be perfect, full of butterflies and daisies and unending sunshine. After all, we make resolutions to try to improve ourselves and our lives. Making them makes us feel powerful, in control, as if we’ve caught a magic bullet. If only we can hold on to the magic long enough, our problem(s) will be solved and we’ll float off into the future as thinner, healthier, calmer, more accomplished, more spiritual versions of ourselves who are married to our equally perfect soul mates and have a fat retirement account and great health insurance.

What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s a fantasy, an unrealistic figment of our imaginations. Change is hard work. It takes commitment and perseverance, and many, many small steps to achieve a major goal. Success depends, among other things, on being able to forgive ourselves for moments of weakness as well as a willingness to accept the tests and difficulties life throws at us with grace—because railing against them is like whining about the weather, a useless waste of energy.

But like unanswered prayers, unkempt resolutions may produce a better outcome than we can imagine. If I had been able to easily give up chocolate and caffeine, I not only would have missed out on their (at that time undiscovered) health benefits, I guarantee I would be a grumpier old woman!
If dieting and exercising had come easily to me, I would have had much less compassion for other people’s struggles. Failure helps us to be less judgmental. It is a humbling experience.

If I’d spent as much time cleaning house and exercising as I thought I should, I never would have finished writing two novels and a slew of short stories—not without neglecting my marriage and other important relationships.

Writing has taught me that baby steps, perseverance and an acceptance of the things we can’t control or change are more likely to produce positive results than a lifetime of New Year’s resolutions.


Have you failed to keep a New Year’s resolution? Did something positive come from that failure?
~Sarah Raplee

4 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Laughed out loud! I think if I'd kept all of my New Year's Resolutions I wouldn't have written any romance novels at all because I came very late in life to this passion. Not even sure my retirement account would be fat and I'm fairly certain I'd be a grumpier old woman.

I believe I'm more compassionate and gentle with myself because many things do not come easy to me and berating myself for "failing" has never been helpful...unless one counts an increase in chocolate consumption as helpful (perhaps I need to purchase stock in a chocolate company?)

Baby steps, perseverance and seeing and accepting what we can and cannot change are critical steps for me to remember if I want a happy and joy filled life which is really my only true goal at this time.

Sarah Raplee said...

I feel all warm and fuzzy, Judith - you 'get' what I'm saying. Not that I'm surprised; you are a Wise Woman.

"...a happy and joy filled life" - what a simple and profound goal!

Maggie Lynch said...

LOL. For me the question is have I ever KEPT a New Year's resolution? Honestly, I'm not sure I have. I do try to lose weight, exercise more, write more, make more time for family and friends, think kinder thoughts, etc. every year. I make some progress but never complete whatever the goal is. Part of that is that my resolutions are what I call "stretch goals." I make them hard because if I make them too easy and meet it, I don't know what to do next. :)

I'm really good at forgiving myself for failure because it happens so often that if I didn't I would have curled into a fetal position and be in a hospital sucking my thumb until death approached.

For me it's the journey to be better to keep trying, more than it is the end of the journey. The journey, the failure, the moments of hope and success along the path to the "stretch goal" provide plenty of excitement and I always learn amazing things along the way.

Sarah Raplee said...

I like what you said about the journey being more important than the destination, Maggie. I believe that, too.