Unfinished Business Into The New YearBy Barbara Wulf
Marking endings is an important part of moving through transition to start a new stage of life to start a new career to start a new relationship and to start a new year. Life is a series of beginnings and endings, comings and goings, hellos and good-byes, holding on and letting go. As the year has comes to an end and we look forward, it’s a good time to prepare for living fully and making the most of the fresh start that comes a new calendar year. So often, the hustle and bustle of the holidays along with meeting deadlines or thinking about resolutions for the New Year have kept us busy running in the fast lane “to get it done.” We desired closure as we finished the fourth quarter at work and in our lives. In a perfect world we might attain our goal but for many, it’s easier said than done.
Falling short of a goal or dealing with unfinished business as we enter a new year is a reality for many. The brand new calendar can already feel marred with the human messiness we carried over from the current year and earlier. It doesn’t have to be written on our wall calendar or planner, but we know it is there buried in our memory. We can keep it under wraps by keeping busy or ignoring it with indifference. Often it is the unfinished business in our life that surfaces when given a chance. Maybe it’s time to really take notice and attend to the matter.
In his recent book, Unfinished Business: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things, Lee Kravitz documents a year in his life to take care of unfinished business after being terminated at age 56 as the longtime editor and chief of Parade Magazine. He cracks open the boxes that had been stockpiled in his office. As a workaholic, he had become disconnected with what had once mattered. Now he had the time to reconnect with people and events from his past that once were important. He had time to attend to his “to do” list. Along the way, he rediscovers himself.
As we wait for the promise of a new year and an improved economy, we too might find ourselves with time on our hands. Time, we always want more, but I encourage you to look forward to see how many days and hours are left in the New Year. With time management, we could all find time to attend to our unfinished business.
Unfinished business, we all have it. What a gift it would be to move forward on our life journey by looking in the boxes where we have stuffed or overlooked what was once important to us and lighten our load. Kravitz attends to some heavy stuff from his past but stuff adds up and before we know it our box is heavy and so is our heart and soul.
What unnecessary weight would you like to unload this year? What would lighten your load and help you feel more alive more connected, more buoyant, more grateful? Maybe it’s about saying thank you, expressing forgiveness, repaying a debt, returning something borrowed or making a visit. Addressing unfinished business takes intention, so does a life with purpose.