Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Brightest Star in the Sky

The packing is going well, and so I've made the time to write.

I've been wanting to reflect on a book I read a few months back by my favorite author, Marian Keyes.  Marian is a talented writer who knows how to (seamlessly) weave humor and romance into stories that tackle serious issues such as domestic violence and addiction.  Naturally there is a fine line one must walk in order to create such balanced fiction, and Marian is consistently successful in her efforts. Though I enjoyed her latest release, "The Brightest Star in the Sky," I found myself stunned at the gruesome turn the end brought, and wondered whether the title was written to mask a dark story that showed at most, glimpses of hope.  Whereas Keyes' previous works instilled bright though realistic outlooks on life, "The Brightest Star in the Sky" felt bleak at best.  Perhaps most shocking to me was one of the characters being killed off at the very end.  Though he was scum of the earth at best, it felt to me like an unjust way to tie up his character - an easy way out out of a complicated story.  And quite unlike Marian...

As I await Keyes' next book (no word on that yet), I hope that it will be written more in the fashion of her earlier works,  a delicate blend of real-life issues with a healthy dose of laughter.

After all, laughter is the best medicine (true story - see the February 2011 Yoga Journal).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!  Now is the time to stop harping on the past and instead start reflecting on the future.  A new year always brings with it new goals, and accordingly with those goals will (hopefully) come new achievements, new friends, and new memories.  How can we focus in our goals and not lose sight of them when life gets stressful?  This is something I grapple with year after year, but this year, I'm hoping things will be different.  After a refreshing holiday season, many tasks await, such as packing for our move, going to work, doing PR for a start-up, working on our book, etc.  Amidst all of the busyness, however, are small moments in which I make a conscious effort to remember the goals and the intentions I have set forth for myself and for my family.  I try to stay present in these moments, reminding myself of my goals and finding small ways to work towards them.

I believe many of us struggle with sticking to our goals in the New Year.  My hope in writing this brief piece is to share that yes, I believe goals are important, but they can be very hard to stick to, and people are not alone in feeling this!  I also wanted to share a simple way in which I'm trying to work with the ever-present difficulty of sticking to goals.

Oftentimes knowing you're not alone can make a big difference in sticking with goals, especially if one tends to engage in self-deprecating thinking...

Quick Note:
This is a book I often turn to when it's difficult to stay present. Check it out!