Now that we are about a week into the New Year, I wanted to share some thoughts on new years resolutions. I don’t believe in them. If you want to quit smoking in November don’t wait ‘till Jan 1st to do it. I do think that January 1st is a good time to reflect on the past year and to figure out some new goals or new directions that you want to make.
On December 31st I drove down to Orange Country because that is where I was gonna bring in the new year. I got there in the late afternoon with plenty of time to get a little surf session in. I was pretty bummed when I got to the beach and Newport looked like London. Fog everywhere. I pulled up to my buddies house who literally lives on the beach and you could not even see if there were waves or not. He convinced me that there were so I decided to paddle out for the last time in 2011.
Quick little note for those of you who do not surf - People surf for a variety of different reasons – Job, recreation, look cool, culture, spiritual, happiness, the sun, convenience, fitness, all of the above, etc. I’m not going to be joining the pro tour anytime soon so I just do it because it makes me happy and I feel that when I’m in the water it helps me think. It is like a release. It is as if your thoughts can be poured into a mass that dominates the earth, no thought is too big for her – nor to small. When you ride a wave it is almost like you are conquering the ocean. Like for a couple of seconds you have harnessed its power and tamed a beast that has swallowed many. But then the wave slams you down and it lets you know that humility is still necessary. Surfing is cool because you can see people get up and ride waves and its almost as if the wave was created to serve them – like that wave’s power and beauty was used by the person riding it to create a feeling of joy and happiness. Then you watch other surfers and it is as if the man was created to serve the wave. The wave has its way and does whatever it desires, with no regard to that persons safety or well being. I think I’ve been in both situations.
I say all that for this story – I paddled out and I could not see more than 10 feet in front of me. By time I got out to a point where I wanted to start catching waves I could vaguely make out what the beach looked like. I knew which way was east and which way was west, but it was extremely difficult to decipher. As hard as it was to see behind me, it was just as hard to see in front of me. I surfed like this for 15 minutes without giving it any thought. Waves would show up and I would have to make a quick decision to take it or let it go. Then it hit me. This is last day of 2011 and here I am thinking about what I want to do differently next year. Sometimes my life is very easy and a two year old could make decisions for me. Other times it feels like all the wisdom in Ecclesiastes could not help me make the right decision. One thing I did know is that in 2012 I wanted to be able to make clear decisions for my life and not be hindered by my past or thoughts of the future. Ummm, hello? Are you there? Fog is surrounding you. You cannot see behind you. You cannot see in front of you. Then its like a light finally came on. Ohhhhhhhh! I swear its like the ocean was giving me everything I needed. It was a perfect metaphor of what I was trying to change. Do not worry about the fact that you cannot see the past. Do no worry about the fact that you cannot see the future. Just be happy to know that you can see the present and that you can make great decisions based on that clarity.
I just thought that it was a really cool story and I always hear stories like that, and I say to myself “man, when is something cool like that gonna happen to me!” Haha, funny thing is that I almost did not realize it.