Your Adventure Awaits
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” — T.S. Eliot
On the first day of 2019, I sat down and meditated on how blessed I am to get this chance at a new year of life.
I focused on my intention to embrace the year ahead as one big magical adventure. My mind raced at times while thinking about this challenge to myself, but as I slowed down and focused my breathing, I found myself feeling calm and hopeful about what’s ahead.
If I have one big goal for this year, it’s to approach all of my professional and personal decisions from a place of adventure in 2019. Or, as one of my favorite poets the late John O’Donahue writes, I want to “awaken my spirit to adventure” this year. (You can read his poem in the “Sunday Reflection” section below.)
This year, I want to venture out, venture forward and venture into the unknown. I want to make decisions by asking myself, “Am I going to see and/or experience something new by doing this? Will it scare me or push me outside my comfort zone? Will I be able to look back and feel like I learned something or grew in some way? Will it be fun, meaningful and worthwhile?”
If my answer to these questions is “yes,” then I’ll know I’m making the right choice.
In 2019, I want to push myself to try things I might have said “no” to in the past. I want to challenge myself to keep an open mind about new opportunities. I want to stop looking at the items on my calendar as things I have to do, and instead, view them as experiences that I get to embark upon. And, I want to keep track of it all along the way.
That’s why I’m excited about “I’ve Been Thinking… The Journal,” which came out last week. This journal is a place for me (and for all of you as well) to write down what I’m thinking and experiencing throughout the coming year. It will also be a place for me to document how I’m feeling, what I’m excited about, what I’m scared of, and what I’m hopeful about.
There is a lot I’m hopeful about already:
- I’m hopeful that inspiring voices will rise above the noise in our political space this year. I’m hopeful that new voices will rise to the surface and that our president might do what he is telling others to do, which is “calm down.” I’m hoping that we’ll hear from more voices that are focused on uniting us, not tearing us down. I’m hopeful they will call on us to be of service to our country and that they’ll find it within themselves to work together and make things better. I’m hopeful that we will all rise to the occasion and use our voices to move humanity forward in some way. Together, we can and we will make this new year more hopeful and more inspiring than the last.
- I’m also hopeful that innovative minds will continue to pursue answers for finding a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s disease this year. That includes innovative and bold minds in the health space, the corporate space and the political space. We need bold visionaries from all areas to get involved if we’re going to accelerate our quest to solve the mysteries of this disease. I’m also hopeful that my own voice, which reports on this issue for NBC News and raises awareness about women’s cognitive health and funds women-based research through The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, will continue to have big impact in this space. (I’m saying “big” because that’s the kind of impact I want to have. Just saying it out loud helps me hold myself accountable.) I especially want to challenge myself to do more so that my children and yours will not end up bearing the burden of this crisis.
- I’m hopeful that we can work together to continue to build The Sunday Paper and make it the preeminent paper of record for people who want to move humanity forward. I want to expand its reach, grow its stable of inspiring columnists, and further its impact around the world. Why? Because I believe there is a purpose to The Sunday Paper. Its purpose is to showcase that media can be a force for good and that it can inform, inspire and curate news that is both good for the heart and the mind. I’m going to have to work hard to achieve my goals with The Sunday Paper, but I’m grateful that so many of you will be there to help us, just as you have done in the past.
- Finally, I’m hopeful that my decision to see this new year as an adventure will afford me more unique experiences in both my personal and professional life. I know I’m going to have to get out of my head (no easy feat for me) and push past my fears if I want to see my life as an adventure. I’m going to have to let go in many ways, give myself permission to act silly and embrace the unknown, and push myself to work less and play more. (Yikes!) I know none of this will be easy, but I’m sure it will be worth it. I can’t wait to see what God and this world have in store for me.
And so, I say to this new year, “I’m ready to take you on!” I’m ready to let go and dive in. I’m ready to embrace the unknown. I’m ready for the adventure of 2019. Are you?
Dear God, thank you for the gift of this new year. Please help me embrace it with my arms open-wide. Please guide me towards my one big, meaningful life and help me to always use my mind and my voice for good. Amen.