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Looking Ahead

On the last day of each year, I look forward to getting together with a few friends to celebrate another year of life lived fully (or not), and the prospects of an even more fulfilling year ahead. We look back, capture the year’s highlights on paper and then share our accomplishments, challenges and growth in areas like health, finances, work and family. We give the past year a name (“2004: Year of Firsts”), honor it and let it go. Setting our sights on tomorrow, we have fun poring over magazines and clipping pictures and words to affix to our personal poster boards. These collages, sometimes called “dream boards” or “treasure maps,” provide a constant reminder throughout the next year of who we aspire to become, and what we choose for our lives.

My eyes land naturally on my dream board as I glance at the wall across from my desk. In the center is a caricature of a mother holding a child, and just above are photos of my husband and me on the beach in Kauai. I’m glad to see family “front and center.” Although not planned, the left side of the poster seems more outer-oriented, while the right is more inner. On the left, “Writers who make a difference” is in beautiful script. EUREKA appears in bold red letters above a black inkbottle tipped over, pouring out a magnificent rainbow of color. “STRONG writing” anchors the upper left, over a muscular arm flexing while holding a pencil in hand. A huge red apple sits almost as tall as a tree at the end of a yellow-brick road, with the words: “The Fruits of your Labor Reached Epic Proportions.” What fun!

Leaving the left side, my eyes journey to the right, where they land on the word “Charity.” Scattered around are photos that bring the words pasted there to life: “A Sea of Tranquility Right Here,” “Interior Journey,” “Perfecting Health” on the most delicious looking dish of fresh vegetables you’ve ever seen. Finally, my eye lands on the photo in the bottom center of the poster that shows the face of a smiling, kind-looking woman and the words “Quality Friend Time.” No wonder it was such a great year!

What has your year been like? What vision did you have? What have you been looking at in your peripheral vision all year? (To the left of my Dream Board is a framed copy of the Revolutionary Agreements art poster; to the right is a calendar with beautiful scenes of the Rockies where I hike as often as possible. Above my dream board is a window looking into my husband’s office. That means that I look at HIM a good deal, too!) What did you set your sights on?

How do you see life unfolding for you in 2006? If you were a magnet, what would you attract into your life? I hope you’ll play with me from wherever you are on Dec 31 or Jan 1 by having fun with your friends creating your own dream boards and a map to your personal treasures.

And then may all your dreams come true.

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