I fell in love with this song as a little girl. It was one of the cuts from Olivia Newton John’s album “Clearly Love” (1975). There was just something very haunting and wistful about this song…the words, the melody, Olivia’s pitch perfect voice… to my then 8 year old mind and soul.
Fast forward to Boxing Night 2015. I was in the shower getting ready to go watch The Force Awakens and out of the blue I found myself humming this song! I had not heard it in decades.
I startled my own self. Wrapped in my towel, dripping wet perched on the edge of the bed, I snatched up my phone and searched for the lyrics. I just knew there was a message in there for me. And sho ’nuff, there was. The central theme resonated with me in a very real, a very strong, a very organic way: moving forward, in the face of uncertainty, taking it one day at a time, with faith, relying on Someone bigger than me. Here’s the thing…
Each new year has always represented for me, an opportunity to take stock, celebrate wins small and big, and anticipate the future. I’ve had difficult years. I’ve had great years. And I’ve also had non-eventful years. But on the eve of every new year, I pause and try to map out in my head and heart, always hopeful, the New Year coming. It has been no different this time around.
Many people pooh-pooh the notion of New Year Resolutions. No problem. I make no prescription for anyone here. This is simply my own story, my own heart.
I had hoped to end 2015 with a very clear picture of the trajectory of my professional life in particular. I thought that at this stage in 2015 I would have had at the very least, sharply defined options all in a neat and tidy row. Not so at all. It’s fuzzy. 2015 went by in a blur and here I am at the edge of what appears at this time to be a new year that looks burdensome and wearying based on my current reality.
While not one of those keen and avid goal setters (and nothing wrong with being one of those!), I must confess that I prefer to have in hand, timetables, plans, road-maps and context in order to feel settled and to provide direction. In order to be in control. There… I said it. So coming to the end of 2015 without any of the above in hand I was feeling a little out of my comfort zone and a little sad that the status quo seemed set to remain.
But here’s the thing, events in my 47 years of life have taught me to chill: I don’t know everything. I can’t see around corners. There are so many things outside of my control. And He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above anything that I can ask or think”. My life lessons had brought me to a place where I was not as depressed or worried as I might have been say 10 or 15 years ago. I acknowledged the following to myself:
1. Even though I’d love to know, I don’t know what the future holds…
2. And I’m fine with that, as I know with certainty, that there is no randomness in my life.
3. And I yield to that Higher Plan, all the while following the promptings within to prepare and to get ready to switch course if necessary
And so I think that this song popping into my head from nowhere on Boxing Day was a gentle sign of reassurance that I was right where I was supposed to be at this time: uncertain, yet trusting. Moving forward, even though down the road is nothing but a hazy blur at this time. #grateful
“Sail into tomorrow, living day to day
That’s all I can afford to do and all I’ll ever pay
Is a song to sing to thank you for making me alive
And a prayer to bring you comfort – Lord help us to survive.”