I resolve to be more mindful. Big statement—and with so much background Muzak in my life, hard as hell to accomplish—but 2017 will be the year I do my best to savor my ramen and be more sensible and aware. (Full disclosure: I have an addiction to organic chicken broth poured into supermarket ramen cups, but that’s another topic, and I have yet to shed myself of a daily ritual many may deem "unhealthy." But one person’s extreme sodium is another person’s treasure. For me, that moment when I commune with my warm salty soup, it’s all a few minutes of meditation and escape, of focus and compassion, versus the Energizer Bunny–like frenzy that’s my typical Type A normal. And if you’re in this business, too, I know you can relate.)
Yes, I would be lying if I said my biggest business resolution wasn’t linked to my biggest personal resolution. They are one and the same and pretty conventional: when the going gets tough, maintain perspective and go small, narrow, focused and deaf to all the sound and fury that distracts me. It is so easy to allow the last email, or the last voice mail, or the last "tough" conversation in the corridor to derail my focus. Same thing goes for my home life: an annoying bill in the mail, an unplanned household hassle, or the newest rescue pup (shout out to Harley) chowing on our living room rug. I need to remind myself to savor the moment, breathe deep, don’t sweat the small stuff, and focus, focus, focus on the solution, not that constant la-la-la in my ears winding me, stressing me out, making me forget what’s truly important.
As a two-time brain tumor survivor, I learned mindfulness the hard way. In the beginning after my surgeries, I couldn’t do two things at once well, and I learned as I healed that juggling is a luxury, but so is being singular and self-indulgent and letting your brain wrap around a big, juicy problem without distracting it with lots of annoyances. Now that those surgeries seem far in the past, the last one in spring 2013, it gets harder and harder to remember to focus on what matters, keep an eye on the prize, ignore the nuisances, and so on and so on.
So let’s hope that 2017 is great cups of chicken soup and lots of soulful minutes where I have but one thing on my mind: running the whole marathon, and not worrying so much about the distraction of mile 6.47.