The power of leaning toward your dreams, one step at a time

This was originally published in the January 2018 issue of Oxford Magazine.

New Year’s resolutions have never really been my thing. Instead of taking hard right turns and never looking back, I tend to make modest adjustments by degree. If I learned anything in high school trigonometry, it’s that even the slightest change in direction leads to a significantly different outcome.

Perhaps I’m just rationalizing the fact that I mostly lack the intense will power I see in many of my acquaintances. But when I look back at the last year, I see notable differences, some for worse but most for better.

I spend more time with my kids. I spend less time at work. I drink less alcohol, but I drink more soda. I spend far less time on social media but far more watching television.

Most importantly, though, I find I’m happier overall. Primarily because I spend the bulk of my time doing what I love: reading and writing and surrounding myself with stories worth telling.

It’s a luxury, and I’m thankful.

A few years back, I came across a meme that in some subtle way set that in motion: “Would your nine-year-old self be proud of you right now?” it read. I confess, I tend to sneer at motivational platitudes, but that one hit like a punch in the gut.

I didn’t drop everything at once to pursue my childhood dream of writing for a living. But little tweaks—a blog post here, a freelance article there—made a tremendous difference over time.

It’s not always possible to make a career doing what you love, but for me, and many of the folks featured in the January issue of Oxford Magazine, it started by simply making time for it.

Maybe you make New Year’s resolutions; maybe you don’t. For me, I’ll keep leaning toward the people and pastimes that bring me joy and just see where that takes me.

News

Mississippi officials looking for culprits after new outboard motor stolen from boat

News

Mississippi teen charged with rape and burglary after reported sexual assault

News

Mississippi postal worker ordered to repay $80,000 she stole from taxpayers

News

Mississippi man pleads guilty to making antisemitic calls to Pennsylvania Jewish businesses, synagogues

News

Prison safety concerns raised after report of inmate death shows Mississippi man had meth in system while behind bars

News

Three Mississippi teens killed in late night wreck, four others injured in two-vehicle crash

News

Small-town SCORE! New Chick-fil-A coming to Mississippi town with less than 5,000 people

News

15-year-old Mississippi girl arrested after she reportedly attacked sleeping mother with knife

News

U.S. military community mourns death of leader at Mississippi’s Camp Shelby Training Center

News

Two men arrested in Texas for murder at Mississippi convenience store

News

Mississippi man dies in drowning in waters along Alabama beach

News

Major League Baseball fans mourn former player who died in Mississippi interstate crash

News

Two-year-old Mississippi boy killed in accidental shooting

News

Officials: Mother of abducted child found dead in Mississippi woods likely died from numerous stabbings

News

Mississippi engineers developing a device to microdose LSD, other psychoactive drugs

News

One dead in fiery crash involving three cars, two 18-wheelers on Mississippi interstate

News

Mississippi sheriff: One killed after domestic situation turns into abduction before ending in gunshots

News

Mississippi volunteer firefighters save life of 2-year-old who nearly drowned in swimming pool

News

One dead after car collides with freight truck on rural Mississippi highway

News

Three arrested in Southern Miss football player’s murder

News

One girl dead, another sent to hospital after Amber Alert issued for missing children. Mother found brutally slain.

News

Get ready to indulge in the best flavors of the South at this Mississippi food and wine festival

News

Former Mississippi Lottery official accused of embezzling nearly $200,000 from taxpayers enters guilty plea

News

Mississippi woman arrested for cyberstalking after reports of fake calls, notes sent to victim’s house