The Monster in the Closet

After a time of celebration with family and unwrapping holiday gifts, it is with excitement and optimism that we open the greatest present of all… the start of a New Year!

Every New Year is an exciting time for me, as it should be for everyone. It is a time to look forward to new experiences and set new goals for the year to come.

It doesn’t matter how good or bad your life is going at the end of the year because the new year offers each of us a chance to make every moment we have left on this earth count. It’s a chance to make a difference… to make things better. Not only for ourselves but for others too!

Every year around this time, I like to reflect on what I have accomplished throughout the year. I will admit that some years have been better than others, but that doesn’t mean I quit making a new list the year following a rough one. In fact, it is the perfect time to think about what I can do to make the coming year a happier one.

It was around 10:30pm, two days before the New Year when I mentally gathered goals for my 2020 list. This year I planned to add back several items that always make the list like exercising more, losing weight, and eating healthier. Staying out of hospitals was also high on my list of priorities.

I could hear the wind howling across the frozen lake, blasting away at our bedroom window and chilling me to the core. We were expecting a heavy rain through the night, and several inches of snow the next day. It seemed we would be bringing in the New Year with a crisp, white blanket of snow… a fresh, clean slate for the start of 2020.

All would be fantastic so long as we didn’t lose power.

After hanging up my sweater, I closed the closet door tight to keep the cats out and headed to the bathroom for my nightly abolitions. My mind wandered back to the annual goals list I would soon be hanging on the bathroom mirror.

If the weather cooperates, I hoped to do a lot more flying in 2020 since surgery kept me grounded for a goodly amount in 2019. I also wanted to define better writing goals, spend more ‘fun’ time with my kids, and I definitely wanted to catch more fish!

Ready for bed, I hurried across the cool, tile floor as quick as I could, jumped into bed, and snuggled deep into the blankets and pillows. Shivering at the sound of the wind battering away at our house, I wondered how long if it would take before drifting off to sleep.

Expecting a bit of a wait, I continued thinking about my goals list for 2020 instead of counting sheep.

Between wind gusts and mental notes, I heard an ominous scraping sound followed by a loud THUMP!

“What is that?!” I whispered to my husband.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Is it the wind?”

Again, the scraping sounded followed by a THUMP that raised the hair up on my arms… or was it just the chill in the bedroom?

“I don’t think it’s the wind,” I whispered.

THUMP! Scrape, THUMP! The noise grew louder and more insistent.

“What the…” my husband started.

I stared into the darkness wondering what the heck was trying to get in… and from where?!

About the time my imagination started running away from me, Big Doze jumped into bed with us… ever the guard dog on duty! I think he was trying to tunnel under the blankets and pillows too!

“Great,” my husband grumbled, “how are we going to sleep with two dogs in the bed,” he said, flipping on the bathroom light.

Scrape, scrape, scrape, THUMP!!!

“What the heck is that?!” I said.

“I don’t know,” he replied, looking around the room.

Suddenly, thoughts of a green-eyed, monster with fangs and extremely sharp claws struck me. “Check the closet,” I said.

Pulling open the closet door, the furry, brown rocket burst out of the small space as if the devil himself was hot on her tail.

It was Miss Chloe… my kitty.

She had been wanting in that closet every night since Christmas. I guess my green-eyed, monster finally got her wish!

As I got myself comfortable, once again, I thought about Miss Chloe’s persistence at getting into that closet, and how excited she must have felt at finally getting what she wanted… and then how scared she must have been to get locked up inside!

Goals are a lot like that. Both exciting and scary.

Thinking back at the goals I had accomplished throughout life, I considered how each one came with a fair amount of excitement... and fear. Fear in the thought of attempting something and finding out I wasn’t talented enough or driven enough to accomplish it, or fear in what comes after reaching a goal – like poor Miss Chloe getting locked in the closet. What happens next?

But without goals, what exactly are we living for? Goals go hand in hand with our individual PURPOSE in life. Why are we here?

Don’t be scared of that monster in the closet. Stare that fear down and try something exciting, try something hard. Try everything you wish for before you aren’t able to try anymore.


Happy New Year! May your successes be exactly what you thought you wanted, and more.

What will you accomplish in 2020?

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