Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson
Happy New Year!
January is for celebrating new beginnings,
Each January many of us promise ourselves we
are going to be better than we were last year. It is particularly
popular to resolve to lose weight and accumulate more money. We
apparently believe it is impossible to be too thin or too rich.
Some of us resolve to put our poor health,
slothful ways, and unbalanced eating habits behind us. We pay to
join fitness centers, buy exercise equipment, or subscribe to apps
which promise to help us become stronger and get our bodies into
Others of us commit ourselves to balancing
our budgets. We are determined to keep track of how we spend our
money, pay down our credit cards, and live within our means. Some of
us open new savings accounts or decide to save a specific amount of
money each month. We may begin looking for a new job which would
give us more income.
No matter how we hope to improve our lives
this year, we all believe in the power of starting over again.
Our belief in the power of new beginnings is
strong, no matter how many times we try to begin again.
It can be easy for us to set unrealistic
goals for ourselves. We believe in our ability to start again and
hope we can overcome the challenges we face this year. If only we
can stick to our goals, we think, we can resolve our problems soon.
It can be easy fro us to forget the things we are trying to change
took months or years to develop and we cannot overturn them quickly.
When we set realistic, reasonable goals for
ourselves it can reinforce our ability to start over. We do not need
to change everything overnight. We can set goals for the year and
work toward them each month, each week, each day.
It does not help us to continue behaving the
ways which created our challenges and believe we can start over
again later, next year.
We need to act in the present to overcome
the past and change the future.
Some of us also need to learn more about the
challenges we are trying to overcome and the goals we set for
ourselves. There may be reasons personal to us which keep us from
accomplishing our goals. Some of us might have easy steps to take to
January can be an effective month to spend
time reflecting on how we really want to grow and change, and what
we are actually willing to do to meet our goals. We do not need to
put pressure on ourselves to make as much progress as quickly as we
can. It is more important for us to know where we want to go than to
get off to a fast start.
These same factors also make January a great
month to start over in our appreciation of good craft beer. I know
people who have tried to taste as much local craft beer as they can
who feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
We live in a place where there is a wealth
of craft breweries within easy driving distance. It is not difficult
for us to visit a large number of breweries and try many varieties
of excellent beer.
It is not necessary for us to exhaustively
catalogue or try to become experts about every beer from every
brewery. We have the luxury of trying a variety of beers brewed in
January is an excellent opportunity to
decide what we would like to experience this year and set some
realistic beer goals. With a little exploration and curiosity, 2020
could be a year of new craft beer discoveries for us.
We do not need to drink everything all at
once. This is just the beginning of a whole year to spend gaining
insight into spiritual life and craft beer.
Greg Richardson is a spiritual life
mentor in Pasadena, California. He is passionate about craft
brewing, listening, and monks and monastic life. Greg has served as
an assistant district attorney and an associate university
professor. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com and
he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk.
You can email Greg at StrategicMonk@gmail.com,
and he writes a blog for the Contemplative channel