Ahhh, another new year! I love how they start out all shiny and well intended and then by March, everyone is back to their same old attitudes and habits and grumblings about the world. (If you don’t believe me, ask the people who own your gym.)
There’s something so divinely human in it all. The half-assed attempts to improve one’s life coupled with the reality that it takes work and commitment and then the inevitable settling for lazy mediocrity. So gorgeously human. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it. Mediocrity definitely has it’s pros. Its just so predictable. And I guess it bums me out sometimes.
Its why I don’t make resolutions. They just strike me as contrived. I like to think that (with the assistance of my husband) my life is a constant work in progress, that we are always striving (most days) to do better, connect more, set goals, finish projects, feel deeply, think profoundly. Part of that is the nature of marriage, and part of it is the combination of what is important to us as individuals. Except the days when we’re hungover, obviously. For Christmas, my stepmom gave us a book called The Book of Awakening. Its 365 short passages and meditations on life and self and all that good stuff. We’ve been making a point of reading a passage each night before bed. Sometimes the passages lead to deeper conversation, sometimes not. But it is a nice way to connect each day, in a way that is a tiny bit more meaningful than “how was your day?” and “what do you want for dinner?”
This year, and all years forthcoming, I want to really focus on being present. I get so distracted (because its basically impossible not to) with work, emails, the internet, errands, family, pets, commitments, that I don’t really ever take time to stop and smell the roses. I’m always rushing. And when I rush, I fall or get hurt, or run into things. Its a really great metaphor, actually, for me. The more I rush, the longer it ends up taking me to do things in the long run. If I take the time to consider my moves, my strategy, my game plan…and perhaps if I didn’t procrastinate so much (who said that?), I might not NEED to rush.
And I think its a good thing to be overall: present. I’d hate to look back and realize all the things I didn’t take the time to stop and enojy.
We are all blessed. All of us, in different ways. Even those among us who struggle the most, who are homeless or poor or hungry, can still point to their blessings. My hope is that as you (we) tackle this new year and all the challenges and excitement that will come with it, we remember to be present. And to not just acknowledge our blessings, but to USE them in gratitude.
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
W. T. Purkiser
We are very fortunate, indeed.
Happy 2011, friends!