Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

One of the things I enjoyed most about teaching is that you got to start over every year. Make big changes. Try new things. For the same reasons, I love the new year, and I love birthdays. Resolutions don't scare me. I have accepted that I will not get everything accomplished that I want; I have come to realize that I often put too much on my plate, try to do too much. Still, I think it is good to have goals, resolutions, to keep us striving to be a little bit better.

One of my favorite blogs mentioned trying to think of a word to focus on for the new year, something you want to become or refine. I have chosen the word engaged. I have certainly developed that motherly talent of checking out. I want to check out less. Multi-task as little as possible. Enjoy the undertaking or activity, whether it is a story with my children or cooking supper.

Since having children, and I think daughters specifically because women tend to have more of an issue with degradation, I have noticed how I talk to myself. In the past year or two, our pastor's husband gave a lay sermon that I really enjoyed. Part of what he talked about was the way that we talk to ourselves. He quoted Philippians 4:8 in his sermon: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." That is something to ruminate on. Along with that verse, I think about my daughters talking to themselves the way I have a propensity to talk to myself. I would cry if, one day, I knew they were saying such harsh and awful things to themselves. Those two things have come together to help me to talk nicer to myself. I have cut way back on the harsh judgments of my appearance and even try to find things, appearance- and character-wise, that I do find acceptable or even valuable.

I write the above to give a foundation for my new year's resolutions. In thinking about how I hope all of my children talk to themselves--Lucia, Elliott, and Mazie Bell, I framed my resolutions a little differently this year, perhaps a little softer, more hopeful than dogmatic. I have an empty frame by my writing chair that I intend to put the list in:

Today I hope you:
  • eat raw vegetables
  • say something nice to yourself
  • walk or do yoga
  • write
  • read a poem
  • pray
  • say no to things that are bad for you
  • sit on the floor and play with lucia, elliott, and mazie
  • notice your gift
  • give thanks
I hope your year has started off well and that you are kindly moving yourself toward new goals. Much love to you.

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