Friday, January 8, 2010

Resolutions #2: No Do-Overs

There is a lot of pressure that comes with the beginning of a brand new year. Self-imposed, culture-created, but real nonetheless. In some ways it feels like a do-over, a chance to begin again. There is lie in that, though. Untruths. Misunderstandings. I am not sure that a do-over is really possible in life but as I think that through, it's probably okay. I would rather think of the New Year in terms of a staircase than a complete erasing of the past and a new, fresh start. I may not be proud of all I have done or all the experiences I carry with me but all of that has a part to play in the place I sit right now. So, in thinking about resolutions, I want to take a step... preferably a step UP... to get closer to a place I choose.

My kids have been in school all week. Chicago was caught in a snowstorm that left us with about 8 inches of snow and once it cleared, the lake-effect flakes hit again. I know my kids were hoping for a snow day but I did not share that desire. Much as I love to be with them, this week I wanted to have time to think through goals and start to work toward them. Many goals, no fresh starts, lots of thinking and praying and wondering what I need to do next.

Sometimes we hope for such big change that the resolutions we set for ourselves are grandiose and lofty. This is not what I am looking for this year. This year, I want to think in terms of small changes that may (or may not) lead to bigger goals. I am categorizing these adjustments in terms of areas of my life... Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Social, Professional, etc... in hopes of hitting them all within any given week. Not sure this is possible. Not going to get discouraged if I miss. But, a small goal helps me know how to structure my time and if I know that goal is getting me somewhere, motivation grows!

This week, I went back to working out. Truth be told, I dislike it. A lot. Never have enjoyed working myself up into a sweat for the sake of doing just that. And yet, I am 42 years old and my babies are growing up and what I know for sure is that I want to be here for them. I want to watch them grow. I want to be present in their lives to wrap my arms around them when their hearts are broken and laugh with them when the day is good. I want to be here with my husband, Mark. I want to continue to walk this life we have made together for decades and decades to come. I want to grow old and have grandchildren and be active and helpful to this world and God's Kingdom. And not one bit of that can happen if I allow the physical part of me to be ignored and fall away. I hate to work out. But this week, I went Monday. I went Wednesday. I went today. Goal accomplished. Small change that can, maybe, lead to a bigger goal. It was a start for me. And knowing that I did it, even just for this one week, feels good.

What about you? If you have set aside big plans for yourself this year, what small step can you take to make it possible to see those plans come to fruition? What do you want a year from now? Five years from now? Ten? Can you break it down into small pieces, something you can really wrap your arms around, so that you can make an adjustment today?

As I sit here now, I will not seek a do-over. I will not even try to set aside the life I have lived thus far. Instead, I will try to find the stairs. One step up. That is all I need today. The movement itself is gratifying and the thought of where it might get me gives me strength for the climb. Wonder what the view is like from up there?

Blessings on your day.

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