My course and work responsibilities for 2018 are nearly complete, nicely in time to take stock and consider my goals, hopes and dreams for 2019.
Every December, as the New Year draws nigh, some self-evaluation takes place; do the people I love feel cherished and treasured, am I respectful of nature, am I positively contributing to my community and am I properly caring for my spiritual, physical and mental health? This year, as with all the ones before it, I know that I still have a long way to go to meet these goals.
It takes me absolute ages to come up with resolutions; because I am a world-class procrastinator and because I’ve won gold medals in rationalization (I can find a multitude of reasons to abandon – even the most recently penned – resolutions). Mostly, though, I resent the notion of us all sorting through our lives with the sole purpose of finding fault and picking at our flaws. Instead, I believe we ought to bravely, confidently and enthusiastically live our lives with the grace* and the forgiveness** and the peace*** we’ve been promised. In the musical “Hamilton”, Lin-Manuel Miranda eloquently cited a verse uttered so often by President Washington: Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.**** I think we should all do exactly that – live life in a relaxed and fearless manner.
Nevertheless, once again this year, I’ve composed some non-resolution intentions for myself and – for 2019 – it is an über-short list: Responsibility, minimalism and kindness.
- First up – I need to do much better at letting go of anything (“Indy!”) that is not within my control; less worrying or obsessing about those issues. Hand-in-hand with this goal, though, is owning my actions and their consequences, so: Always be responsible and culpable for all of your words and deeds.
- For two years now I’ve been pruning the excesses from my life; less possessions, less of other folks’ busyness and drama, less self-made pressure and expectation and less white noise. As a result I’ve found more kindness, more gentleness, more peace. Life is much better pared down, so: Minimalism proves to be more.
- With her annual Christmas address, Queen Elizabeth stressed the need for respect and kindness. Indeed kindness ought always to be front of mind so, to that end, I’ve accepted (Thanks Effie!) the 30-day Kindness Challenge. It is simple enough, really, I undertake to perform one unsolicited, unplanned act of kindness every day for a month. It is my wish that I shall think less about me and more about others. Although the challenge is 30 days specifically, I hope I am able to continue this commitment beyond the end of January. More to follow… So: Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.*****
To everyone reading this post:
May you be safe from all harm.
May you be happy and have everything you need.
May you be filled with loving kindness.
May you live in peace and harmony.
Happy New Year!
’Til next time, y’all…
*But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” [James 4:6]
**Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. [Isaiah 55:7 NIV]
***“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33 NIV]
****Micah 4:4 NIV