Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

It is said that one should start the New Year as one hopes to continue it.  This makes me wonder why so many people, including me often enough, choose to begin the new year hung over and wondering who they kissed at midnight.

This year, I begin as I'd like to continue.  Sort of.

I begin by writing.

Now what.

See, that's a problem.  I say, "I begin by writing," and I have nothing more to say.  I say, "I am a writer," and I forget all of my words and go back to Diamond Digger Saga.  I say, "Today is the day I write," and ... hmm, let me get a cup of coffee.

I recently read an article about churches that want to grow but don't want to change.  The author said that that was like saying, I want to lose weight and get in shape, but I want to eat cheeseburgers all day.  The truth of this article struck me, not just for my small, rock-encrusted (but lovely) church, but for myself.  My own self.

I have to change.

I am 54 years old and have been pretty damn sure of myself since I was two, but I have to change.

Now, there are people out there saying, "Damn straight, it's about time, too."  This is the bad news for them.  The things I need to change may not be the things other people want me to change.  For instance, I need to say no. Every day.

I had a discussion with a great friend and great mind, Morgan, who talked to me about how successful kind people set limits.

It isn't kind to pick up someone else's rocks and carry them.  You aren't helping them, you are saying "you can't do this, so I will do it.  Even though my back is killing me and you are an ungrateful wretch."  You see how that sounds less kind now?

It isn't kind to agree to do things --- organize the food drive, bake a thousand cookies, copy all of the literature for a class, when you don't want to do it and you feel angry that the person even asked and put you in this place anyway.  What were they thinking, making me have to say no?  Not so kind.

It isn't kind to let someone behave boorishly or cruelly, and keep them from the consequences of their actions.  It isn't kind to them or to the world.

It is kind to be polite and civil, even if you have to be direct and even angry.  It is kind to be respectful of all people, even the ones who smell bad or who vote Republican on a regular basis.  Treat people as if they were people you love.

RESOLUTION NUMBER 1:  Treat people as if they were people I love.

RESOLUTION NUMBER 2:  Set limits that respect myself and my loved ones. (Practice smiling serenely and saying, "I know you can handle that")

Then there is the whole cheeseburger and Diamond Dash Saga thing.  I want to be healthy and fit.  I want to play with my grandchildren and talk to my sons about things I don't quite understand.  (What do you mean, a Quark isn't a character from Star Trek?)  I want to be able to walk.  A lot.  I'd like to be able to bite my toenails again, but that day may have passed.

I am working with a personal trainer, but she can't make me get up everyday and practice what she teaches me.  I have to do that.  Put down the Nook.  Or maybe I can sit on the stability ball and play Diamond Dash Saga.  Hmmm....

I am eating junk.  The only veggie I had last week was macaroni and cheese.  (Hey, I'm Southern.  That is a veggie.)  I like veggies. I love eating a rainbow a day.  I love fish and seafood.  I also love chocolate and double grilled cheese sandwiches.  OK, a rainbow a day.  Less junk, more interesting food.

RESOLUTION NUMBER 3:  Get up and do something.

RESOLUTION NUMBER 4:  Eat a rainbow a day, and make sure every bite you eat is worth it.  (Is that two?  We'll call it one.)

And finally, for now: do what I need to do.  I know that just because I'm good at something, that doesn't mean it's what I'm meant to do.  I know that other people love me but they don't know what I'm meant to do either.  I know that I am wasting my gifts, and that is a very very rude thing to do.

RESOLUTION NUMBER 5:  Thank God for my gifts and my grace by using them in ways that God loves --- creatively, kindly, courageously.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

Happy New Year 2015.

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