As we head into 2014, I feel the usual pressure to make resolutions for the coming year. This causes me much anxiety. I can’t even recall the resolutions I made last year, which means I probably didn’t follow through with them.
But being my own worst critic, I know there are definitely some things I need to do better or differently. So this morning I sat down with pen and paper and began making my list of goals for 2014.
Here they are, in no particular order of importance.
Tolerance, patience, love and forgiveness
I have thought a lot about this in the past year. It seems like the older I get, the crankier I get. Life – and people - irritate me to no end. My day can be ruined by the smallest indiscretions: The slow driver who refuses to move out of the fast lane, the Facebook friend who leaves snarky comments on my posts, and the scratching sound of my thighs rubbing together in my polyester slacks. But as 2013 drew to a close, God began whispering the word “forgiveness” in my ear – several times a day, every day. So this year, I choose to forgive. Along that line, I also choose to administer love to all people, including myself, regardless of the situation. I’d much rather live in a world filled with open-minded compassion rather than judgment, bitterness, prejudice and hate, and the only thing I can do is lead by example.
Speaking of Facebook, I’ve had just about enough of the snarkiness that goes on there. I’m especially fed up with my reaction to that snarkiness. I mean, what difference does it really make if somebody who lives a thousand miles away chooses not to acknowledge my stunningly clever posts but always “likes” the posts of my closest family members? Weird, yes, but life threatening? No. This year I vow to spend less time on Facebook and more time doing constructive things that are good for me.
Health and exercise
Now that I’ve entered the final stretch of my first half-century of life, I am feeling evermore health conscious. My body is changing daily - this part shifted here, that part shifted there, and bulges have appeared in the most unflattering places. Also, I just don’t feel that great. Nausea? Yep, daily. Aches and pains? Every morning when I crawl out of bed. Fatigue? I would answer that question but I’m just too tired. According to my doctor, I’m pretty much healthy as a horse so I have diagnosed myself with Old Age. This year I vow to take better care of this 50-year-old body, and that means exercising regularly and eating right.
For me, life is all about the connections I make with people. I don’t care about money or possessions, but I do care about relationships. I feel like I’m constantly striving to connect with people through many different means – in person and through text, email, phone calls and, yes, social networks like Facebook. That’s all well and good … when the reaching out is reciprocated. Unfortunately, my attempts to connect are quite often not returned. I try not to let it bother me. I give myself the usual encouraging speeches: “It’s not you, it’s them” but still lose sleep at night wondering what I’ve done wrong. This year I vow to stop trying to connect with people who do not return the favor, even if they are members of my own family. Life is too short. I wish them well and, as outlined above, will make good on my resolution to forgive. But I’m moving on.
More dinner parties
Last but not least, I vow to throw more dinner parties in my home. If you’d like to be on my guest lists, send me an email. I promise to respond, but I can’t promise an invitation. Remember ... it’s not you, it’s me.
Happy New Year!