Late in 2013 a friend directed me to this post on a favorite blog. We talked about wanting to make 2014 the year of living deliberately. I was inspired to be more discerning in where I focused my energy and choosing to plan over my usual flighty approach to things. Shortly after the new year my world tilted on its axis and while there were some good memories made in 2014, I carried with me some things that weighed heavily on my spirit during the year. My eyes were opened wide with wonder for the new experiences I embraced, which was a much-needed counterbalance to my heart’s ache over the empty spaces.
It was only in the last weeks of December that I was able to pause and be still and sit with it all. What I learned in those solitary moments bathed in white twinkle lights was that it is truly time to slow down, to take care of myself, and to be deliberate in my actions. So much of my life is internal. I get caught in my thoughts and my dreams and my plans, but to really and truly live deliberately I have to put actions behind those intangible thoughts. I have learned that I am resilient. That even when it seems as if everything that was a constant in my world is stripped away, and even when it feels like God has hit me over the head with a 2×4 to get my attention, I’m still standing.
So now the challenge is what to do with what I now know? What do I want to create in 2015 for my life?
I want to focus on good stuff. I know that sounds overly simplistic, but that’s what I want to do. I want to be happy. I want to be my authentic self and all that that brings with it. I want to be excited about life and not just going through the paces. I want to open myself up to all that life has to offer – even though that means being vulnerable. I don’t want to look back on 2015 and say “I wish I could have…” And the critical thing for me lies in the act of doing, not just thinking about and planning, but the actual doing.
So here is what I’m doing –
★ I want to nurture my relationships. The past few years have been so full of protecting myself from hurt and anger and all those messy emotions that are just part of life. I shut down and insulated myself against anything that might find the smallest chink in my armor and unravel me. I want to allow myself to love and be loved, to reach out and connect and be open to giving and receiving. I’ve already started working on a clean slate and letting the past go and have reached out to a couple of people in the hopes of starting a fresh conversation between us.
★ I want to read more this year, and read more involved books and a little less of the potato chip variety. I set the same goal of reading 25 books that I had last year on Goodreads. I’ve started reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. After seeing the mini series, it was a perfect choice to pull off the shelf.
★ I want to spend more time on my spirituality. One of the things I thought about last year was reading the Bible. This weekend I downloaded the She Reads Truth app and started the Bible in a Year plan. It’s feeding my soul.
★ I want to be more active. I’ve spent so much time thinking about and goal-setting about losing weight and getting healthy, etc. but it’s time to focus on the doing. The 2,015 miles in 2015 challenge on Instagram immediately struck a chord with me. What better way to encourage myself to get moving? One step at a time!
★ I want to learn new things. In the past I have allowed myself to become paralyzed by not doing new things for fear of failing. But if I never try, I never practice, I never take that first step – I will never grow. I’m learning to knit and I’m practicing because it’s not perfect and I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing, but I’m learning. And I’m learning because it makes me happy.
I think 2015 is going to be challenging, but I hope also it will be rewarding. I like to think that January is an empty bowl, full of promise and possibility of what’s to come.
And so it begins…