Monday, January 5, 2015

Write a Good One!

So here we are at the start of a brand new year. yay. I know, I seem less than enthused thus far. In my defense, I've been fighting a nasty stomach bug for about a week now. Good times. ;) But today is better, so far toast is my friend this morning, and things are looking up. And it is a brand new year!!! I'm finally coming out of an illness-induced brain fog (the other day I panicked because I couldn't find my phone. I was looking for it while I was talking on said phone . . . that's how well I felt that day, but I digress) and life goes on.

My husband helped me put away the Christmas decor, since he could see I was not quite able to do so on my own this past week. While it's somewhat sad that the Christmas season passed by so fast, I find that by the first of the year, I'm usually ready to put stuff away and embrace the new year.

I did read an impressive thought for the day during my week of not doing much. It went something like this:

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one!" (Brad Paisley)

I quite like that take on the new year, because it's true. We have a brand new year in which to have adventures, make decisions, learn, grow, and hopefully become better people. That's what a new year always means to me. It's a chance to wipe the slate clean, and start fresh. A lot of people set up a list of goals or resolutions that they want to accomplish . . . and sometimes they feel discouraged when partway through the year, they realize that they've slipped back into old habits, or haven't succeeded in doing what they wanted. Maybe we sometimes expect too much of ourselves, and this can lead to a bit of negative self-esteem.

Last night a good friend asked me what my goals are for this new year. Compliments of my week of feeling less than well, I may be looking at things differently this year. For a few days, my goals included surviving until the next day. (It was a nasty bug, ok, emphasis on nasty!) So this year, I'm thinking of taking life one day at a time, and merely doing the best that I can on that one day to add to the 365 page book that I'm composing in 2015. True, I was off to a shaky start, but what a way to hook the reader: "There I was, at death's doorstep, about to crawl my way to the mortuary . . ." ;)

I think if we fill those pages with spiritual insights, humor, acts of service, fun times with family and friends, that is what will matter most at the conclusion of the year. Maybe throw in a few wild adventures here and there, blaze a couple of new trails, etc. that's good stuff too. That might be better than stating: "I personally will lose (blah blah) amount of weight, exercise every day, never let caffeine pass through these lips, etc. and so forth. Those items are important, I'm sure, but that's not the kind of stuff I want to fill up my 365 pages. Nor will my posterity enjoy reading this kind of a historical document: "Today I lost 2 oz, stayed away from E-Bay, and ran 4 miles." I think they would enjoy hearing items like, "Today I discovered a new trail in yonder hills, and though my spouse may have pushed the speed a bit while climbing said mountain on the RZR, we survived, and had a glorious picnic while enjoying the view." (See attached pictures for documentation.)

Okay, maybe I'm still in a bit of brain fog, but it seems like we would do better embracing each day as it comes, and make the most of the time we have. Perhaps I'm still reveling in the once in a lifetime cruise we went on with my husband's family about 3 years ago. We left after the beginning of the new year, and had an awesome time seeing areas of the world most of us hadn't enjoyed before. We explored, laughed, and loved spending time together. Shortly after we returned home, we discovered that my husband's younger sister had developed brain tumors, and we lost her a year later. We will never regret the time we spent together on that cruise. It is a treasured moment--something still documented on one wall in our home. It is a reminder to make each year of our lives "a good one!"

I suspect, when this life is over, there will not be many questions regarding how much we exercised (though that is something I do anyway--part of being a Type 1 diabetic) or dieted, but we will be asked how we spent our time. What did we write on the pages of our lives? Were we kind? Thoughtful? Considerate? Did we go out of our way to help others? What did we learn? Is the book of our life something others will want to read, or will it be politely stacked with items that will be sorted through once the more exciting volumes are perused? Just something to think about as we begin 2015.