In January 2016, I made a New Year’s Resolution to cook a “fancy dinner” at least once a month. From January through August, I successfully stuck to my resolution, sometimes even making more than one feast for friends and family. But then in September, the school year was in full swing, I was in working-mom mode, and my resolution was set on the “back-burner.”
From September through December, I’d find myself saying to my husband, “I need to make another fancy dinner!” He would reply, sympathetically, with something akin to, “honey, we’ve had a lot going on lately.” And I would sigh, shoulders slumped.
That guilt-filled exhale, wordless, said to my husband, “But I wish I had time to make a fancy meal. I wish I had time to go grocery shopping this week. I wish we could spend more time together. I wish I didn’t feel stressed. I’m sorry I act stressed. I’m sorry I’m not perfect. I really want to be perfect.”
And he gets it. We all do. We want to have the time, energy, money, and gumption to do it all. And perhaps we can, but maybe not all at once.
So I have a proposition as we head into this New Year: instead of making one resolution for 2017, let’s make a list of all of the things we have accomplished in 2016.
I’ll start. In 2016:
- I made at least eight fancy dinners for friends and family.
- Alicia and I began writing Lessons in Loveliness. We currently have 600 lovely followers on Facebook and about a score of followers on WordPress.
- I started teaching at a new school.
- I’ve made new friends with my colleagues.
- I’ve spent time with old friends.
- I’ve decluttered my closet and have refined my wardrobe and style.
- I’ve witnessed my oldest daughter writing her name, my son successfully potty-training, and my youngest daughter taking her first steps.
Wow. I just found myself shaking off that self-pity, adjusting my posture, and smiling with a gracious and gratified heart. Now, it’s your turn.
~Start by flipping through old pictures on your phone, in albums, or online. Think back to the events that defined this year for you and the smiling faces who supported you through it all.
~Look around your home. Has success at work afforded you a new appliance, electronic device, or beautiful outfit? Congratulations, it is well deserved!
~Check your text messages. Chances are that someone has recently reached out to you in friendship or need. You are important and have value to others. Relish that feeling.
And one last thing..
~Truly allow yourself to think on your heart’s desires. One recurring theme that God has flashed before me several times this year is: If God has placed a goal or desire within your heart, you already have all that you need to bring it to fruition.
Read that last phrase again. You already have all that you need to achieve any goal. So as we stride bravely into 2017, please know that your God-given desires and drive are not limited by a January 1st-December 31st timeline.
Thank you for a wonderful 2016, faithful readers.
~Think on These Things~