I’m not into New Year’s resolutions so much, and the whole experience of changing calendar years generally feels more like just another day than anything transformative. However, I do love to step back from life and take a look at it. I like to look at patterns and changes and a year is both an instant and a century when you’re experiencing it.
Part of the magic of blogging, even as occasionally as I do it, is the ability to tangibly look back on life moments. A year is condensed in a few entries and I can see that just about a year ago my brother was rushed into surgery and was in intensive care and I can remember sitting in my room under the crushing fear that something even more terrible could happen. I remember crying in my bed while my parents were at the hospital with him and praying that he would be ok. It was honestly more like yelling; it was angry and desperate, and it was some of the most honest praying I’ve ever done. And now, a year later, he’s fine. He works full time and it’s hard to remember that I was ever that afraid, and it was really only about 365 days ago.
I see the end of the last school year and I remember how much that guts me every time, how hard it is to leave the kids that I love. I see me teaching summer school and taking online classes and being SO OVERWHELMED, and I see that moment of release when I finally am able to read a book in the sun and remember that busyness is not healthy for me all the time. I see the mission trip I took with Elevate which was just as meaningful and changing for me as it was for the kids, and I see all the retreats and moments I had this year with my soon-to-graduate 8th graders and I’m reminded to build into them and encourage them for the last few months of our time.
This year has given me beautiful moments. I met new people and grew relationships with old friends. The people that I love dearly took a pilgrimage with me to Hope College and helped create the most lovely birthday in years. And there are hundreds of other moments, that I can’t describe here.
The point I’m trying to make is that maybe for me I shouldn’t be focused so much on a resolution as in seeing how I’ve grown. I should see how God has worked in my life over the past year so that I can be ready to move forward in the year to come. I want to recognize my mistakes and bad habits so that I can remedy them, and the only way to do that is to look back.
So in 2015, I hope to recognize moments of greatness when I’m experiencing them. I hope to document them with pictures and words. I hope to write more letters this year, to invest in people and to remember the poison of overscheduling myself. I hope that I remember to value the people I love because life can change in an instant and I don’t want to wait until then to tell people what they mean to me.
This isn’t a “go work out more” resolution; this is a live my life the way that makes me feel fulfilled resolution. I know what works for me. I know what is meaningful and what fills me with joy and what makes my life worth living, and sometimes I need to be reminded to choose that, over and over again, even when it’s hard. Choose joy and choose love and choose the hard path when Netflix is calling, when it feels like I need to fill my every second of time so that I don’t face the horror of silence.
In one of the sermons I listened to last year, they asked these questions: Am I making the most of every day that God has given me? Am I doing all that God has put me here to do?
I hope that at the end of 2015 I will be better at answering yes to those questions. I hope that I begin to learn to take in the silence instead of blocking it with aimless tv marathons and social media clicking. I want to actively make memories instead of stumbling into them.
Instead of calling these New Year’s resolutions, I really want to think of these as just living life better. Our days are numbered, and I’d hate to think I’ve wasted any of them.