28 December 2010

#1: Rez-oh-lü-shuns: simply living, and the art of not just getting by

As the final pages of last year were hovering at a 90 degree angle above the spine of the book in mid-turm, I found myself in constant joyous elation. All of the happenings of each day seemed to be a promise of happiness and newness. Even the timid sun had decided to show its face 'round these parts, almost as if its sole purpose was to warm my face with a shiny forecast of things to come. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a new year is upon us! And my exuberant response is: "About f*@%ing time."

Why am I cursing the nondescript entity that simply forces the moon to pull the tides and pushes the sun in its predetermined orbit? That's a good question; because, as tempting as it is, I can't really hold gravity accountable for the several difficult trials that I have had to press through this year. And 2010's been tough one: in the past 12 months, I went through the diagnosis of clinical anxiety and started treatment for it, lived in a tumultuous living situation that ultimately resulted in a change in residence, experienced the tragic death of a family member, and had a sudden start and even more sudden end to a relationship. Of course, there were times of extreme joy when I experienced utter gratitude for my life, the people in it, my lifestyle, and happy changes that were happening; but, admittedly, I neglected to see those times for what they were, because I was still trying to catch my breath from those experiences that knocked everything out of me.

So, what's a girl to do? I looked over my last blog post I wrote when being confronted with my cousin's death back in October, and I appreciated my perspective of finding not only joy, but strength in the tiny activities of my day. I don't need to just feel ok, or better: I need to feel like I can do it, with strength and grace of God. Maybe listening to God and leaning on the comfort and strength of the Holy Spirit is to simply live: to get up, eat, work, play, love, smile, pray, kiss, and cry. To celebrate all things, great and very, very small.

And that is my new years resolution: simply living in the very, very small day-to-day. Most years I am tempted by grandeur thoughts of accomplishing very, very large things, like starting graduate school or getting out of debt or balancing my checkbook on a daily basis. But this year, I'm going to give myself as much space as possible, and allow as much peace to reign in my life as I can--not with the intent of learning life lessons in the space set aside, but rather just to quiet the noises. I don't want to be absent from those times that are good and bright, only relive them in painful nostalgia; I am going to make sure that I look at and listen to and taste and smell what's going on around me. I am going to simply be here.

Any sort of goal requires some pragmatic approach, so one way I am going to work towards the goal of living goal-free is to give myself space to reflect every day: reflect on where I am feeling strained, where I am feeling free, where I am feeling tired, where I am feeling joy. And, naturally, with any sort of reflection, things will be noticed and seen, and the process of learning what God will have us learn will unfold. Therefore, I've also decided that though I am not looking for any grand, sweeping life lesson to be taught in 2011, I want to intentionally look and note what I do find in this space I am giving myself, because, I think I will just be grateful for it. I also want to write and blog more this year, so I am going to kill the proverbial bird with one stone: this year, I will reflect every day through blogging on what I've seen, what I'm learning, and what I want to start doing (call 'em teeny, tiny goals, if you will). Note: I will probably break this resolution to write daily come mid-February, but, hell, you gotta give it a shot.

(I promise to everyone that I will try my very hardest to keep my daily reflections from being some myriad of trite and redundant grandiose statements about lessons we can learn about God through clouds and looking at the world through a child's or puppy's eyes. Please, if ever I write something that you feel falls in that category, you hereby have the right to comment that I am guilty of breaking the clouds, children, and puppies clause. Make sure to call it as such: the clouds, children, and puppies clause).

So, since I am already 9 days behind, I'm tempted to get to a-reflectin' and make 9 comments. However, after writing this post, I realize that my first goal prevents me from making up for the past week and half, because:

#1 Write shorter posts, because you won't write at all if you don't.
Seriously, I won't. I started writing this post a week ago. Brevity is not my natural-born strength, so I'm going to have to start practicing.

Happy New Year.