New Year, New You

New Year started off with the flu. Plenty of pensive down time. As I reflect, a few things catch my attention. A theme: less emphasis on resolutions, more on what we can glean from the year we just lived. Experience.

I don’t feel any different. But if I want to find joy in my journey, I look for it and remember my happy moments. This time last year, I was coming home from a trip that earned my first passport stamp. It was one of many trips we took over the year, including one for a friend’s wedding in Vegas. In our downtime at home, we built a garden shed and planted an herb garden. I am four grandkids richer now. I’m blessed enough to have my niece in my life again. After a hiatus of five years, I went back to work. So, all in all, a good full year.

What have I learned? Uncomfortable lessons like maybe I didn’t understand what I thought I already knew. Maybe my experience has more to teach me.

The thing about new beginnings is they need experience. Beginners are awkward and clumsy until they get experience. But what if I’ve “been there, done that” and still have a hard time? If I’m struggling through something I’m normally good at, my wise husband has a habit of reminding me: just because something is familiar, circumstances may have changed enough to make a difference.

In other words, if the scenery has changed he’ll say, “Maybe you’ve driven this way before, but you’ve never had to do it through construction.” If the change is about me, he may say, “You used to hike the hills but you’ve never done it at the age of 48.” Basically, every experience can become new again, if/when something changes.

My hubs could also tell you, I don’t care much for change. I like knowing what I need to do, knowing I have the experience to prepare for the task at hand. It makes me feel like I can get stuff done. When I get stuff done, I am accomplished, confident. I get a sense of satisfaction. My fears melt away because I’m sure of myself and my ability. Dare I say? It’s easy.

Change, on the other hand, creates a new fearful challenge. Action is the only cure. The problem isn’t what you know. It’s what you do with what you know. If you’re stifled by change, fear could lead you to do nothing. Doing nothing is like sleeping. It can get to be very comfortable, too comfortable if you get stuck.

Instead of resolutions, it’s all about goals and words. People are choosing words to represent their aspirations, much like the vision and mood boards of yesteryear. My word is AWAKE.

What can you do if you get stuck? Wake up! Get moving, like physically moving: exercise, walk, swim, whatever. Just get the blood going. Without hope, I’m lost, stuck in a rut, albeit rather comforting and familiar, sometimes also restless to my soul because I know there’s more. In here. Out there. In this world, but not of this world. Super. Supernatural.

The problem is I like being comfortable. Yet I cling to hope: hope for the new year, hope for a new me… a hope that requires change. Aaaand, we come full circle.

Every day is a new day. Every day needs a new dose of God’s mercy.

What can you do to make today matter? How can you be a blessing to someone? How can you use your gifts? How can you use your God-given super powers for good? How can God shine through you?

These are the new year-new you, questions to wake up to.


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