I read them all — those resolutions, the intentions, everyone’s “my word for the year” — and I came away with….
Zip. Zero. Nada.
The Christmas tree still twinkled from the corner and the warm glow of the holiday season continued to fill my home, but inside my heart, on the cusp of this new year, I was numb. Frozen.
I’m a “new day” kind of girl. I like nothing more than a fresh start, a clean slate, a brand new page on the calendar. But where was the inspiration? Why couldn’t I get excited about 2015?
I began to realize that my condition wasn’t just a holiday letdown, and it went deeper than the need to recover from the Christmas flu.
I was more than sad. I was becoming truly, seriously depressed.
I prayed and I slept. I ate chocolate and started a new novel. I watched a funny movie and went for a walk and stood in the sunshine and listened to uplifting music. I talked to my husband. I even CLEANED.
Then I visited my neighbor, and there in the noise and crazy confusion of a house filled with six adult children and a passel of grandkids, I found the cure for my malaise — people.
At my neighbors’ house, I hugged her visiting grown-up kids and played with her grandkids. We shared a cup of tea and we talked about books and knitting and food and college. And I rocked her youngest grandson to sleep.
Back in the quiet of my empty house, where a week earlier our own grown-up sons and their significant others had shared meals and laughter, I had an epiphany.
To be happy and healthy and sane, I need to be around people.
More than that. As I began taking stock of how I had spent the past several months and looked at what I had planned for the coming year, I found the other missing element that spells health for me — writing.
For all of October and November, I had written something nearly every day. 31 days of blogging and a couple thousand words of a novel had stirred my creative juices for two solid months. It didn’t matter that I worked at home alone most days. I was interacting with my own imagination and creating something I could share with others.
After Thanksgiving, my writing had stalled to a trickle.
With these fresh revelations, the iceberg that had been my frozen brain melted and my “resolutions” for the new year became clear:
- Spend more time with people
- Write daily
And my “intentions” for the new year? That list is a little longer. It’s borrowed from a Facebook post via my yoga instructor and it’s tacked up over my desk (you’re welcome to copy it and hang it on your fridge, too):
In the midst of getting my feet back on the ground, another bit of inspiration was provided by one of my sons. In part, here is his heartfelt New Years’ Day message, posted (of course) on Facebook:
“To all of my loved ones, do something this year that you can look back on and feel good about. Create something that will last forever and make a change in the world. Happy New Year.”
Do something you can feel good about. Create something that will last. Make a change in the world. Simple, but profound.
And finally, as I searched for that one word to tag as a theme for the year, this one showed up at every turn:
God’s and Mine. I look forward to celebrating His presence in the coming year and to being in His presence daily with a new Bible reading plan and intentional prayer. And I plan to be present in all the moments that make up this one life.
Because the truth is, while we’re beginning a new year, we don’t really get to “begin again”. The race is already underway. What we can do is resolve to end well. That chapter is yet to be written.