Resolutions and Life
My first post. wow. okay, I never pinned myself as being the blogging type but here goes nothing..
beginnings. Everything starts somewhere right? Whether it be something as small me sitting in my attic writing my first blog post, trying to convince yourself to work out or start a new life plan, the first cries of life in a hospital room as a new baby is born or the start of a life long relationship on your wedding day, everything has a beginning
Today is the beginning of a new year. Yes, I know it is the second of January and I'm sure there have been plenty of new years resolutions posts to overwhelm you and make you second guess making a list at all, but I like to think of them a little differently.
I've never been one to make drastic resolutions like most but I'm trying a different approach here. I read a list based off of Pope Francis' most memorable quotes and it really struck something in me. For me, a resolution shouldn't be something we only make on January 1st. It should be a constantly evolving, growing and changing list through out the course of your life regardless of the day. So here's my list for the new year, as it is for me today, January 2nd..
7 things to remember for the new year:
1. Take a more active role in your faith and really try to live out your beliefs
i.e.: go to mass more than once a week, read inspiring books, practice daily acts of charity and kindness, go to confession, befriend a priest, be open about faith, love all you can, join a discussion group. Whatever it is that you seek, I promise you faith is the answer. It is our greatest need in life and sometimes its the hardest thing to see our need for. You may need to take it slow, but I promise, you won't regret it.
2. Stop gossiping and judging others
You never know where a person has been until you walk a mile in their shoes. I want to strive to see each individual as the beautiful person God created them to be; when we stop judging others and allow them to grow in their beauty before our eyes, we get to truly enjoy God's most amazing creation.
3. Take on a real relationship with the people you serve
I live in a faith and service learning community and part of it is doing service once a week. I truly believe the relationships I create and build mean more than any amount of service or tutoring I could do. When you take the time to focus on the people rather than a project or something you just give money to, it changes your entire outlook on service. people-to-people. heart-to-heart. That is what it is all about. Take an active role in your community and it will completely change the meaning of the word community. We really are our brother and sister's keepers and its time we all took on the challenge.
4. Travel to at least one place on your bucket list
"the world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page."
The world is an amazing, exciting and beautiful place. If you don't start seeing in now, when will you? There will never be an easier, better time than the present. It is a gift and you can wait your whole life for the right time to do something, only to realize that the right time has always been there. now is right on time. experience it.
5. Befriend a stranger/critic
Befriend someone (or at least try- it doesn't always work out) who you may assume you wouldn't have anything in common with, who doesn't seem to like you, or even someone you may have overlooked before. It could be the barista at your favorite coffee shop, the security officer at the parking garage where you work, the homeless person on the street, the person who was talking bad about you at school/work/social events. Whoever it may be, make it a conscious effort to show an interest in them and who they are as a person.
6. Make time for those who mean the most to you
Don't get caught up in the business of life, the routine, the constant go go go. Take time for those in your life who you truly cherish, or even those you don't know very well. It's the little things that make the difference. Go out for that coffee date when you probably should be doing homework/cleaning/etc, write a handwritten thank you note, let people know how important they are to you and that you value them. Time is precious and it is important to spend it with the ones you love and to show your love for them.
7. Experience joy.
True joy is such an amazing gift and something often hard to come by nowadays. It is more than a feeling or temporary state. It is a way of life. It is complete trust in God and understanding that whatever life throws at you, God will be with you and you will be okay. It means taking time to experience every small blessing, every genuine smile and laugh, and to see the beauty all around you. It is what we were created for. I see joy in the innocence of children, in the weathered smiles of the elderly, in the way two people look at each other as the make a lifelong commitment to each other through marriage. I see it in the way my mother dances carefree around the kitchen but also in the way people can be in the midst of tragedy and never lose hope in their creator. I even see it in the beautiful creation called Earth and all of its natural wonders and inhabitants. I see it all around me. So maybe this year, try to notice it, and even more than that, try to truly experience it. It is an amazing gift and what would life be without it?
You may have heard of the new Ben Stiller movie, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." While many criticized it for trying too hard to be inspirational, I found it was a little bit of what the world needs more of and exactly what I needed to see. It was uplifting, funny, clean, and called us to remember the real people who make a difference. The world needs more of that. So to end, I will leave you with the main quote of the movie which they used as LIFE magazine's motto:
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”
Maybe we all need to remember that resolutions aren't something that should be made once a year. Maybe it should be a constant way of life, always striving to grow closer, to see the world, to experience others, to feel real emotions, to be more for the world, to live your purpose.
And what better time to start then now?
(If you actually made it this far.. thanks for reading! I'd love to hear any suggestions to my list.. part of that growing and learning thing- the list is never complete:))
Peace and blessings,