I'm going to beat the New Year's clock by a few days. Here are my... hopes for 2012:
Exercise in some way five days a week. I’d love for this to be at the gym with sweat involved. (When was the last time I exerted so much energy, sweat was involved? I don’t even know if my sweat glands work…) Realistically speaking, this will probably be a balancing act between gym visits, my bedroom treadmill or just parking far away from the door to the store and hoofing it.
Cook less. Less? Really? Yes. I’m a great cook. Ask anybody. But, my time (and waist) has focused on food for way too many years. Oh, I’ll still rustle up something healthy most nights, but I’m convicted to spend less hours at the counter and more with life. I want to eat whatever and have time to spend on people, outdoors, hobbies and most of all God.
Cut em some slack. Don’t we all wish for that? Age does have a few benefits and one that I’m so glad to acquire is grace. When I was younger, I judged people with lightening speed. “How in the world could she do that?” “What was he thinking? Is he just stupid?” Ouch. Maybe it’s because God has had to teach me this humility lesson several times by showing me my own failures that I’m more able to look beyond and see the person. Oh, I’m still tempted to think those judgemental things and sometimes people really are mind-boggling, but it’s a part of life. And life moves too quickly to pass up the chance to extend grace. Instead, I want to hear myself say, “They’re a work in progress just like I am.”
Make dates with God. I often lead Bible studies, so spending time with my Bible isn’t always a struggle. But, honestly, there are times when I’m after the answer to the question and don’t catch the bigger meaning for my heart. Ashamed to say it, but it’s more like a task on my list on those days, instead of a treat. So, I will take each session with a slower pace, and prayerfully ask Him to change my approach.
Shhhh. I need more stillness. Even though I don’t have kids at home any longer, it’s still way too noisy in my house. The washer beeps to change the load, my iPhone blings an instant message, the dog whines to go out - again, and of course, the television blares babble in the background. So, if it means turning off all electronics, bundling up and taking a walk alone or even driving to a lovely but lonely corner of the county and parking the quiet car, I’m going to add stillness to my soul. The writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery voiced this so well: "The great of the earth are those who leave silence and solitude around themselves, their work and their life, and let it ripen of its own accord."
Make room for fun. I have super fun adult kids who make me laugh. My friends are assorted sizes, ages and temperaments. I love the arts, good music, photography, hiking, a trip to the mountains or a sunset walk on a beach. And I would treasure a chance to travel to places I’ve never been. Good books feed my mind and sometimes my soul. Games challenge me and planting flowers brings me smiles. And writing… that’s the expression I’ve known since childhood. All of these things are fun in my world. In 2012, there will be 527,040 minutes. Most likely, I’ll spend 2908 of those asleep. That leaves me 524,132 to have fun. And instead of doing math problems like these, I’m heading out the door!