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Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

New Year’s Resolutions I am trying to keep:

1. Writing at least 3 pages a day – journal, articles, whatever
2. Cutting down my excessive chocolate intake
3. Becoming less critical of other people
4. Exercising 3 times a week

Reading goals I’m trying to meet in 2007:

1. Read at least 24 books (2 a month) of the 30+ I own but haven’t read
2. Read at least 6 new authors (I’ve already read one – Maeve Binchy, a charming Irish storyteller. Her book The Copper Beech is heartbreaking and beautiful.)
3. Try a new Jane Austen novel (I’ve only read two)
4. Try a new Shakespeare play
5. Read at least one biography and one memoir
6. Read four volumes of poetry (I have started Ted Kooser’s Delights and Shadows, and I quite like it so far)
7. Read two books on writing (not difficult because I am addicted)
8. Read a few young adult books (ditto)

New things to try this year:
1. A dance class
2. Yoga
3. A few new CDs/artists
4. Recipes from The Little Black Book of Chocolate, which I received for Christmas

Lots of trying. But my favourite moments so far this year have been when I stop trying. When I just drink in the sunrise outside my window…when I wear a soft new sweater and feel pretty without any effort…when I open my heart to Frankie or Julie or someone else at Lifeteam, or open my arms to hug Mom or Abi or Jeremiah. When I settle in with a good book, or sit down with Leigh Anne and gab for hours on end. When I savor life…and just let myself be.

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As I struggle to keep the New Year’s resolutions that I’ve written out on paper, I find there are other, smaller resolutions that I haven’t written down, but that I’m trying to write into my life. Little things that maybe nobody but me would consider important. Like flossing every day. Getting a bit more sleep at night. Drinking more water and green tea, and worrying less about my physical appearance. Keeping the house not just nominally tidy, but clean. All these are tiny threads of the woman I want to be, and I’m trying to pick them up and weave them into my life.

That being said, there are some BIG things I want to try this year – some changes that will require intentionality, a different way of being, maybe a few more trips to the library or grocery store or craft shop. And definitely more moments when it’s just me, my Bible and journal, and God.

So what’s my #1 resolution this year? To take the advice I so blithely gave myself and the Midland High School Class of 2002, in my graduation speech almost four years ago. I based my speech on the lyrics of “I Hope You Dance,” one of my favourite songs and one of the best tributes to really living that I’ve ever seen:

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
Get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
And God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

I’m going to dance this year for real. I’m also going to read one new author a month, cook at least once a week, finally knit something other than a scarf, try to read the Word every day, pray more often, blog once a week, and be intentional about creating community and listening to others. And I hope I’ll also floss and sleep more and drink more antioxidant-bearing tea and burn more candles that make my house smell good. But maybe all these are part of the greater whole. When I get the choice to sit in a metal folding chair, my back pressed against its curve and my hands folded just so, I hope I’ll say no. I hope that, instead, I’ll strap on my favourite black high heels, slick on some shiny lip gloss, spritz myself with perfume, and dance. Like I did at the Kahala Mandarin to a live jazz quartet this summer. Like I did in my driveway, in a T-shirt and jeans, on a thunderstormy night in May. Like I did when I was little, in our living room to Nat King Cole, my feet on my daddy’s shoes.

And to you, the reader: “I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance….Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance. And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…”

I hope you dance.

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