I recently took an afternoon and fled the red glitter, lego pieces underfoot, and cookie crumbs that have permeated every corner of my home, the detritus of a happy holiday with my large wonderful family.
I escaped to the public library. I found a lovely table all my own facing a window and spent a few hours thinking, praying, reading, writing, and contemplating my calendar. I had found a little notebook no one had scribbled in, and began it fresh on the first page.
Thank you to Emily P Freeman for inspiring me to follow through on my hopes and dreams by giving me a way to form resolutions I thought I could handle. I began by thinking through the past year in specific categories and listing out which things or people gave me energy and life and which ones drained me of energy.
This has led to a few surprising results and a couple of decisions as to how I invest myself in these days of my life. The time spent also allowed me the luxury of enjoying and appreciating all the positives (I actually put a + sign by them) that help to make my life rich and meaningful.
The things that drain me were not numerous, but revealing nonetheless. We cannot always choose to eliminate those activities/people from our lives, and I do not believe that God means for us to fashion our lives around comfort and ease. But naming those areas as difficult means I am more intentional about how I approach them, more aware, more prayerful since I am acknowledging to myself that help is definitely needed.
A few areas were both energy giving and energy draining. And that is life, not just 21st-century life which we always believe to be far more complicated than life in the past, but just real life. Life is complicated and contradictory, and it is energy draining to try to simplify it more than that.
Emily also suggested looking back over pictures of the past year to relive and pay attention to your life. I chose my top ten pictures of events on Instagram and listed them in my little notebook for present pleasure and future perusal. What an amazing year.
Finally, I made a page of conclusions, ever the finisher. I listed what I need more of (kinda like resolutions!), how I might make that happen, and what I need less of, which mostly means more self-discipline.
It’s a start, and I’m grateful for that. Here’s to a full tank of energy for the new year!