By Sue Seibert
Have you ever noticed that by Jan. 1 you are so exhausted that yearly planning, reflecting, resolutions may just go out the window. In the two months, from Halloween, actually, leading up to year’s end, many of us are in a rush to get ‘er done! Food, gifts, preparations, decorations, planning for holidays, parties, celebrations of our various churches and families. It is all just too utterly exhausting at times, isn’t it?
So, a Welsh artist and friend has suggested that this year anyone who wants to should join him in a new approach to the new year and New Year’s Resolutions. My friend, Michael Nobbs, http://www.sustainablycreative.com/, is calling this new take on New Year, “The Month of Reflection and Planning.”
By this, he suggests that we start our new year in February while we reflect on 2012 and plan, slowly, those things which we really mean to accomplish in 2013. He suggests a cup of Earl Grey or English Breakfast tea and a note pad and pen to begin this process. Since I’m just now telling you about this, I know you won't have a month, but rather just a couple of weeks, but the intention is still the same.
One thing that Michael talks about in his weekday podcasts is that every time he makes a list or begins to make lists he now realizes that means he is pushing himself too hard and fast, and as I reflected upon this, I have to agree. When I’m making lists, I end up putting so much pressure on myself that I just dread doing any of it, and then I just put it off entirely.
I have found, this month, since I had cataract surgery Jan. 3, that I cannot make a written list. As it is, I am touch typing this column and will have Raf edit it and correct the spelling and things because I simply cannot see what I am doing. But, in a way, this is helping me be more patient and to actually contemplate the past and the future. Sometimes, I realize, our bodies and minds tell us to slow down, and we just don’t! And, in fact, when we don’t slow down we, at least I, tend to do things poorly, to become irritable, and, in the end, we don’t accomplish all those things we really set out to do in the first place.
So, as Michael has challenged me, I am challenging you to take a few moments each day with a pad and pen and a cup of tea or hot chocolate, and think about what happened last year, good and bad, and what you hope will happen this year. Think about all those things you meant to do and didn’t, and think about what is really important in your life and what you can do to minimize the list of “to dos” and what you can do to make your life in 2013 more stress free, happier and more satisfying. And I urge you to do two more things: Learn to say the word “NO” and mean it when you need to. And … pray!