On New Year’s Eve, I had a grand list of resolutions and goals going in my journal.
- weight loss
- whole house organization, accompanied by charts, graphs and glossy photo “after” shots
- monthly artistic assignments, blogged about regularly
- more frequent dates with my kids
- every other week brunch at our house with friends
- sleepovers for the four older kids each weekend
- read through the bible and journal
- daily yoga
- regular hiking on weekends
- on, and on, and on.
Then I woke up on New Year’s Day with a kid hangover… The special cocktail: get up with a sick baby from three to seven, after waiting up for the oldest until almost one. (I party like a rock star, I know).
The morning after, all these goals not only seemed ridiculous and unattainable, but repulsive. …They basically represented just the opposite of what I’d ever want to do with my life. (Ah, the perspective of a sleep deprived woman…)
After some reflection and coffee (and then some more coffee), I saw clearly. I realized in two hours what typically takes me two months to acknowledge.
I was never going to do all that anyways.
I’d already suspected this, even yesterday, while I wrote on clean, new pages in my 2012 journal. Something seemed off, but I pressed on anyhow.
The burblings of something important were trying to break through, however… and they did, shining clearly through the fog! This is something I know (and have even blogged about) but forget frequently.
Do what’s most important first. Everything else will fall into place, or just fall off.
I am a deeply spiritual person; a Christian (although I am loathe to use that term for all the weird and sometimes well-deserved negative connotations). In almost every way, my faith defines me… all of me (a creation) coming from the source of my creator, and all of me attempting to be headed toward that source as well. My own creativity – coming from and headed toward my creator; my love for my family, the questions I have about life, my joy in natural beauty, my intrigue in and enjoyment of all kinds of people… all come from my source and my goal. Even the yucky parts of me – my selfishness, despair, impatience, self-righteousness – are at the very least being submitted for transformation and grace.
So this is what’s most important to me. And as important as it is, somehow, the ways in which I nurture this relationship with God – my faith – can get lost in the shuffle of dishes, packing lunches, napping, calorie counting, and even in more lofty endeavors; artwork, friendship, doing good works…
I’m excited about my new (and old) perspective: I can’t do it all. I’ll put this first.
Jesus gave a teaching, addressing his audiences’ legitimate concerns about material things… clothing, food, anxieties about tomorrow. He reminds them that he already knows all their needs and cares about them. The secret is that when he is in the center of their lives, everything else will fall into place. (This is from Matthew chapter 6).
I’m counting on this. It’s not that I’m abandoning hope of having a clean house, or dropping ten pounds, or making more art, or of brunching and hiking and slumber partying. I’ve just remembered that these aren’t the things that belong at the center of my life. I get wacky when they are.
So now I have one New Year’s Resolution instead of 40. It’s to nurture this relationship, and enjoy it and learn from it every day. Whew! That is really quite a relief. I look forward to seeing what emerges in this pursuit. I’m guessing more than I can hope for.