Heart and Soul

Saturday, January 08, 2005

New Year Resolve

Rather than join the world in creating yet another random list of New Year resolutions, this year I’ve decided to look back and re-use the life lessons of the past twelve months as my inspirational guideline for 2005.

The first important lesson I garnered from last year emerged out of my absolutely joyous experience as a grandparent. It’s been more than 30 years since my children were young. In that time I’ve pretty much forgotten how enlightening it can be to view the world through an infant’s innocent eyes. The joy of simple delights and the tenderness of pure love are life lessons I have thoroughly enjoyed re-learning with my grandson. They are also elements that I am resolutely trying to import into my daily life as a defense against hardened adults, demanding deadlines, and stressful situations.

One of the most unexpected revelations of 2004 related to my house, my husband and his proficient construction skills. Living, as I do, in a region where snow accumulates in feet, and ice develops in sheets, I have come to fully appreciate the attached garage my husband built onto our kitchen. Being able to get into my car without struggling against snowdrifts or chipping away at icy windows has become one of my life’s greatest luxuries. So each time I enjoy the pleasure of slipping into my warm, dry car I find myself reminded of my husband’s true love and of the importance of acknowledging his caring ways.

Ways to look younger and improve my overall health became more apparent to me during the past year, and the lessons learned are fundamental and age-old. Finally deciding, at age 53, that comfortable bedding and sumptuous sheets are necessities of life has turned my bedroom into a special haven where I can truly relax and enjoy restful sleep. Exercise, good foods, and vitamins have made my transition into mid life less painful and challenging. Most essentially, joy, and laughter have softened my worry lines on the outside and lightened my heart and soul on the inside, to the point that those around me remark about my youthfully improved appearance. So while I continue to enjoy chocolate as one of the main staples of my life, I have vowed to continue these slowly evolving healthy lifestyle habits… and, most importantly, to laugh more and worry less.

Relative to the worry factor, I am, by nature, someone who worries about everything, most especially the precarious balance of friendships. For years I’ve connected in friendship with men, women, and children of all ages and persuasions. Some have remained lifelong friends while others have come and gone in time periods of years to months. As such, I have always worried that the great time variance in these relationships was unconventional and somehow directly related to my inability to maintain and honor them. That is until a wonderful friend sent me an e-mail detailing the varying degrees of friendships that flow through life, complete with the explanation that no matter the duration, each and every one has a very special purpose. That clarification, in turn, has helped me to stop worrying about the quantity of friendship and instead appreciate the quality. So while friendships in my life continue to ebb and flow, I now enjoy them singularly for what they are, not what my worrisome preconceived notion dictates they should be.

Finally, in review, the year of 2004 provided me with a revelation connected to my high school yearbook. Underneath my senior year picture the editors described me with a quote concerning enthusiasm. At the time, being a typical teenager, I was very disappointed in the description, instead wishing for a quote about talent or beauty. Yet during the last twelve months total strangers have praised my writing as it reflects my enthusiasm, directly using the word that I so long ago disdained. Further they have encouraged my aspiration to become a syndicated columnist, stating that they believe in my talent. Which has provided me with my strongest non-resolutions for 2005…. to follow my dreams…to believe in the possible…and to continue to share my Heart and Soul.

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