Tag Archives: resolutions

The Year of the Dead Eyed Shuffle

I was in a new year frame of mind last week. I even chose my One Word for the year. My annual weapon against resolutions and inevitable despair. A simple mantra and ongoing prayer all rolled into one.

I didn’t choose the words that first came to mind when I thought of the year to come, the ones that I try not to say in front of children. I may want to cross stitch this on a pillow some day. Though, come to think of it, that would be a kickass cushion.

But I was going for something more cheesy uplifting…

So here it goes:

2015, the year I will learn to “Treasure” what matters most.

Even now. Especially now. In the midst of all the horrible and crazy.

I was: Determined to be fully present, deeply grateful for each special moment and person in my life; Optimistic, filled with purpose, resolving to write/exercise/eat healthy/go to bed early/parent heroically… every single day… without exception; Deluded, convinced that I would, that nothing could hold me back.

The Crappy New Year of Cancer was not going to keep me down!

I am an Overcomer. Lover of Life. Maker of Lists. Unstoppable.

Did I mention deluded?

And so very stoppable.

It’s hard to say what tapped the brakes first. It was the culmination of a hundred little things. The stomach flu. Twisting my ankle. Traffic to and from the hospital every other day. A leaky toilet. Trying to keep a sick, needy boy separate from his immuno-suppressed, equally needy sister. My husband chipping his tooth on a brownie. A nightmare trip to an ill equipped local ER. A hole in my favourite sweater. A broken closet door. Another nasty infection landing B in children’s hospital after only three weeks at home.

Suffice it to say, my new year state of mind didn’t last long. Cue despair. Tears. Who was I kidding?

My prayers often start with one word. “Really. Really?”

This is our life. I can’t wish it, or manage it, or sheer positive will-power it better. I can’t even pray it better. I can’t do anything to change most of what’s coming our way this year.

But I can treasure it. Not in that phoney “let’s-pretend-this-shit-smells-sweet” denial way. In digging out what we can. In the glimpses of beauty, the sudden rush of fierce love and the bizarre epiphanies that only suffering supplies. In the everyday riches and common grace that slips below the radar. In the peach fuzz of a bald head, the passionate absurdity of a tantrum, the predictable rhythm of sibling conflict, even the easy comfort of an equally weary love.

I may not stride purposefully through 2015 as I hoped. I may not skip and dance in triumph. I expect it’ll be more of a zombie-esque lurch. One foot in front of the other. Sometimes I’ll stop dead in my tracks. But even then, through tears and exhaustion I’ll appreciate the smallest momentum all the more.

So here’s us, embracing life in all its magic and misery. What else is there to do?

Linking up to oneword365.com


37 Reasons to Celebrate

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!

I sound just like one of my kids (B still wishes herself a happy birthday months later). By my age, most women are less enamored with the birthday process than I. They ignore, complain, avoid or simply celebrate “29” year after year. I’ve never understood that.

I’m not gonna lie. I do feel older. And not in the gee-I’m-so mature-and-sophisticated-and-sure-of-myself way. In the I’ve-never-felt-so-tired-and-out-of-touch-and-wth-is-that-cracking-noise-my-knees-are-making way. It doesn’t help that when asked, my husband tells people we are “almost 40” and reminds me that “by his calculations, our lives are nearly half over.” Such a ball of sunshine, that man.

BUT, and this is a big but,

(if you just heard Sir-mix-a-lot singing in your head, that’s a sign you are getting old, too)

I wouldn’t trade it. Not for extra time or a younger body or even the ability to start over. Because it’s been a good life and it’s only getting better. God has blessed me with an embarrassment of riches.

He does it so I can spread it around, make the world better, but also, enjoy what I’ve been given.

So Happy Birthday to me!

At the beginnning of the year I chose One Word to represent this year: DREAM. And though I chafed at the cheesiness of the word itself and the project, it’s forced me to see how powerful they can be. I have so many great dreams. And even though I may not achieve every one (especially all my travel dreams), each one is a reason to celebrate and look forward. It’s not the years under my belt that matter, it’s the ones still to come.

37 DREAMS for the years to come:

  1. Catch a fish.
  2. Try scuba diving.
  3. Write a Novel.
  4. Watch the Hobbit and all 3 LOTR in one sitting.
  5. Tour Europe.
  6. Publish a book.
  7. Watch the Anne of Green Gables play in Prince Edward Island.
  8. Go hang gliding.
  9. Snorkle on the Great Barrier Reef.
  10. Get a blog post on “Freshly Pressed.”
  11. See Les Miserables.
  12. Go on an African Safari.
  13. Finish my Psychology degree.
  14. Spend a weekend in New York City.
  15. Kayak with the whales.
  16. Walk the Cinque Terre (Italy).
  17. Attend a blogging conference.
  18. Visit my sister in Boston.
  19. Speak to a large audience about something I’m passionate about.
  20. Road trip with each of my children (one-on-one).
  21. Learn to crochet.
  22. Celebrate our 20th anniversary in Mexico.
  23. Eat chocolate cake for breakfast
  24. Ride a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs (Venice).
  25. Spend a weekend by myself, in silence.
  26. Take a painting class.
  27. Make my own salsa.
  28. Take the boy to Disneyland.
  29. Tour Israel.
  30. Lead the cheering section each time one of my children graduates/gets married/performs/gives a speech/wins an award/cures cancer…
  31. Go to Comic-Con.
  32. Go on an overnight white water rafting/camping trip.
  33. Reach my ideal weight (and stay there).
  34. Get a PhD.
  35. Become a Grandma.
  36. Ride a motorcycle.
  37. Celebrate our 50th anniversary with all our family.

So here’s me, tooting my own horn. Kind of obnoxious, but it’s my party so I’ll write what I wanna.

What about you? What dreams are on your bucket list? As soon as I cross a few of these off, I’ll need to add some more…


One Word 2012

I am joining the One Word project today. Setting aside years of angst and agony over New Year’s Resolutions. I was very excited to pick one simple word to represent the year to come. I even let the God of the Universe in on the ground floor.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see eye to eye on the whole thing. Each time I prayed about it, each time I turned it over in my mind, each time I discussed it with my husband, the same word kept coming up. And it isn’t the one I wanted. At all.

It smells of patchouli and bean sprouts.

It sounds like New Age chimes and breathy infomercial announcers.

It tastes overly sweet and just all wrong.

It isn’t “me” at all.

But maybe that’s the point. I’m much more comfortable with goals I can see and touch and boss around. The idea of building my year around a word like this is disconcerting.

What does it mean? Where will it take me? How will I get there? It doesn’t involve strategies or schedules or measurable goals or anything concrete. But it is growing on me.

Instead of the usual grind of guilt vs. accomplishment, this year:

I will listen when I pray.

I will engage my imagination.

I will create margins in my life to think, to ponder, to breathe.

I will be honest and brave about who I am and who I want to be.

I will wrestle with reality, with my grief and disappointments to make room for new possibilities.

I will dream.

So here’s my one word for 2012: DREAM.

What is your One Word this year?


Outgrowing New Years Resolutions

Hello, my name is Christie and I am a list addict.

I have discussed this predilection before (The “Honey Do” List). If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m kind of a nerd. My absolutely favourite flavor of list has always been Resolutions.

There is something so intoxicating about this fantasy of future perfection. So, each year, I carefully craft a comprehensive manifesto for the year to come (okay, that sounds a little Una-Bomber-ish, but it’s an accurate descriptor). My administrative little soul shivers in pleasure at the thought of measurable targets and color-coded schedules. As if that’s not embarrassing enough, I’ve been known to alliterate the list categories: Health, Home, Happiness, Helping Others, Holiness… (a disturbing symptom of Sunday sermon brain rot).

This excess of order in the creation of my Resolutions has no actual benefit when it comes to their execution. I think the word is dissonance, as I cheerfully munch my way through a jumbo bag of sour patch kids while neatly formatting my diet goals for the year. In fact, the more time and energy I pour into drafting elaborate goals, the more I avoid any real action. I can ride the wave of optimism and good intentions for days, even weeks, before it all comes crashing down. And it always comes crashing down. The more elaborate the plan, the more spectacular the fail.

But this year will be different. No, I’m not giving up entirely. There is something inspiring about a new year and a new beginning. I am not willing to give that up, but I am changing my approach. Here’s a few things I’m trying to do different this year:

  • Let God weigh in. Too often I bring God a list of my objectives and plans, expecting that He will be thrilled that I thought of Him at all. Good things, valuable things that I’m sure will please Him, like a cat dropping a dead bird at her master’s feet. But my Maker has a better idea what I need and who I am becoming than I do, so why not consult the expert right from the word go?!
  • Focus on Being, Not Doing. Changing what I believe, my attitudes and my feelings, is so much more complicated than reading my bible each morning or eating leafy greens with dinner. But it is the only way for my resolve to outlast that early January idealism. It is more about my heart than teeth clenching, white knuckled willpower (which is good news, since I’m not so great with the willpower).
  • Keep it Simple. Instead of a long-winded list of Resolutions I am joining the One Word project this year. It’s such a great idea – find a single word to build your whole year around. In the next few days I’ll be posting my One Word 2012.

So here’s me, facing a year of change and upheaval without a mission statement or exhaustive list of goals. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of relaxing! I should have done it years ago.

What are your resolutions this year? Do you have a structured timetable or cute acronym to keep them all straight? (Do you need one? I have years of experience after all!)


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