It’s the beginning of January and I’ve read the happy, peppy posts filled with high hopes for great things in the New Year and I confess, I’m not feelin’ it. I look around at the half put away Christmas decorations, particularly the once fresh floral bouquet that now looks like the ghost of Christmas present at the end of the day – and that is what I’m feeling. I can’t quite get up to speed with the New Year optimism.
I’ve traded the pressure of December expectations for the pressure of New Year’s pursuit of perfection. I have made my resolutions – only 5 of them – but each with a subset of mini-goals and each requiring varying degrees of self control, which when taken all together seems monumental. Perhaps it’s the grey skies no longer brightened by twinkling lights, or the reality of back to work on Monday, or the raging sugar-withdrawal-induced headache, but I’m just a little slow in the get-all-excited-for-a-new-year department. Maybe I need to get one of those Happy Lights I saw at Costco – but that would blow one of my resolutions.
I am remembering a country song lyric which said, “if we can make it through December, everything’s gonna be alright I know. It’s the hardest part of winter and I shiver as I watch the fallin’ snow.” Where I live January is often colder than December and February can seem like the longest month of the year. March indeed comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. By April the New Year’s resurrection has begun and the little crocus pop up and reach for the warmth of frosty sun.
Bit by bit I’ll get my Christmas décor put away (before going back to work on Monday). I’ll develop a new habit of using those cloth bags at the grocery store and do my part to eliminate global warming. I’ll enjoy the grocery store since that’s the only one I plan to visit for a long while as I save for a car. I’ll gradually reduce the clutter in my closets and write for a few minutes each day. And of course, by my birthday in late March I will enjoy my new svelte self and the discovery of a new wardrobe that already hangs in my closet.
By far my most challenging goal, one that is renewed year-by-year is to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. To believe the best of others and myself. To expect the best, because we often get what we expect. When my hope seems buried under the weight of yet unachieved goals or unforeseen circumstances this truth will lift me up —
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” Ps. 31:24
I’ve been thinking about all of my sick co-workers, family and friends and stocking up on Nyquil, Dayquil, Theraflu and lemon and ginger tea. One year I spent every single break from school trying to get well so I could go back to work. Every. Single. Break! So, the next year I decided to get my first flu shot as a preventative measure. That was the second year I spent every single break trying to get well so I could return to work.
Thankfully I have been healthy this year, but people around me are dropping like flies. This little parody is in honor of them. So muster up your best Johnny Mathis or Karen Carpenter impression and sing along ~