New Year, New You?

I really enjoyed ushering in 2019 with great friends and musicals karaoke. We had more delicious food than we could eat in one night, so I haven’t had to cook two more nights in a row this week. As much as I love to cook, the break is very welcome.

But today it is back to work time. I think we have one more meal of leftovers in there, so I can take time today for a needed doctor’s appointment, lunch with some colleagues, and a chance to do some more writing.  Except for the 6 am wake up call to get my son back to school, I have to admit I’m taking the slow merge lane back into the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.

Many of the women I usually share a first Thursday lunch with couldn’t make it. They were throwing themselves back into their jobs full force and did not have time for an extended restaurant meal. One of the women I met came from a meeting with funders that morning.  (We’re keeping our fingers crossed.) The other needed a chance to talk about some issues that had come up in 2018 that she hoped would be better in 2019. While they had time for lunch, they were both jumping in with both feet to their work-a-day world. I have to admit, it made me worry a little bit – am I just not committed enough to be stressed and busy?

A little prayer and writing time is coming together to set me straight. I feel like I need to be busy and stressed, because I live in a world that celebrates being busy and stressed.  But I have worked hard the past few years to escape from that need. As I went to lunch, I found that I could be supportive of my friends around the lunch table. This morning, I could deal in a fairly tranquil way with some issues around my eyesight that were (fortunately) easy to correct; and I could enjoy my writing time instead of worrying whether the muse would visit.

There will certainly be times in 2019 when I am too busy and filled with anxiety, but it is nice to start the year realizing that I do not have to court those societal expectations. I can relish moments of joy, peace, and even rest, knowing that I will be better able to handle stress when it comes. Still, it was funny to see how quickly the desire to be overwhelmed filled me when I saw others submit to their own busy schedules.  Instead of celebrating how far I have come spiritually, I questioned that progress and turned it into a weakness.

I love this new year transition time and the space it brings to reflect on who we have been, who we are, and who we are becoming. Of course, we can do that any time of the year, but let’s face it, it’s likely to be too busy and stressful for me in a few months!

How did you ring in the new year? Are there things you are looking forward to in 2019? Have you jumped back into a hectic schedule, or do you find January a welcome slow down after a busy holiday season? How do you feel about being busy? Do you think it is a weakness to take things more slowly? Have you taken time to reflect on who you have been, who you are, an who you are becoming? What might such reflection time look like for you?

If you’re in the mood for New Years Resolutions, consider a resolution to look more deeply into your spiritual life.  How can you align your heart and your mind, your spirit and your daily living, your personal and professional life? A spiritual director can help.  Find our more at Openings: Let the Spirit In.

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