FIRSTS AND LASTS
Today Thursday's Child explores Firsts and Lasts--partly because it's an appropriate thing to do on the last day of the "old" year and an appropriate lead-in to the "new" year.
This morning as I walked the track at the Y, one of the guys who often walks when I do, named Duane, said, "I've made a resolution--this is the last time I do this (walk the track) this year."
I laughed and said, "Oh, an early resolution."
He replied, "Tomorrow I'll make another one."
Guess it was also the last time I'll walk the track this year.
Time is a funny thing--not funny ha-ha, but funny-peculiar. We turn a calendar page and another day, or month, or year has passed from our view. We say we're letting go of the "old year" and welcoming a "new year." But the same sun rises and sets. The same moon goes through its phases. And, more often than not, we go through the same old-same old in our lives.
Long ago I discovered that New Year's Resolutions did me no good at all. I diligently thought them through, wrote them down, put them in a place I'd see them every day . . . and in less than a week, I'd not only got off the track, I'd replaced the resolutions (which, obviously, weren't very resolute) with different ones.
So instead of resolutions, I prefer Good Intentions.
For one thing, a Resolution sounds 'way too much like high school debate, or a corporate act. "RESOLVED, that the president and treasurer of XYZ Corporation be and hereby are authorized . . . ." I typed many a corporate resolution. And I hated debate in high school.
Resolution has a positive, definitive, finished ring to it. It says, "Here it is, folks. Take it or leave it."
Instead, I look at my life: what I can do, what I hope to do in the near (or far) future, what is practical or advisable (given the many factors that play into a decision). After some deep thinking, I make an intention.
Intentions have planning built into their nature. There's a kinetic sense of Something Going to Happen. And if it's something in progress, it may--perhaps--grow into something other than what I first intended.
Here's an example from a few years back. I knitted a prayer shawl for a woman in my church. Another woman saw it, told me they used to do things like that and they could do them again. In a couple of weeks, I was heading up a knitting (and now sewing) ministry. I hadn't even become a member of that church yet. And my intention was not to start anything at all. I was just making something warm for a woman who needed it.
So, the moral of this story is: Be careful what you do--it might just become an Intention.
(Or you might end up chairing a committee you didn't know existed.)
But the knitting/sewing ministry is going strong--and will start its fourth year next week.
When I was growing up, my mother had a ready supply of sayings and good advice. The one for this time of year was:
"Whatever you do on New Year's, you'll do all year through."
Naturally I tried to avoid cleaning the house, doing laundry, washing dishes. But it never worked out--I did those things, and more, all year through.
I have no advice for you. Much better if you make up your own. But I do have Good Intentions.
This year, I have three Good Intentions:
1. Practice kindness and forgiveness as often as possible.
2. Read three new authors.
3. Reduce the clutter and get rid of excess possessions.
That covers the spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of my life.
Good luck with your own Good Intentions.
And have a happy, healthy, and creative 2016!
PS--If you stay up till midnight, say "Happy New Year!" for me.