Monday, January 6, 2014
Lighten Up......My Theme For 2014!
Couldn't Resist One More Christmas Picture!
Our Living Room (Can't Believe I Didn't Turn the Fire On)
Although I have always been extremely goal-oriented with an ongoing list of written goals for which I am striving, I've never been one for making New Years resolutions. I have, however, always loved having "themes" or "mantras" if (and ONLY if) something came to me without much effort. If I had to think about it or work hard to come up with something, it always seemed forced. 2013 never had much of a theme for me and to be honest, it was a year of struggle almost from the beginning. I didn't feel well much of the year, wasn't able to hike a lot because of that and although I kept my weight fairly steady, there wasn't much joy in the process. We didn't travel much and I missed that. Bill was already feeling "tired" and we might should've suspected something was amiss even though he'd checked out perfectly at his annual physical. Then halfway through the year, my life snowballed, first with the quick decision to buy the condo, our move and then finally, the total shock of Bill's cancer diagnosis. Looking back over the year, about the only word I can come up with to describe it is chaos. Yet I find myself looking back over it with gratitude for lessons learned.
As the year drew to a close, I found myself saying one thing to myself over and over at the strangest times over the weirdest things. In one of those light-bulb moments, I realized that "lighten up" was going to my "theme" for 2014. During the long, dark days of Bill's chemo treatments when he was so sick, my thoughts often turned to how often I stress over things which all of a sudden became very unimportant. My needs and wants became very simple. In fact, I only had one. "Please make my husband well." How much I weighed, what I ate, whether or not I ate sugar, how much money we had, where it was invested, when we would retire, where we'd travel next year, what I was going to wear to my niece's wedding, why the tire pressure light was on in my car, whether I had 10,000 steps that day or not, why wouldn't our house sell, yada, yada, yada.....you get the picture! Sadly, I could go on and on and on. Many times I'd come out of a fog, shake my head and just simply say to myself, "lighten up!"
As time went on and there began to be better days for Bill, I'd start thinking those same thoughts with a bit more clarity. You see, I do believe all those things are important and life does require us to live responsibly and plan for our futures. But I also believe that for me, personally, way too much time, energy and effort was being put into some of those things when it could be much better used elsewhere. Some of those things were coming between me, my relationships with others and even more importantly, my ability to love others unconditionally.
So this year is going to be my year to "lighten up!" My mind is swirling with ideas that will be challenging, but combined with other things happening in my/our life, will also (if properly and sacrificially applied) make me a better person. Over the next several posts, I'm going to break down some of the areas in which I intend to "lighten up" and share my thoughts with you in the hopes that you'll have some ideas to share with me in return. I'm excited and ready to write!