It’s emotional for me to look back at where I was this time last year and where I am today.
At the end of 2012, I was unemployed and had no fixed address or social life to speak of. In fact, from just before Christmas until the first of March 2013, I wasn’t even living in Calgary but staying with a friend 90 minutes away. I was also single.
But, now, at the end of 2013, I have a great new job, and rent a basement suite in a good location in the heart of Calgary. I go to a great church, and have a social life and friends. And, one week from today, I’ll have been dating a terrific guy for a year.
What a difference a year makes.
I looked back at my blog post this time last year to see what I’d written about resolutions for 2013. My focus at the time was on things I wanted to do more of. When I re-read the post, I was struck by how important it is to carry those resolutions through to each and every year.
For 2014, I’m decided I’m going to focus on the things I want to do less.
1. Drink Diet Coke less. I don’t drink coffee or tea so my caffeine of choice every morning has been Diet Coke. I’ve justified it by saying it’s only one a day since, at one time in my life, I drank it almost compulsively. But, I think it’s time for me to stop drinking it every morning and to not even keep it in the house. A Diet Coke now and then would not be the end of the world but I don’t want it to control my life any more than it has already. Less control… more freedom…
2. Worry less. I’ve been working on this one a lot this year. I’ve struggled with worrying about the financial shortfalls that came from jobs that either paid too little and/or from gaps in pay from leaving one job and starting another. Now that I have a great new job, in another month or so, I should be able to finally start working to get back on track but, with losing three weeks pay in December/January, I’m continuing to cope with expenses that are greater than my income. But, I am determined that worry will not control my life now or in 2014. I want this to be a life change. I’m aiming to be a prayer warrior, not a prayer worrier. Less fear, more faith…
3. Be less “self” focused. I did some volunteer work throughout 2013 but not nearly as much as I hope to in 2014. There is great merit in giving time, energy, and resources to come alongside others and to let them know that someone cares. I want to be a blessing in other people’s lives, to give them a hand up, to stand alongside them, to listen, to encourage, and to care. Most importantly, when I’m focused on others, I tend to forget about myself, and heaven only knows that I think about myself far too much already. Less of me, more of others…
4. Say less. No one ever learned from anything they said themselves. We learn more from listening than we do from speaking, not to mention that, the more we say, the more apt we are to say something that we’ll regret. Or become “that person” who always talks too much. When I do speak, I want what I say to be intentional. I’ve made some strides in this area but there’s always room for improvement. My goal is to ascribe to TLS. Think more. Listen more. Say less. ‘Nough said…
5. Judge less. There are endless reasons to judge people and, boy, do we ever. I’ve been judged a lot in my life, and it never gets easier. It’s easy for people to pass judgement. Point your finger. Gossip. Cast aspersions. Be sanctimonious.
We may think we’re not judgmental but just because we don’t speak judgement doesn’t mean we don’t think judgement.
As much as I know the pain of being judged, judgmental thoughts pop into my head from time to time. I don’t want to be that person, even a little bit. Whenever I’m tempted to judge, I remind myself that I don’t know the whole story but, the rare times that I do, it’s still not my place. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything – far from it. But, ultimately, I am only responsible for how I live my own life, and answerable to God about that. Our lives, choices, decisions, mistakes, and regrets are ours and ours alone.
It’s been a privilege to ring in 52 new years so far in my life. I am so thankful and grateful for all the blessings in my life in 2013. And I appreciate the blessings all the more for all the struggles I’ve had to overcome.
But, above all else, my hope and prayer is that somehow, someway, the world will be a better place in 2014 because of me. Even the smallest of stones can make beautiful ripples in the water. Less judging… more loving…
I hope 2014 will be your best year yet. Dare to hope and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!