Usually when it comes to resolutions I am all about making lists; marking goals off with a solid strike-through or check-mark. Usually I like to divide things up and lay things out. I like to plan. This is how I buy groceries, how I lay out my days, and how I make sure I read every book I have seen bopping around Instagram. This year things are different. This year I think another list is not what I need. I need more.
Of Regrets and Resolutions is a talk, a piece of text, that has stuck with me for some time. In it is written out three main regrets. These were three of the most common regrets collected by a nurse of the terminally ill. She would ask her patients, particularly those preparing to depart this life, what they would regret most upon leaving this life and they would often open their hearts to her. Then came these three--three things I never want to regret.
"I wish I had spent more time with the people I love."
Nothing in this life compares to the love I feel for my family and friends. I spend a lot of time with these people. I spend my days with Blake, my evenings and nights and days off with my husband, and I often spend weekends and holidays with family. If I am not at home, then I am likely to be found at my parents'.or at least in their company. I am with them so very much they are probably sick of me. Thus I do not think this is a resolution I will have trouble with. I never regret the time I spend with loved ones, and I spend that time as often as possible. Time with loved ones is not something lacking in my life.
"I wish I had let myself be happier."
The darkness of this world, especially these days, can be overbearing and powerful. There are so many ways to get bogged down, buried under the dense weight of failure, loss, and frustration. Sadness and disappointment can quickly creep into our sight, keeping us from recognizing the blessings and happiness we feel. There are many who cling to an illusion that achievement and success will always be just beyond their reach. For me though, I find happiness and fulfillment in each day. It was tough to choose, and is still difficult to maintain, my stay at home mom status. However, it is not a choice I have ever regretted. My Littleman and my little home bring me so much joy. This past year I have been making an effort to simply feel happy in my situation, because I will never be this way again. I consciously sort through the contents of each day and find the bright light of happiness. It often involves watching the boy grow and develop and learn. It involves the kind gestures and loving actions of my husband. I have to work to set aside my fears and concerns, but when I do I am letting myself feel happy. To put it better, I CHOOSE to feel happy and I CHOOSE it often.
"I wish I had lived up to my potential."
This, the last regret, is certainly something I am needing to work on. Somehow, in many ways, I continually sell myself short. I belittle my experience and I berate my skills. I view the impossible and simply believe, without even making the littlest effort, that I cannot reach it. I wrinkle my nose and shake my head at the thought of being of any import. Often these feelings of lack are connected to the professional world, but I feel them spiritually, physically, and socially some times as well. So this, this idea of potential, is where I want to turn my focus for 2013. I see my 2012 self as a person scared of her own power, her own greatness. Well, no longer! I want to reach peaks, tackle obstacles, achieve greatness in my own way. I want to be something more. To do this though, I first must be personally empowered.
To Be Empowered
I want to take 2013 as a year to focus on empowering myself. I am going to try new things and learn new skills. I am going to read more, seek more, and see more. I am going to tackle new projects and improve my talents. Mainly I am going to stop thinking I cannot do things. Instead I am going to just do things. I am going to set aside my fears of failure. Granted, I am going to fail at some things because that just happens. I am also going to work hard, struggle, and grow. I am going to believe in myself. I am going to reach higher and stretch further. I am going to improve. I know it will be challenging, especially for me, but I want to push boundaries and find the kind of confidence in myself that will allow me to reach a higher personal potential.
So how will I keep track of doing all of this? Well, here of course. I am going to turn into one of those big headed, puffed up, stuffed shirt bloggers. OK, that is a lie. I so am not going to be like that. I do however hope to learn and grow and document some of that as I am going through it. I also hope to write a lot more, but that pretty much is a goal I set every year.
So 2013, here I come!