Yes, they fail a bunch. Yes, people get frustrated with them & even by me wanting to talk about them. Yes, they are work. Buuuuuuuuuuut, they are SO worth it. As I get older, I find it difficult to keep learning, growing & improving. I sometimes yearn for my college years when there were activity fairs - magical places you could wander around & find groups to join. I am, by my very nature, a joiner. I love to be with people; to talk, do an activity, volunteer, play a game, learn something new, whatever! I wish there were activity fairs for adults. I wish there were easy ways to join a club to learn a new skill or try a new hobby on for size.
Alas & alack, no such fairs exist for adults, at least not to the best of my (admittedly limited) knowledge.
So, in the meantime, I use things like bucket lists & New Year's resolutions to continue to grow, learn, meet new people & maybe most importantly - stay connected to the loves in my life.
Drum roll please..........in 2016 I resolve to:
1. Write. This means letters, in my journal, on this blog & my other one.
2. Bake. Belle Plaine Bread (of course) but also to connect with friends & family. This will involve trying new things. First up? This recipe for pretzel bites.
3. Think, act, and be kind. This resolution was inspired by reading this post on Father James Martin, SJ's Facebook page (This post encapsulates much of what I think it means to be a good human being. I strive to be a good human being & hope that I am a touch better in 2016 than I was in 2015):
"1.) Be Kind. That means...
2.) Always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. After all, why not? Everyone is carrying around some sort of burden. Usually one that you don't even know about. So give them a break. Even if they're being unreasonable....
3.) Especially when you're talking about them with someone else. Honor the absent, as the saying goes. Spiritually speaking, it's essential. It's part of charity. Practically speaking, it makes sense too. Why? First, because you'll feel crummy about yourself afterwards. Second, because the person you're complaining to will probably see you as negative. Finally, it will inevitably get back to them. More to the point, it's mean.
4.) Don't be a jerk. There is simply no need to be. At all. Zero. Just because you're having a rotten day doesn't mean you have to pass it along your misery to someone else. It's important to share your struggles with friends. Essential. But being in a bad mood is no excuse to be a jerk. If you feel your moving into that territory, ask yourself a simple question, "Am I being a jerk?" If you're somehow unable to discern that, the look on other people's faces will tell you.
5.) Give a call, pay a visit, or send a note to someone who is sick, lonely, struggling. It will cost you nothing, but will mean everything to them. Think of how you feel when someone reaches out.
6.) Release yourself from that grudge. In other words, forgive. It's ridiculous to hold onto things for so long. It eats away at you like a cancer, and it poisons the other person's life. It also, most likely, serves to turn them against you even more. You think you are justified in being mad? You probably are. People can be jerks. But there are probably people justified in holding a grudge against you, too. So just let it go.
7.) Stop being so sarcastic. A little of that goes too far. You may think you're being Oscar Wilde, but you're often just being mean. Sarcasm can be an effective antidote to pomposity, but sometimes it's just cruel.
8.) Listen patiently to someone who is long-winded, or boring, or, especially. complaining. They're usually insecure, lonely or in pain. Your listening is a gift to them. It may mean that you're the only person they have to talk to. Yes, it's hard. But God sees what you're doing. And, after all, people have to listen to you.
9.) Help someone who is really needy. A homeless person. A poor person. A refugee. A sick person. A grieving person. It's not hard to figure out how to do it. And if you don't know anyone like that, write a check. That's not so hard either. Helping doesn't require an advanced degree.
10.) Be kind. Did I mention that? It bears repeating, because if you are kind, then you'll make a lot of people happy in the New Year. Yourself too. And God. "
So, what are you resolving to do this year? Would love to know! Happy New Year all!