It is not something I normally say, but I am relieved to be exiting 2011. For me, it was a year essentially filled with not feeling good. And I do truly recognize that I have little to complain about because I am not terminally ill and have the function of all of my limbs, etc. But it was a selfish year, spent wallowing in the exhaustion of pregnancy, and spent uncomfortably summoning the motivation to do menial tasks. Eternal hibernation sounded positive to me. On top of it all, pregnancy hijacked my personality. If you know me on a daily basis, thanks for not giving up on me.
As I emerge from the fog of a year spent not myself, I almost want to jump for joy as I see glimpses of the "me" I have been missing. I feel motivated to start projects, to play with my kids, to make jokes, and wonder of all wonders, to make dinner! (This is the one that really clued me in... for me to feel like making dinner means that I actually have extra energy.)
The arrival of the new year always prompts my heart to change, and somehow make this next year count for more. It is the opportunity to grab the map and make sure I know where I am going... and maybe plan out a better route than the one I have been on.
In the wake of this year of self-centeredness, New Year Resolutions seem pretty much expected. I have nowhere to go but up. So, taking the prostrate position, I asked God where He wants change in my life. Then I asked Him to narrow it down a bit because His answers were overwhelming me. Like I said, nowhere to go but up.
In the end, there are two specific areas I feel God is calling me to focus on this year: Gratitude and Generosity. Two ways to make the year more about Him, and less about me. Two attitudes that cannot fail. Two tools for making me a more unselfish person. Two steps closer to becoming the woman God wants me to be.
Gratitude - Focusing on God. Choosing to see the "haves" in my life instead of the "have-nots". Practicing the art of thankfulness again and again and again until it is not an outward effort, but overflows from a heart that is filled to the brim.
Generosity - Giving to others. Not financially (why do we always think of generosity as being material?) Generosity in every other way possible... in time, in effort, in words of affirmation, in thoughts toward others, in giving the benefit of the doubt, in not keeping track of what is fair but generously erring on the side of someone else.
I would like to give a hearty welcome to this wonderfully new year, and wonderfully better version of myself.