I’m resolving not to resolve this year.
My resolutions for 2012 didn’t materialize at all – keeping a diary, learning Photoshop and learning to speak Spanish – and while they’d still be worthy goals for 2013, I’m not going to have a plan this year.
That would be setting myself up for failure again and, since I don’t have to look too far to find reasons to feel badly about myself, I’m passing on the goal setting this year.
Although larger-than-life television personality Oprah Winfrey is not on television daily any more, she still “visits” my home in a monthly magazine. Her January issue was filled with ways to “reinvent” ourselves by being healthier, setting goals, learning how to manage money better, etc.
I barely glanced at the issue because I’ve decided I’m beyond “reinventing.”
While I know there’s room for improvement in almost everything I do, I’m going to try to accept myself as I am this year. At my advanced age it’s possible to change, but it isn’t likely that I’ll implement a lasting dramatic change in my ways. I just flat don’t have the energy any more and it would take a lot of that.
We received many lovely cards for Christmas – most of them photo cards that I hang proudly on my kitchen family tree – but one card stood out more than the others. It was a yearly “newsletter” from the husband of one of my dear college friends Ellen but it wasn’t accompanied by the usual family photo.
Her husband Joe wrote news of all their children as he always does (one had gotten married on their 44th wedding anniversary) and it was followed by a paragraph that they had been dealing with Ellen’s health issues this year.
She had heart surgery in February (another friend has since told me that it was a side-effect from chemotherapy), a life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage in early July and another stroke in September. Joe wrote "Jeanne, I know this may come as a surprise to you. It has been a tough year – but we are looking forward to good things in 2013.”
I can’t read that note without crying, and it pains my children terribly to see me do so. While I have empathy with all my friends who are facing troubling issues this one hit really close to home.
My daughter Anne suggested I get in the car and drive to see her if she’s well enough to receive visitors early this year. I plan to do just that.
I hope Ellen, Joe and their family do find those good things in 2013.
And I hope those people who lost a family member to a tainted meningitis virus, lost their homes to Sandy or lost a family member in Newtown, Conn., also can find something to look forward to.
I will continue to pray for all of them and say prayers of gratitude that none of that has struck me or my family yet, thanks be to God.
My dear friend Silvia sent me a birthday card a year so after I had surgery for cancer that I value so much that it is on display in my sewing room (one of my favorite places in the whole world).
I make a point to look at it each time I there.
It reads: “We turn not older with years but newer every day.”
I hope to reflect not on being “older” but being “newer” in 2013 and I hope you’ll join me along the way.
‘Til next week.