Friday, January 1, 2016

A "Year At A Glance"

I anticipated New Year’s Day with the best intentions… really I did y’all!  A couple of days before New Year’s Eve, I de-cluttered my desk and put up my crisp new “Year At A Glance” calendar for the coming year. Southern belles pride themselves on the gift of organization. Most every event down South is viewed as a “grand affair” when it comes to the importance of details - even daily tasks sometimes!  Goodness gracious I think our mamas teach us to be prepared for most anything!  Why do you think we carry such large handbags? (That’s purses for those of you up North - “pocketbooks” for those of you over sixty.)  We will have our make up bag, travel sewing kit, day planner, checkbook, emergency snack, bottle of water, wet wipes, mama’s brag book, coupon file, nail file and everything but the “kitchen sink” tucked away in there “just in case.”  But I digress…

My goal before the New Year began was to write a blog post sending out my best wishes for the year to my friends, family and followers. Now at almost 10:00 p.m. New Year’s night, here I am attempting to write that blog post! My Lord, have mercy!  The first date on my “Year At A Glance” calendar has all ready fallen behind. What I had done instead of write that blog post, was to write a birthday poem for someone close to my heart, chat with friends, enjoy a supreme pizza with my 93 year old grandmother who has been ill, and then along with my parents and my son, cheer our team in the playoffs on to the national football championship game. Somehow that blog post on my “to do” list fell a bit lower on my list of priorities. With the stroke of midnight, the lingering glow of my Christmas lights and a sweet “Happy New Year” moment shared, the task of writing that post found its way into the first day of a brand new year!

I can only laugh at New Year’s resolutions and daily best intentions. What was it that one writer of the “Good Book” stated? “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” I suppose that is so true. Even truer is the fact that despite our best “intentions,” some things just take priority over others. It could be circumstances beyond our control, health deterrents, lack of motivation and discipline, or even just our subconscious choosing what matters most. Some days our “to do” list falls short of being fully checked off and what was meant for today is spilled over into the next day. However, I won’t begin to beat myself up on this first day of the New Year, nor will I impose impossible expectations that I most likely won’t live up to. Instead, I will consciously choose to do my best with the moment and the day that is given to me. Then when tomorrow comes, I will reflect on what I did or didn’t do only as a reference for what I am doing or hope to do that day. Mostly, I will strive to not let any of the past, present or even future bog me down.

In the grand scheme of things, it is often the things not on our “to do” list that matter most. If we could see the “Year At A Glance” of our lives that was experienced rather than checked off a daily task list, then perhaps we would celebrate more and worry less. As I look over at my 2016 “Year At A Glance” calendar (and yes it is monogrammed with my family name on it and matches the d├ęcor in my office area), I think of all the things I need to do, long to do, should do and hopefully will do. More than that though, the one thing I see is twelve blank months – 365 days holding hopes and dreams, plans and goals, birthdays and holidays, milestones and moments not yet experienced. When I look back a year from now at all that has been both checked off my “to do” list and written in my heart’s journal, I hope I can feel the same sense of peace, fulfillment and gratitude as I feel right at this very moment. The truth is, excuses aside – we always have time for what is first on our list. Oh I don’t mean that list that you can check off in red or highlight in yellow on your “Year At A Glance” handy dandy calendar, but the list that dictates your moments, days, months and years. The one thing I hope to never see on my “Year At A Glance” is regret - for words not spoken, moments not shared, apologies not given, friendships not nurtured, relationships not valued, loved ones not appreciated, or time not spent. Everything that is shiny is not gold y’all. True treasures can’t be measured in dollars and cents; true value can’t be charted or penciled in on a calendar.  We can spend every day of our calendar year chasing things that in the end won’t matter at all – kind of like a “dog chasing its tail” as Maw Maw might say.  You know – things like fair weather friends that won’t last a month let alone a year, money that we can’t take with us should we take our last breath tomorrow, and accomplishments that will be forgotten next year when the tides of opinion ebb and flow. To quote the line from an old Indiana Jones movie as Indy was in search of the Holy Grail and life or death depended on his choice, “choose wisely.” May I choose wisely each day of my life so that regrets are never something that I see on my “Year At A Glance.”  How about y’all? What will you see on your “Year At A Glance” today, tomorrow and a year from now?