Believe it or not we are already several weeks into 2021! For some people, swinging into the new year was easy, nothing different. Perhaps that’s because they weren ‘t actually expecting nor even thinking about doing anything different. And then there were those who were satisfied with the way things were going in their lives and not willing to try anything different. Most of us simply carry the same baggage from year to year. Someone put it this way: “Baggage is what most people take into each year – just old stuff in a new bag.”
But maybe it doesn’t matter whether we made a resolution in January or not! One statistic tells us that only 25% keep their resolutions after 30 days and only 8% actually accomplish their resolution. There’s got to be a better way! There is! Erma Bombeck , in assessing her life, wrote a wonderful piece that expressed her goals which certainly could take her out of the “same old, same old” pattern and into a higher level of expectations for herself. She offers her personal thoughts as possible suggestions to help us in determining how we might forge a new path for ourselves that can begin right now.
She wrote: “If I had my life to live over…
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken time to listen to grandma ramble about her youth.
I would not be worried about the children playing on the lawn and getting grass stains on their clothes.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching TV and more while watching life around me.
I would have gone to bed early when sick instead of pretending the earth would stop if I weren’t there for a day.
There would be more “I love you” and “I’m sorry”, more listening to hearts and speaking to hearts.
I would have seized every minute of life, looked at it and really saw it… tried it on…lived it… exhausted it and never would give a minute back until there was nothing left!”
What are the changes we wish to make in our lives? When we consider making those changes, the first thing we should address is what we can do that will make a positive difference not only in our own but in others’ lives as well. A powerful way to make that difference is by choosing something that prompts us to be more giving. Bombeck vowed to give “until there was nothing left.” What would the world look like if we all decided to give more? Here lies a challenge. We’re human and, as such, we don’t always like to step out of our comfort zone. But change is growth. Change is opportunity. Change is powerful. Someone once said: “Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and see how your life changes for the better.” So what’s the secret to embracing change? Socrates said it best: “The secret of change is to focus all of our energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Spiritual mentors suggest that we might want to look at something that will be a building block of peace and joy. They remind us that we should choose something we never even dreamed we could accomplish. C. S. Lewis said it so well. “We are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. We all need things to which we aspire, for without hopes and dreams,” he says, “one’s life becomes stagnant. “