I’ve written before about the beloved Dr. Seuss’ famous words:
How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Though I’ve floated a million thoughts and ideas through my head, no other sentiment rings truer to me. The past years have most certainly ‘flewn’ by in a hurry. So much has changed!
Odd years have marked happy occasions for my family. The hubby and I started dating in 2003 and married in 2005. We welcomed our twins in 2007 and followed them with two more boys in 2009 and 2011. I left my fundraising career behind in 2013, and we celebrated 10 years of marriage in 2015.
Though I know we’ve experienced loss and challenges in those “odd” years, life’s happy milestones have overshadowed the heartache.
I’m not necessarily a superstitious person, and I haven’t put real stock in our yearly trends. But, even years over the past decade have been a bit rough. Because of especially difficult losses, I don’t take the reminder of life’s cycles lightly.
Maya Angelou once said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” The great American author and poet died in 2014, and I believe she completed her life’s mission. She left a powerful, beautiful mark on the world. In doing so, she left each of us the precious gift of hope through her words.
Here dawns 2017, and I’m still pondering whether I am simply surviving or attempting to thrive. At least one thing remains the same, I’m a slow learner!
My perceived struggles are quite merely minor annoyances—realities of life—to most people. There are days when I feel like the piles of laundry, mountains of stuff, and rivers of ‘to do’ lists have reduced me to a survivalist. I get stuck in the yuck of monotony and fail to see the big picture. I catch myself interacting with those I love most without thought, without compassion, and without the grace they deserve.
Those are the days I despise. Nothing in the piles, mountains, or rivers is so important that I should lose sight of what really matters; yet, I do.
Compound the minor issues with other realities like depression, anxiety, and fear, and I’m telling you, I could throw quite a party. My family suffers because of me on those days; they don’t see the examples they deserve. In those moments, I fail.
Those are also the moments I hold tightly to thoughts from people like Hal Borland. The American author, journalist, and naturalist once said, “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but rather a going on with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
Experience is as great teacher, especially when coupled with a positive attitude.
I’ve reached the age where I know what makes me tick. I understand what lifts me up and drags me down. I’ve also reached the age where it’s high-time to trust what I’ve learned.
At some point, being in a rut becomes a choice. Eventually, the pain to change must be less than the pain of staying the same.
Perhaps that’s what 2017 can be for me, maybe even for you … the year we embrace what we’ve learned in order to change what we’re doing for the better.
Living a life of purpose isn’t about living a life packed with stuff while we run busily from one activity to the next. When our time is over, I don’t believe any of the stuff or the running will matter. All that will count is the compassion, humor, style, and grace we left behind with those for whom we took real time.
To me, Dr. Seuss wrote it best in his final book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. …
So be sure when you step,
Step with care and great tact
And remember that life’s a great balancing act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
May the year ahead be filled with bountiful blessings, abundant joy and enough faith to carry you through life’s valleys!