The tree came down yesterday. James’ new toys are now corralled in baskets. What meager Christmas decor I put up is put away. I’m not too sad to have our home return to normal.
There’s a calm that comes from an expanse of carpet unfettered by pine needles and stuffed things. I tend to view New Years day as a time for my head and heart to be like my carpet – a wide open space, uncluttered and freshly vacuumed. I like the blank slate, the new beginning. But, fell behind this year.
The tasks lingering from our move and two weeks of holiday festivities hasn’t left me much mental energy or time to process, plan, and set goals for the new year, a task I eagerly await like it’s the first day of school. Thoughts, ideas, and dreams have gotten lost in the vestiges of Christmas and laundry piles. I could sense the panic rising as each day took me farther away from the new year and I hadn’t made one list, not one plan.
I felt out of breath when the race had just begun. Not the way I wanted to start my year.
In the midst of feeling burdened by my late start to making resolutions, I realized the source of my panic might not be the late start at all. Maybe it was the way my goals always became expectations and those expectations were always so high I could never meet them let alone fulfill them perfectly. Instead of remembering a year of progress, I remember the failure.
With this in mind, I have made 2015 the year of guidelines not goals. My 2015 Manifesto, as I’ve dubbed it, majors on grace not performance.
For example: Despite the fact that my circumstances were wildly different last year than 2013, I felt a twinge of disappointment and irritation that the number of books I read decreased. This year, instead of having a goal of reading a certain number of books, my guideline is to read more than I watch TV. I won’t feel guilty for an evening watching Frasier, and I will make headway on my ever growing to-read list.
Many aspects of my 2015 Manifesto function in that same way – gently guiding me to make wiser choices in the areas of my life I want to see grow this year. The Manifesto as been in effect one day and I’m already feeling lighter.
My 2015 Manifesto
- I will give grace to myself and others and judge/compare less.
- I will get outside everyday, even if it’s just a walk to the mailbox.
- I will read more and watch less.
- I will be present in real life more than I am present online.
- I will rise early.
- I will be generous with the resources God has given me.
- I will fear God more and fear man less.
- I will wear clothes that flatter my body, not my ideal body.
- I will focus on the good, more than the struggles, in each stage of James’ development.
- I will abandon things that don’t work, without guilt.
- I will leave time for creative pursuits.
- I will eat real food more and processed food less.
- I will use our home to build community.
- I will pursue physical health, not a number.
- I will follow Christ.
Happy New Year, friends!