“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
There was a time when I was obliged to compile an annual NYRL (New Year’s Resolution List). Much of the list was self-indulging and included one tangible item after another, dreamy vacations, and much-needed behavior and attitude changes that never included a realistic plan of action. Pretty much the same list reappeared annually.
Over the years, sudden deaths, tragedies, and other life altering events have ended the insignificant ritual for me.
Instead my focus now resides on what really matters.
- Family: The mere fact that I have healthy relationships with my extended family is a blessing. The core foundation of the family structure is shattered in many family units. Massive amounts of future generations will not experience the benefit of knowing family history or simply bonding with family.My 79 year-old mother is alive and well. My children are alive and healthy. I have a wonderful husband who generously loves, respects, and provides for our family. My big brother is a survivor of what most would succumb to; he has an awesome sense of humor and a kind heart. My inspiring big sister who fearlessly hikes solo all around the world. Seven of my aunts and uncles (age 70 and older) continue to thrive and bring joy and laughter to my life; we continue to share holiday dinners. My relationship with many of my cousins resemble that of loving siblings.
- Health and well-being: Today I have good health for which I am thankful. I wake up every morning because of God’s generosity with the ability to squint at the bright ray of sunlight that beams through my bedroom window. The gift of health grants me a capacity for independence. Bathing, walking, exercising, playing with my children, driving, and feeding myself are simple tasks that are often taken for granted. My focus is to continue to keep up a healthy lifestyle and to share this knowledge with others.
- A home: Not just a home, but also a safe, warm, loving quarter that I can retreat to each day. No worries about where my next meal will come from or memories and fear of bullets smoldering holes in my walls. Just a quiet peaceful place where I can recharge and nurture my family. A home that remains in tact after several devastating storms ripped through our state. Other families are not so lucky.
- A Career: While the unemployment rate has slowly declined, many are still unable to provide for their family. I am thankful for a meaningful and rewarding career that empowers me to help others who are in need. Is my job perfect? No, but no job is. As with everything in life, it is the attitude that we bring to the table that determines the outcome.
As I write this post, I am sitting with my family by the fireplace enjoying the blazing heat. Echoing crackling and popping noises rip loudly from the fireplace and drowns out the voice of Giselle in the movie, Enchantment. We anticipate the countdown to 2013. These moments are special. There is no guarantee that we will live to see December 31, 2013. Faith says that we will, but the reality is that we don’t know this for sure.
A part of me is still saddened by the recent and senseless murders of those babies in Connecticut. The tragedy is yet another wake up call to live a purposely filled life.
Eliminating and minimizing the trivial, meaningless and shallow aspects of our lives is a huge step to opening the door to living a peaceful, spiritual, and consequential life.
In 2013, make a choice to disengage from the senseless drama and negative energy from family, friends, or colleagues. Walk away from it and re-direct your energy to give a warm smile to a sad face, buy a cup of coffee to the person in line behind you at WaWa or an open ear to someone desperately needing to talk.
While I have a few personal and professional goals, overall my purpose for the New Year is to simplify my life and to be a better person; to give more, to love more, and to be a little kinder and patient, especially when the situation dictates other.
My wish for you all is that your New Year is safe, peaceful, healthy, prosperous, and BLESSED!