Sunday, January 6, 2013

Days of our Lives

This blog is not about the soap opera, which I watched for years and years by the way - it is about making our days count (and counting them if you want to).

I regularly receive email from a blog I subscribe to entitled Healthy Spirituality.  It is thought-provoking and refreshing.  The author, Jean Wise, often challenges her readers to look at their spirituality and look at their lives and work to strengthen the spots where the two intersect and the spots where they do not.  This is not written for the faith I follow but I find peace in it just the same.

I would have to say I haven't been "spiritual" for very long.  I was raised in a faith that did not feed my soul.  I didn't agree with much of what I heard and knew.  So in 1986 I quit.  I was teaching junior high in a faith-based school and the entire religious experience destroyed what was left of my own beliefs.  Formally and officially I left.  Beginning then, I thought I was just spiritual and not religious, seeing as how I no longer had a religion to call my own.  Truth is, what I had was no clue.  My spirit was lost and it would be some time before I got it on track.  All part of the learning & growing process I guess.

Fast forward to 2001.  I visited a church (Melrose Highlands Congregational Church) felt completely welcomed and came to my spiritual home.  In March of 2002 I became a member and have been there ever since.

Back to the days of our lives.

In her January 3, 2013 email, Jean Wise wonders why we need to experience a loss or something bad to remember to wake up and embrace life.  It's true for me at least.  I want to find something wonderful if every day - there IS something wonderful in every day.  Just the fact that I am alive is a great place to start.  There are blessings all around me all the time and I try very hard to appreciate them.  But then I get distracted by non-blessings and I stop paying attention.  I get bothered by little things and waste energy on them when I know better not to.  Not a good way to live.

Jean notes how many days she has lived and vows not to waste the precious gift of life.  As of today (01/06/13), I have lived 17,904 days.  I think I calculated it correctly - I did note the leap years.  Seventeen thousand nine hundred four - that is a lot of days.  Have I appreciated most of them?  No, I have not.  Will I change that?  I sure will try.

The new year is a common time for people to develop resolutions - I see them in action at the gym.  Why now?  Why not back in August when you realized you were overweight or out of shape or you wanted to take better care of yourself?  Why not then?  Why wait until January to eat well?  Why didn't you do it before?  I think many of us are so busy just trying to get from one end of the day to the next that it makes more sense to pick a goal and aim at it.  January more sweets...gym every day...sleep 13 hours a nice to everyone.  OK.  Then on January 10th, when things aren't working out so well because the goal was so unreachable, people feel good about trashing their resolutions and going back to complaining about how they want to lose weight and want to eat better and need more sleep.  It is a nutty circle of silliness.  If I make resolutions I tend to make them on my birthday, which is my new year.  And I keep them private - it's just me having to answer to myself.  Do you make resolutions?  How do you do keeping them? 

I also think resolutions are a way to make sure you get more out of our days.  "I will eat better" might translate to "I will spend meaningful time planning a menu, making healthy food choices, taking better care of me and my family, enjoy preparing our meals"  We're all busy.  My ears bleed when I hear people piss and moan about how they can't do anything because they are too busy.  Hey - you drive the train - you want to fill your time so you can use it as an excuse, go right on and do it - no skin off my nose.  Are you making the most of your days though?

I saw this neat idea - set out a jar and beginning on January 1, fill it with  notes you write.  The notes are the blessings you found in the day or something good that happened.  On New Year's Eve, dump the jar and read the notes.  You can enjoy reviewing your year and see just how blessed you are.  So I told my husband this would be happening.  And I set out a jar (of sorts).  And it has two notes in it that I wrote.  Two?  We are six days into this year - why aren't there at least six notes?  What am I doing?  It was my idea and I'm not doing it.  I know the last 6 days have been filled with many good things.  No - unicorns don't wake me up each day and things are not perfect - but they don't need to be.  I can still be blessed and I am going to fill that jar.

I want to make the most of as many days as I have left.  I want to have to get another jar before December because mine is too full to hold all the notes.  I'd like to see a unicorn and maybe one day I will.  If you're not sure about making the most of your days or meeting your resolutions - I say to you - just do it.  One day at a time.  Waking up is an automatic blessing ~ it will keep getting better from there.


PS - the photo is of our January 1st blessing ~ Winnie.  She's a sweet little girl who just joined our family.  Camille isn't that fond of her but she will come around. ~^..^~

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