Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year Reflections

One of my favorite things to do on New Year's Day is to carve out a large block of time for reflection.
Perhaps it is the teacher in me, or the student, that requires this time of reflection.
What are the take aways from 2015?
Take aways - 
What did I learn that I didn't know before?
What lessons did I relearn?
Did my perceptions on life, faith, and relationships change?
If so, why, how, when?
What were the outcomes I hoped for last year at this time?
What new lessons do I want to incorporate into my life?
What old lessons do I wish to hold dear to my heart?
What are my new goals, objectives, or desires for the coming year?
How will I reach those objectives and goals?
What must I do to fulfill the desires that I have for the future?

I guess it all sounds like teacher talk;
however, before I was a teacher,
while I was a teacher,
and after I was a teacher,
I was, and still am, 
a student.

I've learned that every year has many lessons to teach the willing student.

I keep a journal.
This year, as a way to close out 2015, I turned to my journal to see what I had 
learned during the year.

With a cup of tea at my side,
I sat down in my favorite chair to read what I had written in 2015.

2015 was a very eventful year.
I turned seventy.

There were many lessons of the heart this year.

My husband, the love of my life, gave me a birthday celebration to remember when we went to Disneyland in Florida where we acted like kids again.
I learned that we are still kids at heart and that nothing thrills my heart more than
listening to my husband laugh.

I celebrated my birthday well in September when my high school girl friends and I spent three days together in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
I learned anew what a rich blessing it is to have girlfriends who knew you when your were young,
and still laugh like they were not a day over sixteen.

My children and grandchildren are always on my heart.
I've learned powerful lessons about how little control I have over the outcomes of their lives.
I can't write their stories.
They alone are the authors of their stories.
In the meantime, they are prayed for by the mother and grandmother on a daily basis.
I place them in more reliable hands than mine when I pray.

The highlight of 2015 was when I received a pacemaker for my heart.
This was a long overdue gift to me.
The pacemaker has changed my life in so many ways.
I now have energy I hadn't had in years.
I can exercise again without nearly fainting.
Anxiety is no longer my constant companion.
I am so grateful for the miracle of modern science.
Now, my heart mostly behaves itself.

As I move forward into 2016, 
I think I have learned one 
of the most valuable lessons about life 
from my mother.

On New Year's Eve,
I called Mother to wish her a happy new year.
I said to her,
"When you wake up in the morning, you will awake to 2016.
You will have spanned the years from 1916 to 2016."

I think the thought of it was a bit overwhelming to her.
She seemed tired.
I told her that it was ok to be tired at her age.

She told me how she had recently read something she had written when she was in her seventies.
She said she had written,
"I probably have about ten more years to live."
She was wrong.
She didn't plan on reaching nearly 100 years of age,
but she has.

I went to bed worrying about my mother.

The next morning, 
January 1, 2016,
I called her again.
She answered the phone with a strong, happy, celebratory voice,
"Happy New Year!" 
she said before I could give her the same greeting.
She sounded like she always have throughout my span of days.
She is amazing.

I've learned a lot from watching my mother as she has lived so well in her

I've learned she never seems to look back.
Sometimes, she will tell me stories if I ask, but she isn't one to dwell on the "old days."
She is a very forward thinking person.
She stays in tune with the present.
I think that is one of the secrets to aging well.
Don't dwell on the past.
Live the present the best you can.
Look to the future.

Perhaps, she best looks to the future by living each day as it comes to her.

We really only have the present.
We can't do anything about the past.
We don't know what the future brings.
We have today.
These are trite sayings that sound like cliches,
but these words speak truth.

My goal for 2016 is;
 to love better,
 to laugh more,
and to live
each day as fully as I am able to live it.

These are the take away lessons that I have learned as I have reflected on 2015.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year.