Sometimes we learn lessons in one year that are carried with us the rest of our lives. The kindness I have experienced from such a wide variety of people since surgery will be with me forever. The little acts of kindness, meals, flowers, cards, calls, letters, e-mails, and so on, have made a world of difference. With everyone rooting for me to get better, I have given 100% on my end to try to do everything I am supposed to do to help myself.
At this moment, each of us has a blank chapter before us. What will be written in the chapter 2013 is only in part under our control. Events in the lives of people whom we love have a profound impact on our lives and we have very little control over them.
Some of our best news this Christmas was the announcement that another grandchild is on the way. What a joy to know that we have another little blessing on the way and will arrive in July.
My mother is staying with me during the recovery period after a total knee replacement. She said something to me this morning that I couldn’t even imagine. “I guess you are looking forward to this year being free from pain.”
I can’t even imagine that! After the surgery, of course, there is a lot of pain involved in the healing process. I’ve been dealing with the pain for such a long time, I can’t imagine spending any 24 hour period without pain. I’m looking forward to that possibility.
Many people think it is good to write down exactly what you want out of life. This is called visualization. A popular approach at this time is to create a visual board that has photographs or images of the things you want — like a house, a car, a certain type of figure, a husband, etc.
I personally think it is better to keep a record of what you want to accomplish during any given time period. More than just visualizing it, it is up to each individual to make an effort to bring those things to pass. Taking a passive attitude and just expecting life to drop all of its blessings in your life seems pretty lazy to me. It takes away the individual’s responsibility to work toward a goal. At the same time I must say that I have been blessed with things I didn’t expect, didn’t earn, and hadn’t worked toward.
I have many things I’d like to accomplish in my life, but I don’t know which ones belong in this new year, in this new chapter in my life. For right now, I think I’m doing pretty well just to focus on getting better and regaining my range of mobility.
I’d like to issue a challenge to the readers of this column who are ready for a new chapter in life. First of all, think of all the things you would like to see changed in your life in the year 2013. What are the things on that list that you have the ability to change? What things are totally beyond your control?
When you have decided what things you can change, set out to conquer them one by one. Change almost never happens all at once. Big change comes through a series of little changes. Be realistic. Start with something small. Maybe it is something as simple as going through a stack of junk mail and throwing out the junk. Maybe it is a matter of sitting down and making a series of phone calls to family and friends that you haven’t been in contact with for a while. Maybe it is a matter of setting up a budget, or going on line and looking for job opportunities.
Whatever things you hope to accomplish, there has to be a starting point. Sometimes the first step you accomplish is like flipping a switch from “off” to “on.” Setting one thing in order gives you the ambition to tackle the next thing.
I wonder if anyone else has ever stood in the middle of a room with so many little tasks to be done that you don’t know where to start? Sometimes I feel like a tornado spinning from one thing to the next without completing anything. I start in one room, carry something to another room, find something in that room to do, and don’t finish what I started in the first room. The little things are often the ones that steal our time and lead us to frustration.
In the big picture of life, I personally ask God to help me and give me wisdom as how to change those things that I can change, and ask Him to take charge and change those things, people, and circumstances that I cannot. In every new chapter in my life, I want God’s signature written on every page.
If we are opening doors of possibilities in a new chapter in life, we certainly don’t want to dream too small. DREAM BIG. It doesn’t cost any more to dream big than to dream small.
I would love to travel, write a best-selling novel, have adventures, go on mission trips, turn my photography into something inspirational, finish the students’ book project for the year and see it widely distributed, meet someone wonderful and fall in love, find a new income stream, and on and on. I dare say that in the next chapter of my life entitled 2013, all of these, or maybe none of these will come to pass. But I’d rather dream big and look for the best than to fail to set any dreams or goals at all.
May the chapter 2013 in the story of your lives be all that you hope it will be, full of joy, success, God’s love, opportunities and goals accomplished.