On the shelf above my desk, between a dozen old school directories and half used notebooks hides a red suede journal. In fact, it hid so well this year, I had to clean the entire desk area before the little book revealed itself.
All year long the red book is ignored and pushed aside as we search for more urgent items, but sometime, during the first week of the year, we open it’s pages and scribble our New Year’s resolutions.Well, actually we read all our old resolutions first. Since the book spans back more than a dozen years we have lots of entertaining goals. A few from 2006:
Ben– I will be nice to Stefan.
Stefan– I will be nice to Ben.
Hans– shower and brush teeth every day
Xander- Stop picking my nose.
Gabe– Eat one piece of fruit every day. I will learn to read.
Mary– no hitting, no kicking, no biting, no scratching, no pinching, no licking
Hey, look! They all accomplished their goals. Maybe not that year…but eventually.
But as we filled the lines this year, everyone calling out ideas while I hurriedly scribbled in the right spaces– practice French Horn, learn Russian, two hundred pull ups, make the gymnastics team, be patient, read scriptures every night– I wrote nothing next to my own name.
The next few months are full of so much, SO MUCH, I don’t dare put any more pressure on myself. With all of our birthdays in the next month, Stefan leaving, Ben coming home, I feel like I need to get on the roller coaster and simply enjoy the ride. Except for the fact I’m the engine behind the coaster– nothing happens without mama.
Oh you could argue with me– all these events will come and go even if I don’t do a thing (well, except Ben’s college registration– he’d really be up a creek w/o me). But mothers make birthdays, arrivals and departures, holidays, recitals and even shopping for suits and socks exciting. And I love my role as the magic maker, support staff, cheerleader.
This won’t be a year of much personal development for me– the videography class can wait, I won’t be entering any writing contests and I probably won’t run any races. But I hope to be patient, kind, calm, to take setbacks with grace and well, to actually get
everything most things done.
The day of my mother’s funeral I was struck by the thought, “My life is irrevocably changed, but for almost everyone else, it’s just an ordinary day.” The guy in the parking garage still has to collect money, policeman write tickets, kids do homework, the guy at McDonald’s fills one order after another. And I remind myself, when I have important events at my house, I can’t expect the world to stop for anyone else.
Years ago, I apologized to one of my friends when I thought I’d offended her. “Oh, you can’t offend me,” she replied, “I am never offended. I figure 99% of the time, people don’t mean to hurt me and the other 1% when they do– well, they must be incredibly unhappy and deserve my pity.”
I’ve thought about her words thousands of times and even took to reading 1 Corinthians 13 every day for years, but I’ve never been able to fully incorporate the principles. This would be a good year for it, yes? I want to be the happy stage crew– solving problems, arranging the backdrops and lighting, taking the inevitable problems in stride, listening to direction from above and happily shining the spotlight on others.