Last night I planned to empty out my pantry in a drive to be more organized before the New Year. So after I finished mopping the floors, I was gearing up to clear out the old expired food boxes and cans and begin the overwhelming task that I have procrastinated to begin. Wouldn’t you know it, just as I had finished the last swipe of the mop our fire alarms started screeching out a pattern I’ve never heard before. After several attempts to shut them off we soon realized that perhaps it was the carbon monoxide detectors. Long story short, the fire department showed up and not only did I not get the pantry cleaned out but my then gleaming floors now have to be redone due to the barrage of heavy boots that scanned every square inch of our home looking for the leak. I sit here this morning feeling a bit discouraged that the work I managed to accomplish yesterday is less apparent than it was before I had accomplished it.
I am contemplating all of the things that have gone awry this week. Two of our daughters are having car troubles. Of course when young daughters have car troubles that responsibility often ends up in the hands of the most reliable fixer of all things broken, Dad.
So, Ryan spent his entire day yesterday working on one of the vehicles. Which is only partially cured of its ailments. (Which also lead to the CO2 detectors activating.) The other he is managing in a less hands-on way, orchestrating the repairs via phone calls, visits to the body shop repair man, and much-needed advice to our daughter.
On top of the frustrating repairs, we are missing our “away” daughter very much this Holiday season. This year one of our daughters got married and moved away to the Midwest. Our youngest daughter moved into dorms for her second year of college and our two oldest are securely plunged into their lives as adults. Which has put a bit of a damper on a usually celebratory time of year for us.
For the first time ever, we are alone. Empty-nesters as they say.
I say that light-heartedly. Of course we still have lots of contact with our kids, and family and friends. However, this is the first time that we have lived just the two of us together, alone.
How is that possible? Easy. We met when we already had children. We managed to blend our family as successfully as a family could. We made wonderful memories together. But now our chickadees have flown the coup. And the rest as they say is history.
Having had such a major life change over the course of the past year you can see how 2019 could either loom over us threateningly or be the hope of a new adventure.
The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.” Well thank the good Lord for that! Knowing that I have new mercy everyday makes me feel grateful for a new day, and a New Year.
So, I have made the resolution, that a new year equals a new life! Sort of. Not really. More like a new way to appreciate the life I have already.
There is plenty of lists of New Year resolutions floating around the internet. But the idea that if we want to have a new life we have to live a new way resonates with me. After all if you want new curtains the easiest way to get them is to throw out the old ones, right! Sort of. While there’s some truth to that, sometimes all the curtains really need is a taking down, toss in the wash, and spring fresh scent aiding our new appreciation. In other words it’s not a new life we need it’s a new perspective, attitude, and commitment to doing the things that make us happy. So instead of feeling upset about the floors and the pantry, I realize I’m lucky to have dirty floors and a disorganized pantry.
I must admit my motivation to get organized didn’t just come from a perfectionist need to have order. It also came from an inspirational book I’ve been reading called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. With some encouragement from her, I’m making a decision to stop procrastinating on things that need to get done. I’m taking steps to feel encouraged and to focus on what makes me happy.
To be happy, Gretchen says in a round about way, we must get honest about what makes us happy and not expect others to make us happy. If we truly look at what our desires are and work to make those things a part of our daily lives we will automatically be living happier. And when we are happy, we are kinder, friendlier, more forgiving, and generally just better humans.
For me, being organized makes me feel happier. Things like reading, writing, adventure and exercising also make me feel happy. So I’m going to start there. Instead of focusing on all those things that could easily ruin the New Year, I’ve decided I’m going somewhere to watch the sunrise in the morning and start my New Year with a literal new perspective. What will you do this new year?
Happy New Year!