As 2012 came to a close, and 2013 rolled out, I made a commitment as part of my quest to Just. Be. Enough. to focus on three words: breathe, embrace, appreciate.
January is winding down, and it’s an appropriate time to take stock: how am I doing on my areas of focus?
I have a lot on my plate. That is not going to change for a while. Unless someone sends me a winning lottery ticket or pays my son’s tuition in advance, I will have to work multiple jobs to find a way to pay for the choices I’ve (gratefully) made.
My schedule is still full, but I have made progress on taking time to just relax. I have carved out one hour a week for guilt-free television watching every Sunday evening for Downton Abbey.
Even that hour is a gift.
As is each minute. And I have been working on not worrying about the next moment, but enjoying the one I’m in. As a result, I’ve noticed that when I’m focused on what really matters, the fact that the floor needs to be vacuumed loses urgency. Oh, I still vacuum. Can’t help it. But at least I wait until after I’ve connected with my children.
But I still missed the only basketball goal my son made all season. Because I was checking email on my phone.
I’m making progress on this one too. I recently went out with a guy I had dated a few times last summer. Turns out my feeling (or lack thereof) for him was just as clear in January as it had been last summer. But I embraced the opportunity to learn that and then tried to gently let him go.
This area of focus is tricky — when added to the one above it. I’m trying to step back and do less, while embracing life more. It’s a delicate balance, but I’ve learned to say “no” to things that are not new experiences but that just fill my schedule with more obligations. And to say “yes” to new experiences.
There have been nights when the wind howled outside my window, and I snuggled down deeper under the comforter and said a genuine prayer of thanksgiving for being warm and dry.
I did take on The Compact for 2013 to push myself to appreciate and use what I have and to limit my consumer spending. I am grateful to have so much already in my life.
And yet, I want more. I want new counter tops. I want new cabinets. I want a cute new outfit. I want. I want. I want.
But I continue to be reminded of how much I have that is intangible — priceless gifts of the heart — my children and their health, my loyal dog, a job I love.
So, my progress is steady. Not mindblowingly awesome. But it is progress nonetheless.
And I’ll take forward over back any day of the week.
How are you doing on your focus for the year?