For the last few years, I've tried to write a blog just before my birthday to set expectations for the upcoming year. This year I failed to do so. During the month since I turned 42 years old, I gave great thought to what I'd like to have happened over this next year, what kind of outcomes and I'd like to see, and what kind of impact I would like to make on the world around me.
Mapping out my 40th year seemed simple because it was such a big birthday, such a milestone in my life. I felt like that year needed to be a laundry list of things that I wanted to accomplish before I was too old. And it was. And I accomplished nearly everything I set out to do.
In just two short years since then, however, my life has grown and changed and developed in a way that creating a laundry list of things to do seems slightly overwhelming. I do not want to set myself up for failure. And you might ask, well where's the challenge in that? But the purpose of setting goals for your life is not always to create challenges for yourself. That can be a part of it when you're doing things to better your life like losing weight or getting healthy or getting your finances in order. Those are great challenges and great goals to set up for yourself. But in considering the mark you want to leave on the world in the next 10 months or so I think sometimes you want to make it easy to actually accomplish something, to check some things off your list, to make a difference in the lives of others or the environment, or to just do some good.
So I've made a decision regarding the focus for my 42nd year of life. This year is going to be my season of gratitude. It will be my year of demonstrating my thankfulness to others. It will be a year of showing people how I feel about them and not just telling them. It will be a year filled with experiences and moments that will create memories to last a lifetime.
For those of you who know some of the personal challenges that I have endured over the last month or so this might seem like really odd timing to make such a proclamation. You may even be thinking that my actions in the last few days are contrary to this dedication to a season of gratitude. But as I said to my sisters the other day, we all make mistakes... some of them shameful. All we can do is do better the next time.
So it won't be a year without making mistakes. It will not be a year without trials or tests. (Although if I can swing that from here on out, I will.) And it won't be a year without starting over or redos. It will be a year of doing my best to demonstrate my love for others and just to say thank you.
Welcome to my season of gratitude.