Earlier tonight, while getting Martin to bed, I was contemplating the year. Not just 2014 or 2015, but the idea of the year. I’m about to head into my last year of my 20’s, which seems young to some but quite old to others. I was thinking how when I was in elementary school, anything over 18 seemed old. Once I was 18, anything over 55 seemed old, and here I am, almost 30, and 55 doesn’t seem quite as ancient as it used to. In fact, my parents are over 55, and they don’t seem old to me most of the time.
Isn’t it funny how ages and life stages don’t necessarily go together? For instance:
My dad is 10 years older than my husband Tyler’s mother, but my dad is 10 years younger than his own sister. So his sister is the same age as Tyler’s grandmother, and his niece (my cousin) is the same age as Tyler’s mom. But I would never perceive my aunt as being able to be Tyler’s grandmother or my cousin as being able to be Tyler’s mother. That just seems weird and inappropriate, but it’s entirely possible given their ages. This whole point is entirely random, but interesting to think about as it pertains to years we experience.
I was also thinking how our years pass so quickly, and it’s true our lives are “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Lately, life seems so fragile. I’m almost 30, and if I’m lucky, I’m only 1/3 of the way through my life. This makes me nervous for the long number of years ahead, but it also scares me because:
What have I done with 1/3 of my life?
Am I being intentional with how I’m living, who I’m spending my time with, how I love others, how I perceive success? The answer is often no.
The answer is I’m typically cruising through the months and years, taking life as it comes, more passive than active in my pursuit of this one life I get to live on earth.
So this year, because I always fail at resolutions, I decided, in light of all the jabber from above, to make a list of hopes for 2015. Instead of coming up with one thing to work on, like exercising daily, I’ve decided to write down things I hope and dream of in the coming year.
My list includes random things like having someone over for dinner every other week because I am not hospitable and need some practice. It also includes cherishing moments with my children and looking for one positive experience with each of them every day. Some are serious, like buying a house, but others are more things I’d like to take a jab at, like not wolfing down all of my meals like there’s a screaming baby in the other room or growing a garden without killing every plant within a month.
My list isn’t made up of hard and fast rules. They are merely hopes. For instance, I’ve already failed because I didn’t drink more water than usual today, and I certainly didn’t limit Instagram time or teach Ethan any culinary skills. But it’s ok if I mess up one day. One mess up doesn’t mean I need to throw in the towel. I hope, over the course of the year, to cultivate healthy relationships in all areas of my life. This, to me, seems more valuable than choosing to reorganize our entire house and stressing out when I fail because I’m not meant to be that organized.
Happy 2015 to those in need of nourishment, healing, quiet, peace, joy, and hope. Happy 2015 to those invigorated by a new year, a new promise, or a new family. Happy 2015 to those wounded, lonely, oppressed, and aching. This can be a year of change. Dream of it. Hope for it. Live it.