The RevGalBlogPals Friday Five are all in the New Year’s theme – and not surprisingly have a link to the “energy” theme of NaBloPoMo.
Herewith, a Friday Five all about Resolutions and Absolutions.
1. Start by sharing your success stories with us: In the past, what resolution has been your most successful? What change have you made that has been the most beneficial, to your mood, health, finances, or other way of being in the world?
I have had about the same amount of success with resolutions as most people – spotty at best, I suppose. The one exception to that was a resolution I made when I was in 9th or 10th grade. I decided I was tired of complaining about the weather and I resolved that for one whole year I wouldn’t do it. If it was raining, I’d be thankful for the rain watering the earth and making the plants grow. If it was cold, I’d be thankful that the cold weather kept the size of the bugs small in Minnesota (no giant flying cockroaches here, thankyouverymuch!) I remember being very successful at this resolution. And then the most amazing thing happened. On January 1 of the next year, I went right back to the old habits of complaining about the weather!
Why? If it only takes 21 days to establish a new habit this one had been going on for 365. Why couldn’t I just remain consistent in this one thing? Maybe because it was really freaking cold that winter. Maybe because we love to complain about the weather up here. Maybe because not complaining about the weather meant I was not part of a lot of conversations. I don’t really know the reason. I just know that I complain about the weather as much as the next person.
But sometimes, in my head, I remember that year and think about trying it again.
2. What is one thing you hope to do differently this year with regard to health, either physical or spiritual? If you are satisfied with your current status in both areas, perhaps you would be willing to share something you’ve already done (or regularly do) to care for yourself.
I hope that I will continue to get better at eating healthy food in reasonable portions. It’s another uphill battle, as we all know. Or most of us. Luckily, I know that as many times as I fail at it, I can start over again the next meal. I’d like to get better at having thing prepped and ready to cook so that when I come home from work I’m not starting from the “what do you want to eat?” question so that we don’t slide into the “where do you want to go?” or “who do you want to call?” options. I want to bring my lunch to work.
3. What is one thing you hope your family (of origin, of choice, however you define your primary place of mutual emotional sustenance) will do differently this year? A new tradition for birthdays? More vacation time? Game night? Feel free to really dream about ways to deepen your connections with those you love.
I hope that G and I will get better at doing devotions together. My real dream is that we would sing compline on a regular basis.
4. What is one thing you hope your community of faith will consider doing differently this year? New music? Different approaches to preaching? Rearranging the furniture? If you are in a position to try to introduce change, share some of your enthusiasm and/ or anxiety with us!
One thing I wish we’d try is more study opportunities out in the community. At a pub or coffee house. I’m not exactly positioned to start this but will look for opportunities to move it forward.
Another thing I’d like to introduce (and am positioned to introduce it) is adding more contemplative prayer opportunities. Not prayer services but instruction in prayer practices. Not sure how that can happen here, but I’ve started some conversations.
5. In what area would you most like to learn to be gentle with yourself? For what would you most like to forgive yourself? Share your ideas and strategies for extending yourself the kind of grace we know we are assured of.
I’d like to give myself more permission to not be responsible for taking care of everyone. And to forgive myself when I have to choose between two important priorities.