© 2014 Marica

Grateful

Christmas snuck up on me this year. I found myself wondering how it could be that time of year again so soon. Where did the days … the months …the year … go?

I wanted to focus on the spirit of Christmas as opposed to being caught up in the commercialisation of it. This is easier said than done. I wanted to make gifts for everyone. I didn’t. I wanted to be organised. I wasn’t. I wanted to focus on what was most important to me – the people I love – only I got caught up in cooking, cleaning and running around. Nothing slowed down. In fact, it felt quite the opposite. All I could think about was finishing work for the year and having a break. When this did finally happen I couldn’t relax no matter how much I tried. My lists seemed to get longer. The frenzied chaos was in full swing!

Christmas Day has now been and gone for another year. The memories will linger – my whole family being together, sharing food, the laughter, the photographs, the love that binds us. I have promised myself I will be better organised next year. “Oh really?” I hear that inner voice saying!

All too quickly it was time to say good-bye to the year that was and welcome in the new year. I had a need to let go of what was no longer serving me well and make room for new things to enter my life. I was reminded of this at our recent trip to the rubbish dump. I felt an odd sense of release watching our bag of rubbish fly through the air on its way down into the rubbish pit.

2013 turned out to be a hard year. I ended it feeling totally exhausted. Despite this, I feel so grateful for every aspect of my life – even the challenging bits. As I reflect back I realise it wasn’t all bad and that I in fact achieved way more than I had ever anticipated.

So here we are in 2014. I have no idea what lies ahead for me or my family. I want to be at peace with this and trust that this year will be what it needs to be so that I can learn what I need to learn and continue to work towards the changes I desire. My hope is to be able to slow my life down a bit and enjoy what is instead of always thinking about what will be. As Brother David Steindle-Rast comments in his New Year message:

Let’s open our eyes and recognise 2014 for what it really is:
A wonderful tree heavy with harvest – every day of all four seasons.
And let’s practice the trick for harvesting this abundance of gifts.
The trick is: STOP / LOOK / GO – the recipe for grateful living.

Stop! – so that you will not hurry past the gift this moment offers you.
Look! – so you will recognise this gift: the opportunity available now.
Go! – that means: Do something with this precious opportunity!

Practicing stop, look, go! – over and over – that is the recipe for true joy.

Manifesto
01. Every day is a fresh new day.
02. Every day is an opportunity for a new beginning.
05. Every day is now. The present moment.

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