Changing Personal Traditions

Usually, New Year’s Eve will see me meditating and writing out my list of possibilities for the coming year. This year, respiratory flu has sapped me of energy to do anything but lounge under a blanket and watch episodes of “Star Trek” (the original) and “Twilight Zone” and then an entire season of “Humans”. I gave up on watching the big ball drop in New York and went to bed at 9:30 p.m. Rick was already down for the count.

Three loud blasts awakened me abruptly. It sounded like a terrorist attack! Sarge was already up and hunting frantically for a place to hide. He tried and failed to squeeze under our bed. I looked at the red-eyed digital alarm glowing 12:00 and remembered – Oh, yeah, it’s the New Year. I remembered Rick saying something about our neighbor being a retired munitions expert. I figured he knew what he was doing, reassured our trembling German Shepherd and went back to sleep.

I made it into the shower and a sweat suit this morning. Whatever this bug is, Rick and I decided to stay home rather than share the infestation with fellow parishioners.

Maybe it’s self-deception, but I see no need to make a list this year. I’ve been living with lists since we moved into our new-fixer-up home. In fact, I have a thick file of “pending projects” already lined up for the weeks and months ahead. Half a dozen little notepads line my work area, each designated for something needing attention. Nevertheless, I still need something to keep me on track.

Lists can alleviate or create stress. They can hold us to a plan of action toward (hopefully) reasonable goals.

This year, I’m going with a short list:

(1) Daily morning time in communion with Jesus and reading the Word

(2) Finishing my current WIP.

Number one will steady me in the tossing seas of change and also guide me in fulfilling number two, and all the pending projects of life will get finished in due time – or not.

Sometimes, we just need to put the whip away and give ourselves a little grace.