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  • listen2leslie

Happy New You!

I'm usually inspired to write about what the previous year has taught me, but 2020 did not spark creativity for me. Fear outweighed my faith too many times to count last year. Anxiety was the main course in my daily diet, and I engorged myself beyond recognition. By year's end, I was mentally drained! Hence, the lack of inspiration.

There were simply too many tough lessons to learn from 2020, and we’ve already discussed them ad nauseum with our friends and family. They’ll be etched in our memories for the rest of our lives. God willing, we will evolve into better versions of ourselves, and pass these lessons down to future generations.

Let there be light

There were some silver linings too, however, I choose not to reflect on those either out of respect and empathy for everyone who suffered loss after loss last year. But, I would gently encourage all of us to remember every single experience or interaction that filled our darker moments with light.

Let’s write them down. Read them out loud. Make them the main course in our daily diets, so that we’ll be able to access them at a moment’s notice, whenever the doldrums try to creep up. I’ll be holding onto my light for dear life.

What now?

So, if I’m not writing about the hard lessons or the silver linings of 2020, what is there to talk about as we tiptoe into 2021?

Instead of looking back, I’ve got to keep my eyes on the horizon. With each new year, we’re given a fresh start. We can continue doing and being the same, or we can decide to add something extraordinary to our repertoire. It’s a Divine gift to be able to shift focus and change the trajectory of our lives. We are the only creatures on Earth that have been designed with that privilege in mind.

Be transformed

I don’t know about you, but I simply cannot continue doing and being the same. I was recently blessed to see another birthday, my 55th. That’s a milestone for me. My father died soon after he turned 56, and I wonder if there’s anything he would’ve done differently if he had known that 55 would be his final year alive. I wonder if he would still be alive now if he had shifted his focus, changed his trajectory, or transformed in some way.

Some people say that life is short. I prefer to say that life is precious. If we believe either of those, then each moment must be filled with intention. The time I spend doing mindless activities is time I will never get back. The hours spent wringing my hands over situations that I cannot control could be put to better use. Should be put to better use!

My pledge

So, instead of resolutions or unrealistic goals, I’m making one simple pledge to myself this year: To intentionally fill my days with purpose and meaning, living each day as an act of gratitude, and trimming the fat that’s been weighing me down for far too long.

This may sound vague, but it’s actually very specific. There are 24 hours in each day. If we spend 16 hours sleeping and working, that leaves 8 hours to do everything else. After deducting the time for household chores and other responsibilities, there are only a few hours left in a day!