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Jen Dickey

The night of December 31st we’ve burned our release lists and given ourselves one helluva locker room pep talk like Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, pumping up those around us who are also taking their mark at the annual starting line. And when midnight strikes on the first of every year, the starter gun fire rings out and the race begins: notable resolutions for losing weight, getting into better shape, making more money, experiencing a new or rekindled romance, finding a better job, and cutting out toxic relationships. The fires of zeal and enthusiasm in our bellies propel us into a rhythm that we pray will carry us through, though some have quickly forgotten they’ve entered a marathon, not a sprint. By Mile [Day or Week] 2 the shiny things are out in full force.

I could use a kolache right about now. I have until February 1st to cancel my gym membership without penalty. I’m starting to think those toxic people aren’t so toxic after all…maybe it was just hormones…where are those kolaches again?!?!

I’ve been one of those who ran too fast, collapsed on the sideline and, in my best Rob Schneider voice, still manage to shout, “you can do it!” at the dedicated souls who appear to have strategy in their favor. Some burst into tears while others walk bitterly or numbly back to their regularly scheduled lives, while a few carry on their course. We’ve all been there in one form or another. I’m intrigued by the symbolism and energy represented the first of January of every year.

We pass the pipe after a hit of “New year, New me” with the illusion it will sustain us, neglecting the reality of the power we already possess to choose, at any given moment, to pivot our thoughts and actions.

I didn’t bother making resolutions this year for this reason. I can easily find fault and failure by setting impossible objectives that deflate my self-esteem and flog my humanity. I’m bored with that story and ready for something different. Instead I want to be attentive and responsive to what happens in life, see the beauty, feel the trauma, ask the questions and explore the possibilities. I want to be awakened to the privilege of being alive in this now moment. I understand this as a lifestyle rather than a wishful-thinking resolution. An aerial view offers the unique gift in seeing the greater picture, things we often miss when fixated on the details and seeded in circumstance. It’s not a matter of rising above but bringing more into the picture so you can see the pieces you are holding are part of an even greater picture, and just as important as those edge pieces in a puzzle even though you may not like that pattern or shape.

Life is an unpredictable gift, and as I prepare to turn 35 this year, I am increasingly aware of its value and how my time is spent. Life is too short to wait until we line up again on December 31st to run the race of the following year. We can choose and choose powerfully any moment of any day, and it is always in the right and perfect time, otherwise it would have already happened by now. I couldn’t wait until I reached the magical age or point in my life where I put less value into what others thought about me or wanted for me life and valued what was in my heart and my communion with God. It took me all this time to understand there is/was no age of awakening, just a willingness to live from that state. I am excited for my future and what wants to transpire, and I give myself the gift of that aerial view so I can better understand and see Divinity interwoven.

I’m grateful to receive the gift of being given a gift to open again and again. And, for a change, I’m not looking to exchange it for that which was given to someone else. It’s good enough — dare I say perfect?

If you made resolutions, I wish you the best. If you didn’t, I wish you the best. If you’ve taken a detour, have a great adventure, and I wish you the best. May 2020 bring the best of all things to you and yours. Happy New Year and pass the kolaches.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to Called to Courage to catch the latest posts. If you would like to make a donation in appreciation of my work you can do so through PayPal. Blessings!

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