Jan 1, 2008

Dear 2008,

I just wanted to write and let you know a couple of things before we get started.
I would hate for us to get off on the wrong foot.
But, just to be totally honest, I know how you work. You come in with tons of promise and great expectations. But then, come mid summer when the heat index is up and we are begging for rain you slow down...fooling us into thinking that you just may last forever. But ha! You tricked us again! Because before long fall is here, leaves are turning, wind is blowing and we wish, once more, that you'd last forever - but then you rush out. And you leave as quickly as you came in.
But when you go you often leave us with bruises. Memories that we wish to forget. Mistakes we wish to make up for. Resolutions we never got around to. And now, guilt.
But 2008, I am not going to give you that option. I am going to go ahead and lay out the game plan. So you know that when you leave and your buddy 2009 comes in you can't say I wasn't honest. You won't leave me with bruises. Not this time.

2008, you will be better to me because I will be better to you. Let's not take advantage of each other, whaddayasay? I will remember that you are only here for a moment. You come. You go. It's just a matter of fact. And so I will respect your position. And you respect mine. Some days will be full of promise. I will take advantage of every possible ray of sunshine. I will live each minute of your day, month and year to the fullest. And then there will be days I won't change my clothes, brush my teeth or open my blinds. Leave me be on those days. Okay? They are few and far between, but when they come, let me have them. I am woman. And with that comes some pretty complex issues that we ain't got time to deal with right here.

I will laugh more this year. Which seems pretty impossible since I had a fairly good time with 2007. But still, I will laugh even more, because you don't last long 2008 - and when you leave I want you to go knowing I enjoyed myself.

I will learn the most precious art of all this year, 2008. The art of forgiveness. I know how to do it - I just haven't mastered how to do it quickly. But I will this year. I will learn to do it quickly, and then let it go. Because a lot of the bumps and bruises we often find ourselves with at years end could have been healed had we only known how to forgive. I'm a firm believer in that. I'm a firm believer that granting forgiveness heals us rather quickly.

I will invest more in people this year. I've heard there is no greater job or harder one, than loving another person. Well, let's give it a try! Besides, who's to say I won't go out with you 2008? And, God forbid, just in case I do, well, I'd like to leave knowing that I invested my time, my love, my ear and my heart into someone other than me. I'm not abolishing all selfishness, that won't be accomplished till at least 2018, but I'm starting with you. 2008 seems like a good time to start. Don't you think?

There's another little thing I picked up right at the tail end of 2007, that I'd like to bring back out - if it's alright with you, 2008. I'm going to decide - I will determine - what I waste my energy on. If it is true, if it is noble, if it is righteous or holy or of anything good -then baby, I will think all over it. But if it hurts me, if it scares me, if it makes me paranoid or self-conscious, if it makes me self-destructive, if it makes me self-loathing, if it makes me bitter or angry, rageful or depressed - then I'm droppin' it like it's hot. I am better when I think better. Period.

And hey, while we're at it, let's surround ourselves with people that love us! Want to? Let's surround ourselves with people that like us, that make us laugh, that encourage us. Let's choose to be around those who build us up for no reason at all. Let's spend time with someone because they make us like ourselves better because they see what we can be, as opposed to what we currently are. Let's go to Pancho's and have chips with those who make our spirits soar! With those who talk to us as if every dream we have is possible and just within our reach. Let's leave love notes for friends who make us love God more after we've been with them.

See, 2008, we can do all these things and more. Me and you. This can be our year. I don't know what you hold for me - nor do you. But I know who holds me. And in knowing that I can honestly say...

This year I will laugh often, but love more. I will cry with others and not just for myself. I will make new friends and go deeper with the ones I have now. I will shut-up so that someone else can talk. I will listen, so that someone else can share.
If I burn a bridge I will be fast to repair it.
If I hurt someone I will move quickly to heal it.
I will be a better mother and wife - by being a better daughter.
I will gain the respect of others by always giving honor and respect away.
I will forgive quickly. And I will release bitterness and anger.
I will not be held back by someone else's power.
I will take back what rightfully belongs to me as a child of God.
I will praise more. I will worship more reverently.
I will learn more about the "fear" of God.
I will love Him more. I will love Him better.

Oh, yes, 2008. This is already looking good. For both of us.

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