Photo by TJ Parker
It’s 2017. I’m happy about it. I kept waiting for it, ready to start anew. Ready for a reboot.
Last year was stressful. Surprising and tense and divisive and nasty. Many good things happened in my life, but I was greatly affected by everything happening in the world, and that stuff, the stuff splashed all over mainstream media, was frequently disheartening and disappointing.
K and I spent the last weeks of 2016 doing daily random acts of kindness. It helped both of us to be more positive. To look at things from a different, and more uplifting, perspective. We vowed, going forward into 2017, we would continue trying to look at the world from the place of kindness. Continue to do random acts as they presented themselves. I think we will. We both believe kindness is key, a necessity.
I was thinking last night about the news, being affected by it, getting upset, etc. After all, it’s still there. Just because we’re in a new year doesn’t mean it all miraculously goes away. I have friends who are so passionate about the state of things they are still posting political stuff on Facebook and Twitter. I get incensed about certain events, just as they do, but I don’t post them. It’s not my way. My way is to post things I believe to be positive, uplifting, and kind. It’s a different way of going at things, which is OK. Mine helps me, theirs helps them I’m sure.
In that vein I started thinking about the effect all of this information has on me. Bombarded with news reports and posts about news reports and political events and health crises and how this thing or that thing is bad for you. It’s easy to get sucked in, to focus on it all, to think that those things have significant value in my life. But honestly, they don’t. Yes, I do care about the world, I am concerned about a lot of it. I am. And K and I will be volunteering for a couple of organizations this year in order to try and step up and do something productive and positive. But if I spend too much time thinking every day about all of it I’m not living right where I am. I forget to look at what’s good in my life, there is a whole lot that’s good. I miss appreciating great sunsets and how beautiful the light is shining through the trees. I am not present.
It’s so easy to be distracted, to look outside my life and focus on what’s wrong with everything. But that would be a disservice to my life, and I definitely wouldn’t be honoring all the magic that exists in my every day. The way to honor my life, to live it fully, to be present in it, is to notice the magic. To soak up the moments. To put my focus on the people and the sunsets and the smiles. To pay attention when I’m having a great conversation, or when one of my grandkids laughs, or when my honey smiles at me a certain way. To honor this beautiful life I have to be responsible for feeling it, being IN it.
So to hell with bad news, crazy politics, and all the negative crap. I can’t change the whole world, I can only do my small part. I will act with grace, or at least try to. I will be present and faithful to this beautiful, amazing, glorious life I’m lucky to be living. That’s where my energy needs to be spent. On walks and dog loves and kisses and hugs and music and beautiful words and great meals with family and laughter with friends and taking photographs and writing and silly and kindness and joy and love.
This is what I will do. That is all.