So it is the last day of 2017. What a year. As a family we had many ups and downs, and as a nation it was somehow even wilder. Some people really enjoy taking these last moments of the year to create resolutions and goals for the new year, but I’m not one of them. Concrete, long term goals make me feel panicky. There is so much unpredictability in our life that putting in that kind of effort for something I know will likely change or be totally derailed feels like a waste of energy. The mental effort to try to visualize what life will be like from week to week, much less over the course of 365 days, just reminds me of how little control I have…and I don’t love that. The illusion of control exhausts me, I’d rather just roll with the punches. I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that I’m a sprinter; I don’t like long plans to get things done, I like to push through them at the last minute. It is just another one of the millions of things that there isn’t one right approach to, because we are all so different. But I still like to reflect on the year that is ending and contemplate the year to come…just in a less strict manner.

Last year, I must have been feeling a little crazy because I did set some goals. I did not meet them in a literal sense, but some general progress was made. I did not read my devotional daily, but this year has been a huge year of spiritual growth for me in ways I would not have predicted at the start of the year. I didn’t blog weekly, but I did write a lot more and have had some exciting things happen in that arena. I didn’t keep up with any of my journaling efforts, but I was more intentional about spending time with friends compared to the year before.

So instead of making goals for the year, I’m thinking more about a guiding principle for the year. As I have been thinking about the year to come, one thing keeps coming to mind, and that is that I want to be a person who shows up. What does that mean? I haven’t totally fleshed it out yet, but I think that is what the year is for. In a general sense, some of the things I can show up for are:

Time with people I love
Difficult, but important conversations
Opportunities to grow or challenge myself
Doing things for others, whether I know them or not
Events I’m interested in, even if I don’t have a “date” (this one is tough for me)
Seeing others through difficult seasons
Things that are important to people I care about
Daily life (in a “present” way)
Advocacy work

There are a million big and little ways to be a person who shows up, and it doesn’t mean saying yes to everything or pushing yourself to be literally on the go all the time. We just finished celebrating the birth of Christ, the fact that Jesus SHOWED UP for us in the most literal way possible and lived a life full of showing up in the most beautiful ways possible, and I want to pursue that kind of showing up in the ways that I can. It isn’t going to be concrete or miraculous. There won’t be a checklist to tell me if I’m doing it right. In many ways, it won’t even be that significant of a change. But nevertheless, I would like to carry that little intention along with me through 2018 and see where it leads me.

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