At the beginning of this year I made fresh commitment to some things I wanted to do better. For too many years I have just let the days and weeks and months pass by, always postponing or making excuses for rarely finding time for things I claimed to be important. This book title has always haunted me, “If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going You Will Probably End Up Somewhere Else.” Will that be me?
The three things I felt compelled to focus on this year were walking, writing, and working on relationships. I would love to tell you about great strides in all three areas, but that is not the case. However, it is never to late to get started or get back on track.
Working on relationships has included some memorable experiences this year. I started the year off with a bang, driving to Tallahassee to see a long-time friend and getting to visit with her and most of her siblings as they gathered to celebrate her mother’s 95th birthday! When she invited me to come, my immediate response was, “thanks, but I can’t come.” Immediately I remembered my desire to work on relationships and admitted, “there is no reason I can’t go and this is just the type opportunity I need to grasp.” It was a great trip and I’m so glad I went! A cousin from California and her husband were in our area and they came to our house for a meal. A friend of our son (Rob), along with another guy were on a road trip and needed a place to stay. Jake posted on FB asking if anyone knew where they could spend the night, and of course Rob called and asked us to take them in. It was such fun to have these two young men in our home for a short visit! I drove two of my older lady mentors and friends to Montgomery to have lunch and visit with our dear friend and former pastor’s wife. I went to Atlanta to celebrate the 90th birthday of a woman who was my boss at one time, and had a ball renewing friendships with co-workers and friends from my single days ages ago. I made lists and called friends to catch up and had lunch with several. AND THIS WAS ALL IN JANUARY!
those are the days I remember
Working on relationships takes effort and initiative and it is easy to put off, put off, put off. As the year continued I slacked off from pursuing these opportunities as intently, but as I look back those are the days I remember; these visits have enriched my life. This summer I went on a girls’ trip with three friends to celebrate a big birthday. We were gone a week and the things we did, memories we made, and heart conversations we shared will stay with me forever. What would I have been doing that week if I had not gone? Probably not much, and certainly not anything so meaningful. Not too long ago a girl from my high school class invited me and others from our class to lunch in her home. I had not seen some of these girls since the night we graduated! It was a sweet time and I hope to spend more time with these girls in the days ahead. Again, I almost said, “thanks, but no – sorry I can’t come,” but I’m so glad I went!
Now, my update on walking. The good news is that I went to walk this morning! But that has not been my regular routine throughout this year. I have been pitiful and disappointing in this area. At least I still remember that I declared it was important and that taking care of my health is a desired priority. As I say to others in encouraging them to start over or renew a commitment I will now say to myself, “it’s never too late to get back up on that horse!” Hopefully more discipline in this area will be cultivated. Whatever age you are, you are getting older every day, and the choices you make now will determine to a large extent the health you will have one day down the road. I used to wonder what was wrong with all those older people who complained, “my hip hurts, my knee hurts, something terrible has happened to my hair, my skin looks weird, I can’t lose weight like I used to, that music is too loud, I’m so uptight and anxious, etc.” Well….. I. am. starting. to. understand. those. old. people.
I. Am. Starting. To. Understand. Old. People.
Walking, or some other form of exercise, helps lessen anxiety, clears the mind, improves focus, increases metabolism, helps joints, improves moods, and just makes you feel better because you did it! Every year my doctor asks,” Are you exercising? It is really important.” My answer usually is, “I’m trying.” That’s pitiful. Truth is, laziness wins out with me too often. I need to apply the challenge I offer others all the time – Do Right Because It Is Right Until It Feels Right. Enough said.
Do right because it is right until it feels right.
Writing — again I hope that it is never too late to start over with something you feel called to do. At the beginning of the year I admitted my desire to write but my commitment has been slack. This past week I attended Women’s Forum in Nashville, an event our daughter, Mary Margaret, helps to plan and carry out. The speakers, music, break-out sessions were all life- changing and life-challenging to the almost 1000 women who attended. We were reminded Who God is and what He has done for us and for all humanity. We were encouraged to recognize that we are all leaders, people of influence, and that God has a purpose for each of our lives. We were challenged to figure out what God has called us to do and to do it! He is a great big God, his story includes us, and his Word, the Bible, is the source for every need.
So here we are in November – most of the year is gone, but we can still start today to do those things that are most important. What will that look like for you? I hope to make new friends and cultivate the ones I have had for years. I want to walk and take better care of my health in order to be active and able to participate in things the rest of my life. And I want to write – to use my words to encourage, support, and help others. This is the calling God has given me and I want to use it for his purpose and his glory.