As I wrote in my last post, I experienced two major changes last year - the loss of my church and the first steps to being able to verbalize one traumatic event in my life. And so as I look to the new year there are two things I am going to work on.
I am going to conquer my demons. My goal is to sit with my therapist and be able to relate all the details of that day of violence. She assures me that once I am able to do this, repeatedly, it will greatly relieve the flashbacks and nightmares and other weirdness I continue to experience. It should minimize the triggers but it will not take away the scars. And that’s okay. Those scars have become as much a part of me as my happy memories. I will also be using this space (which you have made a safe and supportive place) as a jump off point, as I find it is easier to first write out my thoughts. Sort of like putting my toe in the water first before jumping right in. I am feeling strong.
Second, I am going to start down a new faith path. I haven’t yet decided which path is right for me but the main theme will be that I need to live my faith. And to me that means more helping others. I was brought up in a tradition of volunteerism but I feel that I have gradually neglected that. When I first started working I worked for a very poor city and my main focus was on developing affordable and subsidized housing, tenant’s rights, grants for people needing help in making their homes code compliant, etc. I loved working with poor people. I now work for a rich suburban town and while my work has been environmentally important, it does not have the same “helping people who really need help” appeal. I used to do a lot of work for the schools my daughter’s attended, but now that they have grown, that work has fallen off. I used to volunteer at my church but that has now ended. Without my really noticing, my volunteerism has dwindled and I want/need to re-energize that part of my life. Having actually read the gospels last year, to me that seems to be the main teaching - do unto others, love your neighbor, whatever you do for the least person you do for me, etc. I am very excited about ramping up my efforts because I have always found helping others to be most fulfilling. I have gotten lazy. So whether I continue to look for a church that fits my community and missional needs, or I just focus on my personal spirituality and create my own missions, I don’t know yet. I’m not sure it matters. My first step is to start with me.
And of course there is the perennial “I’ll lose some weight”. This year I decided that for every pound I gained from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, I would make a donation to the local food pantry. Suffice it to say that they will be well funded for a while.
So those are my New Year’s resolutions. I am full of hopeful anticipation. Please share some of your resolutions if you are so inclined. I would be happy to be a cheerleader for you.
I wish you all a happy and healthy and successful new year.