Looking back on my New Year’s resolutions

It’s the last day of the year, so I’m assessing my 2016 New Year’s resolutions. How did I fare on my twelve (yes, twelve) resolutions for this year? See my article “12 Resolutions Everyone Can Make” for a good laugh (and not bad advice). That I actually thought I would focus on one per month is hysterical.

I anticipated writing “Epic Fail” at this point in the blog. But I just glanced over the list again, and I didn’t do as badly as I thought I did. I’ve highlighted the ones I’m still working on.

For review, my 2016 resolutions were–

  1. Add the arts
  2. Learn for the pleasure of it
  3. Join a humanitarian organization
  4. Learn to do something you should have learned to do when you were young
  5. Do something you’re afraid of
  6. Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it
  7. Experience nature
  8. Fast something
  9. Renew an old acquaintance
  10. Join a small group
  11. Choose a theme for the year
  12. Read the Bible

As an organized list-maker and follower, I will re-write my resolutions for 2016 and list them right here (because this is what I actually did accomplish):

  1. Took a charcoal drawing class and loved it!
  2. Helped a close friend through the moving experience and survived the loss.
  3. Helped my mother endure the death process and prayed her into heaven.
  4. Began learning to deal with grief and sadness on a whole new level; found another level of intimacy with God in the process.
  5. Finished another manuscript and give it to my agent.
  6. Actively enjoyed my children–got up early and made hot breakfasts, rearranged my day to carpool and provide dinner (I don’t always actually make it!), and stayed up late to talk. And hopefully, I didn’t scar them.

In process: I’m still in the forgiveness process with a couple people (you have to keep going back and doing this again). I’m about to start another group, but I haven’t added any new NPOs to my list. I started seeing a therapist to handle my grief, so I’m in full excavation mode of my life. It’s painful, but it’s so good. I should’ve done this years ago. I would’ve been a better parent, wife, friend, and writer.

Missed: I had planned to meet my Compassion child, travel west with my family, and publish one of my manuscripts. None of those things happened.

My theme: this makes for a curious analysis. I had debated between “fulfill” and “satisfy” for 2016 because I wanted to fulfill all my resolutions and goals (and well as God’s purpose for me this year), and I wanted to be satisfied with my life regardless of what happened. Being an over-achiever, I chose “fulfill.” I found the concept everywhere, in my reading and my conversations. But in the end, I think “satisfy” has been the theme God had for me. He was enough. But I haven’t really learned that fully yet, so ENOUGH is my theme for next year.

Life is not the checklist. It’s a process. (Not as clever as “Life is not a road; it’s a destination,” but you get what I’m saying.) I cannot complete the work without rearranging, deleting, and postponing the objectives. Some delays are about timing. Some are from heartache. But all delays–all perceived failures–are not failures at all, but catalysts at the crossroads to maturity.

I’m more mature. Yes, I turned 50 and became officially OLD. But that’s not what I’m talking about–I’m talking about embracing change and growth, in me and around me. That’s what keeps you young, joyful, and flexible. Its staves bitterness and disappointment.

Change is actually what teaches you satsifaction.