Happy New Year and all that jazz…

That’s right, I’m still going to say it even though I am a bit late – Happy New Year!!!!

Not only is 2012 here already, it is here in full force. Many people spend the early parts of January thinking through how the previous year has been and setting goals for the new year. I admire those people – I really do. And I’ll be honest, secretly I wish I set yearly goals because I think setting a yearly goal is cool. However, I know myself better than that… I would rather set my goals in February once I can see clearly and really evaluate what it is I am going to shoot for…unless, that is, it hits me – spontaneously… I like spontaneity!

So, with that said – Congratulations to you, New Year goal setting people! And for those of you who haven’t yet – or simply don’t care to… Cheers.

So much has happened this past year. I know – I say that every year – but honestly 2011 has been quite a full year for me. In fact, the last two years blur into one. Ever since my car got stolen out of my driveway – yep, you read right, it’s been a fast and furious ride ending with three weddings (one of which was my own), a move, five new babies in the family and the passing of my Teta (what we called our grandmother; Arabic).

So goes with all things in life, you get to process as you go. Sometimes you find moments that you can stop, thoughtfully and prayerfully, think or feel through a season – and sometimes you just get to squeeze it in while driving from one thing to the next.

Something that I have thought quite a lot about from this past year are some of Teta’s last words. Before I tell you those, let me tell you who Teta was.

Talk about a fearless woman. She was strong. She raised four children by herself, started Girls’ Town in Jamaica (read a great article about that!), owned a business, worked as an internationally recognized artist, contributed to her church and community all while intimately walking with the Lord. She was quite the woman. She lived a full life and fought stage four cancer for about three years. She never had a bad attitude and was always found thanking God (impressive no matter who you are).

She lived an upstanding life. She lived a life of devotion. She led by example.

Among many attributes of who she was and how she lived, her last words will be forever engrained in my mind. As she lay on her bed, with about twenty-five family members around her singing upbeat songs (she didn’t want anything depressing) she looked around her and said:

“Life is like a dream.

Life is like a dream.”

Her words echoed within me. Words spoken from a perspective only some of us are given, for moments in our lives. A perspective of one who is on earth but also entering eternity.

“Life is like a dream.” Her words stuck.

Life continues to move, moment by moment, year to year. Sometimes life moves excruciatingly slow. Sometimes life moves excruciatingly fast. Yet life doesn’t stop.

Fast forward to this time next year, I will probably be found saying something about 2012 flying by, because it will. As sure as the sun will rise – it will also set – and rise again… and so on. Unless we choose to live purposefully, making what we do, say, feel and how we think matter for something greater than ourselves, this year will fly by like the last with only a few things to remember out of it.

What if we gave today 100%? I want to give this year my best: I want to give my husband 100%, I want to give my relationship with God 100%. I want to serve and take an active part in my community. I want to squeeze every drop out of what I have been given, whether sitting in an art studio all day or out interacting with people… None of us knows what tomorrow will hold.

If we are given the gift of living a full, long, life that can be looked back on, like Teta, lets wake up while we can and intentionally live it. So hopefully when we get to the end of our lives we can be grateful for our time and satisfied with the moments we got to spend – or invest – here on earth.

Humph, looks like I have my New Years resolution.

May this truly be a very happy new year for you and your family!

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