As goodbyes go, I think the one I had tonight with 2011 was sweet. I was outside at dusk and the sunset was astoundingly pretty. Streaks of pink all across the sky in all directions. I worshiped God right there on the sidewalk. I thanked him for His beauty and I told Him I love Him. And that quiet moment was like a reminder of His love for me, too. I tried to say something about the new year, a sort of an acknowledgment of my screw-ups this year while at the same time an expression of thankfulness for the hope that He gives. And then I kept walking. I'm going to keep walking figuratively, too, because I don't need to stand around and watch the sky go dark.
There are people who think New Year's Day is just another day. And New Year's Eve is just another eve. I'm not one of those people. I LOVE new beginnings. Start-overs, clean slates, change and adventure - the whole bit. So I like to "do it up" when it comes to resolutions. But this year I'm lacking ideas, so I sought help from my husband and from facebook. Kevin's not a resolution kind of a guy, so that was a bit of a dead end. Facebook, though, turned up some good suggestions. There were running-related suggestions, travel ideas, reading and writing and learn-a-new-thing suggestions. All good. But nothing really stuck in my head until tonight.
Tonight when our early party wound down and the kids were in bed, Kevin and I prayed the rosary together. I thought of it as the perfect way to finish the old year and begin the new. And we prayed for our children in particular. So all that is nice and good, but surprisingly to me, I found my resolutions in today's joyful mysteries. These resolutions are short and sweet and yes, a little contrived. But they were pretty loud and clear while I prayed so I'm not discounting them.
The first joyful mystery: The Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary from Luke 1:26-38
My resolution: to listen to the Lord. I want to trust that when He has something important to say, He will get His message across (or He already has!) - and I can read about it in scripture, experience it in the Eucharist at Mass, or hear it through another person. Or, heck, an angel. If God wants to go that route with me, I'll take it.
The second joyful mystery: The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth from Luke 1:39-56
My resolution: to cling to my friendships as gifts from God. I said on facebook, in my "resolutions" post, (when a friend suggested I give it up for New Years) that "I would die without facebook." This is a slight exaggeration, as I am prone to slight exaggeration nearly every minute of every day - but it isn't completely untrue. That being said, I think I could move away from my dependence on the connection I enjoy through facebook if I instead went "visiting" in person more often. Those of you who live close to me - please be nice when I show up on your porch.
The third joyful mystery: The Birth of our Lord from Luke 2:1-21
My resolution: to celebrate His birth and life every day. We are in the midst of the Christmas season and the celebration of the crazy story of the birth of our Lord. I resolve to enjoy His life every day through more disciplined prayer. I've been a little lazy lately and I've paid for it with an uncomfortable distance from Jesus.
The fourth joyful mystery: The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple from Luke 2:22-38
Don't laugh at my simplicity here, but I took this as: keep goin' to Church. Perhaps my resolution lies in a renewed desire to see our Mass attendance as a solemn responsibility and joyful privilege (simultaneously) rather than a hardship preceded by lots of whining from young children.
The fifth joyful mystery: The Finding of our Lord in the Temple from Luke 2:41-52
Hm. As we headed into praying this decade, I tried so hard to meditate on the familiar passage. All I got was the image of Mary and Joseph's misunderstanding. So I suppose my resolution is to keep seeking wisdom, in scripture, prayer, and spiritual reading so that I am not perplexed by Jesus' actions, in scripture and in my life and the world I'm living in. I might sum up this resolution in one word: trust.
Just a note: I do plan to run a lot this year. And read. And write. And learn some new things. But it's kinda handy that my real resolutions came out of the rosary and are centered on Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for this sinner. Nothing more I can ask for in the new year.