A life can mark and refocus your heart.
Here at the end of the year, in the past few weeks, maybe the month, there have been many recognizing of lives. Whether they were cut short or lasted long the stories have passed by me in waves. I didn't know most of them, and at best they were someone who were known by someone I knew. It began with someone I used to know: the mother of a friend of one of my children.
Her story was of one cut short. I don't even know her details, I just know she is no longer on this earth. It struck my heart and made a mark. Then I heard of a woman who was living into her 100's, and while I heard those details I no longer remember them. Most likely because I didn't know her. But the stories kept coming, from both sides, and here at the end of the year they kept leaving marks in my heart. They were telling me to pay attention. They were reminding me if I didn't look I would miss something big.
And that was the start of my "one word" for 2015. A reminder that life can be short or very long. A question about how I want to be remembered and how I want to live. A call back to where I am right now.
If I were to leave this earth at the end of 2016 what would I want those memories to be? Touching lives. Knowing people. Connecting hearts. Not letting life slip by.
If I were to stay on this earth until 2067 what would I want those days to be? Reaching beyond. Doing what I dare. Living wild. Not letting life slip by.
Different, but the same.
Maybe 2015 was a connecting year for me. Like Back To The Future 2. If they had never made that movie the third would still have made sense. But really, no. While there is not a lot I can point to and say, "This happened!" there is a lot in my heart which changed over the past year. I'm in a different place and I am a different person.
Which brings me back to 2016. It might sound as if I have given up on goals, and maybe in a sense I have, but I feel what I am doing is releasing everything so that I might find mine. I believe I have taken on the ideas and aspirations of others because they were good, and they were, but they should never have been mine. And so it's time to shake off the excess, settle myself, and just "BE."
I do have goals for 2016, things I am definitely working towards. I'm so excited about testing for my Black Belt, visiting my kids, and running my first (and last?) marathon. Those are some goals and dreams that didn't even exist once upon a time, but now take up most of my attention. And this is how much of my life has worked.
I'll keep remembering that God's plans for me are far beyond my expectations, and all I need to do is be the one He created me to be. And I'll keep remembering that my striving doesn't get me very far, and I simply need to be where He has placed me.
Oh yes, "Be" is pretty open ended and could mean anything I want it to; anything you want it to. And for 2016 it's going to be what helps me stay centered and reminds me to focus.