“Don’t Let Me Into This Year With An Empty Heart”

For years now, as long as I can remember, I’ve rung in the new year with a pen in hand. Not at midnight. At midnight I’m wielding the requisite fondue stick or glass of fake champagne. The real shift comes later, when I’m sitting at my parents kitchen table scribbling in a notebook with the lights off or huddled up on an air mattress in tapping notes into my phone in a cabin with my in-laws or sprawled out on the couch with my laptop listening to Long December while my own little family snoozes around me. Words usher in the new year. Words escort the old one out. I usually end up with a long list of things I want to do better, or at least differently, and this year’s no different. 

I want to speak up more at work. I want to speak more carefully at home. I want to serve unthinkingly and love unceasingly. 

It’s a cliche to write self-consciously about cliches. I saw that quote you pinned about reaching for the stars and dancing like nobody’s watching. I know women my age are caged birds breaking free. I like metaphors with a little more weight. This year I will drop an anchor. I will tie myself off. I will nurture the tender, stretching roots I’ve set down in this city, in this job that I’ve already worked longer than any other, even though it feels like I just started. I will revive the sprawling, stretched-too-thin system that’s sapping every last bit of what Mormonism has to offer to nourish my flourishing faith. I will hack off the wild branches until all the fruit is good. I will sit still with my family. 

It’s coming down hard in Chicago tonight and my neighborhood is new with snow, except for the trail of footprints Robert and I left outside the front door when we dashed with bare feet to the tree across the street and back again because what else are you going to do for kicks at 12:00 a.m. when you are new parents and accidentally threw out all the sparklers left over from your wedding because they stink like sulfur? Robert convinced me to take my shoes off and I hated every second of it until I got back inside. Here’s to more of that in 2014. 

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2 Responses to “Don’t Let Me Into This Year With An Empty Heart”

  1. Mom says:

    Bare feet…awesome! Way to start!

  2. cammila says:

    In the past, I had sort of an aversion to New Years resolutions, because when I want something to be different, I want it to be different that VERY SECOND. I have so little patience, so little tolerance for imbalance. If something constitutes a New Years resolution, then I’ve always shouted that in my book, it constitutes a RIGHT NOW RESOLUTION!! Often, the idea of waiting a few moments, let alone days or even weeks to make that change part of a greater paradigm seemed oh so preposterous.

    But of course, that’s just me rationalizing my lack of patience. Making changes whenever we notice the need does not preclude us taking the opportunity afforded by our calendar to evaluate the possible need for more. We don’t always have time to take stock every day. In fact, take time out of the equation, sometimes we just don’t notice everything about ourselves that could use tweaking if we don’t have the help of a little deliberate self reflection. The willingness to critically engage with yourself is a virtue, so I’ve come to admit.

    So I find this post really beautiful and inspiring. This is a great testament to the depth and joy offered by taking part in that reflective process. Thanks for putting it out there. :)

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