Sunday, January 5, 2014

Resolving to do something

At the very least we can all admit that 2014 is here, whether we like it or not. And as we stare down another new year, some of us will be so bold as to attempt a resolution or two (or more if you're really nuts). Most people I know tend to make resolutions, only to fail miserably two weeks later. I find that most people simply do not make resolutions for that very reason, as they are hard to maintain and instead find it easier to make changes while not calling those changes a resolution. To me, that sounds an awful lot like reverse psychology on yourself...good move.

It seems a popular question to ask around the first of January, is whether or not you have made a resolution yourself. While I do not normally make one, nor have I ever really made one, ever, I find that looking back on the past year and making some astute observations is key to looking forward with plans for a better year. And in fact, as I look back I discover that much has taken place in my life since last January and with that I am left to consider a few things.

Twenty days into 2013 I was amidst training for my very first ultra running race of sorts. A 31 plus mile affair (or 50K for you cool running kids) that was to take place at the end of the month. As I returned home from a nine mile run, I felt some fairly intense pain in my shin. The next morning I could barely walk. Two weeks later, after a few x-rays and tests, it was confirmed that I had multiple stress fractures to my tibia. While that sounds horrifying, it was considerably better news than discovering it might be tendonitis. Obviously, my running was sidelined and in fact I would not set foot on pavement or dirt with the intent to run for nearly 3 months. Yes, that was brutal. The pain was in fact fairly minimal, for those wondering. The torment of not being able to run was nearly more than I could stand.

Interestingly, during the time I was injured I made it to all of my son's baseball games, made it to most of my daughter's track meets, began to appreciate my guitar a little more (that I had just started to play a few months earlier) and managed to land a soccer coaching job. By the time May rolled around and I was cleared to run again, I didn't immediately jump back in. Instead I waded in slowly and enjoyed what was going on around me. This did wonders for my injury and would later benefit me but it did more for my home life than I could have ever dreamed.

Fall came and brought with it my return to coaching. The season itself was tough in terms of wins and losses but it was rich in terms of experiences and new relationships. I quickly remembered why I love coaching so much and it is the opportunity to pour into the lives of my players, to be a mentor, a teacher, a leader and indeed a coach. It was a lot of work and by the end of the season, my dear wife was ready for a little time alone.

My wife and I had a few times this past year where we got to get away. With the kids now getting a little older and therefore a little more self-reliant, we were able to sneak away for date nights and even a whole weekend to the coast in November when some dear friends were willing to watch the rug rats. As each year passes, I find myself more and more enamored with my relationship with my wife and this year brought us closer, especially as we reached the holidays.

Thanksgiving was probably the epic holiday for us. For the first time in my life, I chose to not spend it with my mother and brothers and sister and their immediate families. It was an odd feeling, to be sure, but what ensued at our house was certainly one of the highlights of the entire year. We opened our house to friends and had an amazing time, filled with laughter, joy and good food. Looking back, it was surely one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I have ever been a part of.

Christmas then proceeded to sneak up on us and before we knew it, we were knee deep in wrapping paper and decorations. Our annual trip to Portland was a whirlwind. We were there for less than 24 hours because both of us had to work the following 2 days. But the icing on the cake was that we both took the 2nd and 3rd of January off which gave us a 5 day weekend to end one year and start the next. Those five days were exactly what our family needed and much fun and relaxation was had by all. By the end of it, we were all prepared to face the coming year, regardless of what it throws at us.

So, as for resolutions, I continue my belief of not making any, but I will contend a few points. First, my guitar playing has taken on its own personality. I play every day now and love to just sit and work on songs. That joy of playing is coming out on Sundays and has my wife and others taking notice. I am hopeful that this coming year has me playing it even more. Second, my family time means more to me than ever before. For the first time in many, many years, I will have my spring free from soccer. With that freedom comes the opportunity to get out of town a few times to see a baseball game or maybe a soccer match. My family has endured many a weekend of me being on a soccer pitch somewhere and they deserve some attention.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I vow to continue my reach into my community. I have several new neighbors since a new builder started erecting new houses on my street. New neighbors mean a chance to form new relationships and new opportunities to reach out and be the neighbor that Jesus has asked me to be. God wants me to love Him and He wants me to love my neighbor. Simple commands and yet we fight it all the time. I can honestly say that I resolve, every day, to love my neighbors and help them in any way possible.

2014 is already off to a great start. I hope and pray yours is too.

No comments: