Last night in a text conversation a friend of mine was listing out some impressive goals for 2015. I reiterated my opinion on New Year’s resolutions (i.e. I make resolutions every day, so a new year is sort of arbitrary) and stated that I basically have a short list for the future me: be better.
Then this morning I was mulling that over and thinking about how we never know when we will run out of tomorrows and so just striving to be better each day is probably the very best thing anyone can do anyway. Even if you are just a little bit better than the version of yourself that you were the day before.
When we got to church, the priest started with a “Happy New Year!” to everyone and I smiled at the theme that seemed to be running through my life. Today is the first day of advent and so the first day of the Christian calendar. Time to prepare for Jesus’ birth on Christmas. Time to prepare our hearts for the coming year. Time to be better. Likewise, the gospel echoed what I had just been thinking about: no one knows when the master will arrive, so we must be watchful and alert and do what needs doing now. There may not be a tomorrow.
I’m grateful that I stuck with NaBloPoMo this November. Writing daily posts has pushed me to work on myself each day. I’ve often said that I write every day, but mostly in my head. When it comes down to putting the words on paper or onto the screen, I’m less diligent. But this month has trained me to stop overthinking, over editing, overanalyzing and take an idea and run with it. As much as I would like every post to be a masterpiece, it is enough that I am just writing and trying to be a little better every day.
My plan is to treat this upcoming month in a similar way. I will write, maybe not daily, but as close to it as I can come. I will spend quality time with my boys reading, decorating, making cookies, writing Christmas cards, playing games, and generally turning off all electronic devices as often as possible. I will count to a hundred before losing my temper. I will take time to exercise. And pray. And prepare my heart. Because no one knows when we will run out of time. And despite what Clarice sings to us in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, there may not be a tomorrow for your dreams to come true. So we must do what we can do each day and hope that we will be given another chance to be a little better the next.