That dreaded time of the year is once again upon us. After some self-indulgence over the holidays, New Year’s resolutions mean we need to rein ourselves back in again. It’s a good time for some reflection. I ask myself, where can I use improvement in my life? What do I want to accomplish?
For many of us, myself included, a New Year’s resolution is made with the very best intention, but often, by mid-January we find ourselves struggling. It’s too easy to fall back into our old routines.
This year, “Learn Spanish” will be one of my New Year’s resolutions. It will be the third time I have made this commitment to myself and even though my Spanish vocabulary is growing, I am still unable to engage my Hispanic neighbor in a basic conversation.
I see the value of making New Year’s resolutions, because I want to strive to be a better person tomorrow than I was today. And, with that in mind, God gives me an opportunity each day for a do-over. I don’t have to beat myself up for 355 days as to how I’ve failed at my New Year’s resolutions. Each sunrise is a perfect reminder of God’s promise for a fresh start. Each day I can choose to get back on track; to forgive myself for screwing up yesterday and resolve to do it better today.
I’ve never really been a morning person. When I had a long commute to work, I would sometimes see the sun rising over the rolling hills of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts, but I was usually too hurried to fully appreciate its significance. Now that my commute is only from the living room to my outdoor office, I find I enjoy getting up early to see the splendor of the sunrise and appreciate the solitude (and my coffee) while I watch God in action. Each sunrise shows me that He gives us endless chances to fall down and get back up. Each one reminds me He is always there and waiting.
So when April comes and I realize I haven’t practiced Spanish for several weeks, instead of giving up completely, I’ll pick up my Kindle tablet again and my next lesson will be waiting for me there. Even if I need to make “Learn Spanish” a resolution for the next 10 years, hopefully I will get to the point of being able to have my neighbor over for dinner and carry on a conversation in her native language.