The True New Year’s Day

I’m a high school theology teacher, and as you might imagine, I have a love / hate relationship with this time of year. On one side of things, I am so very happy to see all of my students, of whom I very much love. I have been looking forward to their stories, their youthful energy, their endless curiosity, and most of all, their authenticity. I know, you don’t usually think of high school students as being authentic, but there is no other group of people I work with that will look at you dead in the eyes and tell you when they think you are being less than genuine. They might not know who they are yet, but they sure challenge you to be YOU.

At the same time though, as my summer draws to a close, I feel like I did not really get my work done, I’m caught unprepared. I had so many projects I wanted to complete, and I just didn’t have time to finish them. The fence I needed to build never got built, the closet in my daughter’s room that needed to be rearranged didn’t get done, and this website was to be redesigned, and looks the same as ever. I won’t share with you my whole list, as that would be the rest of this article, but suffice to say, I am super frustrated to have so few “to-dos” crossed off this summer.

You may think I could just handle this stuff on weekends, but as a deacon, I don’t really have weekends. I have just as many things to do on any given weekend as I do during my work week. There really isn’t much of a difference between the two for me, so the opportunity is really lost until next year. Sure, I can find hours to do this or that, but they are usually late night hours, and my neighbors might be upset if I started building fences at 11:00pm!

So this time of year is a drag. Maybe next year I won’t make myself such a big list, and then I’ll feel better about it.

Having said that, I always feel like this is the real “New Year’s Day”, the other one is just a brief blip on the calendar. This is the time of year for me when everything starts anew. The daughters are off to school, I’m back in the normal swing of things, everything begins the same as always, but just that bit of different that makes life fun. As such, I usually write my “New Year’s Resolutions” about this time of year, and it’s the only time I have ever really been successful.

So my plan for this year is not actually super complicated. Sure, I want to be healthier, and yes, I always seem to need to get my finances in order, but this year I plan on bringing back all my good habits I’ve lost.

That’s right, there are plenty of things that are good that I used to do, that I don’t seem to do anymore, especially in my prayer life. I know I can do them, because I have done them, but often times in the madness of just living, I let these good habits drop. My plan it to get them back. Not to change everything I do and try to become the perfect person, just to be the best person I have already been.

I think this is where these reset points in our life go bad. We try to imagine the “perfect us”, and recreate ourselves, when we really have been pretty good before, and just need to get back on track.

So that’s my resolution. To get back on track. Not easy, but doable.

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