By Jennifer Davis Rash
Managing editor, The Alabama Baptist
OK so we are almost three weeks into 2011 and right on target to start slacking on those New Year’s resolutions — or maybe this is the year we prevail, and those resolutions are so going to be met.
Either way, I always love the start of a new year. We are forced to clean up after all the Christmas festivities, allowing for an opportunity to do some deep cleaning and reorganizing as we rearrange our household settings minus the Christmas tree and various other decorations. The lights, garland, bows and ornaments all come down and are stored away for their 11-month slumber.
Closets are cleaned out and organized, making room for all those new clothes and accessories. Cabinets and pantries are scoured and purged of those naughty sugary foods in preparation for a renewed emphasis on healthy eating.
A fresh area is arranged and a renewed commitment is made for devotions and Bible study. A cute new workout outfit is purchased because that in itself is motivation enough to get us moving — at least the first two days of our new exercise routine.
Our bodies feel rested because we’ve had more sleep in a week than we got most months before Christmas. And for a few days leading up to the new year, life in general slowed down.
Then there’s the countdown, “Auld Lang Syne” and cheers for the new day that marks the new year. We eat black-eyed peas and greens, hug our loved ones tightly and jot down a list of goals we want to achieve in the year ahead.
We are refreshed, resolved and ready. I love it — new energy, determination and reason. But I’ve not yet figured out how to make it last. Before long, the stresses of life creep back in, fatigue attacks and motivation decreases.
Sure there are moments of renewal here and there, and various points throughout the year allow for adrenaline-induced energy. But how can we keep this fresh feeling — spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally and relationally — longer? Is it possible to truly manage life in such a way that most days can be characterized this way, and do I dare say this is my New Year’s resolution for 2011?
I’m not sure where this will lead, but I do want to attempt to live a healthy life in all areas with freshness and balance. I also want you to come along with me on this journey because one thing I do know is that I can’t do it alone.
Once a month for the next 12 months in The Alabama Baptist newspaper, I will address the various areas of life that tend to be targets of New Year’s resolutions and introduce features we will publish on those topics. I will do this in my new column, Rashional Thoughts (I couldn’t resist the name). I also want to learn from you and hear what suggested topics you have (respond to this blog or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Watch out, 2011. We are going to be ready this time.