Yesterday was New Year’s Eve. I had planned to sit down and reflect on the year that was and the year that is to come. Instead I spent the day on the couch shielding my eyes from light and trying to block out the noise of my rambunctious children while I nursed myself back to health from an annoying virus.
I thought about the day. It had been awful…not just because I felt miserable but because I let my misery drive my actions. I had barked at my kids, shooed them away, and tried my best to ignore them.
Some days are like that. There are good days and bad days and days in between. There are days we reflect on as we lay in bed at night and wish we had done everything differently; there are days we look back upon with joy and gratitude; there are days that thankfully end when our heads hit the pillows; there are days that drag into the next. There are wasted days and thoughtfully spent days. Joyful days and sorrowful days.
Years can be that way, too.
Some years are amazing; some are rough. Some start out rough and end beautifully. Some years we claim to be our best ever while other years passed by uneventfully marked, but no less lived.
But the beauty is that just as each new day offers a new beginning, so does a new year. The new year brings us each a gift…a book with our name on the cover, followed by 365 pages. 365 blank pages just waiting to be filled by the way we choose to live. 365 opportunities. 365 pages just waiting to be written.
Some days, some years, they just seem less intentional. Begun without a clear direction of where we’re headed.
I’ve never been a huge fan of resolutions but I do love the idea of living with intention.
The root word of resolution is resolve, which, by definition, means to decide firmly on a course of action. On the other hand, intend, by definition, means to design something for a particular purpose.
I delight in that thought…to design something for a particular purpose. It sounds poetic and lofty without the weight of a firm decision. My mindset morphs from something to struggle beneath to something to strive for just by changing a word.
When we choose to live with intention, we open up a whole new world to ourselves. No longer do we get to the end of our days wondering where those 24 hours went or look back at the month and rack our brains wondering what we did this month. When we live with intention, we live in this moment, with purpose. And living with intention, at its simplest, is being an active participant in our own lives.
It’s about this moment right now and how this moment will set the path for our future days. While the past tends to influence us, it doesn’t dictate a path for us, so don’t waste time wallowing. We are only promised this moment right now and when we live it with intention, that intention helps us stay the path that we so desperately want our lives to follow. Living intentionally isn’t the same as carpe diem. Carpe diem is a Latin phrase meaning seize the day, but the meaning is meant to apply to the present only; to not be concerned about the future, whereas living with intention is living with a purpose. Living with a purpose implies that it isn’t just about the here and now, but it’s about purpose for all things yet to come. All 365 days yet unlived.
It’s January 1st. I’ve managed to do the dishes, wash the clothes and take a nap. I still feel miserable. This certainly isn’t how I wanted to write the first day of 2019, but there’s still something intentional about using this time wisely, both to heal and to think. I don’t want 2019 to be the year remembered for the shows I watched or the Facebook feed I scrolled through. I don’t want to wake up this time next year and wonder where my 365 opportunities disappeared to. I want this year to be remembered for the intentional moments. The moments I lived with purpose. What are your intentions for 2019?