As the darkest day of the year approaches, I find myself looking forward to a new year filled with light and love. It’s so exciting to face a blank slate of 365 days. 365 new chances. 365 blank pages for me to intentionally live and write. But I do wonder, how will I choose to live this next year?
I look back at the year that is coming to a close and I think about how I lived the past 365 days. I wonder if I used this year wisely. Did I make the most of each day? Was I helpful? Was I kind? Did I make a difference? Did I live the year with intention?
Because let’s face it…some days, some years, well they can just seem less intentional than others. Begun without a clear direction of where we’re headed. And when we head into the unknown without a thought of intention, we typically find ourselves lost somewhere down the road. For better or worse.
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 we 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.
For us, 2019 was a year of intention. It was 365 days of living with purpose.
365 days full of so many extra-ordinary moments. Birthdays celebrated. Teeth lost. Recitals sung, played and danced. Stories shared. Moments lived.
Joseph joined Katie in the world of dance. Dancing truly brings joy to their hearts and I delight in watching them share the experience together. Joseph spent a lot of time writing and drawing and dreaming of the day he will become President. William spent his days swinging his tennis racket and soaking up all the time he could get on the court, stopping only occasionally to create something delicious in the kitchen. Andrew spent the year still happily marching to the beat of his own drum, some days creating beauty out of clay, other days dreaming up a world of dragons inside his mind. Katie spent the year conquering her world one determined step at a time, mastering rollerblading, taking off in reading and delighting in finally being able to sing “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth” and actually meaning it.
The children and I continued to bask in our educational journey, relishing each book we read, joyfully greeting each bit of nature we met and basking in the various art forms that fed our souls. We spent many hours soaking up the richness and serenity of the Gulf and many more hours walking trails, discovering flora and fauna we had not yet met (this year we managed to encounter two rattlesnakes along our journeys). Dax continued to make this amazing life of ours possible through his dedication and hard work with Daxsells, his realty and management company. On my own journey, I finished my herbal studies through Sage Mountain Herbal Center, started a small herbal consulting business and enrolled myself in the East West School of Planetary Herbology.
In February, we camped beneath the stars where the Hill Country meets West Texas and marveled at the beauty that Texas holds. In March, we joined my parents in the woods (and again in October and again for Thanksgiving)…us in a tent, Mom and Dad in their 5th wheel. In June, Dax and I traveled, sans kids, to Fredericksburg and basked in the glory of being alone together and remembering why we fell in love so many years ago. In September, we traveled, with kids, to California to stand in awe at the base of the Redwoods, climb a volcano and peek into the tidepools of the Pacific Ocean. All of those journeys gave us a moment to press the reset button. To remember that this life is precious.
Soon it will be January 1st. I don’t want 2020 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. So here’s my wish for you…may you set aside the New Year’s resolutions, may you look around you and delight in the present and may you choose to live these next 365 days with intention.
Blessings to you and yours from all of us,
Daxson, Stacie, Joey (12), William (10), Andrew (8) and Katie (6)