Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. –Margaret J. Wheatley
My “resolution” for 2016 is to hit the recharge button with purpose. And in the pressing of the button, there are a handful of things I wanted to focus on. One in particular, is to celebrate. Literally everything. However, I’m finding it rather interesting in how I’m celebrating. I had this structured picture in my head that I was going to celebrate things literally as they were happening, living in the moment, taking mental pictures of the scene for future remembrance, pausing to look at the entire thing with an open heart while taking a deep breath and really “feeling it”. But, in traditional resolution fashion, that is not the case. Hence, the decision to reshape my resolutions to begin with (funny how standards are hard to break, huh).
My celebrating this past week has been happening more in reflection. That reflection happens when I’m not in production mode. When I’m not the one doing. When I’m not the one creating. When I’m not the deciding. When I’m not the one participating. It happens when others are doing all of these things: producing, doing, creating, deciding, participating. When I can observe, take a back seat. I watch. I reflect. It only can happen when I’m not “in it”. The mind is too busy when you’re “in it”. And celebration this week has had nothing to do with me directly. It had to do with watching my students discover things about culture that I could never teach them. They had to do it on their own, with minimal structure, my reassurance that they could, and my eyes watching as they grew in their knowledge and I took a back seat, observing. It had to do with my husband driving us to church Saturday night. Taking the lead and planning where to get coffee on the way, holding the door and letting me enter before him (before him), encouraging me to offer my gloves to the man sitting in the cold and watching as I did. It had to do with others. Nothing to do with me. Those things, those moments, those acts, included me, but were not just me. People that I pour myself into, gave celebration back to me. Unknowingly. I was able to be a part of things that were about others. That is where the celebration comes from. It came from my relationships this week, no matter the duration, 5 seconds or 5 years. Those relationships allowing me to take time as I sit here typing, reflecting, and enjoying, and celebrating those moments that if not documented, would probably have been the tiniest part of my entering 2016 with purpose.
This, my friends, is what I really wanted out of that “celebration resolution”. If I had a cake, candles, balloons, champagne, I would celebrate my relationships this past week. But, even better, I have my reflection. My remembering of these awesome things. My involvement, no matter how minuscule, of really being there. Really feeling it. Even if it took me a few days to reflect and celebrate those blessings. How blessed 2016 already has become. How smart a decision to hit the recharge button with purpose.
Reflect. Celebrate. You won’t be disappointed.
**A rather discolored picture of the drive to church Saturday at a stoplight. And a resolution in motion: taking more pictures. And that picture relives part of that celebration just mentioned.