I am sitting on my deck enjoying spectacular weather. It has inspired me to make a list of how I wish to live my life. It’s my pledge to myself. I haven’t mastered everything here. In fact I’m failing miserably in some areas. This is definitely a work in progress but at least I’m trying.
I will travel
Traveling is expensive but worth every penny. Every time I go somewhere new, I am reminded of how very big and diverse this world is, how different we all are, and how blessed I am. I appreciate life in new ways when I travel and it changes me as a person, sometimes in profound ways. I take my children with me on most trips because I want to raise them to be intellectually curious with a big view of the world. This is what makes life interesting and what makes people, in my opinion, interesting, too.
I will not be in a stagnant relationship
When one is married, I believe that it’s important to do everything possible to make it work. That said, sometimes it’s time to pull the plug. I pray for the wisdom in knowing when a relationship can’t (and shouldn’t) be saved and the strength to walk away when it gets to that point.
I will not be defined by my previous marriage or divorce
I will not allow my failed marriage to define or negatively impact future relationships. Clearly that relationship brought out the worst in me. I believe that Lizzy disappeared the day I ended my marriage but if she ever reappears, I’ll bitch-slap her into submission.
I will challenge my comfort zone
I am most proud of accomplishing things that were outside of my comfort zone. I vow to continue trying things that are slightly scary to me. I never want to become so comfortable in my life that I become stagnant and boring. Life is far more fun, joyful and surprising when I veer into the unknown.
I will take care of me
I will make my physical and emotional health a top priority. Because how can I help anyone else if I’m a mess?
I will not sell my soul to the company
While most of us must work to put food on the table, I won’t allow an employer to be my top priority. I can’t imagine that anyone on their deathbed wished that they had spent more time at the office. No one is irreplaceable—not even the President of the United States. I will never convince myself that I’m so important at work that the world will fall off its axel if I don’t jump every time someone asks me to. No, my soul is not for sale. The important things in life get first dibs on my time and energy.
I will keep learning
I will continue reading, listening and watching in order to expand my mind and perspective. Whether it’s learning to cook something new or reading a biography on Alexander the Great or trying to figure out why people behave the way they do, it’s all fascinating.
I will say “I love you” and “I’m sorry” often
Those two short phrases are so difficult to say. But I refuse to live in fear so I will say them often, even when it’s uncomfortable. No fear; no regrets.
I will savor time with my mom and dad
I’m so lucky that I still have my parents and we live close to each other. They have so much wisdom to share and are incredibly loyal and selfless. I learn a lot from them. I spend a lot of time with them and I will continue doing so. These are precious moments that can never be replaced.
I will not care what people think of me (too much)
I have spent too much of my life caring what others thought about me. It was exhausting keeping up with that image. No more. Today, I live life for me, making decisions that I think are best, and making no apologies for it. Living my life authentically and in truth is liberating.
I will forgive more and love without reservation
No one is perfect, least of all me. Forgiveness is powerful; love is amazing. I will do my utmost in loving people for who they are and not who I want them to be.
I will smell the roses
Since getting sick, I have learned to slow down and appreciate nature in ways I never did before. I love to sit quietly and listen to the quiet sounds of life. I love silence. I love the smell of mountains and ocean. I am in awe of God’s creation and these days, I actually take time to notice it. This centers and calms me.
I will not allow my smart phone to trump the people sitting in front of me
Ok, so I am failing miserably at this one but I’m going to try harder to put my phone down and pay more attention to those around me. How many times has one of my daughters tried to talk to me while I brushed them off in favor of answering a text? Too many. It’s not good. It must stop.
I will play more
I will try to have more childlike fun with my daughters. While I take them to all kinds of fun places, I’m too quick to use that time to answer emails or write an article instead of joining them. Starting tomorrow, this will change!
I will laugh often
Instead of spending time being angry, annoyed or distracted, I will learn to dwell in joy, laughter and peace.