The blank pages of our 2013 stories have a pen poised above, them, waiting to be filled. What will your story this year be like: An epic adventure, a high suspense drama, a romance, or a comedy? Maybe your story will be much the same as it has been for other recent years. This could be a good thing, or the plot line could need some tweaking if the same flaws, problems and challenges keep reoccurring with no change of the outcome.
a close look
I spent some time the past few days reflecting on my own 2012 story. There were some things I was very happy with and were cause for celebration. There were other elements of my story that I most definitely wasn’t happy with. These mistakes and missteps were prime candidates for being left on the editing room floor if I had the power to erase them.
As I continued to examine those moments and situations that were cringe-worthy, I realized some things were beyond my control. I couldn’t have changed the outcome or presence in my 2012 story no matter what I did. I decided that it was best that I accept the presence of those elements and not dwell on them.
There are parts of all of our stories that our actions directly affect the outcome. These elements of our 2012 stories cannot be changed. We cannot undo the mistakes we have made or the hurt that we may caused others this year, but we can learn from our mistakes, make amends, and initiate an honest effort to change our 2013 stories.
Similarly, we can’t change the hurt or pain that others may have injected into our stories, but we are the authors of our reactions to others, both in our interior and exterior. We can chose to live without our past or others defining us. I never want a chapter of my book to be entitled “mucking around and getting dirty with the past.” I once knew a person who still dwelled on deeds against them twenty years ago like it was yesterday. Yes, some of them were tragic for sure, but, sadly, most every chapter of this person’s book had a title that related how bad people and life had been to her.
As of late I have been reminded too frequently that life is much too short, and can be over in the blink of an eye. Do we want to spend needless energy harboring ill will in our hearts or on others’ decisions that we have no control over?
To fill our 2013 stories with words of beauty, we must examine the person who is closer than our breath or our beating hearts – ourselves. When the ways and pretenses of the world and the layers that we hide behind are finally stripped away – what we are left with is just us. It is this solitary person that is in need of daily improvement, not only for our sake, but the sake of others, and the sake of humankind.
This year I am choosing to love more, be angry less, have epic adventures, be fully present to the people I encounter every day, and to be more forgiving of myself and others.
Let 2013 be a year you choose to celebrate life. We are all a work in progress, being slowly woven thread by thread into a beautiful work of art.
Lee Anne Grace is an elementary music teacher for Tupelo Public Schools. After reaching a weight of almost 300 pounds and failing at numerous diets for over 25 years, she has been successful at losing weight and maintaining her weight loss for three years. She is the mother of two teenage daughters and enjoys running in her spare time.