Friday, 1 January 2016

First Day

As I write this, it is the first day of a brand new year.

And it’s about the 5th time I’ve tried to get this blog to say what I want to say without sounding preachy.

I’ve always enjoyed New Year’s Day, enjoyed the idea of turning to the next page in the book of life and finding a fresh clean sheet, with so many possibilities to fill it. A fresh clean New Year should be an upbeat and hopeful subject for a blog.

But this year, that hopeful thought has been given a whack on the upside of the head. As I was pondering the by-line of my blog, “words and images for the first day of the rest of your life,”  a thought hit me like a baseball lobbed from left field:
  What if this day is the only day you’ll have to live the rest of your life?
The thought knocked the breath out of me. It put a damper on hopeful, inspiring, upbeat, all the things this blog should be.. 

Where do these thoughts come from, anyway? Do they float around in the air, waiting for someone to bump into them? Or are they sent out on a mission: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write about this topic in such a way that people will not be crying in their beer after they've read it. PS: No sermons.” We all know that there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. But really, am I supposed to write about that?

Oh. Okay. Here we go again: this is Attempt Number Five.

This is the first day of the rest of your life ...  but what if this day is the only day you  have to live the rest of your life?

That would definitely change my perspective on issues, all right. The argument about some trifling piddling thing which I don’t even remember anymore, which I had with the resident sweetie before I left the house?  Well, I’d be a little less anxious to prove that I was right. I would consciously be more grateful for the wonderful people that bless my life (including him, big time), and I’d tell them so.

I’d quit worrying about whether I measured up in my housekeeping, bodily appearance,  cooking – all the things we sometimes base our identity on. I would not let other people’s opinions  shape my self-image, and I would rest at peace in my relationship with my Creator who has given me worth and value.

I would spend time outside in nature, in awe of the vastness and beauty of the world we live in, and sense my connections to all living things.

I would take some time to sing. Singing is a physical, spiritual and emotional workout that adds joy to our life and wakens our spirits.

I would work, in which ever way I could,  at making this world a better place, which is really why we are here. To show love, to give practical help, to speak up about injustice, to create beauty ... you and I all have our mission and are given gifts to bless others and our world.

Once I started on this list, I knew there were more things I could add – common, ordinary, good things that make our days a joy. And I realize the question is not so macabre after all: these commitments are all the ways I hope to live my life this year. This day really is the first day of the rest of my life, however long it may be.

And how about you? What will you do with the first day of the rest of your life?

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