Monday, January 16, 2012

Very late New Year post

I was walking during my lunch yesterday and listening to my favorite podcast, This American Life. The theme was "Neighborhood Watch." One of the first stories was of a lovely woman in New Jersey who has an adult son with autism. Though she was only 65 and in great shape, she was worried about what would happen to her son after she passed.

So she developed a plan: She moved him into his own house to increase his independence, then began canvassing her small town, from the police department to the senior center, for people who would volunteer to be her son's friend.

She got no response.

The reporters from This American Life followed her as she went from place to place, handing out fliers and explaining what she was hoping for: someone to check in on her son from time to time, make sure he was doing ok, and call for help if he wasn't.

As she worked her way through the town for hours, you could hear her panic growing as she got little or no response, again and again. I kept getting verklempt, wishing I was there. My heart called, I'll be his friend!

But I kept asking myself, if she had approached me--would I really be willing to help?

The podcast had opened with this question: Are you the kind of person who would stop and help someone in need? And if you said yes: Are you really, or is that just who you want to be?

I've seen a lot of posts lately with goals for the year. I know I'm late on the trend. But each hopeful post has inspired me to think about what I want this year to be.

I'm not one for resolutions or goals, really. When you make them, they're supposed to be measurable, things you can say, oh, yeah, I lost my 15 pounds or I saved my $1500 or whatever. And I suppose I have a few of those. But my real goal is not quite so black and white.

This year, I hope to choose every day to be the person I want to be instead of the person I am. 


I hope...

if I'm presented the opportunity to help someone, I will, even if it's inconvenient or downright difficult.

in fact, I hope I will seek out opportunities to help others. I have a pretty sweet deal in life, folks. I need to remember that.

I will speak up for the little guy whenever he needs support.

I will make sure everyone I love knows I love them, through my words and my actions, because love is what life is for.

when I have an empty night ahead of me, I will at least occasionally, maybe even regularly, open up a new document and write instead of staring at the TV or Netflix.

I will  find an affordable sewing machine, learn to sew on that sewing machine, write, read, and do all the other things I always wish I'd do. {Starting with learning to juggle!}

I will know when it's been Just Too Much and I really do need a night of Netflix. Or a nap.

I will sincerely thank people and notice acts of kindness. Including thank-you waves in traffic.

I will clean out my closet and donate. Less is more.

I will exercise regularly and eat right, because part of being the me I want to be is being healthy and fit.

I will occasionally indulge, and I will be ok with that.

I will be open to adventure.

I will make memories worth remembering.

I will be present for every moment. I don't want to look back at this year and discover that the best times are fuzzy around the edges. Life is beautiful.  People are incredible. Even when something great is on the horizon, I will focus on right now, because I don't want to miss a single moment any more.

Maybe this is ambitious. I don't know. But goals are supposed to be.

Here's to a new year and a better me, friends. Wish me luck! 

3 comments:

Sarah said...

Good list, Abbey!

Margaret Hart said...

OK, so, how'd the Jersey lady end up? Alone? Also, love the following: I got the Learn to Juggle book for you and Em-complete with square juggling thingies. Anna just found two of them, dunno where the third is (in your Mr. Cart?), 2. love the "thank you waves," and 3. love less is more. I think people are like crows--collecting shiney things. We have too much stuff!

Margaret Hart said...

Oh, and good luck :)

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