Saturday, January 1, 2011

We are so very blessed.

On this day of reflection, 1-1-11, this New Year that somehow feels more palpably new than the past few January firsts have felt, I can't help but think of our wealth of blessings.

Of course I have personal goals for the year ahead -- I resolve to finish writing the novel I started last fall. The stretch goal will be finding an agent to represent it, but you can't put the cart before the horse. I plan to eat healthier and exercise more, like everyone else, I assume.

But my most important resolution is to appreciate the blessings. I have a home. I have food to eat. I have a beautiful, healthy family and wonderful friends. I know that these are not givens, and they must not be taken for granted.

My favorite quote from The Book of Eli is when Eli (Denzel W.) says, "People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now." Oh, to recognize what you have when you have it right in front of you.

In this retrospective mood, with the curtain closing on this Christmas season, I wonder what we've lost by allowing commercialism to take over. I give gifts not because I expect anything in return, but because even though it is easier than ever to communicate with the ones we love, I struggle to express my feelings with words. When I give my dad some silly gadget, I'm really trying to say that I love him and appreciate his help and advice and everything that he does for me. I don't see my nieces and nephews very often, but with each shirt or toy or gift card, I'm really saying that I miss you and I'm proud of the person you're becoming. In the long term, wouldn't the words mean more than the things?

I hope, dear reader, that you had a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year, shared with people you love.

A Few of 2010's Favorites:
Favorite New Band Discovery: Local Natives
Favorite Concert: Muse, US Tour opening in Atlanta
Favorite Movie: Inception
Favorite New TV Show: The Walking Dead
Favorite Author I'd Never Read Before this Year: Steig Larsson

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