Making New Year’s Resolutions

Finding stillness...being comfortable with silence...

As a New Year is upon us I have been thinking a great deal about the tradition of making resolutions. At first I was being a bit of a scrooge about it and was decidedly not going to make any resolutions. However the more I thought about it (I have been running a lot lately so have had a lot of time to think 😉 ) I figured this seemed like a natural opportunity to reflect on the past year and approach the New Year with intention. So I came up with a few basic goals/resolution/intentions for 2013…but ultimately they all felt somewhat generic. The list included things such as read more books, budget better for groceries, engage in more creative projects, be more organized with homeschooling, etc. While all of those are important to me, they are on-going efforts…things I already strive for. I wanted to approach this New Year with a unique purpose…I wanted something refreshing and novel in order to stay motivated about it. Then in a rather sudden and unexpected way the resolution came to me on January 2.

I had just completed a long race the day prior where I met people from all over the world (it was a really fantastic way to celebrate the New Year)! One of the women I met was there with her family which included 3 young boys. Of course having 3 boys of my own I felt an instant connection to her. We chatted some however she was a bit reserved in her demeanor; although not in an aloof type of way. She had a gentle kindness about her and I found myself really drawn to her. I assumed her introversion was because she was immersed in her goal of running 200 miles. We encouraged each other throughout the race and congratulated each other after the race ended.

The odd thing about an event like this one, is how intimately connected you become with the other runners. Friendships form almost instantly as you share in the experience together…even with very little verbal exchange. Such was the case with this particular woman and myself.

The day after the race I happened upon an article about her family…only to find out she had a young daughter who had died 18 months prior in an accident. Running was how she coped with the loss of her daughter…it was her therapy. My heart immediately felt heavy (and I regretted the numerous times I made comments about us both having 3 boys). As I read on it turns out she is a rather accomplished runner and has completed some grueling races (ie- Badwater) as a top 10 finisher. Yet, her presence at this race was completely humble…in fact she made no acknowledgement of her previous race experiences. Nor that she was running the race for a bigger puporse than personal satisfaction. She was raising money for a non-profit organization focused on youth. But perhaps I didn’t give her the opportunity to share these things? Maybe I directed the conversation by asking specific, close-ended questions. Or maybe I just jumped in with talking about my own running experience and goals?

In that moment I realized what I want to focus on this next year…the fact that everybody has a unique story to share. And I crave hearing those stories because there is great wisdom in them (even when they include the inevitable grief of humanity). However I must TALK LESS and LISTEN MORE in order to access this wisdom, including that of my children. So there it is…my intention for 2013 is to talk less and listen more. Simple as that.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions? Would love to hear yours!


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