Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Binding and Loosing

I made a fairly strange New Year's resolution this year.  I committed to binding those things and people that needed to be bound to me and loosing those ties that needed to be loosened.  I got the idea in the final days of 2012 when I heard again the text from Matthew regarding loosing and binding.

"and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."  Matthew 16:19

I am, to put it in an odd way, a "hanger-oner."  I have a hard time letting go of people, ideas and places.  It's been part of my make-up since I was a little girl.  Even after I've seen that it's time to move on, let go, do something different, I still struggle with doing so.  By way of example, I knew years before I ever married my first husband that this was not who I needed to be with.  I knew in ways that I didn't or couldn't express that we were not meeting one another's needs.  And yet, I hung on tight for over a decade after that realization.  I've had friendships that if I examined them closely, I would've seen clearly needed to be let go of.  Still, I struggle with being able to walk away.  It's part of who I am.

The problem is...when I hang on to people, things or ideas that I shouldn't be hanging onto...I am not attending to that which needs to be bound up.  Those peoples, places and ideas that serve to make me a more loving and just human being.  Those are the things that I need to be binding on earth.

So...this year my New Year's resolution has already been one I've had to think about and act upon.  I've had to let go of two different friendships.  Quite honestly, I didn't want to let go.  I wanted to see if I could somehow figure a way through or out.  But, ultimately I reached a point when I realized (in the past few days) that the friendships aren't healthy.  Not for me.  Not for the other two people.  So, at last, I've decided to loose those ties.  And already I have seen how this has allowed me to refocus my time and energies on those things which I want to bind.

The relationships that are the most integral for me are my husband and my children.  They are what need and deserve my attention.  My husband is an amazing man.  And he has sat by while I have struggled to loose that which needed loosed.  He has listened, held my hand and loved me through it.  I couldn't ask for more from anyone in my life than what he has offered.  And I know that regardless of whether I made the choice to loosen willingly or not, he would be there, willing to hold my hand and love me through the process. 

Binding and Loosing in 2013.

New Year - The Bird's Nest

I've discovered something I love.  New Year's.  I love to formulate ideas and think about all I want to accomplish.  I will admit up front, execution is not my strong suit.  I recently thought of an analogy that reminds me of these two things.

A year or so ago, a bird built a nest in my hanging basket plant.  I didn't realize the nest was there at first, but one day, when I took the plant down to water it adequately, I noticed the nest, and I noticed 5 small eggs in the nest.  One egg looked a little strange, but the other 4 were the ordinary blue robin eggs one sees all the time in the Midwest.  Over time, I watched the eggs, and I talked with my kids about the eggs and how they may hatch soon, but we shouldn't disturb the next or touch the eggs for fear the mother bird might abandon them.

Soon the eggs hatched...or actually in reality 4 of the eggs hatched.  The strange looking egg never hatched.  Of the four babies, one died quickly.  Another fell out of the nest at some point.  The last two grew, and I assume flew away at some point, as they no longer returned to the nest. 

All of my ideas and thoughts are like the eggs.  Sometimes the idea never makes it past simply rolling around in my brain, never hatching at all.  Some of my dreams or hopes make it to hatching and the sharing with another person, but because of time, money or practicality, the idea never makes it out of the nest.  A few of those ideas though, they make it.  They take wings and eventually a life of their own. 

New Year's is a time to develop eggs for the year.  This year I decided to write them down as a way of solidifying what I want to see happen in the next year (and beyond). 

I ended up with 5 major (and somewhat lofty) goals.

1.  Take control of what I can control about my health.

For me this means eliminating candy and fast food from my diet.  It means eliminating artificial sweeteners and taking vitamins again.  It means exercising 4-5 days per week.  It means trying to learn to like vegetables (one a month is what I wrote down).  It means accepting my body today, but realizing that I have to make the changes I know are necessary to live a long, healthy life. 

2. Write.

For me this means getting back to blogging, but also getting started on the 2 books I've been wanting to write for sometime now.  In an effort to make my goal more attainable, I have decided to set aside 2 hours each week (at a minimum) to write.

3.  Build money in retirement.

I'm not getting any younger.  Someday I won't be able to do what I do for a living.  I want to feel like I'm doing something to prepare for that day.

4.  Work on the nonprofit I started in 2013. 

This means setting aside two hours per week to work on the direction and administration of this Board.

5.  Set aside quality time each week for my husband.

The primary relationship in my life deserves more intentional time than I always give it.  I want to nurture this relationship and be sure that we stay connected.  Thankfully I have an amazing partner who wants to spend his time with me.  I need to take advantage of this.

So, that's it.  My set of resolutions for this year.  I'm hopeful as I always am at this time of year.  2014 will be a good year.