Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy January 2, 2009

I saw two movies yesterday and both were thought provoking. I am lingering over them -- thoughtfulness is not a bad way to begin a new year. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is an eloquently introspective character film that leaves me pondering life's experiences, decisions, and judgments. It is a three hour movie which is only right for the story told. I had seen "Out of Africa" before but watched it again last night. Change, courage, and conviction are at the core of this movie and it, too, provides the food for a new year's thoughtfulness.

Both movies also chronicle the achievements of two people and that is something many fail to do for themselves. As young mothers, a friend and I who lived hours apart would write each other lengthy letters which were composed over many days or weeks. (This was pre-computer) A common lament was that neither of us seemed to accomplish much during a day, yet after listing how we had spent our time we could see on paper just how much we had actually gotten done.

We go about our lives working, raising families, helping friends, giving to the community but fail to stop and take stock of our accomplishments. No, most will not receive national or even local recognition for actions or contributions but that doesn't diminish their impact. Rather than just making a list of resolutions, each new year we should make a list of our accomplishments for the previous year, realize that we have made a difference in someone's life, (think "It's a Wonderful Life") and strive to make a difference again in the new year.

Raymond Moody's "Life After Life" notes that survivors of near death experiences relay the message that we are not judged on what we do in life but what we don't do. While I may not have always given as fully as possible, I find in reaching my 50's that it is easier to be kind and more giving of myself and my time. I also know I will not win prizes and accolades, but I no longer need or want recognition for good deeds. Doing them is gratifying enough.

I have wandered a bit in this blog but I hope it is not too difficult to discern my sentiments. New Years Eve and Day are times of reflection for me and those reflections are the basis for any goals for the New Year. Each day, let alone each new year, is a new start and if I have any resolution it is to strive to greet each day with an optimism, good intent, and thankfulness.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Cheryle said...

I went tonight to see "Milk" with my sister. At age 40, Harvey Milk laments that he has nothing to show for his 40 years on Earth and predicts that he will not live to see 50. Unfortunately, that prediction is true, but he accomplished great things in just 8 brief years. I like your idea of reflecting on what we *have* accomplished rather than on what we've failed to do!

Happy New Year, my friend!