Intentions for 2019

My Star Word for this year is “Empathy”. The internet defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster says, “Empathy is similar to sympathy, but empathy usually suggests stronger, more instinctive feeling.”

When Facebook sent me my “Year in Review,” the thing that stood out for me was that 90% of the pictures I posted through the year were of landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes. There were VERY few pictures of people, and very few posts about people. I suppose that’s not unusual for an introvert like I am, but I also realized that I tend to flit through life without getting really close to other folks. It’s part of the shell that I’ve built up to keep from suffering the grief that comes from separation. After the nomadic life that I’ve lived (27 houses in eight states and three countries), I realize that I’ve always just found new friends, and forgotten to tend the old ones. But I’ve never had a BFF. The closest thing I’ve had is my family – siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles, parents and children. I try to keep up with them, but I do a poor job of it. The ones I’m reasonably close to are now living in Washington, California, Texas, Arkansas, New York, Illinois, and Alabama. We gather for weddings and funerals and are able to take up where we left off. Anyway, I’d like to change a little of that this year, and, with my Star Word, try to become closer to the people who matter to me, and closer to the ones near to me.

Here are my intentions for 2019.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year.
  • Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit.
  • Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance.
  • Return to weekly Tai Chi classes
  • You can follow my success (or not) on my blog “Nevertheless I Persisted.”

Emotional Health

  • Practice empathy by taking a picture a day of someone who crosses my path.
  • Try to learn the story of each person I take a picture of.
  • Post those on a new blog “Tribes“.

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading from fluff mysteries to more substantial novels.
  • Continue to read the Washington Post and the New York Times for reasonably non-biased reporting.
  • Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve.
  • Return to writing. Try writing a story about each person I take a picture of.
  • Keep writing midrash poetry, as I’m inspired by the Sunday sermon or weekly Bible study.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship.
  • Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation.

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
  • Tend the relationships I have on Social Media.


  • Keep up with People Power as an Admin.
  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.
  • Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually.
  • Support #BlackLiveMatter, #Me,Too, #ThePoorPeople’sCampaign, #ClimateAction, and other social justice movements.


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