Ralph Waldo Emerson
My Star Word for this year was “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.”
Here are my intentions for 2019.
- Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 6.5 lbs this year. Since my colonoscopy, on the recommendation of my gastroenterologist, I am trying to eat a minimum of 25 grams of fiber every day. Since fiber is usually paired with carbs, I’m not losing as quickly as I probably might, but I’m eating real food, not fast food.
- I did well over Christmas. I went a little crazy over some of the cookie and candy exchanges, but all in all, I lost the Thanksgiving weight, and a little more.
- Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit. – done. This week I’ve dropped my step count target back to 10,000 steps a day. The guilt wasn’t worth the extra steps.
- My personal trainer has scheduled me for 3 days a week and I’ve been trying to walk a little bit, even if it’s only around the grocery store, every morning. Walking outside is not fun, now that we’ve entered “the Big Dark” of cloudy skies and/or fog almost every day.
- I AM trying to remember “empathy” in my interactions with people I meet.
- I have continued posting Five Things that Made Me Happy Today every day here on this blog. I don’t do it for other people – I do it for myself – to remind me how much I have to be thankful for.
- Expand my leisure reading from fluff mysteries to more substantial novels. – Books read this year.
- The Library Book by Susan Orleans – finished
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – finished
- Becoming by Michelle Obama – finished
- Womanish Midrash by Wil Gafney – finished
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – finished
- The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor – finished
- Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine – finished
- Silent Night by Danielle Steele – finished
- Autumn by Ali Smith – finished
- Winter by Ali Smith – finished
- A Good Year by Peter Mayle – finished
- Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley – finished
- The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman – finished
- Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel – finished
- Cleaning the Gold by Karen Slaughter and Lee Child – finished
- Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley – finished
- Everything is F*cked – a Book about Hope by Mark Manson – finished
- The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – finished
- The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – finished
- There, There by Tommy Orange – finished
- Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – finished
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – finished
- Calico Joe by John Grisham – finished
- The Nickle Boys by Colson Whitehead -finished
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – finished
- Kindred by Octavia E Butler – finished
- The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck – finished
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – finished
- No Winter Lasts Forever by Fran Tilton Sheldon – finished
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – finished
- Blue Moon by Lee Child – finished
- A Redbird Christmas by Fanny Flagg – finished
- Mood Signs by Helen Haught Fanick – finished
- Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman – finished
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – reading
- Continue to read the Washington Post and the New York Times for reasonably non-biased reporting. – I scan the headlines and read articles that interest me.
- I subscribe to Medium, and read articles of current interest.
- Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve. – Check
- Creative Writing will resume early next year.
- Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship.
- I have encouraged Bethany to become an Earth Care Congregation, and I’ll be writing articles for the newsletter and doing Minutes for Mission regularly to help fulfill our requirements for that designation.
- Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation. I’ve subscribed to several email “prompts” that arrive in my inbox every morning. The Upper Room has a couple of short reflections and/or devotionals every morning, and A Network for Gratefulness (the tag at the top of this post is from these folks) also gives me something to think about as I go about my day.
- I’ve missed the last couple of meetings with my Interfaith Group. I’ll try to get back to it next year.
- I post Morning and Evening Prayer on Facebook in Casa – An Experiment in Doing Church On-line on the 23rd of every month.
- Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones. – I still regularly attend the Gazebo Group (the folks who meet on Monday evenings for Happy Hour.)
- Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
- Tend the relationships I have on Social Media. I’m making an effort to avoid posting or reposting political articles. I’ve removed Facebook from my “always open” on my desktop, and moved it out of my homepage on my phone and my iPad. Next year I will continue that.
- It’s nice to have my younger son and his family in the same time zone. Unfortunately they are on the other side of the mountains, so travel there is not easy once the snow starts.
- Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.
- Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually. We are scheduled for a face-to-face in March.
- Support #BlackLiveMatter, #Me,Too, #ThePoorPeople’sCampaign, #ClimateAction, and other social justice movements. – I donate regularly to MoveOn, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I attend rallies and marches if I’m available.