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.”
Here are my intentions for 2019.
- Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year. – I’ve hit a plateau and am only down 3 pounds so far this year.
- Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit. – Again, I’ve done well.
- Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance. – Check. We worked regularly until last week when she got sick – so I’ve been on my own for the last week of the month. I really miss her.
- Return to weekly Tai Chi classes. This is a non-starter.
- March was better than February, except I was out-of-town from 3/18-3/20, and Sarah was ill from 8/25-present. I was making progress, but now I fear I’ve dropped back.
- “Nevertheless I Persisted” has been discontinued. WordPress in it’s great wisdom decided to start charging me, and I figured I could keep those stats on a spreadsheet just as easily as on a blog.
- Practice empathy by taking a picture a day of someone who crosses my path. – The picture a day this has also gone the way of all good (?) ideas.
- “Tribes” is no longer active.
- I AM trying to remember “empathy” in my interactions with people I meet.
- 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 – reading all through Lent
- Silent Night by Danielle Steele – finished
- Autumn by Ali Smith – finished
- Winter by Ali Smith – 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.
- Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve. – Check
- Return to writing.
- Keep writing midrash poetry, as I’m inspired by the Sunday sermon or weekly Bible study. – I’m working on one about the Daughters of Zelaphahad.
- I’m also writing things for the Poetry class that meets twice a month. I wrote five or six “narrative” poems this month. A couple of them may be worth keeping.
- Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship. – Check. I’m a regular at the 11:00 o’clock service.
- Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation. – Keeping up with the “photo-a-day” from #RethinkChurch is forcing me to spend some time in the Bible every morning.
- I attended NEXT Church in Seattle, and reconnected with many of my PCUSA friends from around the country. I also got a “pick-up” roommate who is a sister of one of my on-line friends from Centralia, WA. It was a small world thing. She put a notice on the board asking if anyone had an extra bed, and I had one, so we hooked up for two nights. We got along fine.
- 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. – I also regularly attend Bible Study. Coffee Hour is between the services, and it was held upstairs (adjacent to the Sanctuary) this month instead of on the lower level. I’ve been going pretty regularly and will continue next month when I am Lay Reader.
- Tend the relationships I have on Social Media. – I try to keep up with people I call my friends on Facebook. It’s hard when so much of the stuff there is political.
- Keep up with People Power as an Admin. – A new group of people has become very active as admins, and I’m allowing them to take the lead. I keep up with what’s going on, though, and support if and when necessary. I’ve been more active towards the end of this month because the ACLU is starting a new initiative called “Right for All.” The kick-off was today and we sent 200,000 texts inviting people to attend the on-line initial meeting.
- Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials. – Attended a town hall in East Tacoma with all three of the District 27 legislators.
- Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually. – The first meeting is scheduled for the end of April. I have my train tickets, and plans are made.
- 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.
- I attended the second Interfaith Women’s Conference here in Tacoma. We had most faiths represented there and it was nice to meet with women who were interested in that collegiality.
- I attended a vigil at the local mosque after the horrific shooting at the mosques in New Zealand. It was well attended by elected officials and people from local Christian and Jewish congregations.