When I was younger, on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day I would think about all the things I wanted to accomplish in the new year. It was an exciting time and I could hardly wait to see what the new year brought my way. I always had such great hopes for the new year – this new year would be better than the last one. I believed (or tried to believe) that life would change for the better and perhaps this year my “ship would come in.” (Whatever I wished that ship to be at the time).
My life was involved in bringing in my paycheck, paying the bills, raising my teenage children as a single parent, keeping our heads above water, and being the best employee and the best parent I possibly could be. I lived my life day to day and my hopes, wishes and dreams had to take a back seat to the realities of my life. I sincerely don't regret that however, because parenting children is one of the best and most rewarding accomplishments there is (in my opinion).
As I look back now on those “hopes and dreams” of my life that never materialized, I realize that they were only “dust in the wind” and never things that would have given me lasting happiness. I would have always wanted more.
Reflecting back in my life I realize that my everyday life was formed from a series of choices and priorities rather than hopes and dreams. I made choices that I am ashamed to admit and choices that I am proud to have made. My life has been a series of choices which have formed who I am today. Every single one of my choices have been lessons for me and contributed to the wisdom which I have today.
Reflection is important to me and even more so than when I was younger because I realize there are so much more to reflect about than I ever realized when I was younger. And I also realize now there is a difference between shallow goals and deep reflection.
Deep reflection for me puts those things which are truly important into my focus, rather than making more money and having more things.
Being a little wiser now I realize that I am grateful for what I do have and how wonderful it is to not be in that endless line of wanting more. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and hope I don't have to ever relearn them. I am thankful for what God has blessed me with in my life and particularly for His Forgiveness and Grace. I realize how important it is for me to touch other's lives for the better in ways which God wants that to be.
I realize that I am not immortal and one day I will have to leave this earth. I realize that before that day happens, I want to have left the better part of me behind — for my children, for my children's children, and for humanity and none of these things are found in the department of “more”.