During 2012 I lived by one overarching goal: I will live out of my best hopes rather than out of my worst fears. I’d say that I lived by this goal fairly consistently, for I went out on many limbs: I applied for my dream summer job; applied for my dream student leadership position; registered for, trained for, and ran a half-marathon; applied to six graduate programs; and interacted with and loved people who I usually wouldn’t come in contact with. I also practiced a lot of living silence. By that I mean that I listened to many dear people’s stories and began to care deeply for them.
And I became more wholly Laurin by practicing my innate, strong inclination to just be, to rest and to be drawn into life through verbal silence paired with the loudness of my five senses. I was often quiet as I allowed astonishment of truth and beauty to overwhelm me almost every day. I marveled at the fine details of three pine needles, watched twenty turtles beneath a skylight and threw a penny on one’s back, wondered what it would be like to be a camel in the zoo, and lived mindblown and awestruck by the way various people have used words to craft utter beauty (people like Jack Gilbert, Pablo Neruda, and Donald Hall).
2012 was valuable. It was much more than an accomplishment of goals and hopes; life became more full as I became more wholly me, more in touch with and appreciative of and comfortable with my Laurin-ness.
By the end of the year, though, I had found that my 2012 goal is sometimes too broad to be good for me. While it is freeing, uplifting, and positive in a million ways, I wonder if sometimes this goal could be more beneficial by being narrowed down. So, I have narrowed it in order to create my overarching goal for 2013: Go where God goes. For as I learned during this past Advent season, where God is, there is peace, love, fullness of joy, grace, salvation, mercy. God is much more trustworthy than my broad definition of “my best hopes” – though “my best hopes” are certainly legitimate.
I am incorporating several other goals into 2013 as well:
- Incorporate running, weightlifting, and Pilates into my weekly exercise routine. Especially running a few times a week! (I’ve slacked off of running big-time since the half-marathon in November, and I miss it.)
- Begin to volunteer again at Inner City Outreach or some other States-side social justice initiative at least once a month.
- Really consider the Holy Spirit throughout the year by working through concepts of who he is and what he does.
Some exciting things that WILL be happening in 2013 no matter what:
- I will graduate from college!
- I will decide to attend graduate school, move to Thailand, or do something else with my newly graduated self.
Things are looking up, friends. I wish you much merriment and fullness of joy as you live life and get used to writing “January” and “2013” (though let’s be honest – you probably won’t get used to that until the third week of the month!).
PS. Several links I just can’t keep from sharing due to how great, great, great they are:
- Rachel Held Evans’ “Sunday Superlatives – The Best of 2012”
- Effervesce’s “From Story to Song”
- Preston’s “The Old Sadness”