Happiness, Joy, Mystery, New Year's Resolutions, OKC Thunder, Russell Westbrook, Soul Care, True Self, Writing
It’s a mystery I don’t need to understand — how the simple acts of putting 2011 to bed and waking up in 2012 — how the mere advancing of clock and calendar can create such energy. And not just for me.
I am the same person as yesterday. But I don’t feel the same. Yesterday felt dark and heavy in spite of it being a beautiful clear, blue sky sort of day. Where today — in spite of partly cloudy skies outside my window — I feel lighter in spirit than I have in a long time. My outlook has changed with the year — finally, all that fumbling around in the dark night of 2011 might be paying off. Happy new year — I’ve found the light switch. And who cares that I can’t account for the change!
Yet, don’t similar unexplainable effects occur elsewhere in life? In professional sports, for example, energy on the field is often created out of home-court advantage. Here in Oklahoma City, three days ago, an NBA point guard for the Thunder was having a lousy game in a so far, lack-luster season. But that changed in an instant, when in the midst of the fourth quarter, the hometown faithful began cheering Russell Westbrook on, chanting his name over and over — RUS-SELL — RUS-SELL — RUS-SELL.
Newspapers all across the nation reported the feel-good story written by Mike Sherman, sports editor for The Oklahoman, which concluded with these words:
“That play — that chant — didn’t win the game. Durant took care of that. But it definitely accomplished something. Westbrook was Westbrook after that. He went 3-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter, was aggressively pressuring Jason Kidd and became the force of nature the Thunder needs him to be.
His final line wasn’t anything too special: 16 points on 6 of 15 shooting, four assists and seven turnovers. But it was hard to leave the arena without feeling something had turned for Westbrook.
“I just tried to stay positive,” he said. “My teammates kept encouraging me. I know I could come in and change the game defensively. That is what I did, and it led to some offense.”
And a special moment.”
Special moments are nice. But the a-ha line for me was that “Westbrook was Westbrook after that.” And that’s all I want — I wish to become myself again, after all that turmoil endured in 2011. And I believe I can do it just as Russell is doing it — by taking three big positive steps:
1. Surround myself with people who encourage me.
2. Spend time doing those things that bring me joy.
3. Pray more — by keeping time in a circle of prayer. And while Westbrook didn’t mention prayer, I know enough of this place to know Westbrook and all the players — on both sides of the court — were surrounded in a circle of prayer in that arena last Thursday evening.
This short list of ‘gonnas’ sounds a lot like new year’s resolutions, doesn’t it? — those things I’ve avoided making for years. But it’s a new year and I’m ready to try new things that will sow seeds of joy in my life. And who knows but that maybe in the mystery of life, my good intentions may help me live into a ‘happy new year.’
Why I’m smiling, just from writing the words, ‘Happy New Year.” Can you imagine the joy I could make with a little confetti and a horn?
This is the best New Year’s eve and day I’ve had in years. Like you, I can feel the energy surging. My trip over Christmas is partly responsible, I suspect. I don’t know how long such effects can linger, but we’re at a week and counting. 😉
I have my own resolutions – some quite limited and specific. For example, I intend to ignore every single word about the upcoming Mayan apocalypse – or whatever it’s supposed to be. I trust the media will keep everyone updated, and I have other things to do.
And, I’m going to read a new book each week. I read plenty now, but it’s online research, magazines, etc. It’s time for books. I think this would fall into your “things that bring me joy” category.
And I’m finally going to get off the weight I need to lose. Period. I have many, many friends who’ve said losing physical weight – even ten pounds – seems to translate into a lightness of spirit. That would be good.
Above all, I’m going to try and focus on what I have, rather than what I don’t have. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but I suspect it will lead to a happier New Year!
For the first time in months, I’m reading books also. It feels good to do so, to lose myself in the world of beautiful prose, as I am right now with Susan Minot’s novel, Evening. But even though reading brings joy, I couldn’t keep to a book a week or for that matter, a book a month without the weight of the goal dissolving my joy. Perhaps I’m too wishy-washy — the sort who needs wiggle room. So instead, I’ll look forward to following your journey through the pages — I imagine the footprints of your reading will make its presence felt in your blog.
Lightness of spirit, focusing on what we have, shedding weight we don’t need to carry — well, it all sounds like steps in the right direction. Positively!
Your 3 priorities are mine.
Have been for a long time.
Sometimes get off the path
but return quickly
I could not exist without it.
Before I fall asleep
and before my feet hit the floor.
Blessings sent to you this morning…
We’re on a similar journey, aren’t we? — moving to places where we hope to live out our final years, sharing similar priorities and even beginning and ending the day with prayer from bed. You’re a few steps ahead of me, of course, but in my book, Ernestine, that’s a good thing. Thanks for dropping in — with a blessing, no less.