I think we can all agree: 2016 was a weird year. It was risky. It lived on the edge. Donald Trump was elected president. Spice Girl-esque chokers are back in style. I am a pretty positive person (or so I like to think) but every time another 2016-ish thing happened, I looked at Mike and said, America just needs a nap. As if we could reset the state of the universe by tricking our toddler country into its crib.
2016 was also a good year in so many ways. It was the first year I maintained each of my resolutions. I was easy on myself in ’16. I didn’t aim to lose ten pounds or color code my daily agenda to stay organized. I just told myself I was going to live a life of intention. I plugged in more to life than I did my phone. I prayed nearly every day, as a discipline. I took more risks.
But, what now? I don’t have any specific goals for ’17 – except for one. I want to shake off excess.
No, I don’t mean I’m going to throw out items from my closet (although I should do that too) or de-clutter my junk drawer. Instead, I’m going to prioritize the things and people that matter and lovingly, gently let go of the rest.
My stepdad Todd likes to joke that he has a “sandbox” of people and things he lets in. If I had to guess, it looks like this: God, his family, and a SMALL group of friends. He’s not unkind about his sandbox list. In fact, he’s one of the kindest (albeit grumpy, in a Al Bundy from Married with Children kind of way) people I know. But, he has this remarkable ability to only make space for things that matter.
Cutting off the excess doesn’t come as easily to me. I’m a people pleaser, through and through. (This sounds like a positive trait, but it’s not. I’ve gotten myself into the stickiest of situations out of fear of disappointing others.) Something I’ve learned through watching Todd as I’ve grown up is that you don’t have to apologize for the truth. For me, that means spending less time and energy on people and things that don’t align with my priorities or integrity. It means keeping my little family and a handful of honest, generous, good-to-the-core people in my sandbox and letting the others to find their way elsewhere. You really are what you devote your time to – and I want to make every second count.
Thankfully, my sandbox runneth over.