This is my 22nd December 31st. If the holiday has taught me anything in that time, it’s that human resolve is about as resilient as a paper parasol in a Kansas tornado. Changing your life isn’t about a new year. It’s not about polishing some shiny, attractive goals. If it were, most of us would be pretty epic failures.
I could write how this last year changed me. It’d make great bullet points. Met my birth mother. Hugged my two little brothers for the first time. More parents than I can count on one hand. Fell in love (Epic, right? This is the stuff novels are made of).
I jumped out of two airplanes. Applied to go on a mission team to Africa. Took a Greyhound from one coast to another. Climbed a few mountains.
I could make up a few resolutions for 2012, but life changes enough–on a weekly basis, sometimes–without my making plans to engineer it.
Living like you’re dying isn’t about an adrenaline rush. It’s about being alive in every single moment. Sometimes that means choosing to do right, even when it seems insignificant. Sometimes it means teaching an old Russian man something about the placement of prepositions in English. Sometimes it means traveling 3,300 miles. Cliche as it sounds, sometimes it’s about smiling through the tears. Living like you’re dying is so cliche.
Any resolutions I make this year will have nothing to do with changing my life and everything to do with challenging myself to live like I’m alive, whether I’m writing term papers or piloting a hot air balloon over the Pacific.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, where you are going.