I rarely make New Year's Resolutions anymore.  Mainly because I tend to break them in less than two months, two weeks, or once it was even less than two hours. I'm not the most disciplined when it comes to upholding bargains with myself.  Now if I were to make a commitment to you, my obliger tendencies (check out the book by Gretchen Rubin called The Four Tendencies. It's amazing!) would kick in and there is more than a good chance I would follow through.  However, when it comes to me and making commitments to myself, I tend to let things slide.  Do you do that, as well?  Are you more apt to let yourself down before you let others down?  According to Rubin, obligers are the largest category so I can't be alone here!


This New Year's Eve, when the clock strikes midnight, I plan to make ONE New Year's Resolution - and I have a feeling I can keep this one. 


For all of 2021…I resolve to be more grateful.

After 2020 and all its ups and downs, I still have so much to be grateful for!  The fact alone that I survived this crazy year when so many didn't is a good starting point.  I know of many that passed from this world over to the next from either Covid-19, cancer, car wrecks, or a myriad of other reasons.  My heart literally ached daily from news I heard about the struggles people endured.  It seemed like an even greater number suffered losses and heartbreaks in just the last few months.  It was all so painful and so tragic that I couldn't help but grieve with them.


However, I do have so much to be grateful for even in these hard days.  As I write, in these moments, I am putting in close to 70 hours per week at my job.  We are busy, and for that I am grateful.  It means my business is surviving the economic crisis we have seen affect so many.  I am grateful for the customers who choose to shop at my stores or order online.  I am so grateful for the staff that works right along beside me for all those extra hours to make sure our products go out on time and our stores are stocked the next day.  I am so grateful I have a job to go to in 2021, and I pray I that I still do for many years to come. 


So many others are faced with much more than physical weariness.  They are facing financial, emotional, and spiritual hardships that might not end any time soon.  So every night I am grateful for tired feet, aching legs, and a sore back.  That just means I am fortunate enough to work hard each day.


I am grateful for the hectic schedule I have with my daughter, Dotty.  Everything in the month of April was cancelled (I still have the blank calendar to prove it) and it was so sad to have nothing to look forward to.  So this year, when our weekends consist of games, practices, parties, sleepovers, shopping trips, and more I will be grateful that my calendar is full because that means my life is full of friends and memory-making opportunities. I am always grateful for those things! And even on the days when we have nothing planned, I will be grateful for the pause in life. 


If 2020 taught me anything, it taught me how to pause better; how to appreciate white space in my calendar more than I used to.  It is definitely fun to go and do and see and be with our people but I know my body, mind, and soul needs rest, too.  The ability to enjoy the rest helps me to also enjoy the busy times.  Without appropriate rest, we all burn out!  God knows that, and so we have this gift of the Sabbath.  I am grateful to have the downtime to reflect, revive, and reenergize all aspects of my life.  I just hope I don't ever have a whole month again to do so like we did this past year!


Finally, I am so grateful for the tribe that surrounds me daily.  My family, friends, staff, church family, Dotty's friends and their families, and a whole host of others are present.  These people make my life more colorful just by being in it.  They give my life joy and peace; hope and perseverance; love and laughter; strength and courage; and just enough sass and sarcasm to keep things interesting.  These are my people.  They stand with me, they stand for me, and they stand when I can't stand anymore.  They make the days better just by being a part of them, and I am so very, very grateful for each and every one of them.  


While I know all the problems, troubles, and trials of 2020 did not magically disappear like Cinderella's dress and stagecoach at the strike of midnight in December, I do know that I will hold on tightly to that glass slipper of gratitude that remains, regardless of the circumstances. Most of all, no matter what I face, I am never alone.  I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and who never leaves or forsakes me, and for that I am eternally grateful.  


Hopefully, when I write my January article for 2022 I can tell you all how I did with my one resolution to be more grateful.  I am sure I will have better days than others, but I pray that overall I keep a grateful spirit from the beginning of the New Year on January 1st until the last seconds of December, and beyond.  But let's get real.  We all know I fell asleep on New Year's Eve long before midnight...and let me just say I am so grateful for that, too.  

One Resolution
by Jill Montz

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