Where do I begin?

Where do I begin?

Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 8:01 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

It’s January. If you asked 100 people to share their New Year’s resolutions, 98 of them would share a resolution I have or should have. Yeah. I’m that messed up. Let’s go through a few, yes?
“I’d like to be nicer to my children.” I can relate. Sometimes I get impatient and sound like a yapping Chihuahua. Not very effective.
“I’d like to be harder on my children.” Me too. I’d like to be a really nice woman whom they’re slightly afraid of. Note: Most children aren’t afraid of yapping Chihuahuas.
“I need to lose weight.” OK. This is about year No. 34 of that resolution for me. Some years I’ve done it. Other years I haven’t. But come January, weight loss is always lurking in my mind, along with an unexplainable desire for lemon meringue pie.
“I’d like to work on my anger issues.” Just hearing the words “anger management” makes me mad … which might indicate a little somethin’ that needs work.
“I need to get more organized.” If I could find a sheet of paper and a pen that works, I’d get your phone number and we would start a support group for the chronically unorganized. Don’t hold your breath.
“I need to manage my time better.” I agree. My “to do” list is more like a “I don’t really wanna do it” list and I treat it as such.
“I’d like to read more great books.” I do, too, but there’s a poorly-written mind-numbing movie I plan to watch on the Hallmark Channel tonight instead.
“I want to be a better money manager.” Preach it. Note to self: Learn to reconcile the checkbook.
“I’d like to stop being such a procrastinator.” Absolutely. And incidentally, all procrastinators need to stop lying by saying, “I work better under pressure.” One friend said, “Do you write your column close to the deadline because you work better under pressure?” My honest response: “Of course not. I’m just lazy.”
“I need to exercise every day.” Me too. But I tend to set lofty and ridiculous goals like: Run a marathon within six months. I need to start with: Stop paying my son a quarter to walk to the mailbox.
I know. It’s discouraging. And for those of you trying to give up smoking this year, I want to extend my heartfelt support and encouragement. I always tell people, “I’ve never smoked a day in my life … I was too busy eating.” So you’ll not find me throwing stones, friend. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.
I’m all for working on weaknesses. But along with the things listed above, I hope I have some loftier goals for 2011. Goals that involve relationships, humility and thankfulness.  I doubt anyone will say the following at my funeral: “She never got upset.” “She could organize kitchen cabinets better than anyone.” “She rarely messed up.” No. Efficiency and high performance will never be my legacy. But that doesn’t discourage my heart because life isn’t about me. It’s about the Glory of God. Join me as I begin 2011 with a segment of Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. For more information, visit her website lisasmartt.com.

Published in The Messenger 1.5.11

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