Right now, officially, it is February 1st.
And as I lay here and type, there is some sort of storm dumping ice particles and brewing snow outside. Forecast calls for 8 or more inches of snow on top of the dippin dots-sized ice that has already dropped; this snow will be combined with “deathly” winds for negative temperatures and windchills. It just goes to show, you never know what you get in Oklahoma.
Also, as I lay here, I am thinking on the first month of 2011. This first month came quickly, almost just appeared. These months do that lately, just dump into my lap. In this first month, I made a lot of resolutions for 2011 — resolutions, revelations, revolutions, restorations. I planned out 4 very specific goals I wanted to accomplish each month of 2011, 4 goals designed around a different topic each month but with the final goal of helping shape me & my life into the things I want and hope for.
January was a month based on energy and health. I resolved to stick to going to the gym at least 4 times a week — and I did! I also resolved to eat healthier, and to wake up when my alarm went off (no snooze button!). Shockingly, I stuck to my goals. And I lost weight! And, believe it or not, getting up at the first alarm makes a world of difference in the level of sleepiness in the mornings.
February is going to be more of a challenge.
February is focused on relationships. But not in the way you would think.
See, I am not a crazy selfish person (I hope, correct me if I am wrong) and I do not go around dropping mean and hateful comments on people. I do not push people out of my way, and generally I am polite. But just as much as I am not a rude hateful person, I am not overly loving or complimentary. I am neutral — I am like Switzerland.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to shower the people I love with love. Those who are close to me know my affinity for handwritten notes or post-its, my desire to share knowledge (especially self-improvement knowledge) and that I am dependable and reliable. But there are are vast areas I could improve upon.
So, in February, I am following an 80/20 principle. 80 percent of my energy will be spent outward — it will be spent listening, asking, watching. I will not spend time telling stories about me, I will not lament my latest annoyance, I will not respond to a friend’s story with “I know, like when I …..”. Tough, right? Sit and think about it for a second — I think we’re all guilty of the “I understand because this it what I’ve been through” complex. I want my friends to know I am listening because I care about them.
This 80/20 principle has the potential to radically change my life. Not just because I will feel like a better friend (because I will), but because there is a large chunk of my life/energy/thoughts dedicated to a tired, old, worn down subject. And there are friends who have shared this burden with me for far too long. It is time to lay it down. And by forcing myself to not be allowed to talk about it or think about it (I have two mantras to repeat if the thoughts come up), I am LITERALLY forcing it out of my life.
And I am so excited.
I am so excited for what February has the potential to be. I am thrilled to see what joys and excitements fill the open space that will be there when I make room for others and take me out. I also want to make new friends, spend more time praising people and giving hugs. I generally am a waver, but in February, I am going to be a hugger.
If you’re a friend, new or old or distant or close, please know that I think you are wonderful. And because you are wonderful, you have inspired me to attempt to be just as wonderful. And those of you who have helped me, held my hand, held my heart — please know, this is for you.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, because I have learned in whatever situation to be content. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.