Summer draws to a close, and our family turns to the start of a new academic year. Ever since the kids came to live with us, I tend to view this time as our “new year.” January 1st is now “mid-year.”
In the tradition of new year resolutions, I began thinking about change. Then a dear friend shared these words with me: read, mark, and learn.
I realize these words come from the Book of Common Prayer. Whereas I don’t consider myself particularly religious nor a reader of Scriptures, the prompting to “inwardly digest” that which inspires and directs us resonates within me regardless of faith or lack thereof.
This dear friend recently attended the funeral for the father of one of our writing workshop classmates. Listening to the loving tributes shared with the attendees, she thought about this man – a man whom she had never met – who he had been, what he had accomplished, and what he meant to his family and friends.
The experience made an impression upon her. Ideas in the tributes urged her to add in who he was to who she would work to be going forward in her own life. This would serve as a guide to her actions, in deeds and words, starting NOW. Indeed, she’s embarked on a graduate writing program, a long-held dream. “Get cracking,” she told herself.
And that, in turn, made an impression upon me. I missed the opportunity to hear the tributes which so moved my friend, but from her recounting of the event, I got the message nonetheless. “Get cracking,” I told myself as well.
At this time of annual transition, I’m getting going by getting up earlier to make more use of my day. Although not on the scale of my friend’s, it is a start because it alters my mindset. You productive early-risers out there may snicker, but this takes commitment on my part. I am naturally a late-to-bed, late-to-get up type of person, but that simply does not work with our current lifestyle and daily obligations at work and home. Believe me, I’ve tried. If I want to fit in those activities that challenge, invigorate, restore, and direct me, then getting up earlier to get a jump on the day is where I start life differently this year.
Not a big splash per se. But one change leads to another and, in ripple-effect manner, to larger ones. I’m working toward those.