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New Year’s promises should be simple and few. The reason we don’t keep them is that we set the bar too high. In your heart, you know you probably won’t lose twenty pounds (is this the third or fourth year you said that?) but, just for today you might try eating more fruit and veggies. You say you’re going to slow down, but first we have basketball season to get through. What if you just went to the home games?

Most of us are inclined to bite off more than we can chew and when we swallow it whole we wonder why our belly aches. Someone once told me that I really can have it all, just not all at once. So I’m not adding guilt and a bunch of new resolutions in 2020. Instead, I’m taking some things away. Every day, I have to say no to something, however worthy it seems. Every day, I get to choose only one priority. If the goal is to bake a birthday cake, attend a meeting, or write a letter, then that’s where the focus happens. Sure, other things will get done, but they are incidental, and I can count the day a success if that priority was accomplished. And in order to accomplish the priority, I’ll need to say no to something, anything; maybe just letting the phone ring instead of picking up.

I’ve been reading about keeping the Sabbath. Not necessarily a religious thing, just learning to do less so we can be more human. The writer suggests that one day in seven should be reserved to regroup. Even God took the seventh day off. Now, if your self-esteem is tied to accomplishment the way mine is, this won’t be easy. Compared to keeping Sabbath, losing that twenty pounds is a breeze. That’s why I’ll start small. One day a week; and it doesn’t have to be Sunday, I will park the car. Let the machine pick up, and decide when to call back. I’ll put my feet up and not budge off the place. Play with the dogs, look at the stars, and listen to the coyotes. I may do a load of wash, make a meal, and sweep the kitchen, but you won’t catch me painting the porch.

 Because I know I’ll fail at taking a whole day off, I’ll start with an afternoon. We live at the mercy of the calendar, so I’ll mark my Sabbath on the calendar as a reminder not to schedule anything during that time. Rescheduling for later is only allowed in extreme emergencies.

Anyone out there willing to try this with me? Here’s a quote to live by. “Give yourself the gift of time. No one else will.”

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