Parent, Teacher, Activist
Last year during January, I shared about my colleague, Randy Harris, saying:
“The one who wins is the one who can die happily. Who can look back on their life and say, ‘That was good.’ Who lives their life the way they wanted to. You can’t decide a lot about your life, but you can choose how you live it.”
This is so true. Each one of us lives in some circumstance that we wouldn’t choose, be it illness, disability, a relationship gone awry, or so many other things. We are born where we are born, to the family that we have, in the culture that we grow up in. Some of us do have choices that allow us to leave circumstances that we don’t like, but many times we don’t.
I’ve shared before that I was diagnosed last year with a heart problem. I run, I take medication, I watch what I eat, but no matter what I do, I cannot leave this heart problem behind. It is a part of my life, just as some of the issues in your life are a part of yours. Last week I underwent a procedure that I hope will help my heart function better. There have been times over the past two years as I’ve dealt with this that I’ve just felt defeated, hopeless. Perhaps you’ve felt that way about things in your own life at times during this past year. Perhaps you feel that way right now.
What struck me about Randy’s words was the message of hope: that whatever my circumstances, we can still choose to live our lives fully. We cannot change some of the things in our lives, but we can choose how we respond to them, what we do with them.
I don’t know what the year holds for me, what the day even holds for me. But, I do know this; I’ve done my best to make this world a better places, sometimes in large ways and other time in small ones. From spending time with my daughters, listening to a student, laughing with my husband, crying with a friend, writing, speaking at a conference, all of these moments are the ones that have made this life amazing.
In this new year, I encourage you to live your life fully, whatever your circumstances may be. As you approach this new year, instead of thinking about how many pounds you want to lose or dollars you want to earn, think about how you want to become all that you can be. You, my friend, are a beautiful and amazing person. You have talents and skills to offer this old world as it spins around another time, and as you open your heart and share yourself with this world, you will make it better. You will become a world changer.