Hmmm. This is a difficult one. I’m not really sure I accomplished anything by the world’s standard’s in 2010, other than to make my return to writing, falling madly in love, and committing to taking (and posting) at least one picture a day. I also committed to getting healthy in 2010, which I have to say I’ve made great strides in doing (I’ve lost 6 pounds so far!). But I think the biggest accomplishment I’ve made this year is just in general being a better person. I don’t snap nearly as often over “the little things” as I did before, and overall I’m just a less stressful person. I think a lot of that has to do with Joe, but I’d like to think that at least some of it can be attributed to me taking steps to make sure I’m not as stressed out as I used to be. I’ve also learned that there are things outside of my control, and that the only thing I can do is control how I react to those events. These are actually my two favorite quotes (as listed on my FB profile):
“Perseverance is not a passive submission to circumstances-it is a strong and active response to the difficult events of life. It is not passive endurance, but the quality of standing on your feet as you face the storms. It is not simply the attitude of withstanding trials, but the ability to turn them into glory, to overcome them.”
“Sometimes you have to fall from the mountain to realize what you are climbing for. Obstacles are placed in our way to see if what we want is really worth fighting for. From every wound there’s a scar and every scar tells a story. A story that says, I was deeply wounded but I survive.”
Ya know, now that I think about it, I think this is my greatest accomplishment of 2010:
As 2009 comes to a close, its time to look back and be thankful for the many blessings we have. A roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, clothes on our back, family who love us whether they want to or not, and friends that stick closer than glue. Maybe you got lucky this year and found love in the arms of someone who cares very deeply for you, maybe you didn’t (I sure did!)
But what about those that aren’t so fortunate? Often we don’t like to think about them as much. But they need our thoughts, our prayers, and our actions, now more than ever. So the next time you see someone begging for money, go buy them lunch. Volunteer at the local homeless shelter. Donate the piles of clothes you never wear to the local goodwill. Teach your children the importance of valuing the individual rather than the statistic. Yes, there are less than scrupulous people who will try to take advantage of your generosity. But does that mean the person who has simply stumbled and needs a helping hand is any less deserving of your assistance?
This issue is rather close to my heart, not because I’ve been there, but simply because I hate to see people suffering. Every human being has the right to live a life better than the one pictured above, simply because they were born. We have action groups to make sure that animals aren’t mistreated, yet homelessness in America is an issue that is, by and large ignored by lawmakers and policy shifters the world over. Homeless people are viewed as a nuisance, something to be swept under the rug and forgotten about. That is someone’s child, someone’s loved one. Regardless of the circumstances that led them to where they are, they deserve all the help we can give them, so long as they are willing to help themselves.
So I urge you, as you’re getting ready for your parties and making sure your kids are tucked safely away in bed, to remember these people and resolve to help them in the new year. It’s the actions of individuals that lead to change.