As I reflect on the new year and feel the obligation to pick the Greatest Resolution Ever (tm), I come up with several ideas for things that I just *know* will make me a better person: I should read more, eat less, pray more, complain less, etc. As I think about it, though, a theme appears: "Quality over Quantity".
I keep thinking about a post I read over at Faith and Family yesterday about choosing a one-word resolution. The idea of having a "theme" for the year is intriguing to me. Having one word or phrase to really ingrain on my mind seems like a more sustainable way of accomplishing goals than having a few unrelated resolutions.
Over the summer, I exchanged several letters with my roommate, who was several states away. Yes, we could've chatted on instant messenger, and probably would have scored a higher word count. Instead, I have a small stack of letters on beautiful stationery, filled with complete sentences, wonderful thoughts, personal confidences, and no "LOL"s or ";-)"s (which I use as much as anyone in online conversation). Not to mention the importance of having something physical. I have trouble finding blog posts I read two days ago, but I know exactly where those letters are. In a world filled with digital photos, e-books, and yes, blogs, having something tangible to keep in a box and look back upon is still important. As I wailed to my Pious Gentleman once when he was expressing his distaste for letter-writing, "But you can't put IM conversations in a pretty box in your wardrobe!"
A friend of mine wrote a letter a day, each to a different person, every day of Lent last year. I'm probably not going to be so rigorous, but I'm going to make it a point to write more letters. 44 cents and half an hour of my time is a small price to pay, I feel.For more reading about handwritten notes, check out this post from last year.
I've come to my annual realization that I don't read nearly as much as I should. Class reading excepted, I'm certain I read less than 25 entire books this year. I would use the college student excuse of having "sooooooo much hoooooooomework," but then I realize that I spend far more time than I want to admit reading blogs all day. Obviously, I'm no enemy of blogs, but I have to wonder just what percentage of even the best blog is as edifying as a piece of classic literature or the writings of one of the saints. I'm still trying to decide on a reasonable goal for the year, but am finding it hard given the unpredictability of schoolwork and my schedule. In the meantime, I'd love to hear suggestions for things I must read. I'm open to fiction and non-fiction – anything you've found important in your own life.
Enough of the half-hearted rosaries during which I'm just thinking about what I have to do tomorrow. This year, I'm making specific – and attainable – goals for my prayer life. What's more, I'm going to share them with someone else whom I know will keep me accountable. For myself, I find that just as important as the actual prayer time is the time I need to spend to quiet my mind beforehand. That daily rosary goes by without a snatch of actual meditation when I'm writing essays or emails in my head. Again, I have a hard time making excuses for my lack of a more dedicated prayer life when I know that I spend so much time doing far less important things.
This theme will, I hope, carry over into many more areas of my life – relationships, homework, purchases, etc. I have high hopes for this year; what are your goals?