If I Made New Year’s Resolutions…

I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. I tell myself that I attempt to live a “good life” each day, or could it be that I fear I might break these resolutions soon after they are made? 😉 Whatever the reason, I find myself reflecting upon another finalized chapter of our life as 2017 draws to a close. As we move into a new year, I wonder how our next chapter will be written.

Here are 10 concepts, in no particular order, that speak to me, and that I hope to see more of in 2018:

1/ Speak Your Truth

“To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.”  ~  Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Opening lines of a piercing poem titled “Protest”, written at the peak of the Women’s Suffrage movement and just as WWI was about to erupt. This is “an anthem for our own time”.

The ability to speak our truth in a loving and respectful manner is a trait that I value. The day I found my voice, when I didn’t feel obliged to tell someone what I thought they needed to hear but rather what I truly felt, was an awakening for me. I believe our inability to lift the veil of silence diminishes our authentic self, prevents us from seeing other viewpoints, and holds us back from learning.

2/ The Gift of Nature

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”  ~  Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

To anyone who knows me well, or has read my blog (and I am very grateful for that), it is no secret than I am passionate about the natural world and our public lands. I am at my best when unencumbered by the trappings of modern life. Looking out over a beautiful vista, I feel totally consumed by nature, with a peek into the understanding of knowing who I am becoming, who I want to be.

3/ Living a Curious Life

“I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.”  ~ Mary Oliver

We are all born with the gift of curiosity. I believe that when we stop being inquisitive, we detach and become dispassionate. For the rest of my life, no matter how short, I want to remain curious about people, places, things, myself.

4/ Truth Matters

“We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” ~  Michelle Obama

I learned from a very early age, as so many of us were taught, the importance of being truthful. This year more than any, I have been saddened by how so many in positions of power have tossed aside the notion that truth matters not. My sincere hope for 2018 is that we all understand how vitally important truth is to a healthy society.

5/ All You Need is Love

“Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.”  ~  Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Love

What can I say about this topic that hasn’t already been said, in poem, song, or letter? As the Beatles sang, “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” If we all lived by this creed, what would our world look like?

6/ Let’s Get Healthy

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”  ~ B.K.S. Iyengar

I embrace the notion that physical health plays an enormous role in our emotional well-being. My spirit is never so buoyed as when my body feels strong.

7/ Practice Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”  ~ Melody Beattie

I will be forever grateful for the people in my life who accept me for who I am, for the experiences I have been gifted, for the time allowed me to live each day fully.

8/ That Little Voice…Hope

“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.”  ~  Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Darkness

Hope is that little voice within us that in the darkest of times whispers, “You can endure this. It will be ok.” Where would we be without it?

9/ Laughter is the Best Medicine

My beloved friend Barb, who will forever be tucked away in my heart.

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”  ~  e e cummings

Laughter is said to be the best medicine, triggering both positive physical and emotional changes in our body. Who of us hasn’t benefited from a good belly laugh?

10/ Travel, Roam, Explore, Discover

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  ~  Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

As long as I am capable, I hope to travel, to roam across the country and explore far-flung reaches of the world. The discoveries found in another culture, whether it be within my country or outside its boundaries, humble me and have given me a new perspective on life.

I am very grateful to all who have followed along with us this past year. I wish you all  much joy, love, laughter, and fantastic adventures in the upcoming year. Happy New Year!  

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63 thoughts on “If I Made New Year’s Resolutions…

  • Thanks so much, LuAnn for putting into words what we all should be feeling in our hearts. This is such an uplifting and beautiful post. You have such a gift for words and photos. Happy New Year!

    • Thanks so much Shirley. We look forward to welcoming in the new year with you and Norm. Wishing you much joy, laughter, and time for making beautiful memories.

  • Have to admit I don’t comment often, but your recent posts have been so thoughtful! Well done! I’ll be saving some of these for reference. Thanks and have a great2018.

    • I am so touched by your comment Julianne. I have to admit that not all posts that I write easily flow, but this one did. It was fun going back through old photos as well.

  • Beautiful, LuAnn! We wouldn’t need resolutions if we live with these strong qualities in our daily lives throughout the year. Your photo choices were a perfect pairing for each quality. Wishing you and Terry a happy, healthy 2018 full of new adventures!

  • We consider ourselves fortunate to count you and Terry as friends. Meeting you two was just one of the benefits of a roaming lifestyle. Happy New Year to you both.
    Jim

    • We feel so blessed to have met you and Gayle. Looking forward to many more opportunities for laughter and adventure with the two of you. Happy New Year!

  • As always, this post was thoughtful and inspiring. Grateful to count you and Terry as friends, albeit from some decades past! To your best year ever!

    • Thanks so much Gary. If I am right about who this mystery Gary is, then Happy New Year to you, Pam, and your family! If I have guessed incorrectly, my apologies and please share your identity. 🙂

  • As always,LuAnn, your resolutions are well spoken and thoughtful. Just this morning we were talking about 2018 and what will be happening. Gayl mentioned that she is so tired of all the negative things being said in the modern media and just wants to stop listening to it. My immediate response was that to ignore it and be silent is something we must never do. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “To have a broad, wholesome, charitable view of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” To this, I would say, this is never so true as it is now and on into the future. The good folks in our country need to not be silent, but speak up in a strong sincere voice, especially at the 2018 ballot box. Hope you and Terry have a great New Year, LuAnn………..R&G

    • Roger, I do understand how Gayl feels as I so often would just like to turn off the news and make this nightmare disappear. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen and I can’t help but think that sticking our heads in the sand isn’t the answer. I am going to try to practice patience and compassion for others but still use my voice for good when I can. I plan on participating in the Women’s March on 1/20 in Riverside. Let’s pray that many more use their voice in 2018 and we see some positive changes after the midterms. Happy New Year to you and Gayl.

  • It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m reading your post and reflecting on the beauty and truth of what you’ve written. It’s lovely to sit here at sunset in Big Bend National Park after a day of hiking in this glorious vast wilderness, and to read your words. What a great gift this life is! Wishing you and Terry a New Year abundant in all that is most important — health, love, joy, hope, and the adventures that feed your soul. (And laughter! Absolutely positively essential.) :-)) Here’s to more time with you two sometime soon!!

    • What a wonderful place to welcome in a new year. What could be more soul-stirring than breathing in nature’s wonders as a new year is ushered in? We echo back to you and Eric those same wishes for 2018. I sit here reflecting upon our great fortune to have such wonderful friends as the two of you. Feeling very grateful right now! Love you guys!

  • I really love this post! I am going to come back to it, often, to remind me of what’s best for me. As I have told you many times, I love your photos and your writing. I’m glad you are younger than I am, so I can be assured of being able to read your posts, for the rest of my life. Happy New Year, to both of you!!!

  • LuAnn I feel as though I should have this post as my wallpaper and read it every morning. What grounding places to live from. I am sorry for your loss of your dear friend. The laughter on her face is a priceless capture. Wishing you all the very best in 2018.

    • Thanks so much Sue. I will sifting through a lot of my photos and when I came across this photo of my dear friend Barb, I knew I had found the perfect laughter image. No one would ever know how very ill she was at that point in her life. It wasn’t that long after that she passed. She still is an inspiration to me. I was so blessed to have had her in my life. The very best to you and your family in 2018.

  • Living life to the fullest… My motto… Sounds like yours as well.

    Your captures are a delight to my eye and to my heart. Thank you!

    However… Hugs to you as I see you lost a special friend. So hard to endure. Sending prayers and thought your way.

  • I find myself reflecting on 2017 and, despite it being a year filled with great angst, there were also some very wonderful moments to remember. I especially loved your inclusion of truth, hope and gratitude but the quote that speaks most clearly to me is the e e cummings quote, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” It’s funny how a good laugh seems to keep everything else in perspective. A great post, LuAnn and a good list to keep in mind for 2018. Happy New Year! Anita

    • Thanks Anita! With the shocking year we had in this country, not to mention in the world in 2017, it is at times difficult to reflect on all the good in our lives. One of my many goals for this year is to focus on the positive more than the negative, which I readily admit is a somewhat lofty goal for me at times. Happy New Year to you and Richard.

  • Great post and I love your photos! I’ve not made a NYR for 30 or more years, but from this point on I will make an exception: to reduce the amount of plastic I buy/use and to be more ‘earth conscious.’

    • Jane, I haven’t made NYR for many, many years either. We made that same pact regarding plastic some time ago, knowing how important it is to be ‘earth conscious’. Thanks for stopping by!

  • A wonderful post for the New Year, LuAnn. The ‘Gratitude’ image is my favourite and the ‘Let’s Get Healthy’ inspires me to try a few push-ups even if it’s on my knees to start with. 🙂 Love the Michelle Obama quote. How I miss her precious family’s sanity and wisdom at the helm.

    • Happy New Year Sylvia. Thanks so much for the lovely comment. I find myself missing both of the Obamas more and more each day so I knew when I started to write this post that a quote from one of them would have to be included.

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