Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top of the List



As I think about the list...
You know the one....
My new year's resolutions....
I realize that I have reached
an age where it is no longer

Hit the gym 3+ times a week
Prepare from scratch dinners the majority of evenings
Walk Gracie at least once a day
Get.more.organized

No.

It is more like this:

Make every moment count.

Really SEE my children.  {Some days my
son jumps down the stairs in the morning
and I swear he has grown overnight.  
How did I not SEE that?} 

Remember to breathe.  Look
around.  Just BE from time to time.

Pray more

Laugh more!

Focus on gratitude



As I was reading all of your 
lovely reflections on
Open Happiness, I started 
to see many of your words as 
little resolutions, guiding me 
as I began to make my own.  


Here is just a glimpse.
They seemed like wonderful 
advice as we head into 2011.

wish our world had more hugs...as the new year approaches and I figure
 out new ways to improve my life and ways to touch others, 
hugs will be foremost on my list.
~ Sarah

The right word at the right time can be a priceless gift.
~ Claudia

Somehow I have this idea that as I go through the year 2011
speaking words of praise that I will 
at the same time be opening happiness. 
~ Dianna

No matter where we stand in life, 
we ALL have SO very much to be grateful for.
~ Lorraine

Being happy certainly is a choice, 
and one that I try to be conscious of every day.
~ Sally

A hug is something that is not only free, 
but stays with you throughout your day.
~ Deborah

Like you, I listen to that little voice that makes 
itself known on a napkin or wherever it happens to appear! 
 ~ Kat

I make it a habit to cherish all the little things each day 
that come my way, instead of waiting to only 
celebrate the big ones.  
~ Marie

It's all how we look at things, isn't it?  
~ Becky




My parents had the very good fortune to
travel to India last January.  While they
were overwhelmed by the amazing sites
and contrast between natural beauty and
dire poverty, that isn't what springs to
mind when they think of India.

It's her lovely people.




Something like 80% 
of those living in India
exist in worse conditions than 
the poorest of the poor living in 
America, earning two dollars
or less per day.

Yet they are happy.
They are content.
They are grateful.




Because many Indian religions
 teach that if they are good
people in this life, their 
lot in the next will improve,
these humble people are
accepting of their lives,
happy for what they have
and not focused on what
they do not have.




I want to remember this
truth about how they live
when a lilting Indian voice
answers the next call about 
my Macy's bill : )  Humble
people, working hard
and leading a humble life.

If I truly listen
I can learn a little bit more
about myself this year, too.



Each interaction with another person 
is an opportunity to see things a little differently....
to put myself in their shoes....to imagine a world 
that is outside my own and to refocus my lens 
on that which is true and good and meaningful.



What resolution is at the top
of your list this year, my friends?
Big or small,
important or incidental
I would love to hear
what is on your horizon
for 2011.



And here's a toast,
from me to you.....
Let's celebrate all that
is unique and wonderful
and worthwhile about
this journey that we 
are all on together.

Life.


Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame
 by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes 
the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.
~ Albert Schweitzer


Happy New Year!

xx
Suzanne


PS:  Between spotty
internet at my parent's and 
the flu, I haven't been able to
make many blog visits this
week.  I'm hoping to be
back in the saddle soon!




images:
Privet & Holly:  2, 6-7
Flickr:  1,3,8-9 {click for talent}
Google images:  4-5

43 comments:

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

This was, like usual, a perfectly thought out and well written post. However, what makes it memorable, is the sincere and "organic" source from which it came....the message is classic, yet profound and fresh. I need and will be doing my work to the best of my ability, but not get trapped into thinking that I SHOULD be doing everything, everyday, to please EVERYONE....remembering the individual and listening, assisting, doing my best, ONE DAY, ONE MOMENT, ONE PERSON AT A TIME....that is all we are really asked to do.

THANK YOU DEAR FRIEND FOR THIS WONDERFUL MESSAGE...isn't blogging wonderful? It forces you to really THINK in order to compose....blessings to you in 2011, Anita

pollydove said...

Oh boy! I am still doing Christmas posts - I haven't even thought about my news year's resolutions. But, like you, my list has changed quite a bit since I have gotten older. I like your's a lot! What a great post ... especially where you shared readers' positive comments! Good idea Suzanne!

Deborah said...

This is so beautiful and warms me so.. dear Suzanne...
I hope you feel better each day and that your dear family are taking good care of you. :)
My New Years resolution is
to live a legacy of love each and every day,
each and every moment...that even one soul might be drawn to the Saviour Who is love Himself.

All my love,
Deborah xoxo
Blessed New Year sweet friend..my life
is so much richer for having met you.. xo

Claudia said...

I have a few - though I don't make resolutions. Let go of fear, get in better shape physically, and as my parents get frailer and frailer as we head into 2011 - be present for them in what ever way I can. Tell them I love them. Tell them what they mean to me. Thank them.

xo
Claudia

Kathysue said...

Suzanne, I love the mind that God has gifted to you and that you share your thoughts in words with us. That is a gift in of itself. I don't make resolutions but I do try to continue lifes journey by being in the moment and being present with whomever I am with. That is why I have chosen the by-line of,"Enjoy the Process" Life is a gift from God and it is up to us to enjoy all of its many blessings. The greatest blessing is love to give and to recieve it.
Thank you again for sharing your love with all of us in blogland,xo Kathysue

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne,
Just when I think you've written the most inspiring post...you top yourself.
I like that the older I get, the more meaningful my resolutions/promises become. I do however, wish that I had the wisdom, appreciation and the awareness years ago that I have now for all the wonderful things God has given me in this life, from the simplest to the most profound. When I saw that "magical" leaf in my yard, it really made me stop and realize that I need to open my eyes more to what's around me. I want to really "see." That's my goal, not just for 2011 but for the rest of my life.
I love what you wrote about the Indian culture...humble and happy...how lovely. What stood out to me was all the beautiful colors - that's got to make them happy.
I had a wonderful experience with an older gentleman at church when I gave him a hug on Christmas Eve ... they do work.
Have a wonderful new years! You deserve it, my friend.
Sarah

A Vintage Chic said...

Beautiful in each and every way, Suzanne...your words always strike a chord in me...always make me happy...or think...or just smile.

Thank-you for all you share all the year through, dear friend...you are one of my favorite people in this blogland of ours. I hope you feel better very soon & have a wonderful visit with your parents.

Wishing you and your sweet family the most lovely, happy & healthy of New Years...looking forward to each and every day...

Julie

Julie said...

Dear Bloggy sister...Love it.
New Year's Resolutions..they seem to blow in with the cold January winds, and slip out with a cold, wintry, grey, unmotivated "one-too-many" stuck inside February day...

Many times I have set the NEW goals and had good intentions. But the urgent seems to always snatch away my time and my desires for the important.

This year, and I have already had a heart talk with my youngest...I am compelled and absolutely resolute to spend more time with him and on him. This past 2010 year, Between my 2nd born being deployed in Afghanistan and absorbing all of my thoughts and concerns, my hubby's job being terribly miserable and then his journey into the new one, and my mom's battle with the brain cancer and then her descent and surrender to it...he somehow got lost in the shuffle...my heart aches for this.
Above and beyond everything else....house prep or no, sale or no, move or no, job for me or no...I WILL COMMIT TO BETTER OVERSEEING of his schooling and preparation for college that is fast approaching. I desire above all else ....this. To let him know he is VERY important to me. And then everyone else who is here or removed from my sweet family nest...I want to give it my all of love and support. And I pray God is honored. Hugs to you Suzanne. Sorry so long. Touched a soft spot dear sister. Happy Happy New Year. Looking forward to these special drop-ins at your blog next year.xo

kerrie said...

I know that the people and their happiness would be my favorite part of India or any other country, especially third world countries. It is the reason I wanted to live in Africa...in a hut. I wanted to be a part of a culture that didn't focus on materialism and I wanted to learn from them. These are all lovely focuses for a new year and life every year. Happiness in the new year to you! ox`fairmaiden

Lili said...

How do you do such a great post with the flu??!! So glad to know you are at least enjoying the season with your parents Suzanne. My resolutions are yet to be made, I usually think about them before I settle off to sleep on New Years Eve. Have a great one Suzanne! xoxo ~Lili

Lisa said...

Suzanne, my friend, I hope you are on the mend from the flu!! When I think about this past year you and your blog are without a doubt on my list of "wonderful". So very glad that you blog, and I am lucky enough to read your words. They always brighten my day, make me stop and think, and lift me up. Thank you so much and I hope you and your family have such a happy year ahead.

Whosyergurl said...

Suzanne, dear- at the top of my list: to love completely

XO, Cheryl

Jeanie said...

To Life!

It's so good to be here, so healing. I've been gone far too long for reasons I couldn't help -- some fun, some typical, some less than pleasing. It's good to be back.

I send you belated Christmas wishes, slightly early ones for the New Year and still more for joy.

Resolutions? Well, all yours are perfect. Mine: Live every day with good intention, taking the high road when the low is easier, being kind, tolerant and empathic; live every day like you may not have another.

Ms. Bake-it said...

Hello Suzanne,

I am sorry that you are sick, especially when you are on vacation. I pray for your speedy recovery so you can enjoy each moment you have with your parents.

You have penned another wonderful post and given me more food for thought. I typically do not make New Year's resolutions but I do have a few this year. On the top of my list is to walk closer to God.

Happy New Year to you and your family!

~ Tracy

Linda said...

Hope you are feeling better, Suzanne! This is a lovely, thought-provoking post! My new year resolutions are to step outside my comfort zone and to be open to learning new things! I've signed up for a local photography class to get me started... Hope you have a wonderful New Years! XO

My Grama's Soul said...

Hello sweet Suzanne...A GREAT POST HERE......this year I vow to Embrace the Journey.....every minute of it!!!!!

Hugs to you,

Jo

Jemsmom said...

Dear Suzanne, I hope this finds you feeling better! I needed this post as my husband and I were talking about our resolutions this year. I found mine to be more reflective of who I am instead of what I need to do. I still have the lose weight bit, but more of controlling my temper and my tone and enjoying the moment. Your post completely inspired me and put into words what I couldn't. Thank you so much and I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh I hope you're feeling better. Awful to be sick at the holidays and while you're away! I loved this uplifting truth filled post. It was so encouraging. As I sit here wondering what my resolutions will be...makes me want to scratch all the silly stuff and just focus on the much bigger picture. Thanks for that sweet girl. I am sooo looking forward to our time together this week. Can hardly wait!!

Laura said...

Happy New Year Miss Suzanne-
I pray you are on the mend.

My New Year's nudge is to be alert and be grateful.

All the best,
Laura
White Spray Paint

Beatnheart said...

What an absolute perfect post. You have a gift for words and touching the heartstrings. Also beautiful choice of lovely music. I took a journey, reading your wonderful comments and listening to that poignant music. Blessings and happiness to you and yours in the coming year. Cynthia

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Dearest Suzanne,
Get Well Soon! I think you are already better today.
My word for next year is focus. I have trouble going off the path in too many directions and not accomplishing what I want. Time is short at my age. I don't want to waste it. Make it count. xo Jenny

Splendid Willow said...

"Be kind, work hard and laugh. And make the world go around". That is my life motto. I wrote it down on a large painting as a reminder to the whole family. (One of these days I will show you).

Just stopping by to wish you a Happy, Healthy, Creative and Fun 2011.

You are a best friend to so many in our blog community and it is so nice to see, Suzanne!

I have been awfully busy with my store but I promise (myself!) to find a better family/business/blog balance next year.

And so true, about our precious kids growing over night! Time to stop the clock and enjoy every, single second.

Love to you and Happy, Happy!

ox, Mon

Marie said...

Happy New Year Suzanne! I wish you all the best in the months to come. Loved this post as always, and I too, love your music! Very beautiful. xxoo

Indie.Tea said...

I love your 'resolutions'.
And I loved your ode to India. My parents went there last winter too :) Sadly, I've never been, but I am sure that I will go within the next few years.
And, I hope you have a joy-filled, beauty-filled, and peace-filled New Year with your loved ones near.

Party Resources said...

Buon anno! As they say in Italy. Here's to a year ahead filled with laughter, gratitude and cherishing the small moments in life!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

It seems that even when you are under the weather you are no less inspired. Your words touch me to the core. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Happy New Year dear Suzanne!

Stitchfork said...

Happy New Year Suzanne!
xo Cathy

Amy Arnaz said...

Happy New Year Suzanne. Another wonderful post. Thank you. I snatched the link to the HUG video you posted to use on my blog for my New Years post. Haley & I watched HUG videos from all over the world but I liked your version best because of the Hallelujah song. I always look forward to your blog posts. You have a way with words and always express LOVE. The Albert Schweitzer quote is so true. xoxo Amy

melody-mae said...

I am so happy that I have found you and your lovely blog. I would love to pass this award on to you...

may you have a happy and blessed 2011!

http://melody-mae.blogspot.com/2010/12/thank-you-donna.html

Rene said...

Sweet Suzanne, I hope that you are feeling better so that you can get to that spin class bright and early Monday morning :)
Seriously, your blog has been such a pleasure to read. Sometimes I think you must be reading my mind. You have a way of getting my attention and helping me to re-focus on the things (people) who are more important.

My resolutions are not about weight, although I would love to drop a few cookies, I mean pounds. I just want to be a better mother/wife/daughter/friend.

Wishing you all the best in 2011!

-Rene

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Sweet Suzanne, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you this past year. You have been the light in the year for several of us and your words so beautiful and so sincere. I hope you are feeling better. I don't make resolutions but I just try to be a better person and to keep an open heart. It has been a blessing getting to know you and I look forward to reading all of your inspiring words in 2011. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year.

hometown girl said...

Suzanne you are such a beautiful soul. i have been giving much thought about the upcoming new year. happy new year! thank you for your friendship! hugs, susan

lisaroyhandbags said...

Suzanne, I hope you are feeling better and have managed to have a wonderful holiday with your family despite the flu.
Happy New Year to you - it's been wonderful getting to know you this year. Your blog always makes me pause and think and reminds me to be happy and kind, and focus on what's really important. I hope 2011 brings you love, health, happiness and success in everything you do. xo

Create Beauty said...

Hi Suzanne, wonderful post. Instead of resolutions, I am posting New Years Inspirations.
I'd rather be inspired than resolute. Happy 2011~!
~ Violet

Jill said...

Suzanne,

I am so sorry to hear you were sick. I think you are traveling home today so hope you are better! Get ready to feel the chill.

So nice to read your words before I compose my New Year's message on my own blog - you have inspired me!

Happy New Year to you and your family. See you soon
xo~Jill

Burlap Luxe said...

Beautiful words, I really could not have expressed it better.

Suzanne, you deserve a peaceful new year and many blessing you soulful heart.

Cheers to you and New Year!
xoxo
Dore

paperbird said...

happy new year dear suzanne. i hope you are feeling better now and that life is good your way.
thank you for the inspiration that you share- i always enjoy visiting here and i am so thankful to you for helping with our kitty auction.
i am not one for new years resolutions but instead trying everyday to be a better person and overcoming all that makes me less than who i am... a daughter of God.

wishing you the very best in this new year.

koralee said...

Oh my sweet friend...what a lovely post. Thank you for your friendship and blessings you always send my way...your words always inspire!

Hope the flu bug has gone and you are back to normal soon.

Blessings of hope...contentment...peace ..promise...and pure delight for 2011. xoxoox

Happy Homemaker UK | Laura said...

What a lovely post! I always cherish your insights :)

I hope you are feeling better!! Happy New Year, my friend XOL

melody-mae said...

beautiful. this post is just beautiful! I love the part about how the indian society is happy with their life and is content...love it! We all could use a bit of this, to be happy in the moment and content with all we have been given and not worrying about what we don't!

I try hard not to make resolutions, because I set myself up for failure...I mean of course I would love to lose the ten lbs that have creeped up on me, but to be honest my main goal/resolution is to be happy. happy with my life and to live each day like it might be my last. to make sure I tell people I love them, TODAY because we are not guarenteed tomorrow. Live, love...be happy!!!!
I look forward to getting to know you better as I follow along with you!!

blessings,
melody

Anne Lorys - Fiona and Twig said...

You're getting over the flu and I'm getting it!
Hope you're feeling loads better, my friend!

I don't make resolutions anymore, I just struggle and strive to try and be a little bit kinder then necessary, a little more patient than need be, and a wee bit more loving at all times.

You DID notice that I said "struggle", right? Not always easy! ;-)

Take care of yourself, sweet girl.

Anne

Anonymous said...

Dear Suzanne,

Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful quote from Albert Schweitzer. As one who suffers from depression, those words truly hold a special place in my heart. I hope you don't mind I used his quote in my most recent post.

Thanks again,

michele : )

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

It is always so amazing to me that we who have SO much seem to be SO unhappy. We can learn a lesson from India.

I have to say I am absolutely thrilled that you will be joining me on the carriage ride destined for Royal Wedding Wednesdays. When I hit the "publish" button I had a momentary feeling of panic that my post would be met with only the sound of crickets chirping. It has been quite the opposite, so much so that I feel we have a kindred spirit/sisterhood sorority.

Here's to fairytales!