The end of year is a natural time to collect memories and, again, I am trying to make sense of this past year. I am twenty-four, mature in my better moments and childish in others, and a woman increasingly aware of physical changes in my body as I outgrow an effortlessly-thin teenage metabolism. This year, I have felt gratitude, wonder, loneliness, and physical sickness. I have felt joy and exhaustion in my job. I have felt envy, said yes to things I have wanted to say no to, and chosen selfishly. I have received forgiveness, second and third and fourth chances, and unconditional acts of love. I have used my hands to make, tried new mediums, and struggled with being creative in a social-media culture – as though I need to prove that I am creative and not some sort of artist fraud.
This year, I want to make more ‘to-be’ lists than to-do lists. I want to pursue harmony in the everyday chaos rather than trying to achieve balance, because, the truth is, there will always be sickness and unexpected expenses. There will always be excuses to choose what is easier over what is healthy. Instead of setting big goals for this year, I want to be satisfied less with appearances and more with my faith in the everyday.
A Franciscan blessing to send you on your way into 2019:
May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths,
And superficial relationships
So that you may live
Deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression,
And exploitation of people,
So that you may work for
Justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer pain,
Rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand
To comfort them and
To turn their pain to joy
And may God bless you
With enough foolishness
To believe that you can
Make a difference in the world,
So that you can do
What others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness
To all our children and the poor.