Is it really 2015? How has another year just flown past me?
I’m not much for resolutions. You know I never stick with self-improvement plans for long. I mean to eat better, exercise more, give more, drink less, spend less, earn more, be more spontaneous – all those things that will make me a better woman, mom, person.
But eventually, my enjoyment of life gets in the way. Add to it my total lack of self-discipline and I am right back to the same old Melanie. Fortunately for me, 2014 was the year I decided I kinda liked myself and that I was actually a grown-up. Mostly. So maybe everything will turn out alright!
All in all, this has been a really good time in my life. I feel very content and have a life that I love. My children are healthy and The Hubs is amazing. I have a dermatologist whom I adore. What else could I want? So maybe it’s time to start playing a new game. Instead of a resolution, maybe it’s time for an evolution.
I have several friends who have been making major gifts of time, money and love to others. My friend Susan Alexander-Wilson decided to celebrate her 40th birthday in a big way – her Forty Large campaign helped raise more than $40,000 for Austin charities. Inspired by their mother, her precious children now want to have fundraising birthday parties of their own!
And you may have seen my friend Sarah Toth on Fox News this Christmas. She helped galvanize a large group of women in her hometown of Murphy to “adopt” a family for the holidays. Parents to three young children, Dwight and Jennifer Mullen are both battling stage 4 cancer. Sarah and her group of moms have raised more than $16,000 in cash for the family, helping them with their mortgage, their Christmas, their pantry and much, much more. Sarah has two young sons and is a professional photographer when she’s not cruising the aisles at Target. After working on this project for two months, she is still struggling to find the words to express what the project has meant to her on a personal level. Not only does she believe she and Jennifer Mullen will be lifelong friends, Sarah believes she is the one who has received the most from the experience. “This has been amazing and so fulfilling. It has been an honor to help them and bring them joy,” she told me.
Seeing the other things my friends are up to – changing laws, protecting children, lifting women up, honoring themselves – makes me want to embrace my newfound sense of security and … do … more GOOD!
My genius rock star businesswoman and friend Kim Polson hit the nail on the head. We know we should do good, but there are so many more messages out there telling us to look good, sound good and earn good. We have the ability, but we have to want it enough as well. “We can use our past lessons and perceived failures as fuel to move forward and change the world for the better, rather than getting stuck inside ourselves. But it can be so hard!” she said.
Midland nurse anesthetist Tammy Vaught is trying to find a way to keep that forward momentum going with her 40 by 40 project. She will be trying 40 new things before she turns 40. Some are fun, like learning to dance. Some are scary, like learning to skydive and fly a plane. Others are tender. But each of her goals challenges her in some way to grow in faith and kindness, in her soul and in her mind. I’m so very proud of her!
I found these lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson beautiful and inspirational.
“Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”
My sweet friend Amy Rounds called the lines a reminder to persevere, grow, renew and uplift. And all of that starts from within!
So for 2015, my evolution will be to use my powers for good – to do more good for myself, my family and for others. I don’t know exactly what that is going to look like yet, but I know that each day I can make that choice. Will you be doing anything differently this year? Join the conversation and let me know!