2008: Big aspirations

By January 1, 2008 culture No Comments

Ah, the new year. It’s that time when everyone is assessing the progress of 2007 and dreaming of perfection for 2008. And that leads us to New Year’s resolutions. These little phrases offer commitments and promises that will somehow make this year different from the last.

Personally, I love resolutions. Something about them rings of hope and determination—and because I love transformation of all sorts, resolutions have always been of interest to me. They seem to be little seeds containing newness of life just waiting to burst forth.

And I can resolve with the best of them. I can make glitzy charts and write inspirational goals. But that doesn’t make me any more apt to achieve them. I’m much better at thinking and dreaming than acting and doing. But each year, and sometimes even every few months, I come back to what I had hoped for the days ahead and try to refocus on the goal.

I am also so blessed to have dear friends to talk such things out with. We discuss what is and what could be and how we might get there. Always we yearn to lean harder upon God and see His strength come forth to bring about the change we long for.

Such a conversation happened a few years back. Two friends and I were discussing goals and progress over some ice cream (I’m sure we discussed health and fitness goals as we happily ate our frozen treats). One of these dear gals was eating and talking and happened to pause for a bite at just the moment when her phrase seemed it could be complete—at that point, at that pause, it formed some sort of odd confession:

“I have always had big as . . . s . . .”

[This is when slow motion in real time occurred. Her pause seemed so lengthy that it gave me time to process her comment and wonder and question why she would so harshly, so openly berate herself. What I thought she was saying didn’t click with her character, or her manner of speech, which is never improper or crass—nor did this comment align with her physical appearance. All around, this comment was as strange as it could be. Confusion washed over me because I couldn’t imagine such a comment coming from her. I quickly looked to my other friend and found the same baffled expression—our eyes met, questioning, Did she just say what we think she said? We soon discovered that no, she did not, as the remainder of her thought came forth.]

“. . . pirations and then something derails me.”

She said she always had big aspirations. Her pause, unbeknownst to her, had delivered an alternate, unintended message—much to our amusement. My listening friend and I burst into uncontainable laughter, not only at our mishearing but also at the thought that our friend would ever speak so brashly. We did our best to explain what we thought we heard, but it was rather lost—my confessing friend knew what she was trying to say, and she knew she was not attempting to profess a large posterior.

This event happened years ago, but just the mention of having “big aspirations” is enough to send us into fits of laughter. My confessing friend is kind enough to keep talking to us.

The truth of it is that the new year surfaces the big aspirations in all of us. The new year feels crisp and new and clean, like a change of bed sheets or a new journal. It feels like the days stretch out before us empty and free. I think the possibilities of what might be provide so much inspiration! What if we dreamed big and set our minds and hearts to action? What could change? What growth could come forth?

Like I said, I am blessed with wonderful kindred-spirit friends, with which I get to hash out such things with. I like to do that not only because the input of others sets my gaze a bit higher and calls me to strive harder, but also because I like to hear what is whispering the hearts of others. And I like to hear what other people are striving for, to see if I would like to add that to my list.

So what are your big aspirations, fellow bloggers?

What fun it would be to compare and encourage and motivate and inspire. I have more to say on inspirational resolutions, but I’ll save that for another day. So check back soon.

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