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Before the 'Jumping Off' point

I feel surprisingly calm and relaxed this New Year’s Day. No resolutions. No recriminations in my head over what I did not accomplish last year. No moaning over the number on the scale or the lack of numbers in the checkbook. No fretting that black eyed peas and collards are not simmering on my stove; nor is cornbread baking in the oven. I’m having a roast beef sandwich for dinner tonight.

What is different about ringing in this New Year? I’m not quite sure. I believe turning 61 has affected me more than last year’s 60th birthday. Based upon the average lifespan of women in my family, I most likely have 24 more years left on earth. Maybe less. Maybe more. But the jumping off point for my mother, grandmother and most of my aunts was approximately 85.

Acknowledging this did not frighten or dismay me. Instead, it gave me permission.

Permission to not bemoan my weight or justify it to anyone. To nap daily. Sometimes more than once. To refuse being corralled into something I don’t want to do only because someone thinks I should do it. To no longer having the need to please anyone and no longer feel the necessity to explain my decisions. To the word “no” being a complete sentence. And to not feel selfish for any of it. This does not mean that I do not strive to be kind, helpful and loving. However, the burning desire for approval has transformed itself into personal satisfaction.

By accomplishing the above, I find that my relationship with my husband is more fulfilling just because I am not pulled in too many directions. Having more time for him cannot help but make our marriage better.

But even more fulfilling, it has made my relationship with Jesus feel as if He is my constant companion. He isn’t a visitor or relative I need to impress. I believe He likes hanging out with me as much as I like hanging out with Him. We talk. I ask advice and for direction. I also ask for forgiveness. I do hope I hear Him when the cares of daily living press in. It is not a flip or shallow relationship. But one of reverence and comfort and enjoyment of each other’s company. Lifelong friends type of comfort and enjoyment.

Do I have desires to accomplish anything in 2017? Yes. Most certainly. More reliance on the Word of God to guide me. More focus. To find more mental and physical energy. More activity; especially outdoors. More romance. Less technology. More reaching out to caregivers. Less political hype. Reaching the top of the mountain and enjoying the view for a while before I hit the jumping off point.

I think the word for this is “grace.” I wish you a blessed New Year.

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