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January 7, 2013

Lisa Madras: As a new year dawns, I’ll pursue what excites me

NEW CASTLE — What gets you excited about life?

It's a new year, and time once again to make those resolutions. I've been making and breaking promises to myself for as long as I can remember.  Sure, I've had some successes along the way, but obviously I'm not exactly where I want to be, or this year's resolution would be "keep everything the same!"  

Aw, HECK no!

But I really, truly, in my heart of hearts, want this year to be different. I NEED it to be different. I just turned 40 (as you all heard me lament over and over again last month) and that internal clock is just relentless in its mantra of "you're running out of time ... you're running out of time."

So I thought I'd try a different approach this year, instead of just writing out the goals I want to accomplish: lose weight, make more friends, blah blah blah.  I thought I would first examine WHY I choose the goals I do in the first place. Of course, it all came back to a simple question:

What gets me excited about life?

It's the mind-numbing mundaneness of life that kills me. Eat, sleep, work. Rinse and repeat. Blah. So in order to set my goals, I had to figure out what makes life worth living for me — in other words, what gets me excited? I already know that I love a good book or a good movie, love time with the kids, and have an unnatural obsession with Pinterest. I have all those things. It's the things I'm missing that I need to concentrate on.

And so I narrowed it down to the three most missed things (I'm sure there's more, but these are at the top of the list, and I want to have manageable goals):  

1. I want to give more by helping others. I've always been very selfish of my time and resources, even though I've found that I'm happiest when I'm making someone else happy or making their life easier in some way.

2. I want to do more ... of everything. I want to move my body more and exercise my brain more and just participate in life more.

3. I want to love more. I've had my heart squashed a couple of times over the last few years, and it's pretty tempting to stay safely behind the walls I've constructed for myself. These days, bitterness comes more easily to me than love, but I'm bound and determined to figure out which people in this world are deserving of my love, and to give it to them freely and without the mistrust and sadness that hovers around me now.

So pretty simply, I've narrowed it down to this: Give more, do more, love more.

If I can pull off even one of those things in 2013, it will be a year well spent.

Wish me luck!


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