It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the New Year tradition of resolutions, goal setting and looking forward; to achieve more, to repair what’s weak, to get better. It’s fun and this year is especially exciting because it’s not only a New Year but a New Decade!!! Statistics tell us that by now, actually by January 12th, most people have given up on those New Year Resolutions…
Not me, I’m still chiseling out what all of mine are!
This year, as I have for the last few years, I focused on a word. The initial word came to me suddenly sometime in late November or December and I knew in that instant it was my word, not only for the year, but for the decade.
Yes, LEGACY. So fitting for this time in my life and for this decade of my life. What other decade will I likely say good-bye to my last remaining grandparents (but I do think my Grandma Billie has a fighting chance of making it into her centennial years). And what other decade will I likely say hello to most of my grandchildren (although I have begun that journey already with Marlee and Noah).
BUT… just a word for a decade would never do, so I morphed it, turned it into an acronym of four awesome and powerful words to live this year and decade by, this decade I will roar: LOVE!
LOVE (because always may I be known for my love, be better at how I love, and may I grow in love): LEGACY - OBLITERATE - VISUALIZE - EXPLORE.
Here’s my LEGACY VISION ← see what I did there?!
The biggest personal legacy goal is to love my gramma Lucy well as she walks her final years on this earth and with dementia. I have an unexplainable dream to be here for her and take care of her. Our family has had a horrible experience with the assisted living facility she’s been at for the last two years and I cannot see putting her in another one. This also makes me think strongly about my other grandma, Billie. The question is: have I loved her well enough? I have trusted a family I haven’t been blessed to know as well as I know my Stivala side to take care of her, but now my heart wonders… am I loving her well enough? So, for the sake of love and legacy, I will attend to my last surviving grandparents, Billie and Lucy.
Next are my grandchildren. I have two now and they are such a wonderful blessing in my life! I am humbled to know them and have the opportunity to be an active participant in their lives. I also enjoy being able to support their mama (and dad) as they parent them beyond their preschool years into the later years of childhood. I look forward to some of my other babies having babies (in good time) and hopefully having the same opportunity to be a real and active grandparent in their lives as well.
Of course my children are high up there on my “legacy” list too. Have I shared with them all I have to share or is there a new way for us to relate and enjoy life together as parent and adult children? Obviously my very blended family is dynamic and my relationships with each of my five children is as unique as they are themselves, but I don’t want it to end because all of them will now be adults. I want to strengthen, deepen and grow our bonds. To this end I want to partner with my husband to help him achieve his legacy dream of getting his girl to all 50 states, which he will on her 18th birthday! What an amazing feat. What a cool legacy of travel (and EXPLORATION… see how it fits with the over theme) he’s given to her that she appreciates now, and I feel certain will come to treasure even more as she grows into womanhood.
Then there’s my parents… yeah… my parents. That’s probably where the OBLITERATE can also wind into the acronym. There’s so much family dynamic between us, both my father, mother and step-parents. I’d like to love them well by addressing and OBLITERATING my own personal resentments that I’ve held far too long, to EXPLORE what this new decade can mean for all of us and to identify their legacy as it relates to me and my children. This will probably prove to be the most challenging, but, I will endeavor to love them well.
And what of the rest of the humans on the planet? Can I expect, hope or VISUALIZE actually making an impact in my little valley let alone THE world at large? What a large and lofty thought! I do not know if I’ll ever be able to affect the world, but if so, I hope I am known for loving well, for living and writing in such as way as to inspire and elicit raw, honest emotion, for keeping kids safe and for revealing the soul saving truth of Jesus Christ!
Finally my personal legacy goals, those nagging tasks, those “someday” projects and dreamy writing goals I’ve always wanted to achieve but have yet to realize will have their day! As far as the “someday” projects go: this year I aim to organize and catalog ALL the past decades of photos we have in print and digital form and give them space and honor in our life and home. And, as we’re realizing our landlording dreams and are actually building an estate for our heirs I also plan to make a Dave Ramsey “Legacy Box” where our family can find all our legacy documents when our time comes. It will be a monumental undertaking, but well worth it, I think, to build my family legacy! And for my writing: My passion, my desire to share my heart and stories with the world in words will continue. I will build a written legacy of both fiction and non-fiction work that will remain even when I leave this world. I confess I dream of hitting it big someday, and will always hope and wait for it. Until then, I will press on toward the goal, that I might receive the prize, which will be to give the world all the words and stories that are in my heart to share and hear those long sought after words from my Father in heaven, “Well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few tings, I will put you in charge of many things.”
So there’s the “L” in my decade of LOVE, next up … hear me roar as I OBLITERATE debt and resentment!