At the end of each year I take time to think back on the closing year--the accomplishments, the progress made, the happy times, and to set the goals for the new year.
This is something I've been doing since I can remember. I usually write a list of things I want to learn, places I want to go, projects I want to take on and how to go about them. And although I don't always end up achieving all the goals I intended, for the most part I have been able to keep up with my yearly resolutions.
A few days after Christmas I was thinking about my list--what should my goals be this year. That morning I went out early to help at the homeless shelter and I came back home at lunch time. Ben and Angela were visiting with their four children. Ben and Angela are volunteers in another centre in the outskirts of Budapest, and I've known them for years, but hadn't seen them in a while.
Angela and I sat after lunch in the living-room and talked a bit. She told me how difficult it has been in the few last years, to keep up with the work and take care of the children sometimes all single-handed. Especially when Ben goes out to take care of business and the organization of the centre they work in.
"You know, Alicia, sometimes I don't have anyone to talk to" Angela told me "Ben is wonderful and he helps so much. I don't want to complain. But I wish I had a friend..."
Right away I got my phone and told her to give me her number so I could call her and arrange it to go out for a coffee, or to the park with the kids or just to talk.
They left shortly after, and I went to make dinner. Eden came in the kitchen and I told her about Angela. I said "Isn't it terrible that we take people for granted? It makes me so sad" and of course it's no ones's fault but our own, when we get too busy to take care of people that surrounds us. We forget to be there for each other.
I was planning of writing a long list of things to accomplish in 2010. But I changed my mind--I will have only one thing on my to-do list, and that is to bring sunshine into other peoples lives. In whatever way I can, I will try to lighten their burden, bring laughter, share the load, encourage and comfort, let the light in, create magic.
The prayer of St. Francis goes like this:
Oh Master, that I may not seek to be consoled but to console
Not to be understood but to understand
Not to be loved but rather to love
That is my resolution for 2010.