Over the last Christmas break (which for me ended a week ago) I once again failed at completing my Big Long List of Goals; instead, I completed my three biggest goals and a bunch of smaller, productive tasks that my family or job needed from me. I left home at peace, knowing that my primary goal was fulfilled: I rested over the break (I also talk about this in a previous post, "Back to Writing"). Ultimately, that was what I wanted to do most, and while there were other goals that sometimes interfered with days off, I dropped things from my own list if they ran counter to doing well.
I have gotten into the habit of trying to trick myself into self-improvement, and I have to admit it works pretty well, or at least better than the D-Day mode of getting better ("the diet starts Monday!" rather than waking up every day thinking, "today I will eat well"). This year, interestingly enough, I happened to start several new habits over the first few days of the year and the last few days of the last one, and they were all connected to a root thought: if my reason for not doing something good for me boils down to "I don't like it," I am wrong and need to start doing that thing (cardio is a big one - I don't enjoy running much, but it's readily available and free, so for now it's a great option). In other words, I don't get to be lazy in my stewardship.
The body I live in was a gift to me whether or not I wanted to receive it. Let me repeat that: whether or not I wanted to receive it. It was a gift from Someone much smarter than me who was okay with approving a me with bad eyesight, who gets tired easily, who doesn't like crowds and doesn't mind speaking in front of them. I don't want to treat that lightly anymore. I don't think it's really within my interests and I'm not sure it's in my rights. Of course I'll fail at being good. That's not the point.
This year, I want to steward the gifts I have, including this vessel I live in that determines so much of how I feel. I want to be a better caretaker. Sometimes that means talking to myself as a beloved child, and other times it means eating some carrots and going to bed. Whatever it means for you, it's worth doing. Steward better.