OK, maybe “rockin'” is going a little too far. We just ate some brownies, and we’re now sitting by the fire, watching what appears to be a Disneyworld infommercial on the Travel Channel. My dad and step-mom (and Chiara) have already headed off to bed, and it’s not even 10 p.m. Noah and Olivia, on the other hand, say they’re in it for the long haul. We’ll see who survives until midnight. Noah, of course, makes it to midnight every year since he not only rings in the new year but his birthday as well.
It’s hard to believe we’re on the brink of another new year. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, so you won’t find any of those here. I do, however, like to set some “goals.” Last year one of my main goals was to go on a retreat for the first time since high school. I went on three in the span of six months, so, as you can see, I take my “goals” very seriously. This year my goals once again lean toward the spiritual side. I would like to look into getting a spiritual director, something that intimidates me for a number of reasons, and I’d like to go on another retreat. Although I can’t go on a longer retreat, I would like to go on something that will challenge me in an intense spiritual way. Last year it was the silent/contemplative retreat that forced me to stretch. I would definitely like to do another silent retreat since that was really a phenomenal experience and one that has had a lasting impact in my life.
I’d also like to learn to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I simply cannot get this prayer routine, no matter how many times I give it the old college try. You might as well hand me an instruction manual and tell me to land a plane. I open that book of Christian Prayer and my eyes glaze over. I wonder if some of it has to do with the fact that I’m always trying to learn on my own and I could really benefit from the communal prayer experience. Another part of me thinks it has to do with my lack of connection to the Psalms. I know the Psalms are important. I know many saints and spiritual greats say that the Psalms are imperative to their prayer life, but so far I haven’t experienced that profound Psalm Aha! moment. I’ll keep working on it, but if anyone has any secrets to the Psalms, please pass them along.
Finally, one of last year’s unmet goals, will roll over to 2009: I want to spent a weekend with my dear friend Dorothy, which would be an awful lot like going on private retreat with a spiritual director. So maybe I’ll be able to fulfill all three goals in one big spiritual extravaganza.
That’s about it. It may not sound like much, but, trust me, those spiritual goals are quite a challenge for me. If I can be even half as successful with these goals as I was with last year’s goals, I’ll be happy. I don’t put time pressures on myself with these goals. In fact, I don’t really put any pressure on myself. I just put the ideas out there into the universe and begin to take baby steps toward achieving what I want.
Feel free to share your goals or resolutions. Maybe we can help each other along the way. Happy New Year! May 2009 be a year of blessings and spiritual surprises for all of us.