This is a sampler my husband’s ninety-eight-year-old grandmother made us for Christmas. Isn’t it pretty? I loved it as soon as we unwrapped it, but it took a little while before the message sunk in.
I've made some vague attempts to eat better and exercise, but I’m more than two weeks late with official New Year’s resolutions. (Confession: Stop procrastinating may have been a former year’s resolution, but that’s water under the bridge.) Anyway, I read a New Year’s blog talking about picking a word for the year instead of making resolutions. I’d been playing with the idea but no particular word had yet resonated with me. Then I walked by the sampler and realized the lesson I need is right there in front of me.
It really is the small things. For example, I love my husband. I love him enough that I’d give him a kidney, take care of him if her were very ill, even die for him. But do I love him enough to really listen when he explains every detail of some project he’s planning? Or to remember to screw the top tight on the pickle jar because he picks up jars by the lids? Or to serve Brussels sprouts with the pork chops because he likes them, even though I’d rather have spinach? Life has a few big moments, but mostly it’s made up of small things.
I can apply this lesson every day, and not just with my husband. I can check in with my mother more often and send little messages to my brothers and sister and kids so they know I’m thinking of them. I can let the mom with the fussy baby go ahead of me in the checkout line, and be patient with the man blocking the grocery store aisle. I can smile more.
The funny thing is that, in general, these little sacrifices don’t cost me much, but they make people happy. And making people happy makes me happy. So that’s my motto for the year. I’m sure I’ll slip up and be impatient, distracted, or selfish sometimes, but I’m going to try to show more love in the small things. That’s my plan for 2016.