This year I’m starting a new tradition. We all make lists of resolutions an plan on making things different, but all of those efforts ring hollow to me, and I rarely participate in the game of out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new anyway. I do like a good reset though, and what better way to reset your life than to make a confession. While I’m not Catholic, I am Christian and Mormon, and we participate in confessing our sins. For me it brings at least a little (admittedly needed) humility and maybe, just maybe, it will help me be more generous with the people around me. Taking a moment to acknowledge where I’ve not been near perfect should give me some pause when judging or criticizing y’all. So here goes, in no particular order:
- I don’t spend as much time in prayer and meditation as I would like – I’d like to believe myself a prayerful and contemplative man, but the true amount of time I spend thinking deeply or praying deeply, opening up to the Lord in real ways, is much less than I would like it to be. Sure, I pray, and there are moments where I contemplate and meditate, but it seems like I spend 99% of my time running between tasks and worrying about the doingness of life, instead of the beingness.
- I can’t say I immerse myself in the scriptures – My three times through the Book of Mormon this year, paired with my insistence on having a morning scripture reading with my family, doesn’t necessarily equate with me feeling immersed in the scriptures. The word of God is great, and my life severely lacks on those days when I miss study time, but a lot of the time study time means reading the words without thinking about them too much. Luckily the Lord is merciful and my base reading still changes my soul, even when it probably shouldn’t.
- I find myself hardening in ways that I don’t understand – Call it getting older or whatever, there are now places in my life where compromise isn’t an option, where I don’t care if I stand alone, or if anyone agrees with me. I spent much less time this year worrying about what people think and much more time focusing on getting things done. My language has become a set of short phrases. I cut through the glittering phrases and end up with clear and concise, but not always kind. I think I probably offended some people because of this. Even today, working with my son and his friend on a video for a school project, my son had to tell his friend that I wasn’t mad… I was just kind of intense and it seemed like mad. I am willing to bet that happens more than I realize with more people than I think. If you are one of those people, I’m sorry. I truly am. I’m not going to change my behavior, but I am sorry if you are offended by me.
- I spent too much time worrying and not enough time living – I don’t think I’m any different than you are, but while life has continued for me and my family has aged a bit, life has become more complicated, and there is a lot to worry about. I have a teenager in Junior High. I’m helping with breakfasts and lunches and trying to keep our household moving forward. I’m also a busy business owner, who is engaged in business expansion. I am in a partnership with fantastic partners, but we have employees that are depending on us. I feel that, and worry, and work, maybe more hours than I need to. I bought a new bike and only went on six bike rides. I didn’t hike much. I skipped lunch a lot. I probably only made it to the gym an average of twice per week. I did take breaks to be with family, but probably not as often or for as long as I should have. My time spent worrying grew considerably this last year.
- I’ve embraced my inner workaholic – I’ve come to grips with the fact that I really do enjoy working. It’s a confession I’m not super happy about, but it is true. I really like being at work, even if my work is just ten steps away in my little hole with a window and a computer. I like the feeling after a long day when I’ve been part of a creative process that birthed something awesome. I like feeling productive. This year, excepting those fun family outings where we were active, I struggled to relax and do nothing but hang out. It feels like I’m wasting time doing that. It’s the exact opposite of my teenage years.
- I don’t have the self-control I would like – I spent too much time in 2016 letting my own passions and desires rule my actions. My waistline can attest to that. Though that could be a byproduct of the extra Cortisol production because of my high levels of stress. Either way, the pretense that I am fully in control of myself has been stripped bare. There is a lot of this animal that is still animal. Too much to accept.
There you have it. Six confessions for 2016. I hope you can empathize a little bit with my confessions, and make some of your own. Happy New Year!