I admit I am not much on making New Year’s resolutions or choosing a word for the coming year. If those are meaningful practices for you, I do not mean to diminish them. I simply have never connected to them. One year, in talking about this topic with my mother, she said something like, “A year is a very long commitment. I think I’ll just start with tomorrow.” That was wisdom I could connect with.

This year, as the new year starts, I’m doing it for the first time without my mother after her passing, but it’s been amazing how many bits of conversation like this have come to mind over the months.

I haven’t been writing here on the blog much at all lately for various reasons, all of them good ones related to shifting circumstances of my life. I haven’t been writing anywhere much at all for the last year or so. For a nano-second I was tempted to resolve to get back to blogging this year, and perhaps I will. (Get back to blogging, that is. Not resolving.) Then I heard my mother’s voice saying, “A year is a very long commitment. I think I’ll just start with tomorrow.”

As I reflect, these are thoughts that unpack the statement for me at this point in time.

1. We have to understand our limitations. We might not like our limitations, but we can’t necessarily resolve our way past them. The demands and circumstances of our lives are what they are, at least for a season, whether that’s the roles we play in sustaining our households and relationships or our own health issues. Can we change some things? Perhaps. But not everything. And not simply by resolving on January 1.

2. We have to be realistic. I think my mother’s point in the original conversation was that a lot of people make unrealistic resolutions. The goals might be admirable, but many people don’t know how to move toward them realistically or to sustain them over time.

3. We have to understand ourselves. Just because everybody else gets on a bandwagon, whether it’s New Year’s resolutions or a particular way of eating or exercising or the latest entertainment fad, that doesn’t mean I have to. I can understand myself enough to make a choice that’s reasonable for my temperament and my circumstances.

I have every expectation that in general I will be writing at a brisker pace again and will have the joy of telling you of forthcoming books here on the blog. So many of you have had such great things to say about Colors of Christmas, which was the last book I wrote a year ago, and that’s been a wonderful encouragement to me.

I snapped the photo you see with this post as I left an early church service yesterday morning down the street from my house. My mountain. Pikes Peak. While so much of the country has been in a deep freeze, we’ve had mild 50ish temperatures lately. But the image of the clouds hanging low below the peak spoke to me. We can sometimes feel we’re about to be socked in and lose perspective, but the grandeur is still there. Even with the clouds, so is the beauty.

So start with tomorrow. And perhaps we can all help each other keep our heads above the clouds.

Peace to your spirits.