Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2012: Ellie's New Year

 You have the Chinese New Year and, well, everyone else's new year, and now we have Ellie's New Year. I am headed over to the Wal-Green clinic to get checked for a sinus infection. I called and made two long-over-due doctor's appointments. Tomorrow evening at 6:30 I am going to the gym. When I get my antibiotic, I am going to PLAN MEALS and then cook them. Today - November 29th - is my new year.

The good news is I am already on the road to self-improvement. I am FINALLY getting my finances in order, I own an iPhone, and the majority of my laundry is clean. I am coming to terms with the fact that Joel genuinely loves me, which means that he wants me to be happy with myself apart from him. I met with the executive director at my school to discuss other potential career opportunities at the school besides a classroom teacher. Progress is being made, and I feel like I am finally climbing out of this rut that I have been in for the past 18 months.

There is, of course, the ever-present fear that all of these things will change - my diet, my adenoids, my exercise - that I will become this "self-improved" individual that I so long to be - but my happiness level will not change. Honestly, I think that is oftentimes what holds me, and a lot of people, back. We want to be happy, so we make a list of the things that will make us happy. We start doing them, everything is looking good, but then we get afraid - afraid that when we reach our goals we won't be happy. So, we start screwing ourselves over - instead of continuing towards our goal, we just stop because we are so scared of what accomplishing our goals will, or won't, bring us. I guess this is pretty common because, well, there are numerous quotes/songs/books/poems with this theme.

Anyways, so I'm thinking about this, and I think about the Gospel and how it is intended to steer us away from this type individualistic thinking because our ultimate goal is not happiness, but pursuing God's will for our life. And then I think about what my cousin Jered told my mom about Vietnam - about how people were concerned about social responsibility over individualism. I think about how in America it seems that we associate social responsibility with God's will, and I wonder if in Vietnam they think of God's will as being individualistic since salvation is granted on an individual basis. And then I realize that God's will is neither about individualism or socialism - there is no definition for what it means overall, except that it looks different for every person, but the result, the goal is the same - to bring God glory.

I realize that in my current state I am not bringing God glory; instead, I use a lot of my weaknesses as excuses. Because I am not operating within God's will, I am not happy because, when we are living in God's will, I think He makes us feel satisfied, which, in turn, makes us feel happy. I suppose I should change my goal from self-improvement to being disciplined.

So, I suppose if I could "sum up" Ellie's New Year Resolution it would be to be disciplined.

And because it's a new year, I am starting a new blog. Ellie in Memphis has been wonderful; I've divulged secrets, started drama, and entertained about 5 or 6 people. But I'm ready to move on, grow up, start something new. So, you can now follow me now through Ellie's New Year blog! (Sorry for the promo!)

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