Like many people, I take the last week of the year to rest, catch up with friends and reflect on the year gone  by. Today reading the New York Times, I came across a unique New Year’s practice that can transform far more powerfully than the usual resolutions, written by a woman  whose view has been shaped by illness. 

The terrible gift of a terrible illness is that it has in fact taught me to live in the moment. But when I look at these mementos, I realize that I am learning more than to seize the day. In losing my future, the mundane began to sparkle. The things I love — the things I should love — become clearer, brighter. This is transcendence, the past and the future experienced together in moments where I can see a flicker of eternity.

So instead of New Year’s resolutions, I drew up a list for 2019 of experiences that had already passed: a record not of self-mastery but of genuine surprise.

1. My oncology nurse became a dear friend.2. Even in the hospital I felt the love of God. 3. Zach is under the impression that I never get tired. These are my small miracles scattered like bread crumbs, the way forward dotting the path behind me.

In recalling my own experiences of genuine surprise over the past year, I realize that it is really a lens through I can view living, an openness to the unexpected all around us. Gifts.

Eclipse in tree shadows / Maureen Rolla August 31, 2018

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