“Keep Your Expectations for the New Year Low. That Way When Good Things Happen You Will Be Pleasantly Surprised.” I am not sure how we raised a 14-year-old with Buddhist leanings, but there he is. And to be honest, he has a point. We often weigh baby new year down with expectations so heavy no little thing could hold them. We want to lose weight. Improve our career. Find love. Make money. All worthwhile goals. But not necessarily all achievable. And not because we are lazy or unfocused or don’t own the right planner. Our goals are not always achievable because sometimes it is all we can do to make it through each day as it unfolds. I am entering 2019 with an increasing awareness of how precious and fragile life is. For in 2018 a dear one died of cancer. And more were diagnosed. I watched my dad endure a surgery I wasn’t sure he would survive. My goals for 2018 shrank dramatically as the year went on. I went from wanting to better my health, publish a book, and form a supper club to wanting to survive and make the most of each day. Because some days that is about as best as we can do. Survive. Survive with as much grace and love as possible. Survive and appreciate the good moments and hard moments as much as we can. Don’t get me wrong, I would still love to get in shape, publish a book, and have a great circle of friends. And I still work toward those goals as I am able. But I am not hanging my happiness on whether or not those things happen. I am not going to stress over some planner with items I may or may not accomplish. Because planners and to-do lists are not the bosses of my life. Love and Grace are the bosses of my life. So yeah, some of my goals for the year got pushed aside. So I would have time to hug the grieving, care for the sick, and take care of my own hurting heart. And that is okay. Because that is what this past year held for me. And frankly, I have no idea what the new year holds, how hard and/or beautiful it will be. So I enter 2019 gently. With little expectation. Save being present in each moment with as much love and grace as possible. ***If you live in Middle Georgia, you can join my husband and me at our New Year’s Mindfulness Retreat January 11-12. Find me on Facebook for more details.