Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The First Year

2008.

It's here.

This year Justin will graduate from medical school. On March 20 The Match will be revealed. On June 1 our next adventure will officially begin: Dr. and Mrs. Justin P. Anderson.

This is the first year I am beginning as a healthy woman in God knows how many years. (Never mind that I am typing this with my right wrist in a brace because I sprained it.) I said this out loud to Justin on Christmas, but we were both afraid to jinx it until the turning of the calendar page: in 2007 neither of us spent any time in the hospital--as patients, at least.

I feel like I've sifted through the ashes and dust that compose me and realize more clearly the forms my life can take. I understand more about myself than I have in the past (duh--people are supposed to learn more about themselves as they grow older), but more importantly I understand that I have to honor what I know.

I think what I am saying is that I know I am capable of doing a lot and I have an idea of what more I might be able to do with my skill set. As so much opportunity and possibility for change lies before us in this year alone, I have to stay focused on Brian's favorite saying: I am a human Being not a human Doing.

I have to focus on who I am going to be, not even what I am going to be.

As someone recently reminded me, it's kindness, loyalty, reliability, compassion, love that connect me to the world. No longer a classroom teacher and journalism adviser, it is still not what I do that makes me who I am. Dog walker, hostess, student, artist, photographer... none of that defines me. Not even daughter, sister, friend, wife... I am just Olaina. I guess my job is to make sure that I choose to do things (the what) that serve me well, that make who I am someone that I want to be.

At the center of all of that being is love, grace-type. God-type. Little-Christs-type. I think what I know is that I am sustained by God's love and that examples of His love are worldwide. Not examples even, more like samples--like the little bites of food they hand out at Costco, or the squirts of perfume or brushes of lipstick you can have for free before you decide you want, need, must have more. But in this scenario, people don't have to buy more--you know, since we're saved by grace through faith alone and all that. We don't have to buy God's love with barters of deeds or tithes. He just loves us, for no reason at all but that we are His children. I suppose it is because of that love that we share love in return.

So what do I do this year?

Love.

Do things lovingly.

What a round about way to get to Mother Theresa's saying, "...do small things with great love."

Where and when and what is to be revealed.

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