Is it too cliché to say that I’m excited about the fresh start of the new year? I’ve thought a lot about the rhythms of life, the seasons in a year, and about the process of having a clean slate. It makes sense that, as the seasons pass by and begin again, we mark on the calendar the beginning of another journey around the sun. I just think its funny that, as a planet, we look at the beginning of a new year as a chance to start over, complete with a huge celebration.
Well, regardless of how silly or not it is, I am excited at the chance to take another swing at the things that have seemed to defeat me. With most Americans who have made it their goal to get in shape this year, I take another swing. And with many Americans who have resolved to eat better, I take another swing. However, more personally for me, I have resolved to work on expanding my relational capacity.
Represented in our family of 6 are three introverts and three extraverts. For so many years we, as a family, were living a completely extraverted lifestyle. We entertained freely, hosted myriads of guests, and included everyone in a widening circle of friendship. That relational schedule left those of us who are introverts slowly becoming drained and completely misrepresented. So in a moment of clarity, my husband and I spoke about how skewed our rhythm was to the introverts among us. We made a drastic course correction, and ended up tightening our friendship circle, limiting our house guests, and putting the brakes on evenings of parties and supper guests.
However, now that we’ve lived this lifestyle for about a year, I think it is time to revisit the original conversation about representing our family correctly in our rhythm. It presently seems that we now over-represent the introverts, and our extraverts are shriveling up. It is a part of my worldview that we all need people in our lives, and life lived outside of community is ineffectual, at best. I’ve found that in this past year, my relational capacity has shrunk, and I find that I’ve had very little relational energy to even pursue the people that are replenishing to me. In this new year, I have determined that I am going to position myself to enlarge my capacity for people.
What about you? In what areas would you like to improve? In what areas are you ready to revisit some old decisions that served a purpose for a season, but you feel that season may be over?