To be perfectly honest, I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions. Making any amount of promises to myself while knowing full well I'd break them (and sooner than later) never seemed the best way to start a new year to me. But after having a few conversations recently, reading some other people's New Year's thoughts, and thinking a bit, I realized there were two resolutions I could make this year that were 1) realistic and 2) would enhance my life. Having figured them out, I decided this was a good of a year as any to join in the resolution hype!
My first one goes back to the topic of thankfulness. Reflecting on the good things that happen each day and giving thanks for the blessings in life is something so important, yet I so often forget to do it. Beginning this year, at dinner each night I will name two or three things I'm happy happened that day. It'll be easy enough to do, Othman can remind me if I forget, and I think it'll help me keep things in perspective. Even the worst days have highlights, and focusing on them will be good for me. I've heard of quite a few families doing this with their children... but if it's good for kids then why not adults?
|Thankful everyday that this man is in my life!|
After arriving at the airport at 6pm yesterday and battling traffic jams until 8pm, Othman and I went to spend a quiet New Year's with 5 other people at a friend's house. One of the people I met works with an NGO called SOS Children's Villages. She told me all about her work and the positive and not-so-great aspects of the organization, and I told her about some of the different work I've done, including the summer I spend in São Paulo working with an NGO that helps foreign women caught working as drug mules and trapped in the Brazilian prison system. It was a kind of conversation that I hadn't had in quite a while. Then I told her how I haven't done much volunteering here, partly because of the language barrier, and asked if she knew about any French-only opportunities available. She said she has many contacts in Moroccan non-profit circles and that she can help me find something.
Giving my time to help people that are less fortunate than me has brought me great joy and peace in the past. Knowing that I'm doing something, however small, makes me feel less selfish, which is interesting because most people, myself included, volunteer for selfish reasons. Any of you who have done extensive volunteer work have experienced that feeling of lightness and pride you get from helping others. It makes you feel selfless, but in a way seeking that feeling through volunteering is an act of selfishness. This circle is necessary though, to keep us going back to helping others, and it's a circle I want to jump into again. So that's my second resolution for 2014-- to go back to volunteering in some capacity.
|Highlights of 2013|