My dad called me this morning while I was still in bed, reluctant to get up.
He was calling me on his cell phone and sounding a bit breathless, so I knew he was out on a walk.
“It’s New Year’s eve!” he boomed. “I’d like you to email me some of your prayer topics for the new year by 3 p.m. this afternoon. I’m going to take your prayers to the New Year’s Eve service tonight and the whole church is going to pray for each other.”
“Okay,” I mumbled groggily, and hung up.
To be completely honest. I haven’t been feeling much like thinking about New Year resolutions. Some things have caused me to feel rather down lately, things that made me doubt myself as a person.
I remembered that last year’s resolution was to be a more “beautiful person.” But what I thought about myself right now…wasn’t exactly pretty. In fact, I’ve been feeling downright ugly. And thus, I’ve been feeling like a failure.
I’ve been having weird dreams lately. Dreams about me fighting with people. People whom I don’t consciously negatively think about during the day. People with whom I used to have a grudge and have since forgiven and forgotten…or at least, I thought I did.
But the disturbing dreams prove otherwise. Unconsciously, I was still harboring some animosity towards certain people.
Yesterday, I read back to my previous year’s resolutions. One of them was to sleep by 2 a.m. Ha. Ha. Ha. I would laugh, but I’m too weighed down by dismay of failure.
>I looked in the mirror this morning, and my eyes were crusted with sleep, my hair limp, and there was a dab of drool on my cheek. This, I said to myself, is the image of FAILURE.
Yup, I had no freaking desire at all to come up with any New Year resolutions. What’s the point? So I can look back a year later and find that I’m still a failure? I just wanted to crawl back into my bed.
But I looked out the window. A silent, gentle breeze caressed my face. The sun was shining, and god, even the birds were chirping like a Mary Poppins show.
I knew what I had to do. I laced up my sneakers, threw on a USC sweatshirt, and went out for a run.
The 30-minute physical activity pumped up my blood flow, eased me into a balanced rhythm, and lifted up my moods. And then I started thinking again, and praying.
No, the year 2010 was not some explosive year that cleaned me inside-out into a brand new person. I still have my temper. I still have my impatience. I still have my unattractive, weak ways.
But…I’ve definitely learned.
Every good or bad situation, every drama, every mistake have been an experience. This year may not have projected me into a fabulously gorgeous and perfect human being, and the next year of 2011 will not achieve that, either.
But. I’ve learned. I’ve experienced. I’ve gained. I’ve made progress. And next year shall be the same. Whether I achieve every single resolution I made doesn’t matter. What matters is that right now, I start out a new year with a positive, hopeful attitude.
Thus, this year of 2011 will be another great year. Just as how the year of 2010 has been absolutely fabulous and blessed in its entirety.
I’ve met some amazing people. I’ve gone hopping around Asia and Canada. I’ve gotten a chance to have my own food column, and even won Best Columnist. I’ve enjoyed school, and reaffirmed my passions.
Yes, Year 2010 was definitely a success. As for Year 2011, I’ve once again come up with a few prayer topics:
1) Make God my Lord.
Not someone I turn to only when I need Him, but let Him saturate every part of my life, so that I really live Him out.
2) Be a bigger person. Have a bigger heart.
And that means really letting go of certain things that are just garbage in my mind. Learn from every mistake, and forgive and forget, no matter who is wrong or right.
3) Have confidence in myself.
How many times have I doubted myself, condemned myself, felt sorry for myself? It’s a sickening cycle, and it needs to stop. Because no matter how flawed I am, I am still someone who is beloved, and deserving of love and respect…starting from myself.
By the way, another reason why this year will rock, is because there’s gonna be more home-baked breads in my life. Ever since I made this sweet potato bread, and have had a taste of home-baked goodness, store-bought bread just cannot measure up, unless they’re on sale for 40 cents per loaf.
One bread that I recently baked and found super super amazing is this black sesame milk bread. You won’t find the recipe online because I sort of made it up. Hee hee. But here’s the recipe:
Black Sesame Seed Milk Bread
4 cups flour
4 packets black sesame cereal (found in Asian stores…or substitute 1/2 cup toasted black sesame seeds crushed with 1/4 cup sugar)
2 cups milk
1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
1 tsp salt
5 tablespoons melted butter
Warm the milk. Dissolve yeast into the milk and stir, let sit for a few minutes until dissolved.
Whisk the salt and butter. Add the yeasted milk mixture. Mix in the flour and the black sesame cereal. Mix until smooth.
Leave to rise in the bowl until double in size, about 2 hours. Punch in, and then knead briefly, adding a bit more flour if necessary. Put into a loaf pan sprayed with PAM (or oiled).
And that’s that! It smells incredible in the oven, and truthfully, I didn’t wait for it to cool.
The bread had a very lovely crust, and tender crumb. The black sesame cereal in there gave it a wonderful toasty and nutty flavor that is unique and fragrant.
Okay, that’s it for now…I gotta send my dad that prayer list.
Happy New Year, everyone. I’ll be back with more fun and jazz and less bullshit!
Question of the Year: Sharing is caring. What are your resolutions for new year? And what is your secret, most crazy desire for Year 2011? Hee hee hee.
P.S. Weekend ED Series was on holiday last week, but I hope to be back with it soon.