Do Better December Day One

1 Dec

It’s December 1st and I love when a month begins on a Monday. It feels like a fresh start to me and after the month I’ve just had, I feel like I need a fresh start. It’s difficult to imagine that for those of us who celebrate Christmas, the holiday is only a few weeks away. I’ve had so many years when I’ve scrambled to get things done, and I don’t want to do that this year. This year, I want to be ready. I want to be as serene as possible, not only for Christmas, but to ring in the New Year as well. I know there are people out there who don’t believe you can change your life in thirty day. I know there are those who know just how much your life can improve in thirty or even fewer days. I have seen in my own life how just a few days of doing what works best for me can change how my home and body look and feel and how my attitude can change for the better.

I know that there are people who are suffering in the world. I had an encounter with one on Thanksgiving and he is my inspiration for this post and all that will come in December. On Thanksgiving Day, on the way to my sister in law’s home, we saw the same homeless man we’ve always seen as we exit the highway. That day, as we turned and drove back under the highway bridge, I noticed another person sleeping up under the bridge and realized this was probably where these people “lived”. I was on my way to spend the holiday with 40-60 of my relatives, and these people were sleeping under a bridge and just trying to survive the day. I had read an article the day before from a homeless man who put an ad on Facebook to have a family invite him to dinner on Thanksgiving because he said the loneliness of being homeless was much worse on holidays and seeing those people made that very real for me. I looked at my husband and said that no one should go without a hot meal on Thanksgiving and that I wanted to bring them some hot food when we drove back by. I felt like it was the least I could do.

A few hours later when we were amply fed and had spent time laughing and joking with those we love, we drove through the only place we could find open and bought food and hot chocolate. It wasn’t exactly healthy food, but I figured it would nourish them and hopefully keep them a little warmer. The same man was still standing in the same spot. We stopped and called him over to the car. I handed him the food and drinks and told him I wished it could be more. Then I looked him in the eye and saw the most grateful look I have ever seen. I realized that my small sacrifice was a huge blessing to this man and at that moment, I truly received more than I was giving, but I guess the Divine wasn’t finished with us yet. I wished the man a Happy Thanksgiving and rolled up my window as he turned to walk away. As we sat there, he quickly crossed the street to meet another man in the middle of the street who he handed the other hot chocolate to and both of them turned toward a third man who was sitting in a bus shelter. At that moment, I knew that I had been given a greater gift than any of those men. I thought I was doing something special for them because I bought them a meal, but the looks on their faces and how freely they shared the little bit that they had showed me that no matter how much you might lose, you can always keep your humanity and dignity. I have always enjoyed giving but never more than in that moment and following the prompting of the Divine always give me more than it requires of me, and it’s why I’m writing and recording about it.

You see, I rarely tell people when I do things like buying a meal or donating. I may share an opportunity when I am particularly fond of or touched by the cause, but it usually stops there. For the past few days, I have been wondering why this latest occurrence has stayed with me and this morning I think I got the answer. This morning, as I woke up to a new month, I realized how happy I was to see the last one go. It was truly a no progress November, and I am so happy to have a new start. I also realized just how close Christmas and New Years are, and I want to sail into next year, not wanting to change everything and start over, but to have it all in place when I get there. I don’t want to overhaul everything. I just want to improve it a little bit every day, and I don’t want to overwhelm myself with trying to do it all better every day. It just gets to be too much.

So as I was walking this morning, my first “Do better” task of the month since I haven’t been as consistent as I would like with that, I was thinking about ways to make things better, and the term “Do better December” popped into my head. I like that idea, and it made me chuckle that it worked with my Facebook page too. Then, while I was meditating, I got the idea to do a daily blog and/or audio post for the month of December, and my first thought was I had gone completely bonkers. I wondered how in the world I was supposed to add a daily post to my life when I had just gone two months without a blog post. Add to that, I only do a weekly radio show, not a daily one, and I couldn’t wrap my head around doing both every day, but I could feel the Divine tug and I’ve learned not to ignore them because they go from a tug to a shove and If you still ignore them, you could find yourself in quite a mess. It’s like the story of Jonah. You can run, but you cannot hide from what you know you are supposed to do, and if you try, you’ll end up in fish guts. So, the easier thing to do is just go with it and see where it takes you, and the less you resist, the better.

That’s how I got to this post and the recording that goes with it. If you took the time to listen or to read, I thank you. The plan as I understand it is that I will post every day, Monday through Friday to encourage you and offer some ideas to keep you on track. I would love it if you would invite others to join us in the journey to do something every day to make our lives better. It will not be specifically Christmas focused, although I will probably mention it often. It will be a journey through this month to start 2015 in peace rather than a panic or wanting to overhaul your life. For those who prefer to read, you can do so by following my blog. You got here from the link I posted and can opt to get an email every time I post. You can do the same with the blogtalkradio audios I post as well. It’s what I’ve been called to do, and I’m answering the call the best I can. I may not change any lives the way a homeless man changed mine, but I hope whoever joins me will leave this month better than they entered it and will welcome the New Year with hope and joy.

On a practical note to get you started, pick an area, any area in your home and spend five minutes straightening up. I would suggest your bedroom because as you clear space in the room where you sleep, you will find that you sleep better, and better sleep means a happier, more productive you. I will be posting on the Better Living Daily Facebook page as I move along and invite you to join in with whatever activities will help you. You deserve a peaceful holiday, and I would love to help you have one. As always, thanks for being you and have a great day.

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2 Responses to “Do Better December Day One”

  1. Patti Jervis December 2, 2014 at 3:23 am #

    Sounds like a great idea Karen. I will look forward to your inspiring posts. I’d love to start the new year refreshed and relaxed, that is for sure!

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  1. Do Better December Day One | karenbemmes aka Better Living Daily - December 1, 2014

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