A few years ago (wow - is it three years???) I blogged about a New Year's Resolution here. I tend toward New Year's resolutions of the more intangible sort like this Age Quod Agis. One of the disadvantages, naturally, is that it's not a quantifiable thing that you can check off a list and stop working on when you're done. This is a resolution that I'm still working on and has had different manifestations over the past few years.
Last year, though I think I neglected to blog on it, my emphasis was to work on staying more engaged with my children and my family since I have a tendency to do too much zoning out. (Make no mistake - zoning out can be necessary at times!) I ended up working on this in part by getting my prayer life in a little better order. I started using the Magnificat Magazine, which includes morning and evening prayers. Though I wasn't perfectly consistent about praying with it, by any means, I like how it gave a natural order to my day and I think I made some progress on my resolution. I highly recommend this beautiful little magazine!
An interesting thing developed out of this at the end of last year. Because of the interest in the Liturgy of the Hours of a blind relative (and the lack of availability of much of it in Braille or on audio - and she doesn't get on the Internet) I decided to dive in and start doing the Liturgy of the Hours myself. I don't think I would have had the courage (gumption?) to give it a try if I hadn't eased my way in with Magnificat (which itself is a simplified version of the Liturgy of the Hours).
I absolutely love it. It's beautiful, ever new (which I think is a good personality fit for me - I'm the sort that gets bored quickly with things like exercise routines if they're always the same) and lends itself, more than Magnificat I think, for praying out loud. John and Ria and Gus really like it too and whenever said blind relative is over, we pray it together (Terri is starting to join us once in awhile too). Slowly, but slowly, we're working on Brailleing (not sure how to spell that!) the unchanging parts to help her use as much of it as she can at home and to participate with us when she's here.
We started saying it in the middle of Advent and so one of the most exciting parts (for us Catholic nerds) was to pray the "O Antiphons" in their intended context.
I'm trying to say at least one morning and one evening prayer each day, but sometimes we manage to say it as many as four parts a day (I think there are six or seven parts available in the four book set). I really love the "Office of Readings" with the second reading being from a saint or Father of the Church. Really neat and beautiful stuff! That's the first one of the day and sometimes we manage to do the "Morning Prayer" as well. "Evening Prayer" is a little hit and miss too depending on if we're running around or not, but the "Night Prayer" is short and beautiful and ... peaceful (and we can generally sneak it in just before bed).
One neat thing I'm finding is that it's giving (or starting to give - really, truly, I have a long way to go, and you'd believe it if you saw my house!) an order to my day, a peaceful, manageable order, that I was never able to achieve on my own (I'm sure this is somewhat personality-related too.) It's also neat that my kids are enjoying reading aloud parts of it - which is particularly exciting in the case of my more reluctant readers. I've noticed Gus grow in confidence in reading as he does bits and pieces from the Liturgy of the Hours.
I don't have a very specific resolution in mind this year, other than to keep working on the Age Quod Agis and the staying engaged, but there is a bit of the working-on-ordering-my-life that is becoming a theme so far and I hope to continue with. One area I'm especially working on right now (and have made some progress on in the last year, but need to keep doing more on) is prioritizing and thus reducing some of our out-of-the-house commitments. There are many other areas that need work too, believe me!