By now 80% of our New Years resolutions have sadly failed for one reason or another. (sigh)
Personally, January was less about proclamations regarding a new me, and more about introspectively lingering in the past decade- this girl’s attempt to make sense of the well planned hooplas, hijacked detours and all the ordinary in between.
My nut shell version included moving to a new home, adding a son and another daughter to our family, a few vacations, hosting countless pool parties, sleep overs, celebrations and home groups, trading in my flip phone for and an iphone, traveling to Haiti, Ethiopia, Poland, Austria, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and London, losing a good friend to cancer, experiencing a tiny (okay, not so tiny) breakdown mid-decade, raising four toddlers into three teens and a tween (see previous breakdown) and learning some grown up truths surrounding poverty, racism, privilege and responsibility.
Out of all that living, countless lessons surfaced–slapped me in the face really, cause that’s how it goes with me.
But what stands out most is the blitzkrieg of information and connectivity we encountered thanks to the rapid evolution of technology.
It radically changed us and the way we do life.
And I just wasn’t ready for all its far-reaching implications. (cause teens)
This ever shifting culture of frantic pace-keeping, curated timelines, and crazed fears of missing out mingled with expectations of round-the-clock availability and maintained relevance upended my proclivity towards less with all its more.
And it turns out face value has little value in today’s marketplace of image management as more than ever in the history of humanity, ours is a society of comparison and never-enoughness.
And this tech-driven landslide has basically been a decade long “situation” for me.
I’ve both tiptoed around it, and ranted in lunacy about it. (I recommend neither response.)
And yes, evolving technology is not the enemy.
Technology is neutral.
Humans, on the other hand, are not.
Turns out we’ve got feelings, opinions, convictions, motives, stories and egos enough to fill the stratosphere.
And they are anything but neutral.
And there’s these three teens and a tween that I’ve been leading rather clumsily through this ordeal, with it’s ever shifting capabilities, rules and applications.
After a decade of this informational assault, I’ve sorta forgotten pieces of myself that I’d like to reclaim please.
What I’ve learned is our tech driven culture is a daily sifting and reeducation.
And there’s this undeniable correlation between the groundedness of our character and the integrity of our digital footprint and mental health.
As parents and individuals we must constantly examine our intake, be willing to expand our capacity for learning and understanding, all while resolutely protecting the values and ethics that hold us together.
Yeah, so that’s what I’m bringing into this new decade… a groundedness among my people.
For us, that begins with deciding who we are and what we’re about and then surrounding those ideas in conversation and clear articulation.
We are drawing some lines.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”
Unless we determine and commit to some distinct line drawing, culture will have it’s way with us.
And let me tell you – culture does not have your people’s backs.
On a practical level, we created a family manifesto of sorts…
We place God’s Word before the world.
We understand hard work is more important than talent.
We are leaders and critical thinkers.
We are teachable, not prideful; Grateful, not entitled.
We are spiritually and physically active.
We joyfully use our time, money and abilities to build God’s kingdom, not our own.
We are messengers of truth, light and love.
This resolution is the groundedness that informs our thinking, doing and being;
We’ll come back to it frequently when the boarders around our living begin to get a little wonky.
And yes, I fully realize that we will have to fight for every inch of it.
But this is who we want to be and how we want to show up in this new decade.
It’s not the complete answer to navigating all the crazy around us;
But it’s a good start.
And a sure place to remember ourselves.