Picture of two hands clapping protruding from a suit with fingers lit

New Years 2018: A Valuable Reminder About Appreciation

This is the third of a four story series of how asylum seekers have inspired my 2018 New Years Resolutions. Here is how an asylum seeker I’ll call Mr. T, who inspired me to remove the self-defeating phrase, “Not Enough” from my vocabulary.

Mr. T.’s Story

There are scads of articles about getting off the constant accumulation treadmill and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Being a self-help junkie, I read them all. I confess to having read all of Marie Kondo’s books. They even inspired a series of Lenten blog posts.

Marie Kondo and her two Tidying Up Books

Visiting an exiled African politician in detention taught me an important lesson about savoring the small things in life. When you have lost everything, small items like Christmas cards mean a lot.

Christmas card with glowing ornaments

The first thing Mr. T. did after he sat down on his grey wobbly plastic chair in the visitation room was to thank me for the Christmas card I sent him. He then went on to describe in-depth how special the card was. Mr. T. told me how he had placed the card by his bedside, angled so that the hallway light hit the card’s brightly colored foil Christmas ornaments and made them glow throughout the night.

Feeling Sheepish

I suddenly felt very sheepish about how I treated the cards I received—as just part of my everyday chore of getting through the tons of mail. I glance at them, and then quickly put them in a pile that is later discarded as part of the Christmas cleanup.

My New Years resolution for 2018 is that I’ll spend take a little more time to savor the beautiful things that come my way instead of getting caught up in the daily grind

This is the third story in a series of 4 stories that shaped the Modern Church Lady’s New Years resolutions. Here’s the fourth story about Edafe, an asylee who taught me to remove “Too Busy” from my vocabulary.

The first story about TJ and persistence as well as the the second story about Abu and faith are also available.