Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...can we do lunch?


It has been said that when somebody gets married, they are marrying a whole new family. I don't know how accurate that is, but in my case, I got a new brother and two new sisters. The brother was still a teenager, and the sisters, both skinny with long, dark hair, became my new best friends. We are still hanging out together, these forty-two years later.

The oldest rambled some, living in the frozen north and the very Hotlanta for a while. The youngest stayed here, briefly living in Muscle Shoals (which is just across the river), but has never left Alabama. For years, we lived within a ten-mile radius, but somehow managed to never see each other. We talked on the phone regularly, but we might go months without actually being in the same room.

December, 2008. The three of us managed to get together for lunch at Legends Steakhouse. On that cold Wednesday, we made a goal to meet for lunch every month the next year. It was a goal we set together, but none of us really believed it would ever happen. After all, we are busy people. There are jobs and obligations and family and doctors and promises we all have to keep. But we promised to try.

December, 2009. We met for lunch again, celebrating because we had made it a whole year. Dare we try for another year? We decided to go for it. We tried to set the date for every first Wednesday, but the date had to be moved around more often than not. Sometimes, we had to cut it short so somebody could get back to work.

December, 2010. We celebrated two years, and no one had missed a single time! We have never done anything two whole years in our lives! We are pumped up now, thinking we can do anything. We are so proud of ourselves. Bring it on, third year!

December, 2011. Here we are again. This had been a hard year, and one month, we did it on the very last day because we had put it off all month and people do get sick. But we made it! So here we go, starting our fourth year. At this point, no one dares to cancel; no one wants to be the one to break our streak!!!

During these three years and counting, we have been able to check out most of the restaurants in our area, sometimes going to one as soon as it opened. Some we had gone to more than once, sometimes for convenience or we knew we could find a parking place there. Some have been dumps that we will never go to again, but getting that knowledge was always fun.

Dictionary.com explains a habit like this:
1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.

2. customary practice or use: Daily bathing is an American habit.

3. a particular practice, custom, or usage: the habit of shaking hands.

4. a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality: She has a habit of looking at the bright side of things.

5. addiction, especially to narcotics.

Our monthly lunch meetings have become a habit; one that we love and never want to stop. It is also a commitment, and none of us wants to disappoint the others by not showing up. We have agreed that if one of us moves to heaven (any other move doesn't count) during the year, the other two have to continue.

As we approach a brand new year, a calendar with lots of blank spaces, consider starting some new habits that will make life better for you and others. It's your choice. Yes, it is easier to do nothing, but it is not better. This is a good day to get that calendar out and start planning!


Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
James 4: 13-14