On January 1 I started doing something I haven’t done in awhile. I started watching Downton Abbey again.
When the show first aired, I was instantly hooked. Here was a period piece – a beautiful, impeccably recreated glimpse into a time and place that existed shortly after World War I. I loved watching the intricate design work of the show, the meticulous attention to detail in reviving an era long past. More than anything, I loved being able to see what at least one part of the world looked like when my grandparents were just children, being raised by the great-grandparents I know only from pictures and stories from my mother.
I loved watching Downton Abbey and I was excited for the fourth season to open two years ago.
But life prevented me from seeing the premiere that year.
And, you know, if you miss the premiere, and then the next episode, and the next, well, it becomes too difficult to get caught up.
Sometimes you just can’t. You just don’t want to.
Too many things were happening in my own world at the time. My mother was nearing the end of her life on this earth and soon passed. I was in the process of selling my home in Abilene and making a move to Dallas. It was too much to keep everything going, so I had to let some things go. Just to keep going myself.
But I did keep going. By the grace of God and old friends and new ones who have stepped in in ways I never imagined.
And now I’m ready to watch Downton Abbey again.
That’s what this time of year reminds us of – new beginnings, starting over, letting go of whatever’s been holding us back.
Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, most of which I didn’t keep. Committing to changes in my life perhaps similar to commitments you’ve made – things like exercising more, eating less, going to bed earlier and getting up earlier (so that I could actually accomplish the exercising more), reading an ungodly number of books, and the ever so popular, making my bed as soon as I get out of it. Making it at any time during the day would be an improvement. One year I committed to writing more thank you notes. Writing one would’ve accomplished this goal, but it didn’t happen.
All my life I’ve heard that if you’ll just do something every day for a month that it will become a habit.
I have not found this to be true for me.
But thank God, I get to try again.
So for the last two days, I’ve been catching up. I’ve watched every episode of Downton Abbey from the last two years.
Because I wanted to watch it again.
Because tonight is the premiere episode of the final season.
And I don’t want to miss out on any more.