Ahhhh. It's January. It's gently snowing outside, I am enjoying a hot cup of peach tea, and I can feel the last of the lingering tensions from the hectic holiday pace simply melt away. Life is good.
Periodically throughout the year, I stop, reflect and take stock of where I've been going and where I feel things are headed. Typically, this happens after busy seasons. Summer. December. Even after April, when I was working full time and going to school part time and the end of the semester was a full time. This fall I read a really good novel, Becoming Olivia, and I loved how the main character journeyed through her process of life-discovery, the often-turbulent pathway of finding out who you are, what you believe and who you are meant to be. The process of becoming. These little "time outs" for me are a way of evaluating - Who am I becoming? What is life becoming? Am I okay with all this :)? What needs.... tweaking :P?
This year, I used the same resource I stumbled on last year through a blog I visit occasionally. For me, Vision 2010 helps to sort through some of the thoughts, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses and focus a little more on where I want to go. I love that it is more well-rounded, challenging several areas of life, not just the typical "new years resolutions" categories :). I don't feel the need to fill in "all the blanks" - sheesh, this isn't some crazy home work assignment :P - but jot things down for the prompts that stand out to me. Each month or two I revisit these ramblings and evaluate what is working, what is not, and what I've completely and utterly neglected (or procrastinated :P).
Here are a few aspirations I have for the coming year....
1. Haven Days :). This fall, the activities on the calendar seemed to outgrow the number of spaces available. I kept thinking, "It'll slow down. It's just this week. We can do it." But it didn't slow down. And though we could "do it," we weren't always "happy about it" :). And suddenly I didn't have as much time (or energy) for the things that matter. Towards the end of the Christmas break, I realized that I would need to make an intentional change about this. A slowed down (reasonably sanely paced) life is not just going to "happen." It requires intentionality. And so, with some careful thought, I decided to set aside Mondays as "Haven Days." Unless medical appointments require it, those days are our days at home. To recover from the weekend. To get our bearings straight for the week to come. To nest and snuggle together with stories and linger in our jammies and not have to "be" anywhere for anyone. At first glance this simply requires some strategic planning (do not plan things on Mondays!) and an active use of the little word "NO." :) However, it has also required me to give up meeting with a moms group that I have attended for four years! Which I've really enjoyed. Which I've been involved with in a leadership aspect until this fall. Which my kids also really enjoy. As much as I knew I'd miss it, I knew in my heart it was the right decision for where we're at right now. With only five months remaining in this pregnancy, with life changing dramatically once again, with two morning commitments per week for Little M AND at least 5-6 development appointments alone per month with Sweet K, I needed to put time with them first. I am so excited about this. I love to start my mornings quietly whenever possible. Starting my week off the same way fits just about right :).
2. Finishing projects. Not every project that I've ever started (Some are best left alone. Trust me.). But a number of projects that I've started this past year but have yet to complete. I am a procrastinator. I am also the type of person that gets a kick out of starting something, but ack, when it comes to final completions, that pile is a lot smaller :). Since we have the arrival of a wee one on the horizon, there is some ... extra ... motivation for me to get a few things done before the end (or mid!!) of May. Like a few corners that still need paint from the Great Paint Project that consumed several weeks this summer. Or like Sweet K's baby memory album. Or a few final touches I have for around the house. In order to get some of these finished, I FULLY intend on asking my dear mom to come over and watch the kids while I paint out a closet or two, finish the banisters and perhaps tackle some moldings. We'll see how far I get!! Oh yeah. And the fronts of doors :). The baby won't care - but I'll know that I won't have to tackle THAT chore again for years, and some how, in the midst of sleep deprivation and serious transition, I know that will feel good!!
3. Capturing moments. Since Little M became more camera-shy (read I WILL NOT WILLINGLY POSE FOR ANY PICTURE, EVEN IF MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!!) I have been less apt to engage my inner shutter-bug. I don't take great pictures. At all. But I like taking them. And I love looking through them. And someday, some of them may even wind up in a scrapbook (ahem, according to #2, I have to FINISH A FEW THINGS before I BEGIN ANOTHER GREAT IDEA!!!). Lately, Little M has allowed me to take her photo, and Sweet K is moving pretty fast (and growing fast too - somehow managed to jump a whole clothing size in 2 months!! Time to clean out the closet AGAIN!!). So, my goals for this year include taking out the camera. Using it. A lot.
4. Live well. Love well. Created to worship the God of the Universe, I long to live this out in a way that glorifies Him. How can I live my life so that I am making the most of every breath He has gifted? How can I love so that He is honored? I don't always live like I should. Too distracted. Too undisciplined. Too self-absorbed. And I definitely don't always love like I should. Too bossy. Too opinionated. Too much with my own personal agenda. There are a few clear steps I want to take with this. Many that feel unclear right now, but I know, over time, will move from mirage to motion. I am ready to embrace and wrestle with the learning.
That's it. In a nutshell :).
Here's to a new month, a new year and a new decade!!