I've been thinking seriously about this past year - all of the stress, all of the surprises - and in my 20/20 hindsight, I can see so many areas that I want and NEED to improve on. Moving away from my comfort zone has been an eye opener, and has shown me that there is much I can accomplish - just me and the Lord - if I really put my mind to it. There are a lot of goals to choose from, but I'll share just a couple, starting with the not-so-serious ones ;)
One goal I want to accomplish, is getting caught up with my scrapbooking. I know, nearly EVERY scrapbooker has this goal, but I am so close to accomplishing it. I want to be caught up with my photos - then scrapbook each photo as I take them. I think I could stay on top of it that way. I'm still ironing out the details of how, but once I've done that I'll write down my specific tasks in order to reach it. I've been doing well so far - I've done about 10 pages since I've been here. If I keep working on it - maybe giving myself an entire weekend just to scrap, I can get completely caught up. Here is my latest (click on the photo to see it larger):
Another goal I've set for myself (which I'm a little dubious about sharing) is that I want to finally get into good shape. I'm unsure about sharing this goal because it means that I'm now accountable to more than just myself. I'll have people asking me "So - how's the fitness thing going?" "Are you reaching your weight-loss goals" or maybe no one will ask at all! There are benefits to living hundreds of miles from family and close friends - ha ha! Seriously, though, I've been inspired by my sister-in-law to start running - though admittedly I mostly walk at the moment. She has gotten into great shape - even after four kids - so why shouldn't I? I have started running/walking 4-5 times a week, and doing pilates 3-4 times a week. I've also started really watching the calories that I put in my body. I've been surprised at how much garbage I've really let myself inhale! Gross!
Now for the more instrospective ones -
1. LIGHTEN UP! (no, not just pound-wise, emotional-wise!)I want to set an example of joy and happiness for my kids. I don't want to walk around with a scowl, or continue to take offense to things that really have nothing to do with me. I want to be quick to smile, quick to laugh at myself and the silly things that happen in our lives. It's something I'm praying for and hope the Lord will help me with.
2. (and this is the biggie) I want to behave in a way that my children and my husband feel like the most important people in my lives. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but for me it's something that I need to start making a priority. Things like stopping what I'm doing and LOOKING at my children when they talk to me. Things like showing more gratitude when my husband does things around the house. Things like taking care of myself and my looks every day, not just on Sundays - so my family knows that they are worth the effort. I want to speak with more patience in my voice than irritation. The list goes on. This, too, is something that I know I'll need the Lord's help with. I also think I can be more successful at this if I limit what I try to fit into a day, otherwise my patience will be thin and I'll be too distracted to take the time with my family. If you read the journaling from the scrapbook layout at the beginning of this post, it tells of a sweet experience I had with my 3 year old, who wanted to help roll some dough. I was not showing much patience and I said "no - I'll just do it". She didn't get upset, she just looked at me and said "When I'm big, I'll have hands like yours. When I'm big I'll have hair like yours, and eyes like yous, and I'll wear clothes like you, Mommy. And I'll be able to roll dough like you." Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. I had given her a big hug, then, and told her how much I loved her, but WHY didn't I just let her help with the dough in the first place?
There are only 3 things that you take with you after this life: 1. Your knowledge/intelligence, 2. your character, and 3. your relationships. I will not spend one.more.day neglecting #3!!
So, that's it folks! I know I can be successful at this.