To follow MM's lead...I have been giving much thought to goals I would like to accomplish this year. This year is different than others as for the first time in a long time I will not be in school. In fact, this year will be the first time in the entire 5.5 years that we have been married that one of us is not in school. I have thought a lot about how I want to spend my time. For a long time my life has been filled with intensity and deadlines. In a lot of ways I have learned to thrive under that pressure, and at times without it I feel unmotivated to get things done. This year I want to work to find the balance of being productive and allowing myself time off. I want to work to be in a place where I can have a mile long to-do list (I love lists!) and have little to do and still feel a sense of purpose in my life. I want to be able to "be still and know that he is God" (Ps. 46:10) and not feel the need to fill my life with unnecessary business. I am not really sure how to explain what I am thinking other than I want to use my time wisely and purposely to accomplish things and at the same time allow for times of quiet.
So here is a working list of some of the many goals I want to work towards this year. (I prefer to think of them as goals not resolutions...what am I striving for or focusing on at this time of my life)
1. Reteach myself the piano. I was graciously given a used piano recently, and after its tuning in a week I would like to play again. I played the piano from 2nd grade until the end of freshman year of college. It will be so nice to get that part of me back.
2. I want to cook something new 2-4 times a month. In our marriage MM has cooked a lot as my schedule has usually been I work later or have been in school longer. I am looking forward to cooking more and trying new things.
3. I want to get back to having a healthier lifestyle. (It is annoyingly true what they say in the WW commercials...it is a "lifestyle" not a diet). So to quantify healthy, that means being more consistent in eating better and being more active (I hope to join MM in one of the races). I received a WW cookbook for Christmas, and I am also looking forward to trying some of these recipes as a part of #2.
4. Sew. My mom gave me a brand new sewing machine this past year, and I have had no time to even open it. I would like to learn to use it and sew curtains for our upstairs room and kitchen.
5. Organize and declutter every cabinet, drawer, and closet in our house.
6. I want to learn more about gardening. This past summer we attempted to grow tomatoes. This summer we will cheat and buy plants instead of seeds and try our luck. I want to plant a ring planter around the tree in our front yard...and we will wait and see what else!
7. I want to be more consistent with my prayer and bible study times, and also work to be more of an encourager.
8. I want to study, take, and pass the licensing exam.
9. Paint various rooms in our house.
10. Become informed about the election to make an informed decision of who to vote for.
11. Enjoy having the time to read things I want to read. I am currently reading: A Resilient Life: You can move ahead no matter what, and Beliefs: the heart of healing in families and illness
I know I am a work in progress and God is so gracious in allowing me time to grow. I wonder how much less pressure I would feel in my life if I extended myself the grace He so patiently gives. I encourage you to think about how you want to spend your time this year. I know often for me if I am not purposeful in the way I choose to spend my time, it can go by without being used well. I am excited to see what God has in store for 2008!