It’s a snow day, or rather an ice day, and now that I’ve had a conference call and wrapped up a couple projects… and fallen twice while salting the driveway as long as we’re counting… time to do a little blogging.
Sidebar: The crockpot lasagna I mentioned yesterday was a success, I used this recipe from William Sonoma but beefed up the tomato sauce (I used the plain canned stuff) with onions, carrots, garlic and Italian seasonings. It was delicious and now we have leftovers for at least three more meals – leftover lasagna is my favorite. Simon was a wee bit skeptical but he enjoyed it as well!
Back to the image above…
I try to start each year thinking of what is ahead for the next twelve months. Sometimes that means I set specific goals/resolutions and sometimes I don’t (mostly, I have not but a little focus never killed anyone so I’m trying to be better).
This year I opted to go with ideas or themes, if you will, and I wanted to take a little time for my own benefit to talk about what those mean for me. I’d love to hear if you have words you focus on for a year, resolutions you set or if you just plain hate the whole idea.
live well | practice thankfulness | just do it
be intentional | enjoy the mundane
What does it mean to live well? That’s different for everyone, right? For me it’s doing the things I enjoy like making memories and traditions with my family, spending time with those dearest to me, going to concerts and filling my house with people and laughter. It also means being more conscious of food choices, being more active (something I’ve definitely let slip in the last 12-18 months) and procrastinating less. And from a faith perspective, spending more time with the Word, listening to what God is telling me and doing more for others when I feel called to action.
Our November small group studies looked at what it means and is to be thankful; highlighting that it goes beyond the “attitude of gratitude.” Thankfulness can be so much more when it is a practice. Brene Brown speaks to this when discussing her research on people who are joyful and she found that the people who were most joyful were the ones who practiced gratitude. Sitting around the dinner table and sharing what you are thankful for that day, writing lists in a gratitude journal or sending thank you notes to people – not just for tangible things they have given you but for the positive influence/impact they have had in your life. So I’m going to work on actually practicing being thankful. [If you’d like your own gratitude journal, designed by me, please let me know… I have a few available for $12 and I’d be happy to mail you one… they are 15 pages (front and back so 30 pages total), spiral bound with quotes on thankfulness throughout. Some pages shown below.]
Just do it
More than just a branding statement from Nike. Pretty much stop procrastinating about things. If I want to do something that’s good for me and works for our life, then I should just do it. Stop hemming and hawing, wondering if it’s a good idea. Just do it. Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today. My procrastination is one of my biggest pet peeves about myself. I don’t always procrastinate, but when it’s about little things, things that don’t “matter” then I put them off. I’m also a big starter of projects/hobbies that I don’t end up finishing. My actually completing my granny square afghan was a big deal for me and I finished it because I made myself and I knew others knew I was working on it so I think accountability might be key to this one… I need to know others have an eye on me or know I am working on something. If you keep me accountable, let me know what I can do in exchange for you. Even in adulthood, it takes a village.
This is sort of goes with, or is an element of, both living well and practicing thankfulness, having more intention with the things I do. Not just doing something for the sake of doing something – we have plenty of that in our lives. But making memories, putting happiness in someone else’s life, spreading love and joy, choosing the positive over the negative – those things all take intention and they all make life that little bit better. And I’m all for all of that.
Enjoy the mundane
I have Kara Tippets echoing in my head very often and her blog Mundane Faithfulness amazes me with both its honesty and its devotion to God in the midst of very difficult circumstances. It’s easy to praise God during the high points of life and to turn to God in the difficult times but what do we do in the in-between, the every day moments? In the midst of life’s mundane, are we still stopping to enjoy those moments around the dinner table (even when the kids are complaining about the food in front of them) or riding in the car fielding endless questions? I try to and I’m going to keep trying. There is still a ton that is not enjoyable, don’t get me wrong – I don’t have on Pollyanna glasses and think life is amazing all of the time – no one likes getting oil changes or brushing their teeth or stepping on Legos. But darn it, I’m going to enjoy this in-between time of life to shore up a little for the next big high or low, to enjoy Simon working first shift, our family being healthy and no big changes on the horizon.
So those are the things I’m focusing on this year. What about you? Do you want to share?