"Every day that you do the right thing is one day closer to the results you want." Jeff on My Super Charged Life
I love this time of year. I love reflecting on the past year and the new year. I love assessing personal progress and ascertaining weaknesses, (as if those aren't easy to see). In 2007 I discovered that growth is made by taking baby steps -- that every step in the right direction is indeed a step in the right direction. This was a revelation to me. I thought to be successful I had to be totally successful. I never saw moving in the right direction as valuable if I didn't fully reach the goal. That's all changed. If I've made progress I'm happy. The more progress the happier. But even a little progress is enough to be thankful.
Here were my goals for 2008 and my progress:
- De-clutter more. I've recently realized that I have more seasonal decorations than I need. I can part with some fall and Christmas decorations and with other things in closets in the basement. ** I seriously rocked in this department. I have to say I'm well on my way to being a minimalist. And I love it!
- Get a job. I really don't want to work retail, but retail has always worked with my scheduling needs. I'm going to try to find a job that isn't retail. Something new and improved. ** This turned out even better than I ever could have dreamed. I got a great job with great hours and it's close to home too. I'm so so thankful. Bonus! I got a Tuesday evening job too and it's my spending money. It too is a great job.
- Spend an hour a week with my friend Colleen. ** This became impossible with my new jobs. I didn't have that kind of time any more.
- Take the dogs to the off leash park on Thursday mornings with my friend Elaine. ** This too became impractical once I got the job.
- Take the dogs to the off leash park on Saturdays with Hannah and Deborah. (These off leash dates serve several purposes; strengthening relationships with the girls, getting the dogs out where they can run like the wind, getting me into nature, getting me physical.) ** I did this pretty often until the price of gasoline sky-rocketed. When gas prices came down we had moved even farther from the park by then.
- Use Rosary Beads regularly for focusing me in prayer. (I'm not Catholic but I've found Rosary Beads beneficial in keeping me focused in prayer.) ** Yes, I do this. Many a morning I find my beads in bed with me. That means I fell asleep while praying. That's a good way to fall asleep.
- Join a dragon boat racing team. ** Woohoo. I didn't just join a team, I joined a competitive team that rocks.
- Get Rachael into drawing or cartooning lessons. ** Accomplished. She really enjoyed it.
- Go for a walk in the river valley with Rachael once a week. ** Didn't do.
- Give up sugar for Lent. ** Accomplished.
- Mall walk once a week. Once the snow melts, move this walk outside. ** I didn't mall walk once, unless I was shopping, which happened very infrequently. But I did walk frequently outside after the melt.
- Reduce portion sizes at meal time. ** I didn't do great, but I didn't do horribly either.
- Finish New Testament reading. ** Accomplished. :-)
- Lay with each girl at bedtime once a week. ** I do this fairly regularly, but not once a week. It's more like I lay with a child once a week but not every child once a week. I improved, but I didn't accomplish my goal.
More recaps of the 2008: The single best thing from my year was my visit from Stephanie and Christopher. I don't see my American kids nearly enough so I cherish every moment.
Boot Camp! Good gravy, what was I thinking? But I did it and I'm so proud of myself. I didn't die and I'm seriously grateful for that. There were plenty of times when I was thinking, I wonder if this is what it feels like right before the killer stroke. Boot Camp was a huge accomplishment for me.
Using just a few words to describe 2008, I'd say challenging, invigorating, satisfying. Not a bad set of words, eh? A few days ago I was reading from Deuteronomy 1 when God said to Moses, "You've stayed on this mountain long enough. It's time to break camp and move on." As I read that I thought how it was sort of like when God convicted me of inactivity. I knew I'd been on the lethargic mountain long enough and that God was saying it was time to break out and carve a new way. I'm so glad he did. But the most beautiful thing is that he didn't just convict me, he gave me the desire and the strength to carry through. I'm so so thankful for that. He's been strong in my weakness.
Shortly after reading the verse about the mountain I was thinking about Moses on that mountain and wondered the time frame. I went back to Deuteronomy 1 and read, "But forty years after the Israelites left Mount Sinai, on a day in midwinter..." Guess how old I was and what time of year it was when I was convicted of my inactivity? It was a cold winter morning when I was 40 years old. How cool is that? Me and Moses, we're buds.
Through the encouragement of one of the blogs I read, Simple Mom, I created a phrase to describe my 2008. "Much ventured, much gained." Hallelujah.