Thank you for tuning in yesterday to my goals for this space for 2014. Today I’d like to share with you more of my goals for my life offline, and in personal life.
I need to be writing more. While I’ve been much more consistently blogging last year than any time previously, I need to be focusing on my other writing projects as well. I have the goal of publishing my Lenten devotional by 2015 so it will be ready to use for Lent that year. That means a lot of work writing and editing for the next 12 months. I also need to get back to my novel. I started my novel more than five years ago (possibly more) and I’m still only perhaps a third of the way through. It’s the story of four characters that begin the novel as total strangers with nothing in common except that they take the same ballet class. The role of dance in each of their lives is central to the story and serves as the thread that draws them into each other’s lives. I also have a working idea for another novel as well. (If I get ambitious maybe I’ll even try NaNoWriMo next year). Bottom line: I need to write more about things that I’m passionate about and have the discipline to stay the course and attempt to finish projects that I’ve started.
More Fun Mommy, Less Sad, Angry Mommy
This past year was not an easy one for me as a mom. It’s revealed to me a lot about myself that I’m not very proud of. Including the fact that I love my children more when I get regular breaks from them. It took me most of last year to realize that without this I become short tempered, inefficient and depressed. Now, knowing that and doing something about it are two different things. It has been hard for me to make time in the last few months to do this. In fact it was one of the first things to get pushed off the list when time got short. I suffered for it and so did my parenting.
I want to take my time to enjoy my children this year. That will happen only if I plan properly for it. That means leaving room in our family calendar for laid back, unscheduled time. I know I have trouble relaxing when the house is a mess so I am going to try to create a compromise between sometimes ignoring the mess to enjoy the kids and other times keeping on top of the mess so I can better relax with the kids. It also means taking care of myself. Especially now that I am working part-time outside the home, I have to be very intentional about my time. I need to be doing things that I am passionate about but also things that rejuvenate me.
I want to begin reading regularly again. This is something that fell almost entirely by the wayside last year. Naomi Novik’s new book came out last August, and I still haven’t finished it! At this point I may have to start over again. I want to start going to bed earlier enough to leave time to read and unplug from technology perhaps one night a week for the focused intention of reading. I want to alternate reading fiction and non-fiction, especially fiction that helps make me a reader writer as well as those books that inspire me to write. (Yes, those are two different kinds of books.) I also want to make the time to reread a few favorites simply because I enjoy it.
I’ll be talking in more detail about this later in the week, but my husband and I are both making some fitness goals this year. This is a big deal because my husband really hates exercise. After a high cholesterol diagnosis last year he is finally ready to take developing a healthy fitness habit seriously. For me it’s mostly about maintaining my energy levels and my self esteem, and reducing my risk of type 2 diabetes as well as reducing risk of gestational diabetes in further pregnancy. There are several different avenues that we are pursuing but for now what matters is that we are making it a priority.
Invest in My Marriage
Last May, my husband I celebrated our 10th anniversary. After 10 years I’m realizing how much we’ve grown and yet how much growing up we still have to do. We need to constantly maintain our marriage and invest in improving it. Part of this will be through reading. We haven’t read a book together in years. So we are going to start by reading a marriage book together, followed by a parenting book. I’m not sure what we’ll do after that, but we want to keep reading together and then discuss (and sometimes blog about) what we’ve read. It will be an important way for us to connect with each other more often. We also need to regularly get dates, at least once every other month and then at-home dates one a month. (In an ideal world we’d be going out almost every week but that is neither financially nor logistically feasible.) An at home date usually involves the kids going to bed earlier, takeout and a board game, movie or TV show. The important thing is that we make an effort to spend time together doing things we find relaxing.
Be More Hospitable
We would like to become more social again. We don’t yet know when or if we’ll be growing our family further, but we do know that we’ve become isolated for far too long. We want to make new friends and more deeply invest in the casual friendships we have. This requires time and often money but we think that will be worth it.
Overall, as a good friend put it, think of the new year as a reset. You get another chance to try and accomplish the things that matter to you. Really it could be anytime, but something about turning over the page of the calendar makes it easier to start anew. I hope you’ll continue to join in the journey of The Laundry List and share your own ideas and journeys as well.