This photo cracks me up because it's far more honest than the one I actually put on my christmas card with the cherub smiling faces! It's also pretty much how all of us felt this morning getting back into the grind with the kids back to school. Thankfully though we had all prepared well last night so we were ready this morning as much as we could be. The slow, soft rain falling did not help anyone get out of bed though! With the new year, I will share a few goals of mine with you. (And I get it, goals are easy to set, not easy to accomplish. I mean remember how every year for the last 3 years I have sworn I would get more organized around my house?! If you check my closets, you will see that is still a far reaching goal.)
Last week I got a little alone time and used the Dream Guide from Jennie Allen to think through some areas of my life. I like how she gives categories and then some sub-categories to ask yourself a few questions in. I just did this over a bowl of soup so it doesn't have to be a crazy in depth process if you're intimidated. So where did I land with all of these thoughts?
1. Self-Care needs to be a better priority this year. I know, it's a classic "mom" thing to just let yourself constantly ignore your own needs in order to care for everyone else, but it's legitimate. When I say self-care, it encompasses everything from sleep to exercise to water in-take. We all get on the merry-go-round of life and let important things go the wayside. I've been inconsistent in sleep and exercise since having Benjamin almost 18 months ago. So much of life has been daily survival, that I had forgotten I function so much better when I at least pay attention to the basics my body needs.
2. Spiritual focus is important this year. So many of us also let the disciplines of bible reading and prayer fall fast to the back burner when life gets in the way. I certainly don't mean any of this legalistically, such as if I do these things, God will love me more. No way! I know for a fact that his grace is sufficient in my weakness. I just know, like with the other self-care, that the better I am tuning in to my spiritual practices, the better I will be in my daily life. I am far more patient with my kids in the morning if I have spent a few minutes with a devotional (& maybe a cup of coffee too ;)
3. I want to be committed to the creative process this year. I know this might sound simplistic, but so often as a photographer I create for clients. I am often guilty of not taking the advice I give to my students to always have personal projects going as well. I miss the act of creating for creativity's sake. Photography is my usual medium of choice but I miss the days when I would do ceramics or paint or other tactile creative endeavors that had me experiencing the creative process on a different level. I love these lines from Brene Brown,
"There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear."
We all need to create as an act of being human and I think it's another thing to important to neglect this year! I don't know what this will look like this year or how it will play out, but if I don't put it out there, it never will!
4. Renewal in relationships is also important. We can get into patterns with our spouses, our kids, our friends and sometimes we can stay there. Sometimes I find myself in a pattern with my kids that I know I need to break, like being impatient. The good news of a new year is that it is an opportunity for a fresh start! I am going to use this flip of the calendar page to make some changes in the relationships I hold dear.
5. Keep reading...all the books ;) I have realized how much in this season of my life, I still need to learn from people. When I was out in the ministry and working world for more hours of the week, I interacted with people on a deep level all the time. In a way, I still do this all day with my family of course but it's on a different intellectual level than I was used to. I have found that keeping up with reading and podcasts have kept my mind stimulated in times when I get weary of conversations with little people!