I like to do a little update on my goals every so often to have for my own record. Given the crazy-even-more-out-of-balance-than-usual lifestyle we've had this year so far, I am a little late for a quarterly update, but thought I'd just catch up and do it anyway.Each year, I choose a one-word theme for the year. This year, the word I picked was EMBRACE. (You can find out more about what I am talking about here, here, or here.)
I have actually done a lot of embracing this year, but in different ways than I originally planned. Some things have changed, but I still want to keep most of the goals I have. I love the quote that says, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." Isn't that what having goals is all about? Having some direction in your life, and then knowing that if you try, it will all work out? That's definitely how it is for me. I've kept record of most of my goals throughout my life, and whenever I get a chance to look back I realize that I accomplished far more than I realized before. I think that the same experience rings true with this phase of my life.
I had a lot of spiritual goals, I think because before all this happened, I knew that it was time for a little more recommitment there. I am happy to report that I met most of those goals, and the ones I didn't were due to my health issues. Fasting doesn't really work when you're nursing, and when I weaned Jonah, it was because of my health problems. I have attempted fasting twice now, both times I didn't make it as long as I'd hoped. I get really jittery, dizzy, and shaky, and it scares Wes and he makes me eat. (I just found out today that I'm pre-diabetic, so it's probably some kind of blood sugar problem.) I'm thinking that for now, I need to think of another way to fast until I'm physically capable again...maybe choosing simple, small meals, or giving up something else that I enjoy for that day? I'm not really sure, although I'm open to suggestions. :) I've also had the thought that maybe I've had to learn about being on the receiving end of fasting...I know there have been some people dear to me that have done that for me. Fasting really is something so important and I can't wait for the day that I can participate in the process again.
The other spiritual goal that I haven't been able to fill as easily lately is visiting teaching. I am so darn frustrated and sad about it. I was doing pretty well for quite awhile, but they keep changing my partner, and the last couple partners I've had are people that I really care about, but seem to be either independent or not into visiting teaching right now (my current partner is brand-new in RS, so I'm sure she has no clue about what's going on). I feel terrible that I can't be the strong person in the partnership, but I can't. Last month, I missed my 100% for the first time in a long, long time. And the last few months before that were really only drop-offs of some kind. I LOVE the women I visit, but it's been a struggle to juggle between Wes' crazy work schedule and all my doctor's appointments and such. I know all three of these women could really use a good visiting teacher too, so I feel even more terrible about it. I had all these lofty goals of attending the temple together, calling every week, dropping off goodies...really building a good relationship with these women and my partner, but now I am back to square one: just do anything you can do. It really makes me sad. I just keep praying for my sisters and telling myself to be patient and to do my best. That's all I can do, right?
On a more positive note, it's been phenomenal to see my faith grow this year. And to see how that affects my whole family. I think Wes and I have grown a lot together, and the boys are starting to really understand things now. It's fun to see things "click" or to explain to them that the feeling in the room they are feeling is the spirit. It's an amazing thing to watch a child's testimony develop and grow, and even more amazing to realize that it's largely due to what you are teaching them. It's pretty incredible. It's going to keep getting more incredible the older they get, I think. Wow.
As far a physical goals go.....ha! Out the window! I had big plans to tone up, I have a bike race I was signed up to ride 60 miles in on May 7th (now I'll be lucky if I even get to ride at all....maybe 20 miles?), get a sourdough start and learn more about sprouting wheat and other grains, get back into figure skating (purely for fun and exercise) and riding. And the real clincher - getting up and going to bed early. Why is this SO hard for me? I'm getting better at it now though. And with the new health information I received today (more about that later), I'm going to have to get to bed early, sleep longer than I usually do, and take a nap every day. I don't know how that's going to happen, but if it does, I will probably feel a lot better, and Wes would sure love it. I'm definitely going to do my best. And if I'm able to stick to the darn diet I was put on today, I won't even have to think about losing more weight....I'll probably be thinner than I've ever been in my life. I'll definitely take that little perk.
Serendipitously, it's really better anyway. All of the things I've gone through have taught me so much that I wouldn't trade for anything. And if I'm able to get through it, I think I'll pretty much have self-discipline nailed, which would be amazing. Not to mention everyone will probably be healthier, since I cook the meals and go to bed last. And going through what I have has brought me so much joy and fulfillment in ways I could never have experienced with the goals I had set physically. It's time for some new goals in that area for sure. In a good way. I'm anxious to sit down and do it.
Family goals have been fabulous. I won't go into the logistics, but I will say I've learned a lot and had so much fun! Being sick has forced me to depend on Wes and the boys a lot more, and it's been good for everyone. We've focused a lot on this one....EMBRACING our family. I love my little family and I am so grateful and blessed for the growing together we've done. There's still things that need to be done, but doing a 5-Facet Review on each family member with Wes once a month really helps with that. And of course Power of Moms, the "Rescue the Family" project, and the Power of Moms Retreat I just attended have given me a much stronger vision and conviction too! There's nothing better than family.
"Home" goals that I've set for embracing have also gone pretty well. The thing that's been really fun is hosting an ethnic dinner monthly. We do it quarterly where we invite another family in to participate, and really go all out, and the other months we just keep it simple and fun and educational. It's a fun tradition for sure. The only thing I'm struggling with right now is the garden. I think between being sick and knowing we're moving, the motivation hasn't been there too much this year. I haven't even begun on the back yard (if I ever do), but I am enjoying the flowers and herbs in my front yard.
Financial goals have also gone very differently than planned. A big plus is that I finally was able to put an organized plan in place for keeping track of medical bills in their various states (to be paid, paid in full, insurance problem, etc.), and it's been TONS easier keeping track of them. We are pretty on top of them too, and have managed to stay out of medical debt with everything that's been going on. That being said, medical bills can suck the life out of paychecks, and our is no exception. We had big plans to pay off our cars by now, but it's going to have to wait now. I'm happy to report that we did put quite a chunk on one of them though, and I'm content with that for now. You can bet that this area is going to become a much bigger focus in the next week or two. There are still many things to go through....lots of plans have changed, and out desired outcome has changed a little too. We have some big ideas and plans, and I think if we do it right, we will actually have a lot of fun!
"Self" goals: I had big plans for this area. Even before I got sick, I knew I was SEVERELY lacking in this area. Although I had big plans for self-care and development of all kinds, of course they went differently also. But what I have done has ended up way, way better for me (can you detect a theme here?). I still have many things I want to do, but I'm happy I have learned that Mommy is a person. It's been a huge thing for our family. It's been fun to start to remember things about me that I had forgotten...to get to know myself again. It's been fun to see my family respond to it as well. My kids have definitely inherited my love of music, and Wes is starting to want in on it too. I'm anxious to see how all of this serves me in the near future....it's going to take a lot of self-care and discipline to do some of the things I need to do. The thing that is great about it is that if I can do those things, I will be healthier and more energetic than I have since I was a kid. (And maybe even better, because I am told that I will have NO allergies when this is over. Heaven.) Stay tuned.
Power of Moms and Rescue the Family project goals have gone pretty well. I've been a late starter due to some things out of my control, but I have some big ideas and lots of support and vision, and I'm going for it! Boy howdy am I excited to see how this plan goes.
EMBRACING for the first quarter has gone fabulous. Sorry about the lengthy post....I need a good record for myself. I really do feel like I've EMBRACED everything good that's come my way, and my heart is just spilling over with gratitude, joy, and contentment. Saying that word to myself over and over when things get tough has been such a strength. I'm really loving EMBRACE. It's been serendipitiously perfect.