It has been a busy year. A busy, surprising, frustrating, wonderful, horrible, crazy awesome year. In 2012 I had eye surgery, got pregnant, we took a month long road trip (smack dab in the middle of morning sickness) and moved across the country. Matt started a new career while I picked up about 48 new hobbies (all of which I love). We survived a hurricane, lived without power for two weeks and without internet for a month. I had my heart broken by an election. We had a baby and Matt took and passed the Step 1 medical boards (wahoo!)
Last January I had all sorts of plans that have failed to come to pass. Plans such as “loosing weight”. With a record increase of 50 lbs I can say that “operation slim down” was an epic fail. I can’t complain too much since I got this sweet angel out of the deal :)
Another goal I had was to be more consistent in our homeschool. Again, epic fail. Morning sickness, traveling, moving, hurricanes and introducing a new baby into the mix is not a recipe for consistency in anything other than high stress levels. Again I can’t complain too much though, our biggest hurdle was Emma learning how to read and we have conquered that!
I fell three books short of my goal for reading 37 new books and I only read one of the six books I wanted to make sure I got to.
I know it sounds like I’m wallowing in my failure as a human being, but actually I’m pretty inspired. While I didn’t meet my desired goals I have had some awesome opportunities come to me this year! I’ve learned new hobbies, I’ve made new friends, I’ve learned SO much about so many things this year. I’ve also been given countless opportunities to read and review some amazing and wonderful books.
All things considered though, I am glad to see the back of 2012. So many great things, but frankly I’m exhausted! Now that Henry is here and Matt rocked the boards we can finally settle down into a routine to last us the next five and a half years.
I love the new year! I love new the beginning and the promise it holds.
This year I am going to approach things a little differently. I have all of the same obligatory goals but my approach is going to be different.
I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but when I decide to do something new I like to have all of my ducks in a row. I can’t start a new diet without having my exercise schedule and my menu all set and ready to go (preferably on a Monday). I can’t change our homeschool schedule without organizing all of my supplies just perfectly. As far as daily life is concerned, the prospect of cooking without a clean(ish) kitchen or basically doing anything without a somewhat tidy house sends near-phobic shivers down my chubby little spine (you can imagine how awesome I was to live with during my last trimester and c-section recovery). I don’t keep an impeccable house by any stretch of the imagination but I like the floor to be picked up and table and counters cleaned off… but I digress.
As you can imagine, this mentality means that the lead up to something new can become quite the ordeal. It also means that as soon as a bit of my perfectly organized ideas fall out of place everything comes to a screeching halt and it takes FOR. EVER to get the momentum back.
This year I am going to try my hardest to be a little less exacting. I’m going to just keep moving. There is absolutely no reason I can’t start school if there is a pile of laundry in the middle of the school room. So what if I have a sink full of dishes, that is no reason why I can’t make a nice meal for my family. Healthy meals are still worth eating even if I didn’t have time to workout and one negative altercation with one of my children does not have to sour my mood for the rest of the day.
I can still have progress without perfection. I was mentioning this to Matt last night and he read me a talk by Brad Wilcox that he thought would help me. It was a wonderful talk about Grace. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I think we tend to focus a lot more on the “works” aspect of the Gospel. “Faith without works is dead” after all. But what will all of our works come to mean if we lack sufficient faith in His Grace?
I’m going to just keep moving.
What am I going to move towards? Ok, now I’ll get into specifics. I need to loose at least 30, preferably 40, ideally 50 pounds. That may seem like a lot (and it is). It’s been six years since I have been a decent size or weight. Hopefully this year I can fix that. In about six weeks I can start exercising again (SO excited, my legs are aching to run again). So I’m just going to do what I can when I can and not obsess about a specific routine or training schedule. I’m not addicted to exercise, but I do love it so I don’t imagine that I’ll have trouble making the time.
I just finished reading “French Kids Eat Everything“. It was filled with nuggets of wisdom (especially if you can overlook the slobbering love of the overly-regulated socialist system in France) and it inspired me to blow the dust off of my copy of “French Women Don’t Get Fat“. I need to accept that counting calories and restricting my food choices is a recipe for failure for me. I. Love. Food. I love food of all kinds. I love tasting it and I love the feeling of being full. Instead of trying to work against my nature, I’m going to work with it. I am going to try and train myself to focus more on quality rather than quantity and savoring the moment. As Matt so eloquently put it, I need to be more of a gourmet instead of a gourmand (at least I’m not a glutton, right?).
Organic produce, my own garden, free range and hormone free meats and do whatever I can to get my ingredients as close to the original source as possible. As Americans we spent the least amount of money and time on our food of any developed country and we have the highest obesity rate. I am going to be much more aware of what I feed me and my family. I’m not going to go to any extremes; sugar, breads, cakes, cookies, chocolates and cheese will make regular appearances at our table. Just more aware and more balanced.
I’ll save my educational goals for another post, but I really want to finish all of the books that I have started in 2012 but haven’t finished (8 I think) and read the unabridged Les Miserables.
Finally, I have to have a major shift in priorities. James E. Faust wisely said:
“But whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first. You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.”
I do love politics and current events, but if I really want to have an impact I have to narrow my focus. I will have far more influence on society as a whole by raising my children in truth and righteousness. Given the problems we face, NOT focusing on the big things over which I have no influence is very hard to do. I need to draw closer to the Lord. That is the only way our world and my poor broken heart can heal. I think that generally I tend to write less about politics than I do about principles, but I think I need to focus more on the spiritual aspect of those principles. “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
We will only ever find true freedom by submitting ourselves and our will to the Lord’s will. Sin and indifference holds us captive. I am certainly not indifferent but I admit that priorities haven’t been where they should be. This year I pray I can shake those chains from me and learn the true meaning of liberty.