Gosh you guys. I was seriously wondering if this post would ever get published...I typed it out three times in the past few days and each time Safari has crashed on me and my draft wasn't saved. It was feeling a little like I should be reading this as a sign and just letting it go altogether...BUT it's been so long since I've been on here and it's the first time in ages that I've had the time AND the motivation to write, so here goes for my 4th (& hopefully final!) attempt...
I have so missed this space. I kind of view this blog as my little quiet place for reflection and consideration, and where writing is my catharsis for whatever is going on in my life. Kind of crazy that I've been away for so long really. But life has just, well, happened. After we returned from our month abroad visiting with M's family and all our friends in England & Ireland, there was so much happening and so little time for me to take a moment to digest. M traveled quite a lot last year with work - and when he's gone, there's just frankly no time for myself. When they say it takes a village to raise a child, they seriously mean it. Single parents deserve all the props, because even just doing it myself for 3 days here, 4 days there, is HARD. And I had my parents regularly helping out! But for all the travel he did, we were still blessed with him working from home on the days he didn't travel, and that generally balances out the missing him factor. The good news is that despite feeling as if we had no time to do anything in 2015, the community I was so intent on building since we moved to this corner of the US last year has actually, slowly, been forming. I joined the leadership team of a mom and tots group that I'd been participating in, we made some good friends through that and through the church we've been attending locally, and we are starting to know some of our neighbors more too. There is plenty more room for growth, but I'm just pleased that we made any progress because I wasn't working towards specific goals. It feels a little like pure luck that we've gotten to the end of the year and actually seen some evolution in that area!
So now that the new year is here, I'm looking ahead into 2016 (!!) and beginning to plan out what I want to focus on - and accomplish - this year. I'm participating in the One Little Word workshop for the first time and have been debating several words the last few days. I picked a word for the first time last year ("community" - if you didn't guess!) but I pretty much used it just as a starting point at the beginning of the year and once in a while thought, oh I really need to work on that. So since I had no goals with my word last year, I decided that is changing for 2016! Ali's workshop is aimed at keeping you regularly focused on your word, keeping it in the forefront of your mind and how you live your life during the year, using different prompts each month to ruminate on (& scrapbook on too, which is a double win!).
Well, there are many things that I'd love to accomplish in 2016 - around the themes of natural / eco living, social justice, pursuing passions, and more, all of which I'll share later - and as I was thinking about my goals and dreams and areas of focus, the word "DO" came into mind. Often I feel as though I have great thoughts of something I could - or should - do that just never materializes. These things vary in significance from my inane 'to do' list items and daily errands to causes that I feel are genuinely important and ought to be shared and supported. But I look back after a period of time and feel like I was crippled by inaction, by not having enough time, by not knowing where to start, by fear of getting involved in the unknown....by a whole bunch of excuses. I was reminded of the Matthew West song that gets me every time I turn it on, called "Do Something." It speaks to my desire for social justice and helping others in particular, saying it's not up to everyone else, it's up to me and you to do something about the problems we see in the world. But I think it broadly applies to life as well. Who will do what I think is important, if I don't do it myself?? And I decided that 2016 is the year of DOING. Not just thinking. Not only saying. But DOING. This doesn't mean that I will magically finish everything I want to do. But simply taking a step towards my goals and dreams in any small way has to be better than looking at them on a piece of paper and wasting time thinking that I could do so much if I just had more hours in the day!
An Arthur Ashe quote popped out at me today that perfectly sums up my beginning place with this word for the year: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."
So, 2016, LET'S DO THIS!!