Seizing Two Thousand Eighteen
2017 was by far the most transformative year of my life. It confronted me with the deepest pain in the passing of my dad, and renewed me with the birth of my son Leo. As I leave this year, I feel more intensely than ever that I am a completely different person that who I was in 2016.
Looking ahead to the next year, Garrett and I are convicted that we want to be our very best. Although I think we have done many great and memorable things since being married, we both realize that we have wasted a disproportionate amount of time in...consumerist leisure, as we call it. We have consumed entertainment and time when we could have been creating and exploring our potential. Never again do I want to have a tragedy be the reality that reminds me how limited time on this earth is, and how utterly important it is to live life in such an intentional, prayerful, creative, and meaningful way on a daily basis.
Having been a teacher, competitive dancer, and college student, I know that I am capable of setting lofty goals and stretching myself creatively in my daily life. 2018 is the year when I want to actualize all of the things that I tell myself I will get around to at some point.
2018 is that point, for me.
"Find the things that stir your affections for Christ and saturate your life in them. Find the things that rob you of that affection and walk away from them."
These are some of the things I desire more of, (because my actual list is very, very long):
-Reading quality literature daily. After a long day of teaching, my typical go-to is Netflix. I notice, however, that I am a calmer and clearer thinking individual when I am in the midst of a good book and filling my mind with beautiful words. Classics like Kristin Lavransdatter, Anna Karenina, and Crime and Punishment are bursting with richness that fueled reflection in my life when I read them, and I want to be better at feeding the literary spirit in my soul.
-Praying aloud with my spouse. I humbly admit that our prayer life together is up and down. Because we have such different spiritual styles, so to speak, making time for prayer together can be tricky. We decided that simply reading the Scriptures of the day aloud together, in the evening, would be a good place to start.
-Creating quality art work. I am amazed when I look at my past projects and portfolio, because I forget how much I advanced technically and creatively when I was motivated and pushed by talented people and an artistic atmosphere. I am always loathe to begin a long project, because I lack the patience to see things through to the end, especially if it takes weeks or even months to complete. Well, it would be a damn shame if I had the ability to create nice and powerful things but never did because I was a lazy human. I need to create my own artistic atmosphere, stock up on finding inspiration, and dig deep to find the grit to see a project through when I feel like putting art off into the non-existent future.
-Exercise. I cannot express how much working out consistently changed my life. It radically improves everything about who I am. Taking six weeks off after giving birth is the longest break I have had in years, and I am so ready to jump back into a solid routine six days a week.
-Actual meals for dinner. Ha, we are famously bad at making adult dinners. We usually eat fried eggs or hopelessly raid the refrigerator for ideas even though we know exactly what we have to chose from. Planning ahead, trying new recipes, and freezing meals ahead are responsible things I want to do in 2018.
....and these are some of the things I will have less of:
-Stuff and clutter. We've been on a minimalist rampage ever since we moved in July, and we want to continue. Do things add value to my everyday life? Do I use my things and clothes daily? If not, I want these cluttery things to leave. Less is more, it really is.
-Netflix. Augustine (I think), said that total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation, so we toyed with the idea of again getting rid of this evil altogether. But in the end, we do enjoy rewarding ourselves with a good show or movie in the evenings, and it has made late night feedings for a newborn more bearable. We set tangible limits on what days we will allow ourselves to watch Netflix and for exactly how long. At all other times, it's either an educational documentary for our white noise or nothing at all, as far as Netflix is concerned.
-Complaining. I am a person who is quick to judge and hyper aware of others' shortcomings. I also am a fast-paced person who easily is annoyed at the inadequacies of humans who don't share my strengths. I want to give myself a giant slice of humble pie to chew, because I am over wasting time fueling negative energy. I am over the gossip and judgment and complaining, because I have learned how fast life goes by and I don't want to waste one more minute of my life giving myself over to these base inclinations.
In short, I am done waiting for inspiration to get things done or goals accomplished. I want 2018 to witness me be the best wife, mother, and human I can be.