As we round the bend into a new calendar year, many of us take the opportunity to reflect on the things we've accomplished this past year and the things we look forward to achieving in this new year.
Last year when the clock moved us forward from 2010 to 2011, I had a few goals I wanted to pursue.
At that time, it was 7 months post the "Big-D & Emma Finale" and I hadn't really moved forward other than a handful of dates here or there. I decided I needed to do something for myself; something to fill my spiritual cup. I learned about a Wednesday night religion class in the area, geared towards Single Adults ages 31-45. After each class was a little mix & mingle. I started attending the class in January, but was too timid to stay for the social hour. (Yes, it's true, I do get timid and shy at times.) They would also organize other activities on other nights, including dinner groups, day trips, movie nights, game nights, etc. I didn't go to any of those in the beginning. To make a long story short, it took me 3 months to attend one of the other activities and before I really started to open up and get to know people. I love that there are people who understand my situation because theirs is similar in one way or another. I have met people with struggles and trials far worse than my own, and that has made me more appreciative of my own blessings. I didn't go with the intent to "find" my future spouse; I went with the frame of mind that I need that mid-week spiritual boost, to help get me through the rest of my busy week of work and school. Meeting a great guy would just be the icing on the cake. I am now 17 months post the final Big-D chapter of my life. This past year I have made many new friends and I feel like I have a real social life, in spite of my school schedule. I am glad that I resolved to join the religion class and know that I have grown much because of it.
I really wanted to pursue this dream of writing, and decided that 2011 was the year to really hunker down and get serious with it. I took three writing classes this past year and 2 of the 3 professors really helped guide me in the right direction and I feel like I am well on my way with my current manuscript. It's about half finished and I have felt good about the process and where it's headed, and getting a sample chapter published in the college's literary publication was thrilling.
I've had a few other goals this past year, which are ones that carry over from year to year. They include things like making time to read scriptures with the kids, planning a family vacation, and finding ways to improve my health. I did all of those this past year, and feel great about that. (Even though I took the month of December OFF from the gym!) :)
My biggest goal this past year, which sort of goes back to the first thing I mentioned was to open myself up to people and to learn to love people more genuinely. I have to say, that this has been the biggest blessing in my life. I feel like because I am making a conscious effort to know people, I have a better appreciation for their circumstance and an ability to be more accepting. True, some people I get to know and think, "Wow. I could not honestly stand to be around you for more than 5 minutes." Ha! But overall, even if I meet people and they do not become my new BFF, I feel like it somehow adds to this overall sense of genuinely loving mankind. It has made me a bit more sensitive to others and not as cynical. I feel like this experience is preparing me for something better - like God is preparing me for something far greater than I know now, or that I can even comprehend at this moment. I definitely have more room to grow, which brings me to my new list for 2012 - a year for new beginnings.
1) Continue regular scripture study and prayer with the kidlets
2) Continue attending fitness boot camp 3 x's per week
3) Cook more, eat out less
4) Continue to work on my writing
5) Continue working towards my degree
6) Plan a family vacation (any ideas?)
7) Keep an open mind and open heart towards others in an effort to become more Christlike
I may add a few more if something else comes to mind, but I feel that's a good start.