Now that my father's surgery is over and he's back home in Charleston, life is starting to feel more routine again for us. I'm so grateful for the nearly-two weeks he and spent together and for the care I was able to help give him. We had wonderful conversations and just a lovely time--in spite of spinal surgery.
This September I turn 40. FORTY. I can't believe it because I still feel 20. But the calendar and the math tell me it's true! So I've been reflecting on my goals for this last part of my thirties.
I delayed thinking much about my goals for this year--even though we're over 7 weeks into the new year. I did decide early on that 2017 would be the year that I read through the entire Bible. It's funny because I only developed that goal after flipping through one of my Bibles and finding a two-page plan for covering the Bible in a year. It was imminently doable: half or a whole chapter of the New Testament plus two or three chapters of the Old Testament each day. I can handle that!
Another goal I decided to make was to keep my entire house as uncluttered as possible. "As possible" is the key phrase here because, you know, life happens. I'm not going for perfect--I'm going for that place that makes me feel content and balanced. I've always been pretty good at keeping our main room tidy, staying on top of the kitchen, and keeping our bedroom neat. But my vision has expanded! (Especially since my youngest is now six!) The method I am using to meet this goal is just to tidy the clutter every day. Simple, right? Sort of.
In January I was very conscientious about keeping my children's rooms tidy (with their help, of course), and picking up the schoolroom and family room (den? TV room? I don't know what to call that space) daily. But you know what happened, right? Surgery happened. When I left town, my husband cared for the children. He did an amazing job, but didn't enforce tidying--which is fine! But I saw how quickly a child's room can turn from Neat as a Pin to Pit of Despair.
So this week one of my goals is to get their rooms back to a workable place so the daily tidying can be instituted once more. I may even take "before" and "after" pictures because they are just so satisfying.
In addition, while I was gone and then once I was home again (but working on caring for my father), the schoolroom became messy. The table is covered in stuff. I don't even know what it is. Craft stuff, books, projects, etc....evidence of fun! We've been doing school at our dining room table because I've not had the time to face the schoolroom--but I plan to do that this week and then get back to keeping it tidy! I'm happy to say that the family room is still quite neat.
Another goal I have--and here's where I join the ranks of millions--is to lose weight. I am not sure how much weight I want to lose, as the scale seems sort of arbitrary (I build muscle *very* easily, which weighs more than fat). I think I should lose at least 10 pounds, and perhaps 20. I'll probably just go by my pants size! In any case, my primary goal is to get back to the point where I can start jogging regularly again. My pregnancy with Annie caused severe damage to my lower-right back, and anytime I jog I live with excruciating back/hip pain for a few days. I suspect that losing pounds will take pressure off that weak area and may make it easier for me start running again. I LOVE to run, and I miss doing it.
The method I'm using *for now* (February, March, maybe April) is to keep track of my caloric intake and macronutrients. I already basically eat whole foods and try to avoid refined sugar and flour, won't touch soft drinks, etc. So it's more about calories than nutrition for me. After I get a little kickstart, I'll transition away from the counting....because I find it boring. But for a few months I think it will be useful.
And finally, I think my goal this year is to enjoy my family. My children are doing what children do: growing like weeds. I am acutely aware that each day with them is a gift. I want to enjoy my time with them--reading books, taking walks, doing art projects, etc.--and keep our schedule open to those things that really serve as memory-makers. And I'd like to be sure our evenings and weekends have plenty of margin for spending time together as a family.
That's it! I'm keeping my goals attainable and reasonable--but trying to focus on the things that will reap the most benefits in this season of life.