Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A new year, a new word...

Welcome to 2014.  Glad you could make it!

Speaking of making it, I'm going to be trying to make it here more often this year.  It's not that our family hasn't been going ahead with living a full rich life when I'm not blogging - but the truth is that if I don't take the time to write and reflect on it, then I forget about it.  There's too much great stuff going on to let it all go...

That brings me to one of my favorite traditions.  Since 2009, I have followed the advice of Ali Edwards and chosen one little word to guide my goals for the year. This last year was peace. More times than I can count, I found myself glancing down at my stamped bracelet and the word peace emblazoned there, and remembered to breathe, step back, and try to approach things a little differently.  Peace is a word that sounds passive, but required a great deal of deliberate action to make true in my life. I will certainly be continuing to wear that bracelet this year, since peace is something we all need a little more.

This year, I have chosen the word nurture.  It's really not all that different from the word I started this project with (cultivate), but I still have many of the same needs and goals for my life. While the sound of the word itself does not draw me in, the meaning certainly does, and it aligns and guides many of the goals I have for myself in the next 12 months.

1. Something that nourishes; sustenance.
2. The act of bringing up.
3. The sum of environmental influences and conditions acting on an organism.
1. To nourish; feed.
2. To educate; train.
3. To help grow or develop; cultivate

And here are my goals/resolutions that are guided by my desire to nurture:

1. I will nurture my children's interests and passions through listening and taking them seriously.  It's too easy for me to blow them off as child's play, and I want to make sure to hear what they are saying and encourage their loves. 

2. I will nurture my students' love for learning.  Help them find what they are interested in, and find a way to fit that into all the required-ness of the classroom.  They are interesting people and I want to nurture that in them, rather than drive it out with the hastles of testing and rules.

3. I will better nourish myself and my family, with a re-focus on healthy, whole-food meals.  With the hustle of the evenings, it's too easy to fall into the processed food trap, and I want to be better about pre-planning my way out of that.  What we eat truly nurtures our bodies and minds, and I want to do this better.

4. I will nurture my own interests.  Instead of defaulting to the easy sit-in-the-chair-and-watch-tv-and-read-facebook, I will pursue those things that I am interested in.  I will make another quilt or two, knit some new patterns, take more pictures, and write more.  I will read, read, read, and stop feeling guilty about it. 

5. I will nurture my marriage.  Dan and I will have our 15th anniversary this year, and I will treat our relationship as the priority that it is.  This means scheduling date nights,  working on more puzzles, playing more games, and making sure our evenings aren't always spent just being in the same room.

6. I will nurture my relationships with the boys as individuals.  Once a month we will have a date time where they will have my full attention.  These are some of our best times, and I don't want to miss them by not making them a priority.

7. I will nurture my friendships and relationships with family.  Making contact with those I love beyond the confines of facebook is important to me.  This means spending the time and money to gather together for girls' weekends and nights out, and then being the listener and support that I want to be for these important people in my world.

8. I will nurture my body with continued exercise.  While I have maintained good cardio exercise habits over the last couple of years, I know that the strength training aspect of being healthy has fallen by the wayside.  I will lift weights at least twice a week, with a goal of 3 times a week.

9. I will nurture myself as a professional through taking at least one class or participating in one conference.  This is not something I always enjoy, but something I know that I need to do this year.

10. I will nurture my heart and soul by making time each day for some quiet reflection.  Whether in prayer or journaling or blogging or hiking or whatever, I will take time to find the quiet that I need to find peace.  Even if it's just 5 minutes.  That's often 5 minutes more than I give myself now.  

So, there you have it.  My public declaration of nurturing.  Honestly, I can't wait.  

What are your goals/plans/words for the new year?