Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunshine, Gratitude, and Goals for Living

 The Sunshine came out today!  Yes, I admit, I was feeling just a tad bit sorry for myself here in the pacific northwest at the thought that our last day of sunshine until June was already had.  No joke, this was a real possibility.  But the sun decided not to give up on us just yet...it came out just in time for the one hour of my day that I have once a week just to myself.   It came and it has been out for most of the day.  Maybe all day.  It is still out.  And to make things even better, I got to run the first 2ish miles of my 5 mile run with my friend Stephanie who was on her way to the track to run her 800's as part of her training for the New York Marathon coming up.  So sunshine and a sunshine of a friend and feeling sunshiney = a sunshine kind of day.  Bring on the sunshine.  Goodness knows that we won't see much of it the next eight months.

I've set a goal for myself to wake up every morning and spend time with just myself for the first little bit of time.  Before the computer or phone comes on...before talking to anyone...just time to ME.  In journaling, prayer, thinking, making a list, meditating....whatever that first bit of time brings.  This morning led to a list of thankfulness, one of my favorite things to include in my journals.  I always finish feeling charged.  And a sense of abundance in my life.

After school, I had several of the neighbor kids over to play.  Never too early to get geared up for my all-time favorite holiday that will be here in less than a month.  I mean, really, we are practicing thankfulness year round around here anyway but it was fun writing down our gratitude together and seeing little hands coloring and listing the things they are thankful for.  I used to love having this stuff covering my classroom walls.  And this was so easy and meaningful for the kids.

Some goals for my life:

Personal:  Take more time to myself.  More time to grow my brain...learn...set professional and intellectual goals.  Easy to get lazy and bored but really, there's no reason for that...our world is FULL of opportunities to keep LEARNING.

Professional:  Continue to savor this time at home with my kids but be thinking about some of those ideas I have floating around in this head of mine.  I'm not so sure I want to return to the classroom but I do have some ideas for writing and ways to use my gifts that will most likely be very stimulating and fulfilling for me.

Life:  Be in the present!  Soak up these last few months in this HOUSE of mine before we move.  Yes, that is looking more and more like it is going to happen.  Here comes Asheville, North Carolina.  99.9% positive at this point.  But I'm really focusing on not letting this time pass pass me by without really soaking it up.  This is our first house.  All three of my kids were born while we lived here.  We've made this our home.  I love this little house.  I love the memories we've made here.  But I also love the idea of branching out and experiencing new horizons.  This is one thing about life that makes it so exciting.

Kids:  Be silly, be fun, ENJOY THEM instead of grumping around all the time.  :)  I get so grouchy lately.  So stressed.  Overwhelmed.  When really, I would love to see myself just relax and let things go a bit more so that I can just BE with my kids.  And say YES more often.  Not just to them but to LIFE in general.  Yes isn't always easy but it sometimes leads to some pretty cool things.

*  What are some of your goals for living right now?
*  What are some top things that you are thankful for right now?
*  Do you find yourself always saying NO to your kids...even before really thinking about what they are asking for?

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  1. I love your goals! I have also set a goal to "grow my brain." I've decided that every other book I read should be a classic. I want to experience different kinds of literature that I usually dismiss. I am reading Virginia Woolf right now. :)

    So, tell me more about this gloomy weather... I am strongly considering a trip to Portland for Christmas because Ang and I just may move there one day. Is it really that gloomy for 8 whole months?! I checked out the average temperatures and it doesn't appear to get TOO cold. And it's just gorgeous. The mountains! I want to see mountains. I crave change and new landscapes. Oregon is sounding mighty enticing lately. However, this lack of sunshine may be a deterrent.

    P.S. If we ARE in town for the holidays, will you be around for a trail run/coffee date?

    1. Yes! Grow our brain! I love this. I wan to read more classics too! Maybe I'll read Virginia Woolf.

      Okay, to be honest, Portland is rainy and cloudy A LOT!!! LIke a lot! Seriously from October to June!! But there are glimpses of AMAZINGness with weather that make up for it. And the beauty. Not so much mountains but still pretty. Forests to run in. A city that is soo so cool. Artsy. Free. vibrant. Energy. Good beer. Creative energy flowing. And a city life that is so amazing but still small enough to feel like home. Can't say enough really. However, I'm sick of the rain and gray for now. sick of it!

      YES! see, I said YES! ha! e-mail and we will hit up forest part and then do coffee. I love that idea Kate!

  2. I ran in the sunshine this morning, too! :)

    I have so many goals floating around in my head that I wouldn't know where to begin. Personal goals, professional goals, life goals...learning to play the piano (again), practicing my Spanish more, starting a business with my husband that is dedicated to doing good for others, being a better mom/wife/daughter/sister/friend, devoting more time to scripture and meditation, challenging myself as a runner, learning to be more patient and also more forgiving (of myself and others) and many, many more!!

    My list of what I'm thankful for is even longer than my goals list! I am feeling SO blessed these days -- almost as if I don't deserve all that I have. It makes me a little anxious, to be honest, as if I'm just waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop!

    I love your goals list and, as always, I love your post! :)

    1. HI You! Was thinking of you today. I have so many goals and ideas floating around too. We need to do sushi again! Soon! Yes? Piano..yes, me too! I want to learn French. Love your business idea. Again, sushi and beer. or just coffee. you and me. :)

      Love your list. You DO deserve it Kristen. You are a special person. I love who you are from just the brief glimpse I've seen. Own it. Embrace it. You deserve it all.

  3. Your journal pages look so pretty! Mine are usually all messy, ha! So happy you are taking time for yourself in the morning. Probably hard to wake up before the kids, but so worth it to get your day started well. Lots of exciting things in your future! Plenty of time for routine and stability later on. Fun to explore new places - often those bring new opportunities.

    Goals for living - nothing really big for me right now, just practicalities, like remembering to get Petru to practice piano 5 days/week, being patient during homework and remind myself that he is not me (ha!), keeping balance in my life, I said it, nothing really exciting:)
    Thankful - a great job that offers a lot of flexibility, people who have my back, people who get me, my boys, running stronger today than yesterday...

    Your question about saying "no" made me laugh. I have a tendency to do that with Chris when I am stressed. Never with Petru though, but then I spend much less time with him than you spend with your kids:)

    1. Not all my pages look like this but this journal in particular is special to me and it inspires me to respect the pages a bit more. ha! My notebooks though...they are a different story...chicken scratch. Not so hard getting up before the kids now but once marathon training starts....woo! Then I'll be so tired and probably won't get up before them.

      It is so hard to remember to get the kids to practice piano 5 days a week. I try. And YES, such a big goal for me too...reminding myself that my kids are NOT me!!!

      Love your thankful list AM. People who get me...this is such a treasure. And running stronger today than yesterday...me too!!

      I say NO for no good reason. Just to say no. Ha! xoxo

  4. My goals:

    Not take myself too seriously
    Laughing with my kids
    Making Ken feel appreciated/loved

  5. And...love your goals and am so excited for your adventure in Asheville!! I do think that ouside of Boulder, that is one place I could definitely live. Do you read No Meat Athlete? He just moved there a few months ago. Loves it.

    1. Thanks Beth. I love your goals...such great ones. Making my husband feel appreciated...I'm adding that one. And laughing with our kids...priceless. Goes such a long way. I've never heard of No Meat Athlete but I loved Aville when I visited.

  6. Yay for sunshine!! It was beautiful here today too! I was in a mesh tank running! Oh-sunshine and light.... Soon are the days that I will leave for work when it's snowing and dark out and get home when it's snowing and dark out. Dark dark darkness....Awesome you got to run a bit with Steph!

    I love "me" time in the mornings!! My thoughts are always more clear in the morning! I'm actually loving my morning drive with work where I can sip my coffee and just think! Good for you for taking this time!

    Love your little project with the neighbor kids!

    Goals. Love yours:) I'm so excited for your move!! Personally, I haven't given this much thought in an intentional way lately...

    Thankful for some special friendships in my life:) Thankful that I love my new job and that I'm finding such great satisfaction in it! Thankful that I'm crazy in love with my husband...Thankful that I just ran a marathon UNINJURED!

    I've said NO immediately to my kids a lot through the years-ha! When my stress level is high, I've often said NO before I've actually thought about what they were asking. NO sleepovers, NO movies, NO leaving this house until your room is clean and all they were really asking for was a bus pass-ha ha! And then I change my mind and say YES to all of the above and the room is still a pigpen-ha ha...Kidding:) I am so thankful for my relationship with my kids now! Sometimes I snap NO because I'm overwhelmed (less now than a few years ago) but I'm not too prideful to own up to when I'm wrong and change my mind or apologize when warranted, especially with them! I'm also not afraid to hold my ground;) My kids see a very real mom and I think this is good! They don't see a perfect mom by any means but I truly think my relationship with my kids is MORE perfect as a result. Holy ramble. I DO understand what you were saying which I totally strayed from here:) The power and opportunity that can be found in YES, with them, with life in general! Babbling BIG time now-ha and also writing in 3 tenses-ha ha! Wine is being consumed...Disregard whole paragraph :)

    OK-hope you are having a super night after your sunshiny day;) Love you!

    1. Ha ha, this is so funny! I totally get what you are saying with the NO. me too. I freaking say NO all the time!!! NO NO NO. And for the same reasons you mentioned.

      Me time in the mornings is priceless. I'd rather get up at 5:30 now just to have it. But that will change once marathon training starts and I'm exhausted.

      Yes, so nice to run with Steph. She's a joy to be around.
      Love your gratitude! And love you.

      Will write more later in e-mail.
      Love your Jenn comments. I should ask more questions in my blog posts. ;)

  7. I know that this sounds awful, but honestly I am just trying to survive right now. I hate my job, it makes me absolutely freaking miserable. If I don't find something else soon I will go insane. I need to find ways to think positive about having a job...but I can't seem to manage that. UGH.
    I love reading about your goals- makes me want to re-evaluate mine. :-)

  8. Love how you don't acknowledge the phone or computer until you've had time to yourself in the morning. Rather disturbing that e-mails or text messages are the first thing I entertain in the morning. Will definitely try this...

  9. My goals are to get outside with my kids every day and spend some cuddle time with them each day. I am not doing such a hot job at that right now. WOrking on it. I can identify with the "NO" no, no, no syndrome. Kind of reminds me of the mom in "NO, David" children's book. :). I have to learn to be a little silly and not so serious. That helps with kids, mine anyway.

    SO...I love the gratitude collage you pictured. I think I can copy that idea! I also would love to get an overhead projector and use it to paint some words on my walls in the house. How is that for random? :)

    Hope you are having a good week! Sunshine is a GOOD start.

  10. I have a very short term goal - to enjoy the next couple of days off work. To nap every day. To read. To try and work some of the kinks out of my stiff old body. And then get back to work with more enthusiasm than I had before I had my break.

    Another goal of mine is to work on better communication with my #2 son - where I'm not giving advice but really talking to him. It's all part of letting him grow up and be responsible for himself (he's 23. I was married then and had a child on the way)

  11. I live in Florida and think I take the sunshine for granted. I would be depressed if I didn't see the sun for months on end. I am thankful for my family, health, and God's provision.

  12. My goal is to find myself again….