Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Year

It's been awhile, and I guess that my initial goal of one post a week was, as my husband likes to call it, a Sarantee (a guarantee made by yours truly in which I will try my hardest to accomplish something, but I allow something else to get in the way). In this case, it was the second half of a busy semester teaching, taking a class, and still trying to make much needed valuable time for my family as we moved into the holiday season. And there was a lot for me to write about. But here I am, putting off the pile of papers that I need to have completely graded by midnight on Sunday (grades are due Monday morning) so that I can finally sit down and write words that are for me. Not for a professor or comments for a student that will most likely be left unread, but a time for reflection on the last year and thoughts moving into 2013.

By all accounts, 2012 was a good year. I got a full time job that I love and now I pretty much have my dream teaching job, I am closer to finishing my Master's, we took take a family vacation to the Smokies with my extended family, the kids are growing and healthy, they are at a great daycare this year where they are learning and thriving, Jeff's job continues to go well, and I can safely say that overall, I'm finally getting to a happy place again. There were rough patches. We ran into several problems in a row with our Indy house, had to put off our house refinancing, and there is never enough time to get everything done. But overall, I think I can safely say that 2012 didn't suck. That doesn't mean that I don't want to make changes, some needed and some desired, but things are looking up.

I don't like to make true resolutions. I believe those are made to be broken. Instead, here are my goals (my Sarantees if you will) for 2013.
  1. I will strive to be a better wife and mother. I will be more patient with my children. I will put down the grading and homework to ensure that they get quality and quantity time with mommy. I will do my best to give my loving husband that monthly date night that he has asked for. In the words of Brad Paisley, I don't want to settle for good, not great. I love my husband, but I also know that after 11 years of marriage it is important for us to remember US before we had our two beautiful children. It has been a rough three years. A move I didn't want, financial struggles as we tried to figure out how to make it on one full-time salary with two house payments and the various problems we kept running into with both houses, another baby (and a ridiculously hormonal pregnancy it was), grad school and finally a new full-time job for me, and a struggle to find our place in a new city. Life is better, but it is only better because of my loving, supportive husband and two adorable children, and I need to be better about giving them my time and letting them know how much I love and appreciate them, because God has truly blessed me through them.
  2. I will work on my spiritual life. The move three years ago was hard for me for many reasons, but it was spiritually challenging for two reasons: 1) I had no idea what God's purpose could possibly be in having me move to Fort Wayne and 2) I had to leave the first church I had felt at home at since my family moved from Riverton, Wyoming when I was 16. In Indy we had a church that was truly home, a church where our closest friends were. In the years when we were struggling to get pregnant we had friends who were in the same place as us and supported us through our journey to become parents. Many of us were the same age and in the same place in our lives, which made our friendships all the more precious. In almost three years we have visited more churches than I care to count and spent year long stints at two. We are on our third, and I would like to say that we are done searching. It's just been a challenge to find a place where we could grow spiritually personally and as a family. Maybe I was being picky, but I don't think so. So for this year I would like to be done and finally involved in our church. To find a church family that will be as supportive as our last church family and to finally feel like this is our home more than this is just the place where we live.
  3. I will get to my pre-baby weight. And no, I'm not disclosing what that is. I've never been happy with my weight. I've always struggled with it, even though for years I was probably perfectly healthy But more than losing weight I want to be in good shape and feel good about myself while also being a good example for my beautiful little girl. I want her to know that it is important to stay active, but that she should also be happy with the looks that God gave her. For years I've cursed some of my inherited traits (wide hips, short, thick legs) but I will get into shape, eat better, and learn to love my post baby body. It just may take some time and the support of a husband who is also on a renewed health kick.
  4. I will continue to work to cultivate new friendships here, and I will be better about communicating with old friends. This is something that has always been hard for me. Growing up I was a great letter writer, but life has gotten in the way of that. Thankfully, Facebook has made communicating with old friends much easier, but I need to do better. More important, for my personal sanity and happiness I need to be better about getting out and cultivating new friendships. I've never been good at that, which might have been made worse by two major moves during important stages of my adolescence. I am a borderline introvert who prefers to have people come to me and invite me to join in as opposed to being the one to invite others to join me, but even with growing work friendships, there are times when I am lonely. My husband likes to remind me that we are all so busy with our little ones that we would probably not see our Indy friends as much as I think we would if we still lived there, but we need to develop those same close friendships that we had there, especially since we don't plan to leave here anytime soon.
  5. I really will try to blog once a week. It was my goal this summer, and it was easy to do over the summer vacation, but even with a writing class this semester (and what better way for me to finish my Master's degree in Rhetoric and Composition than with a writing class) I need to do writing that is only for me. Not for a professor and not for my students, but for me (and anyone else who feels the need to read this).
  6. We will finish the living room and at least one other major house project. Time is a factor here, but we will find the time to do it. It needs to be done. I would like to do the downstairs bathroom next, Jeff wants to do the Man Cave. We'll see who wins. And of course, blog posts will follow whichever one it is.
  7. We will pay off credit cards and pay for things with CASH. House refinance is in the works. Once that goes through, we will be on our way to accomplishing that goal. Maybe we'll even have a real savings account by the end of the year.
  8. And here is the life goal that I will work towards in 2013, but if I don't get it done this year, I will keep working towards it: I will get published. My professional goal is to get published in English Journal, and if that happens this year (which means more writing for me) that happens. If not, I will continue to work towards that until it happens, and then I'll do it again, and again.
So there it is. That's what I want to accomplish this year. We'll reexamine this at the end of December 2013. But before that, I need to finish my grading so I can work on my goal of being a rock star English teacher.

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