Last year, I decided that I wasn't going to make a ton of specific resolutions at the New Year. Mainly because I always feel that I can only ever really focus on just one of the eight or ten goals I was in the habit of making, and that didn't help me feel very successful. So, last year, I decided to focus on one word, and let that govern the way I lived.
The word I chose for 2007 was care.
And, as the year has passed, I think I definitely was able to get rid of much of the apathy I had been feeling before. I did (do) care much more about my family, my health, my home and my happiness. Certainly, I had many overwhelming moments in which I retreated back to my hole of indifference, but I was able to emerge more quickly and more ready to care again. All in all, I really like the way this one word helped me to live.
I have been thinking quite a bit about what I want my goal to be for 2008. At first I thought it should be an action word: do. Now that I have learned to care a bit more, I thought I should work on getting off my duff and doing. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don't necessarily have a problem with doing. In fact, I probably do too much. Not always the right things, mind you, but I am always doing something.
With that in mind, I decided that this year I need to focus on simplifying my life. My life is full to overflowing, and I need to find a way to give myself the opportunity to focus on the correct priorities instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done, and then completely shutting down after a particularly difficult day. So often, in my rush to finish everything and then some, my children and my husband get pushed off to the side, and I don't like that.
You may have noticed that I haven't blogged in a while, and by now you've probably realized why. I am not sure if I will blog as much as I did last year, or if I will go back to the twice a week posts I did for the two years before that. I enjoyed the way that blogging helped me to care more, but I am not certain it will help me to simplify. So we shall see.
I have already begun to do many things necessary to simplify. Joel and I spent several hours revamping our family goals in such a way that the kids will be our first priority. It isn't easy to work around the crazy schedules we both have, but we will find a way to do it. We have also committed to being much more wise with the little bit of money we have. We did a pretty good job last year, but this year as the grocery and gas bills only rise higher and higher, we need to make a much more conscientious effort to tighten our belts and live more simply.
As for me personally, I know that the simplification I so desperately need includes going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. It includes spending less time on the not so important things and more time on studying the Gospel and with my children and husband. It includes making sure I have time to recharge myself and truly enjoy life.
While I wish my new simplicity could include cutting the amount of voice students I have in half, it can't. In fact, I may need to add more in order for us to make it. Hopefully, by simplifying in other areas, this particular part of my life will not bring as much stress and dread to my weeks.
Finally, we are making a huge effort to pray and fast for a new job for Joel. We both know we will not be able to live like this for another entire year. Joel has already started the application process and we are moving forward with faith that there is something better out there for him this year. The single best way to simplify our lives is to be in a situation where I will not be required to work and Joel will be able to support our family by working only one job instead of three.
I have already felt more peaceful and more able to cope with the curve balls that life is constantly throwing at us (like Chloe breaking her wrist yesterday). I have felt a renewed energy and zest for life as I declutter both my home and my mind. Of course, school doesn't start until tomorrow, so we'll see how I do then, but less has definitely been more this past week.