Top Ten Priorities for 2010

It’s interesting how life syncs up sometimes. I’ve been reading, and using, Organize Now!: A Week By Week Guide To Simplify Your Space And Your Life. Some of the first weeks have been fairly no brainer for me. I have a planner that works for me (finally). I have a system that helps me to organize my household cleaning, but this week was different. This week she wants us to really think about and look at our top ten priorities. Convenient that I read this last night and low and behold, it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday Blog Carnival. Well, there’s a fortuitous coincidence if I ever saw one. So, I roughed out a list of my top ten priorities and that’s what I want to talk about today. Understand, though, that after the first one the numbers are just to delineate them, not to indicate which has priority over which.

1. Family. I think it’s safe to say that my family is my top priority. I try to think about how the things I choose to do will impact each of them. I try to plan, intentionally, so that there is time for each of the kids, for my husband, and for me each day. This doesn’t go as well as I’d like and tends to set me in conflict with my other priorities, but it’s a work in progress for me.

2. Faith. I’m fairly loose in some aspects of this. I don’t attend church regularly. This is actually a health issue not a church issue. It’s difficult for me to sit in church with people because I tend to start having multiple asthma attacks and it’s very stressful. However, I work on increasing my understanding of the Bible, my role as a faithful person, spouse, and mother. This is part of what my Bible in 90 days stuff is all about.

3. Exercise. I am committed to getting healthier and to opening more opportunities to myself. I have committed to the March for Babies in April. I’m certain that my injured knees will have recovered by then, so this will be a good target for me once I can start working out again. I’m trying to set a good example for my kids, but mostly I’m doing this for me. I want to get back in touch with what my body can do instead of focusing on what it can’t do.

4. Time for crafts. I love to do creative things with my hands. Cross-stitch, knit, quilt, photography? These are all things that I love and I want to start making time for them in my every day life. They relax me and make me a better person to be around, and I love the sense of accomplishment when I’m done.

5. Homeschooling. This is an ongoing learning process for me. I’m glad that I decided before it “counts,” so Ben and I can try on different things and find the things that work for us and the things that don’t. I want my kids to love learning and to be both curious and excited by the world around them. It’s a goal worth shooting for.

6. Work. I do value what I do and I love seeing/feeling the lightbulbs come on for my students. I think, though, that I have to learn how to balance the efforts of my work with the rest of my life. I want to have time to do all the things that matter not just some of the things that matter.

7. Dogs. I have them. They have me. I want them both to be happy and to feel safe. I want Peyton to have more fun and be able to do the things that she can do so that she has a full and interesting life. To that end, I am researching a basic obedience class she can take so we can work on her leash manners, specifically :).

8. Extended family. I’m working hard to keep and maintain the friendships that I have with my cousins. I have a bunch of them, and I want to be closer to them and more involved in their lives and have them more involved in mine. Facebook has been a tremendous support for that. More than I would have dreamed possible when a certain person (initials LRR) convinced me to give a try a little over a year ago. It’s paid huge dividends to me and I am forever indebted for getting involved there in the first place.

9. Friends. By this I mean the people who live in my area who I know and adore. I’m trying to arrange to see more of my friends. Even if it’s only once or twice a month that I get out for half a day to spend time. Sometimes I try to arrange for the ones with kids to do playdates with my kids and then we can hang out and referee if needed.

10. Blogging. I’m finding that this is turning into a serious outlet for me. I am building relationships and finding like minded people who are interesting and supportive. I’ve learned a lot about myself writing a public blog (like the things I just won’t talk about, for example), but I’ve also learned just how valuable these online connections truly are. I want to work on growing my voice and developing a better posting pattern than the one I currently have. I want my blog to be the best reflection of my priorities and a place where experiences are shared and friendships can be built. It’s also reinforced for me that as aggravating as my son can be, he’s perfectly normal and there’s nothing wrong with my parenting either.

What are you doing . . .

in 2010?

I hate resolutions. I hate the word; I hate the very idea of them. I feel like, when I set resolutions, I invariably set myself up to fail. However, this year, I have decided that I’m not making resolutions so much as taking up challenges and setting goals. So, my goals/challenges this year:

1) Complete the read the Bible in 90 days challenge (I did day one already, so I’m off to a fantastic start).

2) Run a 5k. I have the Couch to 5K app on my iPod and I have good running shoes and a treadmill. I’m ready to go with this on.

3) Organize and declutter my house. Those of you who have followed along know I tried Regina Leeds last year. For reasons I don’t want to pursue too much, I lost momentum and that ended sadly/badly. So, new year, new guru: Organize Now!: A Week By Week Guide To Simplify Your Space And Your Life and we’ll try it again. I’m hoping that the addition of the Motivated Moms chore list, I’m going to be able to accomplish this.

4) Pursue happiness by developing my own happiness project/create my life list. I have (not surprisingly) two books I’m going to use for this (if you haven’t figured out that my biggest decluttering project is going to be my books, then you don’t know me well enough yet). The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun and Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide
It’s sure to be interesting, at any rate.

5) Keep a gratitude journal for a year. This is actually a gimme at this point because I’ve been doing this every year. I use one of these: Journal 10+ 2010-2020 I bought it last year and I LOVE IT.

6) Keep an image journal for Katie. I did this for Ben between one and two, so now I’m going to do one for Katie. These are written images, but in Katie’s case, there’s also going to be a photograph a week for a year. It’s not as daunting to me to take Katie’s picture every week and I think it’s going to be fascinating to see how she grows.

7) Become a more intentional eater. To some degree, I want to follow Michael Pollan, but not all the way. I believe in good food; I don’t drink diet soda and I use real butter. Having said that, portion control and more thought are going to be my ways, hopefully, of bringing my health back under control.

8) Develop an exercise habit. I don’t want to do the 5K and then sit on my ass for the rest of the year. I want to be more active. To that end, we are joining the Y in order to give me protected workout time (child care every morning for two hours is enough to get me in there, seriously). We have tons of active Wii games, a treadmill in our bedroom, and with all of that, I fully intend to be healthy by the end of 2010.

9) I’m also paying close attention to Kristen Chase’s current challenge. I’m not going to elaborate on that except that I will be playing along as soon as I can (though it may require a trip to the doctor before I can, dang it).

10) Develop a better plan for our homeschooling and actually implement it. I need to actually apply and use all of this wonderful stuff that I’ve collected to learn with. Not as much to sit down and do book work as to experience. Also, need to be taking better advantage of the options available to him at the zoo, the library, the local theatre, and so forth.

11) One last one, become a more intentional parent. I referenced Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids a couple of times already. This is my bible for creating stronger, better relationships with my kids.

If I had to sum this all up, I would say that I need to be more active and more engaged in life. I think that’s an excellent goal for the coming year and the coming decade.

Today has been very strange for me in that I’ve felt lighter and happier in spirit than I have in a long, long time. Maybe the old decade really was just too much for me and I needed a new one to shed the depression and unhappiness of the old and develop a new attitude.