I can’t believe we’re about to greet a new year. I say that about each holiday. “I feel like we just celebrated Christmas (Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter…).” Do you feel the same?
The older I get, the more sentimental I get about time. Of course, the sense of loss I feel with each passing year escalated when Munchie entered my world. And now, each year seems a twinkle. I’d prefer each year as a hulking stretch of time. Except for the bad days. We can just skip over those.
I can’t remember a new year’s resolution I’ve kept. Maybe because I wrote silly ones. But a few years ago I started writing goals for the new year. I’ve not realized each one, but they’re more attainable and, when complete, fulfilling. I can cross them off my list just as I do tasks on my daily to-do lists. These goals help me to make the most of the year which moves at lightning speeds.
This year I’m double-checking my list to get it just right. I want a practical list, but I’m also okay with some difficult goals. Sure, some items are crossed off after I put in a little time (such as completing photo organization) while others are huge works in progress that will take scads of time and energy, and require me to seek outside resources for help and knowledge. The latter is a little intimidating for me, but I’m determined to make 2014 a progressive year when it comes to my goals and personal development.
I won’t bore you with the list, but I thought I’d share a portion of my Taking Time List. In many ways, this list is more meaningful and even more fulfilling than the goal list. A lovely blogger (thank you, Pat!) inspired me when she shared such a list on her blog. It’s about making time to do those things that we often feel we’re too busy to do. Some of them are old-fashioned in our fast-paced, digital, techy, modern world. They’ve fallen by the wayside. But I think they’re key to a happy spirit. Here’s a sample of my Taking Time List:
Taking Time to…
♥ Send letters and cards weekly. Via snail mail. A letter to say hello, catch up, encourage. Whatever the case may be, a note in the mail is something I treasure and I’d love to take time to send them more often.
♥ Read each day. I love to read and yet I find myself falling into bed many nights without the energy to read. I’d like to carve out time in the morning and earlier evenings (part of my goal list is getting back to earlier bedtime and wake time so this is attainable).
♥ Be still. Maybe this means I’m staring out the window at the children in the park or walking home from school. Or sitting on the porch with a cup of tea or coffee and daydreaming. Or kicking back on the couch and watching Munchie practice writing, reading or playing with toys. I don’t have to be accomplishing anything. I can be in the moment. Taking time to relax, enjoy my surroundings, clear my head.
♥ Write. I love writing. I used to take time to write daily and it has fallen to the wayside in these busy months. Eager to get back to it.
♥ Disconnect from the phone, computer, etc. I absolutely hate when I catch myself texting or typing on the computer instead of listening to Munchie’s voice or looking at my phone when I’m out with my husband. I tell myself to turn those time-suckers off, but I admit I fail a lot. I want my people to know I’m invested in them fully and I certainly don’t want Munchie’s memories of me to contain an ugly smartphone. ick. I hate to miss a thing during her childhood anyhow so why not disconnect more often?
♥ Say yes to things my husband wants to do instead of saying, “I need to get this-or-that done, no time.” When I’m very old and gray, I’ll be disappointed that I didn’t say yes to his adventures more often. The dishes, the laundry, the dust won’t go anywhere.
♥ Nap, rest, relax. This goes along with being still, but I find that when I do nap I feel guilty. Like I’ve wasted time. But napping should revive me. Rest my tired body and offer me renewed energy to do all those chores and enjoy the good stuff. A nap here and there in our hurried lives shouldn’t bring on feelings of guilt and laziness.
♥ Use the “good” things when it’s just my little family. The good china, the delicate teacups, the things I’ve tucked away for a special occasion. These days are a special occasion and we can’t get them back. And who else will enjoy them like we do?
♥ Spend time with those dear to me/us. Carving out time in our week for those authentic friendships. While I truly believe in opening our hearts and homes to others in various ways (and there’s certainly a place and time for that), I sometimes say yes to people simply because I don’t want to display bad manners. But my family and loved ones come first. In the comfort of my mid-thirties, I no longer bring people in my home who are looking for something to critique. I don’t want to spend a lunch hour with someone who isn’t invested in our friendship. No time for friendships that are woven with distrust and competition. I’d rather invest in people who care for me as I do them. Where we respect one another, where loyalty isn’t fickle or inconstant. Where their moods or issues don’t put me at risk for frequent attack. I’ve tired of all that in my old age ;). I’d like to take time to soak up the enrichment and love that comes from solid relationships.
♥ Clean at leisure. I know it’s odd to some people that I like to clean. I don’t like cleaning when I have to–when guests are on their way and I’ve a wreck to cover up quickly or when I’ve let dishes pile up. But I like to spend time deep cleaning and purging. I like to fuss about and get a room just so. It calms me, satisfies me, and gives me lots of time to think or daydream.
♥ Create. I’m hard on myself when I don’t scrapbook and craft slowly. It takes me a lot of time to create. I’m building confidence in this area. I get frustrated or disappointed in my progress and often say, “Ugh, I’ll finish it another day.” Recently, I took a quilting class where I was overwhelmed, but excited to see that with heaps of practice I could create something for myself one day. I need to give myself grace. Take a week to complete a scrapbook page. Take half a year to finish a recipe book for my little girl. There’s such satisfaction that comes with completing a craft project that the timing doesn’t matter.
I’ve more items on my Taking Time list, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Maybe share a few more throughout the year as I work on them. I’d love for you to share what you’d like to TAKE TIME for this year, friends.
Wishing you a beautiful and most blessed 2014!