Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Warming up the engine and 68 degrees

It's already the second week of the brand new year, and I'm still warming up the engine. The house is clean, the Christmas decorations are down. I left up a string of white lights in my study, and a small tree in the corner of the dining room. I can see it from the kitchen and it gives off a warm, cozy feeling. January through March can be so dreary, and I can't bear to put the house back into darkness after we waited all through Advent to welcome the Light.

So, with the holidays tucked away and a new year before me, I've been looking back at 2017. Sometimes it's easier to figure out where you're going when you can glance back at where you just were. I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I do try to think about things I want to be more intentional about each year. I’m a list maker, so whether it's the beginning of a new day, another week, or whatever, it helps me to jot down things I want to focus on.

In 2017 I chose a ‘word for the year,’ as many in Blogland do. My word going in was Love. Determined to be better at loving people, particularly someone who I would die for but who keeps making stupid choices. The quote that spoke to me was: “Am I trying to control an outcome in this situation, or am I trying to reinforce the love in this relationship?”

I was struck by this, because for a long time now I have been banging my head against the wall, trying to maneuver this person back to sanity. Even though I was doing it out of love, I was ready to relax my shoulders and just put the love part front and center. So, that’s how I went into 2017. And then, about six weeks later, something turned my head, and I decided what I really longed for was peace and quiet, and to hide under the covers, so I took on the word Sanctuary. Yes, that felt so much better. I just wanted Sanctuary from the whole situation, so that would be my new word. I would focus on making my house the home of peace and love that I longed for. I went about this for a couple of months. And then, this Love Challenge of mine, moved back front and center. I was once again struggling with how to love this person who was back in my space and making terrible choices. So my word became Love again, and, once again, I picked up the challenge of how to Love. But, this time it was how to love someone else without losing myself. And I learned some stuff. A lot of stuff.

Overall, 2017 was a pretty good year. In fact, (other than the diet and exercise thing), most of my efforts went pretty well, and I think it makes sense to just continue on with some of the things I was working on back then. So for 2018, my goal is to keep moving forward with some intentions I put into place last year. I haven't found a word yet for the year -- or it hasn't found me. But my list of intentions for 2018 includes:

Simple, healthy meals. I'm going to put away the cookbooks and give myself and the kitchen a break. We'll eat soups and stir fry and things I don't need recipes for.

A simple, easy plan to manage our finances.

Make a housekeeping plan that is simple.

Do you see a theme here? My plan is to make it easy on myself so that I have more time to devote to soul care -- reading, writing and gardening.

I made a reading  plan that includes a list of books I've been meaning to read with space for new things that come my way. (I will share some of these in a later post).

I found a writer's group last September that gives me the support I need to keep my writing projects going.

And, I'm doodling away at drawings for the garden, so that when the soil warms up in the Spring, I'll be ready to go.

By the way, yesterday, it was 68 degrees outside when I left work in the afternoon. Unexpected. I hope all of the unexpected occurrences for 2018 prove to be as pleasant.


Mari said...

Good thoughts today! I love the word sanctuary and I think it goes with love, because it's about showing love to yourself to take sanctuary.

Melinda said...

Simple is good! I like simple. Good plans you have there.
I have been reading a lot too.

M : )

Mereknits said...

Karen, Thank you for sharing with us as much as you did. I love how you choose your word, they changed as situations changed and you were open to returning to them when needed. Loving others isn't always easy we all can relate to that. I have not chose a word this year, that seem to backfire on me. But last year I found this quote by Oprah and I loved it, "Have faith that the universe has your back." I have it written by my computer and it still works for me. Blessings to you.