Sunday, July 19, 2015


I did it! I made it to 35 :) This was hands down a fantastic year. There were of course the normal ups and downs, some pretty big hurts still linger and need resolution but nothing can take away how awesome my journey from 34 to 35 was.

One of the big themes that emerged (and was even the topic of a book I read) was that saying YES to one thing requires a NO (or two...or more) to other thing(s). Mid-way through my year, I picked a focus word for 2015- well, I couldn't settle on just one and picked three: Intentional, Deliberate, and Purposeful. As I've focused on my 35by35 list, I've automatically become better at saying NO to things that don't help me live the life I want. I watch almost zero TV now, and don't miss it. I facebook differently (way less) and feel like any sort of addiction there has been broken. 

I am different. 

I'm sure some would look at my 35by35 list and say I was unsuccessful. Not everything is checked off. Many things are only partially finished. Some not even begun. However, I am so profoundly happy with this last year and what I consider my success.

I made progress on so many things that I've wanted to do for so long. I now have some frames on some of my walls! They don't have pictures in them yet but they are up! We updated our wills and added Sullivan...and then notarized the old ones, doh!! So, yeah, still need to get the updated ones notarized. I read THIRTY-FOUR books, many of those have been sitting on my shelves for years just waiting for me!! (I'm part-way through two others, so I almost made my read 35 books goal). We are SO CLOSE to being licensed to foster! 

I did actually complete a few things 100%. I read through the Bible again, I haven't done this since babies- so almost 5 years and I missed it. I probably did it for 6 years straight before that. I finished a puzzle I started the day Sullivan was born, took a Pole Dancing class, I sewed something (actually some thingS, plural!). 

And I let go of a lot. I can't always predict how a year is going to turn out and what will actually be important. Some things just didn't matter as much as time went on, like participating in a babywearing ballet class, Others are mutually exclusive. I can't master a cash-only (Dave Ramsey style) budget and pay for everything I wanted to do like tatoos, building planter boxes, etc. Time was another limited resource...unfortunately I have to sleep at some point ;)

Other things were adapted. I put on the list "One silent and solitary day" but what developed was a new habit of nightly quiet time. It's marvelous. I get everyone asleep and then sneak out to our reading room and read, plan, pray, dream, make lists, etc. I never took a silent day, I didn't feel like I "needed" it in the same way I did when I added it to the list. 

I don't know if I'll do this kind of list making and goal setting every year for the rest of my life but for now, I'm definitely not ready to give it up. There's that saying, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it everytime." Well, having goals to aim at, even if you miss a "bulls-eye", definitely makes for a more fulfilling year! I'm actually living the life I want instead of just thinking about it. I'm getting there! It's exciting.

This year I am going to switch it up a bit. I think, maybe, I'm getting too old to realistically get everything done on my list...or I'm not putting "easy" enough things to check off in a year's time. SO, for this year I have a "36by36" list but it's more so I don't forget what I want to do and instead of trying to cross everything off, I'm going to be deliberate, intentional, and purposeful about THREE things SIX days a week. Get it, THREE-SIX, 36? I'm so clever ;)

Right now my three are:
1) My physical body: I am going sugar free, whole/real foods only 6 days/week, working out 6 days/week (working out = at minimum 15 minutes, I need this to be reasonable and achievable and doesn't count things like yard work), I'm setting a 10pm bedtime, again 6 days/week. In general my day off is Sunday but I'll be flexible...if your wedding falls on a Saturday, I'm eating the cake :)
2) Prayer: I'm keeping a detailed prayer journal and reading through multiple devotional/guiding books in order to prayer more powerfully for, well, everything. I have some specific foci and requests but I think I'll keep those private :) Reading the Bible again this year, but also only 6 days/week. Again, Sundays are just so full and different I've almost always had to double up on Mondays so instead of fighting it, I'm just adapting. I'm also going to memorize some scripture. I'm starting with 1 Corinthians 13- the whole chapter. I don't know if I'll get to anything else but I have a couple in the queue :)
3) This one I'm having a harder time putting into words. Basically I want to keep minimizing and simplifying by actually completing things on my list. I want our lives to have more space/margin- physically, financially, and time-wise. Decluttering, letting go, checking things off...currently my 36by36 list has 38 items on it, and I'm not hesitating to add to it :) I want to be the kind of person who just does the things they want to do, or need to do, instead of being the kind of person who has all those things piled up. I want to be better at saying yes and no. I want to be better at evaluating what's truly important. And I'm old now and if I don't write it down, I can't remember anything!
I'm also toying with making this one all about relationships and chucking my list altogether. We'll see what the year bring ;)

Much love friends!

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