2016 goals/themes

Posted: January 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

And now comes the fun of making goals for 2016.

REST – I’m excited about following God on the journey He has in mind for me regarding this word He has appointed for me in the coming year.  This morning early, I spent some time reading up on the word.  I rifled through dictionary definitions.  I read some Bible scholar stuff on it.  For sure I intend to watch, listen, and try to respond as quickly and willingly as can be managed, as He shows and guides.  This will include the shaping of my thoughts, ideas, and understandings.  It will affect what words I choose to think and say, and which I push aside.  It will be an element in my decision making process.  I will look for it amidst large and small events and changes.  And if this word goes anything like previous words given to me for the year, most of what God will use to teach and show me won’t be of my making at all – I don’t need to structure how I learn this.  God is the teacher.  I am the student.

READING – When I was a kid, books were the refuge of little introvert Karen.  I was always reading 2, 3, or even more at a time.  My grade school teachers complained to my parents that I would stay in at recess to read – my response to that was mostly taking my book outside with me to find a place to hide and read.  Throughout high school and college, burying myself in novels was a favorite pastime – there’s nothing quite like giving an entire weekend away to just burying myself in a good book.  As the pace of my life has picked up, and then up again, and then up some more, year after year…my recreational reading has taken a hit.  Oh, I still read huge amounts of stuff I find on the internet.  I’m always working on learning something there.  But I’ve fallen away from fiction, other than checking out books-on-CD from the local library to listen while I drive.  I miss fiction; it stimulates our brains in a whole other way than nonfiction does, as noted herehere, and here.

A friend from church is a librarian; she recently talked about making reading goals for a year.  This thought had never occurred to me, but I was instantly excited as she shared.  For sure, I want to work out some reading goals.  What I can think of right now is:

  1. I want to read at least one book per month.
  2. I want it to include a regular dose of fiction.
  3. I want to read books with which I disagree, at least twice in 2016. (I believe the failure to listen to that with which we disagree is one of the major elements of growing closed, small, and bitter.)
  4. I want it to take in some stuff that challenges me spiritually.
  5. I want to read from cultures that are foreign to me.
  6. I want the list to include stuff from classical literature.
  7. I want history in the midst of it.

A couple of friends and I are going to step off into doing our own little book club.  I only ever belonged to 2 of those.  One was online in my early days of “chatting” online obsessively.  All members of the group were stay-at-home or work-at-home moms, and the discussions usually weren’t much about the books – it was just a chance to be social.  The other was a group formed at the local library; my memories of that are vague, and I think maybe I flaked out of it (I can’t remember for sure).  When I lived in Chicago, I loved the idea of joining a book club through the local library there, but I didn’t live there long enough to get it together for that.  I’ll be doing some reading in the next few days on how a book club even works, and I’ve already begun noting some stuff that I might like to suggest (and my friends are bringing suggestions as well).

I’m excited to add reading to the list for 2016.  I miss it so much.  I haven’t felt like I had the time for it in way too long, but I’m guessing a year about REST will include reading time.  Woo hoo!!

RELATIONSHIP – If you read my yesterday’s blog, you know that one of my biggest perceived failures was the tending of relationships.  I have read enough to know for sure that neglecting relationships is on the list of regrets people have on their deathbeds.  Having sown sufficient crops of regret in my lifetime, I’d like to let 2016 be a do-over for me on this front.  A year of REST surely must include time to make phone calls, send cards with heartfelt notes, write personal emails or snail-mail letters, make visits, invite people over, and even travel, provided that we get our act together on financial things enough to create funds for travel.  In the past few years, my attempts at this have largely been grabbing people for meals out.  While I really enjoy meals out, they can be a budget killer.  I’m thinking there are plenty of ways to pay better and more attention to the people I love without racking up an overly burdensome “meals and entertainment” section of the budget.  It can surely be done, with a bit of creativity and intentionality.

There are some other challenges on this one.

The first one is our schedule.  We have recently learned that G’s work schedule is going to continue in a way that will require me to submit to a regular 6:30 or 7 PM bedtime in order to cope.  Though I’ve made arrangements with my uber-flexible, super-supportive boss to adjust my office schedule to help me make that work, that sleep schedule makes a serious dent in the ability to socialize.  It is easy to fall into a pattern of just working, sleeping, and muddling through chores in between.  I don’t want to work that particular pattern.

The other challenge is my introvert nature – by the time I’ve done work around people all day long, I tend to want to come home and hide and be very quiet.  Picking up the phone or getting in the car to go somewhere – anywhere – is just about as unwelcome as can be, at the end of a busy workday.  This is true year-round, and doubly true in winter, when my body goes into hibernation mode.

Still, since God created us for relationship, and since in His wisdom He gave me this wonderfully huge and diverse bunch of people to love, I am confident that there is indeed a way to do it better in 2016 than I’ve managed in the last few years (or, basically, ever).

Well.  Would you look at that!  I came up with 3 R’s.  Uh.  That was not a plan.  LOL  Still, I think those are 3 realistic areas for goals for 2016, and I don’t feel the need to pile on more stuff just to feel heroic or whatever.

What are your goals/themes for 2016?  I’m dying to hear all about it.

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