We're here again. Figuring out what to aim towards this coming year without truly knowing what the year will bring. The past two years have not been as 'successful' for me in terms of achieving the goals set. I've either overestimated what I had time to achieve, chosen things I wanted to do but that weren't truly important to me or jumped way ahead of myself in terms of what could be done this year. I'm a little more hesitant to actually put my goals into writing. It is fulfilling to aim for something and hit it. Or even more fun to surpass it. Not near as much fun to miss it by a mile.
This year I'm working towards twelve goals. I am choosing to truly work towards the things that are meaningful. Throwing out the goals of things like using a crockpot when it's covered in dust somewhere and I feel obligated to use what we have (even though Jeremy hates crockpot meals and I don't have an inkling of care to actually shop for food to make in it). Getting rid of goals that I want to do, but am feeling overwhelmed by such as writing a specific number of songs for grade levels at school when my time is still driven by learning how to teach middle school with materials I have and any extra time used to write long graduate papers and presentations. Adding goals that will fulfill my need as a mom, teacher, student and woman. Adding goals that will help our family spend more time together and bring us closer. Less pressure, less need to prove myself to myself. More grace, more joy, more ways to enjoy this amazing life. So here goes...
GOALS for 2017
1. Take a course to learn Finale
On Black Friday, there was an amazing deal for $179 to get Finale. I was blessed that my school purchased it for me to use. I've played around with it but can't wait to truly learn how to utilize this software. Bring on new arrangements, student created work and new Orff pieces.
2. Continue learning Spanish using a workbook, Duolingo app and lunch with friends
Today I purchased two workbooks to help me improve my Spanish. I truly admire the Spanish teachers at our school and can't wait to jump out there in working to have discussions and lunch talks in Spanish.
3. Go to church
We both grew up 'in the church.' When we moved a year and a half ago, we left our home church as it's just far enough that getting involved is challenging. Leaving a church family is hard stuff. Finding a home church again has been a struggle. We began going to a church, but found ourselves finding reasons not to go or get plugged in. This was a sign that it wasn't the place for us. About four months ago we asked Pastor John for advice on which churches to check out - side note: Hope Fellowship is an amazing church and if you live in the Frisco/McKinney/Plano/The Colony area, it's a great place to love, connect, serve, and grow with others (www.hopefellowship.net). He gave us the name of Watermark Church in Dallas. We went to service that Sunday. For the first time since moving, Julia walked into the classroom without tugging or crying, Riley made friends and God has blessed us with a great church. All of this to say - I am excited to get back to being a part of a church and meeting friends, getting involved and growing spiritually. This goal means going to church on Sundays consistently.
4. Complete my SMU Graduate School Degree in December
I have two semesters before finishing my degree. It's been a wonderful three years of learning and growing as an educator and person. This semester I take a Kodaly Course and in the fall I will do my thesis/project and comps. I have a 4.0 GPA and it continues to be my goal to learn as much as I can while pushing myself to be the best educator I can. And continuance of getting high grades for excellence in my work is something I am continuing to strive towards. Because - why not!?
5. Clean our upstairs room completely and begin using it as a livable area to workout, play video games and lounge
My mom helped me get the upstairs room started. We've got quite a bit that has been taken to Half Price Books and to Goodwill. It has been used as storage until now and with all the plumbing and floor issues, it hasn't been a priority. We are continuing to work through these issues, but the end is hopefully in sight. Just cleaning out the boxes and things will be great! Can't wait to have it usable and livable!
6. Finish reading the entire Bible
I began reading the Bible using a YouVersion study in July. I am hoping to finish it by June/July.
7. Apply to teach a workshop/session at TMEA and offer workshops in local districts/Orff chapters/GSES
Self-explanatory... I want to challenge myself to step out there and present to other teachers. This is something that brings out many insecurities as I often question my ability despite where I am. It is something that I truly want to do and hope to have the opportunity to present someday. Hopefully this year.
8. Go on one date each month with Jeremy
I don't see him as much as I'd like to. He's cute, fun and important. Definitely need to make him a priority with all that we juggle.
9. Limit myself to purchasing only one new unnecessary item for myself each month
Alright - so this one will be H.A.R.D (Humanly and Radically Difficult) for me. Especially since I just got a killer bargain on the softest, nicest pair of khaki pants at Nordstrom Rack today for $15 (the first day of the year!!). They were originally $70 so they were near-impossible to pass up. Okay - no more excuses. The reason for this? I love to nickel and dime. And while things are purchased inexpensively, it does add up. I'm a great bargain shopper but need to become a bargain saver.
10. Find a tv show series to watch
I find it challenging to relax. This past year I found a tv series that I enjoyed called Hart of Dixie. I watched a show almost every night for a month or two. And actually liked it. Hoping to watch The Crown. Or Modern Family. Something light-hearted and relaxing.
11. Family Fridays
One Friday a month, I want to do an easy dinner that Jeremy doesn't have to cook and play games/Wii/watch movies/whatever with all of us as a family.
12. Complete the Google Teacher Certified Educator Level One
I'm a little ways into it and loving it. I've learned a lot. My goal is to complete it. Passing it may be challenging from what I've heard. Going to go for it... and along the way, be satisfied with using the tools I learn to engage students in new ways.
12. Do all I can to locate, contact and engage with my brother Jim
This one is a tough one. I haven't seen my brother in at least three years now. And I miss him. The short story is that he is homeless and living in Savannah. I'm not sure what we'll find or what shape he is in emotionally/physically and how his addictions are affecting him. I do know that after finding out where he is, I can't stop thinking that there is hope for him. The location is not exact, but through a God-ordained meet up with my former college roommate, I have hope that we can get in contact with him. As long as he is living, there is hope. This is something I'm prayerfully working towards as addiction is so hard and may result in more sadness than joy. But not finding and contacting him results in too many other unknowns. I don't feel I can risk that and be okay with it.
*For a blog I wrote about my brother, read here: Jim Blog Post