My day started out delightfully. I slept solidly until 830 and woke up leisurely.
It was going downhill by 10:30 or so. By noon I was sitting at this computer, on this website, writing a post about how upset and sad and frustrated I was feeling. I cried. More than a little bit.
I reached out a little bit for support. And then i decided to take care of my own health and mental well being, which meant cancelling other plans. As soon as I made those cancellations, much of the weight and pressure lifted. I didn't have the time deadline that was previously hovering over me.
I spent my night with my parents. I got us Culver's and mom and I watched HGTV for a bit, then we played a game for an hour or so. We had fun. It was good. It was better than sitting at home "crying in my nachos." But not quite as good as being "out" somewhere partying it up with a group of friends, acquaintances and strangers-until-now. But for today, for tonight, if it were any other night of the year, staying home and puttering around my house would have been absolutely perfectly lovely.
Tonight it is a holiday. And, although I intellectually realize it's not true, I felt like I was the only person spending the night alone. At least I was alone by my own choice.
As I was driving home I pondered my 'goals vs resolutions' thing for 2010. After I got home I saw the Susan Boyle CD I borrowed from my mom sitting in my house. And I put it in while I puttered in the kitchen. And I thought
If she can have the courage to do that,
surely I can set my mind to do a few things.
I heard a talk a few years ago about how most of us typically focus on improving on our weak areas. In reality what we ought to be doing is focusing on improving our strengths. The analogy was that if you were to give a number value to your gifts or skills in any area, say you are a singer at like a 7, but you only play piano at 3. If you work your tail off, you can typically only improve yourself about 2 points. So if you spend the year working your tail off to improve your piano playing, you still only make it to 5. But if you spend the year focusing all your energies and effort into improving your singing you get to a 9. "People will pay to see a 9."
I will be spending 2010 trying to get to 9s.
I am going to open my home more. Have more people over. Create more excuses for women and wives and mothers and friends and sisters and cousins to come and rest and breathe and relax.
I am going to work on writing. On volume and value. On creating a space and a habit to it. And to write well and improve the content and structure of it. My goal is to finish at least one book this year. I've got one started, one barely started and solid ideas for a couple more. Oh and I want to successfully complete NaNoWriMo in 2010.
I am going to figure out someway, somehow, whatever it takes to farm out the things I am not good at so I can spend my time, money, and energy doing the things I am good at.
I am going to figure out some way to improve upon my intercessory prayer life. I don't think there exists a way to say this without sounding prideful or conceited, so I'm going to say it anyway, and hope that you hear it with grace and the humility it is sent with. I spend a lot of time in prayer. I pray for strangers as I drive around town. I pray for friends as i think of them through the day. I pray for situations I hear about or read about on facebook. I pray for the students I know of at UW-Whitewater. I pray for various global and local/stateside situations I hear of. I am not sure where or how, but I am certain there is a way for me to improve on this. I will ask God to help me and show me what HE has in mind.
I will make the time to build more relationships with the students at Whitewater. To find an outlet to pour into them the wisdom and perspective I have. And to gain from them the zeal and freshness and youth that has faded some.
I hope to build in some daily time to do an in-depth bible study. Not just a cursory glance at some scriptures or even the great devotional I've been reading in the morning. Truly digging into something. I have found in the past, that when i do this regularly I enjoy it. It improves my world in ways I can't even explain. But, as with most things, I simply fall out of the habit and imaginary farms and animals take its place.
My pastor talks often about humans being creatures of habit. Somewhere else (for some reason I think Dr. Phil) I heard that in order to truly stop a bad habit you have to replace it with something else. Not just 'stop' doing the one thing, but to replace that hole with something else. That is my last goal. Those areas and places that I do have weaknesses or temptations, to build in automatic and distraction and difficulty against the bad habits and build in defaults and focus and ease towards the good habits.
How about you? What are the strengths you want to work on this year?
(05/08 adding this link since the susan boyle video above doesn't work any longer :( )