This photo has nothing to do with the post. But everyone knows a blog post needs a photo! And I liked this one. It's one I took for Project 365 but never got around to sharing. Shawn bought the boys a new basketball goal. Tired of looking out the window and seeing the old one lying on the truck or the ground every time the wind blew, he bought a good quality one this time around and had the boys help him install it. It was one of those good days that you know will stand out in your mind for many years. And they wrote their names in the concrete, which always helps keep the memory alive!
It's the end of the year and time for the annual self-evaluation! I usually get down looking at all my failures and concentrate on how I must change them for people to think I have it all together.
This year I'm looking back and, even though I didn't fulfill all of the goals I set for myself, I'm feeling really good about the year over-all. My word for 2009 was enlarge and if you're interested to see what I had to say a year ago about myself, you can read the entry here.
2009 was the first year I participated in Ali's challenge to choose a word for the year. In March of 2008, I read Denise Jackson's book. When I started reading it, I had in my mind that I was probably going to come away from it with negative feelings about Alan Jackson. Looking back, I'm not really sure why I read it, "knowing" that would be my reaction to it because I love Alan Jackson. I was already shocked at his infidelity and didn't want to read about the details of the pain it caused those in his life. Instead, when I closed the book, I was shocked at how her own self-evalution described me. And it frightened me. In a nutshell, she explained how in an effort to be a good and submissive wife, she had become so dependent on Alan for making decisions that she'd become a burden. Shawn has never made me feel that way but reading about her progressive decline to the point where he was begging her to make some of the basic decisions in their daily lives, I started seeing areas in my own life where I was sucking away some of the freedom Shawn should have from day-to-day worries.
After thinking a lot about it over the next few months, I decided I needed to do something about rebuilding my confidence. Not a confidence to where I don't need him or feel I don't need to still be submissive to him. I don't want to be one of those wives that constantly complains about my husband, about how I can do everything better than he can. I love that I feel protected by him, that I can trust him to make decisions for our family that nurture us and help us grow stronger together. What I needed was a confidence that helps him do that, one that relieves him from having to worry about every little detail our lives.
The thing that helped me with this the most in 2009 was contributing financially to the family again. I haven't worked since I had Caelan in 1995. While we do fine, we made some changes in our lifestyle right before I had Will in 2002 that made money tighter than it was when Shawn owned his own practice. We'd agreed that I would stay home with the boys until they went to school. Between our decision to home school the boys and then having them 7 years apart, me being at home has extended beyond what we thought it would. I've enjoyed every minute of that time and we're grateful it's allowed us to have more control over shaping their character.
With the laid-back lifestyle we feel we need for our goals in life, me working outside the home hasn't been in the cards. This last year, I found a way to work from home doing what I love working with Fiskars.
As we got into the year, I felt so much better about myself, just from simple things like not feeing guilty when I bought clothes for myself. Shawn's never made me feel like I can't buy things but in my mind, since I wasn't adding to the pot, I was shouldn't be dipping into it for things that benefit only me. That's not how I believe a woman who stays home with her kids SHOULD feel. It's my own wrong-thinking but 14 years of telling myself I shouldn't feel that way hasn't worked. Finding a way to contribute while still meeting our goals of me staying home is working.
The confidence boost pushed me to start researching another money-making opportunity we'd discussed much over the past few years, opening a donut shop.
I did a lot of research, made the rounds to collect all the paperwork to start a small business, looked at possible locations, weighing the pros and cons. I purchased materials to assist in the start-up of opening a donut shop. In the end, after all the research and talking to others who have been in the business, we decided running a donut shop wouldn't work in with our family goals. It was disappointing but the fact that I'd actually done the research all by myself and KNEW it wouldn't work instead of assuming I COULDN'T do it was a big deal for me.
Those are just 2 things that helped me grow in 2009. Not only did they help with my goal I set for just one year, they helped with my life-long goal of being a Proverbs 31 woman. They've made me feel like what I contribute is important and as a result, I'm being more attentive my part of running our home.
When choosing my word for 2010, I thought about my biggest vice, the thing that gets in the way of my goals. It took all of 2 seconds to figure it out and it is procrastination. I've always blamed my procrastination on being afraid of making a wrong decison, of being overwhelmed at the list of possibile answers and not knowing which one to choose to be successful.
When I started looking around me, that just didn't fly. A lot of times it's pure laziness. I don't WANT to do the dishes after I've cooked dinner and we've finished eating. The pan I cooked in isn't really still too hot to clean after dinner. There really isn't a reason that phone call I needed to make stayed on my to-do list for a week before I made it.
Sometimes the procrastination is a result of over-thinking things. When I looked inside the refrigerator the other day and saw it needed to be wiped down, I thought, "I don't have time to clean the whole kitchen." That's when I normally clean the inside of the refrigerator. But why do I have to clean the whole kitchen when I wipe the refrigerator shelves? 5 minutes later, the shelves were clean.
So my word for 2010 is go. A simple word. But when I think of something I have to do, if I tell myself, "I'll do it later," I ask myself, "Am I being lazy?" If the answer is yes, go is my word. If I have a legitimate reason it can't be done now, it goes on my to-do list.
To make this the real deal, I didn't wait until January to start using my word. I started 2 weeks ago! There have been some successes and some failures. Most nights, rather than surf the internet during steps as I'm cooking dinner, I wash my dishes. When we're finished, all I have to wash is those dishes we used to eat from. Success! But my new microwave purchase last week, not so much. I walked into Lowes, read the signs on the shelf, and 5 minutes later, pulled one into my cart. That was the extent of my research. I used my word go that day. I use a microwave to heat up corn and peas and syrup, to thaw hamburger, to cook popcorn, and reheat leftovers. I didn't want to overthink the decision. I now have a microwave that you have to pound on to get the fan to stop rattling. In a way, it's a failure. I might have read about this model being a lemon if I'd researched online. But honestly, I'll spend less time returning it and pulling another one off the shelf than I would spend researching and then locating the best microwave, something that I rely on 10 minutes a day. And making a "rash" decision sure beat living with NO microwave for a week!
If you have a word for 2010, I'd love to know what it is!