Happy New Year!
I'm by nature a reflective, list-making sort of person. As each year passes, I always hope to find that I've used the time given to me well and have continued on the path of growing and maturing.
So you might well assume that I'm a resolutions kind of person. And you'd be right. Good job! I like writing and recording what I'm focusing in different stages of life. If I don't write things down, I fear I will forget them (most likely because that's true).
Here are my resolutions/goals/areas of focus for the year:
1: To refrain from negative speech and complaining.
This is an area that's gotten a lot harder for me lately, although I used to be in good practice. I want to renew a habit of not speaking negatively when it's not necessary. There are appropriate times for dark words, but, really, those times are much less frequent than I have been using them.
2: To have a heart open to learning well along with teaching well. Particular areas I want to learn in are art techniques/hand lettering, ballroom dance, improving my Chinese calligraphy, and youth ministry.
I was recently sent a large package of art supplies--as a left-hander, I've avoided the pen/pencil/paint arts for years because I see left-handedness as a bit of a 'handicap' in those arts. But now I want to put some effort in and try to learn basic art techniques and skills.
Angel's promised to take a ballroom dance class with me--it was actually all his idea! I haven't danced much since moving overseas, but I'd like to improve my skills enough to be able to at least casually teach basic dance steps at our own little social events. I've taught swing dance a few times but I don't know any ballroom dances well enough to teach them to beginners.
Lately I've had regular opportunities to speak Chinese, but not to write it...I'm hoping to multitask on skill building and incorporate continued practice on written Chinese with my new art practice.
I'll warn you in advance, I'll probably be showing off my amateurish attempts at learning paint and pen art on my instagram: @randomlyrachels
3: To recognize the crucial importance of nurturing. To nurture my own body, mind, and spirit. To have a nurturing heart and be aware of the needs of my family and friends--particularly being aware of my two sisters going through major life changes this year: Lizzy (getting married) and Rebekah (moving to the USA and starting college).
I've come to realize lately that the culture I'm used to and my own personality perhaps fall a little too heavy on the 'tough love' side of the spectrum. I've realized that my comfort zone seems to be that when people--myself or others--fall and find themselves broken, to tap my foot impatiently waiting for them to put themselves back together again and move on with life. Or, when someone has accomplished something truly wonderful, to skip past any congratulations or celebration and ask, "And what are you going to do next?"
This is a valid way to do life and I think that there's value in prioritizing toughness and resilience and high standards...but having been recently broken...I'm seeing a lot of value in being nurturing, in both the lows and the highs of life. In allowing myself and others to not feel like they have to walk on cracked limbs, allowing time and resources for healing. In taking time to celebrate good things without insinuating that you better not stop here, you better keep on and do something even more awesome next time.
4: To, whenever possible, choose fun, adventure, and joy over depression, exhaustion, and worry.
There will be sadness and tiredness and hard things ahead. But when I have the choice, I want to focus on the good, on the wonder and eye-widening splendor of the creation I live in.
On the blog front, I revised my About the Writer page to reflect an updated and more accurate description of us, so check that out if you're newer to the blog and want our backstory. And as far as physical life changes go, looking at that picture I put on this post, I'm thinking a major haircut will be coming real soon...
Let me wish you a joyful and blessed 2017! What are your resolutions for the new year we've entered?