Every year around this time, I get excited by the idea of a fresh start in a new year. I don’t necessarily makes lists of resolutions, but I always try to envision myself in the coming year and to anticipate what goals and priorities I might want to set for my life. In the past two weeks, I’ve been really stewing over the Beth I want to be in 2011. And once I get over imaging myself as super skinny, I start to really identify what’s realistic for me and important for my family.
So, in no particular order, here’s what I’m thinking about for 2011.
1. Creativity. I keep coming back to this. I read a handful blogs daily, and they’re each written by women about my age who are working from home and creating. Some are focused on photography, some on scrapbooking, some on cooking, and some on raising a family. But there are creative elements of their lives that I really admire. Couple that with my overwhelming desire to capture life in a scrapbook, and I’m feeling very focused on being creative this year. As a matter of fact, if I were choosing one word for 2011 (as Ali Edwards does each year), I think I would choose creative.
2. In my mind, “creative” in my life applies to more than just piecing paper together for a scrapbook. I want to think creatively about my job, my marriage, and my parenting. I want to be bold in my hospitality — worrying less about a clean house and more about relationships. I want to be fearless in the kitchen. I want to be creatively connected to people by sharing homemade and handmade goodies.
3. We are the newbies in our neighborhood, and I declare spring/summer 2011 as the season of getting to know the people we share a street with. It’s a goal of mine that by next year at this time, we will have a meaningful relationship with at least one neighbor/family. That means more than just a silent wave as we both get in our cars in the morning. I want to know them personally and be invested in their life.
4. General good health. I’m not talking about specific weight loss or exercise goals because I don’t have them. I am talking about just moving towards a healthier lifestyle. That might mean nightly walks with with Adele through the neighborhood in warmer weather. It might mean less ice cream. It might mean more salads. I don’t totally know. Greater health for me also means, by the way, a deeper, closer relationship with God. I don’t want to say that means daily devotionals or lengthy prayer times. Both those disciplines are very important, but I long to just be more aware of God — to see and acknowledge him in the day-to-day stuff, in the Sunday morning worship, in encouragement offered by a co-worker, and in the food on my table.
5. Finally, I guess my last point of focus for the new year is relationships. In many ways, all of my above-mentioned goals can point back to this one, and I hope that they do. Specifically, I hope that my marriage will be healthier, my friendships deeper, and my family relationships stronger.
I like clean slates. I like the potential they represent. Therefore, I’m pleased to welcome 2011 and all the potential it promises with open arms.