I debated calling this post, “My Year of Failure.” Because, boy, does it ever feel like it.
As I was reviewing my goals for the year and examining how I did on them, over and over I saw that I had fallen short. That I didn’t make it. That I hadn’t even come close.
And, for someone who is as Type A and goal-oriented as I am, falling short just plain equals failure.
Then I had a conversation with my husband, talking about how many books I had read this year. “I didn’t read 100 books like I had planned!” I wailed.
He asked me, “But how many books did you read?”
“Just 50,” I said.
“Wow. You read 50 books. That’s amazing!”
This was literally a glass half full versus glass half empty situation. I was only looking at the 50 books that I hadn’t read. My husband wisely pointed out the 50 books that I had read. Friends, that made all the difference.
Instead of fixating on all that I didn’t accomplish in 2017, I want to look at what I was able to do, by the grace of God.
My Life in 2017
Because, I’ll be really honest here, it was a difficult year. As I have been reflecting on 2017, I realized that a lot of big, life-changing events happened. Here are just a few:
-My husband felt God calling him to the priesthood, so he applied for and was accepted into Holy Cross seminary in Boston.
-We prepared to leave behind the friends we have made and the life we have lived in Virginia for the last 8 years.
-I had a discouraging job search that miraculously ended with a job.
-We found schools for our kids to learn in for the next three years.
-We moved to Boston on a Monday and I started work on that Wednesday.
-A beloved aunt died.
-I began teaching fourth grade–a grade I have never taught before since I have been in middle school for the last 10 years.
-As any teacher will tell you, no matter how many years you have been teaching, you start at year 1 again when you enter a new school.
-I have worked really hard to learn the new curriculum, get adjusted to a new school, and meet high expectations in my new job.
-I have begun making new friends. (Seriously, it’s crazy hard to make new friends when you are an adult! And, if you’re an introvert, it’s even harder….)
The combination of these events has proven more stressful than I anticipated. Which means that I have not been as faithful in posting on this blog, in posting on social media, in writing.
However, I am going to choose to focus on all that has been accomplished this year. I will choose to praise God for his faithfulness in 2017 and look forward to a new year.
How I Did On My Goals for 2017
1. Pray through the Psalter 6 times.
I prayed the Psalter 5 times in 2017. Overall, I really enjoyed it when I was being consistent. I did, however, feel guilty when I wasn’t praying through it or when I got behind.
2. Read one spiritual book each month.
I read 9 spiritual books this year. Some of them were rereads and some were young adult books, but I definitely enjoyed them!
3. Pray an Akathist Hymn each week.
So, this totally didn’t happen. I ended up praying an Akathist Hymn 1-2 times per month. I did, however, begin going to the Paraklesis service here at seminary on Friday nights. Our family doesn’t make it each week, but I have truly grown to love this prayer service honoring the Theotokos.
4. Go on one family outing each month.
We went on (at least) 12 family outings this year! They included outings such as hiking in Shenandoah National Park, going apple picking, going to the beach, road tripping to Texas, and more.
This goal has become so easy for me, that I think I may not include it in my Goals for 2018. Planning at least one outing a month has become just a natural part of who I am now. And, that’s the whole point of goal-setting, right?
5. Have one date night (in or out of the house) each month.
This is another goal that has become second nature to my husband and I. Though he is extremely busy in his studies, we still find time to spend together. This year we have had porch time (sitting on our porch with a glass of wine and some good conversation), watched Victoria while eating a charcuterie plate and cheese platter, gone to a Latin jazz concert, had an anniversary dinner at a Japanese steak house, and attended a marriage retreat offered by a bishop. Lovely!
6. Read or listen to 12 chapter books together with all of the children.
This might be my favorite goal of 2017! The kids and I ended up listening to 13 audiobooks this year. Our favorites include: The One and Only Ivan, Matilda, Farmer Boy, and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
7. Attend one writing/blogging conference.
I was so blessed to attend the Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference this month. I met many people I had been listening to for years and had a few “fangirl” moments–like meeting Elissa Bjeletich and Jane G. Meyer! You can read about a deeply profound spiritual experience I had here.
8. Create two more products to help Orthodox families live out the Faith.
I managed to create one product–an e-book called 10 Days to a Tidy Home. I had certainly planned on doing more, but I will see creating one e-book as a win!
9. Take the EBA 3.0 course and implement all parts
Um, yeah. This didn’t happen at all. As I mentioned before, the blog has unfortunately taken a back seat to my new job working at a wonderful private Christian school. I am hopeful that once I finish my first year, I will have more time (and energy) to devote to writing again.
10. Run/Hike 365 miles this year.
I did not make this at all! Exercising was one of the first things that suffered in my new and stressful life. Be sure to stay tuned next week for what I am planning on doing to remedy that in 2018!
11. Read 100 Books.
I read 50 books this year and am proud of it. 🙂 You can find out what My Favorite Books of 2017 were!
12. Set aside one day each week as a Sabbath in order to rest and maintain my health.
This was one goal that I did meet in 2017. I absolutely needed rest this year and am glad that I made it a priority.
Looking back over these goals, I can see that many good things happened in 2017. I rested. I spent time with my family. I spent time with my husband. I read with my kids. I grew in my faith. These truly are my priorities, and I am glad that my daily life reflected them.
How did you do on your goals for 2017? I’d love to hear!
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