The Frenzied SLPs are ringing in the new year by sharing some thoughts about things we want to try or do in our personal and professional lives in 2016. So I'm linking up with Laura, Jessica and Abby, who got this party started to tell you about my hopes for the next twelve months and beyond.
I've been mulling over thoughts about what I'd like to do differently in my daily life, and what I aspire to accomplish for days. While there are many changes I'd like to make, I couldn't really put my finger on the one that seems most necessary or appealing. But I did recognize a common theme that seems critical in order for me to make ANY changes. That theme is to live my life more intentionally.
What the heck does THAT mean??? For me, it means to make purposeful choices to be positive, productive, compassionate and relational each and every day.
I see myself as a glass-half-full kind of gal most of the time. It makes my soul feel good to be happy! I try to see the good in people, and even in difficult times, I try to see the bright side of things. Sometimes, though, I fall into a trap. A terrible, insidious trap that just saps anything positive right out of me and fills me with discouragement. And what is that trap??? Comparison! It's so easy to compare myself and perceive myself as lacking in all areas of my life. It's not unusual for thoughts like this to be swirling around my head:
She looks great! I'll never be as stylish as she is.
Her house looks like it could be in a magazine, it's so perfect! I'd better go home and paint my kitchen. And have it tiled. And buy new dishes and knickknacks. And a new rug. Oh, forget it! I just don't have what it takes to put together a beautiful kitchen.
Wow, her TpT products are amazing! Mine look so amateur compared to hers. Maybe I should just give it up.
She is so smart and professional! I want to be like her when I grow up!
And the list goes on.
But here is the truth:
Comparison IS the thief of joy! Absolutely! Theodore hit that nail right on the head. Whenever I compare myself to others, I feel all my joy disappear. I get so discouraged! I need to stop. It's destructive and adds stress to my life that is all self-imposed. So I am making the intentional choice to appreciate who I am and what I have. I am choosing gratitude over discouragement.
I confess: I am NOT a list maker. I have a planner, and for a few weeks, I used it, liked it, and then abandoned it. It's just not in me to be exceptionally organized! (In my mind, making lists and using an organizer IS exceptionally organized. I know, I know.) But I do see the value in those organizational tools, and I agree, they help me to be more productive. I also can see how it's satisfying to cross those items off the list. It's definitely positive reinforcement! So, I am choosing to intentionally plan my days (in the loosest sense of the word) by re-instating my planner for work, and keeping paper handy to make lists.
See??? It's the first week of January, and I've started already.
Sometimes I don't have the best attitude toward people who are struggling. It's hard to know how I can help, and I have a difficult time knowing what I can say that would be helpful or encouraging. And sometimes I'm just plain judgmental.
I am making the choice to pray for a compassionate heart. I don't want to be oblivious to those around me who are hurting. And being judgmental is not helpful to anyone!
I also want to be more intentional to share my blessings (money, possessions, talents) with those who need them. As Christians, it's what we're called to do, and I want sharing to become second nature to me.
I am an intensely relational person. I love being around people and knowing about what's going on in people's lives. That being said, I am not always great at doing the little things that people really appreciate. Here are a few things I'm wanting to be intentional about:
- sending handwritten notes to people to let them know I'm thinking of them/appreciate them. There's something really special about handwritten sentiments, and I was reminded of how important they are to people of my mother's generation when I went to visit her for a week last month. It's a lost art that needs to be resurrected.
- getting to know my neighbors better. We've had a handful of new neighbors move in this past year, and I want them to feel welcome and accepted.
- answering emails and texts in a timely manner. I get frustrated when people don't follow through on answering my emails and texts, so I need to make sure I'm being just as diligent to respond to theirs.
Whew! I've got a lot on my list! I'd better get moving, don't you think?
What are YOU going to try this year? I'd love it if you'd share!