My life gets really busy, Work, family, church and social commitments can really take over to the point where there is no time left.
My training is in the area of social work, and so is my employment, and one thing that we really focus on is reflective practice. It's all well and good doing the job, but if we can take the time to reflect on what we are doing and ask some questions - why do I do that? How does that make me feel? what am I trying to achieve by doing that? - If I can do this I have more control and start to work in a proactive rather than reactive way. I have a great manager who supports us working in a critical, reflective way and encourages us to take time to do our work well, not just do our work.
But, isn't life the same. Shouldn't we value our life enough to stop and look at how it's going, what we are using our time and energy for, and where we are going?
A friend of mine has set days each year when he reviews different aspects of his life. At the beginning of each calendar year he looks at his life, his life goals and how he is going with achieving them. Around Valentines Day each year he revealuates his relationships (including but not limited to his marriage) and resets his goals for that area of his life. Around the end of the financial year he takes time to look at his financial situation and his goals in that area. He also tells me that every now and then he sets aside time to be creative. To imagine.
I like that idea, and also work well with goals, but am not as disciplined as my friend about reviewing them.
Life: This year I have been to new zealand, gone campervanning, and hiked and camped in the snow. I have begun a weaving course to learn how to weave the wool I am spinning with my weaving loom. I took on the role of camp director for a camp I have been involved with, a role I have never done before. I bought a house and am working on converting the garden to a productive and attractive space.
Climb Cradle mountain - overland track (planned for October this year)
Write a book - need to work on that one
Relationships: I'd like to say I met the man of my dreams etc but it hasn't happened yet. Too bad it takes someone else to realise that goal. I did however do my foster care training and now provide regular respite for an adolescent girl who is in a long term foster care placement. I have developed new friendships and deepened existing ones and especially value my back fence neighbours who are like family.
Be bolder in relationships with the opposite gender (and eventually meet a godly man who I love and spend the rest of my life with)
Be a better sister/daughter/friend
Build relationship with the girl I foster
Build closer relationships with my neighbours and those who live in my street.
This year I bought a house, and have (with a little help from falling interest rates) been able to pay off a significant amount above the required repayments, saving up a reasonable emergency fund I am able to redraw and reducing my interest.
I have begun to sell my produce through a local cafe
I have joined the local community exchange (similar to LETS) which allows me to exchange goods and services with members of my community without using cash!
To pay off my HECS debt this financial year.
By the end of next financial year to have saved $20,000 and purchase an investment property.
To continue to reduce waste
To be generous in my life, continuing to support my sponsor children and financially contribute to my church and other ministries.
However, more than setting goals, I think it's important to set aside time that is to be still. To stop. It's easy to fill space with activity, with tv, with music, with books, with phone calls. It's almost as though we are afraid to spend time with ourselves. Are we afraid that we won't like the people we are?
I think it's important to take some time by yourself. Journal, paint, pray, meditate, just be. Be aware of yourself, of the world around you and of who you are. It might be hard at first, but generally you'll find that you aren't so bad and it's fun to hang out with you.
If there's anyone out there who this speaks to please leave a comment, share a goal or a success.