I spied this article last night, and my new year buzz was back in an instant. I've been chugging along with my resolutions already (which is no big thing since something like 2/3rds of Americans are in the same boat at this time of year), but choosing a question to guide my year is the strawberry on top. No cherries for me.
Landing on a word of the year just hasn't ever worked for me. Take last year or the year before that or the year before that. Heck, take all of them. Each year for as long as I've been married, my year has become something much different than what I envisioned in January. Last year around this time I told my sister, Andrea, that I should pass on watching her baby between her maternity leave and the day care spot opening. And in October I was watching her twins, Luke and Logan, five days a week. Whom I miss very much, so please stop bringing it up. But really. There was no beautiful word to wrap up that experience and make sense of it.
A random word is nice. Brave. Hope. Change. We can always work it in somehow. But questions are gold. Always. There's no presumption in a question, and I like that. I like open. I like a wide door to possibilities.
Once a month I'm going to be sharing with you how my question is affecting the way I think, act, and love. Feel free to join me in the com box to share your thoughts! But back to the question, and maybe you can drum up one of your own.
There are a couple things that have been happening here in our home over the past month or two that have naturally presented my 2015 question to me.
Paul and I have been doing all sorts of things with money the past few weeks as well as having conversations every day about how we manage it. Which, yes, I thought we were already doing a pretty great job of, but not quite. It's as if we were on a self-guided Christmas break financial boot camp for two weeks and now that ball is rolling and there's no stopping it.
Every day we are back at the table with more questions, more action, more ideas. Naturally, being increasingly aware of our financial priorities has had me searching for avenues to be content and resourceful with what we have.
Babies. Not having them. Having them. That whole thing. Isn't it just so tough? Or tough after having 3? I prayed so hard last year. Like my life depended on it. Truly. That things in that realm could just pause for a year. No #4 but also no closed door. Open but not adding. Hear me? I hope so because it is extraordinarily difficult to be real with you about this struggle, but I also think it's important for me to be real about it because that's how we connect and feel hope from others, right?
Well, last week I was busy doing something markedly ordinary like plugging in the computer charger or refilling my water glass when it hit me: I prayed for that pause, if you will, (which in my book was a thing which has no name but felt right under a miracle in terms of magic). I received. I felt immense gratitude...and then that gratitude promptly vanished within days when I moved on, as ordinary days and moments tend to have us do. Was I already forgetting what a great gift it was to have that financial, physical, and emotional break? Was I gearing up for my next big want and paying little attention to the blessings already at my feet? Literally. Twins.
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The ordinary moment which reminded me of my constant reaching forward for something more and my deliberate, intentional financial work with Paul over the past month have together brought me to the waters of contentment. Furthermore, I have found my one important question which I want to think about for all of this year:
I tend to roll my eyes at extreme measures of simplification. Tiny houses so small the guests will need to stand outside in order to feel welcome. Stripping our wardrobes down to a prescribed number of items because someone said so. Choosing less so stringently it cuts into our ability to say yes to others in terms of service and generosity.
All eye rolls aside, I do have a problem, and it's a good one to have. But it's still a problem. My life is stuffed. It's stuffed with people and things. Problems and responsibilities. Resources. Plans. Enough toilet paper and paper towels to clean up a zombie outbreak.
This year I want to be better at discerning my needs vs. my wants. I want to check how many socks I have before I run off to Target for another pair destined to fall to its death behind the dryer. I want to pull books off my shelf that I bought and never read. I want to say no to new responsibilities so I can say yes to the ones I already have. I want to have gratitude shine in my heart because I've developed the contentment to not always reach for the shiny new thing dangling in front of me.
What do I already have?
A lot. Too much. Enough!
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What might your question be to guide your year? Or even your month? And if you've started 2015 out with some other hope, a resolution or a word, I would absolutely love to hear about those as well!
And look for my post in the next week or two about what good thing this month I've been realizing I already have!