New Year

Setting Goals for the New Year

2016 was pretty good to me.

New Year's Resolution

Nothing particularly spectacular happened. The railroad is slowing down so money is tighter. Watching the furloughs (basically lay offs) leaves a little anxiety as we wonder just how deep they will go and just how much seniority will be necessary to survive them. Demands on my time are greater. As my children get older, I stress more over their weak areas (and worry more about how much losing their brother will affect them academically rather than just . . . well . . . “just” the way losing loved ones affects everyone). I still battle feelings of failure and inadequacy. I still struggle with becoming suddenly and inexplicably overwhelmed by seemingly mundane tasks.

Except that it isn’t the task at hand. It’s the loss of a child.

So why would I say 2016 has been good to me?

Because this is the first year that I’ve been able to consistently do things like appreciate the small pleasures in life. Find the humor in everyday mishaps. In fact, while is seems to come out more on facebook, I’ve seen my sense of humor more and more over the last year. Little hiccups don’t regularly bring the day to a crashing halt. I have been able to plan things out, make goals and carry them through. I forget important things less. I can remember Mattias and smile. The feelings associated are bittersweet, but they no longer overwhelm me with grief. We’ve homeschooled every single day. And while we’re behind, it’s a normal behind, not an I-just-can’t-cope behind.

Life is moving forward.

And I’m looking forward more, too.

I like the idea of a New Year’s resolution. A time to reflect on the things we don’t like about ourselves and resolve to improve. A time to acknowledge our dreams and resolve to take steps toward achieving them. It’s a time to sweep away the failure and give ourselves a fresh start. Even if that start sputters and dies for all the reasons that brought us to this point to begin with.

But this year, I just have goals.

This year, I want to write.

I want to write more here. I want to get a few more articles published in magazines. I want to finish the e-books I started over the past two years. I want to start the novel that has been slowly developing in my thoughts over the last three years.

And I might be ready to pick up a project that was almost finished before Mattias died.

I purchased myself a nice big planner with room for plans and ideas and deadlines. I wrote my first query and have my first deadline.

My biggest challenge will simply be time. But my children are getting older and I am going to try to go to the library at least once a week to work. Alone. And during the day.

It takes discipline, which is where I’ve fallen short in the past.

So perhaps I have a resolution after all. Simply to be more disciplined.

What are your plans, goals, resolutions or words for the New Year? And maybe even a better question: Is there anything we can do to help you achieve them?

And a little more from around the homeschool web:

Heather from Wellermomma blog shares Ten Ways to Be a Happy {More} Relaxed Momma. (Pretty sure taking time to work on your own lifelong dreams counts, right?)

Becky from Homeschool ‘N Stuff is improving her relationship with God, reading more and getting to know her boys better. (And such a good thought. As homeschoolers, at home with our children ALL day, it seems like we know them. And of course we do. But learning to ask more questions and listen more deepens those relationships.)

Jody of Kitchen Table Classroom is sharing some super cute (and free!) New Year’s printables to help get your children started thinking about the new year and making their own resolutions.

Misty of Year Round Homeschooling is sharing how she prepares for a new year.

Crystal of Serving Joyfully shares the one resolution all of us (as Christians) should make.

And fellow homeschool mom Sarah Coller of Classical Homemaking even wrote a book: Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life. I have not read it, but we homeschoolers gotta stick together and help each other out, right? (Also, that link is an affiliate link.)