I am not much on resolutions as in past years I have made resolutions and quickly broken them. I am however all about self evaluating and making some changes to improve daily life. I had a boss once who said to me “I don’t want problems, I want solutions” and it was one of the biggest kicks in the gut I have ever received. I was a hard worker so I initially took offense but it turned out to be a turning point in my career. It’s time to find solutions for my every day life instead of just focusing on the “problems”. A friend shared this on Facebook and all I could think the entire read was YES! A “Soulution” is what I need.
The main source of my frustration in daily life is ME….that’s a hard pill to swallow. The one benefit of the problem being myself, however, is that is the one thing I do have control over. In thinking about what I wanted to change in the coming year the one big thing that stands out is my need to be present. I go through my daily routine and spend lots of time at work and with my family but this past year I really feel like I was there in body but not in mind or spirit. It seems like I always have a running list in my head scrolling through what I need to be doing, what I wish I was doing, what I should be doing instead of focusing on what I AM doing.
I like to pride myself on being able to multitask well but unfortunately you cannot multitask and be present at the same time. I ran across this article by Tom Stuart on 8 was to be present and, while not earth shattering, made me stop and think about which areas I need the most improvement to help me succeed this year with my goal to be present. In the article he notes being present requires a focused engagement of every aspect of our being including physical, mental, emotional and even the spiritual.
Staying focused seems to be one of my biggest issues. When I’m at work I’m thinking about home and when I’m at home I’m thinking about things I would love to be doing or planning to do. I think social media has really created a lot of jumble in my mind as I’m always seeing little projects and vacations and things I would like to create and plan. I truly believe if I asked my kids or my husband what they would really like more a vacation or a present me, I really think they would choose the latter. (If one of you are reading this and you really want a vacation just keep that to yourself…ha!) The first thing I am going to work on is creating a more organized plan for my days and really budget in the time during the day to do the things I have to do and during the allotted time give 100% of my focus to whatever it is I’m suppose to be doing. I love this verse to go along with this first area for improvement.
Isaiah 26:3 Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace – in peace because they trust in you.
Setting aside space in my day for time with God is always one of the first things to go when things get crazy for me and it should be the exact opposite. Instead of just trying to fit this in whenever I can and not really focusing and absorbing the words I’m reading, this year I hope to make this a top priority. I have seen in the past when I am “right” in this area how much smoother my days seem to go and I know it is the first step to living in the present.
The second big area for improvement will be being content. This will be a conscious choice and it will be a struggle. I am so grateful for the life I have so I really don’t know why this is always so hard. I am thankful God has blessed me with the strengths I have and with the people so carefully placed in my life so why oh why is it so hard to just BE with those people and share a moment without my mind running wild with a million other things. Learning to just be still is one of my biggest challenges and I know that this will be the first step in learning to be content.
I would like to think that being loving is the one area that I am excelling at 100% all the time but to be truly loving to others means thinking of others before ourselves. I definitely have some room to continue to grow here. I love to love on others but often it is in the way I choose to love them and not the way they really need to be loved. One of my biggest struggles this past year has been my supporting role as a wife to a man who leaves at 5am and returns at 7pm. He loves his job and I know for the first time in our marriage he is so proud of what he is doing to support our family. I am so proud of him as well but my goodness I am so tired sometimes and his lack of being around sure has gotten in the way of me doing some things I want to do. What?? Did I just type that?? Yep….you cannot be truly loving and have self-pity at the same time. I hope this year as I work to be more focused and present, I will find ways to tackle the things that must be done so I can truly love those in my life the way THEY need to be loved.
So for me as I look forward I still have all the same goals I usually have each year….stay committed to quiet time, health & fitness and my family as well as reading some books, taking some trips, tackling a few household projects and learning to love my job every day. The difference this year, I hope, is I will be present in whatever moment I am in and turn to God to guide me through it. I know that if I can accomplish these things that being present will be my biggest present in 2015.
Friends…life is hard….we all have our individual issues and struggles and in the end we cannot do this alone. Turning to God is the only answer I have ever found that will ease my frustration, pain, loneliness, etc. Unfortunately sometimes it takes so much longer than necessary for me to realize He is the answer and instead I am spinning my wheels trying to fix life and be God myself. Here’s to letting God be God in 2015 and the freedom this gives me to just be me….but the very best me I can be.