A Year of Habits, no. 35

I hope you’re having a nice Labor Day weekend.  Ours has been uneventful so far, which is nice.

I’ve been thinking about this little routine of mine, to type a summary or report of my week as part of my effort to become the person I want to be.  I believe that reporting is important but measuring is difficult.  You see, my goals this year didn’t involve specific things that I could do and then cross off the list.  There are a few things like that, but the essence of my intent is about something I want to be.  Yes, there are certain things which, if I do, will increase the probability of my becoming what I want to be, but how do you measure how far you are along the road of becoming?  It’s a difficult thing.

I’ve wondered at times if I went wrong when I outlined things the way I did.  I know all the “rules” about making goals and how they have to involve specific things so you can reach them, etc. etc.  Did I doom my effort from the start by setting it up this way?  I don’t think so.  I felt strongly that I should focus my efforts on becoming a different person in some important areas of my life.

I’ve been reading this talk fairly often for the past few months, and part of it sums up the difficulty I’m struggling with:

“Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am.”   – Lynn G. Robbins

It would have been easier to make a to do list for the year so I could look at it and see how many items I’d crossed off and how many remain.  What matters most to me, however, is what I’m becoming (and if I’m becoming), and so here I am, in the 35th week of my goal, wondering.

Even so, I feel good about the week.  I feel good about my efforts to start the school year with precise homework and music practice habits.  I feel good about my efforts to get the children on a healthy schedule for the year as well.  I made some difficult decisions earlier in May regarding activities for the children to be involved in this fall.  We cut back, and it was hard for me to do.  It seems to be helping, though.  Every day we have an hour or two before practices start which has allowed me to focus entirely on the school-aged children and help them with homework, etc.  This little window of time has been precious, giving us breathing room between school and extra-curricular activites.  The children seem happy to do less driving and rushing around.  We’re still crazy busy, but now we have that precious hour.  We all seem happier.

I feel good about my efforts around the house this week also.  My brother is getting married in a few weeks and I’ve moved a lot of “house” to-do’s up to the top of the list in hope that I’ll get them done before the company comes.  If I do, I’ll feel really good about myself.  Over all, the house is cleaner and more tidy right now than it usually is at this point in time.  Perhaps I’m getting better at it.

I tried new things this week and finished a couple of projects.  I feel that I’m finishing more projects and becoming wiser about starting things.  I still have far to go in this area but I like the direction I’m moving.  I tackled something that was overwhelming me.  It’s not finished yet but having started, I don’t feel nearly as intimidated by it as I was two days ago and I have a vision to guide my efforts.

I am working really hard at being a mother who responds softly to her children.  I’m getting better.  Today alone provided abundant opportunities to bite my tongue and listen, to build instead of criticize.

The past couple of weeks have offered some opportunities for us to serve others and I’m glad we were able to do even small things for people around us.  Service is so important.

I continue to eat well and try to take good care of myself.  While I wish I was losing weight at a more dramatic rate, I realize it’s a blessing.  Having it take longer than I’d like means I’m more likely to really change my habits and lifestyle for the long run.  I’m more likely to become a different person.

I can say this:  I am sleepy!  It’s off to bed for me so I can rise with the roosters and get going on my list.  Have a great day!

Jennifer

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