My theme these last few months seems to be too much to say, too little time to say it, and too much to say about things I shouldn’t be saying on the world wide web. Thus, relative silence.
Not to be mysterious. Life is like this: get sucked into the work vortex all week, spend evenings when the kids are in bed frantically working on an escape plan, emerge on the weekends and forget all about that part of life while I revel in being with family, and suddenly it’s almost Monday and it all begins again.
This year I started a goals journal. I got this from Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership book, and he in turn stole it from Zig Ziglar. You create yearly goals in seven areas–career, financial, spiritual, physical, intellectual, family, and social–and you have to write them down or they don’t count. I’ve always made yearly goals, but never in specific categories and never in one spot. Now that I’m 35, I considered all the goals I’d made over the years that are now lost on scraps of paper or even in my immature head. In a way it seemed too late, but then I figured I have, Lord willing, a good 40+ years goal-making ahead, I went ahead and started the goal journal at this ripe old age.
I won’t share them all, but a few of my goals include
Quit my job. I wouldn’t normally talk publicly about this just in case someone from work happened upon this tiny little corner of the internet, but things at work came to a crux last week when they signed me up for a conference that would have required significant investment in me on their part. I felt I had no choice but to be honest with them about my (non) future at the company and ask them not to send me.
They are, to put it mildly, not happy, and being a middle child/peacemaker I’m unhappy that they’re unhappy. But it’s the right thing for numerous reasons. I’ve had my time to evaluate the grass on the other side of the fence, to take a breather from running my own business, to realize that the advantages of running my own business, in spite of the not insignificant challenges, far outweigh the disadvantages. I’ve gained ten pounds from sitting on my behind all day instead of moving. I’ve lost precious hours with my kids. And, frankly, while I do love the nature of the work and believe I’m making a difference there both with my staff and for the company, I just need to come back home.
(Before you say anything along the lines of “I told you so,” please note that I’ve already heard this from basically everyone I have ever known, ever, so I’ll just assume you think the same thing. And the reality is, sometimes we need to make stupid decisions so we know what the right ones really are, and I think it was ultimately good for me and even for the family as Derek got to be me for a few months. He said at New Year’s that spending that quality time with the kids was the best part of his 2012. I will never get that time back, but he will always have it.)
Lose ten pounds. Work has made me a cliche. I’ve never had to watch what I eat or really even think about food other than how delicious it is, but this whole sitting on my behind all day thing is excruciating. There are moments at work when I’m dying to stand up and scream and do jumping jacks and run laps around the warehouse just to break up the monotony of sitting at the desk staring at the screen all day. When I finally get out of there, I have to sit in the car another hour to get home. The upside is I can’t wait to do dishes and clean up around the house because I need to move so badly.
Get a dog. Derek and I have a semi-agreement that when my new business is profitable and I have the time to train, we can get a dog. We’ll see how this one goes, but dog-walking could definitely help with the ten pounds.
Get to know people at church better. My natural inclination is to avoid people, but pretty much every Sunday I engage in post-church self-flagellation for not reaching out better, not talking to people I should have talked to, not being as social as I could/should be.
Continue to teach our children the faith. The other morning Jonathan spontaneously burst into a rendition of “O Come O Come Emmanuel” before breakfast. My kids know the Sunday school lessons before I even begin to teach them. This is our most important job as parents: arming our kids with the faith. Second to that, we want to teach them independence, to function on their own and to make good decisions. It’s astonishingly easy to do this if you ignore the culture, and astonishingly difficult if you don’t.
Five hands (self portrait)