This month, the theme for The Circle link-up at In Its Time was to create a moodboard for 2016. As I created my moodboard, I thought about how I want to 2016 to feel and what I want each day to look like. Here are some areas of my life I want to prioritize this year.
I've always been something of a night owl, but lately I've really been looking into how my sleep affects my overall health. My mornings are typically very rushed, and it doesn't help me start the day in a very nice mood. I'd like to be able to wake up earlier and spend some quiet time eating a "real" breakfast and actually enjoying my coffee, reading, doing a devotional, practicing yoga, writing in my journal, or setting goals for the day before I have to greet 30 teenagers!
nurturing my passions
- Teaching - I love, love, love my job. I definitely want to be involved with teaching and/or working with young people for the rest of my life. However, I've gotten a little complacent lately - I've gone from being the new teacher who was constantly reading professional development books, taking classes, and attending conferences to being the veteran who recycles lesson plans and goes home to watch Netflix. To try to rekindle that flame, I've applied to several programs for this spring and summer that should help get me back on track. I really want to be a teacher who is always innovating and trying new things.
- Writing - If someone had told me ten years ago that I wouldn't have published anything significant by the age of thirty, I probably would have gotten very depressed. My writing is another thing I think I've gotten complacent about - I use the busy-ness of my teaching job and personal writing, like blogging and Tumblr, to avoid writing for a purpose. Just like with exercise, if I don't make time to write creatively, it's not going to happen. What am I hiding from?
Change is scary to me, but my One Word for 2016 is horizon and when I look at the image of the girl facing the horizon, I see that she's facing the ocean and its ever-changing waves - one of my favorite places to be and one that I find incredibly calming. Change is a constant in life - in relationships, at work, and with our personal interests. I had to reevaluate some friendships in 2015, and gained a stronger sense of self (a little more about that here). Buying a house and being able to turn it into a place to welcome friends and family any time we want will be a big change. Moving to a new school for a semester will be a big change. I need to face the horizon rather than trying to run from it.
health and wellness
- I'm not exaggerating when I say that yoga has changed my life - I'm calmer, more patient, and more centered, and as a nice side effect my body is leaner. I want to keep practicing yoga regularly (at home in addition to the class I attend) and challenge myself to try more difficult poses.
- I've been working to improve my health and diet for almost four years now, since receiving my PCOS diagnosis, but nothing has been as helpful to me so far as the app that came with my Jawbone UP2 band (read more of my thoughts about the UP2 here) - the combination of tracking sleep, workouts, and food and positive reinforcement really seems to be working. I've tried various boot camps, diets, and cleanses, but none of them have really "stuck." Hopefully I'm on to something now!
- One of the things I'm most looking forward to when we do move out of our current townhouse is being able to have a garden and grow our own vegetables. I grew up in a rural area and sometimes I just need a little dirt therapy.
The time has come for me to break through my social anxiety and find a place to pray and worship (I wrote a little more about this here). Ever since reading Rachel Held Evans' book Searching for Sunday last year (my review is here), I've been yearning for the kind of transformative experience she writes about. I don't want to be yet another millennial who left the church and never returned - unlike some people I know who thrive on solitary spiritual paths, I am just no good at staying in the Word on my own. I have been making excuses for far too long, and this needs to be the year I find a church home, even if that means going alone. I miss the sense of belonging and understanding that I had in college with my fellowship, small group, and close-knit church. As I've said before, I know that there's no "perfect" church, but there must be one out there (hopefully not too far away) that I can help make wonderful.