Last January, This January

LAST JANUARY I created my “January” page, and this is what I wrote:

I was reflecting last night (January 31, 2017) on some of the blessings of January:

  • We are inside much more, and the things that pull us outside to work are covered in a blanket of snow–particularly this year! (Utah had a record snowfall in 2017: over 16 feet!)
  • Being inside gave me more time to reflect on the routines and habits we have and the goals we are setting to make changes. Change comes slowly, and direction is more important than speed. I love being able to plan for fun and improvement. I get to think about all these great things in January.
  • We start the New Year off with a party! And quiet reflection the next morning. I love both.
  • We try to finish up any thank you notes that we didn’t get written from Christmas gifts–both to each other and to extended family or friends. I don’t always get very note written. Still working on that! ☺️
  • We went to see a hockey game for Peter’s Christmas book date in Salt Lake as well as our our son’s hockey games. Hockey is a very fun sport to watch: fast paced, a little crazy at times. I could hardly believe the NHL players broke their sticks during the game! Do you know how expensive those can be?!?
  • We had fun watching some movies, baking some delicious cakes, and having people over for dinner and game night. I pulled out my colorful bowls to brighten up the interior when the exterior was so white!
  • We skied together as a whole family! That began during Christmas vacation and co
    ntinued. It is our first year of being able to do so, and we just love it.
  • We started learning a tiny bit of French and Finnish as part of our scripture study.
  • We read some of the children’s books we loved and attended book club. It is great to gather with others on a cold evening to talk about something uplifting.
  • We spent some sick days inside. That gave us a chance to be together and to slow down.
  • We had opportunities to serve: shoveling snow, repairing rain gutters and helping with flooding basements. We fed and cared for some sick loved ones.
  • I started up my daytime mother’s group again. It was wonderful to share thoughts and experiences so we can learn from and strenghten each other. We felt the Spirit. It was a feast.
  • We got back to exercising. Wooeee! Can that be hard or what?
  • We finished up the month by celebrating Nate’s birthday. He is officially an adult. 👏🏻

That sounds great. But each year is different. THIS JANUARY, things ARE going to be different.

I spent January 1 completley differently than any year in the past.

We had a really wonderful dinner with the sister missionaries on Sunday night (Dec.31), had a family council, and got to bed around 10:30 pm. Not too bad.

I had a very interrupted sleep–probably due to lack of exercise, eating chocolate every day, not drinking enough water, getting to bed so late every night, not sleeping well every night–in other words, being SO off of my routine–NOT to mention (but I will) taking medication for a couple of infections and waking 4 or 5 times to go to the bathroom. Oh! And I was dying to check on my email from Julia, whose emails, because of the time difference, arrived in the middle of the night. So the first or second time I woke up, I checked my phone for her emails.

I felt so tired and grumpy when I got up for the day–especially because I was really excited to set some goals but feeling so tired and rotten physically. I was GOING to open up my Book of Mormon to start studying–you know, start the day off right, but I went to my phone to send Julia’s emails to our family and friends, since Lane was heading to work. He exercised and left. I ended up staying in my PJs and cleaning out my email for 9 hours straight.

Eliza took pity on me and made me some lunch (I worked through breakfast). I had had enough email mishaps (missed messages) because of not keeping up with my email and having an overload of advertising emails, that I was utterly determined to clean out the more than 10,000 messages that had accumulated.

I will say, that was not fun.

I decided that I cannot give out my email address and subscribe to lists! It becomes such a nightmare. I think Alma 37:6 applies here, too, because not only do small and simple GOOD things created wonderful great things, but small and simple BAD actions add up to really big messes, such as my email was the other day.

I have decided that this is my year to get to the bottom of some of the accumulated messes that I’ve been working on but not made enough desirable progress before.

After just paying two missed invoices this morning (because of missed emails from October and November!), I am determined to truly simply and keep up with my finances. I have developed some bad habits of not staying up with my bookkeeping! I neglect it, mainly it is because it feels so complicated and time-consuming, and when I start, I barely get into the pile before I have to leave to work on other more pressing mom jobs.

This year, though, I’m going to figure it out. I am tired of being so disorganized in this area of my life.

I also am determined to keep cleaning out my office and figure out a way to establish habits that don’t create piles to get to later. I want to deal with stuff NOW and get it done quickly. I want to know what I can let go of immediately: paperwork, etc.

I also want to finish up projects that I have started (Delicious Music, RAC Friendship Library Project, everyday fabric napkins). I’m going to pause my French Book of Mormon reading project. Maybe I will finish it someday, maybe I won’t. I just can’t do so many things at once.

I also want to get back to exercising more! I had such a wonderful time training for races with Sarah the past two years, but then I’ve had some back issues and the press of major family events and have gotten out of my rhythm. Sarah wants to do another triathlon: Olympic distance. I’m not sure I’m up for that right now. That is so much of a time commitment. I don’t think I’m ready to give up that much time yet. So I’ve committed to racing the sprint distance while she commits to the Olympic distance, and see how I’m doing come mid-May. If I’m up to increasing my training goals, I’ll revisit it then.

I’m at such a crossroads in my life. I am tired of resisting the same organizational problems (piles, piles, piles) and want to be able to conquer them and move on. I want to prepare for other kinds of learning and service in the future. I want my home life to be in a position where I can let some of my regular daily routines go and move forward–whether that is further education, work, community service, etc. This is going to be my clean-up year.

So I’m going to set only 4 goals this year:

  1. To increase my peace in Christ;
  2. To clean up my life by learning how to better manage my finances and email and by finishing up my current projects and not starting any new ones;
  3. To get back to a regular, vigorous exercise routine so I can do a triathlon with Sarah;
  4. To reach out to, strengthen and enjoy my family and extended family and friends, and young women (my current calling).

I hope that next year I will be able to report that I have accomplished these four things! I believe I can.

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