December 28, 2015

Goals and stuff: looking back at 2015

My rough bullet-point list of 2015 is very rough. I think because so much happened and yet so much of it feels like a blur. BUT – I managed to crank out 15 things that happened in 2015

- We had Baby G’s formal dedication at our church in Arizona
- We moved to Hawaii
- We took Baby G to Disneyland, which she LOVED
- We’ve been to two Hawaiian islands (Oahu, obviously, and Kauai)
- I had my first helicopter ride
- We also saw a dead volcano
- Spent Fourth of July on Waikiki Beach
- I lost 15 pounds
- We took the dogs to the beach for the first time
- I learned to use chopsticks (and I’ve probably forgotten already!)
- We bought yet another house – blog post forthcoming on that one
- Baby G learned to walk and basically talk, she has a TON of words now
- I got to hear my baby finally call me Momma after months of hearing “Dadda” and “dogs”
- I flew from Hawaii to Oklahoma with a teething babytoddler overnight, by myself
- I got to be in my sister’s wedding

The one goal I had, what I wrote in my planner “Mission Statement” for this year, was Philippians 4:11-13:

For I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am. I know how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret to being content – whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need . I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

And I think I can say, through Christ, I’ve come very close to being content. I don’t know if it’s possible to attain perfect contentment on this side of Heaven, but this year has been pretty good. Bear in mind, when I set out to take that verse to heart

- We didn’t know where we were PCSing to
- We didn’t know when we would be leaving, exactly
- We were still figuring ourselves out as new parents (who am I kidding, that never ends)
- I was wrestling trying to get some decent healthcare (not the same as health insurance, Obama)

And plenty of other things we could add to that list.

I think contentment gets a bad rap, getting conflated with “complacent.” But that’s not what it means at all. At least, that’s not how it manifested itself for me. Being content simply meant taking the pressure off specific results and being able to focus on the process.

I stopped trying to lose weight. I focused on simple things, like walking more, drinking water instead of other things, getting as much sleep as possible with a teething baby. Result: I’ve lost 15 pounds this year – probably the first time that’s happened since I started gaining “adult” weight in college.

I stopped trying to “build my blog” and turn it into some kind of pseudo-career. Result? I enjoy it more. I read when I can. I write when I’m able. It’s back to being a fun hobby, not one more burden.

I stopped keeping track of the days I *didn’t* have a quiet time in the mornings. I instead started reading the way I read anything else – as much as I can. As a result, I got a new study tool to help me, and I’m making my way through the Psalms for the first time, without the pressure of an external schedule. (If you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen some of this.) And it’s been a great blessing to me.

I’m sure there are other areas I could list here, but those are the bigs. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, in and of itself. But for me, it became far more rewarding to appreciate the Now and Already rather than to beat myself up over the Shoulda Coulda Woulda.
Suffice it to say, I’m ending the year by meeting my goal. I am content.

And here are a few of my favorite pictures from the year:

Very, very few.

I hope you ended your 2015 with contentment, and if not, I hope you find it in the new year. I may or may not be back here before then, but in case I don’t see you – Happy New Year!


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