A Year of Discovery

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

Louisa May Alcott

I need to have something to aim for. An ideal to step towards, practices to aspire to, a picture of life more beautifully lived that feels (at least somewhat) attainable.

The early child rearing years can be tough. With no career in place anymore, the drive and purpose that accompanied my lawyer days lies dormant, waiting to be reawakened for other aims. I’ve been shaped into a creature of affirmation by culture. Conditioned to seek after gold stars, good grades, achievable outcomes. Motherhood simply doesn’t lend itself to that. Some moments can feel as if you have lived them a thousand times before – repeating instructions to suddenly deaf ears, urging feet into tiny shoes, prompting basic self-care tasks in sunshine, rain, wind and storm.

Last year I focused on broad themes. Gratitude, hospitality, humour, passion, celebration. I found the process invigorating as the concept would ruminate in the far recesses of my mind throughout the month, blooming in the most unexpected of ways, leading to lessons that wove themselves together as I put fingers to the keys to figure out what I had been learning all along.

In 2017 I’m going practical. Cooking, gardening, creating, playing. It’s a year of verbs, of examining what I’m doing and learning more about the craft behind it. Finding hacks and figuring out how to do life better.

Taking into account the impending arrival of baby number four, I’m also giving myself the grace to slow down a little, making my achievements around the birth more about resting and noticing rather than ‘doing’. Maybe if I make it a goal to figure out how to rest better, it won’t feel like I’m failing to ‘do’ something important.

Here is my grand plan for 2017:

January: Organising
February: Planning
March: Conserving
April: Resting
May: Noticing
June: Listening
July: Budgeting
August: Playing
September: Parenting
October: Creating
November: Gardening
December: Cooking

How about you? Are you a goal setter or one who prefers to go with the flow? I would love you to join my in this Year of Discovery if you are interested – either by following along with my topics or creating your own list of verbs! Doing things together is always a great way to stay motivated, I find.

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