Sunday, January 04, 2015

Personal Commandments (And Secrets of Adulthood)

A few years ago, I read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  At the time, I was depressed and struggling. Reading it was more than I could handle.  But I remembered that it was filled with good ideas.  So, I mentally filled it away until I've had time to really spend on it. I guess I've arrived.

One of my favorite things that Gretchen does, is list commandments that guide her life.  As I've looked at the goals I'm setting for 2015, I've decided that they need to be measured by my personal commandments.

1. The Savior is the center
2. Be Jenna
3. I choose me
4. Let go
5. In all things, give thanks

Gretchen also lists little tips and tricks that seem to hold true in her "Secrets of Adulthood." Some of her secrets make me laugh.  But here are a few of mine (and some of Gretchen's) that I've found are true.

To get a lot done, get up early.
Early to bed, early to rise.
The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.
To find something, clean up.
People don't pay as much attention to your mistakes as you think.
Everything counts.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Summing Up 2014

Despite this post, I've actually, I've done pretty well in 2014!

I remodeled the kitchen--something I've wanted to do for at least the last 7 years.

I'm working on my relationship with food.  It's not been an easy project, but I'm moving in the right direction.

I've gotten more emotionally healthy.  I've been seeing a therapist and working on my stuff.  It's been really hard at times.  (Sometimes I get so tired of crying!)  But each session, with each assignment is another step toward great emotional health.  It's been totally worth it.

I've remodeled the main bathroom.  We've needed to do that for 12 years!

I'm PTSA Pres at Lakeridge Jr High.  I love schools!  I love education!  This realization is helping me formulate my future educational and work goals.  This also fulfills part of a goal I set at 30 that in the next 10 years, I'd be PTA Pres at every school my kids are in.  That's not going to happen, nor, probably should it.  But I'm very happy with being President at 2 of my kids' schools.

I solved the mystery of the hip last year.  After suffering with intense pain for more than I year, I got this one solved.  Seeing a physical therapist was so helpful!  Bit by bit I'm doing better with my exercise and pacing what my hip can do. I have strategies, stretches and I'm learning to listen to my body.

I attended my high school 20 year reunion.  I reconnected with old friends and made plans for staying in touch better in the future.

Bringing on 2015!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Choosing Me

Every year, about this time, I ache for what I haven't accomplished.  I ache that I haven't written nearly as much as I wanted to.  That I haven't blogged, posted or set the time aside.

The reality is, it takes a while to write.  Especially to write well.  (You know, with good grammar and all that.)  For me, it's also emotionally draining.  The writing that means most to me is most often visceral. It comes from a place of absolute reality.  Not trying to gloss things over or not worry someone.  It just is.

Then, when what I write touches someone.  Oh!  That is the best thing that can happen.  But most often it comes from those raw, painful posts--the ones that really matter.

My next regret is that I have so, so much that I want to do.  My vision of what I want to accomplish is enormous.  So enormous, that I'm often afraid to begin.  Because, you see, I might fail.  So I fritter my time on Facebook or reading news articles.  It's not bad stuff, the way I waste my time.  But it's just enough to fill an hour here and 30 minutes there so that I can't research graduate schools I'm interested in.  Or work on trying for scholarships.  Or, writing a blog post.  It's just enough time that I can't accomplish anything.

Sometimes I think, "Oh the PTA or my calling or the kids' schedules are getting in the way. Perhaps if I did less..."  But that's not really it.  I have time that I lose.

The other day a friend asked, "Are you choosing you?"

Photo credit: Queen of Your Own

That question has been haunting me.  It's the question I ask when I don't eat the salad I really want because it will take too much time to put together.  It's the question I ask when I want to read a book or research a topic.  The reality is, I could choose me.  I could choose to go after the degree, to write every day, to eat the salad, to study my scriptures with the depth I really want, to go to the temple.  I could choose me.

My biggest worry is that I know that choosing me will sometimes inconvenience others.  That Wendell might have to come home from work early, that the kids will have to help around the house without being reminded, that I won't always be home when they're home.  Or that I'm home, but I'll be doing a class or writing or something...

And that might produce guilt.  And if that happens, then I *should* stop choosing me, and stop doing what I love and fail myself so that no one else at anytime felt failed by me.  And yet, that would be a failing too.  Because if I don't choose me, then my boys won't expect their wives to choose themselves and my girls won't have an example of choosing themselves--of having their hopes and dreams and desires matter.

Just today I read a quote on Kat Lee's blog where she's quoting John Maxwell. She writes, "As Mr. Maxwell says in the book, 'Our ceiling is our children’s ground floor.' I want to push my personal growth as far as I can so that my children have the best start possible."

So how do I choose me?  And how can I not choose me?