I am getting very close to the end of my year long journey. I have discovered a few things about myself, or maybe I should more correctly say that I have confirmed some things about myself that I already knew.
One, I don't like writing. I find this tedious, vulnerable, and confirms that I feel like I don't really have anything to say of value. I love reading what others say though, and have a long list of blogs I read.
Two, I find living a disciplined life difficult. I can always make excuses for my choices, such as eating a little extra (had an extra hard workout this morning), cleaning my house (the mess will still be there tomorrow), not calling my Aunt (have nothing new to say and she won't have anything new to say either!) and writing on my blog (again, nothing to say).
I don't like feeling like a failure. Every time I convince myself to write, I feel like I'm just exposing how lousy I am at what I'm trying to do. So today, as I re-read my very first post, it's hard to feel positive. But let's do a review and maybe it won't be quite so bad (or it may be worse....).
And, last but not least, I have discovered that I get far more readers if I put this on Facebook. If I don't, very few read my posts but when I do, there are a lot more readers and responders. Not sure yet whether I'll do it today or not.
My personal goal was to make healthy choices. This was hard. Every time I feel stress, I want to eat. Every time I am happy, I want to eat. Every time I'm bored, I like to eat. But, thanks again to my lovely daughter-in-law who is completing her natural nutritionist training, I am making changes. It feels easier to do it for her. I am one of her case studies. I filled in about a 1000 questions on a survey (Okay, probably not quite that many) and then she analyzed it and gave me many suggestions on how to improve my overall health. I am trying to follow the recommendations, and good news, I do feel better. I have not followed all of her recommendations yet as the whole list is a little overwhelming, but already, I have lost some pounds and I think it is helping my arthritis. I continue to work out regularly at the club and have added a few special classes to my routine.
Relationally speaking, finding the best in all people is not necessarily easy. But I have made a promise to myself that I will not react in anger or with sarcasm immediately in those times when it is easy to do. This is especially true in the home. I don't want to react with an argumentative voice whenever I feel wronged. I am trying.
How does one measure spiritual growth? When I was growing up, this was measured simply in time one spent in prayer and bible reading. And bonus marks to you if you did it first thing in the morning. Well, I read the bible quite regularly and sleepless hours at night have been used in prayer, of a sort, but have I grown? If anything, I feel less sure about matters of faith. Things used to be very black and white; others were either in or out; and Jesus was absolutely going to return premilleniuim and take me and only those others who had said the sinner's prayer. Those lines aren't quite so definite anymore. It was easier when I KNEW things.
Vocationally, I was forced to grow. For the first 7 months of the school year, I taught a challenging class of mostly Kindies and a few grade 1's. It was good and I figured out a rhythm. I had a few students with special needs that I had never encountered before, so I learned, observed and flew by the seat of my pants most days. And then, after Easter, I changed to a grade 2 class. I had never taught grade 2 for an extended time before and so I needed to learn a new curriculum, new class habits and schedule and again had a few student with diagnoses that were very unique and challenging. And yet, I have found this class to be of the best I have ever taught. Maybe it was because they were older, but they understood me and my quirky sense of humour. I enjoyed their interactions and sure wish I could teach them longer. I have laughed out loud every single day in this class. I will be sad tomorrow as I say good-bye to them for the final time. I still don't know where I will be placed next year. There's a lot of movement going on in our district, and as a teacher with little seniority, I have to wait till everyone else is happy and then I'll get the leftovers. As I have said before, God has always looked after me and given me a job at the right time and so I trust and wait. I'm not saying this has been easy as it seems to get more difficult every time I go through this, but it is what it is.
And that's a wrap. How do I want to live the last month of my 40's? Continue to grow, learn and laugh. I start with a trip to Europe next week with my husband as he leads a tour of Anabaptist history. Should be fun. I may even post about it!