“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
I am grateful for … daughters who play imaginative games in the car, supportive & appreciative co-workers, increased intentionality over the last few years, various opportunities to gain perspective on how blessed we are, and all time spent with friends. There’s endless lists of things to be grateful for – but the one that speaks most to me right now is having had the opportunity to get glimpses into blessings we’ve taken for granted.
As part of my Deacon role I’ve worked with folks who didn’t have grocery money, who had to choose between paying bills and replacing their daughters’ hole-filled pants, folks who fled war-torn countries and were so appreciative of being able to walk freely outdoors and enjoy the sunshine & small patches of grass.
When I initially left my previous role, without a plan to get another job too soon, it was the first time I actually needed to budget and be mindful of the grocery bill. It felt scary to think “we’re not millionaires, can we actually make this adjustment?” If you think you can, you can. Plus…I had no idea how much I had taken for granted.
As contrary as it sounds, significantly reducing our income has given me an opportunity to truly see how abundant our lives were, and how abundant they still are. To think the number of times I thought “we do okay, but it’s not like we’re rich.” We truly were and are.
This past Saturday our family went to a Jays game. It amazed me how 10 years ago I enjoyed our nicer seats and pricey concession food, but didn’t think too much of it. And now, when we go, heading up to our nosebleed seats, I’m grateful for the opportunity to freely watch a baseball game, to purchase a few snacks, and I’m amazed that there are actually people walking around selling us food & drinks. It’s like we’re kings and queens being served from our seats! I think about a refugee family whose currently in hiding, seeking asylum…I think about countries that are facing severe famine, and I’m amazed with what’s available to us.
I am hopeful that… I get more sleep. And challenge myself to … get to bed by 10pm each day (meaning, I need to head upstairs by 9:30pm…like the 9:30pm that happened 40 minutes ago).
I enjoyed … an “average morning” with the girls of running errands, eating a snack and visiting the park. It’s when I look back at photos of when J was 2 year old and younger that it really hits me that the children grow up quickly. It’s so true that the days are long but the years are short, and I hope to try to squeeze memories out of all of them.
Previous Challenge: I am hopeful that… I recognize that that the only expectations I need to fulfill are my own. I’ve realized that everyone has different perceptions or interpretations of events, and each person builds their own assumptions or truths based on their perception…I struggle when someone views events in my life and draws truths from them that are different from mine – because I then feel there’s an expectation that goes along with it and I likely won’t meet that expectation. Actually, I assume there’s an expectation that goes with it and put that pressure on myself. And challenge myself to … set some short/medium/long term goals to get clear on the expectations I’m striving to fulfil. I also challenge myself to increase my self-awareness to and in a given situation do a mental pause and check-in to see if my feelings are based on fact or on assumptions. I think this can be tricky because you don’t always realize you’ve made an assumption…but let’s give it a go.
Update on Previous Challenge: Hmm…I often find that I get away from these daily snapshots, and when I come back to it I look at my previous challenge and think “Dang…I could’ve used that.” Or maybe I just keep making the same mistakes over and over again…what can I say, I’m a work in progress! 🙂 I did set a few vague short/medium/long term goals, but only in a couple areas of life, and not the fuller picture I’d like. I think breaking it down that way is great in theory but feels a bit tedious and overwhelming, so instead I’d like to start with determining a broad mission/purpose statement for myself and 3 goals I’d like to accomplish in 2017 that align with that mission.