Thursday, January 1, 2009

What I Learned in 2008

Although I'm not an articulate, deep thinker, I do have a few reflections on lessons learned this past year:
  1. I have no reason to complain--ever! I've seen families suffering real hardships and losses this year. My life has its challenges, but they are on a MUCH smaller scale.
  2. I need to go to bed by 10:00 p.m. I am a morning person and I get up before 6. When I stay up late, I'm not catching up on the to-do list, let alone getting ahead. I'm aimlessly wasting time and sucking energy out of TOMORROW. Fatigue decreases my patience, piety, and productivity.
  3. My husband is the biggest blessing God has granted me. Our marriage has always been a good one, but every year is better than the last. It's not that we've settled into a rut, either--we just continue to grow in our care and appreciation of each other. Len is a strong and godly leader, helps with "my share" of family duties, and loves me deeply.
  4. My children need gentleness, attention, and physical affection, even if they act like they don't. I've spent so many years lavishing attention (nursing, diapering, cuddling) on the youngest baby or toddler that I lost the habit of being affectionate with the rest of my crew. Consciously looking (away from the computer or book), hugging and kissing, and speaking with gentleness (see #2) will help my children feel my love for them.
  5. A menu plan is a huge time saver. I'm back on a cycle (3 weeks this time), and it's making the whole process easier--planning, shopping, and cooking.
  6. I CAN parent a young adult. Well, duh--this was bound to happen eventually, but I didn't know how I would "be" at it. This is the time for relaxing my parental grip while still being a support. There's a lot I can't (and shouldn't) control about her life; the relief for me is that this doesn't make me crazy. (It probably helps that Lauren is a wonderful young woman; she's training me well?)
  7. I CAN'T fix everything. We've had four young women stay with us in the past 16 months. We've made a positive difference in their lives, but not as much as I would like. This is not an easy lesson.
  8. God is Good. He's showered me with blessings--husband, family, activities, routines, mass, etc. I need to work on a habit of gratitude.
Reading back, I see that most of these lessons are not new, but the time spent reflecting is a good way for me to prepare for 2009. May your new year be blessed.


Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

This is a great list -- very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

Mom/Mimi said...

YOU are a blessing to me that I count among my most precious and treasured ones.
Lots of hugs and kisses - albeit long distance.