When the year rolled over into 2015, I seriously considered how to handle the annual resolution issue. I, like most other people, wanted to start out the year with some magnificent goal that would lead to improvement throughout the months and a hefty pat on the back for my eventual accomplishment at the next turning of the year. There is just one problem: I get bored. I admit it. If I set myself a goal in January, by the time spring brings it's flowers and warm breezes I'm pretty much over whatever I thought was going to be my focus for all twelve months. On one hand, it's good that I know this about myself. On the other, it's a real motivation killer. Why set myself up for failure, after all. You can see my dilemma.
So, this year I decided to choose a theme instead of a goal. I figure this gives me a lot of maneuverability as far as handling goes. I chose one word: CARE. Care is a good word. It is important not only on a personal level, but it can make a huge difference in the world as well. After I chose my word, I broke it down by letter and chose three words that began with each letter that I felt related to the word as a whole. I've been busy cycling through those words on a weekly theme basis since January. So far it's working pretty well for me. It forces me to get creative with how many ways I can use each word as a goal each week. It lets me look at my To Do List a bit differently. It offers a LOT of variety. Granted, spring isn't here yet, but there is hope that I may stay the course; more hope than last year's goal of getting dressed in actual big people clothes every day. What can I say, I love my pj's and it saves on laundry.
I've already cycled through "create", "achieve", "educate", "correct" and am now up to "adapt". The rest of my cycle includes "rewrite", "elaborate", "celebrate", "art", "reduce", and "emerge". Then the cycle repeats. I know, you are now asking yourself why I'm telling you this. Well, it's because of my current word. Adapt is something that we, as humans and as parents, need to do daily. We adapt our schedules to fit around extra curricular activities. We adapt out TV preferences around young children. We adapt our work day with each phone call and e-mail because the importance of tasks shifts. We adapt our commute around the weather. But here's a big question: When was the last time that you adapted your day, week, month to include something that you are passionate about? If you are still considering that question, it has probably been too long.
Making time to pursue your own personal aspirations is important. Not only does it allow you to nurture your inner growth needs, it sets an example to your children that they should always set aside a bit of time to pursue their own dreams. When you add personal time to your routine in order to restore a vehicle, play tennis, take a cooking class, study astrophysics, or write a story, you are supporting the idea that being a well rounded individual is vitally important. Showing your children that you are more than just Mom or Dad encourages them to always see themselves as more than simply their title as well. If you are lucky enough to be supporting yourself in the pursuit of your passion and not simply sacrificing your time for a paycheck, showing your child that you love other activities may help them expand their talents as well.
Yes, this is a difficult thing. With work weeks far exceeding 40 hours in many cases and both parents often working, finding "me" time can feel selfish. The trick is to find a balance. Even if you can only dedicate 30 minutes to your dream every other day, do so. You will be happier for it, and your happiness will leak over into everything else you do. Working with a happy, energetic attitude can only improve any situation.
So, this week, why not try adapting your schedule to include time for one thing that YOU love. Find a creative way to work it into the day. Better yet, use it as a homeschooling lesson on time management and help your little one pursue a dream as well!
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!