The biggest difficulty I foresee in this new year is that my mother-in-law, with whom I am very close, (see picture of us, above) will begin undergoing chemotherapy for her chronic leukemia in a few weeks. We are very hopeful that this will put the leukemia into remission; her doctors at MD Anderson have confidence that it will. She will stay with her son’s family in Houston when undergoing treatment there, and then when she is home I will be there, as will her sister, to help her out with things like cleaning her house and doing laundry, etc. I will also take over day-to-day operations of the business she runs, The Flooring Store of Tyler, when she’s out of commission. This will be new for me, as I haven’t worked much retail since I was in college, and don’t know much (yet) about the building industry, but I am happy to learn something new! I’m ready for new challenges this year; I just wish that this change didn’t come about by Susan being sick. We will get through it together, though, with God’s help, I am confident.
I will still be teaching the English class at the homeschool co-op each Monday this semester. I have always loved teaching English, but I must admit that I am getting a bit burned out on this class. I have taught it for four years in a row, and I think I’d like to do something else in the fall. Of course, this will not please the board of the co-op, as it is very difficult to find English teachers who are willing to volunteer teach, as you can imagine. Is this one of those things that I’m going to have to do for myself, regardless of what the opinion of others is, or should I bite the bullet, be selfless, and continue it in the fall? I don’t want to end up hating teaching high school English, but I don’t want to let down people I love and respect, either.
I have goals that I’d like to see accomplished this year, as well. I’d like to work on making my health more of a priority, as I’m feeling different now than I felt in my twenties. Imagine that! I don’t feel like a twenty-two year old anymore. Could it be that being forty-two requires more work? 😉 I received a Wii Fit Plus for Christmas, and I hope to use it at least four times a week, in addition to walking several days a week. I need to keep working on flexibility, as this is one area I can feel a change. All the yoga stretches on the Fit program will be a great way to work on that.
I have made it another goal to learn to cook things that taste as good as I already make them taste, but with fewer calories and less fat. This will be good for my family as well as for myself. It’s so much fun to cook and bake, and I love progressing in this area. However, I don’t want to end up with health problems as a result of it. There are many diabetics in my mom’s family, and I definitely don’t want to join the ranks. Therefore, exercise and healthier diet are on my list of goals to accomplish in 2010. This doesn’t mean that I will NEVER cook anything sweet again, just that I will try to keep it lighter, overall. Don’t panic, those of you who are reading this that I feed on a regular basis. 🙂
I’d like to put this out there, as well: I’d like to start working on the novel that’s been floating around in my head for the past few years. I’ve been hiding from it, admittedly, as it seems like an impossible feat for a small-town English teacher who has never before tried her hand at fiction! I follow many writers on Twitter, and admire them for their discipline and their continual quest to hone their writing skills. Maybe I should ask them to recommend a book for me to read to get me moving on this. I have a nice new laptop on which to write; that used to be my excuse for waiting. Now I have no excuse, other than fear. I can’t let fear stop me, now can I? I don’t want to live my life like that! Max Lucado has a new book about not living in fear, and not letting it control your life. I should probably add this to my reading list for the year.
Finally, I’d like to make this year more about loving people. I do love the people in my life! I’ve made several new friends in this past year, and I’m so blessed to know them. They are enriching my life in new ways, and I cherish that. My current friendships have deepened, simply by my learning to be more honest with the real friends that I have. I have learned to show my heart to the people I can really trust as friends, whereas in the past I didn’t trust people enough to show them anything but “happy Steph.” I learned that when I am struggling, when I have no confidence in myself, or when I feel unloveable, my real friends still love me, tell me the true things that I need to hear, ultimately helping me to grow as a person. I think that that has been a lesson I needed to learn for years now. Friendship isn’t only about having fun, right? That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy every minute of the many, many fun moments we share! I’ve just learned that grown-up friendship has many more levels than that.
On a much more basic level, I’d like to declutter my house like crazy, especially my bedroom. How is it that’s the mom’s bedroom becomes a dropping-off point for things no one knows what to do with? I have to get rid of those things. I also need to let go of many clothes that I don’t wear. Why am I keeping them? Sheesh.
I will also paint the boys’ bedrooms and bathroom this year. That will be a good early-summer project for me, before harvesting the garden and canning everything takes over. They have really outgrown the present paint and decor over the past several years. Teenagers aren’t the same animal as little boys, obviously. Things change! I like that. Change is good.
I suppose to begin this busy new year well, and to get myself in the right frame of mind for all this goal-accomplishing, I’ll kick it off by going to my mother-in-law’s house for a family dinner later today, a dinner which will include the traditional lucky black-eyed peas. Those peas better be good, as they have a lot to get me through this year. 😉