Review of 2012 Goals

So, how did I do with the goals that I wrote out last January for 2012?  I didn’t do badly – I accomplished the things that were important to me and as the year went on, did good with setting priorities and not spending time on things that were ultimately not the direction I wanted.  [Except for my desk, all the photos are from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.]

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These are not my accomplishments – those will go into a separate post.  My accomplishments definitely took a turn away from the goals and resulted in a number of these goals getting dropped.

For my own satisfaction though, I like to look over my goals, see how I did, and enjoy their contributions to 2012.  Since I will shortly deleting the 2012 tab for the 2013 list, they were added to this post where I discussed how I set goals and summarized them at the beginning of this year.  For information on accomplishing my goals and determining monthly goals, click here.

Spoiler alert – this is pretty lengthy, so feel free to skip or skim it.  I’ve written it up for my own satisfaction and future reference for setting new goals, determining whether something should still be pursued or if a goal should be dropped permanently.  The astericks are to give a blank line between each goal for some visual space (WordPress removes empty lines in lists).

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  1. Read “Jesus Calling” and its Bible verses each day – Changed
    I didn’t like this book after a while and didn’t feel it was challenging me in a positive way.  I went back to the “Daily Walk” from “Walk Thru The Bible” for a while – they have a great program, but I find that reading through the Bible in a year results in me remembering very little later.  After trying a few other things, I finally settled on using YouVersion, an online Bible and devotional, which I wrote about here.
  2. Take more short trips – Done!
    I did numerous local trips to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (earlier walks are listed at the end) and Colonial Williamsburg (this is one of many posts).  There were also overnight trips out of state to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia.  I even got a day trip to Norfolk, Virginia, where I visited the botanical gardens there.  It all helped satisfy my wanderlust and gave me a number of wonderful photos to share over time.
  3. Declutter and organize the house  – In process
    I really, really meant to do this diligently each and every week.  I didn’t have time and I couldn’t face not having a life in order to do this.  Nonetheless, I did make progress, just not as quickly.  Several large and persistent problems were resolved, including old piles of papers and my rolltop desk.  I also hit on a much better method of dealing with the the on-going excessive mail that comes in every day so that I’m not rebuilding the piles as quickly as I dispose of them.  I posted here about my progress this summer.  Below are some before and after pictures of my desk.

  4. Improve my physical self – Partially done
    I had the best intentions of improving my cardio with swimming more diligently.  In the end, I couldn’t sacrifice two hours / three days a week to do it.  I did maintain a good exercise schedule between the gym at work and my lunch hour walks.  My achievement might be less than I desired, but I’m happy to have maintained consistency and done something most days of the week.
  5. Continue to evolve my blog – Done!
    I really had trouble the first few months of this year with not having a random word to use as my prompt as I did in 2011.  Between April and May, I had a major case of discouragement and trying to figure out what to do with my blog.  I wrote about it here and got excellent feedback from my readers.  I thought about it for quite a while before finally posting about it.  Since then, I’ve been much more comfortable with the direction of my blog and what I’m doing with it (remembering my life, sharing it, and being an encouragement to others – click here for more detail).  I also started adding in a great many more photographs after numerous compliments about them and comments on how much they were enjoyed.
  6. Continue taking photos – Done!
    Oh yes, I added thousands of pictures.  I even flipped the counter on my camera, going from picture #9999 back to #1.  In addition to my trips, I took a number of pictures while hanging out in the yard, between the robin who outlasted me and the goldfinches pulling the seeds out of the basil on the deck.
  7. Set up second blog for writers / diarists – In process
    When I switched over to Living The Seasons, I repurposed as a resource for bloggers and diarists in a blog called A Daily Life.  My intention was to write original material and have guest bloggers.  Neither of those worked very well.  I didn’t have time to write material or to even follow up with guests that I thought had something worthy to contribute.  I follow a blog called Everything Scrivener, which reblogs posts about using the writing software, Scrivener.  I find it worthwhile to read and have gotten a number of excellent ideas from it.  I recently had an ah-ha moment to use a similar format for A Daily Life and in 2013, will repost ideas I think are worth knowing and spend less time developing new material.
  8. Scrapbook my life (I found a class to take to help with this) – Dropped
    This class, from the Digital Scrapper, was excellent but in the end, I wasn’t sufficiently interested to keep up with it or do it.  It’s not that it’s unimportant, but my personal journals and blogs contain this material, albeit not in a 24 pages of a photo album.  If I did this, other things wouldn’t have gotten done and so this did not happen.
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  9. Take a self portrait class – Dropped
    I found a really cool class on this, but wasn’t not sufficiently interested to pursue it further.  I read some articles on taking self portraits and made more effort to both take and post pictures of myself, such as these here (last photo at bottom) and here.
  10. Write & publish an e-book – Dropped
    I actually got this underway and enjoyed the process, but ultimately gave it up due to a lack of time.  I shared a small part of my book about doing a daily challenge here.
  11. Participate in NaNoWriMo – Dropped
    It was an idea that really appealed to me, but I’m glad I didn’t do it.  I wouldn’t have wanted to take away the time from the rest of my life to prepare for it.  In November, I spent ten days away from home as my favorite boy toy and I wandered our way down the east coast before visiting our daughter for Thanksgiving.  There’s no way I could have completed this in only 20 days.
  12. Put together more photo albums – Got one more done
    I wanted to put together several albums from last year’s photos from our trip to Harper’s Ferry and from Christmas 2002 (digital photos, all ready to go).  That didn’t get done, but I did put together an album of 2011 photos for sharing with a friend.  I posted it on-line here.
  13. Organize my photos – In process
    I started using Adobe Lightroom this year.  It’s been a frustrating learning curve, but I am slowly getting everything organized and labelled, making it easier to find photos for my blogs and photo albums.
  14. Scan more photos – Dropped
    There are services that will (for a price), scan photos.  I think this will be better than trying to do it myself.  I’d like to do this, but have not yet taken any action.  I would like to do so before anything more happens to these pictures.
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  15. Consider continue writing my spiritual memoir – Undone
    I wanted to find my notes, read over what I’ve done (years ago) and consider whether or not to continue.  On the other hand, I have some really good blog entries that do some of what I intended.  I might still get this done before the end of the year.  Maybe.
  16. Print all computer journals – Undone
    I don’t think this would be hard to do, but I didn’t sit down to do it.  They are backed up off-site and should be safe until I do something further with them.
  17. Scan handwritten journals (at least some of them) – Undone
    This would be so time consuming.  I need to find somewhere to take these to have them done.  On the other hand, I really do not want anyone reading them without first editing.  I should check into getting them cut out of the spiral bound notesbooks so I can scan with a feeder.  I can then have them rebound.  Maybe next year.
  18. Put together a cookbook of favorite recipes – Dropped
    I think it’s a great idea, but it has no appeal to me.  It might if I start cooking again.
  19. What do I want to do about food preservation?  I don’t think I want to can, but maybe dehydrate or freeze stuff when produce is cheap and plentiful? – Dropped
    Too much time and effort for the results.
  20. Stay in touch with my niece – Not as successful as I wanted
    I did really good for a while, but fell off.  We’re both busy, but that’s really no excuse.  She lives out in California and will stay there.  If I don’t make an effort to stay in touch, I’ll have no relationship with her.  I need to make this a higher priority for next year.
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  21. Give the dogs more attention – In process
    By January 10, I realized that giving the dogs attention was contradictory to many of the goals that I set for this year.  I’ve struggled off and on with this all year.  I’ve made effort most nights after work to sit on the couch for a while to cuddle and pet the dogs.  They love it and if I don’t leave the table fast enough after supper, they’ll come to nag me.  I haven’t walked them much – two of them don’t like it and the one that does (the beagle) has a bad back and can’t go for very long.  I don’t think there are any easy answers to this, but I don’t want their lives to fly by without me giving them attention either.

And that’s the review of my personal 2012 goals!

Jesus Calling – Mary vs. Martha

My daily devotional for this year is from the book, “Jesus Calling“, by Sarah Young.  It’s similar to the classic, “God Calling“, but (for me), more contemporary.  I wanted something simpler for this year, that I could contemplate throughout the day.

However, I’ve already had a few meltdowns with it.  It might be short, but I’ve had things to work out each day as I read it.  A fellow blogger, Derek at No Throw Aways, had asked me what I thought of the book and I did a little venting – just a little:

Jesus Calling is a great book so far, but I’ve had to really do some thinking and praying about what is in there. I agree with it, but am really resistant right now. It’s the place I’m at, not the book.

For example, on day 1, it challenges us to come eager to be changed. I’m tired of change. I’m tired of my dreams being broken. I’ve been obedient and pretty much watched many things important to me get destroyed in the process. I’m getting better on that one after prayer but after all these years, it still hurts.

It also uses the Mary vs. Martha verses. You know what? I deal with a bunch of Mary’s in a particular situation. They dump all the work on everyone else so they can fritter off for fun. You know, the real stuff still has to get done and I’m tired of being one of the ones doing it. The Mary’s get to sit at Jesus feet because frankly, they don’t do their share of the work so everyone can sit at Jesus feet. Selfish and irresponsible is what I call it. So I haven’t quite worked through that one yet.

The other days haven’t been much easier. I’m not much liking starting the days upset, but am glad it’s simple enough for me to retain throughout the day and ponder.

Derek’s a youth pastor at the Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church.  He wrote me back a wonderful response that helped me to reset (he granted me permission to share his note back):

Yes, change is hard for sure, but it is a part of becoming a disciple of Jesus. Frustrations come because there is trouble in this world and a lot of it. Does that take away from God’s goodness or plan? No, it really doesn’t. So, I would encourage you to stick with it and consider these thoughts as important to your long term growth.

Mary and Martha is a great story about priorities. I understand what it is like to deal with people who don’t pull their weight, but this is not the most specific application of that passage. The point really is that we can get sidetracked with things that really don’t matter and miss what really matters; spending time with Jesus.

Yes, things need to get done. I have 4 children and a full time job and masters degree, work …..etc…etc…etc…So, we can’t just sit around. At the same time, the focus is on abiding in Christ (John 15)…following Him, walking with Him and pondering the Word as you go about your life. (as you are).  This passage does not give credence to laziness. The Bible has a lot to say about that as well– Read through Proverbs for that.

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It took me a few more days to realize that while I was frustrated with some Mary’s in my life, I’ve also dealt with the Martha’s, who were so busy doing that they couldn’t enjoy being nor would they let anyone else enjoy it either.  They were so busy with the superficial, they missed what was really going on.

The key is balance.  Had Mary helped more and Martha expected less (much less), both could have sat at Jesus feet to absorb his teachings.

I’ve been the Martha too.  It’s easy to fall into that trap.  As a working mother, I ran from work to the kitchen to homework to bed.  It was hard carving out quality or quantity time to spend with my daughter or husband.  I had a little orange tabby cat during that time.  He wasn’t much for cuddling, but when he wanted attention, he was dead last in my priorities.  He was lucky to have a few minutes in my lap on the weekends.  I felt bad for him, but there just wasn’t enough time to do it all.

Did I spend time at Jesus feet?  I don’t remember.  There were a lot of heartbreaks during that time.  The good times barely outweighed the bad times.  I can remember not trusting God, but praying anyhow.  I read through the Bible – all of it – several times, often using The Daily Walk.  So I guess there was a part of me that was Mary and sat at Jesus feet, however rushed or stressed it might have been.

I’ll share more about my thoughts from Jesus Calling throughout the year.  For now, I leave you with my thoughts on Martha and Mary for you to consider in your own life.  There’s always a need for balance, to get things done but to spend time with God also.  I’m not the only one who seesaws between the two and knowing that helps me to recognize it faster and make whatever adjustments I need.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

My post yesterday about taking a walk neglected to mention that over at A Daily Life, I provided other links from bloggers who wrote about their walks.  Today post is a book review on “Turning Personal Experiences Into Parables” by Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles.

Today’s small stones:

The car is so cold.  Even with my gloves on, I feel the cold.  Finally, the temperature gauge starts moving.  I turn on the heater, yank off my glove, and feel the warm air flow over my stiff fingers.  I turn my hand this way and that, then take off my other glove to hold it over the vent on the other side.  I redirect the air to my feet – ahhhh, such bliss.  I start to smile as I warm up, happy to be comfortable as I drive.