So, it isn't really New Year's Day.  It is, instead, the Summer Solstice.  The first weekend of summer.  And I am taking this opportunity to have a "do-over" of my New Year's resolutions.  In all honesty, I don't even remember if I made resolutions this year.  Which means, if I did, in fact, make them, I did not, in fact, keep them.  So, I'm using this Solstice as a new starting point.  I need some direction, some aspirations, some goals in my life.  And what better way to do that than Summer Solstice Resolutions!

But, in the midst of this decision, I came across this post from Sas Petherick and decided that maybe I should try answering her six questions.  It shouldn't take long considering the fact that I can't remember most of the first half of the year (something is seriously wrong with my memory - it is like I just blank out large chunks of life on a regular basis).  But, I will give it a shot:

One: Did you have a word for this year? How has it manifested itself? If you didn’t have a word, what is the theme that has played out in your life so far this year?

I had no word for the year.  Well, I did pick a cheesy phrase - Beachy Keen.  It was supposed to make me focus on the ease and peace of life at the beach.  But, I don't think it has really manifested itself in any way other than a few more beach items around my house.  The theme that has played out so far this year has been, hmmmmm...from what I remember, I would say the theme is "small improvements" or "baby steps".  I have made some small improvements in life.  I have baby stepped into what I feel like is a better location, although very close to where I was before.  So, yeah, small improvements is what I will go with here.

Two: What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of finding a new church.  I feel like I have wanted and needed a community of faith for years and I finally ventured into one that I love.  I love that Bean loves it and enjoys going to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.  I love that theirs is a message of grace and love (that I so need).  I love that it is a large community with options to get involved in different ways and with many people from my work location attending.  I love that they have coffee on the patio before and after every service on every Sunday.  It is really good for me and I think it will be really good for Bean.  I have been afraid of trying to find a church for years, but this one came easy.

Three: What have you chosen to let go of?

Not enough.  I have let go of the need to "advance" in my career.  I have been constantly seeking something "better" since it became apparent to me that there is no chance of raises or "advancement" in my current position (well, cost of living raises, but no merit raises).  I felt driven by all I knew and read that I must be in a place where I can "advance," get ahead, prove my worth, be paid what I'm worth, blah, blah, blah.  I have chosen to let go of that.  I really like my job.  I really like where I live.  I am making enough to live comfortably.  I do not "need" something better.   I need to focus my energies on where I am and how to make that all I want it to be, not where else I could be so "they" could recognize all I am.  It feels good to let go of that.  I don't think I realized how much is was making me crazy - trying to go somewhere else when I loved where I was.

Four: What has been your greatest joy or surprise?

Feeling good about faith.  I have been a bit resistant to Christianity over the years because of a few bad experiences with judgement-based faiths and community shaming.  I loved the church I grew up in and I missed being in a place where I felt loved just for being me - just because I am a child of God.  I have hungered for that feeling of acceptance.  For that feeling of grace.  And I feel like I've found it, and it feels good.  There are still pangs of fear every once in a while, but they are fading.

Five: What book, movie, exhibition, tv programme, play, concert, article, photograph, or website has been your favourite find? 

Tough one.  I feel like I've found a ton of websites that have been really helpful to me.  But, I guess I would say Hannah Marcotti.  She has been a true inspiration to me this past half-year.  I did a workshop with her and this blog arose from it.  Feeling good about my spirituality and faith arose from it.  A desire to do more and to know myself better arose from it.  It has really been amazing.  

Six: What three things do you want for yourself by the next Solstice – 21st December 2013?

And here is where my New Year's Day Take Two goes.  My next half of the year - through the Winter Solstice, I want to do the following three things:
  1. Do something fun every day.  That's right, every. single. day.  It doesn't have to be like river rafting fun, just a swing on a swing or a rough and tumble game on the lawn with my dog or a game of tag with my daughter.  It may even be sinking into a comfy chair at a coffee shop with a good book...completely lost in it.  That is fun.  So, one thing, every day.  If I get to the end of the day and I'm climbing into bed and haven't done something fun, I will have to go downstairs and watch an episode of Murder She Wrote - not as punishment, but because, for me, that is fun.
  2. Eat at least one salad every day.  I guess depending on the salad, this could double up with number one.  :)  But, seriously.  I realize that I need to take better care of myself (I say, as I just finished a Haagen Das ice cream bar at midnight).  I figure totally changing my diet is probably a lost cause.  But, if I can just make sure that at least one of my meals includes or is made up of a salad of some sort, made with fresh veggies or fruits or both, it will help me to improve one little aspect of my diet.  And, as I said above, the theme for me this year seems to be "small improvements", so I'll go with it.  
  3. Establish a doable, enjoyable, peaceable routine.  This is by far the most difficult for me.  I am routineless.  My life is full of chaos and spontaneity (not the fun kind of spontaneity where friends steal you away for a slumber party but the sad kind of spontaneity where the sink overflows and you have to figure out a way of cleaning it up and fixing it right in the middle of getting ready to leave for somewhere you would much rather be than at home cleaning up and trying to fix a leaky sink) and just pure procrastination.  I want to have a routine where things have a place, duties are done (on time) and it is enjoyable for me and for others.  Too much to ask?  I guess we'll see on December 21, 2013.  
So, what about you?  Want to jump on the Summer Solstice Soul Train?  You can comment here and/or on Sas Petherick write your own blog post about it and 

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    I am a 40 something mother of one beautiful four year old daughter who has another's heart beating inside of her, a second-time wife, and in my second or third career.  I am a late-comer in all aspects of life and still finding my way.  I teach Speech Communication and I love to help others find their voice and use it for things that matter. 


    May 2013