New Year’s Eve the time when you think about the year that has past and the hopes of the year to come. It would be very easy to focus on the not so good of the past year but instead I’m going to choose to focus on the good that the year has brought and what I have learnt to take in to 2018.
So what has 2017 brought?
A renewed sense of vocation for teaching
The academic year of 2016-2017 was not my greatest, and although there was a lot of stuff outside of my control I most definitely did not help the situation by any stretch of the imagination. I started this academic year with the mindset of it being a great year, and it’s been great. It’s been a killer at times, but having a different mindset has meant those killer times have been easier to get over and move on from. I have realised the joy that I get from being in the classroom, and there has been a definite sense that I am where I am meant to be, doing what I am meant to be doing. Which, has got me through on many a day.
New work environment
It is amazing how a new base can make such a difference, but moving classroom over the summer really helped again with the feeling of a new start. Yes… I miss my view of the Cathedral… but I enjoy being part of a department as opposed to being on my own, and have developed new friendships which have given me strength and laughter when required. The classroom… the faculty… all in all has made life a lot more enjoyable and easier to get through the tougher times.
Reconnection with God
After a virus earlier in the year I took a sabbatical time. Stepping back from things at Church, only doing my job at work, taking more time to focus on my relationship with God. Including two retreats. This was a phenomenal time, where I learnt more about myself and how I connect with God, as well as what God wanted to say to me. This included that I needed to be able to find more time to worship and read for myself. A realisation that for now my times of piano and sung worship are more personal than congregational. The energy I get from writing and delivering talks both for Church and School, but also the feedback that I get after as well. There have also been an awesome group of women who have been praying for me since April, and I cannot tell you how much I have felt the power of prayer and protection during this time.
So… those are just 3 personal highlights… but highlights all the same and I’m able to see some of the many blessings there have been.
And what are the plans for 2018? The essential plan (as you may have guessed from blog title) is to get back on track in terms of health but in 3 different ways.
There has been a lot of comfort food eaten this year. Bad habits have been returned to. Clothes have got tighter. So 2018 is a year of going back to strict calorie counting. I always feel better when I’m eating better, and hey wouldn’t mind having to go and buy more clothes because mine are too big again!
I have continued with walking to school, but may have been getting more lifts home! The running really hasn’t been happening, for a variety of reasons. Again, a habit I need to get back in to. I know how much better I feel when I’m running, and what it does to my mindset. December has not been a great month health wise with seizures, stomach bugs, and some weird chest/throat thing that has completely knocked me out! I am not sure how much that has to do with the fact that I have not been living a particularly healthy lifestyle. So… in case it has got anything to do with it… and because I know how much better I feel when exercising that has got to get back in to my routine. Let’s set a challenge… I want to be able to run 10km regularly by the summer holidays!
I have often written about how the changes I have made in my life over the last couple of years have been holistic, all areas of my life are affected by all of the other areas. AND YET I somehow forget that my faith is the cornerstone of my life. I teach about it, I speak about it, I write about it, and yet somehow I don’t always live it. The eating and exercising are both things that I know how to tackle and how to change, but my spiritual well-being is going to be more of a journey, and possibly the one that I need to focus on the most. This morning at church we looked at the different people in the advent/nativity story and were challenged about which of the “double-dog-dare’s” challenged us the most. For me…. It was Mary. I am in a position where my faith can easily be the centre of all that I do, and yet I don’t always make it so. I need to be like Mary and I need to see the opportunities I’ve been given and I need to take that double-dog-dare and say YES! I’m excited to see where it leads.
So 2017 has been interesting, ending with a month of lying on the sofa feeling very sorry for myself, and my brain not being very happy at all… but I am ready for 2018 and all that it will bring. I am also looking forward to sharing that journey with you all!
Please feel free to challenge me on any of the my goals!