02 January 2012

2012 - Project: {me}

I like to name things. Maybe it is inherent to being human. After all, Adam was given the task of naming all the creatures on earth. I give people nick-names. My cars have all had names, all starting with "z." I named floppy discs after tropical islands I'd like to visit... Tahiti, Kiribati, Fiji. I used to name the years and make a mixed tape (yes, a mixed cassette tape - the pinnacle of teenage self expression of the 80's). The only one I really remember because I went all out and made a great cover to go with it was "Year of the Emu." (I don't remember why I chose an emu, but I do remember the picture.)

So I am reviving an old habit and naming the year, borrowing a title from my favorite reality show. 2012 is the year of "Project: {me}."  I feel very awkward saying that. It seems so vain and selfish and me focused. Well, hello - it has "me" in the title, it is very self-focused. My conservative Christian upbringing is yelling at me that it is very wrong, prideful, and arrogant to be self-focused. But I am starting to learn there needs to be a balance, a healthy self-care in counterpoint to other care. Even Jesus would get away to pray and 'recharge.' And I'm using a lower-case "m" so that it doesn't scream ME, which makes it all okay - right? (The correct answer is, "right-O, Jennie-O!")
Recently, as I talked with my spiritual director about an incident the week before where I had been hurt, we talked about why it stung, the response, ramifications, etc. Then she followed up with this question:

"What is the first commandment of the Bible?"
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength. (Mark 12:30) 
"What is the second commandment?"
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)
"Jennifer, how well are you loving others if you aren't loving yourself? How is serving and always saying "yes" to others to the detriment of yourself an act of love? Loving others out of an empty reservoir is not loving them well."
Well, if you put it that way... 
She did, and it made me think. My thinking has started to shift, I'm realizing that it isn't a bad thing to take care of myself, to stand up for myself, to acknowledge and pursue what I want, to have boundaries and priorities - which may contradict what someone else wants of or for me, but it's okay for me to stand my ground even though it may very well cause conflict (something I typically avoid at all costs, even if the cost is high, and at my expense). I know, I know... this is stuff that most people learn on the playground before their age hits double digits. I'm a late bloomer. But I have stumbled across some good articles to help me find my way, so maybe I'm not alone in my delayed blossoming. The big lesson I need to learn is how to stand up for myself with me, so that I can stand up for myself with others.

I'm still working out what Project: {me} is going to look like. I think there should be a goal for each quadrant that Jesus mentions - an emotional goal (heart), a spiritual goal (soul), a mental goal (mind), and a physical goal (strength).

It is easiest for me to come up with physical goals. I got a pretty good running start in 2011; I lost a chunk of weight and lost over a foot of hair. I stalled out in the fall with all the traveling and the holidays. But I'm not content with where I am at, so more weight will come off, and the hair will likely be going shorter in 2012.  I want to do four 1/2 marathons this year and get my time under 3 hours. Oh, did you hear that? No worries, it was just my toes, screaming for mercy - which they will not be shown. Sorry! The biggest physical change of all will happen this Friday with LASIK surgery - I'm getting my peepers fixed! No more contacts or glasses- HALLELUJAH!!!

Mentally, I want to grow as a writer and photographer, continue to develop my project management skill set by getting my CAPM certificate. Continue to deepen my knowledge of Honduran culture, history and current situation. Also learn more about glue addiction and poverty, and ministry in both contexts. But a girl has gotta have fun - so queue the ukulele! Yes, I am learning the ukulele! Feel very sorry for my neighbors, I'm sure they would appreciate your condolences and gifts of ear plugs.

For the other two areas - heart & soul - it becomes much more difficult to come up with goals that follow my MACdaddy rule - Measurable, Attainable, Challenging (who's your daddy?! booyah!). I can say I need to learn how to stand up for myself, that is challenging, but how to set a goal around that which is also attainable and measurable has me stumped. I have found a few resources that I hope will help. Guiding questions always help me. Yet, how do you make measurable, quantifiable, attainable goals in regards to your relationship with the Almighty Incomprehensible God of the Universe? That's going to be a tricky one.

I have set a goal, to have my goals clarified and written down by the end of January. (I am such a nerd! Who sets goals about goal setting?!) I am pacing myself, starting this week with just getting back on track with healthy eating habits which fled far far away in the presence of mom's fudge, a formidable foe. I do not want to set goals that are going to fall by the wayside like the typical new years resolutions. No way, mine are going to stick, like glitter glue to carpet, like errant red dye from a t-shirt to my load of whites. (On a tangent, any ideas on how to get the dye out? I've tried Oxyclean, Clorox2, RIT dye remover - and still my stuff is pink.)

I would love to have some companions for the journey. What potential does 2012 hold for you? How do you want to grow? How can we encourage one another so that when December 31, 2012 rolls around we can scream "Who's your daddy!?!? Booyah! We did it!"

Resources for the Road
Personal Growth:
30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself
anything over at (in)courage, but here is a place to start Who Do You Think You Are?
Physical Growth:
5 Steps to Hit Your Fitness Goals
3 Keys to Successful Health and Fitness Resolutions
Goal Setting:
20 Questions for Reflecting on Your 2011
5 Steps to Making a New Year's Resolution
And a few prompts that didn't have a link.
If I could choose my life, what would it look like?
What can I do right now to help make that happen?
What is my goal this year?
In One month I will….
In Three months I will…
In Six months I will…
In Nine months I will…
By January of the following year I will…

1 comment:

Carol :) said...

First- this is so well written. Really, it's great!

Second- it makes m miss you!

Third- Count me in! We try to review our personal and family goals every year. (Talk about nerds- even our kids have notebooks for their goals!!) We plan to review them when we go to the coast in a couple weeks (there is still room for you!!)

Love ya- Carol