It’s always interesting to look back at the intentions I set at the beginning of a year, and reflect on how I did with them. Last year’s word(s) was “Choose Joy” with the emphasis on gratitude. I’ll have more to say about that when I post my 2018 One Little Word tomorrow.
In general, “Choose Joy” was a good choice, particularly in a year fraught with so much national conflict, division, and violence. In the face of the daily news, it was good to “choose joy,” leaning in to all the things for which I am so grateful and blessed.
So here are my 2017 intentions with a brief summary of how I did
- Keep one weekday free of obligations. With few exceptions, I kept Wednesdays free of commitments. When I did put something on the calendar for Wednesday it was a social engagement or an unavoidable meeting. My membership on a variety of committees means I have to be flexible with other members commitments as well.
- Maintain morning reading time: 1 hour book; 1 hour blogs. Totally kept this one. If I had an early morning appointment, I made sure to find time later in the day to read. It paid off as I read more books this year than I’ve ever read: 54. You can find the list here. Note that I only use 3-5 stars to rate my books. If it’s less than 3 stars, I’ll abandon it by page 50.
- Continue volunteer commitments: RHR, Spiritual Formation, Dining Room Ministry, Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network, SW Food Cupboard Board, Cameron Community Ministries, Church Leadership Development Day. Kept this one, too. At one point when I thought I could use some more time at home, I looked at this list, and recognized that each one of these was really important to me. Only two of them are weekly commitments. I volunteer at Refugees Helping Refugees one or two days/week depending on their class schedule, and two afternoons/week during the after-school program at Cameron. Most of the rest are monthly commitments.
- Sketch: 3/week Didn’t do as well here, but my one accomplishment in this area was completing the 100 Day Project. I did 100 sketches, and filled 1 1/3 sketchbooks.
- Contemplative Photography practice: read Adventures in Seeing, Photography and the Art of Seeing
- Five in Five meme monthly
This was a mixed bag. I completed two online classes with Kim Manley Ort on contemplative photography, and attended a weekend workshop with her in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I kept up with CY365, and completed 11/12 Five in Five memes. I didn’t finish reading either book.
- Blogging Schedule: Monday Memo, Wednesday cards (challenges), Friday contemplations. I never had a blogging schedule. If I had something to post and/or time to write a post, it went up. I was more consistent at the beginning of the year than I was at the end.
- Make time for creativity: minimum 3 hours/week I didn’t keep track of the time I spent, but I’m pretty sure I came close to meeting this one.
- Choose one challenge and participate regularly (CASology?) Didn’t happen, although I did participate in different challenges pretty regularly.
- Exercise: walk, yoga, weights: 3/week Like blogging this was inconsistent. I do well, then fall off the wagon, and hop back on again.
- One book/month from the following list. This is one of the most interesting ones to me. I didn’t include the list here because, frankly, I only read 7 of the 18 books I listed. For next year, I also have a list but it’s titled “List of Books to Consider.” I know now that as I listen to podcasts, read books, talk to friends, and read book reviews that books I’ve never considered will rise to the top of the list. Ten of the best books I read in 2017 weren’t on my original list.
I’ll be back tomorrow, I hope, with my One Little Word for 2018. I “found” it in November and think it will serve me well.