Too much self-reflecting can be bad for the soul, and this is the time of year for that kind of thing. I am prone to think of myself too much already, likely to overanalyze my own self and under-analyze the bigger picture of a world that needs less of me but more of Jesus.
The worst part of reflection at the end of a year is that I see so many faults, things I aim to list and goal and fix in the coming year.
It takes a little more time to realize the successes of 2015, but I love making lists and getting ready for a new year and that should include noticing what worked in the past.
- Bullet Journaling. I've always loved to-do lists, planners, and organizers; never been good at journaling consistently; change my mind about style/format/paper/digital every few months. I've spent over a year with the bullet journal system and I'm hooked. I love that I can customize it however I like and I'm not locked-in to a pre-made organizer that doesn't work for me. I can add in traditional journaling (recording my thoughts on the day), write things as they come up (thanks to the genius index), and I am forever a lover of pen and paper. I still use my Google calendar for future planning, but bullet journaling holds all my lists, to-dos, and random thoughts. This year my only change is that I'm using a Midori Traveler's Notebook and cutting my moleskines to fit. Love.
- Getting dressed. One of my goals for simplifying life is making clothing choices easier. I don't want to think about clothes and shoes, and I'd love to eliminate as many decisions as possible in that area, and I feel like I got a little closer in 2015. I'm not quite ready for a uniform, but I am closing in on the capsule wardrobe I want. Life is full of way more important things than my clothes.
- Transitions. With the next round of birthdays in February and March, my kids will be 18, 16, 15, and 11. It's so bittersweet and there is so much change happening every day in our house, I can hardly stand it. I still struggle (maybe daily?) with doubts about how we're doing as parents (because it all depends on us?), but I am getting better at seeing the changes as natural and normal - life is just different now than it was when they were all toddlers. Different doesn't mean bad. I just have to deal with the changes graciously and keep clinging to Jesus.
- Procrastination. Or, getting over the fear of failure. I think I've always been a procrastinator and in many ways, it's a method of avoiding failure. If I put off trying, I put off failing. I know, it doesn't really work that way — the fact that I don't do things I desire to do is, in itself, failure. And I also procrastinate on a lot of things that I simply don't want to do. But this year I learned to take risks (teeny tiny ones), to possibly fail, and to live through it. I stumbled over myself, got a few rejection letters on things I'd written, received some constructive criticism, and accepted that there are certain areas I'm not gifted in but it's ok to try. I am blessed with secure relationships that matter to me, with people who love Jesus, and that makes the hard landings of failure more bearable.
This year was hard in so many ways, yet the goodness of the Lord always cracks through the looming darkness.
Here's to 2016: may you embrace the changes, love the people, and realize the goodness of all you have more than the emptiness of what you lack.