2014 was an incredible year for us, for many obvious reasons. It was also a year of growth and learning, being stretched and molded, and a whole lot of change. Logan started his new job on December 6th of 2013. We found out I was pregnant on December 9th. We closed on our house on December 13th (moved in on December 28th), and Logan graduated with his masters on December 14th. Needless to say, our lives changed quite a bit by January. I made the decision to leave my amazing job to prepare for our baby and be a work-at-home mom with my small business in late February, and starting May 1st I was home full time. Our little sweetheart was born on September 4th, and quite honestly life from September-December was a blur of developmental milestones, doctors appointments, and changing diapers.
I always feel like the year flies by, but this year it seems like it happened even faster. I think when you're looking forward to something, it makes everything surrounding that special date sort of fade into the background. But here we are: January 2015. I love January not only because it signifies a brand new page, but also because I'm that one weirdo who absolutely loves that it gets dark at 4pm and that it's freezing cold outside. Our anniversary is also in January, and I just can't help but enjoy the coziness of staying indoors and snuggling up with a warm beverage and sweet smelling candles. It's like a month of recharge after the chaos of the holidays and before everything thaws and moves back outdoors. I just eat it up.
In thinking back over this past year, being at home full time has taught me a lot about myself. Three big things I learned: I crave routine, even though I'm not very good at it; my surroundings directly impact my attitude and performance; and the best way for me to get things done is to strategically schedule my time. That last one seems trivial, but it has been hands down the biggest theme of 2014 for me and has a lot to do with my "word" for 2015. I know I preach about my Day Designer all the time, but it really has changed the way I organize my life. (Do yourself a favor and get one for yourself here!) I got a Day Designer back in early 2013, then another free one at Amber Housley Inspired... then ANOTHER one when I did business coaching with Amber in early 2014. I didn't really use the first two I had because I didn't understand how to use them, but one day I found myself thinking "I need to make a list of things I have to get done... and a list of the meetings I have to work around today so I can clearly see what amount of time I have left to work with." And then it dawned on me. THAT'S WHAT MY DAY DESIGNER IS. Ever since that day I have religiously planned my days and scheduled the things I'd like to get done so I can make sure to prioritize accordingly.
It's been a game changer. I don't go to bed with a dozen urgent tasks hanging over my head anymore, and I am overall more rested and relaxed knowing I'm using my time wisely (or, not, if I consciously decide to be lazy). This was a huge revelation for me after I spent the first couple weeks at home pregnant and laying around... then wondering a week later why nothing got done. I'm thankful I learned how to design my days before Amelia was born, because between feedings, playing, and nap times, there isn't a whole lot left to work with - but my to do list hasn't gotten any smaller. It also gives me the foresight to know that maybe if we're going out for the evening I should start to wash her diapers earlier than usual so they'll be ready to hang up by the time we're home. You know... Things like that that I used to always forget and kick myself later over. I think my Day Designer has single handedly saved my husband A LOT of grief from me. Hah!
Okay I'm starting to ramble. I share that discovery in my life because it has challenged me as a mother, wife, friend and business-owner to use my time wisely since I have realized that I really don't have as much as I think I do. So in looking forward to 2015, and going over my hopes and goals, I've decided my word for 2015 will be "Intentional." I know this word is so two years ago, but for me it is perfectly timed. I want to be intentional about how I'm planning my days and how I'm using my time. I want to be intentional to prioritize the things that are most important to me like quiet time in the morning and encouraging those around me. I want to be intentional about creating detailed plans for how I can reach the goals I aspire to (something I have never been gifted at). With all the hats I wear in my life right now, I have very little time to spare and I know that life is only going to get crazier. So if I'm not thinking ahead and intentionally organizing my priorities, I won't be able to take full advantage of this short life I've been given. And that's not to say I want to be busy. In fact, that's what I'm trying to avoid. I've found this year that the better I plan ahead and strategically organize my time, the more time I have for resting and being present in the moment.
I've taken a lot of time this past month - more time than I ever have in fact - to sit down and really dig deep and get down to the root of the things I am dreaming of for 2015. Some are simple, like being proud of the body God has given me, and some are more complex, like growing my business after taking the year off, or being present with Amelia. I hope this year I can live up to the things I'm aspiring to, and be wise and thoughtful about how I am spending my time. There will be a few small changes coming to my website and business and blog, and hopefully more regular posting. But at this point, I know better than to promise anything, because I have a habit of collecting unfinished projects that I'm trying to break. ;)
So here is to a fresh start. A clean slate. While I know the Lord's mercies are new every morning, I'm so thankful he gives us a season to reflect on that truth a little more intently. May we enjoy and celebrate every moment of 2015. Hello, January!