Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Better Story: Hope List for 2010

I've talked before about Donald Miller's latest book, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life".  I've read all of Miller's books, and next to "Blue Like Jazz", this one is definitely my favorite (it may even beat out "Blue Like Jazz" - I can't quite decide!)

In any case, I read the book a few months back, when I was in the midst of needing to really make some decisions about whether or not I was going to stand up and take control of some issues in my life.  In fact, I distinctly recall sitting in my doctor's office, on a day when I had an appointment that ended up being pivotal in terms of the decisions that appointment forced me to make, and reading this book.  The doctor was running late, and as I sat there fighting back the panic attacks I was dealing with that day, I was reading and being challenged by the idea of writing a better story with my life.

My roommate gave me a magnet for Christmas, printed with an art piece from Curly Girl Design, that I saw on a canvas months and months ago, and have been hunting for in some smaller form ever since. The quote on the art piece that made me fall in love with it reads, "The world is full of people who will go their whole lives and not actually LIVE one day.  She did not intend on being one of them."  I loved that - "she did not intend on being one of them" - and it kind of became a personal mantra of sorts.  That I want to tell a great story with my life, and to really live. 

I'll share some quotes from Miller's book sometime in the next day or two, but for the moment, I wanted to share the list of goals, hopes, dreams, resolutions, things to do (pick your favorite term and insert it here) that I formulated for the new year over the last few days.

I'm sort of famous for making lists, and equally famous for adding a great deal of flexibility to the lists, and I'm sure that this one will grow and morph and change as the circumstances of the year shape it, but for now, I'm going to call this my "hope list" or my "better story list" and share the things (well, the formal things anyway) that I'm planning and dreaming about for this new year that is in front of me, this beginning to a new decade.
  • Learn how L. makes frittata, hamburger soup, and pita chips (these are some staples of our roommate cooking, that I never make.  L. returns to New Zealand at the beginning of March and I want to learn to prepare these particular recipes before she leaves.)
  • Alphabet photography and scrapbooking project (a post on this to come in the next day or two)
  • Develop my photography skills
  • See U2 live in concert (only a major life dream - and one I am definitely going to fulfill this year thanks to the tickets I've already purchased for a June show)
  • attend at least one "real" yoga class (just because I'm curious, and because I've enjoyed the yoga videos and would like to do the real deal at least one time)
  • read the equivalent of at least 1 non-fiction book per month.  basically, read at least twelve non-fiction books this year.
  • continue to exercise consistently
  • continue to consistently use a regime of vitamins
  • cook at least 2 recipes a month and take photos of them (I love cooking, it's one of my current favorite creative expressions.  I also love feeding people.  The goal is simply to expand my repertoire and find some new creative expression.)
  • work on significantly reducing my debt load (thankful for the good appointment at the bank just before the new year began that should really help with achieving this)
  • continue to write Daily 5 lists, and to search for joy and things to be thankful for in the midst of the challenges of daily life
  • Embrace Joy
  • Choose Life (consistently - choose to really live)
  • settle into and be involved somehow with a church or house church (this one is hard for me, but I'm feeling the need to really try to find community around me again)
  • work on making new friends (again, a real challenge for an introvert who would prefer to spend the vast majority of her time alone, but I have been missing having community and a support network of caring, praying friends who are near enough in location to give hugs when they're needed, so I'm going to make an effort at this, hopefully via finding a church or house church)
  • Continue the rhythm of blogging regularly (love the chance to just show up somewhere and talk about my day)
  • Purge and simplify wherever possible (I'm likely moving again within the next few months, I have way more stuff than I likely need, and I'm sincerely wanting, within reason to really limit my consumerism and consumption)
  • Save money for a rainy day (or for travelling, a new car, or a new laptop since I'm pretty sure either George or my trusty macbook are going to keel over in the next year, and since, well, I just love to travel)
  • Finish memorizing the book of Philippians (considering I'm only about 15 of 104 verses in, and having a hard time finding a rhythm of working at this, this one will require a bit of discipline)
  • Work on learning to be okay with (and not feel guilty about) spending money on my personal appearance (ie. haircuts, the occasional manicure or pedicure - I've felt guilty for a long time for spending money on myself in this way... it's okay to buy things like books or whatever, but to spend money on my hair or nails always seemed so frivolous and wrong.  Part of the journey of learning to really love myself for me is being willing to care about how I look, and that means being willing to spend a bit of money on how I look.)
  • travel somewhere (LP/CA - you have any suggestions ??? :) )
  • because of stress and illness over the past two years, I lost a significant amount of weight.  now that I'm slowly regaining my health, I'd like to maintain that weight loss (not gain it back) via the other things I already mentioned about diet, vitamins, exercise etc.
  • be intentional in writing down the important stories (on my blog, in my journal - there are some stories that are important from this past year that months later I still haven't recorded because I wasn't intentional about sitting down and doing it.  I'd like to be more intentional with that in the coming year.)
So, that's my list.  For the moment at least.  Like I said, I'm sort of infamous for the morphing flexibility of my lists, so I'm sure it will grow and shift and change.  But, for the moment, I'm pleased with it.  It was a list I wrote prayerfully, and I think encourages the things I value, and forces me to choose regularly to really live.  As I said, there will be more posts to come in the next few days surrounding all of this, but for tonight, I have a daily 5 list still to write, and then I need to quiet down and head for sleep I think.


Anonymous said...

Since, as you saw on FB, my day (and tomorrow) aren't going like I planned - I just saw this! And yes, I do have suggestions :-D Or a suggestion ;-)

tea said...

Those sound like some good goals for the year! Thanks for sharing them Lisa! :)