mole hills & mountains & being intentional...oh my

I tried to write a re-cap of 2016, but I kept putting it off because I wanted to add photos and my photos are just not organized in a way that allows for quick or easy access (aka they are not very organized, period.) I didn't think anyone would actually finish reading the post without a bunch of photos to go along with it, so a week into 2017 I still don't have it done. Womp womp.

I have decided that if I'm going make another go at blogging, I need to find a way around these little mole hills that quickly turn into mountains. I don't mean to brag, but I am amazing at coming up with tiny excuses that are sufficient for not doing something. 

Rather than making a specific goal or resolution out of this decision to stop making such pathetic excuses, I'm going to add this discovery to my list of things that could use some intentional improvement. New years resolutions seem to get such a bad rap because there's an assumption that most people just want to start going to the gym as their resolution, even though I've only talked to like one person whose goal is to get in shape in 2017.

Yes, we know the likelihood that we'll stick to a resolution beyond February is slim, but I don't really see anything wrong with setting resolutions or goals or proclaiming your desire to change something in a new year. I don't usually follow through with them, either. But I think it's worth noting that January is HARD, and if the idea of a fresh start is what propels us through the most depressing month of the year, that's okay by me.

This Christmas, our first in our new house, was one of my favourites ever. Going back to work this week was  difficult, and honestly just kind of sad. I've needed the glow of our Christmas tree and twinkling lights + dreams of organizing my planner with all my #goals for 2017 to carry me through.

So since you (presumably) asked, this is what I'm planning to be more intentional about this year:

+ Finding my writing voice. Too often I feel intimidated by some of my favourite bloggers who always have the perfect words of wisdom, know how to write a hilarious anecdote or who tie up all their posts with a poetic, important lesson or take-away. In the past, I've tried to emulate someone else's writing style, but it just ended up feeling inauthentic. There are many wonderful bloggers out there writing beautiful and hilarious and serious things but I don't have to be one of them. 

+ Discovering some new music. I've been in a real funk about music in general for months, and haven't been all that interested in listening to much new music. This isn't like me. I want to find some more music that I love and feel excited about again. 

+ Taking more photos on my phone. I have a DSLR camera and it can take lovely photos, but I've learned that I go through spurts where I will use it consistently, and then leave it in the bag for months on end. I love having high quality photos. I think I could improve and actually get pretty okay at taking photos. But I know that after all the years of having a DSLR and still feeling like it's a drag to take it with me anywhere, I know that I don't love photography. And because I know I want the memories of important things and people, I'm going to be using my iPhone camera with great abandon in 2017, in all its often grainy and poorly lit glory.

+ Spending  way less time on social media. On Christmas eve, I decided I would take a social media break for at least the following three days so that I could truly enjoy the holidays with Dave and our families. It was the first time, maybe ever, that I hardly thought about being on my phone or checking in on Facebook for several days, even though I've taken short breaks in the past. I felt happy and peaceful and totally content not to have it next to me at all times. It felt so amazing, it has motivated me to continue limiting my time on social media. I think I have finally reached a point where I can no longer accept that my phone controls me, and there is no other option except to change that. 

+ Watching quality tv shows. I don't think I've heard anyone resolve to watch more tv in the new year. But what I have noticed over the past few years is that my frequent internet use (a few minutes here and there and there and there) adds up so much, I find myself saying I don't have time to watch tv. But that's not even true. I'm not resolving to binge watch something every day, but I do want to watch some really great shows that can teach me something or are just really well done. Last year, Dave and I did watch all 6 seasons of Downton Abbey and I honestly think my life is richer because of it.

+ Starting and ending my days with a sense of calm. No screens at the very beginning or end, talk to God, journal consistently, drink enough water, and focus on being grateful. Err'day. 

These aren't exactly goals that have a clear end point, but I think they involve habits that line up with my values and how I want to spend my time. I'm trusting that what I intentionally fill my thoughts with will flow over into all areas of my life. I am resolving to be intentional in the long term rather than setting strict goals that I'm not all that invested in completing.

And in regards to my 2016 recap; I may not be telling you every wonderful or awful thing that happened in 2016, but I will say this: every year is filled with challenges and heartaches, some years more than others. 2016 held a few of those for me, but they don't define the year I had because I know that we can glory in our sufferings with the promise that every trial we face is being used to shape and refine us into the people we're meant to become.  It's beautiful. 2016 was a beautiful year, and I am praying for more beauty in 2017. Along with more mole hills and less mountains, unless they're literal mountains. Not that I am resolving to climb more mountains.  (Don't you go asking me if I did more hiking in 2017 when the year ends.) 

Now to finish this post today, here's a photo of my top Nine Instagram posts so I can almost feel like I documented the last year here. #goalachieved


Happy New Year! Are you resolving to be intentional about anything  in 2017?