Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011, in retrospect

This has been quite the year, and it was not at all what I set out to make it. At the beginning of the year I picked a guiding word: Less. It's interesting to look through my blog entries from this year, because the word lasted as a focus for about three months, and then I just couldn't keep it anymore.

This wasn't the year of Less. It was the year of "push Sara to the burn out point".

I got heavily involved in fundraising for Carbon's school (and ended up feeling burned out as a volunteer).

We fell in love with the idea of some land again, and went through a home search and then found our dream home - and got it! This was all wonderful stuff, but also stressful. We had to put in our savings, and a lot of our time getting the garage fixed up, and all the uncertainty and stress around a major home purchase pushed both me and my husband to our burn-out points. Moving in the Fall, during the busy start-up season at church, was another time for burn-out and stress.

And my husband got laid-off work this year, right as we were buying the house. He landed on his feet with another job, but it still added to our stress load.

I spent the year fundraising for a youth mission trip to Transylvania, and went on the trip as one of the chaperones. It was a huge project to take on, and it definitely burned me out as well.

I hit the new church year running with an ambitious plan for lots of activities and a big program, and also really jumped in to the credentialing program at the same time.

And we returned to homeschooling again this year.

It wasn't the year of Less.

In some ways it was the year of More, More, More. Do More. Buy More. Stress More.

It was a year of anxiety. Of pushing myself just for the sake of pushing myself. I wanted to prove that I could do it. I felt a huge anxiety to perform at 110% at all times, to be SuperMom, SuperDRE, SuperWoman.

And I'm realizing that in all that rush, bustle, stress, and anxiety, somewhere along the line I lost track of WHY to do anything. I became anxiety driven rather than values-focused. It was really just about doing a lot of stuff, being busy, and constantly in motion.

It may not have been a year of Less, but it was a year of Big Learning for me. And now I want to take that insight into 2012 not with a Guiding Word or a list of resolutions, but with just this one simple thing I've learned: keep what is most important to you, your deepest values, the ideal vision statement for your life and the world - keep all of that close to your heart always and don't forget it in the scramble of daily life and the buffeting of our society and its pressure to consume and be busy. If you are living a life that is in harmony with your values, there are no further goals you have to achieve. It's not a rush to finish, after all. It's a life to live, moment by moment. And I don't want my obituary to read "she was a very busy woman".

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