39: A Year of Preparation

I turned 39 a couple of weeks ago.  Since the new year began we have had a lot of sickness in our house, I have had some depression, and two deaths, one of which was really sudden and completely unexpected.  It's January and it's cold.  When all of these things collide, even the introvert starts to feel isolated and alone.  Now that everyone appears to be staying well, it feels like I'm starting the new year all over again, except January is almost gone!


Before life so rudely interrupted me, I had big plans for 39.  I've coined it my year of preparation.  I know 40 is just a number, but it still causes you to take stock in your life and evaluate where you have succeeded or not.  And since I have a tendency to rush ahead and borrow trouble, I've pre-evaluated myself at 40 and found myself wanting.  Since I don't particularly appreciate failure (even if it is self-inflated), I've decided to spend this year preparing for 40.

I guess failure is a strong word.  What I'm really circling around are the ways I haven't reached my potential.  The physical toll running a household, having children and homeschooling them has taken on my body and mind is far greater than I ever anticipated.  My natural inclinations to read, play/sing music, creatively explore in general have been muted at best by the very significant needs of the precious souls running around my house.  In short, I just haven't kept in mental shape the way I expected to (before kids).

My baby is almost 2 (in April), Mr. Butler and I are committed to getting in better shape physically, and there are no major hurdles preventing healthier habits.  So, here are a few areas where I'm committing to spending more time in this year:

- Reading, both the Bible and other good books.  I'm determined to reignite this love!

- Music: Singing and playing the piano are things that have come easily to me when I spend time in them.  For mental health, I need to invest more time here.

- Writing as a Practice.  With extra time being more of a luxury after kids, my writing has been by demand rather than an exercise routine.  I need to exercise my writing with the intent to cultivate quality and creativity.

- Friendship.  I'm not great at friendship without full plate.  I'm awkward and nervous and terrified of bothering people. But I'm also lonely a lot.  So, pursuing friendship is mandatory this year.

Regrets are just so ugly and I want to have as few as possible.  Setting some intentions and goals for this year is one of the best ways to diminish the number of regrets I have AND cultivate a healthier version of me!

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