Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2018: Year of Connection and Creativity

2017 has been a good year for me, Mindy, the blog, the dogs, the cat, and most other entities in my immediate circle. The other day, Mindy and I made a list of things we had accomplished in 2017, and it made us grateful for the ways we've grown together and individually. The three life updates I posted highlight some of the advancements I've made this year, and hopefully Mindy will write a guest post soon highlighting her personal progress. The one area I chose not to pursue was getting up at 5AM-- it just made me too tired in the afternoon to function. 6AM has been working a lot better, and I've still been able to find chunks of time for deep work on my off days.

But the most meaningful areas of growth are less tangible, the kinds of things that are hard to blog about. I'm pretty sure I've recently grown in my listen ability, humility, servanthood, and my connection with Mindy, but those are also areas we highlighted as major focuses for 2018. In fact, we made a list of six "Ways to Be in 2018" we wanted to focus on, and those areas were on the list. Which brings me to the first focus of 2018: connection.

To make it practical, we made a list of about 20 microadventures we want to make happen in 2018. Some are day trips, others should just take a couple hours. This was actually Mindy's idea, and nothing better fits with the goals of this blog than these kinds of activities. So, soon I will be inaugurating the series "Microadventures with Mindy" here on the blog-- and also on my new Youtube channel, "Mountain Survivalism!" It will be relationally connecting to not just do these little adventures, but document them together, and focus on cultivating the qualities listed above while doing so.

Which brings me to my other big picture ideas for 2018: creativity.

Now that I'm in my 30's, I've realized that my neurons aren't getting any more plastic, and they've gotta be regularly whipped out of their passivity if I'm going to keep myself from becoming a fuddy-duddy. Though there are little ways to be creative at work, I see much more possibility in the projects I can highlight on this blog and my new vlog... like the microadventures I mentioned above. So even though I've intentionally moved away from monthly goals over the last couple years...

 I'm bringing them back!

I'm just as unlikely to finish them now as I was in 2015, but aiming high and seeing what happens is what this blog is all about, so who cares? Thinking about all the latent possibilities over the next year just gets me excited. So today, I came up with 12 fairly SMART goals for the year, and tried to integrate them in a logical way with the trips Mindy and I have planned, which I include below in parentheses.

January (into February): Reach Level 2 in the Krav Maga self-defense course (See family in Roanoke Rapids and friends in Raleigh)

February (into March): Write a 1-day course on obstetrics, prenatal care, and neonatal resuscitation I will be teaching for Equip International's Missionary Medicine Intensive course 4 times per year starting in March (2-day marriage conference in Charlotte)

March: Focus on cultivating my marriage and applying concepts from the marriage conference (Camp in Uwharrie National Forest)

April-May: Design and build the library, build a barrel composter, help Mindy build the chicken coop (3-day weekend with college friends, kayak trip #1)

June: Work on my kayaking skills (Kayak trip #2, camp in Elkmont, TN)

July: Start growing oyster mushrooms, experiment with new dishes in the kitchen using home-grown produce (Goble family beach trip)

August: Morning meditation, practicing presence, positivity (Camping trip near Brevard, kayak trip #3)

September: Build a plyo box, lifting platform, and prowler (Trip with Mindy's family)

October: Do the ketogenic diet. It's time. (Backpacking trip with college friends)

November: We may be having puppy grandchildren around this time. If not, I'm sure something will have come up. (Travel to see Mindy's family in Oklahoma and maybe Colorado and Wichita)

December: Do Christmas here and plan for 2019. No trips (hopefully)!

So there you have it.

I've also really enjoyed doing book reviews this year, and hope to pick up my pace now that things around the house and with the dogs aren't quite so busy. I'm actually finishing up 6 books right now, so there will be a rash of reviews once I make the time to get those out. Hopefully I'll be able to really engage with the material.

 Other posts that I hope will become series include "La Piscina" (stuff about the pool / swimming, for those of you who don't speak Spanish) "GST" (Gymnastic Strength Training), "Survival Skills," and "The Farmstead." I'll may write brief posts here with links to videos on my vlog, but we'll see how it works out. My first idea? "Survival Skills: Cold-water Immersion." Stay tuned!

So at the verge of our arbitrary distinction between one elliptical journey around the sun and the next, I bid a grateful adieu to four seasons of growth, change, and new beginnings, and bonjour to yet another gracious opportunity to grow deeper roots, thicker skin, and denser foliage than ever before so that more people in this world can benefit from the fruit and the shade of my growings. I hope the same goes for you-- that you bloom where you're planted. Happy new beginnings!

No comments:

Post a Comment