TODAY marks my 41st birthday.
And the first day of a new year of my life.
Day 1 of 365 days to be 41 years old.
Day 1 to reflect on the last 365 days and think ahead to the next 365.
How did last year go?
-Paid cash for a family vacation to Disneyland and were so blessed to have friends join us there!
-Lowered our mortgage debt by a bit (still working on this).
-Officially started a family business and kicked it off at the Portland Mini Maker's Faire with a huge success!
-Almost finished our first year of homeschooling with My Father's World, which has been a blessing!
-Completed my second Warrior Dash run and 2nd 5k (both with WORSE times than the previous year, but I'm glad I did them.)
-Celebrated the 17th year of being married to my best friend.
-Joined a few blogger book review programs and have been incredibly BLESSED with new books that are free (which totally fits into the non-existent book budget)! And because of that, have read through more books in the last year than I have in a LONG time!
-Finished reading through the Old Testament for the first time in my life!!
-Finished writing out the book of Proverbs for my first son.
-Watched each of my boys turn another year older, and struggled together WITH them against sin and temptation and entitlement, instead of AGAINST them, as in previous years.
-Started as a member and co-leader in The Bold Year Challenge and gained some awesome and inspiring new friends, and am being continually pushed WAAAAYYY out of my comfort zone by doing the live Google hangouts (do you know how DISTRACTING and AWFUL it is to watch yourself on video?).
Overall it was a GREAT, challenging, and STRETCHING year.
.So now it's on to year 41 of my life, and I'll start by REFLECTING on what I wish I had done better in year 40. Below are the items I've listed so far... and while it seemed kind of discouraging to write them down, I really believe in the importance of slowing down to reflect on successes and especially failures to push on to do better this year. I am giving myself grace, because I understand that life is about improving, not arriving at a certain destination.
WHAT DO I WISH I WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER IN YEAR 40?
-I wish I would have kept drawing in my sketchbook each day.
-I wish I had been more careful with the daily/weekly challenge of spending and saving money. (It's the little things that KILL me.)
-I wish I had eaten healthier.
-I wish I had studied at least one subject of something that interests me in depth.
-I wish I would have deliberately learned (as opposed to learning the hard way) a new skill for our business. (coding, Photoshop, etc)
-I wish I had done more slowing down and reflecting.
-I wish I had prayed more.
-I wish I had kept reviewing scripture I had previously memorized so it wasn't so easily forgotten.
-I wish I would have had made sure to schedule in some time to be quiet, alone, and away... for refreshment and renewed strength.
-I wish I had spent more time getting to know Jesus better.
-I wish I had continued to keep a nature journal with my youngest son.
-I wish I would have spent less time on the computer and more time working on my current "I wish" list items.
-I wish I had less debt on the mortgage and more in savings.
-I wish I had spent more one on one time with my boys.
.With all those "I Wishes" written out, I can now clearly see my biggest areas of struggle are Time Management and Money Management, which all equal up to the biggest area of struggle: Self Control. Oi.
BUT, with a new year, comes new hope!
Also, all this review has helped me come up with a new theme for year 41 of my life: Reflect.
Nothing has changed how I use my day more than reflecting on what I wish I would have done differently the day before. Since this is a new practice for me, I'm hoping to make it a habit this year!
So here's to year 41!
I'm hoping it's the best one yet!!