It was a tearful goodbye, but I said it. That dream, the multiple degrees, the academic career? I don't want it anymore. A good-sized part of me never really wanted it. Once I finally recognized that and believed it, I felt a wonderful sense of peace and calm, so different from the uncertainty that plagued me from August to December. One semester of graduate school made me realize that I want to teach.
So this new year is bringing changes with it. I am leaving my current program, taking a semester to work and save and read through my monstrous stack of books, and enrolling in a teacher certification/master's degree program in the summer.
Changes come, but they can be so good. This is one of my steps toward a joy-filled life.
We are approaching the new year, and with it comes those silly resolutions. I used to have such lists for myself: eat healthy, exercise daily, read the Bible in its entirety, read a book every week, learn to do something (crochet, knit, ski, and who knows what else), write a book (or two), make straight As in school, etc. Those are all things I'd still like to do, or at least improve upon, but I go through the same pattern every year: make goals, put them off for a week, succeed for a few days, then fail and scrap all of them.
A lot of instruction on achieving goals tells you to make them tangible, practical, and somewhat achievable, to outline them in a shape you can actually figure out. For me, however, this doesn't work. I have learned, over time, that I must set a goal that is an idea--to be healthy, or happy, or always moving forward--and then within moments, I figure out which course of action best suits that goal. Literal achievements tire me out, makes me panic when I do not achieve the exact goal I hoped for. But achieving some kind of state of being? That fills me up.
So as I approach this new year, my resolution is simple and yet one of the hardest things in the world to do: I want to be joyful. I want to live a joy-filled life and to share joy.
Exactly how I'll do that remains to be seen.
The mini bus roll poster is by K. Barteski, available here. One of these days I'll buy it.
I read this poem as one about wonder throughout the year. It is easy to marvel this time of year, when we fill our worlds with beauty, but hard at other times. Today will be filled with family and friends, a church service with a full orchestra and choir and beautiful songs, and plenty of happiness. I want to grab onto that happiness and turn it into joy that'll stay with me all year long.
Fifteen years after I had to memorize the second chapter of Luke at school, I still remember these words from verse nineteen: "But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart." I want to do the same with these holiday moments--treasure them and ponder them within, and hold that joy and wonder all year long.
Have a wonderful holiday, and practice keeping the joy of this season in your heart, always.
Cabbage Roses at the Shedd Aquarium, visited last week with my mom and sister on our way back from Milwaukee. It was cold and damp and those flowers were a surprising bit of pastel and softness in the surrounding gray.
It's been a crazy two weeks and next week is pretty packed, too. My mom and I are off to Wisconsin to bring my little sister home from her first semester of college. I'll be back with a post on Thursday...maybe.
Where did that come from? Our Christmas decorations are somewhere...in storage, I think. I'll have to make a few. This paper snowflake panel DIY from Free People looks like something I'll take on after I finish finals. We have some nice big windows and the light would be gorgeous shining through the patterns.