This is a portion of my blog that I’d like to call, Reflections.
I’d like it to be a monthly-ish journal type of writing.
No rants and raves, though. Just lessons learned and things I’m grateful for.
No fancy Search Engine Optimizations. No keyword searches. (Well, maybe just one long tail.) Just me. In words. Pictures. Perhaps some sounds. (If I can edit out my nervous laugh.)
I originally had Reflections on a separate page of the site. But, I decided to give it a home here on the blog since it won’t be updated like a regular web page. I’m hoping I have something new to share with you each month.
This post has reflections from December 11, 2017, included with this month. Just in case you missed it on the original web page.
Word of the Year 2018
I’m so thrilled!
This is the first holiday season that I have managed to spend less than $500.
Even though that wasn’t my goal, I’m appreciative that the changes we made this holiday season resulted in less spending.
And my kids did not miss a beat. In fact, I think because we focused on giving to others in our Advent and 12 Days of Christmas celebrations, entitlement issues got pushed out the door.
We were all content with our smaller daily gifts. For twelve days. The girls were thrilled. They were getting a gift every day.
And making sure we included elderly homes, orphanages and small schools gave us all some perspective.
I don’t reflect on this to pat myself on the back, though.
I do it as a reminder.
A reminder of a year of major adjustments.
A year that turned my world upside down.
Where true, reliable relationships were formed. Courage was found. Strength was renewed. Faith was built.
I remind myself that I don’t have to be tethered to stuff and things. That peace can rest over my home.
These reminders – these markers – help me have a better, more hopeful outlook in 2018.
I can release 2017 and all of its overspending and overindulgence.
Was I bad? A spendthrift?
But if I don’t model financial responsibility to my children, when and where will they learn it? Will they go around most of their life with a sense of entitlement?
Constantly consuming until they too are trapped and tethered by stuff and things?
That buck had to stop here.
So, the huge tree and all the lights stayed in the boxes. So did all the other power consuming decorations.
One little Charlie Brown tree. One string of lights. $2 worth of decorations.
Less money spent. Less stuff to fuss over. Fewer tchatchkis (in Spanish, chunches) to maintain.
More simplicity. More breathing room. A lot more freedom.
That’s the word I’ve chosen for 2018.
I wasn’t a huge word of the year person. I didn’t think it was something I would be motivated to stick with.
This year, it’s crucial that I keep this word in front of me.
After releasing so many things that had me feeling trapped, that is the feeling I’m going for.
For myself. For my children. For all who allow me to positively touch their life.
So, if anything rears its manipulative head in 2018 trying to give drama and keep dreams shackled…
I have the freedom to refuse that gift.
What Can I do to Leave a Legacy?
Last year, I wrote an article on how we celebrated Christmas with creating a unit study based on traditions. While I would love to link to that article, it was just published this year…
…on another site. And things aren’t quite the same.
For one, I broke from those traditions this year. The family dynamic and makeup are TOTALLY different. And I’ve already realized that specific Advent activities need to come after the co-op holiday break begins.
Doing my best to exhaust myself will not make for a happy holiday.
Not to mention, we’re in the smaller home now. And while I still teach abundance, it’s not so we can sit on the most prominent pile. Because I don’t believe “he who dies with the most toys wins.” If you bring joy to someone else’s life with the things you receive, that’s something else.
The details of what we do may change. But the tradition of bringing joy to someone else’s life is what I want to instill in my children. What I want to translate to my clients. What I want to leave as a legacy.