2011 has a nice ring to it

So I’m pretty psyched about 2011. Bring it on, I say. After all, some amazing things have happened to me in odd numbered years, like getting engaged, married, graduating law school and passing the Bar, and the births of both my kids! OK, so maybe that’s just a tad superstitious to think that an odd number to a year has anything to do with the events of the year, but I see a pattern (just sayin’). Not that 2010 was a bad year, mind you. In fact, most of the highlights of  2010 will be carried forward to this year. Still get to stay home with the kids? Check. Working part-time doing closings and keeping active with my law practice? Check. And top it off with my volunteer church staff position teaching kids music? Another check.It would be tempting to start the year off with resolutions but I’m not going that route. Never have, really. Instead, I’ve been a goalsetter kind of girl. So I’ll share my goals for 2011 with you IF you’ll be my accountability partner in my achieving my goals this year! Kinda like my version of Dr. Phil, willing to ask me from time to time “How’s that working for you?”

Getting Organized. OK, first and foremost, getting my house decluttered and purging so much unnecessary stuff is both vital to our health and wellbeing AND my sanity. Fortunately, we have been attacking this with gazelle-like intensity (for all my Dave Ramsey friends, you know what that means) during the Christmas break. Nothing like trying to find a place for all the decorations to make you realize you need a different system! Mostly, it means to simplify and get rid of all the excess stuff. Yeah, if only it were that easy. I keep waiting for the team of people from the show Clean Sweep to show up at my house; guess their GPS was on the fritz or something. Actually, it’s not too bad in the Boswell casa, but especially after a bountiful Christmas, it’s time to follow the mantra “out with the old, in with the new.” And if that means new carpet and furniture, so be it! So goodbye chaos, hello Mr. Clean! Or should I say Mr. Clean-er? Let’s get real: I do still have 2 kids and a dog that sheds like crazy!

Making Time for Mommy. I know for many of you, this is preaching to the choir (can I get an Amen, sister?) But I tend to put myself on the backburner a bit. Need new clothes? Absolutely. But so do my two growing kids. OK, so I am fierce when it comes to my hair but you would be too if gray hair started to appear! In other words, if mama’s happy, everyone’s happy (because the converse is so true)! How will this look in 2011? Mani/pedis and massage, for starters. Not all at once, but spread out through the year. And yes, that may sound self-indulgent but I can rationalize both. Who wants the attorney at their loan closing to have fugly looking hands as they shuffle the papers? Not me. (Could that even by tax-deductible? I wish) And carrying my son to the bathroom every night so her can go potty and not wet the bed is really doing a number on my back! Top it off with a much needed girls’ weekend, which is in the planning stages (NYC- look out) but it will happen. It MUST happen.

Slow the %&$*!& down! Doesn’t it feel like our lives are moving at warp speed? There are days when I say aloud, “Stop the merry go round, I want OFF!” So for me, the key is to carve out quiet time for devotion, for yoga and for reading. I am about halfway through an AMAZING book right now called The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison. It is like eating the most delicious chocolate bar and savoring every moment because you don’t want to finish it. I would love to sit down and devour the rest of the book but am intentionally breaking it into chapters so I can drag it out a bit longer. Anyway, one of the powerful, profound nuggets I have gleaned from reading this book is to just be in the moment and to savor every instant I have with my kids. She writes, “Our photo albums from those days are full of pictures of birthday cakes and holiday celebrations, vacation trips and family adventures, piano recitals and baseball games. But the memories I find myself sifting through the past to find, the ones that I would now give anything to relive, are the ones that no one ever thought to photograph, the ones that came and went as softly as a breeze on a summer afternoon…It has taken a while, but I know it now-the most wonderful gift we had, the gift I’ve finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.”

Reaching out to others. I vow to be more aware of what’s going on around me and to help wherever I can. You know, making time to go the extra mile for a friend. Send a get well card or an I’ve missed you note to someone I haven’t seen at church lately. Making food for someone sick or homebound. Helping a friend when a child is sick. Working in the food pantry. Going above and beyond in helping those who I am appointed to represent. In this area, I have always dropped the ball when it things got hectic. Now that I’m making it a priority, I will not let myself push to the backburner. Or at least not with some guilty feelings!

Reaching for the stars. My goal is to pursue my passions of writing, music, and Disney (go figure). These will come into fruition if I continue to blog and eventually move into the realm of freelance writing (did I actually write that down and say it outloud-wow!); build a kids music program at my church; and make the 2012 Disney Moms Panel (yes, I’m still stubbornly going to pursue it!) Howard Thurman once wrote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that.” Find your fire, as Oprah’s OWN network would say.

Our pastor read a quote that really resonated with me, so much so that I had one of those “he’s talking to me” moments:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

So I’m putting all my goals out there. And I’m going to DO (not just try) all of them as best I can. To quote the all-knowing Yoda,”Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” (Can you tell we like Star Wars in my house?) And my wish is that you too will have a year filled with doing rather than mere trying. Audaciously living BIG rather than small. And letting your light shine.

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