30 for 30 – the end

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The Wu family on tour – the highlight of our year, our trip to Japan

So, I’m now 31. My year of 30 goals is over. I loved having the list to remind me of a few of the things that were buzzing around my head as I turned 30. I had hoped to finish all the goals on the list, but time and money weren’t always in ready supply. I wonder if anyone actually ever finishes all their goals when they make these kinds of lists? Anyway, I’m happy with the goals I did accomplish.

I managed to complete 17 of my goals and left 13 undone. I think that’s quite good going. As I stated at the outset, most of my¬†goals are entirely frivolous. They pale in comparison to being kind, being hospitable, being godly, teaching my children, loving my husband, and trusting in Jesus every day. Oh, and keeping my floors clean ūüėČ But, as all those things are (hopefully) obvious, this list was just a bit of fun.

Here’s a recap!

completed goals

#1. Picnic at a park or beach. We had lots!

#2. Read a book. Yes!

#3. Blog more. I did blog more. I’d like to keep it going.

#4. Pray more. This only happened because I started getting up early every morning. Prayer is a good habit which has sadly never become ingrained in my life. I’d like it to, more and more.

#7. Make macarons.

#9. Swim in the sea.

#10. Exercise more. I signed up for a couch to 5K running course which lasted 8 weeks. 12 weeks after it started, I ran the Bristol 10K. Hoping to keep this up!

#11. Make someone a birthday cake. Matthew’s and Sophie’s.

#12. Go on a day trip to the seaside (Weston-super-Mare, anyone?). We did this! I actually took my children on a trip to the seaside at Weston-super-Mare, my home town! It was lots of fun.

#14. Buy new cushions for the lounge.

#18. Have a facial. Yes. Lovely.

#19. Do a 10K run. See #10 above.

#20. Take the children to the zoo. Many, many times.

#22. Invest in and use good face creams (I’m in my 30s now!). The time came when I had to present myself at the Clinique counter. My skin is thanking me.

#23. Go out for Japanese food.¬†Oh, this! This one was even better than I’d hoped or dreamed! We actually¬†went to Japan!

#26. Floss every day.¬†I feel a bit of a cheat saying I’ve done this one. In fact, I haven’t flossed 365 days this year. But I have flossed more this year than the rest of my life put together, I reckon.

#28. Go on a hot holiday.¬†Japan was hot. Not exactly what I’d intended when I wrote this (I was thinking white sands and a book in hand), but close enough!

Uncompleted Goals

Some of these were small but required time. Some were big and required money. I feel a bit sad that I didn’t do some of them (#8, 16, 25 should have been priorities) and I think some of them would have been very beneficial (I’m looking at you¬†#30) – but I can try to do some of¬†them next year!

#5. Do a jigsaw.

#6. Finish my jumper (that I started about four years ago!).

#8. Learn and perform a new piece.

#13. Sort photos into albums.

#15. Enter a baking competition (or run one?!).

#16. Host a dinner party.

#17. Do something different or dramatic with my hair.

#21. Sew a skirt or dress.

#24. Host Christmas.

#25. Start studying something.

#27. Do a hat making class/course.

#29. Spa day.

#30. Go on a weekend trip with Nick (Paris? Bruges? Bognor?).

 

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Mission: Become More Awesome

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but now that I’ve sat down to do it (at 9pm on a Friday night, go me!), I don’t know where to begin.

I’ve been having a teeny existential crisis over the past few weeks. A couple of things have happened to me to get me into this state. Firstly, a potentially amazing and unique opportunity unexpectedly reared its head about a month ago… and was gone just as soon. I’m not at all surprised that nothing came of it, but once it had appeared on my horizon I couldn’t stop thinking about it, nor feeling really disappointed that it hadn’t worked out.

Secondly, at church we’ve recently had a sermon series on Genesis 1-3, and one week¬†the speaker posed the¬†question ‘Why are we here?’, to which the answer, in a nutshell, was: to live life well.

Live life well? How can you do that when most days you feel like this:

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And this:

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Honestly, I do feel like this a lot of the time. But I started to wonder whether I have been using tiredness and lack of time as an excuse for not living life well, for not excelling in the things I do, and for not making the most of opportunities.

The reality of life looking after children at home full-time is well-documented in funny memes all over the internet, and I’m not about to wade into the mummy wars or say that being a sahm is harder than being a working mum or blah blah blah, because that’s all just rubbish and we are all¬†working hard at loving our children and keeping our homes afloat whatever our circumstances. Life with kids is busy, and tiring. But life without kids, pre-kids, post-kids, whatever, is also busy and tiring. No-one has the monopoly on busyness or tiredness (except maybe mums of babies under one,¬†that is truly gruelling hard work). So what am I saying when I use tiredness as an excuse not to excel at life? Maybe I’m actually being lazy or apathetic, or just pathetic?

The truth is, I don’t want to go through life feeling as if I’m constantly clutching at straws and merely hanging on for survival. I¬†want¬†to live well.

So I’ve set myself a mission: to become more awesome.

I’m not saying that anything I can do will make me a ‘better person’. The only person who can sort me out is Jesus – and thankfully he’s done just that. Nothing I can do will fundamentally change who I am or meet my need for a rescuer. I’m not doing this to become ‘more myself’ or anything like that. I’m already complete in Christ. But! But, but, but… I have maybe 50 or 60 more years left on this planet.¬†My question to myself is: what do I want to¬†do¬†in that time? How do I want to¬†live?

There are lots of obvious answers. Cherish Christ and run a faithful race to the end. Raise my children well. Love my husband. Serve my community. Have a worthwhile job or career. Hold lightly to material possessions. Be kind.

This is all about the How.

The mission to become more awesome is really about putting some flesh on all these great aspirations. Because ‘raising my children well’ isn’t going to happen by magic, nor are any of the other things. I’ll have to make decisions and put in plenty of effort, use time well, not dawdle, be intentional.

I’ve yet to work out what all this will look like in daily life. But the motivation is there! Why shouldn’t I make that three-tier birthday cake that I really want to make for my own birthday? Just because we don’t really need a cake that big doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have fun doing it. Why use tiredness as an excuse for not taking care of my physical health? I know that exercising is important, and I know that I can make time for it. Why not make the effort to spend more time talking and listening to God? I know that it would do me so much good.

I’d love this motivation to live life well and make the most of everything (note to self: that will mean saying No to some, or a lot of, things) to spur me on to a more productive and effective life.

Mission: become more awesome is on!