Monday, January 07, 2013
2013::The Year of the New-ish
Every January I read about people who name the coming year. Present. Peace. Joy. Grow. The words are lovely, but I've never been big on naming years. Commitment scares me. I don't think I could travel down a one way street very long. I'll take the mixed greens over a bag of spinach leaves any day. Naming a year feels a lot like naming a newborn. It's a big step. I feel a little sweaty thinking about the moments when we finally landed on a name for each of our kids. Such pressure. I naturally shy away from situations that feel like a done deal.
Bottom line? I'm so glad naming years isn't mandatory.
But guess what? In honor of mixing it up, I'm naming this year, by golly. I may even issue 2013 a birth certificate.
2013 is the year of NEW-ISH (because "the year of new-ish" sounds way better than "the year of TREMBLING.")
After 13 years of hanging out with my kids full time, I go back to school in a week. Nursing school, here I come. I'm eager to learn more about women's health and take the first step towards becoming a nurse-midwife. I also have big dreams for the future and what it would look like to identify a country where maternal mortality is horrendous and make a tangible difference. I've always loved women's health, have worked in this area before, but the move to pursue becoming a nurse-midwife? New-ish.
Anson starts junior high at a public school tomorrow. That's new-ish. He's mostly been homeschooled, but he's also had the experience of "going to school" at a private school before.
Someone else will be helping me teach two of our other kids at home. That's new-ish. I've had help before, and I'm relieved to have help again.
We're integrating more plant-based foods into our diet and exploring a far more gluten-free/paleo menu in our house. I've had two years to learn to eat this way personally, have experienced the health benefits, and now it's time to transition Aaron and the kids. That's new-ish. With the exception of one family member, the people in our house seem to be onboard with the diet we've been eating the past month or so. That's newish too.
We're eliminating or moving elements of our lives around to accommodate healthier habits and hobbies like buying from local farms, growing some of our own food, and finding fun, engaging ways to exercise and stay active as a family. We love the idea of supporting small farms and knowing where our food comes from, we just haven't made time to explore this idea fully. We've tried our hand at growing some of our own food, but haven't tried very hard. I've been pretty faithful to running over the past few years, but I've never really involved the rest of my family. Parts of the changes we've made over the past month and we want to continue to make in these areas definitely feel new-ish.
I may be wrapping up this blog and starting a new one. A lot has changed in our lives over the past few years, and I don't know - I'm feeling like I want a fresh start and a place to write, express, and learn in a more focused way. That's new-ish too.
We're exploring what it looks like to approach all this "new-ish" with sustainability in mind. Nothing on our list this year is actually brand new. Each of these areas has been a long journey, and we're exploring how to fully live out what we believe in ways that bring life instead of a lot of stress.
Over the past few months I've been thinking a great deal about the major themes I hope to pass along to our kids. One of those themes revolves around this bigger idea of faith and how our fundamental belief systems drive the way we respond to everyday issues like justice, health, our community, other cultures, and the Earth. I hope our kids walk away from our home one day with deep convictions and connections to their faith and that these convictions ultimately lead them to actively live out what they believe. I know they most likely won't do that unless Aaron and I are brave and purposeful enough to model that sort of behavior for them. We've spent some time over the break as a couple identifying areas where we say we believe something, but for whatever reason, aren't fully living as if we do.
If we've learned anything from these sort of scary conversations and acting on them it's this: There is life - real life - in bringing to life - resurrecting, if you will - faith that has been stunted by our fear. There is something indescribably beautiful when we witness "thought" shift into "action." We have found life and joy in the midst of fear, struggle, and even failure, as we've attempted to live out what we believe, even if that means making major adjustments to our life or pushing back against our culture. The rational part of my brain knows that only good - the deepest form of "good" - awaits on the other side of our fear and complacency. The irrational part of my brain (this is a much bigger portion) feels nervous and unsure.
2013. NEW-ISH. We greet thee with shaky knees, but we greet thee all the same.
Posted by Hendrick Family