Half of 2016 is gone. But half still remains.
I set four goals for myself this year. They were audacious goals – goals that needed me whole attention and focus to become reality. They were possible, achievable.
Now, halfway through the year, I drew a trophy next to one goal, postponed another for at least a year, and have to rethink the other two with new benchmarks.
Goal 1: Our house was completely dejunked. I went closet-by-closet, drawer-by-drawer, and bookshelf-by-bookshelf through every room of this Lima house and sold, gifted, and trashed over 2000 pounds of our belongings. I’m pretty proud. For any expat in a pack-out year, this is a very big deal, as we pay for anything over our weight allowance.
As encouragement for anyone who wants to try this, I will tell you that it was not easy. There were times that I had to get a box out of the house with all speed before I could look at it again. I also didn’t do it alone – not everything in the house is mine and while I made decisions for my kids (they are 4 and 6) I didn’t make decisions for my husband. That is hard.
I will also tell you that it gets easier with every decision. I often went back to a shelf I thought was done, only to notice that one or two things really were not as important as I initially thought. If I can give advise, it would be to do it one room and one shelf at a time.
Sadly, the whole process will have to be repeated once we return to the United States and rediscover the stored belongings we have not seen in four years. I have a feeling it will be easier – if I didn’t miss it in four years, there is clearly no reason to keep it.
Goal 2 has gone completely in the wrong direction – it will have to be put on hold until next year. When I decide to scrap a goal, I always wonder whether I’m not just justifying poor decisions on my part. This time, my reasons are solid, and I’m even more excited than I would have been to reach the goal.
I can no longer reach goals 3 and 4, bar a miracle. While I believe in miracles (two of them live in my house), miracles are not the most inspired way to compel myself to action. I’ll keep these goals, but I’ll lower my measurements. (One of those goals relate to how often I write in this space. I’ll do better. )
Despite my questionable success, I still think setting goals are worthwhile. Knowing what I want from my year allows me to make decisions that supports my values and moves our family in the right direction. I’m grateful for what I was able to do, and excited for the rest of the year.
My word this year is margin. I have created much more margin in my physical space, and as it always happens when I make space, beauty and joy steps in to fill it. Onward friends – this work is always worth it.