the first of the month

The realization that today is November 1st brought me refreshment this morning. It could be because a huge storm this past week finally blew all the humidity out of Austin. Or it could be because I live in Texas, and November is when it actually starts feeling more like fall and I don’t feel guilty for wearing boots. Or it could be that the first of the month brings a newness, an excitement, an expectation for what this month holds.

For us, this month holds several birthdays, a friend’s wedding, a big trip and the start of the holidays. It also holds our everyday lives- our work, our community, dinners at home, reading before we go to sleep and watching old episodes of The Office. 

In the midst of it all- the routine things and the special occasion things- I find myself expectant and hopeful for this next season. More than ever, I am learning to see myself as an artist, bearing the image of the divine Creator and viewing my life as art. I’m becoming more conscious of the daily tasks I perform and learning to value and respect them as sacred parts of this life that I’m living. 

Every person’s life is sacred. Every person was created by God to dwell in his land and do good. Every area of our lives deserves this kind of respect, from our most important relationships, to our most menial tasks. No part of our life is too small, too insignificant to give as an offering back to the Giver of all good things.  I’m learning this, slowly. I’m learning to see the tiny details of my life, the parts that no one else sees, as gifts. Gifts given to me for a purpose. And that purpose is to give them back. To empty myself. 

In an effort to lean in to this lesson- to lean in to the truth that all parts of my life are meaningful, purposeful and valued- I’m going to begin sharing monthly goals here. I was inspired by The Tiny Twig’s post this morning, and thought today was as good as any day to start. 

Goal-setting is not necessarily a new thing for me. I operate well when I give myself goals. I work well off of to-do lists, and feel a certain sense of accomplishment when everything is crossed off. However, I am definitely learning my capacity. I have a tendency to set goals too high for the time period, to overestimate what I can get done in a day, yet underestimate what I can get done in a month or a year. I set myself up for failure in both regards- expecting too much of myself in a short period, and shortchanging myself in the long run. 

I’m learning the balance between working hard and giving myself grace. I’m learning not to beat myself up or get frustrated when I get less done than I wanted to- my identity is not defined by my productivity. Yet, I’m also learning how to motivate myself and not allow fear to get in the way of me taking real steps toward maximizing the gifts I’ve been given. 

So, this is part of that. Below are my goals for November. They touch different parts of my life, but they are all things that have been on my mind lately. Things I want to do that are important to me. I’ll check back in at the end of the month and let you know how it goes. 

Goals for November: 

– Plan an editorial calendar for this blog- take initiative in writing, instead of it only being a reactionary tool. 

– Schedule out one time slot in my week that is dedicated to writing. 

– Find a great scented candle. 

– Surprise Taylor for his birthday. 

– Read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises

– Paint once. 

– Bake my grandmother’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread. 

If you feel inspired to share your goals, The Tiny Twig is hosting a link up this month. Head over to her blog today for more details. 

Happy November and Happy Weekend! 

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