Originally written on January 7, 2008
A brand new year is upon us. To me this is always an exciting time. There is a blank slate feeling-a feeling of endless possibilities. Of course there are still things on my to do list, that are being carried over from last year. Just because I hang up a new calendar, doesn't mean everything from 2007 disappears. But the start of the new year beckons me to reflect on what I did well in the previous year, celebrate my successes and also remember the lessons learned. I then have the privledge to dream about what lies ahead for me.
As I begin to delve into the realm of goal setting and looking at what I hope to accomplish in 2008, I am hit with the idea that there is something else that needs to partner with the goals. Something else that makes reaching for those goals a little easier. And that is faith.
As we set off on this year of our journey called life there are going to be obstacles, detours and sometimes even road blocks that cause us to re-evaluate and re-examine our goals and plans. We need to be flexible and have faith that these challenges are put in our way for a reason and are meant to move us closer to our true calling or life purpose.
Back in 2000 my life seemed to be right on track, heading in a direction I had carefully planned for myself. I was in my 8th year of teaching elementary school and had just enrolled in a special masters degree program the school district had just set up. My plan was to get my Masters degree in Gifted and Talented education and become a specialist in that field for the school district. At the same time, on the side, I had just started writing for magazines and was finding success and great joy in that. My career goals for that year were to work on my Masters degree and publish a few more articles.
First, a road block occurred when the program was cancelled after just one class, because there weren't enough people signed up. Second, there were a lot challenges showing up at school that made my job difficult, third, I felt a pull to be home and more available to my family and finally, I found myself thinking about writing and wanting to write more and more.
I struggled for a while, feeling lost and without purpose. The more I fought back and functioned on fear, the worse I felt. I finally had to let go and have some faith that it would all work out. It was like a burden was lifted and my mind became clear again. Doors I hadn't seen before, because my mind was too cloudy, were now open for me. I realized that I couldn't have it all. If I stayed teaching, I'd have to give up the writing in order have more time with my family or I could resign from teaching and focus on my writing and my family.
Because of my incredibly supportive husband, I was able to resign from teaching. It was not an easy decision though, because my life up until that point had all been leading up to me being a teacher; 5 years in college, student teaching and my passion for teaching and helping others. It may not have been an easy decision, but I had faith that I was making the right decision.
It turned out to be one of the best decisions I made. I am living my dream right now. I am here for my family, I am writing and I am actually using my teaching skills to teach other writers. The place I am today in my career, with the Writers Association and the Writers Conference, is not where I expected to be seven years ago. It is better than I could have ever expected. I believe is was the goal setting-mixed in with faith that brought me to a place in my life where I am truly happy.
What are your hopes and dreams for this year? Where do you see yourself at the end of this year? Write it down, share with a friend-put it out there, but remember, life doesn't always go as planned so be open and have faith, that these surprises along the way will eventually get you to where you are meant to go.