I am not so much into resolutions, as I am self reflection, and the beginning of  a new year is a great opportunity to reflect on where I am, where I want to be and how the last year has gone.  2019 was another tough year professionally, but with some definite wins and challenges that have kept me moving forward.  After 2018 I was set on making 2019 about finding myself outside of my job and role in my family and accepting myself.  Accepting myself is a constant challenge, and one that I will work on for the rest of my life I am afraid.  in 2019 I started my role as a volunteer and board member with the North Liberty food pantry and began working with the team on the grant writing committee.  I had a couple of pretty time intensive grants that I wrote that didn’t develop into funds, but I have been learning a lot and really enjoying service to my community.  Not to mention, my kids have been great volunteers themselves!  Thea and Leila hosted a lemonade stand and then Thea did a neighborhood food drive for the pantry – netting a couple hundred pounds of food and 100 dollars!  All three kids like to come with me for stocking at the pantry and they help to look for old bread to throw out and to fill the shelves for the patrons.  It is such a nice environment there and the good it does for the city/county is amazing. I am continuing to work with this organization, and looking into other ways I can lead and serve in my community.

In 2019 I started using Goodreads to track my reading over the year and I set a goal to read 15 books over the course of the year.  I ended the year with 16 (not counting the Beverly Cleary books that Eliot and I read together! :)) and 100 pages left to go in Michelle Obama’s Becoming.  I have more to say about that book, and about some of the other books that really stuck with me this year, another time!

For 2020 my goal is 20 books – and yesterday after finishing Mrs. Obama’s masterpiece, I picked up Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers. With only a couple of days left before I head back to work, I am also going to dedicate myself to more writing in 2020.  I loved this place for a long time, and I lost it in the shuffle.  I don’t have cute baby stories to share, but I am still here, and I think there is more for me to put out there.  If I want to be a real writer someday, I need to practice the craft, even if it is just me going on about my dog or the latest book I read.  I think 15 blog posts for 2020 is a very reachable goal, that won’t leave me writing for the sake of writing, but will force me to put my thoughts together and share something worth sharing every now and then.

Here is to no resolutions, but reflections and adjustments, pointing our feet toward progress in every way.

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