When the air masks drop during air travel, we have been instructed to place the mask over our own faces before attempting to assist others. Makes sense, right? Then, how come, many times, those of us who want to live a successful life beyond ourselves think that we can accomplish great things without air? Sometimes we become so accustomed to putting ourselves last that we run out of the time to ever give our own selves the air we need to, not just survive, but to thrive.

Year Ahead Unclear Like this Foggy Mountain Day

If you have spent years being a mom, I know you will track with my thoughts in this post. If you are a diligent, hard-working person in your first job trying to make a name for yourself as you day-by-day give the company extra-hours and continually drop “go to gym” to the to-do list’s bottom, you should continue reading. And… every one in between, this message is also for you.

Who am I? Who are you?

Life is a whirlwind; it sucks us up, twirls us around, and, eventually, spits us out on the ground. When and how we dust ourselves off is a choice we all get to make.

Enter January.

January has become one of my favorite months. It is new. It is fresh. It is blank. It is full of possibilities and challenges to conquer. The older I get, the more I realize how much I need goals in my life. Without a target at which to aim my dart, I hit nothing every time.

Enter Annual Word of the Year.

Every January I choose a word to set the pace for the year ahead. Past words have been: finish strong, blessing, believe, energy, explore, and focus. I was surprised when my 2019 word came knocking on my door:


Confidently Unlock All the Mystery 2019 Can Give

Once I found a context for “Me” beyond the self-absorbed selfie world in which we find ourselves drowning, I began to embrace the thought. And, to be honest, my thoughts were jump-started after an encounter at the department store make-up counter.

While ringing up my purchases, the sales associate began to make some small talk, “So, what do you do?” (I am certain she was inquiring about my job/career.)

“How do you spend your time?” would have required pulling up a stool for a long while: I have a garden, I just completed designing/building a chicken complex for the 7 chickens I raised from a brooder in my art studio shower stall,

Chicken-Raising Goal Accomplished in 2018

I have an antique letterpress, I do calligraphy, I love watercolor and art, I write a blog,I am still personalizing my farmhouse and 23 acres, I enjoy being active and fit, I attend a weekly bible study, I have a rabbit and two dogs, I have a part-time job training med students, there is pretty much nothing I won’t try at least once (as long as it does not involve danger.),and I love long coffee breaks on my top veranda.

But…when there was an awkward pause after her initial question, she tried clarifying by asking another, “What are you?”

For the first time…ever…I had no answer. My brain scanned the files of all the possibilities. Surprisingly, I found my answer to be uncharacteristically not-me, “I’m…” (brain still scanning files for an answer), “…just…” (one final attempt to not be awkward), “…me.” And, suddenly, I became either very mysterious to the sales associate, or quite shallow.

As Awkward as a Jr. High Picture of Me?

Upon leaving the store, the maladroit  encounter caused me to begin a quest of re-introducing

myself to me.

I am a lot of things: wife, mother, daughter,grandmother, friend. But, in 2019, I want to discover who I am as an autonomous human being.

My personal goal-setting has begun with fast-forwarding to 2020 when I will, again, ask, “Who am I?”

When this new, shiny year slides into history,  I want to have a long list of answers, things for which I want to be known, things I want to have accomplished, things for which I want to describe “me.”

Always Take Time to Live in the Moment

Action points:

  • What is a word that could motivate you all year long?
  • Divide your life into: Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Relationships
  • Fast-forward to 2020: How would you like to be different? Better? More accomplished?
  • How can you break down those big goals into bite sized do-able chunks?
  • How will you hold yourself accountable?

So…let’s do this year!

Make Your Goals Small Enough to Wrap Your Arms Around

Let’s make ourselves better. Let’s try new things. Let’s be fearless. Let’s accomplish our goals.

Dancing into 2019 Like My Mom in 1947

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