Over Christmas break I had the unexpected pleasure of having lunch with one of my Facebook friends. For those of you that blog or Facebook, you understand what kind of friend this is, predominately an on-line relationship. We occasionally chat, message, exchange comments and pictures. But as a whole, our conversations are limited to cyberspace and our real-life paths rarely cross, especially since we live states away. My brother-in-law is close friends with her husband, which is how we were introduced in the first place a few years ago. Motherhood is probably the thing we most have in common.
I remembered seeing on Facebook that she was involved in a group called Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), a program that I spent years participating as an observer, a leader and at times a guest speaker.
“How’s MOPS going?” I asked casually.
She sheepishly smiled and then sighed that all too familiar sigh of mixed emotion.
“Oh boy, ” DW joked, “you sound just like Emily did all those years she volunteered in leadership.
We started to exchange stories of joy and frustration over being part of an organized group of women. It was wonderful to see her in a different light, and connect on a much deeper level. MOPS served an important purpose in my life for many years, providing me with intimate friendships with other moms, a place to feel needed and serve my community and a much needed break from my young children. But after a while, I outgrew the program, both spiritually and mental.
Listening to my friend talk excitedly about her group made me miss MOPS a little. I missed having scheduled time with girlfriends. I missed sharing the bliss and burden of motherhood. I even missed the potluck breakfasts, opportunities to be silly and stolen moments snuggling someone’s sweet baby so they could finish their meal or project. But most of all, I realized that I missed having an annual theme. A yearly mantra. I missed living each day with an added goal. Every MOPS year begins with a Bible verse and theme that determines the focus of each meeting. This theme is woven into the speaker topics, decorations, outside activities, and even the crafts. The hope is that by providing specific daily inspiration, women will propel their lives in a positive direction, resulting in being a better wife, mother, and woman. It’s a way of giving both the program and the mothers purpose.
This year, I’ve decided I need a theme. I have big goals for 2012 and there is no way I will achieve them if I don’t stay focused. It’s early enough in the year that I am still excited and optimistic, but the realist in me knows that a few months from now I could be burned out and tired. I don’t want to find myself second guessing my abilities or allow other people’s negativity to influence my decisions. I want to be prepared to combat mental exhaustion.
I want to remember that I am who I want to be.
My top three goals for this year are:
- run a half-marathon (already registered for the Champions of Charity Half-Marathon)
- create and coordinate a monthly writing group
- learn how to play the guitar
And I’m going to achieve these things by reminding myself of the following:
“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” – Kahlil Gibran
What are your top three goals for 2012 and how are you going to achieve them?