The Attitude You Bring to Life

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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:

  1. run a half-marathon (already registered for the Champions of Charity Half-Marathon)
  2. create and coordinate a monthly writing group
  3. 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?

10 thoughts on “The Attitude You Bring to Life

  1. First of all, you are SO my hera for setting these goals for yourself! I don’t tend to do that kind of thing (and it shows) but you’ve inspired me to think about it, which is a first step. Thank you! 🙂

    Secondly, I’ve never started a writers group, but I inherited one a few years ago that I’ve been facilitating ever since. We meet monthly at one of the branch libraries, and last year several of our members formed another writers group that meets in one of the other branch libraries on a different day of the week and at a different time of the month. So if you ever want to bounce some ideas around or pick my brain, just drop me a note.

  2. My goal is for my hubs and I to have more sex, but I guess running a half marathon is a good goal too 😉 haha

    Plug away at those goals Girl Friend!!! If something means a lot to me, I work toward it everyday. Failure is UNTHINKABLE! Literally, don’t think it. Don’t create the story in your mind about how to cope with not meeting your goal. Then you have just visualized your failure. I have NO IDEA how I will cope if I don’t meet my goal because “failure is NOT an option!” I ONLY visualize success. I am initially happy when I meet my goal but then I am lost/aimless and blue without the focus and purpose of the goal anymore. I MUST continue to set new goals, so that doesn’t happen. What will you do AFTER you run the half marathon? Have another goal ready. It could be running related, or different. Maybe a triathlon or whatever gets you excited and a little scared. If you aren’t a little scared your goal isn’t big enough.

    My favorite saying is, “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” -Oscar Wilde

    That being said, this kind of “single mindedness” can be rough on my relationships. I have to “pull back” sometimes and put some of my “crazy ass drive” toward “my people”. My hubby gets the worst of it. He is the one I neglect/take for granted the most. It breaks my heart, because ironically he means the most to me. I have to remind myself, “love is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.”

    So drink the nasty looking green juice you were buying at Krogers and GET IT GIRL!!!! YOU GOT THIS!!!!!

  3. If your writing group happens to be an online group, I’d be very interested. Please let me know!

    Great goals and ideas by the way.


  4. Emily, I recently read a post by Miss Mustard Seed who has chosen her word for the year. Now your post about having an annual mantra. You Ladies have got me thinking and for that I am grateful. enJOY today!

  5. I know what you mean about having a group to talk about the ups & downs of being a momma. And a scheduled group would be awesome!

    Play that guitar, girl! so cool!

    Happy New Year!

  6. That’s awesome you have goals and have written them down to hold yourself accountable.

    I do not like setting goals. I have certain things I work toward, and if I get them done, great! If not, there’s always another day, or not.

    For some reason, I never involved myself with MOPS. I prefer no structure at play events. Let the kids play and the moms chat about whatever. Why does there have to be a speaker? Too formal for me. 🙂

  7. I did not realize you wanted to learn to play the guitar. Guess that’s a good use of the one that is now laying unused around the house. I’m excited about your writing group goal. Wish I could be a part of it.

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