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I didn’t feel like twisting my boys arms this week when I was already struggling to get them doing regular schoolwork, so I decided I would share my own ‘bucket list’ of sorts for the Inaugural Edition of the Middle and High School Link Up.
Almost all of my bucket list items are things that God is planting on my heart for this year. If asked what my ‘word of the year’ is, I’d have to say:
As in deciding what activities and ventures are most important to tackle in my life and letting go of the extras that look great but just distract from the path God is calling me to walk.
2014 Bucket List Item 1: Continually Put the Focus on Christ
This is a challenge as it is so much easier to pop out of bed and get busy with the daily tasks. However, I know form past experience if the boys and I begin our day with time for prayer the day goes better. I want to put together a routine to start my day with prayer and dedicate all that I will do during the day to God. And, I want to help the boys learn to integrate the faith in all aspects of life.
Just this morning, I had THREE different events vying for my attention. One would have brought in a little extra money to help cover bills. One was connected to my Beachbody coaching and could help energize me for the new year. And, the final was a short retreat for the women in our parish. Guess which one I picked? If you guessed the spiritual retreat, you would be correct and during one of the quiet reflection times God reinforced the need for me to prioritize.
2014 Bucket List Item 2: Create a pleasant home set up for both homeschooling activities and family life.
As much as I enjoy a clean and inviting place, it currently requires setting aside time just to clean up the unending piles of stuff that was neglected when life was too busy to think about it. Part of this is to continue the practice of ridding our house of things we no longer need and can either use to bless another (if it is usable) or tossing it should there be no useful life to it. I did bring several boxes of items to a local charity over the Christmas break, but know that there is far more I can let go once the emotional ties and fear of needing an item down the road can be dismissed. This even (gasp!) includes homeschooling books and resources!
This photo is from the start of our 2010 homeschool year. My sister helped me declutter and things were laid out wonderfully. Looking back, that first quarter was one of the most productive ones for our homeschooling years.
Along with this item is the need to get the boys onto a routine that has them taking responsibility for their spaces and cleaning up after themselves. It’s amazing how much time I spend picking up discarded dirty socks and dishes around the house which ALL of them should be able to manage.
2014 Bucket List Item 3: Be Selective with Commitments Outside of the Home
This is another challenging area for me as I often will take on just one more little task when there is a need (which is how I ended up being Cubmaster for our Cub Scout Pack this year!) Currently, I am a leader for our youth ministry program, Cubmaster and Religious Emblem coordinator for our Cub Scout Pack (and my son crosses over next month), a Committee member with the Boy Scout Pack, secretary for the Parent Advisory Council at our correspondence school’s regional office, and lots of odds and ends here and there. Additionally, I have been working on this blog to make it a more of a business and help generate a small income for the family. All of those things take time and mean having to sacrifice something else. On top of all that, I’ve been praying over whether I need to return to the workforce on a part time or full time basis. Which things will stay and which will go are still being determined, but I know that I can not do it all and that God doesn’t want me to do it all.
2014 Bucket List Item 4: Plan for Fun Time with the Family
As We currently have a RV which means no need to go primitive on camping with a little one. I’d like to plan several outings for the short summer we have here in Alaska. It’s a great way to not only spend time together, but also unplug from other aspects of my life. I have yet to share all of our adventures this past summer (dip netting for salmon, visiting the ocean and Homer, checking out the Sea Life Center in Seward, and going off the grid along the Denali Highway.) The photo above is from our trip across the continent last spring.
2014 Bucket List Item 5: Work Smarter and Not Harder
This is in many areas of my life: blogging, home schooling and different businesses I am trying to build. There are only so many hours in my day and I can’t afford to just blast time away without focus. I’m working at transferring more responsibility to my teens for their education and am evaluating my focus for the blog. Along with this one is the desire to make sure that I am enjoying all of the work I am choosing to invest my time into (beyond the daily tasks of maintaining a home like laundry and cleaning the bathroom.)
2014 Bucket List Item 6: Become a Better Photographer and Photo Editor
While I have a point and shoot camera for me, I’d like to learn how to fully use all of its features. And, if hubby will allow me, I’d love to try out his DSLR camera. Finally, I want to get all of my photographs organized and then edited for posterity.
I could go on as there are other things I’d love to do (e.g. books to read and dishes to cook), but I’ll end there.
What are some of the things on your bucket list?
This post is linked up to the Middle School and High School Homeschool Bloggers link up.
Next week’s writing prompt for teens is “What would you do if you were locked inside a Wal-Mart overnight?”