In 2019, I’m going back to one of my first loves: writing occasional blog posts about what’s going on in my life. My only goal is to reflect on each month and as it draws to a close, take note where my intentions and actions intersect. I’m calling this 12 part series, “The Art of Paying Attention.”
I’ll keep these updates brief. They are mostly just for my own accountability and contemplation. Taking inspiration from Emily P. Freeman’s “What I Learned” series I participated in a few years ago and the act of “soulful listening,” I know this exercise will be valuable for me. I hope you also find some inspiration of your own.
Each month this year, I am keeping my intentions (or goals) to no more than six or seven small but significant items that help me to live out what is most important in my life. Below are the intentions I set for June and a short note on how I found myself paying attention.
June turned out to be an interesting month with a somewhat sudden change of plans. We had planned to leave Fort Polk the last week of June and be away nearly all of July, but early in June, my 98 year old grandfather, began his final days of life. We left town much earlier than expected. Many of my plans and June goals fell by the wayside.
This post varies from the other months in that I plan to give just a short update on which goals were met and which ones had to be abandoned. Following will be a “camera roll” dump of photos to celebrate our month.
Day of Silence:
Planned for end of June–did not happen.
Read Three Books:
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
Organize + Purge Toys:
Had intentions of having Thomas, Mae, and Kate help me go through the toys they no longer use but want to keep/store and prepare them for our next move. This didn’t happen.
Plan Trip to Nearby Area:
This did not happen either. Instead we left Louisiana on Thursday, June 13 and spent the remainder of the month (plus the first part of July) in Tennessee and Georgia. I did, however, revamp our Louisiana bucket list of things to do and places to see this fall.
This goal was probably one of the most tangible and productive things I did. I went through my closet with a fine tooth comb. I sent in a giant ThredUP bag. I donated all of our kids school uniforms to the Fort Polk Thrift Store. And I listed all three of my ball gowns on Poshmark. Felt good to tackle this project.
Submit Article to Legacy Magazine:
Thankfully, I was on my A-game with this and had it completely finished and submitted in early June before we traveled. This was my second submission to Legacy and I can’t wait to share my article with the world when Volume V is out.
Please enjoy the slideshow of photos.
My “paying attention” reflections will be found at the end of this post.
- Life doesn’t always go according to plan. That’s okay. Just roll with it. While many plans or goals for this month did not get met, other, more important and meaningful things were going on. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.
- Six months is too long to go between trips back to see extended family. We were somewhat locked in with limited travel during the past school year. I’m grateful for plans to get back to TN and GA more frequently this fall.
- Goodbyes suck. It’s hard to say goodbye to dear friends knowing that it’s highly likely you won’t see them again. There is a sense of grief to that. There is also the reminder that it is only by investing in people and friendships that we have something so dear and wonderful to miss.
- I think I put a lot of “goals” on my June intentions list that would give me a somewhat “quick win” of accomplishment. August-May felt very chaotic and I never quite felt like I found my footing getting it all done. I just needed to reorder and reorganize my life in June to feel like I had some modicum of control. I know it’s a false sense of control, but doing small, tangible things like cleaning out a closet or donating a pile of uniforms and lightening our load feels good.
- I loved my Papaw and miss him dearly. At 98 years old, I knew he wouldn’t live forever. We were all prepared for his eventual death. I’ve thought about him a lot over these past few weeks since his passing. He was such a wonderful man who had his own priorities straight. He inspires me in many ways and I hope to make him proud of the way I am living my life. He always told us how proud he was of our family (serving the Lord by serving the Army).
- I really do love summer. Pool days, constant hangouts with friends, fishing, swimming, traveling, it’s all such a nice reprieve from the demands and routines of the school year. Every summer, I try to fill up on all of the good things. This month I really focused on my faith, my family, and having fun.