Word of the Year: INTENTIONAL

Happy Hump Day, readers!

I hope your 2018 is off to a great start.

I had to pop in before the first of February to share my New Year's post.

At the end of the year, I went back and reread all my past New Years' posts and got super pumped up for 2018. (I really do love having this blog as a journal of my life.) Still feeling pumped, though my ambition didn't result in a timely blog post. Whoops!

You can read, in my New Year's post that never was, here from last year, that I really wanted to have a word to define 2017. I struggled to come up with a word last year, because I couldn't quite find the word to encompass my focus for the year. That being said, I had no problem picking a word this year and that word is INTENTIONAL.

This word came to me with quite a bit of clarity, I think because of the phase of life I'm in. It's a phase I'm really, really loving, but it's also a phase that feels a little like a crossroads. It's as if I'm up on the high dive, inching my toes to the edge, about to leap.

Side Note- Anyone else ever love this movie as a kid?

It's a nice spot to be. On the precipice of the next phase, but still able to enjoy the comfort of the board, and the beautiful view of what lies ahead. I'm on the verge of next steps particularly in the areas of career and family. The two, somewhat intertwined.

Having been a fund development professional for nearly as long as I was a teacher now, I'm starting to feel settled in. I've identified my strengths, passions, and a clear focus of where I want to head in my career. I have a view of the future ahead, but am in a good place to grow and learn in the meantime.

In terms of family, now married, Bryce and I are talking more concretely about the particulars of starting a family. If you'd asked me a few years ago, I'd have told you I'd be leaping to have a baby right now, this very minute. If you asked me today, I'd say we're thinking of starting a family in not the immediate future, but also the not so distant future. Again, it's nice to be up on the diving board, feeling a rush of the dive ahead: Motherhood and all the ups, downs, and in-betweens that come with it. It's always been my greatest dream, but for now I'm really happy dreaming of it, and borrowing some of the joys of it from friends who are new mamas. It's nice to embrace being selfish a little while longer and to have Millie as our one and only baby for the time being.

So where does "INTENTIONAL" come in?

These two areas discussed, career and family, are my biggest focus right now. They're intertwined. My career is of course a livelihood, but, it's also an independent side of me, and an area I seek to find fulfillment. Since leaving teaching, the passion I have for education has only continued to grow, and has been fueled with positivity as I've seen the really great work non-profits are doing to address educational issues here locally. I want to be a part of that. My ultimate career goal, at this point, is to use the fundraising skills I've developed in an organization focused on education. The two modalities I enjoy most in development are major gifts fundraising (ie: building relationships) and, what will probably come as no surprise to you, storytelling. Having found more of a laser focus and defined goal means that every decision I make in my career from this point on, needs to be driven by intention. The projects I tackle and create in my current position, the educational opportunities I take advantage of, and the missions I choose to support. It's an exciting place to be!

In terms of family, as I shared, we want to start a family in the not so distant future. That decision means the choices we are making now need to be guided by that. This covers all areas. When the time does come that I'm ready to become a mom, and Bryce a dad, I want for us to be at our very best. How do you define that, though? I think it encompasses all areas of life. I'll elaborate on a few. The first, and I think one of the most important, is finances. Kids are expensive. And yes, I realize there's never going to be a time where you feel 100% ready for anything in your life, but I want us to be in a place that we can feel confident and prepared for all the costs adding a bambino to the mix brings. Secondly, and I also think of high importance, is indulgence. You might be thinking, how exactly do financial readiness and indulgence work together? They work together if you have INTENTIONAL as your guiding word. When I say indulgence, I mean the selfish things we want to experience before kids. A trip to Italy is probably highest on my list at the moment! Once kids come, we know these indulgences like travel become a lot harder to justify, much less coordinate and execute. I want to be intentional that we use this time, just the 2 of us, to nurture our relationship and indulge some while we can. Finally, the third main area I want to be intentional when looking ahead to family, is health. Bryce and I have actually been talking a lot about this. Ideally, we both want to be in our best shape when the time comes that we want to start "trying." Let's face it, after pregnancy, it's only going to get harder to be fit, so you might as well try to start ahead versus behind. More importantly than the vanity side of being fit, I want to be healthy so I can best nourish a growing baby and later be in a position to model healthy habits to my little ones. I want to do everything I can to ensure my someday babes have a healthy mama! That being said, we're choosing to be much more intentional in our habits: cooking more, eating better, exercising daily, prioritizing sleep, and practicing self care.

This first month of the year has been really wonderful so far. I do feel that I, along with Bryce, have been living with more purpose. Being intentional has really felt good so far!

If you made it to the end, bravo! Heck, if you even made it here despite my absence of late, bravo to you, too!

Do you have a guiding principal or word for 2018?

What are your most pressing life goals?

Have a great day!