I think I LOVE the beginning of a new school year as much as I LOVE the beginning of a new calendar year. I'm a planner and a detail girl, so resolutions and goals motivate me. I know it's a few weeks away, but over the last few days, I've thought of a few things I want to do during those 6 hours a day when my kids are at school.
Here are a few...
1. Go through boxes from my parents' house. My parents were savers. (I'm refraining from using the word hoarders here, but it was borderline hoarding, in my opinion...not bad enough to be on the TV show, but bad enough to make my head spin when we had to sift through all of it.) We got rid of a lot of things, and shredded more paper than I thought humanly possible, but I didn't have time to go through some of the things in as much detail as they deserved. I kept everything that was handwritten by either of my parents (letters, cards, recipes, song lyrics.) I kept all the pictures. And I kept everything that was handmade. My mom was a quilter and a crafter, but not always a finisher, so there are a lot of unfinished pieces. I now have four boxes of things and plenty of time to look through them. So this fall, I'm going to see what's in there. Hopefully, I'll be able to scan some things, throw some things away, forward things onto better homes, and weed out a few unnecessary items. My goal is to get it down to no more than one box and to know exactly what's in that one box.
2. Learn to play the ukulele. My mom had two ukuleles that we found in my dad's house when he passed away. I sent one to my brother in California and we have the other one here. This summer, Mack found a toy guitar at his cousin's house and handed it to me and said, "Here, this is a Hawaiian thing, isn't it? Will you show me how to play it?" (ugh...) I am a serious disgrace to my culture. I know nothing about Hawaiian anythings...especially playing the ukulele. (I didn't even know how to pronounce the word correctly until JANUARY.) But, when Mack handed it to me, and I held it, I remembered some experience years ago from my childhood when one of my uncles taught me a couple of chords. I remember being able to play some little song at some point in my life. At that moment, I thought that I really should try and relearn that skill. I'm not sure I'll be able to entertain at parties, but hopefully by the end of the school year, I'll at least be able to play that song from my childhood.
3. READ! I LOVE to read!! I have a stack of books on my nightstand that has been beckoning me for months...some of them YEARS! And every time I find another one, I add it to the stack. I have guilt about all the books I've missed. So, I'm committing right now to read for at least 30 minutes everyday during the school year. That's a reasonable goal. And my hope is that I'll be so intrigued and uplifted by some of those books, that 30 minutes will turn into an hour or more! And hopefully by next May, I'll be a better person with a smaller stack of books.
4. Read the Ensign every month. I don't know why it is that after 17 years I still cannot manage to pick up this magazine and read it on a regular basis. There have been times in my life when I've been compelled to pick it up and it has seemed as though it was written just for me. Every article had some relevance to something in my life. There has never been a time when I haven't enjoyed reading it. And what if EVERY month, that magazine has actually been written just for me and I've missed it?? Yikes! I know I can't go back and read all the past issues that I've missed, but from here forward, I'm not going to let that Ensign gather dust anymore. I'm going to become as familiar with it as I am with O Magazine.
5. Learn the lyrics to Walk This Way. The other day, I was driving home and this song came on my MP3. I have listened to it for years, but it's so fast that I've never bothered to learn more than just the chorus. So, I thought, I should figure out what Steven Tyler is actually singing. That way, if I ever find myself at an Aerosmith concert or if I have the opportunity to participate in a karaoke contest, I'll be ready!
There are a few other things I want to do with my time. I'm so looking forward to being back at Institute on Monday mornings again, and regularly attending the Temple. And I have a punch pass to the Aquatic Center in town so I can add a few Water Aerobics classes to my week. Daily walks, scriptures, prayer, visiting with friends are all things I want to continue from last year. And I'm sure there will be things that I'm not expecting that I'll want to fit in, too. Mostly what I want is to be quiet enough to hear the voice of the Spirit often, and to act quickly on what I hear. I know there are great opportunities for me to learn and to serve and I definitely don't want to miss any of those! Hopefully there will be as much learning and growing happening for me at home as there will be for my children at school.