1. Connecting with PEOPLE!
I've met so many people in the few months we've lived in Birmingham. More, probably, than I met the entire time I lived in Utah. Most of them are really interesting. And for some reason, the ones here ALL like to talk!...or maybe I just never knew how to ask the right questions before. There's a way to connect with everyone, you know? If I ask enough questions and listen well enough to the answers, I can find something in common with everyone. We all can. There are people in my ward that I want to know better. There are people in my family who need me to stop being in constant motion and listen to them more often. There are missionaries and teenagers and VTing sisters and sometimes even complete strangers who just want someone to talk to and connect with. And this year I want to be more available for those connections.
This year, I'm delegating as many of the planning and administrative duties in my YW calling to my counselors so I can TALK TO THE GIRLS! Holy cow, it's been so frustrating to have had SO many interactions with this handful of girls and yet still come home from a thing and realize I've barely said any words directly to them. The past three months have been filled with way too much setting up and planning and not enough sitting down and making eye contact with people.
I've also decided that I need to REMEMBER people more. I like thoughtful people who call me when I'm sad (well, text me actually cuz I hate to talk on the phone.) I like when people ask me how I'm doing when they haven't seen me in awhile. And I really like when people remember my birthday. It occurred to me over Christmas break that maybe everyone likes that stuff.
So I found a space in my planner to write down every single birthday I want to acknowledge this year. I've reorganized and restocked all my birthday, thank you and just because cards. And this year, I'm going to just CONNECT thoughtfully, enthusiastically and often.
2. Taking PICTURES.
I love taking pictures! Like, I seriously LOVE it! I love driving around hunting for beautiful things. I love finding them in unexpected places. And I love capturing them and keeping them forever. While we were in Cache Valley on our morning photo shoots, Megan and I decided that we were going to come home and carry our cameras everywhere with us and take at least one picture every single day. Well, we haven't. And I feel the void. She does, too. That's going to change...
3. WRITING stuff down (journaling, blogging and social media)
Everyone already knows that I have a crazy obsession with documentation. I am a compulsive hoarder of pictures, memories and words. And the more days that pass when I haven't made time to write something down somewhere, the easier it is to tell myself that there's too much I've missed and I should just not bother. And then there's another void in my life. The void I feel when I'm not writing and remembering is even bigger than the void I feel when I'm not taking pictures. Nothing fills that.
This year, I've deleted a few apps, purged a few unnecessary habits and I'm replacing them with a handful of intentional things that will hopefully make me more balanced, more effective, and more influential in good ways. I'm not going to start anything new. I'm just going to pick up all those things I've put down for way too long.
So, be patient while my fingers try to remember how to type again and while my photographer eyes learn to readjust and find beautiful things not just in Utah, but here in Alabama.