Friday, January 4, 2013

One Word for 2013: Renewal: Part 2
Yesterday I posted my one word for 2013: “renewal.” Now here are some specific areas in which I feel the need for renewal:
Writing. Although I began blogging this year, I have not made much time at all for indulging in my love of other types of creative writing. I have been promising myself every year that I would return to the revised draft of my long-ago NaNoWriMo novel, yet so far I haven’t made any further progress on it. This is something I really want to do for my own fulfillment. I don’t have any illusions about finding a professional, commercial publisher for it, although I’d like to try; I’m really thinking of looking into self-publishing, just so I can say I did it. And, since I’m not getting any younger, I’d love to have a workable draft finished before my next birthday in September. So I will make this public here: My first act of renewal will be to renew my zest for writing. And to help me get started, I've signed up for an online writing course.
Health and fitness. This is something everybody identifies with. Two years ago I had thyroid disease that really took a toll on me; last year I had a lingering virus and a fall and concussion. So I haven't been paying enough attention to exercising in a while. I’m reasonably healthy now but I need to concentrate on getting more fit and (hopefully) losing about 10 pounds. During the nice warm weather I find it pretty easy to go out and jog, but I get completely lost in the winter. So I need to find indoor exercises. And just this morning I went out and bought myself some pretty new workout wear, just to help get in the mood!
Return and recommitment to blogging. Last New Year’s Day I began this blog in a rush of enthusiasm. I was constantly looking for things to write about and managed to find quite a few. As weeks and months passed, I discovered a wealth of wonderful blogs and wonderful people blogging, and I really enjoyed reading and meeting all of them. I tackled the A-Z Challenge with enthusiasm. But in time I found that I was beginning to neglect both my own blog and those of others that I had enjoyed and signed up to follow. Yes, time does get scarce sometimes, but this year I want to form the habit of blogging at least once a week, as well as visiting other blogs at least once a day. I enjoy having this outlet for my thoughts, feelings, enthusiasms, and sorrows, and I don’t want to lose that.
Faith. I strongly believe that God saw me through the trials of these past years; I certainly called on Him often enough. I’ve found sustenance from attending Mass and being part of my church community, but I also want to explore and deepen my faith by learning more about exactly what faith is and how God’s presence is manifested in our lives. I finished up this year by reading The Seven-Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton and Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, both of which gave me a lot to think about. I plan to continue my reading in this area.
My love of learning. From advancing as a crocheter to returning to my passion for English history, I hope to spend this year constantly learning—one of the things I originally planned to focus on in this blog. I also want to learn to cook and bake more than I do rather than relying on the same recipes all the time. And who knows what other opportunities there may be to learn? I hope to stay open to them.
Being and becoming a more giving person. This is one area in which I feel I benefited from the experience of caregiving. Since caring for my mother, I feel as though I’ve opened up much more to the world and other people. I’m still shy and introverted, but now I think there are really things I can do within those limits to help others: the prayer shawl ministry I joined at church; the Christmas-caroling group, again at church, in which we visited nursing homes; and the day my husband and I spent working for Habitat for Humanity are just small examples.  I really believe that every one of us can do things to make life easier for those who need help.
• And of course maintaining and renewing my ties with family and friends.
Again, I wish all of you a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year, and may you achieve all of your own goals!



  1. Elaine! Wonderful post! Can I borrow some of this for my blog? I will give you credit ...

    1. Thank you, Kari, and yes, you can certainly use whatever you like. Let me know when you've posted!

  2. Very impressive list Elaine. I love how you've tied all your future actions into building on current ones. Quite a few of them can be joined as well (like your cooking and healthier living)(creative writing and blogging), etc. Looking forward to hear how things progress through the year and will be looking to you for inspiration!

  3. Great plans Elaine!! Hope you do all you want to do this year. And YES - we need to plan to have lunch - keep up the ties that got lost these past few years with our moms not doing well. Let's really really try.

  4. A good and ambitious list. I read that Merton book and have others if you would like to borrow them, some C.S. Lewis too. Surprised???
    Well, I always research all the phases of life.


  5. Feeling renewed just visiting. Love your blog title, heading, and what a curriculum vitae! Visiting from GBE 2. Best wishes with your ambitious list.

  6. You are inspiring me, Elaine! Thank you!

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