Because I’m gonna be so HAPPY when I do ’em!!!!

This might be my favourite time of year because there are few things more beautiful to me than a blank slate. Tabula rasa! With God, anything is possible.
As I have read over my journals, particularly the ones from after I became a mother, there have been two things that I have consistently told myself and known that I needed to do. Two things which, when I DO do them, life runs more smoothly, I have more TIME, I think more clearly and I have more peace of mind. Wow, not too shabby eh?  You’d wonder why someone would NOT employ these two wondrous things in their life.
In my journals, and out loud, I have said these two things to myself over and over. And my husband has said them to me over and over. I’m tired of being an idiot.

If I truly want to accomplish the goals I have in my life, I MUST do at least, these TWO things.  END OF STORY.
1. Start and finish every day in prayer.
(Ideally, morning prayers in bed, unite with Mass, make my offering.
At breakfast, read the Mass and In Conversation With God.
Then, have MY 15 minute conversation with God.
At night, an examination of my conscience and another chat with God. )

This keeps me aware of God’s presence in my life, of beautiful coincidences and synchronicities, intuitions of other’s feelings; my brain just feels like I’ve gotten the high octane rather than sludge.
2. Be in bed by 11:30 every night.
Lloyd thinks it should be 11:00. Not sure it’s long enough. All you moms out there will understand this one. Although Meaghan’s bed time begins at 7:00, by the time the pajamas are put on, toys are picked up, teeth are brushed, teeth are brushed properly this time, flossing is done, kisses are given out, water with ice is fetched, water is knocked over, water is fetched again, the cat is cuddled against his will, bandaids are applied from cat scratches, a chapter of Narnia is read with running commentary, prayers are said, cuddles are had and extended on purpose because they’re trying to stay up as late as possible and the last chats of the day are on the table, it’s at least 8:00. If you’re lucky.

Then the bathroom antics start.

So I’m looking for that much needed me time that home schooling moms don’t get much of.  This one MAY change but only DOWN to 11:00.  We’ll see how it goes.

So those are my top TWO Resolutions. Now I guess some folks might have thought “Well, isn’t winning the 2013 World Championship of Public Speaking going to be one of your resolutions?”

And that would be a fair question seeing as that is the supposed focus of this blog.

And I would have to answer “No, it’s not because that particular thing is out of my control.”
However, if I want to get there, I need to act like a champion and train like a champion and that includes these two very important things that help me regulate and improve my life!  More importantly, these two things make me a better human being and that is reason enough to do anything.
So I am putting all these things out there for accountability. Any one of you can call me on any of these things at any time.

My other resolutions are:

3. Eliminate profanity.
Yes folks, I have a nasty sailor’s mouth and being a Christian hasn’t done all that much to curtail it. Neither has being a mother.
Despite having been a writer for most of my life and a public speaker in some way or another for many years and concentratedly for 4, I have failed to truly appreciate and celebrate language, our most powerful tool. Here are some things I read from my Sept. 2009 journal yesterday about the sublime writer, speaker and philosopher, G.K. Chesterton:
“Of particular interest to me, he spoke about the importance of language, that it is not scientific and infallible but artistic and subject to decay if it is not from God. “IS” is the word we use to describe something else. For example, ‘the sky is blue’ or ‘Meaghan is beautiful’. But we use “IS” as the word to help describe the 1st word. One word describes another but never quite translates

The Chesterton biographer Lindquist said that God is “IS”.  Oh that made me laugh.  On the mountain, he said “I AM”. If language is from God, it is GREAT. If it’s not, what’s the point? And I thought of my disgusting language yesterday and realize what a hypocrite I am.
So I sat down to my devotional today and what is the first thing it says? “The gift of speech comes to us from God. It should not be used in a detrimental way.” Think someone might be speaking to you Paula?”
Re-reading that was like having a bucket of cold water thrown in my face.

I believe I’m awake now.

My next resolution is:

4. Make my home more cheerful.
As the mother of this home, I am the one who controls the emotional temperature and I need to take that responsibility seriously. By nature I am a serious person, punctuated by hard core, fun, off-beat hilarity- somewhat bi-polar, if you will. It’s not hard to smile more often and deliberately TRY to lighten my mood and the mood of my home.  It just feels really WEIRD to smile when you don’t necessarily mean it…. but what’s that old adage? “Fake it till ya make it.”  My family deserves it.
5. Exercise regularly and eat better.
Me and everyone else on the planet. I used to have a pretty strong body and then I quit smoking, gained 40 pounds and got lazy, had a kid, gained 20 more, lost 20 and now I’m still here with that blasted smoking weight. I miss the freedom of being able to move my body the way I used to. I want that back. I want to do gymnastics with my daughter.
6. Create the best speech I can.

This is where that World Championship thingy figures in.  The first 5 resolutions make this one more possible.  I have to be the best I can be to create the speech of my life.  And whether or not I win is irrelevant.  Being the best I can be is my JOB.  End of story.

I started this blog because I wanted to be accountable for what I was doing regarding going for the World Championship of Public Speaking.  This blog has magnificently morphed into something much bigger than that.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still want it folks, but I want those first 5 things first because they are much more important.

So here I am again, putting it out there, wanting to be held accountable.  My goals are on The Giant Whiteboard in my bedroom and I will also post them in the bathroom and the kitchen so they are drilled into my head.

Happy New Year!

I'm going to do this if it kills me.

I’m going to do this if it kills me.

Close up.

Close up.

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