Saturday, July 22, 2017

When your goals change. . .

Doing the monthly book goal reading program with my daughters has been such a rewarding experience. I highly suggest it as a way to encourage yourself to read more, read more widely, connect with your children, and to practice self-discipline. However, there are many good goals in life, and there is a season for all of them. As Scripture says in Ecclesiastes 3 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:" (NIV). I like to set goals in life, but my highest goal is to be sensitive to God's leading in all things and live according to my priorities. I feel like I am heading into a very busy time of life where reading outside of my area of research for my dissertation will need to be limited. I have finished my first year of coursework for my doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology. I am beginning year two with an intense focus on finishing my internship hours of which I have very few. After that, I must pursue my dissertation research full force. This is on top of caring for my large family of nine children and a full time job as a second grade teacher. I have the help of my husband and oldest daughters, but my oldest two are in a band that is becoming busy with shows and traveling, and my husband works a lot to help them. This sucks the energy out of him (he has fibromyalgia) along with all the other care-taking he does with our large family. I say all that only to say this--I must pare down my life to the highest priorities for this season, so I will be stepping out of doing the monthly reading program full force as is. Do I still want to share the reading experience with my daughters? Yes, as I have opportunity to read, and as they share what they are reading with me. Two of my daughters read all the time; I will try to ask about their reading lives. Will I still seek to sneak in a fun book now and then? Yes, probably, for my own sanity's sake! Haha! But I must relieve myself of the overload my brain experiences when I try to do too much and have too many areas of focus. I must conserve mental strength, so I am rewriting my reading goals for the rest of the year. My new monthly book goal will be to read at least one book and one article a month related to my possible dissertation topic, and then if I find a book for fun, sneak it in as I have time, using it as a needed rest or "brain break." This still keeps me reading with my children, but helps me keep my priorities in check.

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