Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back-To-School Resolutions

The girls woke up early. They looked stylish in their new duds. And they headed out the door eagerly, ready to tackle a new school year.

I try and get the girls to set goals, in whatever they do...whether in sports or relationships or their spirituality or academics.

With school, of course, it's to always work hard and, in doing so, get the highest grades they can. They both have always excelled in school and are both very organized (much more than I ever was!), so it's usually not too much of a challenge. This year, though, McKenna is taking AP History, English, Algebra, and Chemistry and she will have a full load of work (she also happens to be involved in lots of extracurricular activities, so it's an extra challenge for her); I'm hoping she doesn't get too overwhelmed. I think Delaney will be in good shape, although she told me she is worried about Honors Science this year (still, she has yet to get a B on a report card so I'll have to see it to believe it!).

To do well, though, you must want to do well. So, setting goals and expecting good things from yourself is something we really stress in our home.

And while the girls head off to a new school year, it gives me a chance to lock and load for a new year for myself (and for Sydney, since she stays at home with me). What goals do I have for the two of us? What goals do I have for myself?

Let's see...

* I want to get more in-gear with my professional writing. I tend to slack off some in the Summer and I have also lost a couple of contacts with publications I was writing for before, so my goal is to improve my writing credits during the year. I'm off to a good start with a big article I have due for a national parenting magazine in September. I'm also working on a couple of book projects that I'm excited about!

* I want to start speaking more at writing conferences and to writing groups. I'm scheduled to speak this weekend in Vicksburg at the Mississippi Writers Guild, and I want to do more of that!

* I want to read more, both for pleasure and for my own personal learning. I have done a lot of reading over the Summer (and am going to share what I've read in a post sometime soon) and want to continue doing that.

* I want to get Sydney reading also. She and I will start having what I call "Mommy School" this year and we will work to get her reading (she'll go into kindergarten next year). She knows all of her letters and her sounds; just gotta put her knowledge together. (She brought a pile of books to me the other day and said, "Mom, I've got to learn to read." So I guess it's time to do that!) We'll also work on math skills and other such stuff.

* I want to do some sort of regular exercise activity. I had planned on doing some walking or running each week, but my brother (who is the most healthy person I know and is nationally recognized as a strength conditioning expert--so he should know!) gave me some advice on exercises I can do in the home that will get me in better shape. Now that I'm almost 40, my body seems to get flabbier and flabbier... and I want to get rid of some of that flab!

* I want to spend more time on spiritual pursuits. This means that my daily schedule needs to include prayer and quiet time and journaling and reading; those things are on my "to do" list but, sadly, often get thrown by the side of the road first when life gets busy. I need to make them more of a priority.

* I want to get all of my Summer pictures ordered, organized, and in some sort of scrapbook/ photo album system. I have more than 700 (yes, 700!) photos in my shopping cart at dotphoto and I have plans for doing a couple of mini albums and getting caught up with some scrapbook pages. (I have not done a scrapbook page in more than two months, so I'm just itching to get back into it!)

* I will continue to succumb to my daily at-home obsessions--reading blogs about my beloved Crimson Tide (as I count down the days until opening kickoff--yes, less than 20 days away now!! Yay!!), watching at least one DVR-ed episode of "Monk" or "Pscyh" or "The Closer," and snacking a little bit too much. But I will try and cut back on them some, so that I can accomplish all of those other things on my list I've already mentioned above!

* I will try and be better about keeping the house in order. I will keep clothes washed, floors vacuumed, and meals cooked...but, honestly, those are not #1 on my list of priorities. Maybe they should be, but really...

* I will totally appreciate the time I have with Sydney this year. She will be in kindergarten next year, so I want to enjoy these last "full time" months I will have with her. With a daughter who is now a junior (that's even hard for me to say or believe...a Junior!!! wow!!!) and another who is smack dab in the middle of middle school (and looking more like a teenager everyday!), I know how quickly the time passes. So, I will hug my sweet Scout a lot this year!

* I will enjoy everything that goes along with my daughters being in school. That means enjoying football games, and talking with them about boys, and getting excited about dances, and taking an interest in their classes, and enjoying their friends. They are only 12 and 16 once, and those are good times!

It's hard to believe that Summer is over, but I will treasure my memories of the last three months and all the good times we had...and will now dive into Fall (although it will feel like summer here in the South until October!) and all of the fun things that come along with it!

(Here are McKenna and Delaney this morning as they got ready for their first day...

I think they both looked so cute. But, of course, I'm biased!)


Kingcover said...

I HATE making lists or setting goals! I can see why some people do like to do that because they feel it keeps them on track with things but I also strongly believe they can be counterproductive at times simply because you spend too much time and energy ONLY concentrating achieving the things on your list and keeping to those boundaries that when something outside of the box comes along you normally say no to it in favour of getting your list completed thus missing out on something which could have been more beneficial to you than the listed item. It's the case of the proverbial ostrich sticking its head in the sand (and yes I know they don't actually do that, lol) - it's only goal is to find a soft patch of sand and bury it's head without thinking a crab might be waiting to bite it on its big nostril ;-)

Stacy said...

hey girl hope your all ready for the kids to go to school i am working on it!!!

hippochick said...

Back to school was a time for me to set goals also since the girls and Jim all went back together. I should look at my life and set some goals for myself too.

One thing that I have in common with you is the spiritual growth. Like you, I have the best intentions, but many days my quiet time just gets overlooked. I'm working on it though.

I loved this post (as is usual for me). I'm impressed with the writing you do and your intentions to do more. Good luck with that.

It is already beginning to feel like Fall here. I hate it. Summer is my favorite season and I hate to see it go.

Okay, enough. Have a great rest of the week.

~hippo hugs~

Adrienne said...

We do the same thing with setting goals. It's a great time to rethink everything.

Corey said...

such great ideas and advice in this post Cheryl!

Kingcover said...

Must be a womanly thing to set goals then. Hahahaha :-P

Cheryl Wray said...

King--I am WITH you on that one! If I'm to be honest, I rarely stick with my goals too well. I have good intentions, but I am easily distracted! :-)

Stacy--I have enjoyed the first day with them gone and it looks like they had a good day too!

Hippo--We actually have been having cooler weather around here, amazingly. It's been like 85 degrees the last couple of days and I didn't even turn on the AC today. Crazy! But it will get hot again soon...

Adrienne--I think it's a great time to get refocused.


Cheryl Wray said...

Kingc again--Ha ha!!--yep we women like to make it look like WE know what we're talking about and that we have it all together!

Sheila said...

Great post and food for thought. Now if only I could find that list I made last

Gin said...

Great post, Cheryl, and your girls look like they are ready.

Nnairda's said...

You are so organized and focus. Me...well let's just say that our goal is to make it to school on time each day without forgeting something. So far, the third day-- we are doing good.

The girls look ready to start their. Have fun reaching your goals!


Anonymous said...

mommy school sounds a lot like home school. it seems that all of us with children home school them all before and after they start public school. so why do so many people think home schooling is a bad thing. aka my parents. it is something we all do any way. even when the kids are in school we still are involved and have to help.
(soap box)

bob bob

Connie said...

Can you do all of those things for me too? I so needed some gumption to do the unfun (is that a word?) things.

Monogram Queen said...

Tell Mckenna i'm stealing those shoes! They both look adorable!
Your goals are very admirable. You can do it Cheryl (& Scout!)

hippochick said...

They look adorable. I ditto Monogram on the shoes. I like both pair.

Did Sydney get something new to stay home in? LOL

~hippo hugs~

Linda said...

I commend you dear girl for getting your intentions on paper. I share a few of the same ones...spiritual pursuits, get back into my writing mode, spend more time on photography. things like that. Life is busy and sometimes we set them aside. And no your house should not come first. Your family should, a little dust isn't going to hurt anything. Your not taking the time for that extra minute with your girls will....hehehee this coming from a girl who vacuums and dusts daily mind you, but I don't have kids at home any more...Its just me and the dogs and I promise, I spend quality time in the backyard every evening with my little ones.

I also want to say I love how you encourage your girls...It is awesome, they are wonderful girls and will grow into incredble women because of the kind of mother you are. Awesome. Love and hugs and thanks for the comment on my blog.

Kathy said...

Your girls look adorable!

I need to set some goals for myself too.

I am always putting things off.

I feel like Scarlett O'Hara. (I'll think about that tomorrow!) LOL!

Cheryl said...

Oh girl! I have a pair of shoes like the red polka dotted ones, exept mine are black and white! Don't tell me this is your little girls! They look so big and grown up. They have grown up since we have been blogging. I know you are enjoying these beautiful girls. My daughter is a senior this year. We have spent the summer together at the lake. I really enjoyed my time with her. My son thinks he is to old for Mom now. I have really worried about him. I think I am ready to go back to the poop in the diaper and vomit on me in public ages! I am not handling this growing up thing well at all girlfriend!! Thanks for stopping by. Tell the girls I think they are just to darn cute!!

Babydoll said...

Good Luck with all of your goals and your writing!! I think that is so neat. :)

Auburn Kat said...

I really need to figure out how to get back in to shape. For some reason I just can't find the motivation to get going.

Susie Q said...

Thye DO look cute but then, so is their Mom! Great genes! : ) Love those smiles.
Grace has several goals this year and she announced this am that she had yet to goof them up! *Her words*
Goof up? It was only the 2nd day!!
We will see what happens on day 3! : )

Have a wonderful school year sweet girls!!