A native proverb says each soul is a house with four rooms: intellectual, spiritual, physical and social. To live a balanced life, we need to spend some time in each room every day. There is a similar scripture--Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
Every January our family gathers for an evening of goal setting. Basing our goals upon the scriptures we have the four areas of focus—
And in favor with God (spiritual)
And man (social)
And then we add to the scriptures by including
And the ominous Other
On the designated night, one by one, we take turns facing the giant 2x3 white board where we’ve written our goals. Larry, the keeper and administrator of the goals, used to keep this board in his closet where it only saw the light of day once a year (actually, it never saw daylight since we have our annual goal accounting on a winter’s night) Since we were generally unsuccessful meeting (or even remembering) our goals, we’ve since moved the board to the kitchen, where it sits propped up against the wall, mocking or encouraging us, depending on how we’re feeling about our successes (or failures.) Anyone visiting our kitchen can see our goals. This can be a little awkward when we’re partying and anyone can see e abolish sweets on our board while we’re inhaling cake, or when Billy Bob comes over and sees be nice to Billy Bob as clear as day.
Is this goal exposure bravery or stupidity? I’m not sure. But in a spirit of sharing, or rash exposure—here’s my accounting of last year’s goals.
Intellectual: Learn digital photography. I did this, in fact with my new photo shop computer program, I’m taking this goal a notch higher.
Physical: Eat only healthy foods 6 days a week. I’m sure I ate plenty of healthy food 6 days a week, but I ate a lot of other food (food being a relative word) as well.
Spiritual: Read the New Testament. I did this.
Social: Using my new photography knowhow, make a memory book for my dad’s birthday. With the tutoring of my photographer daughter, I did this. It’s a beautiful book.
Financial: Market novel twenty times or get a publishing contract. Since I decided to self publish, I ditched the publishing contract idea and marketed my book way more than twenty times. I’m still learning marketing.
Other: Organize every cupboard, drawer and closet. I did not do this, but I did buy an organizational system for my closet, put it to use and sometimes my closet looks like a million bucks. I took a giant cork board, covered it in silky fabric and lace and made a place to hang my jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets and ear rings hang on it as well as one of my favorite quotes And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. It makes me happy every time I look at it.
And so what did I learn this year (other than digital photography?) I learned that I can organize and control my own closet and that trying to maintain organization and control over space and events that I share with others is futile and frustrating. It’s really best to focus on what I can do, what I can offer and bring to the world and let go of the dreams and aspirations that hinge on someone or something else. Take pride and pleasure in my own efforts and contributions and appreciate what may or may not come back my way.
And this is true of more than just closets, drawers and diets.