As I said yesterday, the kids are at school, and I am alone. I certainly love to be alone. When my kids went to visit their grandparents this summer for a day and night, I spent entire days completely alone and never went anywhere. If you ask me what an ideal day is, in my book, it's a day to myself. Call me weird, but I like it. Now, more than a day, no thank you! I'd go crazy. But having a day to think, clean, read my Bible, pray, blog, write - well, I think that's beyond fantastic.
So, my obvious first goal for the school year is writing. As I stated before, I have started my first novel. Who knows why I am writing it. Mainly for myself, I think. It's a place I can go and release some things I've carried in my heart for so long but under complete anonymity of a character. It's a good opportunity for me to find out if I can create a character, form a plot line, carry it throughout the length of a novel, create drama and conflict, and keep a reader interested. Who knows what will happen, but I will finish the novel within this school year. And when I am all finished, I will decide what to do with it.
Also in terms of writing come the contests I am entering. All the contests have cash prizes for first, second, and third places. The first place stories or pieces might be published in literary magazine. But there are two contests that will put up your submitted work before a committee of writers' agents for consideration of representation if you are in the top ten of submissions. My goal is to fall in that ten of one of those. And I would love to take first place in one of the eight or so contests I have chosen to enter. This is the only one of my goals that I truly have no control over the outcome. I can write my best and do what I do, but I can't control how well other people write or if my piece is liked or accepted by its reader. I just know there is a niche out there for me, and I am ready to get my name out there.
I also have the strong desire to get myself back into shape. I feel awful here lately. I have this extra ten on top of the other ten I wanted to lose. It seems like every fall I do the same thing - diet. But this fall, I want to really get back into exercising and working my muscles. So this morning I began moving my body again. I walked and ran a little for a total of three miles. And I sweat like a field hand in the blazing July sun. Then I did some leg work with my stability ball. These are the things I used to do several times a week, and I have just completely stopped all physical activity in the past year. The whole time I was working on my legs, I kept thinking, "Oh, wow. No wonder I was skinnier back then." I know tomorrow I will hurt in places I haven't hurt in years, but I am ready to feel better. I am ready to have more energy. And my goal is to drop this extra 20 - 25 pounds I have on my frame. And if that wouldn't make me feel better, then I just don't know what would.
My last goal is one I've been working on for nine years now - reading the entire Word of God. I have read the New Testament, and I have read probably half of the Old Testament. And now it's time to finish it all! I want to read the parts I haven't read yet. I want to be able to say that I have read the whole thing. I wished I had started at the beginning and read all the way through, but that would be entirely too predictable for me. I want to know what God considered important to carry throughout generation to generation. I just read Jonah this morning (thanks to my friend Erika for mentioning in her blog post a couple of weeks ago!) and it was very thought-provoking. I used to wonder why even bother with the Old Testament and think it was not applicable to modern life. But the more I read, the more I discover that there is always a lesson to be gleamed from the Word of God. Always. And I want to take it all in.
Okay - so as you can see, I've got big plans. Big plans for me! And if I can manage to get all this done in between checking my emails, cleaning my toilets, and looking at strangers' pictures on Facebook, well, I'll be one happy stay-at-home mom!!!