Choosing a word for the year and setting goals is fairly easy to do. Actually accomplishing them is a deliberate choice. “Today is yesterday’s tomorrow” type of mindset. Sometimes, I just want to lounge on the couch with my family and watch The Orville. But the things I want for myself won’t happen that way and then I’ll be a bit miffed when tomorrow rolls around.

Cultivate Health

I plan to try a variety of approaches to ease my IBS. First, is regular exercise. I added a set of exercises into our school day. We all do them together. My kids (slightly against their will) are helping me stay accountable.

Diet is another way to control IBS. I did some work last year identifying food triggers. Sometimes though it doesn’t matter what I eat. I hurt and just want to curl up in bed or stay in the bathroom for an hour. Life won’t let me do either right now. I wish I had a less busy schedule. This month I am experimenting with fasting. Eating less lowers the stress and inflammation in my digestive system. My goal is to work toward a 23:1 fast. I kept getting light-headed around the twenty hour mark and switched to a 20:4. I have less pain and other IBS issues on the days I stick to the fast. I thought fasting would be really hard. However, I am really motivated to stick with it since I physically have less pain and other issues.

My only other stifling health issue is anxiety. Some of that comes from being out in public and worrying over an IBS flare. Fasting has helped control the flares. Knowing that I won’t have an attack has intellectually helped me deal a little bit with anxiety. Unfortunately, there is a huge emotional response with anxiety. Once it drags me under the water it is hard to swim out. I think this one will take time to figure out but just getting my IBS attacks under control isn’t enough. I had hoped it would be.

Cultivate Home and Family

Home education has a tendency to occupy most of my day. The house just gets the basic cleaning but that isn’t really enough. It needs a thorough going through and deep cleaning in every room. I’ve cleaned out a little bit in the kitchen but not enough. Every little bit adds up so I’ll keep working at it. I had planned to try to decorate each room as I cleaned them out but now I’m not so sure. We’ve started talking about moving out of the neighborhood.

Cultivate Sacred

I am doing a devotional with my friend Camie over the next eight weeks or so. I was also recently sent an e-book on Proverbs from a reader to review as well. I like reading and working through devotionals or any sort of spiritual books. My favorite right now is a collection of sacred poetry from around the world. I’ve done much better over the past few months with creating time for personal spiritual practices and prayer and I’d just like to maintain that for now. Now that I work on weekends church is out for me. I do want to go on more hikes though and spend time in nature away from town. If I can continue to control my IBS then that may be a possibility for me again. Even if it is just a short walk to a park bench or to the Elkhorn near our home. I feel closer to the Divine Source outside than in church anyway.

Cultivate Learning

I used to study and practice herbology. I loved it. I even taught a couple of classes. All of my books are gone (thanks so much Dad) but I found a few at the library book sake that I used to own. Maybe this spring I can plant a few pots and grow something useful. Or maybe not, kinda depends on the moving situation. But I do have a nice notebook and plan to start taking notes on plants that are helpful with IBS. I used to make tinctures, teas, salts, soaps, balms, and such. I would enjoy doing so again.

Cultivate Creating

I still enjoy knitting. I’d like to learn to make socks or gloves. I want to make some more blankets. Right now I am using up some of the yarns I have making potholders and other little things. I actually need more dish cloths and I even have the yarn to make those on hand! So far I’ve been fairly successful working on my knitting most evenings. But sometimes I read instead. I should bring the knitting downstairs and watch The Orville with my family while knitting.