Monday, April 2, 2012

spark! Challenge (continued)

Birthdays, like the days before a new year, are a great time for reflection and planning for the future. I’ll be the first to admit I get really into birthdays- especially mine- but turning 29 isn’t doing anything for me. It’s such a boring number! Luckily, I have my self-imposed monthly challenges to keep me busy and to entertain me.

I have decided to carry the “spark!” over to April because I feel things are just starting. Things are moving along quite nicely and I can’t wait to share good news soon. (I’ve got to admit though that sometimes I feel so impatient but I know things could be worse if I didn’t have focus.)

“Spark is finding your motivation, shining a light on your interests. Spark is discovering what inspires you and being creative. Spark is doing what you love, lighting your passion.  Spark is being a light to others, helping one another to achieve the dreams we’ve set out to do.”

I celebrated 3 years at work in February. That’s the longest I’ve stayed at one job. Usually during my job anniversaries and my birthdays, I have a desire to leave. This year has been different. I think having all these goals to work on has made me feel like I’m on track towards something, not just going through the motions of life. Of course, things could be better but a lot of people and businesses are going through similar situations in this unstable economy. But it’s a challenge I’m willing to take on since I do want to see the company grow and reach its full potential. Plus, my co-workers (past and present) have been sources of support and inspiration and motivation and festive moments. They’ve also become friends.

As of March 31st, I’ve already volunteered 64 hours! That’s more than halfway to my goal. I’m quite proud. I got to be a Volunteer Leader for the Children’s Book Bank throughout March. As tired as I was going there every night after a long day at work, I always felt energized afterwards. I also tried out new volunteer opportunities- Dill Pickle Club, Potluck in the Park, Family Write Night at an elementary school, and (again) with Bikes 4 Humanity.

I’m also really proud of actually going to the gym more. I can do better with what I eat but I’ve seen improvements in my weight loss goal. Out of everything, I feel like this is the one thing I have the most control over.

I found it difficult to come up with content for “The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer” and “Library Hopping” but, at least, with the latter, I was able to write more than one post. But I’m not giving up. I think I just need to actually write more of my own stuff. I keep trying to busy myself with stuff that I just feel too overwhelmed.

To free up some time, I decided to reevaluate my reading challenges.

·         Newbery- Postponed for the rest of the year- although I want to reread the titles I remember having read as a kid but need to refresh my memory on for it to count when I start it up again- By end of June (it’s only 3 books)
·         Caldecott- Finish by end of June
·         Dr. Seuss- Finish by end of June
·         A to Z Children’s Picture Book Series- by end of June

Reading is always going to be part of my life so it’s not like I can cut it out completely- even if I wanted to! I also set deadlines so there’s actually a challenge.

I also checked off some things that I kept postponing. I got an eye exam (although not the extensive kind I know I should get). I renewed my lease so I don’t have to worry about moving on top of everything else. I finally did my taxes so that’s a relief!

For April, I’m going to continue doing the things that have worked for me. I’m also excited about all the things that are coming up- like World Book Night on the 23rd, where I’ll get to share one of my favorite books with others.

I hope everyone is continuing to work on their goals, as well. I know things can seem overwhelming at times but as they say: every journey begins with a single step. A single spark can ignite a fire that brightens up the world.   

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