Husband and I got our family photos taken this weekend. It was so fun, since we have not had any photos since our 2010 wedding. We dressed simply, we acted like ourselves, and we enjoyed each others company in the midst of the Missouri fields. This relates substantially to what I’m about to tell you, because Life is a lot like photography. In order to be a great photographer, one must realize that every focal point is an opportunity to capture something memorable; to see beauty in all things. Each photo, whether of a field of purple flowers, a flock of colorful birds, or a snapshot of a homeless man under a bridge, can contribute to a point.
So, I’ve been thinking. (I know, you are probably extremely shocked by this fact. Some days I wish I could be one of those people who could shut off my brain and watch a football game…) I recently read a great book which helped me evaluate my core values. Studying management and leadership for the past seven years has given me a lot of opportunity to consider ‘core values’ as they relate to my work, but I never really considered mine in an organic sense. Maybe ‘ambition’, ‘power’, ‘wealth’, ‘control’, and ‘progress’ would have been the words I would have used if you asked me to define my core values. I mean, if I examined my life – I certainly could not disagree that those core values drove me to where I am today. Except, this time, I was more gentle with myself…I prayed and sought the Truth in finding who I really am. What I found surprised me.
I learned I am happiest when my activities and my actions center around the following:
But the most surprising and the most predominant of all: Contribution
Contribution. Wow. I never really considered that I have always desired to make a contribution until I went through this study. But, while others sought wealth, fame, or prestige…I simply wanted my actions to contribute to the betterment of the greater good. In other words, I want to make sure when I die the headstone reads more than just my name, date of birth, and date of death. I want to make a difference.
This means I and my lifestyle need to change (or improve…whichever….) and that includes this blog. I am seeking a more focused initiative – in life and in all that I do – so I can get to the root of my true happiess – the values I hold dear to my core. My main areas of focus for the upcoming year include:
- A simple lifestyle: Not just the ‘En Vogue minimalism’, but a true commitment to simplicity. This, I think, will help me to find my Source of peace and contentment.
- Paying close attention to income/expenses. The goal is to narrow the gap between the two (as it currently stands, expenses are winning)
- Health and Abundance. This means reducing my dependence on anything that does not contribute to being healthy and having true abundance (not always financial, by the way).
In relation, I’m hoping these focused areas will also make a contribution to YOU, my reader. Each post has got to come back to one or all of those three points, or it’s just a creepy online diary. I want this blog to contribute to making my life, my relationships, my community, and my world a better place but I also want it to contribute to YOUR life, YOUR relationships, YOUR community, and making YOUR world a better place.
So, welcome to “My Still Life”. Grab some coffee or a nice cup of tea. Snuggle up…and join me.