October 2016 goals

3 October 2016

So September was a strange month.

I think I’m a person with many skills, but being hospitable to strangers is not one of them. Close friends? No problem. But ask me to invite someone over I don’t really know, strike up a conversation with a neighbor I’ve never met, or small talk with the random person next to me at church? I pretty much break out in hives.

But for some reason, that got flipped on its head last month — instead of checking off the goals I’d set, September was like hospitality immersion therapy. In no particular order, we or I: went over to dinner at a neighbors’ house we’d never been to before, hosted guests two weekends, invited acquaintances over to dinner for the first time, put Articles Club out there on the blog and randomly met a girl who lives LITERALLY four doors down from me (hey Jackie!), brought food to friends who’d just had a baby, started back up for fall with our family group from church, went camping with friends, and had dinner with someone from our college’s alumni office.

I get that this list might sound wildly unimpressive to some of you, but for me, many of these things represent me (and John) radically extending ourselves. (I wish it weren’t so, but it’s true!) As a classic introvert married to a classic introvert, it’s easy to find excuses to stick close to my two favorites. My time is limited, and it can be hard to convince myself to use what precious little I have to do something that’s uncomfortable.

I’m not going to tell you that this sort of hospitality now comes naturally to me (it doesn’t). But I will say I feel marginally more comfortable with these sorts of situations — even a teensy bit empowered — and I definitely enjoyed our dinners once they were underway. In fact, a related idea for a 2017 goal popped into my head after one of our dinners that scares the bejeezus out of me… good thing I still have a few more months to contemplate whether or not I’ll make it official :)


Revisiting my goals for September:
Run once a week (I think we ran once…)
Plan well for and enjoy our camping trip (Yes!! Post coming soon!)
Add the final layer to June’s nursery so I can call it complete
Post my guide to the Triangle
Celebrate our four year wedding anniversary (Post here!)
Resurrect my nighttime routine now that June is sleeping in the nursery

October goals:
— Make plans for June’s baptism celebration
— Finalize our family Halloween costume (!)
— Host the fourth annual pumpkins and soup party
— Take our Christmas card photo (or at least set a date for our session with Nancy)
— Post my guide to the Triangle
— Finish our will (Is this really going to happen?? Only time will tell…)

As a reminder, here are my 2016 guideposts. If you’ve posted your goals somewhere, I’d love to see – or just drop them in the comments!

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October 3, 2016 8:09 am

Woohoo! The will! You’ve got this! :) I love the annual pumpkins and soup party and would love to start something similar, but it probably won’t happen this year.

I can definitely relate to feeling extended by putting yourself out there among strangers this past month too… we’ve done a lot of that lately to plug in and get to know our new community but it hasn’t been super comfortable or easy! Can’t wait to hear what new 2017 goal you’re contemplating! :)

My monthly goals: http://www.thevandykes.com/blog/october-2016-goals/

October 3, 2016 10:12 am

Hosting a pumpkins and soup party sounds like such a fun idea! I’ve been making homemade soup on a weekly basis lately as the weather has been cool and crisp in New England. :) My October goals are posted here: http://kylamary.com/2016/10/october-goals/

October 3, 2016 12:57 pm

Hi Em,

Good for you! I love all the rituals you have in your life and the fullness and happiness they bring!

Do you have any ideas for new family rituals for Christmas with June? I’m excited for our first Christmas with our little boy. We have so many rituals that I grew up with – but I’d love to start some new ones just for us – and you are always a source of great ideas and inspiration!

October 3, 2016 5:07 pm

More like wildly impressive–that’s a lot of social activity!! Looking forward to hearing about your goal idea when you come over this weekend and I ask for all the spoilers ;)

October 3, 2016 6:40 pm

Oh girl, I love your honesty about hospitality and putting yourself out there. I usually have to force myself to do those things too, and then always realize how wonderful it was. (A total “duh” from God. :D haha) I can’t wait to hear if your idea for 2017 materializes! ;)

My goals are over here! ;) http://dianakerr.com/october-goals-2016

October 3, 2016 8:16 pm

The sermon at my church on Sunday was about God growing us in ways that can be uncomfortable or pushing our boundaries. This sounds like one of those times for you but in a great way! I love connecting with Wheaton people whenever I get the chance. No matter if they work there or went there, chatting with them is always wonderful in all the similarities of a shared experience as well as the awe of the differences. Sounds like an awesome month!

October 4, 2016 9:36 am

Hooray for doing hard things. Actually after September (ran my first and possibly last half marathon) my life motto that has been written on my heart is “you can do hard things.”

I too wrote out my goals and posted that for the big wide world to see: https://piecesofpasson.wordpress.com/2016/10/01/october-2016-goals/

October 5, 2016 5:08 pm

Love it!! I love opening our home to guests for the weekend, but just “dinner at a neighbors house you’d never been before” has me breaking out in hives. But you did it and I bet you’re thankful you did. As an introvert as well I always find that’s the case for me when I step a bit outside of my comfort zone.
ps: A pumpkin and soup party!! that sounds so cozy and fun.
pps: we had been talking about our will for.ever. Finally did it and had it notarized and looked over by a friend that’s a judge. We actually found the bones of it online, and since my husband sees them all the time with his job, he said it was so similar to the ones people pay $$ for. Feels good for it to be done!

October 6, 2016 8:44 pm

Hi neighbor, I feel so honored by the shout out! As a fellow introvert I think that’s a very impressive list and it gave me flash backs to my anxiousness with joining you ladies for Articles Club. What a great decision that ended up being! I find that as long as I have ample decompressing time after, I have positive memories of all of the times I’ve made myself step out of my comfort zone. I’m glad they all ended up being positive experiences for you!

October 20, 2016 3:01 pm

Would you believe Scott and I just finalized our wills this month???? Don’t wait THAT long!