Monday, January 5, 2009

Thinking back on 2008

I like thinking back on the year that has gone by and pondering what I have learnt, what I would like to take forward with me into the next year, and what I want to leave behind. Here are some of my reflections on my life journey with Matt in 2009. They are in no particular order of importance.

*Matt understands more than I think – so I must be careful not to underestimate him.

*Matt is responsible for his own learning, and he is eager to live up to that responsibility. I can introduce him to new things and ideas, but I can’t force him to learn. I create opportunities and environments for him to discover but I can’t make him explore. I am learning not to judge his learning ability by what I see. Often I think he hasn’t taken something in and then he surprises me by showing me that he understood all along.

*Matt’s life and his development can become a bit all consuming and I could spend all my time focused on Matt. But that is not healthy for me, my marriage, or my friendships. As I am finding peace with Matt’s syndrome and my life is settling back to normal, I am seeing that I have been so focused on Matt that I have left gaps in other areas of my life that I value. I am learning that I have to intentional about giving time to those other parts of my life otherwise it will never happen.

*I’ve learnt to celebrate the small steps. This has been such a powerful weapon against impatience and despair.

*It is good to ask for help. Friends don’t always know what to do, but are keen to pitch in when asked. I have always been someone who coped well on my own. But I am learning that asking for help really does make life a lot more manageable. And people like being asked, they like feeling needed, they like feeling that they can contribute – this never occurred to me before.

*When I really don’t know what to do I can pray and God will guide. This last year I have discovered more and more that the God is a speaking God. Story after story in the Bible is about a God who communicates with His people and has an opinion on things. He likes being asked and He likes sharing His ideas. I am learning to ask and listen. And I have been quite overwhelmed by how He does speak, and how wise His ways are. I am eager to hear more and walk in His steps.

I hope to take these lessons with me into the new year. But I don't like taking too much "stuff" with me because I love the idea of it being a new year, a new beginning. I really like new beginnings. I even like starting a new diary because it is clean and open; and represents the space for new opportunities. So yes I carry the lessons from the past, but I make sure that my heart, my head, and my hands are open to grasp the new learnings that will surely come my way in 2009.

3 comments:

Cindy said...

Thanks for sharing. You have learned so much! I love reading your beautiful thoughts.

Sys said...

Yeah ... to a new year with a refreshed mindset, and 365 brand new pages :-)

Kelly said...

You have learned a lot in 2008 and because you have, I have also taken away something everytime I read your blog. Welcome 2009! Kelly F