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.


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