In my life as a parent, I've played all sorts of 'mama bears':
The mama who goes about doing her own thing, but always watching with those eyes in the back of my head. Oh yes, young ones, I know what you are doing...
The mama bear who convinces the young child it's quiet time, so that I CAN TAKE A NAP!
The mama bear who trees her cub (time-out in human terms) to teach them a lesson or protect them from harm.
The mama bear who GETS RIGHT IN YOUR FACE and says "Hey! That's my kid - don't you DARE treat my kid that way!"
And the mama bear who will FIGHT. The mama bear who will stop at NOTHING to defend her child and protect that child from ANY PERCEIVED harm. Yeah, that's the one.
And it doesn't really matter what that perceived harm is, does it? Whether it's the bully on the bus, the stranger who makes a nasty comment, the neighbor woman who somehow thinks it's okay her child tripped yours, the doctor who wants to inject toxic poisons into the bloodstream,the librarian who doesn't get your child's special needs, the guy next door, the boys walking in the mall, the school district that doesn't truly know the educational needs of your specific child, or the chemicals that wreak havoc on your child's brain that so many people are fooled into thinking is actually 'food'....
We mothers can all identify with those protective instincts of a mama bear. We will leap in and defend our child from whatever we perceive as harmful. Don't mess with this mama bear's cubs. Don't toy with them, don't hassle them, don't mess with their brains. I'm watching.
Back in October, I had to come up with a list of my ultimate priorities. They did not consist of the only things I find important in life but they are the most important. While the first 3 are in numerical order, the others could be interchanged. These are the things that I simply could not accept having to live without. I reviewed that list in the last few days and determined it has not changed:
Mothering my children
Health & Safety
Friends & Other Family (outside my husband and children)
Comfortable, nice clean home
Fun & Relaxation (Yes, some would be surprised this made the list as it's the one that is overlooked most often - but it really is a priority for me)
Once I determined what my priorities were (that part did not take long but did need great consideration as I think it's the most important step), I needed to develop short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. I started with LONG TERM- because you need an ultimate goal. The medium term and short-term goals are what you do to reach the LONG TERM goals- so those need set in place first. So this morning, I looked over those long-term goals and made a few minor adjustments. For the most part though, they have not changed since October.
LONG TERM GOALS:
Develop a union and closeness with God - keeping Him ever-present in my mind and heart, allowing Him to control ALL - Choosing to always be on His side. In Orthodox language - staying on the path of Theosis and climbing the ladder of divine ascent.
Have a strong lasting loving relationship with my husband that will focus on LOVE and RESPECT and one that can serve as a model to others.
To have my children always know - without a shadow of a doubt- that I love them, to be a Christian model to them and someone they can depend on for strength, guidance and yes, even friendship.
To feed myself and my family, REAL food as provided by God and provide a safehealthy environment to maintain all of our health.
To educate my children to the best of my ability throughout their elementary, middle and high school years and prepare them for life, not just academically but especially by way of heart and soul.
To write and publish several children's books and have a blog of several thousand followers (blushing a little here....wondering if I sound vain??).
To engage in pleasant activities and communicate well and often with friends and family and also help them in whatever ways I can.
To maintain a comfortable, orderly, clean and , yes, stress-free environment in our cozy well-maintained home (finding this current cozy little house in the woods is a great start to this goal!).
To live within our means and not only have a security net but also be able to help others in need.
To enjoy life and remember to have fun and RELAX! (this is actually the hardest one for me--- but I think my Stress Reduction and path of imperfect progress I have myself on will help achieve this goal! But I may need a LOT of encouragement here- so please feel free to comment on these posts and offer words of wisdom and encouragement and your own tales of imperfect progress!
So that's my LONG TERM Goal list. Now I need to look over that Medium-Term and Short-Term goal list- I'll take the rest of this week to look over it. In short, I need to come up with a list of medium term goals or steps that I need to achieve to accomplish those long-term goals. It's about making a plan. I can't establish that close relationship with God if I don't take the steps up the ladder to get there! So my medium term goals and short-term goals will obviously include prayer and devotion time and other things that I can do to make sure I keep focused on God each day and each moment of my life.
Your Medium Term Goals are goals you can most likely achieve within the next 1-5 years while your short-term goals are the steps you'll be working on immediately and accomplish within the next few weeks up to one year. See my previous post on Goal Setting.
Remember- Resolutions don't need to be met 100%. The idea of Resolutions is to have Goals- to establish a plan and make PROGRESS. None of us are perfect. We are human. But we CAN MAKE PROGRESS!!
So what are your priorities? Have you made a list a long-term goals based on those priorities recently?