The Character Movement

Family walking on a tree-lined path in fall.

Respecting my new intention

If you read the last post I wrote for the Youth Frontiers Character Movement, you would know that I have been using my bullet journal to keep track of both my tasks and my intentions for 2018.  Since January, I’ve accomplished much with this system. I read almost 20 books, caught up with at least one friend a week, and often did laundry when I needed to. However, after about nine months of using my bullet journal, I started to see that I was a little too good at this planning.  

At the end of September, I realized that I had one or multiple commitments — outside of work — seven days a week. I am often energized by meeting up with many people and going to events, but I was starting to yearn for unstructured time to be at home with my people.  It dawned on me that for the past year I hadn’t been fully respecting myself or my loved ones and our needs. More often than was comfortable, I was rushing around (or rushing us all around) to go from one event to the next, without sufficient time to take care of basic needs like cooking dinner and cleaning up. 

My loved ones don’t thrive off the same schedule I do, and if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not my best when I’m that over-engaged either. I have had vulnerable conversations with friends, communicating that I need to pull back from some socializing in order to re-evaluate how I want to spend my time, making sure I carve out sufficient room for myself and my family. It has been a challenge, but now I’m using my bullet journal to visualize what plans I have and make sure not to plan anything more when I already have one or two commitments in a week.

I don’t have the perfect recipe yet, but I’ve been so thankful for the beautiful, spontaneous Sunday moments that are only possible because I have nothing planned that day.  Being silly and dancing around the apartment while making breakfast. Calling my mom more often because she lives too far away to see her enough. Taking a walk through the neighborhood to soak up the last beautiful fall days. Relaxing at home with a calm mind and a full heart, knowing that I’m trying to do my best for myself and those who are most important to me.  My new intention for the rest of this year and for 2019 is to respect myself, my loved ones, and our needs by being less busy so that I can focus on and enjoy the present, unstructured moment.

By Alexa Peters Posner, Youth Frontiers HR Generalist

This year, on The Character Movement, we are trying something new. We’ll be delving into one of our retreat values each month, examining it on our blog and in our Character Challenges. This month’s theme is respect.

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