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Monday, January 8, 2018

Nine Goals in 2018. Wanna join me?

In my previous blog post, I focused on 2017. Now that we are a few weeks into 2018, it's time to shift gears. 

Sticking to my "if I write it on my blog, I will do it" mindset, I announce my plans for 2018.

#1. Continue to be a blessing to our Compassion International Child, Beatrice. While the distance is great, enriching Beatrice's life is greater. I will continue to keep her in my prayers and lift her up. 

#2. Be a better example to my daughter. Show her by example that no one should bully or coerce her with putdowns, negativity, or "controlling" behaviors. Teach her that those who abuse their "power" can and will be held accountable. ALSO - - - > Yes, it is ok to "tell on someone" when that someone is completely out of line. 

#3. (This ties into #2.) Have a stronger backbone. 

#4. Walk through trials and challenges knowing that I do not walk alone. I have God and his son, Jesus. I also have people who actually WANT to support me. I need to accept that I cannot and should not shoulder all the stress alone. 
#5. Be kinder to those who continue to show me kindness. I take some of my biggest champions for granted. Time to stop that and show them the kindness they show me. 
#6. Don't pressure myself to enter art shows and jump through other hoops just for the sake of being a Photographer. To clarify, only do an art show if I want to and have the time to. Being in an art show doesn't make or break me as an artist. 

#7. Be kind to myself (enough said). 
#8. Find some new "plant-based" foods that don't make me gag. There has to be something out there for me! 

#9. Read More. Write More. 
I'll end it there. I think these goals can help me lead a pretty sweet life in 2018. As you know, I'll be checking in here from time to time to make sure I am keeping my word! 

What are your goals? 
Do you set a few to kick off each year? 
Feel free to comment or message me. 
Join me for the journey! 
Until next time,
M of MK Designs 

Monday, January 1, 2018

For the Record: BASHING the Previous Year is NOT Going to Make the New Year Better!

Ringing in the New Year in 2012 with my friend's son. 
I tend to spend the first day of the New Year on a trail. I love a "First Day Hike." However, thanks to an incredibly upset stomach and waking up to DANGEROUSLY low temperatures today, I have been homebound.
2014 First Day Hike. My Mom, me, and many others enjoying St. Francois State Park.
What does one do besides attack some to-do lists and ponder Star Wars fan theories for the follow up to The Last Jedi? 

Well, I look at social media. 

So, let's take a left turn here. 

I love how humans are creatures of habit. 
This hit home with me in December 2017. Excellent quote/thought!
We are nesters, schedule-keepers, and routine-makers. Even people who claim to be more "loose" and "spontaneous" have their own habitual rituals. 

(I love how that rhymes: habitual ritual!)

Now, back to where I left off with social media and our routines in life...

When did it become a trend for so many people to bash the previous year on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?

I've noticed it more and more. 

When we turned the page to 2017, I saw lots of posts saying how HORRIBLE 2016 was and that 2017 was going to be a NEW START. Same can be said this year. Over half of my newsfeed is about how 2017 apparently was a total wreck, but 2018 is going to be DIFFERENT.
Did all the complainers forget the AMAZING 2017 Solar Eclipse!?

I don't think looking back at the "mayhem" that was the previous year is a good way to set yourself up for success in the New Year. Why not focus on the positive things that happened? 
I watched a snow and rain storm come in and out of the Grand Canyon in 2017. My mom took this photo of me when I saw a rainbow forming.

If you can't think of any, why not look through your camera roll to find a few? It's really not that hard!
My daughter's first flight was in 2017. We spent Spring Break in Arizona.
Also, I hate to add this thought into the mix, but has it ever occurred to people that changing the last digit on the year isn't how one is going to find a NEW start? 
Karlene making a friend in 2017 when we camped at Hawn State Park in Missouri. Nothing beats splashing in Pickle Creek!
For one, I know that in 2018 for me to "flip my script" that I have to face some shit (pardon the word, but it's the best I got for it) that I am dreading. I hate conflict, but at the same time, knowing who and what is worth taking a stand for is something that is going to be critical for harmony in my world in 2018. 
Karlene clicked this of me playing "tough" at Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota during the summer of 2017.
That process, for me, is going to be easier by not closing myself off to those who love me, but allowing them to be there for me as I walk this path. I have a habit of shutting down and turning inward when faced with problems. (Just ask my friend, Kris. She especially sees this in me!) Also, it means that I have to trust in my Faith more than ever. 

Afterall, it's His Grace and Love that makes for a better day, week, year, decade... LIFE --- NOT just the simple act of flipping a page on a calendar. 
We watched the sunset in Badlands National Park in 2017. God is an artist!
And, while we're at it, looking back on the negativity of the year before will certainly not help light the way towards a NEW and IMPROVED life. 
Checking out the Lake at Illinois Beach State Park. Summer 2017.
As I wrap up this blog post, I hope that some of this can help you out and that you'll consider the "camera roll" trick for finding the positives in the year before. I know I enjoyed the process:
Toured the SunDrop Museum in Wisconsin! YUM!

My daughter got to see DanTDM and high five him!

Karlene got into her school's Art Show.

I helped organize and run the second Journalism Summit for HS students at East Central College in September 2017. 
Sure, it was rainy - but took my friend Kris to see some amazing sights in Southern Missouri she had never seen before. That was a highlight to 2017!

Attended National Journalism Convention with two awesome students! November 2017.
This is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! Watched this baby and mom (back behind the rock) interact in South Dakota during our adventures in the Black Hills.

Another beautiful road trip to Lesterville, Mo in October 2017!

The BEST blurry photo I have EVER taken for Lydia's Birthday!

"Sarah Day" Toured a few caves in Missouri with Aunt Sarah.

I wish you all the best and thank you for supporting MK Designs!