Clean Slate for 2014

An Essay By Maddi // 1/17/2014

I finally got around to typing these out. I had written most of them in a big drawing book, but time got away on me, like it usually does. By the way, the first resolution doesn’t count for this month. I think it has something to do with the fact that it is summer and school holidays, and my brain is floating on clouds.

Here are my accomplishments for 2013, not in any order:

1. Played a new sport at the start of the year, got fit and lost a little weight. And loving it!

2. Read my Bible every night for the past six months.

3. Got a job. It was tough, and I thought I was all on my own, but then God came in, offered me this really cool opportunity, and now I have a fantastic job at a kid’s party centre.

4. I cut my hair short in March. Okay, so not short-short, but up to my shoulders. I was quietly freaking out while the hairdresser did her job, because honestly, I hadn’t had it that short since being a toddler. Since my hair had always been long, it had the weigh of its self to pull it down. When it got cut, I felt like Ms Frizzle, because it frizzed out all over the place. I got over it eventually, and had the fun of inventing new hairstyles. Now, I’m growing it out. Fun.

5. Found my best friend all over again. She’s amazing, she truly is.

6. Started a successful homeschool teen group. I headed the very first meeting and embarrassed myself enormously. But now I have the fun of organising all our activities, and it keeps me busy.

7. Started learning guitar and opened up this amazing world of being able to play your own music. I love it! Thanks to my lovely, lovely, teacher. You’re the best!

8. Actually completed some goals from 2012, and was able to sort out my be-muddled thoughts to write (some!) of this before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Now that I look back on it, 2013 was a good year with lots of accomplishments. It had its setbacks, mistakes and frustration-pulling-your-hair-out moments, but all in all, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I plan to this year as well!

So here are my resolutions, quite outnumbering my list above. But that’s good, it means I’m super enthusiastic and plan to carry them all out! They are in a sort-of-ish order, but the first few are the main important ones.

1. My biggest goal this year is to write. Write, write, write. I need to create more time and put a lot more effort into it. Every day! Even it is a little unworthy scrap of thoughts. It needs to become a habit.

2. Earn enough money to go to Israel in September. It’s going to be hard, especially since the business I work for hasn’t had many bookings for the holiday activities, but between doing paid surveys, busking, doing sponsored fun-runs, maybe structuring a kid’s drawing lessons homeschool thing in a few terms, I can scrape it together. Four-five thousand dollars isn’t easy to come by. Please pray.

3. Study! Widen my horizons on study, speech and language. I need to get the Hebrew learning disk working again and learn a little French on the side, just for fun. I want to get school work done as quickly as possible this year, create flex time for myself, and hardly have anything left to do in year 12.

4. Be organised. Order, I want order! I must have all the teen group activities booked and organised in advance; desk and room tidy. Tidy room = tidy mind.

5. Do my duty as sister at home. I have a hand in raising my brother, and I want him to be a godly young man one day. My sisters too.

6. Also do my duty as sister-in-Christ to my spiritual brothers. I really recommend It’s (Not That) Complicated book to read, for girls. It has changed my entire view on how I relate to guys.

7. Become more loving. Ask Jesus for more wisdom everyday and help me to treat my siblings and other people around me right.

8. Get fitter for the sweet sake of it and lose some more unnecessary weight. I started this whole fitness thing this time last year. Only now am I reaping the benefits. Victory!

9. Open and make things for my Etsy shop.

10. I learnt, and became very good at, procrastinating. Let’s just say, it’s not a helpful skill, and maybe I can tone it down a bit this year.

11. Run: Nailcan = 11.5K, Beechworth 3K, Tallangatta 5K, Fedhill 5 or 10K

12. Put more effort into appearance, manner and speech and first impressions. It’ll be helpful later in life.

13. Have a go at applying for a monthly writer sometime.

14. Write and hopefully publish the childhood stories dad told us as children’s chapter books. Sam the Snail and Sallie the Seastar.

15. Fill out all my song ideas and write the music to them. EXCITING!

16. Get one or two little dreads with the beads at the back of my hair. Just for a little quirk and something different.

Things I’m looking forward to this year (in the order they will most probably happen):

1. Visiting my crazily insane, my gorgeous, my godly role model, my very best friend. She lives quite awhile away, and so, in a few months, I will go down and we will possibly have the best week together so far in our lives.

2. Year 10! I am in year 10! Wow. It’s quite weird actually. I reached the “double digits” point for the second time in my life. It’s only 2-3 years till I’ve done…school. Ha, but then there is Uni and getting a degree of some sorts.

3. Living and learning, breathing and surviving. Discover new skills, abilities and gifts, and glorifying God with them.

4. Going to Israel! Some friends of ours went over there with an American-based organisation called HaYovel. They stay at vineyards and help the farmers harvest the produce. And you get to tour on the days you aren’t working or resting. Think about it, being right in the spot where Christ went, or somewhere where an event in the Bible happened. It’ll be great going as a young person, be challenged and inspired. That is, if I get the money to go this year.

So, I’ve got my clean slate, and hopefully I won’t smash it over Gilbert’s head this time. Even if I get called “Carrots” from time to time.

I’ll make mistakes like dying my hair green, but that’s okay because it grows out and teaches me lessons.

I wish everybody a fantastic, exciting and fulfilling new year ahead. And special blessings and hopes for Exra and Kyleigh who got married this month.

And thankyou, ApricotPie, for being the best motivator to write. Thanks to Ben and James, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have excelled in writing at all. Thankyou.

Comments

I enjoyed reading this. I

I enjoyed reading this. I love year recaps. What is going to Israel all about? All by yourself and how long? It really is hard two imagine that you can work so young over there, but it sounds definitely so exciting! My friend and I want to get It's Not That Complicated SO badly. I smiled over the Gilbert part...wasn't sure why this was called 'clean slate' until I read that.

One of my verses of the year -

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”c Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. - Philippians 2:14-16

That is my prayer for you. :)

Thank you for writing this!

Lucy Anne | Sun, 01/19/2014

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

:)

Thanks for commenting! Your comments always bring a smile to my face.
Israel --- Well, last November, some speakers came from the US (they started the organisation called HaYovel) and spoke just down the road for us. We knew they were coming because some friends of ours who went last year were helping the speakers tour around. Anyway, we heard them speak. It's so weird/funny because I never thought I'd be one to go over to Israel, of all places.
What you do over there is help the farmers out (since they have full time jobs. they don't have time to harvest their own crop of grapes) by picking grapes.
What is really cool, is that there are scriptures in the Bible talking about this, about foreigners coming in to help harvest grapes. Here are some examples, I don't know exactly where they are from; I think Jeremiah.

"You shall plant vines on the mountains of Samaria." -- In addition to picking grapes, this is what they do over there -- on the mountains of Samaria!

"Foreigners shall come and harvest your crop." That's what it is!

"The vats will overfill with wine and oil." There was a story the speakers told from the last harvest about how when they were picking, and someone came from the vats and said: "Stop! We can't fit another grape into the vats!"

I'd be going with the friends of ours that went last time, or hopefully my sister could come too.

It's (Not That) Complicated is SOOO good! You'll enjoy it.

Thankyou for the verse! And your prayers. :)

Maddi | Mon, 01/20/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

I read this the other night

I read this the other night and didn't quite get the time to comment, so here I am! I really enjoyed reading this and--haha--we DID have some of the some resolutions!

That's great that you want to try to write every day! I don't make it a habit (I'm the worst at writing when I have to) but I think I ended up doing it anyway. :P You definitely can! Your stories are so lively and vivid--keep it up!

Good luck when it comes to going to Israel! If you go, you'll have to write lots of poems and stories and essays to share with us about it. ;) With work, it definitely sounds like it can be accomplished.

Ahh...French. Thanks for reminding me. I need to start that back today. haha.

Oh, that's cool! What sort of things do you make? If you open the Etsy store, give us the link!

YES! Apply for monthly writer! Then I'll never miss your things if they don't pop up on the homepage! No, seriously--do!

Do the songs as well! It's so rewarding, really. There's nothing quite like it. All the best luck with the children's book as well.

Thank you for sharing your list as well, Maddi! I'm glad AP has kind of made this an unofficial thing, as they did with the growing up essays. :) I quite like reading them. Maybe we should have a theme every one or two months? How do we go about doing that? haha

Madeline | Tue, 01/21/2014

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

The Israel thing sounds

The Israel thing sounds awesome! I TOTALLY get the procrastination thing (in fact, I'm procrastinating right now, lol), and the organization thing, and the getting fit thing. I recently declared "Operation Get In Shape Again" a go. It's had some ups and downs (haha i love ice cream), but I'm working on it! That's cool that you do runs and stuff, I could never do that. Anyway, good luck with all of your resolutions, I hope you have a great 2014!!

Erin | Tue, 01/21/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

*high five*

*high five* Sounds awesome! You sound like you had a very successful year last year and it sounds like a great new year as well! Fingers crossed for you and Israel, that will be SO awesome!!!
This year I'm totally with you on keeping fit! Keep it up girl, you can do it!!!
Sounds awesome, Maddi!!!! May you be successful in everything you set out to accomplish, we're all on your side here on AP!!!!
Looking forward to your posts :D

Kassady | Tue, 01/21/2014

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

Israel? How very exciting!!

Israel? How very exciting!! Sounds like you had an awesome year. Cheers to new goals, adventures - and less green hair episodes for all of us. : )

Hannah D. | Tue, 01/21/2014

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

Thanks guys!!

@Homey: Thanks for reading it!
Yeah, I want to make it a habit. We'll see.
Israel: Might not happen now....it changes.

I make lace earring photoframe holders...they're interesting and unique. Also glitter shoes, and other cute things :) I'll definitely give you the link.

@Erin: Good on you for trying to get fit! What type of fitness do you do? I think cardio mixed with muscle strengthening is the best, but also just running is good too. Haha, who doesn't like icecream? Mum makes some healthy stuff too, so it's a bit easier for me to keep a good diet :)

@Kassady: Thankyou!! Your comment was very encouraging! Right now I have sore muscles, so I'm on my way...

@ Hannah: Yeah, see I never thought I'd be one of those people who go to Israel. Yes, less green hair episodes for us all!

Maddi | Wed, 01/29/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

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