Sunday, January 8, 2012

Who Am I?

I go to a very culturally diverse church. We have Chinese, Karen (pronounced Car-in), African-American, Japanese, Russian, Indian, Sudanese, Spanish and White.

A group of us have taken a test to see how culturally sensitive we are with the goal of functioning better in the congregation. After the test results were in, we were asked to write our "Identity Story." Who am I and what or who shaped me into who I am?

Understanding who we are will help us to understand others. To interact properly with other cultures, we need to know our own identities.

Now I am embarking on the journey of discovering who I am and putting it down on paper. It's not as easy as it sounds. I am a past middle-aged, Irish-German-English white Christian woman who grew up in New York. You would think that was all there was to it, but it's not. What is my culture? Do I have a culture? How does my culture define me?

Have you ever explored who you are and what your culture is? I think it will be a most interesting exercise and I am excited to get started.

When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Beginning - 2012

Saying a New Beginning seems redundant. Who ever heard of an Old Beginning. That aside, I have been reflecting on what I learned in 2011 and how that will benefit me in 2012.

1. I lost 17 pounds (on purpose) and feel great. I have clothes I can now wear more comfortably and clothes I could not get in to that I can wear again. I feel good about myself - much less middle aged complacent. What I will carry in to 2012 is a new eating life style and a new sense of self.

2. My job, which I love, can be all consuming and keep me from doing the other things that bring me joy. What I will carry in to 2012 is to make sure my priorities are correct. My job is important but it is not my life. I had forgotten what joy blogging brought to me and I plan to return to it on a regular basis. Just reading other's postings makes me smile.

3. I was over committed in many areas of my life - job, church, PEO, friends. I need to step back. learn to say 'no thank you' and have time to smell the roses (I know that is cliche but it's true even in the winter!) What I will take into 2012 is a commitment to drop some of my commitments and only keep those that allow me free time.

4. I found my long lost book that I was writing and have done nothing with it. What I will carry into 2012 is a renewed passion to work on my book and get it closer to completion.

Boy, that's a lot. I sense a theme though. Make time to relax, do the things that bring me joy and make the most of my time.

I think I can do this. Pray for me in my weakness!