Barb tagged me for this a couple of days ago.
Here are the rules: Share four things that were new to you in the past four years. Four things you learned or experienced or explored for the first time in the past four years. Then share four things you want to try new in the next four years.
1. Blogging! About eighteen months ago I was looking for a way to increase my freelance writing. I started out on a generic blog host that promised “loads of money” from advertising. Now that was a joke! In the process, I discovered the Catholic blogosphere. I switched to the more user friendly blogspot site and have been tapping away at my keyboard ever since. I’ve made lots of friends, grown in my faith, shared my faith, and even have gotten some leads on paying writing gigs. Definitely one of the highlights of the last four years.
2. I sent kids off to college. Beginning in the fall of 2004, my oldest child left the nest for college. The second one followed in the fall of 2006. Looks like the third one heads out fall of 2008. Fourth one still has a few years. Yea! Empty places at the evening dinner table and missing faces on Thanksgiving and Easter tug at my heartstrings. But I am very proud of my kids. So far they have their heads and hearts in the right places. I’ve always prayed for them, but I am praying a bit harder when they are out from under my wings.
3. I did a book signing. I had two essays published in Chicken Soup for the Military Wife’s Soul. When the book editors came through this area doing book promotions, I joined them for book signings. It was such an enriching experience to listen to the stories of the military members and their spouses who stopped by our display to buy a book. My stories may be the ones in the book but their stories are the ones that really moved my heart.
4. I actually relocated to the Washington DC suburbs nearly five years ago, but in the last four years I have explored some of the lesser-known sites. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is my favorite stop in the DC area. I also visited the National Building Museum and the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks. Definitely put these on your agenda when you travel to DC.
What is on my agenda in the next four years?
1. Read the documents of Vatican II. I’ve recently discovered the Papal Encyclicals and other documents coming out of the Vatican. I’ve discovered that they are written for all of the Faithful to read, not just a handful of learned clergy and theologians. I think much of the confusion following Vatican II resulted because too few people actually read what the Council wrote and just relied on the interpretation of the documents by others, many of whom had agendas very different from the actual Council.
2. Get a certification in bioethics from the National Catholic Center for Bioethics in Philadelphia. I think I will pursue this in about a year. Not sure exactly what I will do with it, but hopefully I can find a way to combine my training as a physician, writing, and teaching.
3. Find an exercise program I can really stick with. I have an elliptical trainer at home and do use it sporadically, but I just need to figure out a routine that keeps me at it every day.
4. Help begin/maintain a vibrant adult education program at our parish. My dream is to catechize the adults of the parish so that the children come to CCD with a firm foundation of Faith formed in their homes. That may take longer than four years.
Ebeth at Catholic Mom climbing the Pillars
Rosemary at A Catholic Mother’s Thoughts
Jen at Et Tu?
David at Apostolate of the Laity
Anyone else who wants to play along, please feel free!