Kitchen Madonna has a great 4X4 meme that I want to play because as I told her I am sick to death of the Ancient Greeks today and need a break from my Philosophy homework.
You have to state four things you experienced for the first time in the last four years and then four things you will experience for the first time in the next four years.
1. I know this will come as quite a shock to some of you, but I had never in my life been on a silent retreat before I went to Jesuit Retreat House in Cleveland in 2004. I never would have thought I could have made it through the entire five days without the strategic use of duct tape, but I did and it was one of the nicest and most rewarding experiences of my life. I found some answers in the silence that I really needed to find.
2. Mrangelmeg and I began to take ballroom dancing lessons this year. I wouldn't call us dance sport professionals; heck we are barely amateurs yet, but we really do love it, especially Swing. Ballroom Dance has done wonders for our relationship and is a great form of exercise. I am so glad that we decided to take these lessons.
3. I guess Gradual School could be considered something that I have done in the past four years since I started in 2003 and that was four years ago. It certainly isn't like anything I have ever done before and has stretched me in ways I can't even imagine. I am learning so much about my faith but rather than shaking it or making me lose my faith, gradual school has strengthened everything I believe because now I understand why I believe what I believe.
4. I began drinking wine in the last few years. I actually only became fanatical about it in the last year or so. My wine obsession has become a bit of a scary thing for mrangelmeg because he never knows when I am going to come home from a store with another five or six bottles of wine I bought "on sale" or "to try". Since I am the only person in the house that drinks wine it can look a bit ridiculous when you look at the volume of alcohol that is stored just for lil ole me.
Now I get to tell you four things new experiences for the next four years:
1. With the Lord's help I will be crossing the stage, shaking the hand of the Dean of Students and the Rector of the School of Theology next May to receive a Masters of Arts degree in Catholic Thought and Life. I certainly have never done that, and six or seven years ago I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that you saw a Masters Degree in my future. Now, what I plan to do with an MA in Catholic Thought and Life is another thing altogether and something I still haven't figured out.
2. I hope to have completed the book that I am currently writing some time in the next four years. I certainly hope that it is done within that time frame. I am finding it very challenging to find time to work on it at the present time between my commitments to the children and my coursework and, well, sleeping. I'm not quite to the "I'll have plenty of time to rest when I am dead" stage. I try to work some writing time into at least two days a week. It will get done when it gets done.
3. All of my children will be teenagers or older. I am finding that the parenting skill set that is needed to parent this age group is so different than when they were younger. I miss having a child that could be comforted by cradling in your lap, which isn't so easy to do when she is taller than I am. I am also finding that no matter how old they get, they still need mom and dad. (Maybe I just am noticing this because I am so close to losing my own mother to her disease that I am feeling that imminent loss so painfully).
4. My goal for the next four years is to work on my health. I have spent the last four years developing an enquiring mind and learning as much as I can about my faith and the Church that I love. The next four years I want to try to focus on developing my body and making it the best vessel it can be. I am the only one who can make this a reality. Maybe if I make this my goal I will strive to do it. Especially if you all help to keep me accountable. By the time I am 50, (gosh that isn't so far off is it) I want to be in the best shape I can possibly be in for my age.
So there you have it, for things I have learned in the past four years and four things that will be new to me in the next four years.
Anybody who wants to play is welcome to take this tag. I have to stop goofing off and go back to Homer (the Greek writer unfortunately, not the Simpson) and try to get at least another half of a chapter read before dinner.