Monday, January 2, 2012

Pressing on...Toward Peace?

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:12-14

2011 was a pretty good year for us. It was our first full year in St. Louis, a city we've enjoyed calling home so far. Some of the highlights of the year included getting more involved in our church (I am so excited to be able to attend Midweek again this semester!), making some new friends there, and traveling to Texas to become godparents for our nieces there. We also got to travel to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and Christmas and for a week at the beginning of the summer.

In 2012, I am very excited to visit California for a week in March. We haven't been back since our initial move to St. Louis. I also hope to take better advantage of inexpensive ways to have fun around St. Louis. But perhaps the thing I'm most looking forward to is finishing my PhD coursework.

Looking back at personal journaling and other things, I can tell that anxiety was a major factor throughout the year. I've always been adamant that school is not the only or most important thing in my life, but the anxiety still finds ways of creeping up uninvited. The fact that I do insist on taking time off (such as evenings, parts of weekends) usually comes back to bite me later, compounded by a sense of guilt that I'm not working as hard, or at least not getting as much accomplished, as others in my program. But it's not just school, either. I seem to be prone to worry, even when I'm not consciously dwelling on an anxiety-producing thing.

So I would be very happy if 2012 could be a year in which I learned to fight anxiety, however one does that. And I don't want to simply say, "I just have to tough it out through one more semester of coursework, and then things will get better." While I believe the latter will be true, I want to genuinely enjoy myself and look forward to life in the meantime. I'd like to remember my later 20's as more than a long haze of stress. I don't think I'll ever look back and say, "I wish I had spent more time worrying."

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