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Windows of Time


Oops. My last blog post was dated over a month ago. I had great plans to post weekly or bi-weekly post since starting the school year, but alas, no such luck.

In short, my life over the past month has been segmented into short windows of time. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as this season of life for Ben and I is focused mainly on our adoption process. But it is a busy season of focused energies that does not allow time to be wasted.

The scripture I have been reading lately has truly emphasized this: "Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your ways..." (Psalm 119:37). So no Facebook scrolling for this girl anymore!

Here's a quick recap of the windows of time I've been experiencing this past month, and tips on how I've taken advantage of some brief leisure time to make it useful and not worthless.

1. Adoption - we are well into the midst of our home study process. We are on our way to completing 10 hours of adoption training, with 20 more hours to go in the near future.

Last weekend, my mom and sister came down to help us with our adoption fundraising garage sale. We made such a great profit, that we're doing another garage sale this weekend. Our fundraising is moving along well, and we have a goal of raising $5,000 more in the next few weeks. If you're interested in being a financial part of our journey, you can help us here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/benandcateadoption

The hardest part of the process right now is working through the health file of the child we are interested in adopting. We are talking to physicians about a potential diagnosis this child may have, and if the child does have it, it is a devastating disease. Long story short, a lot of tears and prayers have been placed over this child, and we would appreciate your prayers as we seek wisdom and discernment in what to do next - whether to pursue this particular adoption or not.

2. Work - the studio is moving along quite well, and I have 3 students pursuing the audition / competition process come winter. I made the decision to end my lessons earlier in the evening than last year, and that has been a saving grace, as my starting time for accompanying at Waukee begins at 8am. For those who know me, I am NOT a morning person. Thank heavens for green tea and Ben's willingness to treat me to a Starbucks chai tea latte now and then!

3. The Aeneid Series - after our live performance in March, our Aeneas (Christian Sanders) was kind enough to make time to meet up with me in early November to complete a formal recording of the Aeneas song cycle. If I could type a million happy dancing emojis for this, I would! I'm so jazzed to be able to bring these songs to life again and record them for future listening!

4. Christmas Break - yes it's true. I'm already looking forward to Christmas Break so I can start my piano solo compositions. My current inspiration is to write three piano solo works as a tribute to Iowa. One will be about Sioux City, my hometown. One will be about Des Moines. The third one is TBD, considering Iowa City at this moment. I really want to take time to enjoy writing music for a state that I dearly love.

I also plan to spend part of my break sending off my documents to obtain my Nationally Certified Teacher of Music. I hope to become certified officially in 2020.

5. Change the Culture - it's that time of year again! With my love for Iowa, I am working to coordinate a date for the signing of the Change of Culture proclamation to continue the governor's work of a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to harassment in the workplace. It's a great way to show my students that we care about their future and their opportunities in this state. It will also show our adopted child that we care about their safety in this state as they grow up and become an adult.

You can read more about last year's proclamation here: https://www.catebryan.com/single-post/2018/10/04/My-Story

As you can see, this busy season has forced me to become focused on what I can and cannot do, and how to use my time most wisely.

I've had little leisure time, but when I do, I use it to improve myself. For example, I'm reading Jane Austen's Emma after completing a free Hillsdale Course on Austen's Northanger Abbey. I take walks and make time to exercise to stay healthy. And I menu plan to ensure that our meals together are well prepared and nourishing.

So what do you do when your season of life gets crazy? How do you improve yourself when little time allows for it? I would love to hear your experiences!

 

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