The last 2 years, my sister Barb has chosen a word that she feels she will try to "attain" or one that will reflect her life over the coming year. I've taken that challenge this year and broken it up into 2 .......... a word for my professional life and a word for life in general.
The reason I broke it in 2 is that I have taken the word for my professional life and used it to challenge the staff of the shelter. We are in the midst of a big expansion as we are building Second Stage Transitional Housing for women and their children. This housing will provide the ongoing support that the crisis shelter is unable to provide as women try to regain control of their own lives once they have fled an abusive relationship. As such, the word I have chosen for myself and have challenged staff with is "innovation", innovation as we assess how we current conduct programs, which means a willingness to think beyond "this is how we've always done it" and think outside the box, truly listenning to the voices of the women who use our services and develop creative solutions and options for women as THEY take the first steps to regain their lives. Innovation around developing a program in the Second Stage Housing where the residents have an active voice in how the program runs, and how they are able to hold each other accountable for ensuring a safe environment. Innovation on how we educate the community on family violence and women's issues. Staff seem to have grasped onto the challenge. We are heading into a staff planning retreat in the next couple of weeks and there is alot of buzz around the word "innovation".
For my personal life, choosing a word was easy. For this year the word is "enjoy". Over the past 4 years, my life has been so occupied by work and school that I will now admit that I ceased to fully enjoy life. So this year, now that we are "home" in Ontario, I will enjoy life to the fullest. I truly am enjoying "work", as I am having an impact at the front line again with families instead of sitting in an office as an administrator. I am enjoying being able to see my children and grandchildren much more often. This is especially important as Jason prepares for deployment to Afghanistan next Januray, James sorts through his own future, and Jenn & Kevin work through the final legal pieces of Ethan and Owen's adoption. I have truly enjoyed being able to connect with Cathy & Barb and plan on enjoying many more days and weekends with them. I am hoping to be able to see Mom & Dad more and enjoy the quiet times with them. Liz and I have several big plans now that I am "home". I will enjoy simply being with Bruce in our new home in the province where we feel comfortable. I will enjoy getting to know our new neighbours more. Although I joke about the neighbourhood "Mrs. Kravitz", this is the friendliest neighbourhood we have ever lived in where people reach out to and watch out for each other.
So there's my words. I am renewed and hope that that renewal will bring about some "innovation" as I "enoy" life to the fullest.
As per my last post, here's some more pictures from Christmas. It was a 'perfect" Christmas. The only thing that could have made it better was if David & Evie and Stephen & Gayle and their families were here.
Uncle James & Owen playing "Super Baby"
Jason & Alyson rummaging through their stockings
Ethan & Owen playing with Grandpa's favorite toy (I think Bruce had more fun with this than the babies did!)
The "Young" men's poker game Christmas night
Christmas dinner at Barb's on Boxing Day
As soon as the babies arrive, guess what the Aunties do?
Don, Matthew & Cameron Boxing Day afternoon
Young Maple Leaf fans
Scottie, Ethan & Joseph
Christmas wouldn't be the same if Rick wasn't home