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As I complete my annual list of things I accomplished this year and that I want to accomplish in 2012, it has hit me what is missing. I have DONE a lot as a writer, as a mother, as a wife, and just as a person. What is missing though, is actually living.

It is super easy to blame my kids. I cannot get out and “do” because I have too much to do at home. I have responsibilities. Deadlines. Laundry has to be done. Submissions need to be made. I have to help with homework. All that is on my plate is also on my priority list. They are not frivolous things that I can (or want to) eliminate.

My responsibilities are the “stuff” that makes families and life move forward. They are all investments into the long-term. But they are also very isolating. Housework, writing, child rearing… there is no immediate gratification, no camaraderie. The sense of accomplishment comes from results that are usually weeks, months, or even years down the road.

So the question becomes, how do I find those things that help me feel like I’m not just turning cranks, not just existing? How do I set up my life so I can experience it rather than just being a passenger on the train? And how do I do this without neglecting my family and my writing?

I am happy. I am blessed. But there is still part of me that yearns for not just contentment, but adventure. Newness.

That’s my challenge to myself in 2012. I want to live. I want to experience new things. I want to get out of my house, away from a computer, and “do” life. I want to meet new people. I want to appreciate God’s creation. I want to teach my kids that you do not have to settle for monotony.

… And then I want to write about it.