New Year, New Start

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Happy New Year Ladies!!!

As you might know if you’ve been following this blog for a while…I love fresh starts.  And a new year is just the time to wipe the slate clean.  For myself, I like to say good-bye to the things I didn’t like so much from the year before, give thanks to the things I loved and start thinking about what I want to be intentional about in the year to come.


Jason and I have a tradition of thinking about some variation of these three areas on our own and then coming together to discuss it all sometime between Christmas and New Years.  Some years, we have a lot that we want to focus on and other years, we keep our lists more small and manageable.  (In fact, some years, I keep it super simple and cling to a mantra versus coming up with specific goals or intentionals.)

Speaking of goals and intentionals – I think now a days, I’m more a fan of intentionals than goals.  Nothing wrong with setting goals (I hear my dad’s words…”if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”) but lately, just focusing on being more intentional in certain areas has felt more manageable.

I’d love for you to take some time this weekend to think through these three questions:

1)  What did I love about 2015?  What am I thankful for?  (And I know this could be difficult for some of you that experienced heart break like you never thought would be possible which is what brought you to this blog.)

2)  What am I SO glad to shut the door on from 2015?  (…and this might be quite easy for most of you to pin point…)

3)  What do I want to focus on in 2016?  In other words, as I look back at what I loved and what I didn’t love so much, what areas need my intentional focus?

Here is a small glimpse as to how I answered these questions:

1)  One of the things I’m most thankful for as I look back at 2015 is my family’s mental and physical health.  2014 was a terribly rough year.  I was dealing with some serious depression and once I started to level out with the help of therapy and medication, Jason started to plummet.  It was Hard.

We also dealt with a lot of sickness in 2014.  For example, baby Norman, just 6 months old at the time, came down with Type II Influenza.  Scary.  Sweet Harrison, who was 3 at the time, broke his ulna (it’s one of the long forearm bones).  And I think Truman had strep throat at least three times. And that’s not everything.

But 2015, well, we fared much better.  And I am grateful to God!

2)  I didn’t do a great job in 2015 of managing bedtime routines at our house.  In particular, my own.  By the end of the year, I was literally rolling out of bed with no more than 20 minutes to spare before walking Tru to school.  This resulted in anxious mornings and me feeling less than grounded half the time.  Jason gave me a brilliant idea – go to bed earlier and wake up earlier!  (And I’ve kinda started that this week.  I say kinda because now I’m rolling out about 30 minutes before I walk Tru to school.  It’s making a big difference people.  Brilliant.)

3) So the intentional I want to share with you guys is something that in just the last year or two I’ve become privy to.  I thought it was reserved only for sex addicts, but it seems it can tighten its grip on others, too.  It’s Shame with a capital S.  In 2016, I want to work through at least some of my shame.  I’m well aware of what it feels like when I feel ashamed.  And I don’t know what to do with it.  I think it will start with educating myself and just like I did last year with working through insecurity, I will keep you posted on what I learn right here on the blog.

So now it’s your turn.  Think through these three areas and write out what you’d like to do differently this year.  I heard recently that if you write out your intentionals, you are 40% more likely to gain ground and move toward your goal. (And no, I don’t have an article to reference to back me up but I really did hear this recently.)

Wishing each of you a blessed 2016.  Thanks for sharing your hearts with me here.  You make this place richer and inspire me to keep it real and work toward whole healing.



5 thoughts on “New Year, New Start

  1. muchalone

    January 13, 2016  |  04:27 pm

    I’m mostly thankful that 2015 is over…it was a hard year with too many ups and downs and I feel like life is now more of a mess than it has ever been. I’m also thankful for a church change that has been encouraging.

    The ups and mostly downs of the year are what I would like to shut the door on…painful and exhausting…

    For 2016, I would like to find a way to get into a more functional pattern. I have some specific goals for myself concerning home organization, and am off to a good start.
    I need my husband to take ownership of his moods and tendency to demonize me when life disappoints…any recommendations on how to approach this? He has an accountability group, and when he is plugged in things are much better, so I do believe that is key for him. However when they break for holidays or when they finish a topic, things go downhill FAST! The downhill slide is miserable for everyone in the family…and the uphill climb seems harder each time we try…

    • Shelley Martinkus

      January 15, 2016  |  09:39 pm

      Thanks for sharing a little bit about why you glad 2015 is in the past and what you are looking toward accomplishing in 2016!

      Have you heard of acting in before? It sounds like that may be what your husband is doing. Here is a link to a video where Jason and I talk a bit about it in case you aren’t familiar with it.

      Maybe start with viewing this video and feel free to come back here and let me know if you have anymore questions.


  2. muchalone

    January 16, 2016  |  09:13 pm

    Yes, I’ve heard of acting in…pretty much my husband’s MO. I struggle with trying to break through his fantasy front without being too threatening.
    Your video does a great job of making it less clinical and more practical (and your necklace is great too!) Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you have found ways to accept each other’s perspectives and to move forward as a couple. We seem stuck in a place where I want honesty and he wants secrecy.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      January 21, 2016  |  12:53 am

      Thank you for the compliment on practical versus clinical! That made me smile!!!

      Does he agree that he wants secrets? I just don’t see how that would ever work for him/you guys.

      • muchalone

        January 22, 2016  |  08:18 pm

        Well, actually he tells me, “The real problem is that you are too candid. I don’t want to know when you think something is wrong”
        And I tell him, “just be honest with me”

        Silence…distance…sneakiness follows…

        And I’m with you–I don’t see how that can ever work for us…

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