Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some Progress

Sorry I haven't checked in for a while. I wanted to update you on the progress I've made so far, though! (Also on the lack of progress, to hopefully help motivate me to do more.)

So first, the most significant piece of progress: Sabrina has a family coming for her! They have already met her, they will accept a referral for her shortly, and she'll probably be home within a couple of months. I am so, so excited for her! I'm not sure yet if the funds I'm trying to raise will still go to her (depending on if her family is funded yet) or to another orphan waiting for a family, but either way they'll help make sure one child is an orphan no more.

The next bit of awesome progress: before Sabrina's family committed to her, she already had $380.50 in Angel Tree donations. That's more than a third of the way to the $1000 goal. If any of you contributed to that amount thank you so, so much!

And now for the updates on my more personal goals. Well, those are okay, but not going quite as well. I have never managed to finish NaNoWriMo, and a big reason for it is that November is Thanksgiving break, and we almost always go on a family trip then (usually to visit extended family). Oddly enough, I pretty much don't manage to write on these vacations. I probably could, but it would mean not much time actually interacting with either my immediate or extended family, and as much as I want to write, I don't think that's really the trade-off I want to make. So though I started off all right, I've only written about 3800 words this month. I'm extending my writing goal to end when my exercise goal and fundraising goal end (the end of December), and hopefully I'll be a lot closer to writing the 50,000 words by then.

My exercise goal is going a bit better -- so far I've walked or run 22 miles, which is close to a quarter of the way to my goal of 100 miles. I need to pick up the pace a little bit, but even if I don't quite make it, I've still exercised a lot more this month than I have any other time in recent memory, which is definitely a success.

And, as further motivation for myself, I'm going to stay off facebook until I've gotten 30 miles and 20,000 words under my belt. Hopefully that will get me motivated to really get back into a groove now that vacation is over! (Also, if you see me on FB, ask me if I've finished, and if I say no, tell me to get off!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Goals!

When I started this blog, before we had committed to adopting, I decided that even if I wasn't able to adopt right then, I could do something. I could help change the life of a child. And I did do some advocating. I don't know if it helped a lot, in terms of money or children finding their families, but it has certainly helped me to pray for and love these children.

Then we committed to adopting, and I mostly concentrated on that here on the blog. And then Brigitte was transferred, and since then I've been struggling, scrambling, babbling, and in general just trying to figure out what to do from here. And I haven't really come up with a solution, but I have come up with a purpose and goal, at least temporarily.

To begin with, when I started this blog and used "changing lives" in the title, I was thinking about the ability to change the lives of orphaned children. But one of the first thoughts I had was that if I wanted to change lives, I might do well to start with my own. And even though I haven't talked about it a lot on here, I have worked on that, and been semi-successful. But not nearly as successful as I could be, or as I probably ought to be. So over the next two months I'm going to buckle down.

November is National Novel Writing Month. For anyone who doesn't know, I write. I've been writing for years, but have yet to actually finish anything. Now, there are good and valid reasons for this (mostly 3 kids and a husband who works long hours), but it's still something I would like to change. I try to be good about writing every day, but while I manage for short periods of time, something always comes up and I slack off again. I've tried doing NaNoWriMo before, but I've never gotten close to the 50,000 word goal. But this year, I'm going to try again.

Since you're supposed to start a new project for NaNoWriMo I've decided to work on the sequel for the novel I'm about 3/4 done with. I'm hoping that will get me back into the setting and characters, so I can then use December to finish the first draft of that one. Plus, it will hopefully help sell the first one (either to a publisher or as an e-book I publish myself) if I have another in the series that I can finish soon after.

And, since I'm very prone to distraction, I'm putting limitations on them to encourage my productivity. No FB, reading blogs, or computer games until I've written 2000 words in a day. So, um, if you don't see me for the entire month, that's why. :)

Also, since I often fail miserably when making big goals, I decided why limit myself to one? If I can't manage one, it would be better to try for THREE, right? I know, I make no sense. It's been a long time since I claimed to.

So, on to number two! I really need to be better about exercising, and I've been thinking about doing a couch-to-5K type program for a while. And I'm going to try to start that this month, too. My goal is to run/walk 100 miles in the next two months.

And to top the other two goals off, I've signed up to be an Angel Tree warrior for one of the little cuties on Reece's Rainbow. This is a program designed to raise awareness of orphans in the holiday season, and also to hopefully raise $1000 for each of them during the months of November and December. Usually the Angel Tree is limited to kids with Down Syndrome between the ages of 0 and 5. Not because these kids are more special or more worthy than any others, but just because there's only so much you can do at once, and so you have to choose something to focus on. These kids have been the focus of Angel Trees in years past. But various advocates love many kids who don't fall into that age range/diagnosis, and so every year they ask if Angel Tree will be expanded to include more kids. And this year it is! Three children from each of the other groups of kids on Reece's Rainbow were chosen (by voting and donations) to be included on the Angel Tree this year. Including 3 from each of the age ranges of the HIV+ kids, who have my heart. I decided that I couldn't push to get those kids included in the fundraiser and then not be willing to step up and help fundraise for them.

I'm pretty much horrible at fundraising, but I have a few ideas and I'm going to be doing my best over the next two months to share the profile, and hopefully raise the grant fund (at least a little bit) of a gorgeous girl named Sabrina:

She's five years old and lives in Eastern Europe. When we weren't able to adopt Brigitte, I wondered if maybe we should go for Sabrina instead. I prayed about it, but I've always felt was not supposed to be ours. But I know she has a Mommy and a Daddy out there somewhere, and hopefully I can help them find her.

In the meantime, I've decided to kick off my fundraising efforts by (hopefully!) getting a few of my friends to sponsor my self-improvement efforts. Do you want me to finally finish a book so you can read it? Maybe you would be willing to pledge just $.01 for every 100 words I write (that would be a $5.00 pledge if I meet my goal of 50,000 words). Or maybe you'd rather promote healthy living. Would you be willing to pledge $.05 for every mile I walk or run (again, that would be a $5.00 donation if I make my goal of 100 miles). I'm hoping that if I know people are donating based on what I accomplish it'll provide the extra incentive I need to not just start these improvements but actually meet my goals!

If you'd be willing to make a small pledge, let me know here or on FB! And even if you can't, could you share Sabrina's profile and join me in prayer that her family will find her? Thanks!