Friday, January 2, 2009

Bumpy Ride

I just discovered a wonderful new blog: The Integrated Mother. I think she is so awesome!

In catching up on recent entries, I discovered an assessment tool called the "Wheel of Life."

"This assessment contains 9 areas that, together, represent one way of describing a whole life. This exercise measures your level of satisfaction and range of expression in these areas as a snapshot in time. As you work through the assessment you will find areas where you can acknowledge yourself on the success you have created and areas where you may want to improve your level of satisfaction. We will have some suggestions and coach-like pointers at the end, along with your completed wheel of life. Rank each statement on a scale from 1 (Highly Disagree) to 10 (Highly Agree) by dragging the sliders along the scale."

I must admit that I firmly believe that I have a good life, so I thought that taking this assessment would be a breeze and that I would have a fairly smooth wheel. Ha! Check it out:

Not smooth at all. Now, the big question is: how do I smooth it out? What do I need to do to have a comfortable ride now and in the future?

Well, before I beat myself up about this, first I want to mention that my strongest areas are: Personal Growth; Health & Well-Being; and Love/Romance. That's good! I'm really happy to know that I feel so positive about those areas.

Areas that could use improvement are: Money & Finances; Physical Environment; and Friendships. Here are my thoughts on improving those areas in the New year:

Money & Finances: we completed two cross-country moves in 2007 (including home buying and selling), which has had a lingering affect on our financial stability. I had expected that we would be solid again by now, but I think that it will take another year before we can get back to where we were before. Meanwhile, I have instituted a monthly check-in so that my husband and I can review our finances together. This is significant, as for the past 13 years I have handled most of our joint finances independently.

Physical Environment: I was surprised at how low this was, but perhaps it's because I"m sitting at a messy desk! Having a small child makes our environment naturally a little messy, but I am going to focus on managing the mess in a way that allows me to still feel calm and happy in all rooms of our home.

Friendships: The truth is, my deepest friendships are within my family. This isn't really a bad thing, but I recognize that it would be good to diversify a little bit and stretch myself to devote more time and energy to other relationships. The challenge, of course, is that I simply don't have a lot of time or energy at the end of each day, and what I do have is dedicated to my husband and daughter. I have been thinking about this for several months though, and although I don't think I can come up with a "solution," hopefully I will at least get some ideas.

I highly recommend taking the assessment - it's fun and enlightening! Let me know what you find out!

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