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Improve my dancing.
Ballroom dancing is a cultural skill

I never thought it would be true, but waltzing is a relevant skill in my life. I learned when I was small, playing Brigitta in a community theater production of The Sound of Music but I didn’t realize that I’d need the knowledge later. I am in a waltz-necessary situation about three times a year, and I’m always mortified. Americans are notoriously bad dancers…I’d like to be the exception.

My friend and I are taking ballroom lessons with our kids this year. By next September I want to waltz competently and be able to enjoy several other dances.

go on a silent retreat
more time to calm the monkey mind

I want to make a quiet clearing for God for a few days. That’s all…my meditation time each day gets badly scrunched by the many items I need to get through. I want to have nothing else to do but be still and listen. I want to be alone with the Sacred for hours at a stretch.

bring up tolerant, intelligent, self-confident children
and it wasn't that hard

My kids are almost grown now, and they are open-minded and kind-hearted without being too precious. They grow as we treat them. They’ll be tolerant if we are tolerant; stand for justice if we so stand. They will be intelligent if we expose them to many different ideas (stack books everywhere and let them read anything). And self-confidence comes from experiencing one’s own competence…not from that ridiculous “A for Everyone” affirmation, but from a deep sense of one’s own abilities. Give ‘em chores and let them learn how to do things that seem hard for them. Let them know that you rely on them to pull their share. And don’t give false praise. At least, that worked for me.

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