With the holiday season behind us and the school year quickly approaching, it’s time to start crafting New Year’s resolutions. Not those generic, easily broken resolutions. We all know those… Cut out sugar completely! P90X every day! ORGANIZE! No, I aim to set challenging, fulfilling goals for my final semester as part of the Ruka fellowship. I hope these resolutions are not only personally rewarding, but enriching to our Ruka community as well.
- Name my needs. At times, I struggle to voice my opinion. I never want to step on anyone’s toes, and so I often find it easier to just go with the flow. But that can be draining, and it is unfair to my housemates. I am assertive in class and in the work environment, yet I struggle to apply this asset in my personal relationships. This is a goal for our entire house, and I can fulfill my responsibility to my housemates by improving my communication skills.
- Take time to know each rukette on an individual basis. I did not take full advantage of built-in buddy times especially when school work piled up, obligations intensified, and career decisions loomed. I recommit myself to relationship-building. Each lady has her own unique personality, interests, quirks, dreams and commitments. I want to support each rukette as she continues along her journey to success.
- Reassess what it means to “serve” the community. We have discussed the importance of community engagement, and we are still unraveling the deeper, more complex implications of our weekly service at Caritas. I think each person’s interactions at Caritas have shaped her perceptions of the space. I helped out with the Harry Potter Reading Group, and often came away feeling frustrated, confused, and powerless. But I also felt hopeful for the participants’ futures, grateful for the power of hospitality, art, and love, and determined to fight for those who are less fortunate. I hope to devote my next blog post to Caritas in order to flesh out my ideas and feelings. Our goal is to volunteer as a group, and I think this will allow us to better understand our relationship to the folks within and outside that space.
- Reflect. Honestly, I did not always take time to sit quietly by myself, write in my journal, and just think. I’m always GO GO GO! And that’s how I thrive; I want to be constantly moving, learning, engaging. I need to reframe my mindset and see reflection as a healthy, productive, and necessary part of my ruka experience. And just breathe….
- Ruka cookbook! There is nothing more comforting and satisfying than sharing a meal with loved ones. The combination of food, conversation, laughter, thanksgiving, and connection warms the soul. I will collect past rukettes’ and community partners’ favorite recipes and meal-time memories. I hope the cookbook will be passed along to future ruka generations so they may enjoy and add to the recipes.
- Savor the moment. I am thankful for each and every minute I spend with my housemates; they have certainly helped me through tough times, celebrated my successes, and challenged me to be a better person. Our time is limited and I want to live each moment to the fullest. Especially those seemingly small moments like doing homework together in the living room or sharing midnight veggie snacks.
Here’s to a great new year! I can’t wait to share it with my Ruka family.