Today is another day. It is the day after yesterday and the day before tomorrow. For me is not some magical special day that I make resolutions, promises or goals tied to the new year. It is a just day. It is another 24 hours to be spent by me, if I am lucky followed by another It is a day in my life. Each one special and one of kind.
Each morning somewhere between the time when I wake up and when I actually start my day I reflect how do I want to use this day. During the time when I do the routine morning tasks of cleaning up, eating and getting dressed I start to think about what this day holds. I begin to organize my thoughts recognizing what things I have to do today and the things I want to do. I want to fully experience life each day, but I don’t want to get lost in all the externals that I don’t actively be me. I don’t want to feel like at the end of the day my existence did not make a difference. It is a balancing act. What I plan for each day isn’t the same every day. Many things influence my plan for the day, if I work or not, is there a commitment I need to fulfill or a deadline approaching, how do I feel, what my family needs, my friends, and so much more. Some days I have a simple wish, to walk more steps than I did yesterday or eat a healthy lunch. Recently my goal was to pray for a family who has lost a son and that I learn more about compassion and empathy because I can not imagine their pain. Some days it is to accomplish something at work, something that won’t likely change much of anything in the world. While other days it is do a random act of kindness for someone who I don’t know.
Most days I pick several things for my daily goals and other days I just aspire to accomplish one thing. I try to make it a mix of for tasks but sometimes I when I feel spent I just wish for a day for me. This weekend I gave myself the gift of nothing. Nothing for me is to allow myself the luxury of doing what is calling me at the moment. For me nothing can be to read, sew, write, play in my studio, talk to my life-time friend, pull my camera out or take a walk. My wish for the day can be a grand task impacting everyone I meet or just a single movement toward a lifetime quest that only I recognize. It changes for me each day.
It is not about a resolution I make on the first day of the year. Instead it is about my life list. All those things I want to see, do and change. My life list does include places I want to see and things that are personal goals, but it contains bigger unreachable items as well. Those big things, like world peace, I don’t serious believe I can change all by myself, nor will even see in my lifetime, but I want to be a drop in the water that sends out waves or a butterfly wing that contributed to a distant tornado that is part of that change. I want to waste one less minute than I did yesterday. Today I want to make better use of the time allotted to me than I did the previous day I was given. I fully embrace each day no matter what day of the year it is. I wish the same for each of you.
I recently gave notice to my employer of nearly seven years that I was leaving the organization. It was not a decision I entered into lightly or without nights of loss sleep. The analytical side of my brain was calculating and recalculating the impacts on my life, personally, professionally and financially. There were tons of pros and cons to my decision that rolled over and over in my mind with no clear winner. For the first time I was leaving a job without a clear plan of what I was going to do next. The only sure thing was that I needed to close one door before I could move to the next phase of life. Both RangerSir and I knew it was the right time and the right thing to do for me and for us. We knew this was the time for me to stop procrastinating and see what could happen if I tried a few of those “what ifs” and explored some of those tucked away dreams.
I spent the last week in Great Falls, Montana working my last conference for the organization. It was a great to be able to see my board of directors and many of the members of the organization one last time. It was a full of questions from folks about what will you do next? The honest answer was I don’t know yet. It felt sort of lame when I said it out loud. It was another moment of second guessing a carefully weighed decision.
I got home yesterday. I was catching up on all that had happened while I had been gone; reading the newspapers,stopping into my favorite local craft store for creative supplies and catching up with some of the women who I teach card classes to. In just six days, two friends had lost their wives and another had lost a son-in-law who was only 43. A beloved local doctor continues his fight against an aggressive cancer, and my dear aunt was once again hospitalized l fighting the same disease. A friend who has been struggling with symptoms and was seeking a diagnosis finally got one, ALS. It was a reminder that time can be short or long we don’t know. When it is within our reach we should risk it and seek what is possible and not assume that there will be plenty of time. Circumstances don’t always allow us to take the risk, but when the stars align and it is possible to do so. Don’t let yourself be caught up in regrets, what if’s or die wondering. Time and health are both finite. We have no idea how long with have of each, but the supply is not limitless, don’t waste it. For me the time is right to take the risk and see what is possible.
This one was one I wanted to do but with a twist. I didn’t want it to be a chore list, or a list of all the things that needed to be crammed in to this month. Instead I wanted it to be a list of the sweet treats that I would like to make.
I got lucky tonight and this is exactly as I took it. No Photoshop help at all.
I am not sure how many of these I will actually get made this year, as I am back full-time for the this month and next. It is the busiest time of the year for my employer and hence my free time gets pretty scarce. With this list there is a starting place if I get some free time.
I have just been declared a winner because I just finished certifying my novel for having written at least 50,000 words in November. I wonder about being a winner because it clearly is not a complete story yet. On the other hand it has enough words that it could easily turn into a novel if I stick with it. I have always thought that there is a novel in me and for a host of reasons I have never gotten this far before. It was a great experience and I plan to stick with this one and finish it up.
At the end of 30 days there is lots I have learned.
My writing style is pantser. I am too analytical and if I plan my book I never get beyond planning the perfect novel.
I am more flexible that I thought, because the critical conflict was not anything that was on my radar when I started writing.
I can accomplish an ambitious goal without it taking over my life to the exclusion of other things I enjoy. I managed to make cards, teach a creative class, watch movies, read books, visit friends, x-c ski and other things important to me in the midst of this.
Work will always impact your home life. I was on the road for work and did not write for several days, but it did not prevent me from accomplishing a personal goal. Don’t let work be an excuse for not accomplishing your personal goals.
I like creative writing. It provides a place for all those voices in my head to find a outlet.
Longer stories are much harder than short stories, blogs and other writing I have done.
Being a writer made me a much more attentive reader.
I like writing dialogue.
My business writing skills, as good as they may be, are not sufficient alone to support creative writing.
I will be looking to take some creative writing classes.
I will be looking for a writer’s group to support and question me as I work through the editing process.
Thanks for those who were along for the ride. It is only the first time around the track and I can see that there is at least another lap or two to be made before I finish this race.
I love this poster and may have to just get one for myself. It captures so much of what goes on in a writer’s mind, or at least my mind this last month.
One of my earliest dreams was to be a writer. My first memory of wanting to be a writer harks back to the second grade shortly after I learned to read. Learning to read opened my eyes and minds to amazing things. I wanted to create that same perfect experience for some one else that a book created for me.
It is easy to want to be something, but to follow through and actually do it is hard.
I was raised during a time when wanting something for yourself always seemed a bit selfish.
First there is the follow through to the end. So often our dreams seem lofty and out of our reach. We tend to start toward them, but we don’t have the confidence or refuse to make the time to achieve our dreams.
One of my earliest dreams of what adulthood looked like, I would be a primary school teacher teaching children to read, and in the summer I would spend my days on the beach writing books and painting.
Yep. I can string words together to make a sentence, and then string a few sentences together into a paragraph. That makes me a writer. A writer of books well that I am still working on that.
I happy to report that I found a replacement for my treadmill. I had been watching Craig’s List since my last one lost its mind. I got my last one for under $50, and it was clear that I wasn’t going to get one this time for such a deal. Saturday I got lucky, and found one that I felt was discounted enough from the original price, and the amount they were asking was something I could live with.
It is now home and I am happy to report that on those days when I can drag myself out into the wind and cold I now have a treadmill to fill in for my daily fitness requirement. It is quieter than the last one and the numbers on the electronic panel are large enough I can see my progress without glasses. No more excuses.
I have always been a plus-sized girl who has been fairly active. This summer I seriously fell off the regular active lifestyle and exercise wagon and have gotten just nasty out of shape. Even worse I am having trouble getting back into any routine of activity. I am doing lots of occasional good activities but none of those day in, day out good health habits that I had in place. I know that those active lifestyle habits have helped me keep my other health indicator numbers (BP, glucose, lipids) in the very good range, except for the scale.
At this moment I am really looking at myself and asking what changed, why now. If you don’t figure out why or how you got there ultimately you will be right back there. I have some ideas, but not sure that any one of them is the sole cause. Folks can share with me how they did, or what this book, doctor, tv show or internet article says to do, but ultimately it is me and only me who can make a difference.
In the meantime I have made one achievable goal, and a few other things that I would like to change to work on. My goal is SMART; Specific, Measurable,Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. I am working hard at keeping the goal. I lived it through the holidays (it was likely an easier goal because it is an activity goal not a food goal). As soon as I have done so for four weeks straight I will mark it up to life style change an make another another and another until I find good habits once again as natural as breathing. Hopefully I will soon identify why I made this rotten change in my lifestyle and correct it, so I don’t end up back here again.
I want to get back living an active lifestyle. I am not waiting until tomorrow, next week or new years. If mess up, I begin again immediately time is ticking. I am working at achieving my goal. I know it is within my grasp and only I can make it possible. I am not saying it is going to be easy, but it is within my power.