Goodbye 2014

oWell, it’s finally come – the end of 2014.

December 31 slipped in faster than I’d hoped.

Too much living crammed into too few hours, and not enough time spent on making hopes and dreams come true.

That’s one mistake made in 2014.  I won’t broach the others.  No need. The list would be long and I’d prefer to invest my time elsewhere.

As I glance back over the past 12 months, I see success far more than I see failure, happiness more than tears, health and not illness.  2014 was a good year – a year that will launch me into 2015 upright and eager.

Things remaining on my 2014 To Do List will not roll automatically onto or into 2015. Perhaps there was a reason they were unfulfilled – a reason that needs to be explored and not ignored.

2014 will soon be little more than a bundle of memories, tangible and intangible, captured in words and pictures, thoughts and things.

2015 will see a more narrow focus – that of leaning hard into what’s important.

Funny thing is – what’s important to me probably won’t be to anyone else.

😉

Happy New Year!  Ready or not, here it comes!

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July 31

Today is the 212th day of 2014.

There are 153 days remaining.

153 days to

  • become
  • accomplish
  • change
  • add
  • subtract
  • multiply
  • divide
  • settle
  • disrupt
  • begin
  • stop
  • start
  • undo
  • grow
  • take on
  • put off

Don’t look back on the days now spent.  That’s not where the energy lies for your To-Do list today…tomorrow…the next 153 days.

You do have a plan for accomplishing your goals for 2014, right?  Take a look at it.

  1. Recalculate.
  2. Reschedule.
  3. Rephrase.
  4. Redefine.
  5. Realign.
  6. Refine.

Move forward with the plan.  Make each of the remaining 153 days move you into who or what you want to be January 1, 2015.

Only you can do this.

Do it for yourself.

Excuse me…I have A LOT of work to do. 😉

March 1

February disappeared as the minute hand and hour hand joined at midnight.  Not only did a new day begin, but a new month as well.

February…I feel like I truly lived only a few days of it and in those days aged five years. (At  my age, I can’t afford to age that fast!)

The first 14 days were spent out of state, the following 7 were spent attempting to catch up and find “normal” again.  And, the last 7 were spent taking care of sick folk, killing germs, and doing my best to avoid catching the crud myself. (Yes, for the past two days I’ve endured tummy grumbles but not to the extend the others had it – thank you God!)

And, now all that is behind us and a new, clean, long  month stretches before us.  I’m almost afraid to wonder what it will bring my way.

Last month I managed to dig my backyard garden.  It’s not ready to plant, but if all goes as planned (and we know from last month that we truly are not in control of anything) my garden will be ready to plant by next weekend.  And, Mom’s by the weekend following.

As March stretches beyond my brother’s birthday (tomorrow) to my own, two weeks later, much will change weather wise. Winter will loosen its grip and Spring will break forth.  My outdoors workload will increase.

The peach tree at Mom’s will need to be sprayed (3 times) if we are to have worm-free peaches for the squirrels to enjoy this year (I think I’m going to get a slingshot from Walmart and help the neighbor’s cats enjoy an occasional squirrel meal).

The grass will need to be cut.  Bushes beg to be cut back. An overgrown plum tree needs to be shaped.  That corner in Mom’s back yard has been asking for attention for the past year and a half. Oh, and the stuff hiding behind that shed…need to pull all that out and see what can be used in the garden (I know I saw four tires there….)

And, the list goes on.  And, as the days lengthen the “to do” list will as well.

But, I’m not going to think about that right now.

I’m going to enjoy the wonders of March 1.

Before the alarm went off this morning I was awakened by the coo coo coo of a dove (Dad called them “rain crows”). The wind is blowing from the South this morning and brings with it the rumble of trains and sound of their horns blowing at each crossing. Sunlight is muted by scattered clouds.  The temperature outdoors feels Spring-like…damp…full of promise.

Thoughts of Springtime in middle Georgia come to mind – probably the most beautiful place to be mid March….

Goodbye February.  It was good knowing you.  Many lessons were learned and opportunities given for growth and discovery.  And, many hard things were done.  In some ways I’m glad you’re gone…in others I wish you would linger a bit longer.

Hello, March! I’ve no idea what plans you have for me, but I do know the plans I have for you.  In fact, I have a March to do list underway.  And, ‘if the Good Lord wills and the creek don’t rise,’ I’m gonna get each and every thing on it done!

Thank you, Lord, for this day and for all the days that have brought me safely here.  Thank you for your love and provision.  Thank you, too, for your strength.  You are amazing and I love you!  Thank you for coming as Jesus…for revealing yourself to us…for coming and finding us and showing us how to know you…really know you.

February 25th

Today is the 56th day of the year.

How did that happen?

I’m certain I’ve lived every one of those 56 days…but I can’t account for many….

14 days of the 56 were spent out of state and most of them are a blur.  I feel like I’m missing half of this month and in reality, I guess I am.  The first half was spent in SC.  The second half was spent at home trying to get caught up.

And, here we are three days away from the beginning of the third month of the year.

How, exactly, did that happen?

Have there truly been 56 sun rises so far this year?

Apparently so.

I took a peek at my list of things I want to accomplish this year. I’d better get a move on if I’m going to get some things done.

Spring is just around the corner and time is marching on.  It will take every dry, sunny day between now and planting time to get things ready.

And, after Spring come Summer and I have a long list of things I need done in the garage before hot weather arrives.

I need life to slow down and the days to lengthen.  I need to cull some superfluous activities and involvements and focus on what’s important…to me.

What’s important to you?  Is it hard to focus on yourself and do what’s important to YOU? It is for me.  Perhaps it’s part ,personality, part gender, part maternal, part expectations, part training…. We’re taught to think first of others and their needs and desires and to think last of our own.

But, Jesus clearly said we are to love others as we love ourselves.

I have to take good care of me in order to take good care of you.

Refocus. Redirect. Realign. Priorities – that’s where my energy needs to be focused.

What are my priorities right now on this, the 56th day of the year?

I have 309 days left in this year (it’s not a Leap Year) and a long list of to dos to get done if I want to welcome 2015 differently than I welcomed 2014.

You have the same number of days left in this year as I.

Where will your focus be?

31 Days Out

31 days – that’s how old this new year is.

It’s time to take inventory and see how the year is shaping up before we slip into another month.

I’ve not made as much headway as I’d hoped so it’s time for me to turn up the heat a little and get things cooking a bit faster if I’m going to accomplish all I ‘ve set my mind to do this year.

Yes, there are still 11 months to go before 2015 slips in.  But, February has only 28 days and it will be in and out before we know it.

I’m out of here…grabbing my list, checking it twice and checking off at least one thing on my important to-do list before this day ends.

What about you?  Will you use today as THE day to get back on track and heading in the right direction?

14 Days Remaining

There are 14 days remaining in the year.  That means a week from today is Christmas Eve.

A week from today is CHRISTMAS EVE??!!??

What am I doing sitting here writing when I’ve so much yet to do??

Wait…just…hold on a minute.

WAIT!

Before we go running off to gather up our To Do lists, let’s take a moment and consider why we’re doing what we’re doing these next 7 days.

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I lost my list…

…the one with ideas for Suzansays posts.

It’s supposed to be right beside my computer, within easy reach should a thought cross my mind that I want to explore further or an idea pops into my head.

After several frantic seconds of panicked looking, I found it.

But in those brief seconds, my mind crafted a blog piece – what would happen if I’d not found the list and if I’d asked Hubby if he’d seen my “list.”  It went like this.

Me to Hubby: “Have you seen my list?”

Hubby: “What list?”

Me: “The little blue list that sits right here beside my computer.”

Hubby: “I didn’t know you have a blue list beside your computer.”

Me: “I don’t anymore.”

Hubby: “Where did it go?”

Me: “I don’t know.  That’s why I’m asking you.”

Hubby: “How would I know where it is if I didn’t even know you had one there?”

Me: “Aarrrgggghhhh…you didn’t pick up a little blue piece of paper that was on the floor beside my desk and throw it away, did you?”

Hubby: “Was it crumpled?”

Me: “Did you throw away a crumpled piece of blue paper that you found beside my desk?”

Hubby: “No.”

Me: “Did you throw away a piece of blue paper, crumpled or not, at any time yesterday?”

Hubby: “No.  Why?”

Me:  “Never mind. I’ll just go dig through the trash and see if it’s there.”

Hubby: “I took the trash out before we went to bed last night.  You might want to check the recycle bin, too.”

Me:  (Silence.  I open my desk drawer and pull out a blue Post It Note, stick it to the top of my desk and begin to write.)

Hubby: “What are you doing?”

Me: “Recreating the list…or as much of it as I can remember.”

Hubby: “If you can remember it, why do you need the list?”

Me: “I have lists for everything.  I’m a list maker.  That’s who I am.  If it’s important, it’s on a list somewhere.”

Hubby: “Is my name on a list somewhere?”

Me: “Yes.”

Hubby: “What list?”

Me: “Probably several lists, actually…a to-do list, a travel list, a remember-this list, a shopping list, emergency contact list…like I said, several lists.”

Hubby: “Where are they?”

Me: “Where are what?”

Hubby: “The lists.”

Me: “What lists?”

Hubby: “The lists with my name on them.”

Me: “I don’t know. Why?”

Hubby: “You have lists and don’t know where they are?”

Me: “Yeah…that’s how this conversation got started, remember?  I was looking for a list.”

Hubby: “What’s the point of making a list if you don’t keep up with it?”

Me: “Making a list clears my head, organizes my thoughts and lets me see – in order – what I need to do, remember, etc.  It helps me keep up with what’s important, like I said earlier.”

Hubby: “Let me get this straight – you make lists but don’t keep up with them and the reason you make the lists is so you can keep up with what’s important…right?”

Me:  “Right. Most lists I make are made for one reason – and that reason is to arrange my thoughts and my life in such a way as to see clearly what needs to be done and weed out what’s not important.”

Hubby:  “Okay.  But, if this stuff you write down is important to know and remember…why don’t you keep up with the list?”

Me: “Some lists I do keep up with…like the list of blog post ideas.”

Hubby: “But you lost that list.”

Me: “Yeah, it would appear so.”

Hubby: “Was my name on it?”

Me: “Hmm…yes, I believe it was.”

Hubby: “What were you planning to write about me?”

Me: “It’s not important now.”

Hubby: “What do you mean it’s not important?”

Me: “That post idea, whatever it was, can’t top the one I’m thinking of writing right now! 😉 ”

I’m a list maker.  Hubby is not, apart from that of entering appointments on his calendar. If I am away from home and find myself sitting/waiting for several minutes, my mind automatically begins organizing things into to-do lists. And, I usually whip out my notepad and begin writing things down.

Will I ever look at the list again?  Probably not until I find it and throw it away (after wondering when I wrote it and why I created that particular list). Sometimes it’s enough to create the list.  Listing creates order in my mind and if my mind is orderly, so is my world.

If you, dear reader, are not a list maker and wonder why I would ever deem it good to write one, take a look at this link and learn why I, and others like me, make lists.

Wait…I’ll make it easy for you…I’ll share the list of 10 Reasons Why We Love Making Lists.

  1. Lists bring order to chaos.
  2. Lists help us remember things.
  3. Most lists are finite.
  4. Lists can be meaningful.
  5. Lists can be as long or as short as necessary.
  6. Making lists can help make you famous.
  7. The word “list” can be tracked back to William Shakespeare.
  8. Lists relieve stress and focus the mind.
  9. Lists can force people to say revealing things.
  10. Lists can keep us from procrastinating.

I’d love to hear from you.

Are you a list maker?  Do you attempt to order your world in this way?

If not, how do you (pretend to) keep your world in order…your mind wrapped around what’s important…your day governed and your appointments kept?

I’m eager to learn new ways.  And, I’m eager to hear how other list makers keep up with all the lists they make…here, there and everywhere.

(In case you’re wondering, I didn’t share this with Hubby prior to posting.  He’s a good sport and will have a good laugh about it.)

May Day

It’s time to turn the page on the calendar…time to view a new picture…begin a new slate, start a new time sheet, schedule new events, begin a new to-do list.

It’s May Day.

April is past. Spring has sprung. Summer is 7 weeks away.

April – a month of new birth, of new life, of beginnings – blossoms – baby birds.

A week ago today, baby Robins hatched. From that point on, activity at the nest increased as both parents cared for them, feed them, warmed them and attended to their every need – going to great pains to keep them safe (taking the blue, empty egg shells away from the nest so predators wouldn’t be alerted to the presence of babies).

Within days they will fly from the nest.

Yesterday, I broke up the garden again and planted 12 tomato plants.  Before this week is out, seeds of various vegetables will be planted. And, then we begin the wait (and the watch) for the sprouts to push through the soil.

May – a month of growing, learning, becoming – of adjusting to new life, new ways, new routines.

This month, Son and Daughter-in-Love will welcome their first – a daughter. Though her arrival is not expected before the third week, all non-mandatory plans and events scheduled prior to her “due date” are penciled in.

My to-do list for May is long and varied.  My must-do list is far shorter.

On my must-do list, in the #1 slot (in ink) is the word “Family.” Under #2, I have written “Change.”

There will be much on my to-do list that involves family this month and much that pertains to change, as well.  On my must-do list there are three things only, with subtopics below each taken from my to-do list.

  1. Family
  2. Change
  3. For Me

What does your May must-do list look like?  How does it compare to your to-do list?

I hope your May Day is a great day and that it opens a month-long celebration of that which is truly important to you.