I don’t know about you but I feel really good about this New Year! I’m feeling strong! It’s only the second week of the year and the feeling of starting fresh is hanging with me. I hope it is for you too.
Think about what you want your 2018 to be like. When you think about it, try to be positive. If I have learned nothing else this past year I learned that when I remained positive and when I kept my focus on God and not myself, I began to feel down right good about the little things that previously annoyed me. You know, those little everyday things that you have to do that you wish you didn’t have to do. Things like cleaning the bathroom sink or cleaning the shower. The things that need to be done but you really would rather be lunching with your friends or riding your bicycle on a warm spring day.
This past year when I would focus on being thankful instead of feeling ungrateful my attitude started to change. I found myself smiling and laughing more and more. I realized that I became thankful for the fact that I had running hot and cold water in order to clean my bathroom sink and my shower. I would think about the women that came before me in history that had to cart their water into their homes and heat it over a wood stove. Yes, that sounds like it could be fun, once or twice maybe. I started to literally thank God for providing all the niceties of our modern world. The more I thanked him the less those tasks became “chores.” Do I still like cleaning the sink and shower? Not really, but I’m sure thankful to have a clean shower to hop into each morning, especially on those cold mornings when that hot water feels so good. I am thankful.
It’s really quite basic. We all have choices. We can choose to be grumpy and ungrateful and complain about everything. Or…we can choose to look at life as a precious gift and to appreciate everything we have. I think we all will reach a point in our lives where we wish we could recapture a time or a place that we took for granted. I don’t know where you are in life at this moment, but can you think of a time you wish you could have back? If you do, then take advantage of that feeling. Tell yourself your not going to take things for granted anymore. Tell yourself it doesn’t matter if someone leaves a mess in the spot you just cleaned. Be thankful and give that person a hug, tell him or her you love them and you’re thankful for them and watch a smile cross their face.
So how about it? Are you feeling like your starting strong this year?
I thought I would start this blog post by reviewing all the things that I accomplished in this past year. Then I thought, well, I really don’t think I accomplished all that much, but as I began to write and reflect, I realized what I did was all good quality stuff. It was full of love, family, and some new experiences. It was all good and full of happy things.
The highlight of the year for me was the trip to Maine my husband took me on for my 60th birthday! I have always, always wanted to go to the state of Maine. If for no other reason it is that state that is way up there on the tip of the east coast. It has always intrigued me. I never thought I would get to see it, so when my husband asked me what I wanted to do for my 60th birthday, I told him I’d like a really nice lobster dinner. Get it? Next thing I know we’re booking a trip to Maine for a really nice lobster dinner!
Let’s see…next, I joined a Toastmasters group! That was huge for me. It was a scary big step. It was so scary for me I didn’t even tell my husband what I was doing until I returned from my first meeting. It was great. I met some really nice eclectic people who I really do love. I learned a lot and gained a lot of clarity about myself and others.
I also did one of my favorite things which was playing in my yard, i.e. gardening. I didn’t do as much as I normally would have due to the time I put in to preparing my toastmaster speeches. The lesson learned here is that if you add something to your life, be prepared to back off of something else. That’s one reason why I’m not going to continue with the group. That, and it was kind of a bucket list item for me. Now that I’ve done it I want to move to something else, and my yard is a big neglected mess. Really, it is.
As you get older, you realize life gets short. I want to start trying all the things I put off all my life because I was busy doing that work thing that people do in order to survive. I’ve been retired a few years now so I need to get at it!
Let’s see…what else did I do last year. Oh yes. I watched my grand kiddos when their regular routine was disrupted by holidays, illnesses etc. I love those days. Usually it’s a day or two here and there. Just enough to fill my cup with grand-baby love and then go home and collapse. I love my time with them and we have made some pretty good memories. More to come I hope.
I also spent a lot of time with my aging mom. She’s 93 and still going strong. She’s not driving these days so I take her out at least once a week for a shopping outing. During the holidays we headed out twice a week, one day for groceries and one day for Christmas shopping. She is a woman that doesn’t like to impose on people and is always saying she doesn’t want to take up my time. I always tell her, “it’s quality time mom and we won’t get it back, so lets enjoy each other while we can.” This is what she told me this morning when I talked to her on the phone. She said, “well, I really don’t have much grocery shopping to do this week, so let’s just make it a fun day okay?” How good is that? Very!
So now what? The new year is here and I want to get busy! Goals are good right? Do you do the “New Year Resolution” thing? I don’t because they never get fulfilled and it’s usually something like “I’m going to exercise more,” which I do really want to do but it never seems to be a high priority, so it doesn’t get done.
This year instead of giving up something or trying to stick to a new year resolution I’ve decided to make a list of things I want to try, things that I’ve never done before, things that have stirred in the back of my mind for years but for whatever reason I have just never done them. In addition, I want to continue to do some of the things I’ve been working on half halfheartedly because of the lack of good time management. Like what I’m doing now, writing! For some reason I love to write. Am I good at it? My husband seems to think so. That’s good enough for me! And, the fact that I just love doing it! So I’ll be doing much more blogging this year. My goal for now is at least one post per week. I figure if I right it down I can hold myself accountable.
I’m proud to say I got a head start on my list of goals. I asked my husband for a fly tying kit for Christmas and I got it! What a good husband! What is a fly tying kit you ask? Ever heard of fly-fishing? I’m sure you have. I’m going to make the pretty flys that the fisher people use when they fly fish. And…I’m going to start fly fishing myself!! We live just a couple of miles from one of the most beautiful rivers in our country, so no excuses for not doing it!
How about dance lessons? I’m working on that one. I want to learn with my husband, no other partner will do for me! He’s sort of almost on board with the idea.
I also received some art supplies that I asked for last year at Christmas. Yep, from my husband, he’s a gem. I got interested in painting when I went to one of those “paint and sip” events with some of my girlfriends. You can’t really go wrong at those events. Everyone comes out with a pretty painting. My mom was talented in this area as well as one of my sisters, so what the heck. I’m going to try it. Those sip and paint people have help classes that you can just drop in for on an hourly basis. So really there is no excuse not to do it. Scheduling. Maybe I’ll take my mom.
I could go on and on with things I want to do, in fact I probably will when I sit down and make my next journal entry. I’ll jot down some things I want to do this year. I’ll try to create a menu of sorts. That’s a good idea. I’ll create a menu of fun things to do, some vacation things to do, I’ll throw in some things to do for others. The goals can’t be all selfish. We all have to give back somehow. I’ll come up with some good fun, giving, ideas for the list.
I’ll pick some and then next year, I’ll report out on what I accomplished. One of my goals will be to have a readership for my blog, for now, well I’m just enjoying writing and publishing my own stuff. It’s fulfilling in some weird way.
So for now, Happy New Year and I’ll be back next week. (holding myself accountable)