I am AGHAST that we are at the halfway mark for 2011. Is it just me, or is time flying by faster the older I get? Even though my days are not as crammed as when I was raising my family, they are still pretty full and I marvel at what seems like so little time between sunrise and sunset to get things done. How productive I am each day is of course related to the events –planned and not planned– of the day. Thus my personal motto: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today because tomorrow will probably blow up in your face. If I plan and prepare each new day to include the mundane and regular along with some new challenges, chances are I will accomplish some thing of value and substance in spite of the eternal race against time.
At the beginning of the year, in order to improve my station in life, I did what trillions of other like-minded people did: made New Year Resolutions. I kept my list simple this year instead of trying to tweak every area in my life in one full swoop. I wanted to be successful (which eludes me more often than not most years), yet realistic too. What a novel idea. Since the year is half over, I figured a quick check was in order to see where I am at with those resolutions. Is there something I still need to do? And more importantly, what have I learned thus far in my resolution quest? After all, if you can’t learn something new with your resolutions, then why bother? So, here is my mid-term evaluation of my New Year Resolutions:
1) Publish two posts a week to my blog. When I began this venture last January, I knew in order to be successful, I would have to be consistent with my posts. Other wise, my readers would not come back to visit. I have been able to keep this resolution so far. I have written a minimum of two, sometimes even three, posts a week. I have enjoyed the chance to write, to ponder, to share, and to keep a commitment. I especially have enjoyed the comments from my dear readers.
2) Read from the scriptures daily. What better way to maintain balance and perspective then turn to the writings of ancient spiritual writers. History does repeat itself thus the warnings and summaries of days gone by really come in handy for today. I decided to work on this resolution by reading the New Testament, a book that I have never before read completely from start to finish. I try to read a minimum of one chapter a day. Some days I miss, but most days I have been succeeding. I am in 1 Timothy right now. It looks like I am well on my way to completing this resolution.
3) Sew Three Projects. In a previous post, I talked about rediscovering a passion of mine: sewing. By committing to three projects, I felt I wouldn’t be overwhelmed and that I could practice some techniques involved in sewing. I have completed three projects so far this year:
A quilted tote for my sister’s birthday where I practiced using my “walking foot;” a purse for my other sister where I learned about embellishments; and a lace vest for me. By completing the third project, I didn’t feel that I had compromised my year long challenge of not buying any new clothes because I had bought the pattern last summer for a dollar at Joanne’s Fourth of July sale and because the lace fabric was leftover from five years ago from a daughter’s wedding. (No kidding) Thus, I was actually learning to sew resourcefully plus practice finishing seams and using a stabilizer for the first time.
Besides finishing those three projects, I have also taken some sewing classes where I learned age-old sewing secrets from a seamstress extraordinaire. That was very enlightening. I have become an avid supporter of having and knowing how to use the right tools in whatever you are pursuing.
Currently I am practicing “free motion” sewing with an art quilt, project number four. It is very challenging so I haven’t been too anxious to stay with it and get it done.
4. Do an act of kindness every day. We live in a pretty hard core world where kindness is sometimes hard to come by. A quote by Plato sums up my feelings on this matter: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” I want to be the person easing someone’s burdens–not adding to them by my lack of consideration.
I succeed on most days and feel pretty lousy on the days I fall short. In order to make any trait a habit, one needs to practice it daily for a minimum of six months. Hopefully, by the end of the year, daily deeds of kindness will be an internalized habit.
5. Strengthen my marriage. Becoming an empty nester has brought new and different challenges to my marital relationship. At any stage, a marriage needs careful attention. This is something I always have had to remind myself. Currently, I have been working on letting go of the hang-ups I’ve harbored over his little idiosyncrasies that bug me. And you know what? It has done wonders for our relationship.
So, how have I done? Being the educator that I am, I give myself a B+ for my progress so far. However, also being the perfectionist that I am, I realize there is still work to be done on my resolutions if I am to get that A I’m compelled to attain.
How is your mid-term check with your resolutions balancing out? Celebrate your successes. Don’t give up. Make adjustments where necessary. You’ll be “A” winner sooner than you think.