For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. -T.S. Eliot
I was recently in a discussion with a friend about a group of women she admires. She shared with me how they all have full-time jobs outside their homes. They play on their own sports teams. They run marathons. They put on the school auctions, run various school committees, attend all of their children’s sporting events, and while I don’t know most of these women my friend was referring to, the one I do know is always cheery. I took a deep breath and asked my friend, “How? How do they do it?”
I can’t even seem to take a walk to clear my mind let alone play on a sports team.
I shared earlier in January my word for the year – courage. Well, I also like to give myself a little mantra to keep myself focused throughout the year. A few weeks ago, I pulled out my typed up goals from last year – 4 single-spaced pages – and was reminded of last year’s mantra: A goal without a plan is just a dream. I certainly had a plan – 4-pages worth – a bit over the top but, I must say, I was able to check off quite a few of my goals. I loved that feeling.
After reviewing the goals from 2011, I pulled up a fresh clean page, titled it 2012 Goals and typed my word and my mantra at the top. After that I went through and typed up 3 specific goals in all of the areas of importance in my life: Writing, Photography, Marriage, Kids, Financial, House, Health, Etc., Etc.. Instead of four pages, I ended up with two. Sometimes I found it difficult to choose only three specific things but I forced myself to choose. What can I really do with the finite time I have available in any given day, week, month, year? And what do I deeply want to get done in that time? What is the most important to me? I find that with each passing year, I am better able to judge. Instead of saying I’m going to give the entire house a face lift this year, I now know that if I can get a cushion made for my bench, replace the weather stripping on my deck doors, and get the broken garage windows fixed from errant lacrosse balls, then I will consider that a success. My three goals for my house will have been met. But, my house is not the priority it once was.
Before we leave this first month of 2012, I thought I’d share my made-up mantra for 2012.
Be present, trust the process – your own process, and keep moving forward.
And that’s the key really. Knowing what we can each do…individually. We are all given the same amount of time. How we end up using it is up to each one of us. We have to trust our own process. Our own way of doing things. And, keep moving forward.
My first grader likes to tell me as soon as I pick him up from school, how many recesses he had. “Well, we had a lunch recess and in the morning my teacher gave us a brain break and then, we got extra recess before it was time to go home.”
One of the beauties of working from home is that when I go outside, I can hear the kids out at recess. I always smile when I think that perhaps one of the voices in that chatter coming over the trees is my little guy.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it on my own, but yesterday, I gave myself a brain break. Just a quick ten minutes outside. A walk down the trail to the bridge to watch the water fall and back again. I could hear the sounds of children playing from the school and I hoped that one of those happy voices was my little buddy. The ten minutes of fresh air felt so good.
I won’t be playing on any sports teams or running any marathons anytime soon but right now, in my life, I can take a ten minute walk each morning to clear my mind. That’s how I’m choosing to spend ten minutes of my day. That’s my own process. I can’t agonize over the way other people choose to spend their time – which can certainly seem at times much more efficient than my methods – but, I have to trust myself. I have to trust my own priorities and my own way of doing things because really, what else can one do?
Does anybody have a mantra they are posting on the fridge for the year? Would love to know…..if you want to share.
Thank you for choosing to spend a little bit of your time here. I’m off to take my brain break. xoxo
P.S. Hope you enjoyed the photos from our one snow day…..
What I’m Loving Right Now:
Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter on toasted whole grain bread. Like Nutella…only, better.
I have a backlog of recipes that I’m dying to share with you. You can expect one involving chocolate later this week and one for a comforting pot of soup the week after. Cheers, my friends!