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Yes It Can


How many times have we all had a series of bad incidents occur and find ourselves believing that  things couldn't possibly get any worse, only for one more evil wind to blow our way and topple what resolve we had remaining? 

There have been times in my life that I really felt like I was just going to collapse and die if one more thing went wrong... and yet, I didn't die and the world didn't end. 

I have a couple friends that leave me in awe at how much has been heaped on their plates, and yet they muster the courage and determination to tread water until they can find a way to move forward again.  Call it survival instinct, optimism or hope, or a healthy dose of all three.   

If you manage to hang in there during the bad times, you just might find yourself on the flip side of the coin, thinking that your life is going pretty good and couldn't possible get better... and then God smiles and sends a surprise in your direction that will light up your world.

There will be dark times in your life, but I believe that things can still work out better than you could possibly imagine!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with awesome Ivy Walker at "Uncharted" for Six Sentence Stories
The cue this week is "CAN"
Come and read what others have written and share a story of your own!

How I Met Papa Bear


Yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of the first night I met Papa Bear.  I drove the ninety miles from Hobbs, New Mexico where I'd been living for twenty years, to Odessa, Texas after work on that fateful Friday in January to spend the weekend getting to know him.

Our first meeting is fun memory that we often talk about, with both of us so nervous and yet so excited to finally meet after the many, many hours of late night phone conversation that had occurred in the three weeks prior to this first official date. 

We already knew we'd be great friends, we didn't know if their would be chemistry between us when we were actually together.  Just two weeks later he would purchase the house that was to become our home.  <3

Several bloggers that I've met in recent years have asked how I met Papa Bear.  I went back to my archives and found this post from 2009 that tells the story.  I hope you enjoy it...

Reporting In - Three Weeks Down


I started to write this update over the weekend, but as usual other things came into play and I was distracted/diverted.  So here's where I'm at now...
 
1)   Accountability - define steps, establish time frames, report in, follow through
      Step 1: Establish a first step for each goal on the list/time frame for each goal - by 1/3/16.
     DONE

     Step 2: Review goals weekly as a reminder, modify or adjust time frames as needed.
     DOING IT

      Step 3: Monitor and report progress status bi-weekly starting 1/09/16.
      Adjusting time frame to be more flexible - will report in every 2-4 weeks.
      DOING IT
 
2)   Spiritually - pray more, complain less, focus on reasons to be thankful
      Step 1: Update my daily prayer list to reflect current concerns/critical issues - by 1/4/16.
      DONE

     Step 2: Offer up more prayers in the moment, as the need comes to me, especially prayers
     for others - beginning 1/11/15.
     DOING IT
 
      Step 3: Reduce criticism/complaining to not more than twice a day - by 1/11/16
     HAHAHA - not even close, but more mindful of that and trying harder.  Begin again each day!
 
3)   Mentally - read more, sharpen skills, learn new things
      Step 1: Select a book from my reading list and begin  reading 30 minutes daily - by 1/5/16.
      HIT AND MISS. Haven't worked this into the schedule successfully on a regular basis yet. 
      Need to be more disciplined about going to bed early enough to enjoy that half hour of
     downtime reading. 
 
     Step 2: Play Words With Friends and at least one game of Sudoku daily for brain exercise 
     DOING IT
 
     Step 3: Identify something new I would like to learn how to do - by 2/07/16.
     
4)  Health - eat healthier, try new recipes, increase activity, increase endurance
      Step 1: Take prepared lunches to work at least three times a week - start 1/3/16.
      DOING IT - I enjoy having more time to relax and catch up on blogs, and having
      healthier things to eat, costs less too!
     
     Step 2: Keep breakfast items at work rather than doing drive-thru breakfasts - start 1/3/16.
     DOING IT
 
     Step 3: Make at least three home-cooked meals this week - start 1/10/16
     Not doing it regularly - kick it into gear by 2/01/16, no excuses!!
 
     Step 4: Do at least one domestic chores project each evening - beginning 2/01/16
    
5)  Time - manage chores, do more things that I enjoy, spend less time on Facebook
      Step 1: Check Facebook updates not more than four times a day - start today 1/3/16.
      Not there yet  - This proves to be the hardest goal!  I yield easily to temptation.  
      GETTING CLOSER - fewer checks, it's becoming easier to push the phone away!
 
      Step 2: Start a new craft project that I can work on daily - beginning 2/01/16.

 6)  Writing - blog frequently, journal, write poetry, develop reliable backup system
      Step 1: Post at least four times a week, even if just a brief check in - started 12/28/15.
      HIT AND MISS - some weeks better than others.  Going to continue for a couple more
     weeks then re-evaluate goal and see if I want to modify it.
 
      Step 2: Do at least two journaling post each week - start 1/10/16.
      NOT THERE YET - the desire is, the energy level at night isn't.  Will continue.
    
 7)  Finances - reduce expenses, build savings
      Step 1: Adopt the 52-Week Money Saving Challenge along with Papa Bear -
      start 1/5/16.  Will continue our deposits into the savings account on paydays.
      DOING IT
     
      Step 2: Identify specific ways to reduce expenses - begin 1/5/16
      DOING IT - WILL BE ONGOING ALL YEAR
      So far we have dropped at home Internet service, relying on our faster ATT hotspot instead.
      Brown bagging breakfast and lunch has resulted in food and gas savings too.
     
      Step 3: Reduce meal expense by eating dinner at home at least three times a week - start
      1/10/16.  Not doing it 3x a week yet, plan to meet that goal by end of next week!
      NOT HAPPENING REGULARLY YET
 
     Step 4: Organize kitchen and grocery shopping to better facilitate Step 4 - by 2/01/15
 
8)  Environment - de-clutter, deep clean,  enhance the décor of our house
     Step 1: Clear clutter from dining table, continue to clear daily - start today 1/3/16.
     DONE and being maintained thus far!

     Step 2: Clean interior/exterior of refrigerator and stove. - by 1/16/16.
     NOT DONE YET - extending deadline to 2/15/16.
  
     Step 3: De-clutter clean and organize one area weekly - beginning 1/23/16.
     DOING IT
     De-cluttered one area of the living room. Got rid of a couple pieces of unneeded furniture, 
     rearranged and reorganized the rest.  More de-cluttering in that room yet to be done.
 
9)  Relationships - help, encourage, practice tolerance, plan surprises
     Step 1: Send a note of encouragement to someone different each week - start by 1/9/16. 
     DOING IT

     Step 2: Be more tolerant of people who enter interrupt my time/space. Work on living in
     The present and being more willing to give my time to others - start 1/10/16
     WORKING ON IT - being more mindful of when I am impatient and judgmental.  Needs
     more work!

     Step 3: Plan a surprise for Papa Bear by 6/01/16.
 
10) Baggage - unpack old issues, re-evaluate motives/reasoning, face fears
      Step 1: Identify old issues that negatively effect how I live my life now - by 1/10/16.
      NOT DONE YET - I am going to extend the deadline for identifying some of the issues I
      want to unpack until 2/06/16, the day before my 62nd birthday. That seems appropriate. :-)

NOTES:
1/26/16 - I am learning that having set goals and reviewing them weekly helps me to be more
accountable to myself.  I have increased self-awareness of when I am falling off track, and can
make an effort to get back in line with the plan.

Not surprisingly, I am discovering that I am much better at adjusting my attitude than changing
actual behaviors, especially ones requiring physical effort.  That's an issue I will need to address.

The first re-organizing project we undertook in the living room this past weekend is just one
step of many, but a big improvement which gave a psychological boost to both of us, and
motivates us to go on to the next thing.  Sometimes chain reactions are a good thing!  :-)
 

Man Of My Dreams

Before I met Papa Bear I dreamed of finding a man who was the opposite of what I had experienced in my previous three marriages. I dreamed of someone who was giving, caring, compassionate, dependable, financially responsible, and stable.  Someone who was a good conversationalist, wasn't afraid to share his feelings, and had a great sense of humor.  Someone who wanted to visit new places and learn new things, and yet valued family and tradition.  Someone of faith, with strong ethics and moral character, who new how to conduct himself in public and private situations and would never intentionally say or do something that would embarrass me.  Someone who was affectionate and romantic, lived with simple needs and enjoyed sharing quiet times together, and love cats of course!  Someone with a deep voice, broad shoulders, and smiling eyes who didn't lash out in anger, and didn't fall apart when the going got rough.  Someone who would truly be there for better or for worse until the end. 

I have to admit that's a huge shopping list, and the likelihood of meeting someone with even half of those qualities is pretty small, and yet... that's exactly what happened.  Sometimes when you create a vision when planning for the future you will be blessed with the man of your dreams. I know it's possible, Papa Bear is all of this, and more.  As one of Papa Bear's friends told me early on, "He's the real deal." Yes, he is. There isn't an ounce of pretense in him.  Everyone who knows him admires him and respects him;  it is rare for us to go out anywhere in this city that someone he knows doesn't walk up to greet him and shake his hand. You don't have to be around him very long to discover that he is intelligent and entertaining, and it goes without saying that he has abundant patience to live with me! :-)  Is he perfect? No, no one is without a few flaws and foibles, but we compliment each other in all the ways that are important to create a relationship that we both treasure.

In short, God has truly given me the man of my dreams, and I am so very blessed.  If you are seeking a partner for your life, God just may have  the man or woman of your dreams waiting for you.
~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Patricia for her blog hop In Other Words
 where the writing prompt this week is the following quotation:
"Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

- Gloria Steinem
 
Come and add your words to ours!

And Then One Day She Changed


Chloe lived her life as a doormat. Taught from birth to do as she was told, she never dared to question what was asked of her, or even what he demanded.

"Do as I say, do it now. Do it or I'll make you wish you had, and don't you dare tell anyone!" 

And then one day the years of buried anger rose within her.  "No," she said, as she turned and walked away, and on that day she changed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with awesome Ivy Walker at "Uncharted" for Six Sentence Stories
The cue this week is "CHANGE"
Come and read what others have written and share a story of your own!

Reporting In - Week 1

 
This is my first check-in on the goals I've set for myself for this year. Things went pretty good for the most part, and I'm pleased with the fact that having set goals helps keep me focused on things I want to do.
 
1)   Accountability - define steps, establish time frames, report in, follow through
      Step 1: Establish a first step for each goal on the list/time frame for each goal - by 1/3/16 -
      DONE
     
      Step 2: Monitor and report progress status at least bi-weekly starting 1/09/16 - DOING IT/Will
      continue.
 
2)   Spiritually - pray more, complain less, focus on reasons to be thankful
      Step 1: Update my daily prayer list to reflect current concerns/critical issues - by 1/4/16 -
      DONE
     
      Step 2: Reduce criticism/complaining to not more than twice a day - by 1/11/16
 
3)   Mentally - read more, sharpen skills, learn new things
      Step 1: Select a book from my reading list and begin  reading 30 minutes daily - by 1/5/16 -
      Hit  and miss on this, 3 out of 5..  Will try bedtime reading for one more week because  it
      helps me relax for sleep.
     
4)   Health - eat healthier, try new recipes, increase activity, increase endurance
      Step 1: Take prepared lunches to work at least three times a week - start 1/3/16 - DONE/Will
      Continue. I brown-bagged by lunch all five days this week.  I won't always be able to do that,
      But I enjoyed having more time to relax and catch up on blogs, and having healthier things to
      eat at less cost! 
     
      Step 2: Keep breakfast items at work rather than doing drive-thru breakfasts - start 1/3/16.
      DONE/Will continue.
     
      Step 3: Make at least three home-cooked meals this week - start 1/10/16
    
5)  Time - manage chores, do more things that I enjoy, spend less time on Facebook
      Step 1: Check Facebook updates not more than four times a day - start today 1/3/16 -  UGH!
      This proved to be the hardest one.  I yield easily to temptation.  Did great first two days, then
      my sister got hurt and I spent a lot of time checking on her and updating people.  I need  to
      continue working on this one and try harder!
 
6)  Writing - blog frequently, journal, write poetry, develop reliable backup system
      Step 1: Post at least four times a week, even if just a brief check in - started 12/28/15 -
      DONE/Will Continue. I posted something nearly daily, skipped last night because I was
      worn out from the day.  This goal will continue.
 
      Step 2: Do at least two journaling post each week - start 1/10/16.
     
7)   Finances - reduce expenses, build savings
      Step 1: Adopt the 52-Week Money Saving Challenge along with Papa Bear - start 1/5/16 -
      Done/Will Continue.  The first two weeks $ are in the bank for both of us.
  
      Step 2: Look for ways to reduce expenses - begin 1/5/16 - Done/Will continue
      So far we have dropped at home Internet service, relying on our faster ATT hotspot instead.
      It's working out  so far and we have a clearer picture of how we use data.  Brown bagging
      breakfast and lunch to work this week, rather than doing fast-food has resulted in savings too.
 
      Step 3: Reduce meal expense by eating dinner at home at least three times a week - start
      1/10/16.
     
8)   Environment - de-clutter, deep clean,  enhance the décor of our house
      Step 1: Clear clutter from dining table, continue to clear daily - start today 1/3/16 - DONE
 
      Step 2: Clean interior/exterior of refrigerator and eliminate 1 pile of clutter - by 1/16/16.
 
9)   Relationships - help, encourage, practice tolerance, plan surprises
      Step 1: Send a note of encouragement to someone different each week - start by 1/9/16 -  
      DONE/will continue.  Sent several notes to my sister in the hospital this week. 

      Step 2: Be more tolerant of people who enter interrupt my time/space. Work on living in
      The present and being more willing to give my time to others - start 1/10/16
 
10) Baggage - unpack old issues, re-evaluate motives/reasoning, face fears
      Step 1: Identify old issues that negatively effect how I live my life now - by 1/10/16 - not
      Done yet.  I have given it some thought, but this week was busy with getting back into the
      work routine  after all the time-off over the holidays, and then with family issues including
      my sister's accident.I am going to extend the deadline for identifying some of the issues I
      want to unpack until 2/06/16, the day before my 62nd birthday. That seems appropriate. :-)
 

What Exactly Is Your Problem?


Shaylene could not recall the exact date it happened.  The only thing that stood out clearly in the fog that now swirled about her was the last thing her supervisor had said. 

"What exactly is your problem?"

It was at that moment that Shaylene lost it.  The zillion bits of knowledge, thoughts, memories  and emotions that had been crammed into her brain for the last forty years surpassed maximum capacity and her head exploded in all directions like a Technicolor rainbow.

Shaylene soon discovered that she liked her life a lot better after the "cerebral accident", as the doctors referred to it; the soft swirls of light, sound, and color were a perfect match for her watercolor thoughts and dreams.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with awesome Ivy Walker at "Uncharted" for Six Sentence Stories
The cue this week is "EXACT"
Come and read what others have written and share a story of your own!

No Free Rides

 
It becomes all too easy to become a passive observer in life, content to let others make the decisions and plans, and take care of all the details while you just come along for the ride.  There are a couple big problems with this as I see it, the first being that if you aren't willing to help make decisions and implement them, you have no right to complain about what is done.  That kind of apathy can lead  you into situations you really want no part of. 
 
The second problem I have with apathy is that I believe it takes each and every one of us doing our part, contributing what we can, to make our communities, countries, and world a good place to live.  If we don't pick up the trash on the sidewalk, who will?  If we don't feed the hungry, or find ways to house the homeless, who will.  If we don't work to build bridges of peace, how will it ever happen?
 
We are all tenants of the same planet, if it is neglected, damaged, or destroyed, we will all live or die with the consequences. That is why it is so critical that we all take an active interest, and find a way to use our talents and interests to keep things going in the right direction, in a way that will serve to benefit us all. 
 
No other person is able to contribute exactly what you can.  It is no one's job to do your part for you or in place of you. It is not good enough to be a thinker and a dreamer, you must work to make those thoughts and dreams a reality.  We are all family, we all occupy a single "space ship".  We must rely on each other.  For those who are able, there should be no free rides in life. Get up, show up, join in or lead the way! 
~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Patricia for her blog hop In Other Words
 where the writing prompt this week is the following quotation:
"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."

- Marshall McLuhan
 
Come and add your words to ours!

In The Blink of An Eye

  
Last evening was like most others.  We ate supper, played with the cats, and Papa Bear watched TV while I sat beside him and did a little writing.  I texted with both of my sisters and a friend, and played Words With Friends with them.  I went to bed a  half hour early so I could read for a little while and relax for sleep.
 
Something woke me up about 1:30 AM, that happens fairly often.  Sometimes if feels like there is something or someone needing my prayers.  I picked up my phone, glancing at my texts and Facebook, and discovered that my older sister in Minnesota, who turns 64 next week, had taken a very bad fall and was at the emergency room with her daughter waiting for for x-ray results. 
 
Last night she had taken her two poodles out for a last potty before bedtime.  She was standing at the top of the steps to her deck while the dogs were in the yard on their long leashes, which she held in her hand.  One of them gave a tug, and she lost her footing on the icy deck, tumbling down the steps on her backside.  Shaken, she noticed immediately that her leg felt floppy, but at least she hadn't hit her head in the fall.  She managed to drag herself back up into the house to retrieve her cell phone and call her daughter who lives a few miles away for help.  She tells me that she was hit with excruciating pain when two policemen gently lifted her into her daughter's car for rapid transport to the ER.
 
It turns out that she shattered the upper part of her femur.  She was admitted to the hospital and will undergo surgery tomorrow (Wednesday) noon to repair the fracture with screws and plates and tentatively a hip implant.  They surgeon is hoping she will be recovered enough by Saturday to transfer her to a rehab facility where she will remain for 2-3 months for healing and therapy.  Since she is single and her daughter has a full-time job in downtown Minneapolis, it would be impossible for her to be home on her own while she recovers.
 
Thankfully, she has a wonderful boss and was promised today that her part-time cashier position at a dollar store will remain open for her when she is ready to return.  She was so worried about losing it, she loves working there, and needs the income to make ends meet.
 
Needless to say, this isn't how she was planning to start the new year, and she certainly wasn't planning to celebrate her birthday in rehab.  But it could have been so much worse, she might have hit her head and been knocked out... or worse.  She might have been unable to call for help.  In the blink of an eye everything could have been forever changed.
 
Today, she was resting comfortably in the hospital, with sufficient morphine to keep her from severe pain, and said she was okay unless she tried to move anything.  I'm sure she is sore and bruised all over from the fall.  She is in good hands and knows that God is taking care of her.   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers and she goes through surgery and the weeks of rehab. Of my two sisters and I, she is by far the most agile and active, and is pretty feisty too, so I am confident she will make a full recovery in time. 
 
I am terrified of falling, especially on ice, especially as I get older and my bones become more brittle, and this just brought home again the need to be extremely careful - and to always have your phone in your pocket or an emergency alert device. It also serves as a reminder of how important it is to live in the present, enjoy every moment, and stay connected with family and friends.  Life can and does change in the blink of an eye, be grateful for each day as it comes.


Tuesday Coffee Chat - Reverse Bucket List


Rory Bore hosts a Coffee Chat each Tuesday at her blog  Ink Interrupted.  I was intrigued by the topic she chose for this week - making a reverse bucket list - the things you have accomplished thus far, rather than just focusing on the things you hope to do in the future.  For my reverse bucket list I've decided to focus on some of the things I've done in the past ten years because my life has changed so dramatically in that time frame.

* In the Fall of 2006 I finally surrendered myself to the reality that it was necessary for me to end my thirteen year marriage which had become increasingly destructive. Friends and family had been trying to tell me this for a long time, but I had to reach the point where I knew without a doubt that the relationship was not salvageable. 

* In December of that year left our home on the farm and moved into a small apartment in town. Doing so at 52 years of age was more than a little intimidating, but at long last I had freedom and peace, even if that meant being alone.

* Late the following year I got brave enough to check out the online dating scene and discovered that while there are indeed a lot of crazies out there, there are also a few truly good guys looking for someone to share life with. 

* Eight years ago this week I met Papa Bear online, and began the adventure that would totally change my life, making it more wonderful than I ever dared to dream possible!

* At the end of May in 2008 I left my job of nineteen years, and the city where I had lived for the past twenty, and relocated to West Texas to begin my life with Papa Bear.  We were married in September of 2008.

* Moving here, I took an office job at a Peterbilt dealership and remained there for almost four years until the family owned company sold out to a large corporation.  Desiring to return to the human services sector, I obtained employment at a law firm that specializes in assisting people with obtaining Social Security disability benefits.  I love what we do and the opportunities the job presents daily to treat people who are down and out with kindness, compassion, and respect.  I have been there four years as of this week, and now hold the dubious distinction of being the employee at our branch with the most longevity.  It's fair to say we've gone through a LOT of changes there in the past few years!

* When my father died six years ago we were able to use some of my inheritance to purchase a small piece of land outside of the city, twenty miles outside of it to be exact, and move our manufactured home from the congested mobile home park to the privacy of country living, which I love.

* Over the course of time we've acquired a family of four very furry felines who keep us entertained and shower us with affection.  Toby, the youngest, was my sixtieth birthday gift, the gift I requested.  He and I can grow old together.  I am blessed to live with a man who loves cats as much as I do!

* Since I've been married to Papa Bear we've taken several wonderful vacations, something that very rarely happened during my previous marriage. I love road trips with Papa Bear and I look forward to them eagerly, especially when they end up at the ocean, which to me is the most peaceful place on earth. :-)

* In the past ten years I've been able to watch the group of children at Red Cloud Elementary School on the Pine Ridge Reservation that I came to know and love grow up, graduate, and move ahead with their lives.  These beautiful young people will hold a special place in my heart forever and I cherish the ability to stay in touch with many of them via Facebook.

* I was introduced to blogging shortly before my last marriage ended, and it was my blog "Picking Up Pieces" and the wonderful friendships that developed with fellow bloggers, that got me through the hardest time of my life.  Blogging has been my window to the world and my connection to people that I can share my thoughts, fears, and dreams with, and even a bit of off-the-wall fiction now and then.  I have discovered that I love writing more than anything else I do!

* In recent years I've learned to love myself more, value myself more, know when to say "no", know which relationships to nurture and which to walk away from, and which issues to take a stand on. In short, I have found myself, my voice, my purpose, and a faith that proves to be rock solid - even when the wind blows.

* Even if I was to never achieve a single thing on my Goal List for 2016, or anything on my rather vague bucket list, I would die being content with the experiences that life has given me, proud of what I've learned, warmed by the knowledge that I am loved, and grateful for all the amazing people that I've had the privilege to get to know along the way.
 


I Make Myself Laugh


Sometimes I have to laugh at myself.  I'm almost 62 years old and yet some of my behavior patterns are childish.  For example, there were a few first steps on my Goals List for this year that were to be done by yesterday.  So do I tackle the most difficult one first... clearing off the dining table that had been covered with clutter for the past few months, or do I complete all the little, easy items and stall on doing the table until after supper when I am tired and don't really want to do it at all? 

You guessed it, I left the big ticket project until last.  Of course then I was wishing I would have tackled it first, but I knew I had to get up and do it or I would feel rather pathetic about already slacking on my goals.  So, it can be said that guilt is a motivator and I'm pleased to report that I went to bed smiling, having completed everything that was scheduled to be done by end of day. 

It's kind of nice to see the table top again, especially since it is a tall table and functions as extra counter/work space in our very small kitchen.  Good grief, why do I put things off for so long, avoiding it at all costs, when it took  less than two hours time to clear the table and make it functional again, not to mention it looks good, and feels good to see it cleaned off?

 I am sometimes surprised by my ability to postpone, ignore, or avoid altogether the things that I don't want to deal with, both in tangible aspects like the table and in less tangible areas of my life, like behavioral changes.  Now comes the challenge... can I keep the table cleaned off? We'll see!  :-)

The 52-Week Money Saving Challenge

This is the 52-Week Money Challenge that I referred to in my first step for Goal 7 for this year related to finances.  I've seen it popping up for the past couple years on Facebook, and I think that the breakdown by weeks keeps it simple and makes it feel doable.  Papa Bear will be matching my deposits into the savings account each week, so we'll hopefully end up with money for a vacation or something special.  
 
There are a couple work-related financial concerns in our lives this year, and I know from past experiences that a random savings goal, or planning to set aside too large an amount often falls through in short order.  While I'm hoping and planning to try to save extra funds in our individual savings accounts, this is a joint account that we really want commit to doing together.  I will  keep you updated on how it goes.

The First Steps

 
So I've set some goals that I want to achieve for my life. But goals are just meaningless lists of words if there is no action plan to achieve them.  Today I'm going to define one small step that I can take to get me actually moving in the right direction in each of these areas of my life.   
 
1)   Accountability - define steps, establish time frames, report in, follow through
      Step 1: Establish a first step for each goal on the list/time frame for each goal - by 1/3/16
 
2)   Spiritually - pray more, complain less, focus on reasons to be thankful
      Step 1: Update my daily prayer list to reflect current concerns and critical issues - by 1/4/16
 
3)   Mentally - read more, sharpen skills, learn new things
      Step 1: Select a book from my reading list and begin  reading 30 minutes daily - by 1/5/16
 
4)   Health - eat healthier, try new recipes, increase activity, increase endurance
      Step 1: Take prepared lunches to work at least three times a week - start 1/3/16
 
5)   Time - manage chores, do more things that I enjoy, spend less time on Facebook
      Step 1: Check Facebook updates not more than four times a day - start today 1/3/16
 
6)   Writing - blog frequently, journal, write poetry, develop reliable backup system
       Step 1: Post at least four times a week, even if just a brief check in - started 12/28/15
 
7)   Finances - reduce expenses, build savings
      Step 1: Adopt the 52-Week Money Saving Challenge along with Papa Bear - start 1/5/16
 
8)   Environment - de-clutter, deep clean,  enhance the décor of our house
      Step 1: Clear clutter from dining table, continue to clear daily - start today 1/3/16
 
9)   Relationships - help, encourage, practice tolerance, plan surprises
      Step 1: Send a note of encouragement to someone different each week - start by 1/9/16
 
10) Baggage - unpack old issues, re-evaluate motives/reasoning, face fears
      Step 1: Identify old issues that negatively effect how I live my life now - by 1/10/16

  

Getting Started

 
Day two of the new year and it would be so easy to stay in the comfortable space of doing nothing. Yet I know it is true that if I want something to be different in my life (and I do),  I must be willing to actually DO something different than what I've been doing.   So it's time to get a plan together.
 
WHAT I WANT:
1)   Accountability - define steps, establish time frames, report in, follow through
2)   Spiritually - pray more, complain less, focus on reasons to be thankful
3)   Mentally - read more, sharpen skills, learn new things
4)   Health - eat healthier, try new recipes, increase activity, increase endurance
5)   Time - manage chores, do more things that I enjoy, spend less time on Facebook
6)   Writing - blog frequently, journal, write poetry, develop reliable backup system
7)   Finances - reduce expenses, build savings
8)   Environment - de-clutter, deep clean,  enhance the décor of our house
9)   Relationships - help, encourage, practice tolerance, plan surprises
10) Baggage - unpack old issues, re-evaluate motives/reasoning, face fears
 
That sounds like a lot, but I'm going to start with small steps for each goal, rather than overloading my plate and then feeling defeated.  I'll break this down more in my next post. Time to GET UP and go DO SOMETHING! :-)