Saturday, December 30, 2017

Three Words for 2018

Create. Enough. Finish.

Three words for 2018.

But people usually pick one word for the year, right? Yes, that is correct. And it has always been my habit to choose one word in the past. But not this time. I wanted one word. I really did. But there was a battle inside me between the words create and enough every time I tried to narrow it down to just one. Honestly, I didn't want either word. I wanted a calm word like rest or a nice word like delight. 

On Friday Jen Fulwiler announced that she had developed a Word of the Year generator. I was excited and convinced the generator would solve my problem for me. One press of the virtual button, a few seconds of anticipation, and my word read bold on my phone screen: FINISH. A groan and momentary thought of "seriously" flashed through my head. Finish? What?

As I sat at my kitchen table, phone still in my hand, my thoughts drifted back to create and enough. Much to my surprise, I no longer envisioned them fighting for the coveted place of Word of the Year. No, they were at peace together, bonded by the word finish. The three words formed a circle, where one finished the other began.

Still not convinced that I should focus on three words in 2018, I let my thoughts and my hands move on to more pressing matters, such as the dishes and getting the kids to bed. I awoke this morning searching for coffee and a solution to my word problem. Throughout my day I have tried to get rid of one or more words without success. The three words want to be together, and they want to be mine for all of 2018.
So be it. Challenge accepted.

To stay focused on the three words and because I like being thorough, I have come up with three guidelines for myself.

1. Finish one work in progress before starting a new project.
2. Create new projects from stash.
3. Do not add to the stash in 2018 because I have enough.

Now that I have a plan, I am excited to see how it unfolds. I love this time of year. Being able to review one year while anticipating a new one is thrilling. I enjoy looking back at the moments, both good and bad, and making notes about lessons learned. Promises of more experiences to savor and opportunities for growth abound in the new year.

Good-bye, 2017! You were more exceptional than I could have envisioned. Hello, 2018. We have much to accomplish.

For more posts like this one, you can read about my words for 2014 and 2015.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Remembering November {7QT}

1. November is full of birthdays! Chris turned 43 earlier this month. We also celebrated Chris' brother and his wife's birthdays, and our nephew's birthday. I also celebrated two of my closest and oldest friends' birthdays. We eat a lot of cake and ice cream in November!

2. I love my Fitbit Blaze, but during November, I only wore it while working out. I needed a break from wearing it all day, every day. Wearing it to track my daily steps had started to feel like a negative instead of a positive thing. For example, I was allowing myself to be irritated when I needed to use both my arms to carry items while I was walking. I would think about all of the steps that my Fitbit wasn't registering, and all of those missed steps would frustrate me. All of a sudden my daily average of 14,000 steps felt like a failure because I knew that I had walked more than that amount. The worst part about my irritation was that usually, I was carrying Mary Rose with one arm and necessary items, like laundry baskets or groceries with the other hand. Seriously, I should not have let needing to carry my child while getting chores done upset me so much. I decided that I needed a break from the daily step goal, and to only focus on my workouts. Taking the break from daily wear helped me to break my obsession with the daily step goal. Looking back at my workouts for November I am not completely happy with the results. I exercised eight fewer days than the previous months. Overall, I am glad that I took the break because it did help me chill out and not focus on getting all the steps, all the time. But now that it is the first day of December, I am back to wearing it all day. I need the accountability to stay on track. Hopefully, I will remember that my Fitbit is a tool to keep me focused on my goals and not a taskmaster that makes me a resentful grump.

3. Chris was on vacation from work for a week this month. It was fantastic having him home for eight days in a row! He painted three rooms, purchased a not entirely new but new enough car for the family, fixed our roof, power-washed the patio, and accompanied me on various errands. We spent an evening at Hershey Park. The weather was mild, and the park was decorated for Christmas already. The lights were beautiful, so Mary Rose and I had a great time walking around the park looking at the decorations while the guys rode the rides. We had a great time together!

4. We had a lovely Thanksgiving day. In the morning, I made a triple batch of sweet potato casserole, and double batches of green bean casserole and pasta salad while catching up on episodes of TLC's Long Lost Family. Then in the early afternoon, we put the dishes I had prepared into the car and headed to Maryland to spend the rest of the day with Chris' family. We had such a great time, and I didn't look at my phone one time! Unfortunately, that means that I didn't take any pictures to document the day. I am hoping that my sister-in-law will email me a few pictures when she has the time.

5. Speaking of TLC's Long Lost Family, I can relate to the show since being matched with my biological father through AncestryDNA. I cry every time family members meet each other for the first time. Why I weep when complete strangers meet each other is beyond my understanding since I did not shed a tear when I met my father for the first time this past October.

6. On Wednesday I took the kids to get their pictures taken to put into our Christmas cards. It was the first professional picture of all four of the kids together. I think they turned out cute. Much cuter than the quick photos I took of them in the mall parking lot! 

7. The craziest thing happened yesterday evening. There was an earthquake! I was standing in the kitchen when I heard a loud "Boom!" Followed by a rumbling and the entire house shaking. Once it was over, we went outside to look around. Our neighbors were out too, so we talked to them about what we had experienced. All of us thought there had been an explosion, but since we didn't see smoke or hear sirens, we weren't sure what had caused it. A little later the news programs reported a 4.1 magnitude earthquake. We don't experience earthquakes often, so that is why we didn't automatically think an earthquake had caused the disturbance. I did not like it, and I hope that I never experience another one. 

For more Quick Takes, please visit Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum.
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