Learn Something New Every Day!

Posts tagged ‘Making Plans’

Another Year Older: A Balancing Act

A couple years ago, I started posting my annual birthday goals on my blog.  The idea is if they are public, then it is more certain I will accomplish them.  Sort of virtual self-imposed peer pressure.  For the past several weeks, I have been reflecting on last year and planning for 2014. A long term problem was resolved last year, and I am still feeling energized and excited about the future as a result of that whole mess being over!

My goals last year were pretty basic, geared to helping me live a healthy, active, engaged life.  I am pleased to say that I met the goals throughout the year.  For most of them, you will need to take my word for my success.  I addressed my physical self by eating more salad and drinking more water.  I addressed my emotional self by connecting with friends and laughing at myself. For my spiritual self I took some treks into Nature, took more photos, and expressed gratitude more consistently.  Some of these actions also turned into blog posts. 

Finally, for my mental self, I wrote more and posted a bit more regularly on my blog.  One of the routes to meeting this writing/blogging goal was to challenge myself by completing Topics A-Z throughout the year—and I did.  Or at least I thought I did as I planned to implore you to admit it would be a challenge to write topics for such letters as K, Q and X.  But then I realized I never wrote about Topic K.  Oops.  I have about a week until the anniversary of posting Topic A, so I could still complete this task within a year.  If I get busy.   [Any ideas for Topic K?]

As I noted recently in Topic Y: A Brand New YEAR, for 2014 I am taking a little different approach to my plans for a happy, healthy, authentic new year.  This year, the main change is that I am choosing a word to use as my guiding light for all the activities I undertake and the surprise I stumble upon.  I thought about using Bold, Adventure, Risk.  But in the end, I settled on BALANCE.  As I charge into 2104, I want to make sure that all I do stays in balance, so I can maintain a healthy and happy self that addresses my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. 

Balance & Juggling

Here are six areas in which I hope to practice balance over the next 12 months:

Spontaneity * * * * * * * * *Careful Planning

Risk * * * * * * * * * Security

Solitude * * * * * * * * *  Community

Work * * * * * * * * * Leisure

Reading * * * * * * * * * Writing

Contemplation * * * * * * * * * Action

As I work to bring balance to my life, I am committed to writing consistently for my blog. I love the friendship and responsiveness of this great blogging community and plan to stay engaged with these amazing people.  My postings will continue to explore similar topics as I have written about before:  Nature, Animals, Travel, Gratitude, Book/Media Reviews, and Education.  Of course, this list is not exhaustive.  But it gives me six areas to explore by the time I am 60.    


 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“It’s all about the quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.”   Philip Green

“A wise woman recognizes when her life is out of balance and summons the courage to act to correct it. She knows the meaning of true generosity.  Happiness is the reward for a life lived in harmony, with courage and grace.”   Suze Orman

“The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.”   Stephen Covey

“I always try to balance the light with the heavy—a few tears of human spirit in with the sequins and the fringes.”   Bette Midler

“Our lives are a mixture of different roles.  Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is.  For me, that balance is family, work, and service.”   Hillary Clinton

“Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance you must keep moving.”   Albert Einstein

“Moderation, the Golden Mean. . .  is the secret of wisdom and of happiness.  But it does not mean embracing an unadventurous mediocrity; rather it is an elaborate balancing act, a feat of intellectual skill demanding constant vigilance.  Its aim is a reconciliation of opposites.”   Robertson Davies

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.  If you are anxious you are living in the future.  If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”   Lao Tzu

IT’S ABOUT TIME: 8 by 58

I swear!  Just yesterday it was January 2012.  So what happened to the last 4 months?  Or what happened to me during these last four months?  When I look back, I start to see some details that might suggest what has been going on:

  • I lose time.  I am sitting down to watch TV or read or something and next thing I know it is morning—or at times it seems to be days later when I am next aware of what is happening around me.
  • I feel isolated, violated at times.  This usually happens when I am barraged by Facebook messages or emails from various companies insisting/suggesting what other items I might want to buy.  At times these feelings surface when watching general news stories about stealth helicopters and hidden GPS trackers and such other horrors out in the real world.
  • At other times I feel frightened about the future.  This is typically in reaction to news items about politics and upcoming elections—and the increasing onslaught of reality TV. Those Hulu Commercials about aliens using television to numb our minds so “They” can eat our brains do not seem so far-fetched anymore.
  • Often I awake from a fitful sleep with an ever increasing number of aches and pains that I cannot account for, black and blue marks that just appear—as well as the need lately for extensive dental work.

I can only draw one logical conclusion:  I have been abducted by aliens, over and over again.  That has to be it!  I will stay more vigilant in the hopes of thwarting future abductions, so I can get back to my usual routines.  Wish me luck.

My first attempt at getting back to normal is to share my goals and expectations for the rest of the year, an entry I had planned to write back in January in conjunction with my birthday.  But here it is now, 4.5 months later.  I started this sort of review last year when I shared some goals to be completed by the time I turned 57 years old.  This year my plan involves working on 8 goals to be completed by the time I turn 58 (January 2013).  Here’s my list:

  1. Last year, I planned to launch a website to advertise my skills as an educational consultant.  The page exists, but diligent exploration of jobs has taken a back seat.  This year, I will keep this goal.  I have some revisions planned for the website and have started a campaign to reach out to community colleges in the state.  So now I just need to put my plans into action!
  2. Last year, I worked on sorting and scanning some old family photos, both mine and my parents’. I accomplished quite a bit, but the task is ongoing as more and more photos surface. 
  3. Plus I need to re-do some of the photo scanning I completed last year.  I did not get some of what I had accomplished already backed-up and my laptop died.  Tough lesson:  always back up whatever you are working on!  This task needs to be an ongoing task—one that I need in print to help me remember how important it is!
  4. Last year, I listed eating healthier and exercising more as two separate items.  I had limited success in each area, but these—too—need to become ongoing tasks if they are really going to become just my normal routine.  So, they remain a stated goal this year!
  5. Last year, I talked about reading more, especially attacking the long to-read list that has been in existence for years.  I have been reading more, and more and more.  I even took some items off the list, knowing they were no longer addressing my interests.  This year, in addition to keeping up with my reading, I plan to start writing some book reviews as part of my blog.  I hope to share at least one review before this month is over, and then get in the habit of writing two reviews a month, at a minimum.  
  6. Last year, I planned to recreate some of the nature writings I completed in the past so they would be accessible via an online format, if I chose to go that route.  I have found some of the hard copies of my older work and have the photos mostly scanned and ready to go.  I have even explored some online self-publishing sites. But this project really has not been completed, so it remains on my list.
  7. I miss getting out and about to take photos.  For the last several years, I have not really taken any vacations, even mini-trips, so have not taken many new photos.  My goal this year is to enjoy some trips, even if only day or weekend excursions.  This goal has the added benefit of helping me enjoy Nature a bit more than I do through my usual day-to-day routine.  Enjoying Nature makes everything better! 
  8. My final goal for this year, well for the rest of this year, is to work on downsizing the stuff in my apartment.  I have a couple chairs I want to give to the Salvation Army, but I still have not called for a pick-up.  I have boxed some other items but there are more closets and drawers to go through.  And the shelves of books really need to be culled, but that task is very, very daunting.  It is really hard to think about giving away books.

So, these are the 8 major tasks I will complete by the time I turn 58 years of age in January 2013.  They seem more likely to be accomplished, once I make them public.  Of course, I really need to be able to eliminate the alien abductions in order to work on these with any sense of dedication and diligence.  Wish me luck!

What have you been doing, or not doing, thus far this year?

Any other alien abductees out there?

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