Saturday, December 31, 2016

Resolution Byway

Do you still make resolutions? Are you the kind of person who makes them and keeps them, or do you just let them die a natural death?  I quit making resolutions long ago. Or maybe it's just I make them every day: tomorrow I'm going to learn to plan out a menu for the next week; tomorrow I'm going to haul all that stuff I don't use any more to the thrift store; tomorrow I'm going to pick up that book I started a year ago and finish it by the end of the week. Either way, I do not keep resolutions, so I don't make them.

Last year, I decided to follow someone else's lead  and pick a word for the year. I decided on "Proactive", because one of my great faults is procrastination.  I believe one of the reasons I procrastinate is a fear of making the wrong decision, so I just let things happen and deal with the consequences. Or not. I thought if I could learn to be proactive, I might just overcome this vice.

It appears this is going to take more than a year to overcome, being as it was 64 years in the making.

So I'm keeping that word again this year, and adding a new one.

2016 brought a lot of changes in our world, both locally and globally. It's the year that I thought, when I got my first paycheck and saw Social Security withholdings, was a ridiculously long time away! It has been one of those years we look back on and say, "That was the year we _____."  I don't remember what was significant about 2013, or 2006, or 1997. They were just passing time kind of years, status quo kind of years. Fillers, as it were. I guess we all need those time-spans, months or years when nothing dramatic is happening, periods of time when we can catch our breath, heal from past events, or gather strength for new ones.

On the other hand, maybe things happened that passed me by. Maybe I was oblivious to what was going on around me, in others' lives, in others' worlds.  Maybe working nights and sleeping days blinded me to opportunities. Maybe I am self-centered.

"Mindfulness" and "living intentionally" sound too trendy, too fashionable, and over-used to the point they've lost their effectiveness (at least, to me).  I don't want it to be just another fad. I want to be aware of what is important to those I care about, to be aware of opportunities to help someone else.

 So, this year's word will be Attentive.

To me, this is twofold: being observant, then being thoughtful of others. How can you be thoughtful of others, if you haven't observed what is going on with them? And what is the use of just observing, if you don't follow through?

Having a plan is key to making this work. It's easy to be all gung-ho for a few days or weeks, until you realize what an effort it can be. After all, if it was easy, there would be no change involved. My plan is to find one day a week to be attentive to someone else's needs. In Feb., I will look for 2 days a week. April I will seek 3 days. June = 4, Aug = 5, Oct = 6, Nov = 7. And it can't be just for Jack each time. I am such a homebody, I need to make myself get out there and do something.

As for being Proactive, I plan to be proactive about something once a month. It could be proactive house maintenance, meal planning, walking for my health, buying Christmas gifts before December, finding a dentist in my new town.

I will blog about whatever I have been proactive about, but the attentiveness can sound too much like bragging, so I'll just post how many times a week I was able to follow through on it.

What about you? Want to choose a word for the year, and then blog about your efforts?

PS.  This is beginning to sound like a resolution, huh?

Monday, December 19, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life

Hi, Anyone Who's Still Out There!

I did it!  I retired from nursing after 45 years!  Last shift was August 14, and check out my retirement gift to myself:

To paraphrase Shelby from Steel Magnolias, "Purple is my signature color".  It's almost all grown out now, and faded to lavender, but I still get compliments on it.  It was also the first color Hazel learned to identify. So, I'm getting it done again the end of January, if not before.

We sold the house, too. This past summer was even more of a headache than I anticipated, since we found a house in VA and submitted an offer 2 weeks before we listed our house. Not the smartest decision I ever made, but houses were moving fast in NC and VA, and I was afraid of losing out on one of the few houses that met our criteria. This new house not only ticked off all our needs, but all my wants, too. It was a nail-biter, what with having to do some additional, unexpected repairs on the old house, re-scheduling the closing date in VA, and dealing with a seller's agent who tried to sabotage closing. But we made it happen!

This year's Halloween decor was skimpy, most of it not yet unpacked, but we moved into a neighborhood where kids from all over come to trick-or-treat. Everybody decorates! (Well, except the Mennonites. There's a pretty large number of them living around here.) We had probably 150 kiddos (including my adorable granddaughter) in two hours!

Dawn  bought her first house in October, and her whole septic system had to be redone before the lenders would sign off on it. I am totally convinced that HGTV lies to us. The "problems" on their shows just don't compare to the ones in real life, do they? At any rate, we are now only 35 minutes apart. We haven't all lived in the same state since 2002! My sister-in-law, the wife of my brother who died in 2014, flew up for Thanksgiving and we all celebrated it at my daughter's house. It's the first time in decades that I have celebrated Thanksgiving on the actual date, eating traditional Thanksgiving food, and spent it with anyone who wasn't Jack. It was wonderful!

The house is a work in progress. I still have boxes to unpack, furniture that needs to be moved to yet another place in the house, a garage where Jack still cannot park, and two sewing machines that haven't seen the light of day in 4 months. There are toddler clothes and diapers in my guest bedroom dresser; a booster seat, wildly colored utensils and bibs in my kitchen; episodes of Thomas the train and Sesame Street on the DVR; Nemo and Dory slippers in the closet; shelves of toys and books in the office; and a car seat in the SUV.  But a little voice asks "Po'sy (can't get that second P in there yet), watch choo-choo Thomas?" as soon as she wakes up from sleep-overs;  "Meen-go (Mango) holp?" putting on her shoes; and squeals of "I hiding!" when I find a munchkin in the master closet.

I hope I never have to work again.