A Little Bit of Inventory

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” 

Ellen Goodman

Happy New Year!

It was a very quiet New Year’s Day in Hibdonville and I am grateful.

As I watched the parades, I mentally began the tradition of making my new year’s resolution list. After a few minutes of thought, I realized my “new” goals were basically the same goals I’d had for years. The only difference was I’d gotten older, meaning my ideas had simply evolved and hidden themselves inside cleverly crafted terminology.

I realized many of the things I planned to work on or change were problems due to my chronic self-care neglect.

With that insight my plans for 2019 became very clear and easy.

In order to make the coming year better I needed to committ to taking care of myself. When I take time to maintain balance in my world, I see things clearly. When my reserve gets low, I scamper to that little corner of my world where I begin to see my surroundings as scary and uncertain.

One way to keep my well full is to stay grateful. With gratitude I stay balanced and open. Over this past year, I’d slowly replaced my very personal and often times repetitive gratitude list with morning texts to friends. As I texted, I thanked God these people were in my life. I asked God to surround them with His love, help them with whatever was happening or challenging in their lives, keep them safe, healthy, and happy.

My list has changed and grown over time. I add people when I get a feeling it’s time to reach out. I ask God to guide me with my list and trust him to help me determine that need–whether it is my own or theirs.

Sometimes goals tip-toe in all on their own. I am humbled by how this little idea has become so powerful and wonderful to me and others. Wonder where it will go from here?

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 

Neil Gaiman

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

My Denver Tribe

“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.” 

Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Getting out of my comfort zone was my main goal this year. Things have lined up pretty well enabling me to meet that goal.

My first challenge was driving from Texas to Iowa. It had been a long time since I’d done any type of distance traveling. It was a marvelous adventure–even those times when I found myself lost and unsure of how to correct my error. If anyone had the ability to listen to my self talk during those times, you would have been laughing. There’s not a lot a very passive driver can do to make fast corrections on an interstate that is under massive construction. Needless to say, my gratitude list was very easy to compose on those days!

A few days ago I went on-line to purchase airline tickets to Denver. I cannot remember the last time I tackled that task. I was in for a surprise.

Once I’d done my best to compare all my options I thought back to the very first time I flew.

Oh, things were so very different.

I’m not sure how old I was–it was in the 70’s and my ex and I we were on our way to California. Flying then was a BIG DEAL. We were up early so we could get dressed in the new outfits we bought just for this segment of the trip. Since we both smoked then, we had seats in the smoking section–meaning we were in the back of the plane. Where we sat was not important to us–being able to smoke on that long flight was, though, was a very big deal. Could this adventure be any better?

My memories of this time are so clear. I can see my navy and red plaid pants, red top, and matching plaid jacket. We walked to the plane, greeted the “stewardess”  and headed down the narrow aisle. We had no idea what we were doing and I’m sure our body language alerted all those we passed. We eventually found our seats,  settled in, and listened to the pre-flight instructions. Our focus was on one thing–the “no smoking light.” Right or wrong, smoking while flying felt like such a big part of that whole series of the things we felt were rights of passage into being an adult. Without one doubt, we had officially made it.

Today flying has lost its glamour–at least for me. I’d much rather drive so I have control over my time and my stuff. There are times when that may not be the best choice. After much debate, it was pretty obvious flying was the better choice.

As we all age, there will be more of these types of trips made in order to support our friends–our tribe–those people we’ve chosen and made family. My brave friend has been strong for so long through so very much–it’s important for me to be back–to rejoin that very special tribe. Distance does not matter in these types of friendships. I’ve never really left–my heart has always been part of them and they have always been a part of me. I need to physically be there in order to complete that circle we forged all those years ago–that sisterhood we formed as way of loving and supporting each other. It was powerful then, it is more powerful now.

I am blessed and I am thankful.

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” 

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I am…

B…simply being…

Keep those you love close. God bless us all.

~Peace be with you~

A Plan

“Support your own success. What do you need to do to make your dreams a reality? What steps do you need to take? How can you be ready for an opportunity? Think of everything that you would need to do to harness opportunity. Start working on those things. You will want to make the most optimum use of any opportunity that comes along. How can you do that if you’re not ready? Don’t sell yourself short. Do what you can TODAY for a better tomorrow. Your efforts will pay off. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams.”
― Akiroq Brost

I realized last Friday I needed to make a change. I was mentally and physically tired–kinda like Ruby’s new little piglet.

Nearly a year ago I began my storytelling. Little did I know how much I would enjoy it! I’d gone back and read some of my older stories and discovered I’d grown as a storyteller. What a wonderful discovery but…I needed to re-evaluate where I was going and if I was on the right track.

I was beginning to see by publishing a story Monday through Friday left me very little time to research, read, and learn. I am surrounded by all these marvelous tools, but I have no real idea how to use them in a way where they could help me work more quickly and more efficiently.

My supply of the easy short stories was wearing thin. Combine that with my cumbersome methods of writing, I was working very hard in order to complete my daily tales.

That little voice in my head, my very quiet and patient “logical self” whispered, “Dear One, it’s time you made a new plan.”

I’ve resisted doing this for a very long time. In the past, cutting back was my way to avoid putting my words out there. Now, I know I’ve gotten over that fear, I believe in myself and I know I’ve committed myself to writing. It is time, for now,  to make a plan where I write a little less and concentrate a little more on learning.

For the next two months, I’ll publish two stories a week. This will give me time to read and learn. I need to get a firm understanding of how to use the WordPress platform. Right now, I know how to get my words out there. Any little glitch throws everything into a tailspin. I’ll be researching topics I’ve wanted to develop and share, taking time to expand on what I find instead of just superficial summaries. I know my readers have some of the same questions and interests I do. With more preparation, I can dig deeper. How grand it will be to have a collection of stories to pull from and share. I can grow the Barbara Storytelling Bank. Once that’s done, I’ll be back on my daily schedule.

“Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Busyness

“Busyness is not a reason for not getting other things done. It is an excuse for not claiming your true priorities.”
― Alan Cohen

I seem to be sputtering in this new year.

Maybe it’s the cold weather? Just typing that sentence sounds lame. Honestly, I certainly have it very cushy here in Texas compared to my friends to the North.

What really is the deal?

My best guess is the holidays distracted me and took me off course. At the end of 2017, I was feeling comfortable at my desk. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year opened up easy stories to share. Now, I need to determine where I want to go from here and chart a course. Without a specific goal, I will continue to fumble. It’s time to think about where I go from here.

As I ask for guidance, I share this with you.

“As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace, His tranquility, and His wisdom!”
― Peggy Toney Horton, Does God Want Us to Be Happy

I am…

B…simply being…

Sending you all my love.

~Peace~