New year, new you: back to the basics


Prior to Jan. 1 each year, I prepare a list of goals to aim toward over the next 365 days. This year was no different; however, come New Year’s Day, I abandoned several of my plans to focus on immediate, more pressing needs: my relational, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Although fraught with copious amounts of kicking and screaming, my resolve birthed a new plan to Let go and let God, if you will. Once I stripped away the myriad tasks that occupy my planner and relinquished control of outcome-driven objectives—in other words, after I surrendered my own agenda—I returned to the basics that I write about in “Falling into place…” Not only have I been blessed with second chances, but a foundation has been laid so that, when it’s time to revisit my original goals—maybe where I left off, maybe somewhere different—I’ll be ready. As a new and improved version of me.

What new goals, if any, have you begun in 2018?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

When all the butterflies die: look forward to new growth

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While scrolling through Facebook recently, I stumbled upon this quote: “That feeling you get in your stomach when your heart’s broken. It’s like all the butterflies died.” I know a few things about broken hearts and dead butterflies. Hope deferred. Unmet expectations. Loss and emptiness. But during this new season, I am compelled, now more than ever, to make sense of my path. To reclaim that feeling of contentment I talk about in “Try it on for size…” To don happiness as a daily accessory. To welcome new growth. For far too long my attention has been fixated inward on my needs and wants and disappointments. And it’s time for me to look outward and focus on those around me.  To take a break from the distractions and agendas and whatever else thwarts, rather than advances, my purpose. Hopefully, in time, as I breathe and pray, I will discover what makes me tick and who I’m supposed to be.

How do you know you’re on the right path?

Whatever happens, happens

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

A year ago my daughter and I started making it a date to watch the show Parenthood together each week.  The new season began three episodes ago, and it’s something I look forward to every Tuesday.  Last week, however, my daughter was in a crabby mood.  Any time she made a comment that I didn’t catch the first time, she’d repeat with an edge to her tone.  It didn’t take me long into the hour to realize it was going to be one of those just enjoy being together mother-daughter moments.  During commercials we silently played Words With Friends with each other on our respective laptops.  When the show was over and she stood to leave the room, I thanked her for spending time with me.  I barely noticed an imperceptible softening in her voice.  Thank YOU, she said.  And that was that.  I can’t wait until tonight’s “date.”  Really.

Do you allow those just enjoy being together moments to happen, or try to force your own agenda?

Looks can be deceiving

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

We simply assume that the way we see things
is the way they really are or the way they should be.
And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.
~ Steven R. Covey

According to Urban Dictionary, when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Unfortunately, I’m typically the single most “ass” involved in many equations.  For example, about a month ago, one of my friends mentioned something during our conversation and, instead of asking for clarification or paraphrasing for comprehension (which is something I always recommend), I went off “half-cocked” and assumed I already knew what they were talking about.  I believe it’s human nature to sometimes hear what we want to hear, our minds made up in advance as to the outcome.  But perhaps a majority of misunderstandings could be prevented if we all took the time to set aside our own agendas, biases and self-centered attitudes to really listen.  Before we regret our behavior.

Have you been presumptuous lately?