The meaning of Christmas

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Christmas 2012


[Image credit: Beachinaball]

Christmas, for some, is just another day marking time on the calendar.  For others, the main focus is steeped in a religious celebration with its myriad traditions.  The word Christmas may denote hope, second chances, thankfulness, time with loved ones.  Or it may mean shopping malls, long lines, Santa Claus and all the other holiday trappings.  For me, Christmastime signifies several things.  It takes me to the end of another year of dreams dreamed — some fulfilled, more still hanging in the balance.  It reminds me of a halcyon time in my childhood that my mother was so much a part of yet absent the past four Christmases.  And there’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled with family and friends who reside further than I can drive in a day.  But I also look forward with expectation to what the New Year will bring.  And I’m grateful every day for the good news and the continued promise of Someday.

What does Christmas mean to you?

One risk at a time

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Our lives improve only when we take chances —
and the first and most difficult risk we can take
is to be honest with ourselves. ~ Walter Anderson

If I’m honest with myself, then I’m the only one to blame for most everything keeping me from taking chances.  For example, I’m the one who consistently fills my Franklin with all sorts of daily chores and errands and busywork, as well as the one who insists I log in 6+ hours of weekly workout time.  It’s also no one else’s fault but my own that I haven’t written a book yet or gotten it published.  And while I’m on a roll here, I’m the one who decides what I will or won’t eat and when.  Consequently, at the end of the day it’s only me who will be disappointed if I don’t meet my self-imposed expectations.  So now that I’ve been honest with myself, I have to decide what I’m going to do about it.

Are you honest with yourself?

Winging it is for the birds

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[Image credit: tungphoto]

The verdict is in regarding my attempt to “wing it” while vacationing a week and a half ago.  This is where I purposefully chose not to carve any concrete plans in stone prior to my departure, opting to go with the flow and make plans as I went.  This left too many things to chance, however … too many “holes” to be filled.  And when one arrangement fell through, I scrambled to find another to take its place — oftentimes to no avail.  Needless to say, future trips will be planned in advance.  But I think my biggest problem, at times, tends to be an all-or-nothing mindset.  So rather than extreme planning (either overbooking or playing things by ear), I need to try a middle-of-the-road approach.  In other words, schedule ahead while taking into account time constraints, and follow up with a contingency plan.  The best laid plans may not always work out, but they’re better than making none at all.  Although my trip was still a success, it could have been better.

Do you prefer winging it on vacation or mapping out your days?