Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Of Goals and Clutter

Well, here it is, January 7. When I set my goals for the year, one was to be much more consistent in keeping this blog up to date. And here we are… OK, today is the first day of my blogging year.

On December 31st, I finally had an empty house. I had planned on going out for a retreat day, but the weather was cold, the library was closed, and the house was snug, so I told hubby to pretend I wasn’t there. I had a wonderful retreat right here on my comfy sofa.

I always like to take time to review the previous year and plan for the New Year. This year, after the tumultuous year 2009 was for so many (including us), I had great expectations for 2010. As I reviewed and prayed, I began to feel a sense of expectancy. Then joy. Then anticipation. I wrote. I planned. I prayed some more. I set goals. Lots of them. I felt 35 and on the verge of new life.

Later, as I headed out for a walk (one of my goals) I saw this on the tree in our front yard. I love January in California, where the buds appear within a week of Christmas. As I walked over to examine the new growth,  I recognized my life – fresh buds, surrounded by last year’s leaves. Dead, dry leaves. Stubborn leaves that had not succumbed to the winds and the rains. Leaves that were contributing absolutely nothing to the task of the tree for this new season.

This has been a problem I’ve faced for most of my life – the fear of letting go of that which no longer brings or has life. I have a lot of projects that are unfinished. Projects that probably should be abandoned. But, what if… what if I could resuscitate them? What if I could repurpose them? So they cling to the branch of my life, cluttering and crowding out the new growth.

This year, as I face the fact that at 62 with an aging mother who needs ever more help, I need to be ever more strategic if I’m going to age successfully and well, I must also face the fact that my life is cluttered and the clutter has to go if I"m to finish well. When I had walked my 5000 steps, I came home a eliminated some of the more unattainable and over-reaching goals from my list. And on the 2nd, I spent the day cleaning my office. Clutter, you must go this year! New growth, blossom and thrive!

(BTW, I still feel 35 and on the verge of new life. I’m just going to try to be a little smarter as I go.)

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