Choose Life. . .

Bill McKenna has said: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well- preserved piece,
but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"

Moses said: "...therefore, choose life..." (Deuteronomy 30:19).

I choose life - with all its choices, challenges and changes!

How about you?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Enough With the Address Labels, Already...

It’s difficult for me to throw stuff away. I admit it. I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but I do empathize with the hoarders’ mantra: “But I might need/use it someday.” Or if I can bring myself to put it in the donation box: “Someone with imagination will be able to use this (fill in the blank) and be glad to have it.”

Anything that was a gift is automatically sacred, never mind that it is twelve years old and ratty, and the person who gave it to me lives in another state and will never know of its disappearance.
I psyched myself to be ruthless when I prepared for our move to a new state just over a year ago. I knew the goal date a year ahead of time, so I took all year to purge and pack. The “handle an object only once” didn’t hold up for me, though. Some things were in and back out of the give-away boxes more than once.

Then I came to the drawer with the return address labels. I delayed that drawer right up to the last month. I wanted to be sure I had enough to cover our last days at the old address. Now, I’m a bit particular about the designs of things I use—my desk calendar, my schedule planners, my journals, and yes, even my return address labels. So, here I had a huge pile of labels I’d saved, but seldom used. From three patriotic organizations, two veterans groups, several disease advocates, a couple of children’s homes and hospitals—enough labels to last for thirteen more years at the old address. I rarely sent donations for them, and yet they kept coming. At least they didn’t have to be packed. And maybe with the move, they’d lose track of where I am.

Within a month of the move here they came, like migrating birds, nesting and reproducing in the mailbox. Please, folks, it’s only January, and I have enough new labels to hold me through 2057.
What’s a body to do?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I've tried to do it for years. I know it! It's only a letter. But the pattern doesn't change. Today it will! But, of course, I'm doing this instead of tackling the challenge.

I sat at my computer earlier today, face like flint, take charge attitude, willing the words to come. I admit my escapist tricks. I pick away at stuff on a messy desk. I check E-mail accounts (several of them). I write some answers. I check Facebook. I make some comments. I shiver. I turn up the furnace. I sip some water. Of course that calls for a trip down the hall. I even search for a file that holds previous attempts to handle the challenge.

Then I laugh out loud! Why do I spend so much energy to avoid the obvious? Tackle the challenge, mark it off the list and experience the relief and release that comes with that choice.

Time management gurus tell us to tackle the most difficult item on our "to-do" list first--get the hard stuff out of the way and sail through the rest of the day.

It's still "to be determined..."  I'll let you know.

But first, I think it's coffee time...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date...

Shortly before Christmas my friend Pam visited from Orange County (CA) where I lived in pre-Nevada days. We hadn't seen each other in over a year--notwithstanding Skype and Facebook and E-mail--so it was a great catch-up visit. But we scheduled the visit with a specific purpose.

We had a two-person writers' retreat.

Pam and I are both prolific idea-generators, which is exciting and great fun in brainquaking sessions, but sometimes leads to distraction from the main objective of a work-in-progress. Many projects initiated, but too few completed. This was the weekend to make changes with the intention of seeing more productivity in 2012!

The first session we sat, armed with new calendars, and made lists of all the writing projects we had in work or in mind or in desire. No particular order--just as they came to mind. The second session we evaluated each project: how close to completion, how pertinent to today's readers, how marketable, how dear to our hearts. We prioritized the projects and then calendared the increments of each one, literally scheduling each step on specific days.
And during the necessary waiting periods, i.e., for submissions and correspondence, we even dovetailed steps from the next project.

On paper my novel should have been in the mail last week! (You can quit laughing now.) Obviously I didn't consider the first week in January for all the packing away and clean up after Christmas. Or the fact that college-age grandson #1 would still be here visiting. Or the spontaneous visit to my second son and his wife and 7-month-old #2 grandson (a seven-hour drive away). Grandsons take precedence over the calendar, don't they?

So my calendar is totally messy with the actual scribbled over the scheduled. Fortunately I didn't schedule past January. I wanted to give the plan a trial and adjust as the need arose.
The need arose.

Choices, changes, challenges...It's still a good idea. Now that I'm back to a relative normal, even though  I'm more than a week behind, I can simply check the calendar, pull out the materials for the scheduled work and have at it without wasting time wondering what to do.

Excuse me now...It's time for coffee.