That's my word of the year.
Have you ever heard of that?
At the beginning of the year, you choose a word
to reflect your primary aspiration.
At the beginning of this year, I felt as though I had spent the past two years in "Remember."
I lost two very special people who were like grandparents to me
within a year of each other.
I didn't want to loose or forget their influence in my life.
Now, I felt I needed to look forward rather than backward.
Not only did I want to look forward,
but I wanted to move in a positive direction.
That kinda forced me to ask myself some tough questions:
"What am I after?"
"What do we want our lives to look like?"
That's pretty deep, personal, and specific to our beliefs and values.
I say "we/our" because MrLB and I are in this together after all.
What happened when I asked myself these questions is amazing really.
Spending a little time in my own head and heart
offered an element of clarity.
In my mind's eye, I envisioned our lives, circumstances, and surroundings.
Maybe what was most astonishing was what wasn't in the picture.
We weren't loaded down with debt, obligations, or physical "stuff."
It looked so clean, not just clean like when you sweep the floor.
It was more like peering through a really dirty window vs. a very clean one.
I was in awe of my own vision.
The thing is, this wasn't fiction - not like those dreams where you can fly
or do some super-human feat.
It was just clarity~
and letting go of what wasn't helping or didn't belong.
Now let me tell you a little something about myself.
My knee-jerk comfort zone is scarcity
or fear of not having or not being able to provide.
It comes from years of training.
I could look around and see the result of that mindset.
This year has been "transitional" for us - in a good way.
There is a learning curve to this Life thing.
Way back here I made the grandiose plan to spend zero.
Then here I shared my first failure.
And since then, I have failed more times than I can count.
But what I learned is that it wasn't the right goal.
Perhaps a wiser statement would have been
"only spend money on items I will use."
That would have been closer at least.
This step stool I found as I walked in with a bag to donate - eerrrrg!
I could beat myself up for spending the money, but I use it almost daily
in the pantry to reach the upper shelves.
It's not something I could run out and buy
when I decided I was ready to purchase it.
Maybe that's partially what's meant by seizing the opportunity.
Granted, not all of my spending has been on such useful items
-just a matter of full disclosure there.-
Buuuut. . . . .
I am mindful, and we are still making really good progress.
to remove much of the physical stuff that just took up space.
That post was relatively recent so I won't expand on it much here
except to say, "It's so nice to have clear spaces."
And the fun bit is that people have paid us to haul it off
which is how I prefer to look at it.
And lastly, we haven't really committed
to any extracurricular activities or events.
That's not saying we haven't done anything,
just that we haven't formally committed to things and have operated from more of an "act of kindness" mindset or "pay it forward" maybe.
Whatever the words?
For some reason saying that or seeing it in print seems sorta selfish,
but it's really working for us right now.
We both work full time so our home time is rather sacred.
(Maybe more folks need that?)
The year isn't over and we could certainly derail at any given moment
- just as any of us could.
We are as busy as ever~
still need more firewood before winter sets in,
middle of various hunting seasons,
preserving harvest, and
we still have a couple of large expenses ahead of us
including property taxes and beef.
So you see, our year isn't taken care of yet.
That's where that 'Focus' comes in.
It's the word whispered in self-talk.
Keeping that vision not only in vision but in 'Focus' as well is essential.
I've not even thought about next year.
Right now, what's important is Right Now,
and staying 'Focused.'
I realize this is more of a serious post, but life isn't always candy and roses.
There are real decisions to make everyday.
And it's those everyday decisions that take us where we're going
whether it's in a good direction or not.
So today is all about today.
And that's a good thing.