There have been significant changes in my life during the past seven years. While many of these changes were unexpected and not what I might have chosen for myself, I have tried to face them with an attitude of acceptance. While I’m not cetain it is possible to “master” change, I do believe it is possible to focus on positives. As a Christian I know there is a plan for my life and allowing God to work that plan will provide a fulfilling life.
While going through changes it has been necessary to give up on some things. Cliches frequently come to mind, “it is impossible to reach for the future while holding on to the past.” They may be corny, but they can provide strength. As I focus on the future I wonder if the lessons learned will be retained. George Carlin had a skit about “stuff” and the nature of people to acquire stuff to overflow their space, which would lead to more space – then acquisition of stuff to fill it. A vicious cycle! One I want to overcome.
Giving up a spacious home, pairing down material possessions to top priorities, and making essentials the financial requirement – all lessons I was forced into. However forced those lessons, not only were they valuable, but they led to happiness. Focusing on NECESSITIES to achieve joy and fulfillment. Last week at church the sermon was on John 4: 6-42 – where Jesus offers a Samarian woman three things – the living water, salvation, and God’s work. By accepting what is offered we can be fulfilled – a lesson I’m still learning.
There is an email and Facebook post that talks about wishing you “enough.” Enough wisdom, health, happiness . . . So I continue to learn and understand necessities and enough. What do I need? What is enough? Recently heard a message – “What if you wake up with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” After hearing this, I have tried to remember to thank God every night for the phenominal blessings He has bestowed. It is also my prayer that I will continue to utilize these blessings to achieve fulfillment and recognize that I am ENOUGH. I hope each of you are also blessed with enough.
This green Jeep CJ7 was part of my father’s wish list. Along with a plane, guns, a bobcat, and the farm. Somewhere on the wish list was Mom and his two daughters, but for my ego’s sake, I’m not going to prioritize. Never a doubt that he loved each of us, but we still weren’t allowed to play with the “equipment.” Yep, these were NOT toys, they were practical, necessary pieces of equipment – that he spent hours playing with.
This week the Jeep left our family after 20 years, Dad bought it in 1994 and restored it to the beautiful “equipment” that it is today. It will now begin it’s next life with a new family. As I watched it loaded up and pulled away I tried to focus on the joy Dad would have that someone else loved the hard work he put into his baby. But I couldn’t help feel a piece of Dad was on that trailer leaving the farm.
However it is JUST a piece of beautiful metal, not my Dad. I’m certain Dad’s spirit is managing the lives of the people he loved as much as he is allowed, not focusing on material things. And like his Dad and Grandmother, they loved family, the farm, and took pride in what they had, but treasured those they loved. Like the family legacy of the farm, it is up to the new owners to carry on the Jeep’s legacy; hopefully, they will be up to the snuff. I am certain Dad would love to join them at their first Jamboree, maybe his spirit will make a special appearance. After all, it’s a Jeep thing – others just don’t understand and I have a sneaking suspicion God might get the Jeep thing.
The One about Stephen R. Covey (Photo credit: kndynt2099)
It’s that time of year when we are blasted with weight loss, stop smoking, and self- improvement. Setting goals for life is an important aspect for many individuals. When I read self improvement articles or books a common suggestion is writing down a list of goals to accomplish along with a timeline and regular assessment schedule. Certainly the incredibly successful individuals who make these recommendations know what they are talking about; Stephen R Covey, Lee Iocca, Marrissa Meyers, Jeff Bezos, Anne Mulcahey, and Warren Buffet. Even the more bohemian type leadership of entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Larry Page subscribe to the belief of defined goal lists, with well defined points of measurement, and identified date for completion.
This is an incredible challenge for me as I tend to not focus very well on what I want to accomplish. The primary goal in my life is to maintain, avoid change. As I am trying to master the art of change, maybe this year I should consider who I want to be and what I want to accomplish in my life. Not only that but how do I accomplish these objectives with the resources on hand.
At this point you are expecting an infamous list. Nope, consider this part of my resolutions – I do not do lists. I find them pernicious to writing. There is the numbered list, is the author saying these numbers reflect some value or importance? According the “rules” that is the purpose of the numbers. How was this value determined, is it a personal opinion or a relevant evaluation done through scientific measurement and appropriately verified? Then there is the undefined bulleted list. Supposedly utilized to quickly identify aspects, attributes, characteristics that could not otherwise be clarified. OR more commonly used now to highlight information the author didn’t feel like writing into sentences.
So tonight I will contemplate what I would like to change about me this coming year. Maybe I will even come up with one of those outstanding lists of goals that come highly recommended from successful people. There are a few lessons I learned this last year that I will strive to continue. Being kind to myself, sounds so simple, but it is a challenge. Spend less time attaching value to finances and ownership, accepting the worth of skill, knowledge, and deeds not only in myself but in those around me. Surround myself with positives. The people I spend time with are a choice. Do not internalize negatives, focus on statements and actions that enforce my worth. Most importantly LET GO of statements and actions that do not enforce my worth. It is nice to end the year satisfied with the life lived and know that I have the opportunity to continue to improve. Hmm . . . consider that resolution number one for the coming year! And yes, I am using priority numbering.