In with the New

Last week’s post was (hopefully) the final resting place for some of the baggage I lugged around last year. There’s more, but the load is much lighter than was the case thirty years ago. For this first post of 2016, rather than resolutions, I want to share my priorities for the year.

Stay in the moment. Whatever’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, with my email, or with any of the apps on my phone can wait. I need to give my full attention to whatever I’m doing, whether watching television, working on blog posts, or adding to my work in progress. Worrying about what’s yet to come or things that have already happened is also a time-waster. Just stop!

Take care of business. I keep a honey-do list of maintenance and repair jobs to do around the house. I’m far more likely to add than to cross off a completed job. Letting things go is counterproductive. The longer my list gets, the less likely I am to tackle anything on it until I don’t have a choice.

Be more flexible. Habits and routines are like volatile chemicals. Use with great care and only when needed. Otherwise, they have a way of blowing up. The line between a functional routine and a rut is thin. Routines help me stay on schedule, but if it’s not working, I need to try something else.

Stop sabotaging myself. I’m so proud of myself for sticking to my exercise regimen that I’m a bit heavy-handed with the rewards — mostly in the form of sweets and/or fatty foods. That’s why, despite working out regularly and running several times a week for four years, I still jiggle in places. If I’d quit replacing the calories I burn with empty calories, the fat would melt away. I swear — beneath that protective fat layer is an amazing gym bod.

Write more. Few activities tickle my fancy as much as working on a new novel. Yet, when I have time to write, I too often work on blog posts, write in my journal, or otherwise pass the time. Finding more time to write is a matter of priorities. Instead of being the first thing to go, it should be the first to be done.

Be more grateful. Yes, my teeth need a lot of expensive repairs and advanced macular degeneration is taking my sight. Otherwise, I’m in good health and, except for driving, capable of doing pretty much whatever I want to do. I’ve got a great job, hobbies I’m passionate about, and the love of family and a great many friends.

Stay positive. No matter what happens, there’s always a silver lining — even if it’s only that things could be worse. I can’t have everything. Nobody can. A positive — or negative — attitude is contagious. Focusing on what I’ve got rather than what I lack is a choice I need to make more often.

Best wishes for the New Year!