Monday, January 3, 2005

Not Just "R"...How About "A-B-C"?

A couple of days ago, I said I would post my "r-words" for the New Year.  After i got to thinking about it, I realized I had at least an entire alphabet of things I would like to accomlish in 2005.  This is what I came up with: 

Attend a concert, play, art gallery show, or some cultural event at least once a month. We discovered the Portland Youth Philharmonic in 2004, and I have become a huge fan. I’m determined to make our increasing leisure time about more than seeing how many "Law & Order" reruns we can cram into our brains each week.

Buy a new mattress. The one we have is fifteen years old, and the feather-bed I bought two years ago to extend the life of the mattress was one of the less-inspired purchases I’ve made in my life. Time to face up to my own stupidity and get something decent to sleep on.

Cooperate with my husband on more projects. We’ve adopted the habit of letting the other guy do the bulk of the work on a project that speaks to that person’s expertise; we really don’t work well side-by-side. But staying out of each other’s way doesn’t seem like a positive investment of our time together, either.

Drag my loom in from the garage, and either make it work or throw it away. This little bit of hopeful nostalgia has been taking up storage space for too many years. Time to deal with it.

Eliminate the excess from my life. I look at the amount of STUFF with which I surround myself, and I see that it more often gets in the way of my freedom and happiness, rather than enhancing it. Having too much stuff is, unfortunately, the by-product of my favorite hobby: Shopping. I have no intention of giving up my hobby. Just have to make the distinction between shopping and buying

Fix the paint in my master bathroom. Three years ago, I attempted a faux finish that turned out looking like bad1960’s metallic wallpaper. I came up with an idea of how to fix it about two years ago. But the hideousness of the first result is apparently so intimidating that I have yet to attempt the do-over.

Get over my paralyzing fear dentists, and have my teeth worked on. Actually, I’m paralyzed by the probable COST of the project. I’m really not that scared of going to the dentist. I’ve put this on the top of my list of things to do if I win the lottery…

Hear compliments. I have the uncanny ability to zero in on anything negative said about me, and completely ignore compliments and praise.

If I have something nice, positive, uplifting, or complimentary to say, SAY it. If I don’t, make something up. Start looking for the good in the people in my life, and let them know when I find it.

Join…a group, a choir, a club, something. I’ve never been a joiner. Most of my life, my family met my need for social interaction. Since the "new order" of my family was set in place, I have become WAY too isolated. Time to step outside myself and go looking for people with similar interests. This is one of my most important resolutions for the year…and also the one that scares the crap out of me the most.

Keep myself toeing the "Weight Watchers" line. I don’t know how many pounds I put on this holiday season…I’m not getting on the scale until I’ve had a few days to get myself back under control. But I will NOT let those pounds creep up on me. I bought a whole closet full of new clothes, I like the way I look in them, and I refuse to have half my closet full of "fat" clothes.

Live for today. Look forward to tomorrow.Stop dwelling in the past.

Make my business a priority. I’ve been dancing all around really sinking myself into it heart and soul. Afraid of what I’ll do if it fails, I suppose. Now that I have a few years under my belt, I understand the ups and downs enough to be able to set up more "ups." And if I don’t do it, who will?

Never let a day go by without letting the love of my life know how much he means to me. Which is not necessarily about saying, "I love you!" every day. Three little actions every day would say so much more than those three little words, wouldn’t they?

Organize all my closets, cupboards, and drawers. Again. What, you mean this has to be done more than once every five years?

Paint my bedroom. It remains glaring, tract-house white, despite the fact that we bought all the supplies for a stunning faux-finish almost three years ago. Could be the results in the bathroom scared me too much to go forward on the bedroom…(see "F".)

Quit procrastinating. About…everything!

Read something good EVERY DAY. Something historical, controversial, educational, debatable. Something that will increase my knowledge, enhance my viewpoint, and stretch my horizons to their ultimate…or show me that my horizons can be endless.

Sing. I love to sing. I’m not great at it, but I don’t suck, either. I love music so much, and never had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. But my voice is my own…why waste it? What I’d really like to do is take voice lessons, to learn to make the most of what I have.

Treat others with the respect I would like them to show for me.  Our society is so rude and disrespectful these days.  I find myself being drawn into that behavior just because it's all around me all the time (and possibly because the mood swings of this time of my life make it SO easy to snarl at people...)  I need to be on guard against letting the poison consume me. 

Unpack the boxes in the garage that have followed us through three moves in the last twelve years. Gee, if we haven’t used the stuff in all this time, maybe it’s time to get rid of it…!

Visit new places. Exotic or mundane, far away or right around the corner. My world has become too small. I need to expand it.

Walk myself and my dog every day, no matter what the weather. One of the reasons I chose to get a dog three years ago was to keep myself active. Now, I just let her out the back door a couple of times a day when it’s raining or cold. There is very little truly dangerous weather here in Western Oregon…it’s time to stop being such a wimp.

Xercise (that’s a cheap one, isn’t it? Well, YOU find a word that starts with "X.") Despite the fact that I have personally experienced the benefits of endorphins produced by exercise, I can’t seem to stay in the habit of making sure I get it. "Too busy" really isn’t a credible excuse in my current situation…

Yell less. I really don’t yell all that often...but I hate that I do at all. Most often it’s my pets or my sister’s kids--the spirits that most yearn for a soft voice and kind words--that get the life-affirming experience of hearing me raise my voice in anger or frustration. NOT okay.

Zero in on the things that are most important, and find ways to make them happen. Dreaming is nice, and necessary. But if nothing ever goes beyond the dream stage, life slips through your fingers leaving nothing to show for the effort. At my age, I’ve started to give some serious thought to what I’ll be leaving behind when I go. So far, I have to say, it’s not looking too good. It’s time to go about creating a legacy I can be proud of.

Do I see mysef accomplishing all these things in 2005?  Why not?  It won't be the end of the world if I don't.  And if I just do one or two, I will have made positive progress worth crowing about twelve months from now...   


  1. These are inspiring!  I may adopt a good many of them myself!  :)

  2. Well, there's xylophone-but unless you're planning to learn to play one I guess it doesn't count. I don't know what Lucy would do. Candy used to "sing" along with my flute. LOL Sat on my music too, now that I think about it.

    Jackie :-)

  3. These sound good. I too need to get over the fear of dentists and go and have some work done.


  4. Great list1 I could incorporate a few of them (actually a lot of them) in my life! happy new year!

  5. Lisa, this is an inspiring list that's given me some reminders for my own life.  Paraphrasing what you've said to me many times, take it a little bit at a time, though.  It does work out much better that way.

  6. I love your A-Z resolutions!  You've got all the bases covered!

  7. You know some of these resolutions could be resolved with each other. Walk the dog more means more exercise. Singing lessons, or joining a choir, means getting out there AND using your voice. Oh, and xenophobia is a word. Isn't that the fear of people one? I don't do resolutions. I set goals. However, I don't set 26 of them! A few will do me fine. I find goals to be more concrete and specific than resolutions. I guess they are the steps in resolutions. :-) ---Robbie

  8. You are invited to Visit the beautiful south...  I find it hard to be a 'joiner' too.  Since we started attending Matthew's church, I watch everyone visit and discuss everything under the sun after the service... and that's the problem, I just watch.  I watched with a heavy heart this past Sunday, I envied those in conversation as I stood alone.   Is it so bad to be wanted to be included??  Kristi

  9. Wow, that's very impressive.  Both the list AND the fact that you managed to alphabetize them.  Soem of them look awfully familiar (to me, anyway).

  10. I am compelled to copy you.  See, I am a real good joiner but once I got to about "g" my ADD would kick in and I'd be off somewhere  else.  GREAT LIST!!!

  11. You are so ambitious and I'm proud to know you!

  12. Hi, I got here through a link on "Unload". Can I steal your resolutions list? Are you me? These are all issues that I must deal with this year, too! (Except the business one, I am a stay at home mom, but that should probably change, too!) Good luck on your resolutions, it sounds like it's mostly about stepping out of your comfort zone, never an easy thing to do!

  13. so, i guess you have spoken for many of us, to judge by the other comments here.  i like "are you me?"  i could ask the same question.  i have those boxes that have followed us around for far too many years, the old mattress, the messy drawers and cupboards, the stuff the stuff the stuff, the unwillingness to step out the door with the dog on those nasty days, etc etc.   but oh my, this list makes me want to take a Very Long Nap!  we'll do what we can, and whatever we manage is a step in the right direction.  thanks for an enjoyable review of life goals!

  14. stop it...your scaring me.....LOL

  15. H-I-J-K

    Would be good in my life.

  16. Hi Lisa-
    Ok you have really inspired me here. I will soon have some time on my hands and will sit down and to my ABC,s like you have. What a great idea! I will do my best to have this all done by April or

    Very nice entry once again,