Lover of Lists
Being a goal-oriented creative, I have numerous to-do lists lying around all the time. They relate to all facets of my life including work, family and home projects. My favorite reason for working from lists is checking completed tasks off and then crumbling the paper up, to throw it in the trash. I rarely allow myself the luxury of lingering to appreciate my accomplishments. Instead, I immediately shift my attention to mapping out my next goal, or stress over items still left undone.
As the year draws to an end, I find myself thinking about the many things I wanted to achieve this year. It’s with mixed emotion that I admit to having fallen short on seeing some goals, like my novel, come to fruition. My intellectual side takes comfort in sighting the many areas I’ve grown as a writer. I realize that to achieve excellence in any field, you must first invest time and endure unforeseen trials.
It’s on these introspective occasions that I make a different type of list, one that reflects the positive things that warrant appreciation. I’ve found the simple act of acknowledging even the littlest things therapeutic. It puts life in perspective, helps me remember I’m very fortunate and I shouldn’t take anything for granted.
Topping my list for 2012 was being coaxed, on several occasions, out of my mid-life comfort zone to that thrill threshold which I hadn’t experienced in a long time.
Last spring, friends talked me into whizzing down a zip-line strung high above
Freemont Street in . It was the most invigoratingly, sensational ride. You should try it! Las Vegas
Over the summer my daughter asked me to take SCUBA diving classes with her. After completing the course, we vacationed in the Keys. There we went on two open water dives at the coral reef state park. Seeing the surprise on her face when we swam up on the only creature she didn’t want to see, a huge shark, was priceless. As luck would have it for me, we saw four sharks that day, more than any other dive team on our boat.
Then my other daughter arranged for me to have my first riding lesson. After some practice and a lot of butt pounding, I can now finally say that trotting is not soo bad. Thanks to her guidance, I no longer feel like I’ve been spanked every time I get off a horse. Just this week she decided it was time for me to learn to canter, another first for me. It was all good while riding in a straight line. But eventually you do have to turn. Oh boy, I lost control and was flopping around like a Raggedy Ann doll while shrieking like a scared little kid on a runaway roller coaster. The good news is I stayed on and was entertainment for the other riders at the barn. My take away from the experience: next time, double up on sport bras.
Another highlight in 2012, my husband, Joe and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. Not only has our marriage stood the test of time but we still laugh often and hold hands.
It’s been a productive year for glass work as well. After years of planning, and the expert talent of a patient web-designer, my website is working in a new, dynamic way. Like so many things, I underestimated the effort it would take to update the site. I’m happy to say it was worth the time invested and is quickly developing into the interactive, user-friendly site I envisioned. In addition, classes have been plentiful. I’ve enjoyed teaching and meeting enthusiastic glass artists all over the country. It’s rewarding to share my knowledge and watch inspired students expand their talent as they perfect their skills.
A few other accomplishments worth mentioning are I’m now published in fiction and my fourteenth design book is available. I’ve remained active with my critique group all year and therefore have a completed first draft and five polished chapters. I’ve discovered multiple uses for pine nuts and I almost like salmon.
It’s easy to get disenchanted when you only focus on the future and on goals you have yet to realize. Dreams are good; they motivate us to push forward. But they mean nothing without today and yesterday. Before you make your new year’s resolutions and set new challenges for yourself, take time to appreciate what you have already accomplished. Be grateful for the people in your life and take pleasure in the wonderful journey that got us here.
Here’s to health, happiness and prosperity in 2013, and crossing my book off the list.