All from a word in kind…

The words I received in kind.

A word in kind
It sounds so fine
A raise in spirit
I can’t believe it!

I need to believe
the words I hear
They make me strong
It can’t be wrong!

Encouragement for me
That I can succeed
I see the way
Today is the day

The goal is in sight
I have no fright
I will finish it
I will win it
All from a word in kind

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Sunshine, Freedom and Love

What is sunshine, freedom and love? It is not a hippie saying from the 1970’s (I don’t think?) or a slogan for Arizona. It is actually part of a quote from the back of a necklace that will inspire me for the upcoming year. While everyone else is contemplating what presents to buy for Christmas during December, I am reflecting on the past year and contemplating goals for 2012. What do I want in the next year? How do I want to feel at the end of the year? Where do I want to focus my attention so I can be happy? What will my life look like in one year? Will I feel fulfilled? Will I feel happy?

Last year when I thought about my life at the end of 2010 I came to the sad and frightening conclusion that to accomplish my goals (to be happy) something was going to have to change in my marriage. At the time I didn’t know it would actually come to an end. I had an inkling, but I didn’t know it would actually happen within the year. I also had no idea that a new love would fill my heart so quickly. So many things that happened during the year were driven by my goals, yet many things happened unplanned. Sometimes the unplanned things are the sweetest. Even though I am goal driven, I recognize that you cannot plan everything. Life has unexpected twists and turns and you have to accept those and smile about them.

Like most people who are single, I have the desire for a relationship. As I step back and look at the road ahead, I realize that how I have lived in the past probably will not be the same in the future. Instead of searching for someone to make me happy, I am looking to make myself happy. I really just want a companion to share life’s trials and tribulations with. I hear a lot about the ‘last call’ of the day to share ups and downs with. I realize that ‘last call’ can be with a friend, family member or a romantic interest. It doesn’t really matter which one. All three make me happy. The big realization from last year was that I have spent most of my life trying to make other people happy – but now it is my turn to make myself happy. Sort of a departure from my previous view of life. Everyone I know seems to be looking for ‘someone to make them happy’ or ‘someone to love’ or ‘someone to marry and have children with’. As I look at life from a new perspective, I am awed at the way I incorrectly viewed life before. Is it a result of a divorce or simply reaching a certain age that makes you see things this way. I seem to be looking at how to enjoy the 2nd half of my life instead of like the first half which was spent accomplishing things (careers, love, marriage, children). Now that I see life is so short, instead of accomplishments, I want happiness. I choose life over things. I choose relationships with people over money and success.

The quote on the necklace I wear around my neck is,”To live one must have sunshine, freedom and love”. I found this necklace in the oddest of places. I was passing through Denver airport during a layover and stopped in a jewelry shop. The necklace called to me. The necklace has a picture of a sunflower (reminiscent of my favorite flower, the black-eyed Susan) and on the back was the quote. As soon as I saw the quote, I knew the necklace was destined to be mine. Rarely do I have these ‘aha’ moments, but I felt it right then. The necklace (and quote) would carry me into the new year and beyond as I identified how I was going to accomplish happiness in the next year.

Not to say that the last year was not filled with happy moments, happy times, a love I will never forget as well as emotions of sadness, regret, and fear. To have emotions is to live – regardless of the type of emotion. I guess for the next year, I don’t want just emotion, I want happiness. As if my life depended on happiness. In reality, life does depend on happiness and my road to happiness will be paved by my goals. I don’t know why this necklace found me. Sometimes strange things like that happen to me. Like when you desire a solution to a problem and the solution appears at the exact time and place you need it. Funny how that this happens to me with people also. Strategically placed in the space-time continuum forever changing the course of my life – just when I need them.

For next year I have a vision of what I want. It is just a question of when and how the universe will give that to me (or how I will go and grab it!). I don’t know if I believe in divine intervention, but there seems to be some sort of intervention happening in my life these days. Maybe it is my positive thinking. Maybe it is good karma. Maybe it is just chance and luck that I see as something bigger than me. One thing I do know is that inspiration comes in strange forms, and this one happened to be a simple quote on the back of a $29 necklace. What will inspire you this year and help you reach your goals in 2012?

A Lofty Goal

Tonight I attended my monthly goal-setter’s meeting. What is it? It is a support system for women to share goals, dreams, successes and failures. The group makes you accountable to your goals regardless of what you want to achieve, whether it is getting investors for a startup company, going on one date in a month or planning an exotic vacation.

Sometimes the goals are small and sometimes they are big. Sometimes they are realistic and sometimes they are lofty or a bit outlandish, such as,”Marry Josh Groban“. The thing is, if we never have high goals, how will we really accomplish great things? Accomplishment is about vision. Focus on your vision and things just seem to happen. Even if you fall short of your vision, you have accomplished something.You have moved ahead from where your feet were originally planted. Wouldn’t you like to eliminate the moss from under your feet? Go somewhere or do something?

As I looked over my goals, they seemed somehow wimpy. I realize it isn’t a competition, it is all individual. However, I seem to be missing my “Josh Groban”. In other words, what represents the pinnacle of everything I want to achieve? I realize now that I really have no idea. I thought I knew – I wanted to write romance novels. Now I wonder if that is the right path or maybe there is something else where I could better utilize my talents. So I am left to contemplate my visionary goal until the next month’s meeting. My self-analysis of my goals made me realize, we all need a Josh Groban.

What is your Josh Groban?

Christmas is over, now what? Goal Setting 2011!

Suddenly the frenzy of Christmas is over, with shopping, wrapping, and cooking behind me. First I have to deal with the aftermath of cardboard and paper recycling, eating of leftovers and finding places to store all of the kid’s new toys, then I can move on to the next BIG thing. Some people have a hard time trying to figure out what to do with themselves after Christmas besides hitting the after-Christmas sales or buying a new outfit for New Year’s Eve, but I have something much bigger in my sites.

What is next? Annual goal-setting! Last year was the first year I considered such a thing, yet this year it has become a ‘must-do’ activity. With all the accomplishments from last year, I seem to have gained the momentum of a snowball rolling downhill during an avalanche. Now that I have started accomplishing goals, I can’t stop setting them or achieving them. Last year I took the first step on a life-long goal of writing a book. Next year I will be editing, rewriting, and publishing the book. A giant task? Of course! Possible? Absolutely.

I learned many things last year about goal setting:
1) You can’t accomplish goals if you don’t set them.
2) If you think you have no goals, sit in front of hundreds of magazines and cut out pictures that grab your attention – they will just come to you.
3) Dreaming Big = Accomplishing Big
4) When you have friends to support you on you journey, any goal is possible

My biggest challenge for next year is setting achievable goals – because I feel like there are more things I would like to accomplish, than what I reasonably have time to complete.

Here is my first cut at goals for 2011, and now that I wrote them I guess I am committed:
1) Complete editing and formatting of my book “Clocks and Olives” and then find a publisher
2) Buy a new car (my VW Golf is from 2000)
3) Continue a healthy lifestyle of yoga, running, meditation and eating
4) Plan 1-2 vacations for the year to a place outside of Arizona
5) Bring peace, serenity, calm, and creativity into my life.
6) Learn something new like a language (Italian?)

What goals do you have for 2011?