in the dictionary

Sorry for long silence, I really do intend to finish the questions and projects listing, etc. I’ve just had problems due to some kind of weird inflammation of right arm that makes typing difficult, and had other things that I HAD to type, so blogging has to wait.

But this was just fascinating — we made it into the dictionary! frog

Resolutions of a different kind: question 6

6. What roles do I play? Friend, partner, manager, cook, poet, firefighter, homeowner, parent, husband, aunt, caregiver? Boil these down to eight major roles you play.

I have quite a few roles, but perhaps not as many as women who are married with children. There are disadvantages to being alone, but there are also advantages. So what am I?

!Worker/Teacher/Reviewer/HTML encoder
!Friend of varied levels
!Aunt/Daughter/Sister/Cousin/Niece — I really think of all these as being a family member.
!Crafter (Spinner, quilter, sewer, cross-stitcher, etc.)
!Reader — and now I suppose a writer since I started this blog
!Singer/Video/audio person/Teacher — all these have to do with the ministries in which I serve at church
!Treasurer of a music fraternity chapter (I want to stop being this in a short while.)

Can I add student? It’s not really a big one at this point, but it is certainly something I do in a small way with my reading, and one I want to be more active with, taking classes in the things that interest me.

Resolutions of a different kind: question 7

7. Which role is my major focus for next year? In which role do you want a breakthrough? Select just one role that will receive special, increased focus for the next 12 months.

Well, I think I’ve already decided which one I want to focus on more intensely, as I mentioned in the last post. I want to give up the Treasurer role for simply being a member of the fraternity, and change to a student in several areas. I want to take classes in at least one of my classes. And I’d like to be a student in continuing to learn Portuguese, if I can manage it.

Resolutions of a different kind: question 5

5. What are my personal values? What do you value in life? What matters most? You get to choose how you spend your energy. Define what you value and which values are — or are not — currently getting the benefit of your attention.

Well, for this, the most important thing to start with is that I am a Christian, and therefore my values are always based on what God wants. Or at least that’s what I try to achieve; all too often, I’m imperfect at it.

How am I implementing that? First, I commit a lot of time and energy into my ministries at church, doing work that furthers the praise and glory of God. Two, I am trying to develop all the talents God gave me, valuing my skills with crafts, at my job, and in my ability to live single and faithful to Him. Three, I continue to try to develop a spiritual aspect in every thing I do so that I am worshiping God in every part of my life. Worship is not just the Sunday morning, but every action in which I engage throughout the day, when I do it to the glory of God. I ask God to help me keep that underlying foundation strong and sure.

How am I not implementing that? Well, often I feel that my biggest weakness is insufficient time and attention given to Bible study and prayer. I’ve not yet figured out how to incorporate in such a way that it works for me. But given persistent thought, I think that God will show me how to make it work.

This is a short answer, but I don’t feel a need to be more explicit with this. Having done similar things like this before, my ideas are already fairly well-developed here, so documenting them in more detail is not precisely helpful.

Resolutions of a different kind: question 4

4. How do I limit myself, and how can I stop? All of us entertain limiting beliefs about who we are and what we can or cannot do. Identify a limiting belief you carry (perhaps one related to an area of challenge identified above), and then try expressing that attitude as a positive personal statement. For example, if one of your limiting beliefs is “I’m not athletic,” your new statement might be: “I really enjoy training, and I look forward to getting stronger each week.”

This is actually I a hard one to recognize. Because my attitude is fundamentally “I can do anything I want to do,” but I have to want it enough to work to achieve it. And that includes sacrifices. For example, if I want to become much stronger and more athletic, I have to sacrifice the time and effort to achieve it, and that would cut into other things that I want to do.

Plus, I do believe that statements like “I’m not athletic” are — or can be — actually an expression of those wants. For me, I could honestly say that very phrase, and not mean anything truly limiting, but rather express the idea that I don’t get my “high” from exercise. I gain pleasure from some forms of exercise and I value the results, but playing athletic games has never appealed to me and many athletic activities I enjoy because of what goes with them more than because of the activity itself. Hiking, for example, which is sadly something I don’t do often enough: I enjoy being outdoors and seeing the beauty of nature, I enjoy being with other people who enjoy the same things, but I don’t do it because it’s a great way to get exercise. That’s just a side benefit. On the other side of the coin, I don’t rank it so high on my list of pleasures that I make big efforts to get it done when my pleasures go elsewhere. As you have already seen on this blog, one of my top pleasures is making things, and I can’t do that at the same time that I exercise or go hiking. So it’s a matter of balancing priorities within the very real limits of how much energy and time I have.

On the other hand, I do have goals, and some of these goals are limited by my own likes and dislikes, so I have to work around them. Exercise for its own sake is not one of my top pleasures, but I do want the results of greater health and energy for the long term. So I do find exercises I enjoy within the limits of the time and energy I am willing to commit. So for this question, my idea is more to reframe the necessary steps of a goal within a mindset that allows me to enjoy it and get it done. When I do my yearly review of goals (NOT New Year’s resolutions, just ongoing goals that I look at and update once a year), I’ll create positive statements for the parts I don’t relish, and maybe that will help get them done faster.

Resolutions of a different kind: question 3

3. What did I learn? What three personal guidelines would help most in the next year? Look over your lists from the first two questions. Ask yourself: What worked? How did I manage to accomplish all the things I accomplished? What didn’t work so well, and why? What did I learn from that? Choose your top three lessons and turn them into guidelines for the coming year, such as: “Do the important stuff first,” “Communicate my desires,” or simply, “Relax.”

Now this is a confusing one to answer, because unless you made a point of recording everything that you accomplished, you tend to forget what you did learn. A few years ago, I started using, in a somewhat less than perfect way, the organization format taught in Getting things done by David Allen, which, although geared a great deal more toward those who are in a deadline-intensive job, is nonetheless useful to anyone. I don’t do it exactly as advised — I fall down on the job in the area of weekly review — but I find that many parts of it work very well and help me feel more organized. I’ve moved along on several goals in the last few years and this has helped a great deal.

So one of the things I will try to learn here is: Follow this organization process better.

Another things I started to do, in a weird way as a consequence of the blogs I have been reading, is recording both the progress and completion stages of many of my personal projects. This blog alone has helped me to realize that I do in fact complete more of these than I had realized, when you look at it in the context of the year and not just the day to day. So I think that recording things better will become more of a goal. Of course, that opens the question of how to do this better. I’ve really been thinking of a digital camera, but I think that needs to go higher in the list of things to buy. Not top — I have a few other things that come sooner these days — but high up. I still like the cameras I have, but I don’t like waiting to see if the picture came out when tracking progress, because what if it didn’t? and yet I’ve moved on to the next stage.

So lesson to learn is: do your best to record progress in some way for all areas of your life. Pictures, this blog, something more private for the more personal stuff, etc. (Ah, that reminds me, I need to take a picture of the current dining room repair and I need to make sure to get a picture of the people who helped me.)

Two lessons are enough, I don’t think I’ll look for a third.