Tag Archives: dreams

A Look Ahead to 2015

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“A goal is nothing more than a dream with a deadline.” Napoleon Hill

Usually I take a moment to set goals for the upcoming year. However, after a grueling year of too much work and not enough play and too much stress and not enough relaxation, the last thing I want to do is endure another set of to-dos on top of the ones I already have outlined for me by others.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have any goals or dreams or New Year’s Resolutions. It means I don’t want to commit to the same structure I have been accustomed to using. No list on the back of the front door with each task clearly marked with a deadline. No dream boards floating above my keyboard. It’s already too much having a calendar clearly marked with essential items to complete, both professionally and personally, each day of the year.

But if I look at my overall goals, they boil down into two general categories: professional and personal. My professional goals can be further broken down into my different jobs and what I hope to accomplish from each this year. My personal goals can be broken down into my interpersonal relationships, my spiritual relationships, and my relationship with myself.

In my writing life, I would like to find an appropriate publisher for my sweet romance, Just Juliet, and I would like to have a successful launch for my memoir, Red Eggs and Good Luck. I’m not committing to any other writing projects at the moment, although I have plenty to tackle if I decide to change my mind.

In my personal life, I would like to express my appreciation through each interaction I have, no matter how brief or seemingly insignificant each encounter might be. I feel it’s imperative that I take each thought, action, and feeling both with the curiosity and joy of a newborn and the gravity and depth of someone near death for it is only through an awareness of the ephemeral that we may touch upon the eternal.

How are you approaching 2015? Click on the “Comment” next to the title and a box will appear for you to express your thoughts. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Gratitude is Attitude

“Always the bride’s maid, never the bride,” I said, when my daughter was asked to the Homecoming Dance as a freshman.

“That’s not true,” my husband said. “You’ve been the bride.”

He was right, both literally and metaphorically.

Although I was using the cliché to describe a disappointment in my life, my husband’s observation brought my perspective into focus. I had a bad habit of taking the tiny victories in my life for granted because I was too preoccupied working toward bigger, better dreams.

Unlike other people who can savor their achievements, I seem to skip ahead to the next milestone without blinking. When I fail to reach the next goal in a timely manner, I collapse into despair. I dwell on what I haven’t achieved instead of being grateful for everything I have accomplished.

Yes, I didn’t attend the Homecoming Dance as a freshman. But I did attend my Senior Ball.

Yes, my first novel was self-published. But my second novel was purchased by a Canadian publisher.

Yes, my artwork wasn’t selected as a background selection for checks through a licensing company. But my original paintings grace living rooms and offices in North America.

Yes, I still hold a full-time job in a less than creative field. But I am able to offer creative solutions to corporate problems because my imagination is agile from the daily exercise of writing and painting in my off hours.

Instead of comparing my success and failure to others, I need to focus on myself and my growth as a person, a writer, and an artist. There will always be others who are more or less successful. The key is to be grateful for the success I’ve earned while I continue to strive for more.

Because you can only be a bride for a limited number of times, but you can be a bride’s maid for as many times as you are asked by as many people as you may know. Your big successes will be few, but your tiny victories will be plentiful. It’s those victories you need to cherish.