The new year began a few days ago, but I delayed crafting resolutions.  Instead, I spent time with my step grandchildren encouraging their creativity and geeking out with Lord of the Rings and StarWars marathons; exercising my sprained ankle by walking the dogs; working culinary magic in the kitchen; photographing the wild beauty all around me; and reading books.  I broke down and turned on the heat in the house in advance of the first hard frost of the winter.

#Ztylus more frost!

I worked, too, but balanced the work with spending time with the grands.

Kiddos went home last night, so I read late into the evening to finish Stephen King‘s “Revival“.  My mind was so jazzed, sleep felt far off, so I started Rene Denfeld’s “The Enchanted“.  I also set a reading goal on GoodReads: 30 books in 2015.  If I finish “The Enchanted” tomorrow, as I suspect I will, I’ll be two full books in this new year toward the goal.  I’m also reading “The Game of Kings” by Dorothy Dunnett, but this first in a series of books called the Lymond Chronicles will probably take me a bit more than a weekend to finish.

And, of course, the goal setting made me think that maybe I ought to set some other realistic goals for the new year.  So, as I wait for the northern California sunshine to warm the morning before I take the dogs out for a walk, I set my mind to the task of crafting resolutions.

In 2015, I will:

  1. Read at least 30 books.
  2. Write:
    1. Post at least one blog entry each week.
    2. Resume Morning Pages daily journalling.
    3. Begin revising one NaNoWriMo draft novel – perhaps the first one.
    4. Write another novel in November 2015 NaNoWriMo.
  3. Move more:
    1. Walk at least 10,000 steps each day.
    2. As soon as my ankle will support it, get back to Zumba and Pilates at the gym.
  4. Take a photograph each day and post in a 2015 Project365 Flickr album.
  5. Treat myself to at least one Artist Date a month.

Accomplishing these resolutions requires a balance between work and my personal life, but I feel I’m ready for the challenge.

It’s time to focus on all the bright possibilities of 2015.  Happy new year!


Pink and Proud

So many people I love have been or are affected by the big “C”.  My husband’s lovely cousin, my auntie, my great aunt, and two dear-to-my heart friends are among those important to me bravely battling cancer and they are all in my thoughts every day.  One of my second cousins is in remission and celebrates several cancer-free years while also carefully monitoring her health.

A challenge of living on the west coast is that I’m physically far away from all of these dear ones.  While they are all in my daily thoughts, it is hard for them to know they’re receiving every bit of healing energy I can send.

When I began seeing personalized pink bracelets posted on my husband’s cousin’s Facebook page, I asked where I could get one.  It came in the mail today.

For Sweetest Day, my mom gave me a Pandora pink leather bracelet with the “Forever Entwined” bead.  She also gave bracelets to my auntie and my sister so that we could all use them as touchstones in sending her positive energy.  I added a key and a ribbon charm to my bracelet and thought I would send my husband’s cousin a picture with both bracelets.

I’ll be wearing these bangles proudly during my upcoming travels and I hope that people will ask me about them so that I can share the stories about the brave people I know and love.  I want to do something like this for my auntie, too – she’s not on Facebook (yet), but I think it would be a happy surprise to get postcards and photos in the mail.

Every healing thought makes a difference.

Taking Stock

I’ve been thinking a lot about loss and making good use of the time I’m given.

Since the beginning of the new year, I’ve learned that four people with whom I work (some closely, others tangentially) have lost loved ones since the holiday season began.  Last year, just before Christmas, my husband lost his father.  Seems like the holidays bring both joy and loss to so many.

Last year, I loss a coworker with whom I worked closely.  She was only slightly older than I am, and the abrupt loss has really stayed with me.  I keep thinking that I haven’t done the things I mean to do and that I’m not the person I’m meant to be.  I keep thinking that my short time here is too precious to spend wishing for something I don’t have instead of working each moment toward fulfillment.

So today, I’m taking stock of my blessings:

  • Family, friends, and pets who love me
  • Health
  • Gainful employment
  • A roof over my head
  • Opportunities to write my bright future every day