December 4: Make your own target

“Instead of shooting arrows at someone else’s target, which I’ve never been very good at, I make my own target around wherever my arrow happens to have landed. You shoot your arrow and then you paint your bulls-eye around it, and therefore you have hit the target dead center.”

— Brian Eno
Photo by Kris Atomic, unsplash.com

This seemed like another excellent sentiment that we can pull from all December long. There’s this huge mystique surrounding the holiday season and a list of “shoulds” that spans miles and miles.

But THIS year, we create our own target. I’m going to spend some time today really honing in on how I’d like December to look and feel (I wrote a bit about that HERE). I’m going to pick three activities that the Walker Four enjoy and schedule them on the calendar so they don’t get lost. And I’m going to let go of those things that don’t add joy.

THE END.

Advertisements

December 1: Forgive yourself first

“Forgive yourself first. Release the need to replay a negative situation over and over again in your mind. Don’t become a hostage to your past by always reviewing and reliving your mistakes. Don’t remind yourself of what should have, could have or would have been. Release and let it go. Move on.”

— Les Brown
Photo by Nong Vang, upslash.com

This seems like a very good way to start the December Wishes series. Because December is crazy and mistakes are going to happen. It will not be as jolly as we want it to be. It will be hectic and insane. Our kids or parents or friends aren’t going to react the way we want them to, to the things we think they’ll love. We will revisit old hurts and mourn how things turned out.

And it’s all okay. We are going to forgive ourselves for any missteps and move on. This month is too short for all that nonsense anyway.

December Wishes 2018

I enjoyed putting together last year’s December Wishes word series so much that I’m bringing it back for 2018, starting on December 1.

I’d be cool with this happening in real life.

It will look slightly different: The focus will be on thoughts / quotes and it will not run daily. More like a few times a week. But all posts will focus an simplifying an otherwise active month, appreciating where we’re at and paying attention to what’s important. 

Mostly because I really need the reminders.

P.S. If you liked the daily series and want to relive it, I’ve got all posts linked by date under the December Wishes tab above.

On the 31st day of December …

Hope

“… Tonight’s the night the world begins again.” — Goo Goo Dolls, Better Days

IMG_6356.jpg

The last day of December. The last day of 2017.

I do love a clean slate.

My last wish is hope — because I’m trying to hold onto that. With both hands. Even though I’m not a naturally hopeful person.

I’m hoping 2018 is a great year. That I can take the gifts and the lessons of 2017 and apply them accordingly. That I can continue to grow and learn, and find the good in people and the world.

*

Thank you, friends, for sharing this month with me. I’ve made a very basic Word doc of all of the wishes at the request of my mother, and if anyone feels the need for a copy, let me know in the comments and I’ll email it to you. My little gift for the end of the year.

I’m going to take a blogging break for the first couple of weeks in January. I want to spend as much time as I can with the fam while we’re still all under the same roof. We’ve got a few things planned, as well as the basic back-to-reality craziness that comes after the holiday season.

I’m almost looking forward to it.

Happy New Year!

On the 30th day of December …

Quiet

It’s been a long, busy, loud month in the Walker household, and I can’t help but think that’s probably the case for most people. So my wish for us today is quiet.

I’ve had fewer and fewer quiet moments as my life has progressed — especially being a mother, although it’s much easier now that the girls are older — and mostly that’s because of the choices I make: Grabbing the iPad and scrolling through Facebook to avoid sitting with my thoughts, saying yes to something I don’t want to do to avoid hurting feelings, working through breaks and lunches because I can’t think of anything else to do, and/or the inability to not have music playing at all times to fill the void.

Today I’m going to just appreciate the silence. It’s not easy — it makes me anxious, actually, which is why I avoid it — but I think that, after the sensory overload that is December, I need to take a break and reboot. To allow myself to be comforted by the silence.

Maybe I’ll try meditating for five minutes. Maybe I’ll take a walk without my iPod. Maybe I’ll stay home all day and never change out of my pajamas. Maybe I’ll just notice the quiet moments today naturally brings and not rush to fill it with something else.

Incidentally, I’m looking forward to the turn of the calendar, a new year of new possibilities, and the return to routine. January is a quieter month. And I’d like to take this wish and extend it into the coming weeks.

Out of curiosity, how do you achieve quiet? Or do you just embrace the noise? I find it interesting, taking a word and translating that into an action … which I’m not always great at. Well, it’s easier to just live in your head.

On the 29th day of December …

Reflection

“Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us — a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.” — David Cameron

img_3529.jpg

I think clarity and reflection go hand in hand — we figure out what is and then we plan accordingly.

(Christmas isn’t really what makes me reflective, incidentally, but New Year’s. I mean, to each their own, though.)

Anyway, yesterday we pondered a few questions to start making sense of what has happened and what we’d like to happen, and now it’s time to move beyond pondering and actually put pen to paper and answer the damn things:

  • What went well in 2017? What am I most proud of?
  • What did not go so well in 2017? What would I have done differently?
  • What lessons am I bringing into 2018?
  • If I could choose any three things to accomplish next year, what would they be?

I’m sure there are more questions we can ask … and maybe questions we don’t want to ask at all. 😉 My journal right now is filled with scribbles: What did I let go of, what did I embrace, what did I discover, what did I fear, what am I looking forward to, where do I want to be mentally/physically/spiritually by this time next year. Actually, the best part isn’t writing down the answers, but seeing what I wrote a year or two or three (or four) ago and how far I’ve come.

So that’s today’s gift. If you don’t feel reflective today, don’t sweat it. Go dance in the living room instead. That’s practically the same thing.

On the 28th day of December …

Clarity

images.jpeg

With the year coming to a close (finally! I’m ready to kiss this one goodbye), I find myself trying to make sense of 2017 and sketching rough goals for 2018, and for that, I need clarity.

So that’s my wish for us today, just because I’m really going to need it.

Spoiler alert, tomorrow’s word is reflection — they go hand in hand, really — so I don’t want to get into the weeds and hash out the year too much. Today is just about sorting out thoughts and feelings, needs and wants, hopes and dreams so that from tomorrow, we can put pen to paper and get the real work done.

A few questions to ponder:

  • What went well in 2017? What am I most proud of?
  • What did not go so well in 2017? What would I have done differently?
  • What lessons am I bringing into 2018?
  • If I could choose any three things to accomplish next year, what would they be?

I’m open to other questions if anyone wants to add anything. And I would seriously love to know how everyone else puts the old year to bed / starts a new year.