Future Projects

I should call them intentional endeavors because I would like to work on these as soon as possible, however, experience has taught me different. There is a small backlog of stories that are begging to be written and I am planning on tackling those, one by one (I am no James Patterson, and my mind can only handle one story at a time) and maybe some will end up as part of a compilation of short stories I am planning to publish. A book of poems (poetry book sounds pretentious) is another project I would like to handle in the near future. Although I have made a considerable dent on my reading backlog, I have yet to clear my shelves. A few book reviews  will be included as posts. I find that I have neglected that side. This takes me to my art, which I have neglected as well, but intend to resume, and share a bit of it on this blog. I find it so difficult to separate my interests because I see them as a whole, each fueling one another. I had purposely made this blog a writing blog, and eliminated many posts about the farmhouse restoration and other interests, and I am not sure if that was the best thing to do. I miss that part of it. If you have been with me for a while, you probably saw these disappear, and I regret not saving or printing them before deleting them for good. Oh well, those are gone.

On the home front, there are countless projects, many of which need to be finished and date back to when  I moved to Virginia. We still have work to do on this old farmhouse and its surroundings. The small potager is almost completed, but needs some more planning. The hard part is done. The garden is in what I consider the early stages, according to what I imagine it will become. Knowing the morass and wilderness it was, I should pat myself in the back (and my husband too) because we really have worked hard on it. This is obviously a long term and ongoing project. I think a place grows with you through the years, and one grows with it as well, complementing each other. A house whispers what it wants. We intend to live here for a long time so there is no rush.

I have many personal goals I would like to see to fruition, and these are just that, personal. They range from personal development, education, wants, and other. My point is that all these things take a considerable amount of time, money, and effort. Some are implemented right away while others take years to materialize, and I must learn to recognize the difference. I used to make life maps from time to time. Months ago, I found an old map I had created many years ago (more than a decade). When I looked at it I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the things on that map had become reality, and according to it I was where I was supposed to be. I had forgotten about it. On this map things where scheduled to happen faster, but in reality they took much longer. However, the outcome was the same. This made me reflect on something very important. It is all about vision and faith, speed and time are relative, and these adjust accordingly. So many times we chastise ourselves (I am guilty of it) when life doesn’t go at the speed of our dreams and planning, and we end up feeling sad, frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned, and even as failures. Society tells us to achieve, multitask, perform like an octopus in fast wheels, and shapes our minds from an early age. When we fall short according to this timing and expectation, we blame ourselves, sometimes by being to harsh and even unkind. Many people keep going at that speed until the end, others crash along the way, while other souls learn to apply the brakes from time to time, and even take the scenic/panoramic way along with rest stops.

A day has 24 hours, one’s life has none defined. Longevity is a mystery and no one is guaranteed another day. If we happen to live it, it is a wonder in itself.

 

On Faith and Doing

The cloud

Photo by M.A.D.

 

Faith – Confident belief. Trust. (American Heritage Dictionary)

Doing – To perform or execute. To fulfill; complete. To bring about. To put into action. (American Heritage Dictionary)

 

Our faith is tested many times. We come out stronger or confused, in doubt, and/or unable to advance. When we want or need to do something  we’ve planned, and we proceed with confident caution, that is the easy way. However, many times we have to proceed by faith, not knowing if the best plan that we made will work; that is, if the circumstances permitted planning. Otherwise, we must push through confusion, doubt, and even chaos, with only a little light ahead of us, barely visible – our bit of faith illuminating the way. We must do by faith.

Becoming petrified by the fear that confusion and chaos bring will hinder advance and growth. We may become stuck or a situation will turn worse. It is best to do by faith than succumb to fear. In any case life goes on, for better or for worse. When in doubt, act in faith.

A Year of Reinvention

December is approaching and I dance with the idea; it is my favorite month.  Many a reason for it – the holiday season, the end of the year, a beginning to a brand new year is near, the festive air, crisp cold, the towns getting dressed up, the spirit throughout, flurries … and much more.

For me, it is the time to review this year and meditate about what when on, the goals I achieved, the ones I did not, and time for reflection, much reflection.  It is a time to pick up my journal, a new calendar, and think of how I can make next year better.  Although it is always a bit disappointing to stare at the goals that did not come true, on the other hand, it is rewarding to look at the ones that did become real.  Somehow, it makes me happy to see that I worked towards something throughout the year, something that when I put it on paper on December of the previous year, may not have seemed so real or attainable.  I invite you to try this, even if it is one or two things in your list.  I have learned to call them predictions for the new year, predictions of the things that I will carry out on that year, or at least, that will take me a few steps closer to a goal.  It is a practice that I started years ago, and it works for me.  Looking at the end of the year, I can see where my heart was at the end of the previous one, and how I evolved on the issues that seemed important to me, and the things that I wanted in my future.  Sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised to know that I made it through that year, and most of the things on that list, were accomplished.  Other times, I see that half of them were not, and then, I can ponder why – this always leads to some insight, sometimes, realizing that in truth, it was not what I wanted, but I thought that I wanted at that time.  This is why I call it my time for reinvention.

Reinventing myself small steps at a time works for me better than setting out sails for a huge journey, which can seem daunting, exhausting, and many times an illusion.  Setting goals every December, and working on those throughout the year, keeps the journey real, and manageable – less intimidating.  It is part of the big journey.  In retrospect, it is very hard to feel that I “wasted a year”  if I go back and see all the progress that I made, and how I worked towards the goals that were on that list – even when I may have not hit the mark with a particular item in the list.

I am ready to make my predictions for the new year, and work hard to make them true.  Do you plan or set goals for the new year?  Feel free to share your method.

What to do When You are on Hold

This is a topic that best relates to people who might be going through significant changes in their lives or careers – I am one of those people.  I can say that when your life is in transition, that middle spot where you try to “hold it together” may seem as if you have been put “on hold” for a while, despite of the changes occurring and new plans taking shape.  When there is such “in between,” restlessness and impatience can happen because your excitement to start the new phase is making you anxious to move on with your plans already; however, many times, the “in between” extends (sometimes long) and you may feel idling on empty.  New projects have to wait, and old and current ones may seem stale or boring.  That is because you have outgrown the current phase, and are eager to move on to the next one.  The problem is that when you are “on hold” there is always the risk of becoming uninspired or loosing interest, as if you might be falling backwards.  So, how to fight this feeling?  What to do when you are “on hold?”

The best way is to keep working on your current projects, however learning new things.  One way in which I try to keep inspired is by using the transitional period to plan and craft a set of new projects and a new territory chart.  Making an open plan for when the transition is over, will help you become inspired and keep you away from feeling restless or anxious.  If the changes are in a 360 degree way, then there is plenty in which you can plan, chart your steps, and educate yourself on new matters.  It is the perfect time to craft the foundation of your new endeavor and to work on some projects for when the ball starts rolling.  You will be ahead of time.

Starting a new lifestyle?  Moving to another state or country?  Starting a new business or line of work?  Undergoing a total change?  Think of all the things that will be new to you and start learning about them.  Being “on hold” can actually be grounding and work to your advantage.  Soon, you will find that there are more things to learn and plan for than there are hours in your day.  It becomes exhilarating!  You may find yourself wishing for more “in between” time.