Tag: guitar

January Reality Check

January is two-thirds done now, so it seems like a good time to do a goals reality check.

1. Financial area – Quicken has not been updated. In fact, I’ve just begun getting things arranged for the New Year, spreadsheets created new for 2011, etc. I tackled my desk (again!) yesterday and that is the plan for this afternoon, to finish clearing my desk. We had the opportunity last week to rent our property in Alabama and so I spent several days making those arrangements and getting documents in the mail.

2. Personal goals – I have (mostly) replaced playing online Solitaire with putting together a puzzle! I can’t say that I have not played any games of solitaire, but my time has certainly been reduced drastically. Now, if I have five or ten minutes to kill, I go work on the puzzle instead.

jigsaw puzzle

3. Personal goals – My guitar practicing has not been quite as successful, although there has been progress there too. I have remembered to practice 12 out of the last 24 days, but most of that was in the first half of that time period. One day missed and then I forgot for several days. But even with that amount of time, my fingers are getting more limber and my finger drills are going better. I think I am about ready to move along to the next section of the DVD Lessons, chords!

4. Personal goals – I have not “put myself out there more”, not yet, anyway. I did start back up with my clogging lessons last week! I was not as far behind as I thought and I remembered most everything. Bill & I did try to go square dancing to a new club on Tuesday’s the first week of January, but we didn’t have the proper directions and never found the place. And the last two weeks haven’t worked out. I am going to stop in at the Library tomorrow and see about any book clubs.

5. Personal goals – Calling my siblings. I called my sister Wendy last weekend for her birthday! One down, three more to go and only 12 days left in the month!

6. Blogs – I am doing great with my personal blog, especially since I joined the 365 Mommytography Project and have to post a picture each day. Actually, that is probably contributing to my getting less done in other areas. I am having too much fun taking, editing and posting pictures! But I have done a few posts to my Leaping blog. I am still debating whether to continue my Racing blog or not. I don’t seem to be able to generate a continuing interest in writing about racing. My domain renews in March, so I will have to decide by then whether to continue it or not.

7. Website – I definitely need to be working harder in this area. No, I want to be working harder in this area! I forget that I am working on changing my thinking from “should do” and “need to do” to “want to” in order to change my procrastination tendencies. So, I want to be working on my website. And I do!

Wooden Indian – 365-015

wooden Indian

This wooden Indian stands outside a nearby gas station, along with two other carved Western themed carved figures. This one makes me think of the song Kawliga sung by Hank Williams. It was one of my favorites that my mother sang and played on her guitar when I was a young child.

Clarity – 356-*005

Sunday Assignment 1 ~ Word:2011

2011 Clarity

2011 Clarity

Last week a friend mentioned to me the idea of One Little Word to focus on during the coming year. This is a word that speaks to your heart and represents where your mind is at the present or rather where you would like your mind to be in the coming year.

As the author of the “One Little Word” blog posts explains:

And what do you do with this one little word?

You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.


I am not sure that one word can possibly cover an entire year, but the more I thought about it, the more the word “clarity” came to mind. Clarity is something I have been seeking for a while now; clarity of mind, clarity of goals, clarity of purpose.

In an effort to find some clarity, I have been following the progress of the ladies who write The Dao of Doing. One of their recent exercises in their “Getting Started Series” was to Write It Down, “it” being your wishes and dreams for your life.

There is nothing new in wishing and dreaming, but previously I’ve only done it mentally and have never actually written anything down on paper. So last week I took a few minutes, grabbed a pen and legal pad and began to write. At first it was slow going because I felt a bit foolish with the whole idea. And then I discovered that I had a difficult time dreaming big. But after a bit I got into the spirit of things and in about fifteen minutes I ended up with over 50 items on my list of “Anything and everything I want to do, have or be.”

What were some of my big dreams?

  • Sailing the Mediterranean Sea
  • Riding a train across Canada
  • Visiting all of the National Parks

There were some nonsensical dreams, like being having a chef to cook all my meals.  Some dreams could be quite attainable, like driving a NASCAR car (it just takes a little money and proximity to a track) and learning to play the guitar (I am practicing daily!).

What did I gain from this exercise?

I did not really expect to learn anything earth shattering from this exercise, but putting it all down on paper did achieve one thing.  I noticed that most of my dreams and goals focus around three main themes that recurred many times in varying ways

  • Travel
  • Writing/Blogging
  • Photography

There were also a couple of minor themes

  • Music (both live music and playing instruments)
  • Languages (learning to speak Italian and Irish Gaelic)

Interestingly enough, my list did not include anything about Facebook or playing solitaire!  When I noticed this, I made the decision to quit playing online solitaire.  Since New Year’s Day, when I have a few minutes to kill or waste, I have picked up the guitar and practiced my finger drills instead.  One of my goals is to play guitar with my mom the next time we see each other.  If I spend half the time practicing guitar that I did playing solitaire, I should be able to play some simple tunes with her by next summer!

Long term, this exercise has given me some clarity for future projects.  Joining the Mommytography 365 Project was a direct result of this exercise.

It will be interesting to discover how else this exercise helps direct my focus and abilities in the coming months. With any luck, clarity will be the appropriate word for my 2011 year!