December 31, 2008

The Sunset of 2008


As the sun sets on 2008, I have reason to pause and be grateful for what a wonderful year it has been. At the beginning of 2008, I chose to take the time to be quiet with my thoughts to figure out WHAT NEXT. A big change was coming in September when my youngest daughter would be going to school full day. This event would give me something that I had not had for nine years…EXTRA TIME. I realized that I could take the path of least resistance and fill my time with whatever came along, or I could really take the time to DESIGN my next step. I chose the latter and became a master sorter of “stuff”. I asked myself these questions daily to make sure I was staying on track.

  • Have I spent 15 minutes of quiet time today, no interruptions, noise, or agenda?
  • Does this opportunity/event/time spent match my family mission or personal mission?
  • Is this time well spent?
  • Am I aware of what is being placed in my life right now?

I kept the process simple - work one hour a day to DESIGN my next step. One hour per day was manageable for me. I also knew on a grander scale, that one hour per day = 7 hours per week = 30 hours per month = 360 hours for the year.

The outcome was worth the work for me. I found that extra hour a day by saying a little word that is so very hard for a Type A like myself, NO. I gave myself permission to say no to the things that didn’t answer the questions above. I said NO to business opportunities, volunteer requests, and a few social events. But here is the great part…I also said YES. YES to opportunities that matched my family goals, like Travel and Entertaining. YES to more reading, YES to starting dance again, YES to writing everyday, YES to spending time with people who are positive, YES to clearing tangible and intangible clutter in my home to make room for what is really important to our family…spending time together, talking, eating, and reading together. I said YES to rearranging my home to reflect how we live at our best. I said YES to going to a writer’s retreat led by one of my favorite authors and lifestyle philosophers.

Here is what ended up happening in 2008. I have spent some time dreaming about “what is next” and I have set some things in motion toward those dreams. I certainly don’t have all the answers. One thing is for sure, by living this way this year, I am happy. Happy to be the owner of the word NO and YES. Happy to be awake to the possibilities and grateful for the amazing year it has been.

Make 2009 a WONDERFUL year!


Down home friends and what they say...

Comments (2)

maribeth said:

Happy New Year, Shawn! I hope you continue to enjoy your dream!

Meg said:

Thanks for sharing this positive perspective, Shawn. May 2009’s priorities also prosper! Cheers! :)

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