Follow Seven Principles to Make a Dream Doable

I am reading this book, finally after decades of it being on my to-read list. … I followed seven ideas to make this a reality.

Do you have a dream that you are actively achieving? Or, is the dream still in hibernation mode?

I am a bucket list maker. I have dreams in quite a few areas, including theological, cooking, and reading. I have things I want to do during specific seasons as in Summer. On my birthday, I write what I want to accomplish that birth year. I have more ideas than one person could complete in a lifetime. However, I am finally in pursuit of one dream that seemed impossible. At least it seemed impossible according to my original guidelines.

I began to learn Spanish when I lived in Puerto Rico for most of my middle school years. One of my teachers thrilled us with episodes from Don Quixote de la Mancha, to the extent I decided I wanted to read the 1,000-page book in Spanish. Even though I’ve had years of Spanish since then, my grasp of the Spanish is not yet advanced enough to read this adult classic (in Spanish).

“Mom,” my daughter said, “just because you used to know a lot of Spanish doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you can’t read Don Quixote in Spanish now.”

This year, my 60th year, I decided to lay aside unrealistic expectations and make Don Quixote (DQ) the classic book I conquer. And to make this doable, I will read it in English. (In past years, I’ve read, in English, Anna Karenina, The Imitation of Christ, Moby Dick, and War and Peace, to name a few.)

For several months, I rummaged through thrift store shelves and garage sale piles for my very own copy of this classic, Don Quixote de la Mancha. I finally found a two-inch thick, paperback, in pristine shape for $1.99. I love a good deal, especially when buying things I don’t need.

And besides the bargain, I could check Step 1 off my list – Buy the book.

For Step 2, I cracked open the book to the Table of Contents to figure out a reading schedule. I became immediately daunted. Oh, no. This print is too small for me to read. ­

My daughter stepped in again, “Why don’t you go on Amazon and buy a large print edition?”

“Or,” I said, “I can get an e-copy, since I can control the print size on my Kindle.”

After an hour on Amazon, I still had not purchased an e-copy. There are at least 8 DQ versions for the Kindle. How do I pick the BEST version to read?  Too many choices are paralyzing.

I grabbed my ear buds and took a walk to clear my head. When I walk, I frequently listen to an audio book or podcast. After 30 minutes, I put away my headphones and house key. I wondered, Is there an Audible English version of DQ? I opened Audible on my phone to check. Yes, there was an English book. Without any more research, I clicked on this first entry and bought it.

I am now on chapter 72 of 126 chapters. I listen almost every day while I get in my daily steps. I am proud that I am finally tackling a long time dream because I modified it to fit my current lifestyle and skills.

Principles I learned from this process.

  1. Choose a dream.
  2. Make a list of steps from beginning to completion.
  3. Identify expectations and remove the unrealistic ones.
  4. Brainstorm (by yourself or with someone else) actions to achieve the steps.
  5. Do necessary research. But don’t give yourself too many choices.
  6. Choose a path that is doable for this stage of life. Realize that for most goals, there is no BEST path to achievement.
  7. Start the process TODAY.

Your Turn . . . What is a longtime dream you’ve had, but keep pushing out of sight? Is there some way you can adjust it to fit your current lifestyle and skills? 

Let us know in the comments. And we can cheer each other on as we make our impossible dreams possible.

Related Posts . . .

Advertisements

. at . 2 comments

Lent Table of Contents

These crosses were made by CNC’s K-1 Sunday school classes in 2013.

I am going to celebrate Lent again this year (2018). I thought it would be helpful, if I gathered all my posts in one spot.

2 Sentences About Lent

3 Reasons to Celebrate Lent

Ash Wednesday Quiz

I Missed Shrove Tuesday but I Didn’t Miss Ash Wednesday

Lent Begins Today (2006)

Lent Reflections Through Lenten Carnival

Lent Quiz

Lenten Ideas to Help Us Focus on and Become More Like Jesus

Lenten Reflection: Who Am I?

My First Ash Wednesday Service

Your Turn . . .  How and why do you celebrate Lent? 

. at . Leave a comment

Friday’s Fave Five – December 1, 2017

It has been several weeks since I have participated in Friday’s Fave Five. I’ve been on a vacation and then settled back in. Now I am settling back into the routine of writing my Fave List. To join us go to Susanne’s blog, Living to Tell the Story.

One example of something beautiful. I hope to do a post soon of fave sights.

ONE. Vacation. I don’t normally take an extended vacation in November. But I had the pleasurable opportunity to spend time in Madrid, Barcelona, and on a cruise in the Mediterranean.                         Highlights of the trip included Scotti’s skill in finding us unbelievable deals for airfare and the cruise … architectural and historical delights in each place we visited … making friends on the cruise … eating delicious food withOUT gaining any weight … spending time with Scotti and Cheryl (a new friend) … and time away to grieve the loss of a long time friend. I am grateful for these new experiences, time with friends (old and new) and time alone.

Mary and I were thrilled to be a part of this ministry and opportunity to strut our stuff.

TWO. Thanksgiving. In the morning, my walking buddy and I walked a 10K in Run to Feed the Hungry with 29, 117 others. Then we went home to our families.                                                                  Like many others, we had delicious food (some old time faves and a new recipe: Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free) and time with loving family. Everyone was able to be at my sister’s home this year and that is always meaningful. I am grateful when we all visit to play, catch up with life and get to know each other better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THREE. Grandma time. I was able to spend a full day at my son’s home. We did an art project, visited a nearby carousel that was decorated for the holidays, and then decorated their home for Christmas. I am grateful when I get to participate in their life.

We had this treat at San Gines. It is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

FOUR. Auntie time. While in Spain we had hot chocolate and churros (twice). I brought back chocolate for my sister’s three girls. On Sunday we made up a batch of the hot chocolate. My daughter and I brought over Taco Bell churros and french fries for their family and us to try with the hot drink.   The taste experience was a fail: the chocolate was not THICK like we had in Spain and the churros were not great. This was the 1st time I’d had an American churro. In Spain they are salty and doughy.             But the time together was FUN. And I am grateful when I get to try new things with them.

FIVE. Decluttering. I am continuing on that goal. When we put out the Christmas decorations, my daughter helped me to rearrange my priorities (declutter) regarding the boxes and boxes of decorations. I am mostly done with that task. I read that more decluttering happens at the Holidays than any other time. I am grateful my daughter is able to help with the decluttering process and that she likes to decorate for Christmas as much as I do.

BONUS: Instead of shopping on Black Friday, my daughter, a friend (Rachel) and I went for a hike. We celebrated #OptOutside and #GreenFriday. I am grateful that I tried something new and that it was an active something new.

Your Turn … Please share what made your list this week.

What I Wrote Last Week … Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free) … 40 Days Until 2018 – What Will You Do?

What I Finished Reading …  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Year of No Clutter: a memoir by Eve O. Schaub

Related Post … Decorations Can be Emotional Bombs

. at . 8 comments

Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free)

After you’ve tried all the pumpkin recipes, try this gratitude pumpkin next.

This year I brought a new dish to the Thanksgiving dessert table: Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake. I made it for the first time in October for a Senior luncheon. I made a few changes since then and now there is a fave holiday dessert at my home.

Ingredients for the Apple Layer

  • Spray cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) to cook the apples
  • 5 medium sized Granny Smith Apples or McIntosh apples – peeled, cored, and sliced (5 cups) – I used a combination of both
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar – You can add more sugar as I don’t like my apples overly sweet
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

NOTE:  — Or use 2 (21-ounce) cans of apple pie filling and delete all the above ingredients except for the spray cooking oil.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Layer

  • 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk – can use heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs or 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients for Topping

  • 1 box gluten-free yellow cake mix – you can obviously use a regular cake mix
  • 1 FULL cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

DIRECTIONS . . .

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9”x13” pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add apples, sugar, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are semi-translucent. Spread into the bottom of the prepared 9”x13” pan.
  3. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Pour on top of the apple layer.
  4. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top of the pumpkin and apples.
  5. Top with pecans.
  6. Melt 1 cup butter and pour evenly over the top of the entire pan.
  7. Bake for 45-65 minutes until the center is set and it is golden brown around the edges.
  8. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Your Turn . . . Did you try a new dessert this Thanksgiving? Or do you only have the tried and loved recipes? . . . Have you had dump cake before? What is your fave flavour combination?

Related Posts . . . 

. at . 2 comments

40 Days Until 2018 – What Will You Do?

Can you believe that 2017 is almost over? Have you accomplished all that you’ve wanted to this year?

No matter your answer, you still have time to do ONE more thing. Here are some things I’d like to do.  . . .

  • Create a list of what to do instead of social media
  • Declutter my patio closet
  • Declutter my trunk
  • Declutter the rest of my Christmas decorations
  • Do a session of once-a-month cooking
  • Do something creative 5 times (once a week)
  • Drink half my weight in water
  • Finish a series on my blog that is incomplete
  • Finish War & Peace
  • Go to bed by 10 pm each night
  • Go to the (apartment) gym 3 times a week
  • Make a week’s worth of jar salads and have one a day
  • No complaining
  • Organize my Spain photos
  • Perfect my morning routine
  • Plant a bulb a day
  • Practice Spanish
  • Read and write 2 book reports
  • Read the New Testament
  • Read the Old Testament
  • Rememorize I Corinthians 13
  • Say “Yes” to more adventures
  • Spend 5 minutes a day on my breathing
  • Tell 40 people why they are special
  • Walk 2 times a day
  • Watch my Christmas videos
  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Write in a laughter journal

Yikes! I have a lot on my list. Do you? I will narrow it down to three things for my personal life and for my work life. Criteria?

  • What will most impact 2018?
  • What will bring me the most satisfaction?
  • What has been on the list the longest and is TIME to accomplish?

It just dawned on me that by crafting this list, I have already done item #1 – Create a list of what to do instead of social media.

While I would LOVE to accomplish all of the above, I will do the following personal things . . . Finish War & Peace . . . Practice Spanish – Complete an advanced course through Udemy . . . Declutter.

And I will do the following for work . . .  Read and write 2 book reports . . . Read the Old Testament . . . Rememorize 1 Corinthians 13.

 Your Turn . . .  Create your to-do item(s) for the next 40 days. Share what you’ll do. 

Related Posts . . . 

 

. at . Leave a comment

Friday’s Fave Five October 27, 2017

I am going on vacation on Sunday. With packing, finishing up things at work, decluttering, writing my decluttering and #wWrite31Days posts and dealing with asthma/allergies, I thought I didn’t have time to write my weekly 5 Blessings post. I am glad I rethought that idea and put this together. To join us for Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five, go here.

ONE. I finished my series of 43 gratitude prompts. Go here to see why I was grateful for this writing endeavor. I am going on vacation and won’t be back until mid-November. So I decided to do my gratitude project early.

These are the boxes I collected for this year. As you can tell, I LOVE this ministry.

TWO. Operation Christmas Child Boxes. Since I am going on vacation on Sunday and coming back after our church collects the boxes, my OCC sewing group met to finish up odds-and-ends for the boxes. We also made sure the boxes were FULL and put the rubber bands and labels in the correct spot. Our OCC group made enough items and our church collected enough items to fill 47 boxes. This is even before individual church members fill up their own boxes.

THREE. Last movie of the year. Every 5th Tuesday (which happens 4 times a year), the senior group from church watches one of Pastor Mike’s favourite movies. This past Tuesday 20 of us watched Breaking Away. While the language is naughty, there are some worthwhile themes to ponder. We also laughed, chatted and ate some tasty snacks together. We had our movie on the 4th Tuesday because of scheduling conflicts.

FOUR. Decluttering. I have stayed true to my 31 minutes a day of decluttering. I am actually seeing progress. Now I am getting down to the hardest layer to declutter: Christmas items, books and art/crafts supplies. Since I am going on vacation, I will finish up my decluttering series for #Write31Days in mid-November. I can’t write them ahead, because I need to declutter for each post, too.

FIVE. Unexpected time with family. I have been advertising on my Facebook page what our OCC group is collecting and making for this year’s boxes. Two folks not associated with my church contacted me and donated items. One lady is my precious niece, Jennifer. We haven’t seen each other in a year. So we met up at Chick-Fil-A, made the handoff and the five of us had linner together. She is a patient, happy mommy and has a caring, generous heart.

Your Turn . . . Share what tops your gratitude chart for this week.

WHAT I WROTE LAST WEEK . . . 

#Write31Days Series

43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

. at . 5 comments

MORE vs less: There is No Perfect Moment to Begin

Day 25 – There is no perfect moment to begin. Sometimes you have to “trick” yourself into starting.

Sometimes I feel motivated to declutter and lots of times I don’t. And when I don’t, I seem to be waiting for SOMETHING to push me into the right set of circumstances that will get me to WANT to get to work.

But I am learning that there is no perfect moment to begin.

I just could not get into the decluttering mood tonight. I came home and had a little nap. And woke up feeling I was just going to forget tonight’s 31 minutes. Oh, yes, I was.

Then I thought, “Just see what’s on the closet floor. Maybe you can put a few more things in the recycling pile.”

Well more than an hour later I had sorted everything on my side of the closet. I would still like to declutter more, but I am very HAPPY with tonight’s session.

There was no perfect moment to begin.

  • The clutter fairy didn’t sprinkle motivation dust on my head.
  • After my nap, I still didn’t feel like working.
  • Every time I checked the closet, it was still messy.
  • No one was going to do this for me.
  • My circumstances didn’t change.

But I did change my thoughts. I prodded myself with the sentence, “Just see what’s on the floor.”

Once I put all the stuff on my bed*, I KNEW I could do some decluttering. In fact, it was kind of fun seeing what was there. And it was fun seeing what I could get OUT of the closet.

*I put the stuff on my bed because bending over a lot hurts my back. And getting up and down from the floor is hard on my body, too.

Day 25 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I worked in my closet about 90 minutes. I am not done in there but it sure looks pretty good. I am encouraged by the work I did. I stopped because I want to do my laundry and see if I can donate any more clothes.

Your Turn . . . How is your closet? . . . How do you get yourself into a decluttering mode when you are not in one?

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

. at . 1 comment

Older Posts


Join Me For Write31Days 2016

59 Musicals to Watch During my 59th year

The Finish DateApril 1st, 2018
The big day is here.

Latest Tweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 777 other followers

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Categories


%d bloggers like this: