5 Things I Did in 2014 and Am Glad I Did

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a;lsd;kdskda;ld Photo by Helena Cavalheiro.

Find the gems from your past year. It will surely encourage you.   Photo by Helena Cavalheiro.

Do you ever take time to reassess the past year? It seems like it is a national pastime. And yes, I am one of those who did that, Read this first post to see what I came up with: 5 Things I Did in 2014 and Wish I Didn’t.

This post takes a more positive spin. I took time to think about what I did well. Below is the result of that thinking.

ONE. TRULY RESTED ONE DAY A WEEK. I live alone. My time, energy, and resources are not subject to any else’s needs, wants, or desires. And my time is totally mine to use.

Because of that, I had been bad about working every day. It is so easy to answer that email, research this need, make a phone call, or put together a project on my days off. After all I am not taking time away from anyone in the home.

But this year I made it a priority to take one day each week as my day off – no work allowed. I read, napped, watched a movie, created, walked, prayed (extra), and visited. I limited my internet time. And I allowed no work (unless of course it was an emergency).

As a result of doing this, I have noticed that I have more energy and excitement for my work week. I have more motivation to get things day in all areas of my life. I am refreshed.

TWO. READ MORE. In 2013 I got lazy and didn’t make time for books. I read what I needed to keep up with my studies, but I didn’t read much beyond that.

In 2014 I read more books. Unfortunately I didn’t keep a count of the number or titles. But I know I read more. And I included some classics. I’ve never really done that before, engaged in reading the classics (except in school).

As a result of reading more, I had fun, I gained some new perspectives, and it helped my brain concentrate better. I never realized before how internet reading had made my attention span slower and my thinking duller.

THREE. GREW OUT MY HAIR. For years and years I’ve had the same hair style, sort of Farrah Fawcet-like and no longer than my shoulders. Last year I grew it out – the longest pieces reached my waist when pulled. I have never been able to grow it that long before.

Then in November I saw a hair salon advertising a free haircut if I donated my hair to Locks of Love.  That was an easy decision: whack, my hair was cut off. I am back to short hair again but this time I have a page-boy style.

As a result of growing out my hair, I accomplished two things.(1)  I’ve always wanted long hair. And now I have achieved that goal. I did like being able to fuss with it. But after a while I realized that it takes a lot of time to fashion the hair well and I look better in short hair. (2) I was able to donate the hair in honour of  three friends and three relatives who have dealt with cancer.  3 of the folks are in remission. It’s not much in the fight against cancer, but at least it is something.

FOUR. PROVED I COULD FINISH THINGS. I am great at brainstorming ideas of what to do. I am good at starting things. I am okay at carrying on for a few weeks. But if a project takes longer than that, I am dreadful. I am dreadful about finishing things.

In October I joined over 1,000 people at The Nester’s prompting and wrote for 31 days. (This yearly challenge started in 2,009.)

I did a month of finishing things. I spent 31 minutes each day in October finishing something on the to-do list that never quite made the urgent MUST do today list. These to-dos are things that pertained  . . .

  • to the house like deep cleaning the dining room rug or decluttering the closet,
  • to the car like cleaning out the trunk,
  • to my personal life like buying several A1C kits
  • to creative items like finishing the snowman Christmas Stars.

And you know what? I DID it! I finished 31 to-do’s. Then I wrote about each one.  I included some productivity tips that helped  me. And I published each one.  Although, to be truthful, 2 didn’t get published in October. But I did write the posts in October. For some reason I did’t do the finishing touches on them then.

As a result of finishing more things, I am changing my opinion about myself. I really am a finisher of things. And I am  learning that I don’t have to finish everything I start. Wisdom is needed to pinpoint what things need finishing, what things need finishing well, and what things can be abandoned! And I am honing that wisdom.

FIVE. FAMILY TIME. My adult children live in the East Bay, about 90 minutes away. Because of the traffic and NINETY minutes travel time BOTH ways, I hadn’t been that great about visiting them. Plus I don’t really like to drive.)

But in 2014 I changed that. I visited about every 6-8 weeks. I do confess that having a new grandchild probably influenced my decision.

As a result of more family time, I have made more memories with them and gotten to know them better. I hope they in turn feel more loved by me.

Now I am ready to make my 2015 resolutions!!!

Your Turn . . . What are 5 things you did in 2014 that have positively impacted you or others?

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