Saturday, January 28, 2012

Celebrations, Presentations and Relaxation

Something happened to my post it seems so I'm reposting as I link up to The Tablescaper to celebrate Seasonal Sunday.  
 It was a wonderful week. It began with a celebration of my husband's 60th birthday.  He was born in the Year of the Dragon so he is convinced that the Chinese New Year Celebrations are part of his birthday celebrations. 

At work we enjoyed a special presentation and visit with Ken and Kathleen Powell.  Ken is a WWII POW and Kathleen is a Rosie the Riveter. 
Ken is holding the egg beaters he made while held as a prisoner using scrap metal. 
 Both Ken and Kathleen have amazing stories to tell and both are in their 90s so I was especially honored that they came to spend time with my workplace.   The egg beater Ken is holding is being fought over by two museums.  The detail of his handiwork is amazing but as he shared with the audience, "we had plenty of time on our hands."
If you are interested in learning more, you might be interested in the book that was written about Ken and his brothers,   Four Stars in the Window.
Tells the dramatic story of four brothers in one family during WWII who survived an Iwo Jima battle, a German POW camp, Omaha Beach on D-Day, and Army Air Corps cadet training.
I ended the week with a visit to a bed and breakfast that happens to be just around the corner from my house. 
 And so I enjoyed an afternoon tea with a dear friend in a lovely setting with a delightful hostess.
I hope you are enjoying the pleasures of the season.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's January....There's Still Time to Do It

Yesterday while skimming the headlines of the Huffington Post, I spotted the article titled the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, and while it sounded a bit morbid, I was intrigued so I clicked to read more.  The article came at a good time for me since I hadn’t made any resolutions for the year but was hoping to make some goals for myself. 
Bronnie Ware, author of the article, spent many years caring for dying patients and she has written and spoken on the life lessons she’s learned through her experiences.  Here are the top five lessons learned:

1)    I wish I’d had the courage to be true to myself instead of always doing what is expected of me.   How many times do we force ourselves to do things we really don’t want to do?  One of my doctors once told me that when he was young all he wanted to do was to be an architect.  He went off to school to major in design and in his freshman year his dad paid him a visit one weekend.  The purpose of the visit – to tell his son that he would not be an architect, instead he was expected to be a doctor.  That moment changed the entire course of his life.
2)    I wish I didn’t work so hard. Now this had my name all over it.  My work days are generally 11-12 hours long and it really bothers me but I’ve yet to figure out how to change the pattern. 
3)    I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.  Most of the time when I hold back, I do so to “keep peace in the valley” but is there really peace when internally I’m frustrated of feeling regret for not speaking up for myself?
4)    I wish I’d stayed in touch with friends.  I really try on this one but there is always room for improvement. 
5)    I wish I’d let myself be happier. 
A creative, fun painting class with friends
 As part of our professional development program at work I’m reading Stephen Covey’s, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (the workbook version) and it was the perfect time to ready Bronnie Ware’s article.   The first habit in Stephen Covey’s book is BE PROACTIVE and I was reminded of the saying “if it is to be, it’s up to me” so this morning I got up an emailed a small group of trusted friends to organize a vision board gathering so that I can create something visual to help remind me of the changes I’d like to make this year. 
When the calendar rolled over to 2012 several bloggers posted they didn’t plan to make resolutions because they rarely followed through with the resolutions during the year.  Yes, some years this is the case for me but I’m taking a different approach this year by giving myself a little more time to think about the resolutions, developing strategies to help achieve the goals and putting some accountability in place with support from good friends.  It may not have perfect end results but I have high hopes. 

Have you made resolutions for 2012 and what is your plan for the follow through?