Life Gets Better: An Other-Worldly Outlook

January is rolling to a close. I took a vow years ago to let January be January. In this climate, if there be any hope of killing the bugs (and I have no mercy on mosquitoes for they have no mercy on me), we need at least three weeks of good, hard freeze. I think we may have done it.

February looms, promising more of the same. I don’t like it, but I try to be nice. I look at the calendar upon which I have written my “hopefuls”. This month, I was to have organized my upstairs after I’d put away Christmas stuff, sort through and re-organize my kitchen cabinets, update my addresses and contact info, sort and dispose of excess magazines and reward myself by getting some scrapbooking done.

Aside from the scrapbooking, I’ve made headway in all the other areas. Still, I’d like to feel as though I’ve finished at least some of these categories so that I can stand back, rest my hands on my hips, heave a satisfactory sigh and say, “There now!”

(I just sighed, but it was the wrong kind.)

In March, unless spring-like weather makes an early debut and performs an intervention, I tend to get just plain ticked off about winter and start muttering a lot.

Now, I have to remind myself that I’ve recently shared with you 50 Ways to Make 2018 a Better Year”. The key word here is “better” – not “perfect”. If I’d promised in that post that the list would give you a perfect year, you likely would have found something else to waste your time reading.

I’m asking myself today, “Are things better?” I hear myself reply, “Oh, yeah! I look around the house and see that much has been done and much is left to do, but it’s better!

Golly, how I wish I had a higher gear! Alas, I have only one gear and I’m already running in it.

There are times when I look around and ask myself if any of it matters and for a fleeting moment I hanker for a dumpster.

Paper is my nemesis. But…I am a writer. Ummm…

Then, I remember this. There are two dates on every gravestone and though they may be forgotten, the dash between them is what counts. People will remember you for your dash!

We do leave a legacy in many ways – in the hearts and minds of our children, in what we build in our communities and in the lives of others, and in the stories that connect us to our heritage.

This house holds a lot of heritage.

One of the things I found as I sorted my office was a slip of paper upon which I’d written a quote attributed to Joseph Garlington. I thought I’d share it today in hopes that it puts your year and your life into perspective as it does mine.

Not Just Human Beings

I took this photo in December as I drove through the countryside on my way to meet Phoebe June. I pulled over to take photos of a sky such as I’d never seen before.

Under a wide-open Heaven, life is given to me to live each day in this strange place called Earth and I’m determined to thrive down here. I may not be able to make it perfect, but bit by bit, I can make it better, even if it’s something as simple as encouraging a friend or cleaning out files. 

The year ahead holds days and days full of surprises and mundane things.  I hope the mundane things bring you stability and peace and that all your surprises are good ones.  If last year was a “dud” – and sometimes they are – don’t lose heart.  Move forward into new territory and happier days.

You may be starting out the new year grieving the events of the last one.  Take your time and heal.  You may spend a part or all of the year in a waiting mode.  (I hear ‘ya as I wait for responses from literary agents.)  You may go on happily as you have been or you may step into a new adventure like a dear friend of mine who, in a couple of weeks, will leave behind the job she’s had for years and focus on her art!   

Leave a comment! Scroll back up. It’s just under the title of this post. Are things better – even just a little bit – in your earthly experience? I’d love to hear what you’ve done in January (I’ll even listen to your fails) and what you plan for February!