Heading into my office today to write my weekly column I realized It is 6 weeks into the year. Time for me to review all the promises I made to myself on January 1st. Note that I no longer call them resolutions as that seems to doom them from the start.
My winter mornings were to be spent doing a work-related chore and my afternoons following my passion for reading, writing or doing handwork. I had to make some exclusions. I would follow that schedule on days when I was not entertaining grandchildren, taking someone to the doctor, visiting the sick, working at a funeral dinner, enjoying my weekly luncheon date with friends, attending card club and, of course, never on a sick day. That eliminated lots of days so maybe I don't have to knock myself aside the head for my slow progress in changing the list of promises to a list of jobs well done.
The first and most important work-related promise: go through my closet and throw out everything I have not worn in a year. I started on that right away but I sabotaged the effort early on by also deciding to first wear anything that I targeted for the giveaway pile. Wearing it would tell me if it still fit, if I still liked it and if I had something to wear with it. So far I have not thrown away much because, after all, I have worn it within the year. I have now changed the plan of action regarding the cleaning of my closet. The new plan is to wait until a day I have a tough attitude and also have time to take whatever makes it to the giveaway pile to the closest Christian Needs Center the same day. The reason for the immediate dumping is because second thoughts have made me pull out and return some stuff to the closet. I blame that on having a yo-yo-type personality.
The second promise: target the craft cupboard and sewing room for inspection and organization. The fact a friend wanted to borrow some yarn forced me into the inspection phase of that promise. That was when I discovered a forgotten baby blanket that lay there unfinished because I ran out of yarn. I will never match the yarn if I don't have the unfinished item with me. I put it into a bag with a purchase that must be returned within the next two weeks. This ensures It will be with me when I next go shopping. I have to trick myself into remembering things like that. Most folks my age will understand. The latter part of the promise, the organization part, is coming along slowly. I claim partial success with it.
The third promise: separate all the photographs in my computer according to families or special occasions. I worked on this 2 or 3 mornings a week for 3 weeks. Then, suddenly, every album I created disappeared. The pictures are all still there, they just jumped out of the albums I thought I had placed them into and went back to where they were when I started. And now it looks like they are all in the computer twice. Pictures take up lots of disc space but I am afraid to delete anything for fear the duplicates will also be deleted. For now I claim the right to back out of that promise. Maybe next year I will assign myself to study the computer book and know what I am doing before I start such a project.
My last promise was an easier one: to follow Abraham Lincoln's philosophy to wake up every morning in a forgiving spirit. I renew this one daily and the first person I forgive is myself for my failure to live up to the first three.
I may not be as far along as I envisioned I would be with those morning promises, but I am doing a good job of spending the afternoons reading, writing or crocheting interrupted only by some card playing with friends, refreshing naps and time-outs for tea and cookies. My afternoons are the best. I figure it is important to regularly put my foot down and force myself to enjoy being retired.