Coffee Chat: ALL the Possibilities!

I am very much a New Year's glass FULL sort of woman and every thing, absolutely every thing is possible.  My Katie, whom I love for her quiet wisdom, tends to be more realistic.  She is prone to remind everyone who spouts off their resolutions that they will be the same person on New Year's day that they are on New Year's Eve.  She's got her point.  We aren't changing a thing if we're so caught up in talking or writing or daydreaming about changes that we aren't doing them.  I've learned to prefer action over day dreams.  I've seen my youngest daughter's wisdom in her too too truthful statement. 

It was action that pushed us last year to get so much accomplished to improve our home.  The decluttering, organizing, refurbishing, sacrificing wants for carpeting and tile and shed, putting in the labor to slowly put in a few feet of mulched flower bed each month, etc. were all positive changes.  I looked about my home on New Year's day this year and said to John, "I LIKE our house now..."  I didn't hate it before, but this past year I learned to move beyond just being grateful for it, and appreciating it, to really LIKING it.  What's more the house itself seems to recognize this fact, though you may think I'm silly for saying so.  There is an atmosphere and energy connected with homes and ours most certainly has responded to the care we put into it this past year and has become a peaceful, positive, upbeat place.

What helped us along this past year, I believe, was my adherence to the sound advice on a scrap of paper torn from a magazine at an unknown point which came to earth one morning as I moved a stack of papers.  "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can."  It was a motivator for me all year long.  Every time I got discouraged or wanted to quit, thought I couldn't do something because I hadn't any money, I'd say those words over to myself and get busy.  More got done last year than I believed possible.  And so this year, I've looked and looked for an inspiration phrase to motivate me as that one did last year. I have, at this point, most assuredly 'started'.   It's continuing this journey that interests me most. 

I won't look for a new phrase to use this year, but continue to use the one that served me so very well in 2016, focusing harder on the parts that read "USE WHAT YOU HAVE. DO WHAT YOU CAN."   Some mottos are just worth having around.  I often use Rhonda's motto "If you do stuff, stuff gets done" when I feel the least motivated.  And Katie made me a sign that reads "There's always something to be grateful for.." which I think is truer than true even in the worst of times, so I think often of those things for which I'm grateful.  These are mottos worth living by I reckon and good enough for another year or twenty.

The first of the year does find many people resolving to do better in some area or other of their lives but too many seldom DO.  They might start out gung ho, but odds are by the end of January (who are we kidding?  the first WEEK of January is usually the end of resolutions!) they have forgotten all those good intentions they went into the new year with.  I blame this partly on unrealistic expectations of themselves.  They make radical changes that are vastly uncomfortable and completely against the reality of their life and  soon fall away from their resolve to do anything at all differently. 

I learned to look hard at what I wanted to change and WHY and then cast aside the daydream and look at the reality.   I might dream of an English cottage but I can't change the fact that I live in a rectangular mobile home without  any of the wonderful adornments of an English cottage or even the possibilities of being one.  BUT I've seen many attractive mobile homes, rendered so by lovely landscaping and neat additions (like our porches) and so that is what I focus upon. 

The key thing to remember is that change is a process.  Some changes ARE forced upon us.  We lose a job or a partner or we have a health crisis and we HAVE to do things radically different.  Those times are never ever easy.  That forced change often brings with it grieving and anger and a lot of consequences.  When we're uncomfortable with the changes we introduce ourselves, it's best to take it slow.  I found that taking small steps towards a goal always worked better. I won't tell you I made 100% of my goals year after year but I did consistently produce some results each year.  I was also realistic about my expectations.   Follow through consistently and soon you've made a big change without quitting!

I have seen some lovely sites this week with sunrise and sunset both.  Just gorgeous.  I looked out the kitchen window yesterday evening and was stunned to see that all the color I'd hoped to see in the sunset and found missing was reflected in the eastern sky.  There were pink ribbons of clouds against the blue and a pearlescent moon floating amongst them and a lavender haze along the horizon.
I'm not a photographer but every now and then I get a lovely shot of something beautiful.  I think this one turned out very well, don't you?

John and I keep talking about getting a new camera for me.  I have a little Kodak that he picked up at the pawn shop a few years ago.  It replaced a really simple Samsung camera that I liked a lot.  It only just recently stopped working.   Katie gave me a nice little camera that she no longer needed and I used that for awhile until I dropped it on the carpeting here and broke the latch on the battery housing of all things.  However, my time using that camera and getting used to the settings on it, opened up a whole world on the Kodak camera.   After pushing a few buttons I stumbled upon the settings mode and I've been able to get better photos. 

That said, I am a careless person when it comes to snapping photos.  I never seem to remember I own a camera when the grandchildren are about.  Were it not for Josh, who likes to play with my camera, I doubt I'd even remember I own one.  I didn't get one photo last month when our family gathered.  Not one.

Later in December, I got a free calendar coupon from My Coke Rewards from Shutterfly.  It's a lovely way to get a unique, but inexpensive calendar.  I sorted through my photos looking for any I might use.  I realized then that I'd literally taken NO photos last year of the natural things about me, nor of the children or grandchildren.  I'd only a handful of photos of changes we'd made in the house and a few of foods I'd made.  I resolved that this year I'd go back to using my camera and try to capture life as I see it.  So I've taken a few photos this year and I plan to continue.

I know this is short and sweet but it's taken me an unbelievably long time to write it out and edit it and delete and rewrite, lol.  I hope you enjoyed our tea and will stop in again before the month ends for another 'cuppa' as my Aussie pen pal says.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture. I realized I did not take a single picture at Christmas. Bummer, had the whole family together and lots of photo ops. My motto "love and be love". I can think of no better goal at this stage of life. Gramma D

Deanna said...

My iPhone takes really good photos yet I still forgot to take any when the kids were here Christmas Day or my parents later that afternoon.

I like your motto and I am going to put that to use this year. We have so many projects which need David's skills but he recently admitted that his job is going to be so stressful in the coming months that he can't think about home projects right now. So I am going to do the things I can do and just occasionally ask him to help me with small tasks. It's better than just putting everything off until they can be done perfectly. Thanks for the inspiration!

Oh, as for yearly goals, my post about 2017 goals will be posted tomorrow in case you'd like to see what I'm working toward this year.

rebecca said...

Great motivation here!

Anne said...

I also love that saying! It helps to encourage me when I feel negative and overwhelmed. In addition that thought process helps me to stay financially focused.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

I love your 2016 quote, and proud you are going to continue it for 2017, as I get encouragement every time you write it in a post.. thank you.
I too, forget to take photos when the kids/grandkids are here.. I think we are so busy getting things done.. photos are not on our
Have a blessed week.

Lana, I have been praying for your husband and you.. Pray there is more improvement.. May God bless you and family and help you through this very
difficult time.. Judy

Kathy said...

Beautiful photo! I like your motto too! Definitely worth living by.
Thanks for the encouragement to do what I won't be perfect, but it can still be beautiful.
Hope that 2017 will be a wonderful year for you and your family.
Meant to tell you that we loved the chicken tortilla bake. I will definitely make it again when I have leftover chicken...such a good makeover!
Also trying the different suggestions for keeping mandarins, and I'll see which one works best for me.

Charlotte Spears said...

Your home is your cottage, no matter where or what it looks like on the outside to others passing by. It is the sweet memories that you are creating within, the lovely things you use to decorate the spaces to make it a comforting and cozy place for your loved ones. I loved reading your post today and the picture you took of the sunrise~so lovely! I have a little digital Kodak camera, too. I have had it since 2005 and still love to snap photos with it. My son has a newer little Nikon Coolpix that we got him for his birthday last year. I still like my good old Kodak better~lol. Praying for you and your family and sending much love and hugs.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand what you are saying about your home. I liked my home from the first. It was what we could afford and what my sweet hubby provided, and I was just plain thankful for it. It was a gift from God. We've raised 2 children here and it has been just fine. But as God blessed us (no going into debt!) and we could afford to update a little here and a little there, over the past 10 years I've come to really love, love, love my home. I'm home most of the time and I love being home. It is a peaceful place.

I don't always do a word or phrase for the year but his year "Enjoy your life, not theirs" has really struck home. I mean to do exactly this! I printed out a cute sign and put it on my computer desk shelf so I see it every day. This takes a grateful heart! Thank you, God, for MY hubby, for MY children, for MY church, for MY home, for MY finances, MY friends, etc.

No resolutions for me at the new year. If something needs changing, just go for it. Forget promises to yourself - just do it. And don't wait for a new year, get in there and do it now. I'm not a baby-step kind of person. I jump in with both feet. Smile

The picture you took is so pretty and I love the word pearlescent - what a beautiful word.

Enjoyed your post and the tea. Smile. Pam

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

What a beautiful sunset photo! The colors are amazing.

I see from your post and others comments here that I wasn't the only one who forgot to take the camera to Christmas this year. I didn't even think about it until we were in the car on our way home.

I have liked seeing your photos of your home improvements this year and reading about the work you have done. Everything looks so pretty and cozy.I think that your porches and flower beds add a very cottage-y touch.

Susie D.

Anonymous said...

I agree that change is one of the hardest things I ever have to do. Yet, life just keeps throwing changes at us. I'm just hoping this year that it is a year of settling, without very many changes.

I love your motto. It's very inspiring. Your sunset picture is amazing, too. Love it!

I take lots of pictures with my phone. Sometimes they aren't the best photographically. But, I still keep snapping them because in the mix, I usually get a few good ones. Even if I don't, I do have pictures. In the past, I never seemed to get the developed or into a scrapbook except on rare occasions. One of the reasons I blog is to keep kind of a photo journal. My mom really likes seeing the pictures (good or crummy) because she says it helps her keep caught up with what everyone is doing. Of course, she is my mom, so she would like anything I did, but it's still nice to hear.

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