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Looking Towards Tomorrow

 

I’m not much of one for New Year’s resolutions.  Recently, though, I have found myself evaluating where I am in life.  Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s turning 61.  I’m not sure.  All I know is that I feel a need to assess my life, look at the direction I’m headed in, and come up with a workable plan.  If I were to put it into a resolution, it would be to clear my life’s garden of weeds, thorns, and overgrowth so the flowers planted there can bloom.

 

During the last two years, I’ve made time for myself and some of the things I’ve always wanted to do.  Starting this blog was one of those things.  I’ve found new creative outlets, like designing our living space, that I never knew I’d enjoy.  These things have helped renew my appreciation for what it means to be alive.

 

As I’m sure you all know, being yourself is more about honoring your beliefs than about doing whatever you feel like.  I’m struggling with growth right now, with becoming more, with becoming a better version of myself.  When I was a teenager, I remember thinking I had all the answers.  The problem was, I didn’t really know any of the questions.  Now that I have many of the questions, I find that I often don’t have the answers.

 

So I’m looking for some clarity and I don’t want to wait until January 1st.  I do know that I have given up too much of my writing time to getting our house painted.  I’m still not totally finished, but I’m close (thanks to my sister’s help-thanks, Lou!!).  I haven’t been spending enough time outside (other than painting) where I feel most connected to God and to life.  I know I’ve been short with people where I usually would have had more patience.

 

What do you do when you feel yourself slipping away?  How do I deal with the seemingly endless amount of things to be done and my inability to overcome the imbalance I feel in my life right now?  I’m not sure what the answer is, but I’m going to start by going back to basics.  Simplify my life a little bit.  Go back to who I am and what I believe.  Look for opportunities to grow deeper into the person I want to become.  Or maybe I need to create those opportunities.

 

 

Sitting here looking around my office, it occurs to me that my first and biggest obstacle is my surroundings.  After two years of renovating, there is so much stuff all over the house that isn’t where it belongs.  There are boxes of things that need to be gone through and put away.  There are pictures that need to be hung.  Peg racks that need to be put up on the wall.  I know myself well enough to know that clutter in the house creates clutter in my brain which can be paralyzing.  So maybe cleaning up the clutter in my house is the way to clarity.

 

I think I’ll start with my office.  I want it to reflect who I am and what I love.  I want it to be a place of creativity and clarity.  I want it to be a place that I want to come to and enjoy working in so I can get back on track with the rest of my life.

 

I was talking to my sister Lou last night, and she said something that surprised me.  Spending so much time together since she moved back here, she has been surprised to find out that I have many of the same issues that she has.  I guess maybe I’m not that open about my internal struggles.  That’s why I thought to share this here.  I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t have a perfect life.  I don’t always make the right decisions.  But I’m going to start weeding my life’s garden so my flowers can bloom.

 

 

Are you struggling with something right now?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

About carol

Hi there, I'm Carol. I look for the beauty in everyday people and the everyday world that surrounds me. I'm a writer, a fair photographer, and I'm also a wannabe artist. I wear many other labels, but I try not to let them define me. What about you? I'd love to hear about your story!

9 Replies

  1. Feyzer

    I did get the notification. I want to, and have to say… This is absolutely one of your best written thoughts. It was extremely honest.

    1. carol

      Thanks…I sincerely appreciate that, especially coming from you!

  2. Annie Mollo

    So true: clutter is paralyzing.

    1. carol

      No more renovations until we have at least a year clutter-free!

  3. Jim

    Carol, you seem so talented. Don’t let the enemy tell you any different. Max LuCado once said “You are so much more than a few days between the womb and the tomb.”

    Paul the Apostle says, “It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone” (Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG).

    Above and around us God directs a grander saga, written by his hand, orchestrated by his will, and unveiled according to his calendar. Your life emerges from the greatest mind, the kindest heart in the history of the universe! The mind and heart of God.

    You are God’s idea. And remember…God doesn’t have any bad ideas.
    Read Psalm 139:13-16 and know how wonderfully you are made.
    One step at a time and one room at a time, you’ll sort & organize your stuff. My friend once told me “if you haven’t used it in the last year, throw it out.” You own it, don’t let it own you.

    1. carol

      Jim, thanks. I think that’s just what I needed to hear. I need to chew on this a while!

    2. carol

      Jim, I’ve been thinking about what you said since yesterday. When I retired two years ago, it was after three years of whispers in my heart that it was time to go. I had a plan when I left that I would spend a year volunteering at a few non-profits and at the end of that year, I’d go back to work doing something I absolutely loved until I hit the big 65.

      When it came down to it though, I felt pulled in a different direction than what I had planned. I spent a good part of the first year working with my friend Dave finishing the book we were writing about his suicide attempt and the aftermath. We’re now in the process of looking for an agent.

      Then I started this blog, which was like birthing a baby. The technology part of it has been a huge, frustrating learning experience, but I’m learning. The writing has been fulfilling and having people actually reading and commenting has been exhilarating and so rewarding.

      I feel like I’m working into the plan God has for me, but not knowing exactly where it’s going, I often question if I’m doing the right thing or not. I thank Him every day for another day here to live and love and work and enjoy all of His creation and for all the wonderful people I have in my life (like you!).

      What you have written has made me feel like I am still headed in the right direction. He does have grand plans for each of us, and I’ll just have to trust that He has the answers, so maybe I don’t need to. I’ll keep working on what I can do, starting with my office and moving along from there. Maybe when my head is clearer, my path will be too.

  4. Susan Manry

    Nice posts Carol Horton!😄Well as you can see I am about a week late even opening this blog up to read. It was eye opening. I’m struggling a little too at this time of the year but it’s okay. It’s not all bad. Things will improve. You have been busy painting the house and
    things will get disturbed and things will be out of place. It’s ok. Hey at least you got your house painted. How wonderful is that and you had help from your sister. That’s awesome too! I did the declutter thing 3 years ago and do it once a year religiously. Feels great to get rid of the junk and have only the things I need and the items with many memories attached. I live very simply these days and love it! Christmas and the holidays seems to be chaotic anyway and with deaths of parents and other family members and friends, it can create struggle within our hearts simply because we miss them in our lives, especially more during the holidays. I do feel struggles in life are necessary evils that will make us stronger! It’s all part of our ever growing, ever learning process about this thing called Life! I love you Carol Horton. Thank you.❤️👍🏻💕😘

    1. carol

      Thanks Susan. Baby steps, right? As long as I’m moving forward! Simple-that’s what I want too. This is a great time of year to lose the clutter-all the excess painting supplies, paperwork, etc…. You set a fine example.

      Thanks for reminding me that the struggles make us stronger. My dad used to tell me to offer it up, it builds character. I know that living with and through hard things makes us more empathetic as well. So here’s to strength, character, and empathy! I love you, Susan. You made my day!