Five Year Goals

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This is my five year plan. For most of my life I have not been a planner. I guess you can say I just let life happen. Part of it had to do with just not wanting to deal with the responsibility of life. The rest had to do with the grief I was still in the midst in from my mom’s and Pop’s deaths. I just did not see the point in planning for anything at all. For having hope in my future.
I have to thank Jon Acuff for starting the 30 Day Hustle group on Facebook, one of the members issued a challenge to post your goals for the next five years. Which I accepted.

For that I have paid a heavy price. Most of my adult life has been harder simply because of my lack of goals and planning. College was a haphazard mess, not understanding what it is I even wanted to do. Often hindered by my poor financial decisions. Some of which I am still dealing with today.

In writing my first novel I learned the important lesson of planning. I had preferred to just “pants” it as we say in the writing world. In rewriting the manuscript (TWICE!), I learned the importance of planning. To have goals to strive towards. Today I refer to myself as a “plantser”. Someone who plans out my stories but allowing room for the story to speak to me. My outlines leave room for the unexpected.

I had reached a point in my life where I desired to even have goals. Drifting in my life was no longer desirable. I wanted more.

It helped to have encouragers alongside me. Wendy, you are so much the reason I am where I am today dear friend!. As my career as a Writer begins to take off, I realized the need to have a vision for the next five years of my life. Hence the list up top.

It’s far from a comprehensive list. More of an outline really. It will most likely change as I continue to grow. I once feared making plans because what would happen when they fell apart? That may happen or my goals met in a different way. I once asked a friend, would she be open to achieving her goals if the how changed? That is where flexibility comes in.

I need to open to perhaps it taking less than five years or more than five years to cross these off the list. Just as I am open to my allowing my outlines to leave room for change. After all, there is my plan, then there is His plan. No matter the outcome,I have hope for my future.
How open would you be to your goals or the how changing?

Six Month Check In…

Is it June already? How did this happen?! It can’t be half way through the year but the calendar does not lie. Time swirls past me more and more quickly. I began to think on how my word choice for this year has manifested itself thus far. My one word 365 for 2014 is BOLDNESS. This is a movement where instead of a list of resolutions, a word is chosen to live and grow into for that year.

 

According to the Merriam- Webster Dictionary it is defined as /adj/ 1.Courageous Intrepid. 2. Impudent. 3.Steep 4.Adventurous, Free ( i.e. thinker) /syn/ dauntless, brave, valiant- boldly /adv/ boldness.

 

As I sifted through the past six months I began to wonder just how closely my life has resembled this definition. Had I been courageous? Yes, I put myself out there in a way that I had not before. After getting the anticipated answer, I felt free. I simply I had to hear what I already suspected.

 

Have I been Intrepid? Defined as resolute fearlessness, fortitude and endurance. I can also say yes to this as well. I keep going forward no matter what life throws at me. I have strength only because God gives me the strength to do so. From dealing with tough situations with the ones I love to a double health scare with my parents. Yes I have been intrepid.

 

Now have I been Steep? Defined as a verb it means to saturate. To learn. I am in the midst of learning all I can about becoming a professional writer. Checking out books from the library, joining up with classes and webinars as I can afford. Asking my friends who have their own businsees advice on the steps I need to take as a freelance writer.

 

Adventurous is the next definition. Have I taken risks? Yes, in starting my writing career that is a risk. By moving my blog to wordpress and figuring out how to grow this blog. I took a risk running my first half marathon. Taking risks means that the reward is not always in the results. It is in the trying. In the attempt. And in the next and next and yes the next. I need more of this in this my life. I need to take more risk.

 

Am I free? Yes I am free. I am free not because of my hope in my plan. I am free because of who I am in Christ. It is through Him that I have become so bold in the ways that I am.

Am I dauntless, brave and valiant? I hope so. I hope I am dauntless in my acts of love. Have I been brave? Yes I can be far braver than I have in my life so far. Have I been valiant? Yes in being brave and courageous in small ways.

 

Being BOLD does not always mean large, out loud acts. Often it means small acts of bravery that add over time. It means being willing to take risks that can lead to failure or disappointment. Being bold means letting go of things that can hold me back and asking the hard questions.

 

These six months of living boldly has shown me a lot. Embracing boldness as my word for this year builds upon my words from past years. They are more like building blocks than simply a word. My first word was YES and the next years was LOVE. Those words have helped me grow in my faith and therefore in my life. That is where I am for my six month check in for my year of BOLDNESS.

 

 

 

 

The Cat Who Nearly Was Not Mine

My previous posts have been rather heavy lately. I mean talking about mental illness and grief are not the easiest of subjects. Today I am going to tell you about my cat. Yes, my cat. His name is Hershey ( or

Hershilious, Hershey-Boy, Old Man, and from time to time Momma Cat.) He is an all black american short hair and before I adopted him never thought of myself as a cat person.

 

He came into my life through one of my best friends, someone I consider my sister. It was a sudden request, as I had come up to see her before we headed up to see her parents. Hershey came along for the ride as it was evident that the cat would have to go from her house. We were hopeful that the cat could stay with her parents. Upon arriving there, we discovered the answer was no. In a painful episode the poor cat ended up in a local animal shelter and we were able to get him out again. I found myself on my drive back to Miami with a mewling, confused cat in my backseat.

 

It had been years since I had a pet. I also had no clue what to do with a cat. I was not sure how this would work. Hershey had been rather stand offish in the past. It took time for him to warm up to me and his new surroundings. We just did not know what to make of one another.

 

Now it is almost seven years later and two of us are quite a pair. We both have gotten older. Hershey now has some grey sprinkled throughout his fur coat. His gait is slower and his playfulness is limited to short spurts. He is my constant companion, friend and comforter. He seeks me out and it is not always because the food dish is empty. There is nothing better than waking up to the sound of loud purring or feeling him cuddle up against me.

 

Hershey has played a huge part in my journey in health. When I was in the losing weight phase, he was my cheerleader ( even if he did not understand what it was I was doing) during my late night workouts. He has taught me about love. He has been witness to some really ugly moments. Times when he himself ran off to hide. In these moments I have have seen first hand how my outbursts can be harmful. Seeing this reflection in my cat helped to change me from being a person who lived in anger to a more loving person.

 

Hershey taught me about grace. ( Yes, I went there) as he would seek me out later on after an outburst and want to be petted or simply cuddle. It was his way of showing me love. I believe that our pets can teach us so much about love and forgiveness. He has helped me to grow in trusting myself around people. So much of my journey has been learning to love. First to love myself enough to get healthy. Second to not only love those in my community but to also love them well. Being a cat mom to Hershey has helped to open my heart.

 

Hershey is up there in age, around 20 years old in human years which makes him in his nineties in cat years. At times he looks around confused. He has a slight limp due to arthritis in left back leg. Recently, when I rearranged my furniture and moved his bed, he did not sleep in it for weeks. Choosing instead the comfort of my closet, where he often seeks refuge during a storm.

 

He can be rather onery too. Mewowing at me if that food dish is just a bit too low or when I come home after being gone for a long time. I love my cat and I am not ashamed to admit it. Even if I am fulfilling the cliché of a single women and the cat she loves too much. But it is alas the truth. What can I say but that I love my cat and he loves me.

 

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