Saturday, January 07, 2017

FRIDAY DINNER PARTY

I threw a little dinner party last night.  A friend of mine actually came up with the idea after we attempted, and failed, to find a date to do an annual -- or is it? I can't remember if we did anything last year ... seems to me we didn't because I'd had knee surgery and all -- Christmas Cookie Exchange party.

I really need to schedule these things months out ... but I digress.

So, my friend sent out an invitation to a few of our mutual friends, and the party was underway!

I tend to go into party planner overload when I undertake these things. The reason being, I want to attempt to achieve a Barefoot Contessa-like atmosphere.  She seems to do everything with such ease.
Shuck a few dozen oysters? No problem!  (wait ... do you shuck oysters? I'm not sure on this account...)

Throw together a four course meal with homemade sorbet to cleanse your palate after each course? Forget about it! She's got this!

Of course, the Barefoot Contessa has a kitchen to die for ... my kitchen, I am sure, she would want to die when she viewed it....and she has years of gourmet chef experience...plus, let's be honest here, she owns a flat in France.  I mean, come on! I feel as though the Parisian cooking bug just seeps into your pores when you eat at those cute, outdoor cafes and just hang out in one of those swanky Parisian flats.

Barefoot Contessa?  Yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh ... I ain't her!

Yesterday morning, while I was folding yet another load of laundry ... y'all, the laundry! ... fretting about how I was going to pull it all off, it struck me.  My friends weren't coming to my house to be wildly impressed by my organizational skills or decorating skills or party planning skills.  They were coming over here because they crave the fellowship of women just as much as I do!

It's likely there were dust bunnies floating around as we gathered around my living room ... some of us in camp chairs(!) ... classy, right?  Likely people left with cat hair plastered to their butts. Their eyes were probably strained from the lack of lighting in my living room (I prefer to call it "mood lighting").

None of those things mattered.  What mattered were the bonds strengthened ... the shared experiences had ... the fellowship over good food, drink, and laughter. The most important things can never be quantified or displayed in a beautifully laid out magazine story or blogged about or posted on Facebook.  The most important things are happening in the moment and savored for a lifetime.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

HOW DID IT GET TO BE 2017 ALREADY!? (a belated reflection)

I am sitting here in a quiet house, save for the chugging of the washing machine -- y'all, the laundry!

It's official. Christmas is over.  That magical time of year that we all try to bottle and keep forever has passed.  It seemed to go a bit faster than normal because of a super crazy work schedule with the added bonus this year of a cold (or allergy-related "event") on Christmas Day and the stomach flu on New Years Eve ... yeeeaaaahhhh, ended 2016 on a VERY sour note).

I was telling my mom yesterday, it goes by so quickly.  Everything goes by so quickly.

I pondered that thought -- Everything goes by so quickly -- all day yesterday. Why haven't I savored each and every moment?  Why does it seem like it was just May yesterday?  Or Halloween?  Wasn't it just Halloween?

It makes my soul hurt how fast it all goes by ... and how little I savored this year.

Let's be honest here.  If I am really going to be honest with myself, I gave up in 2016, and I gave up on 2016.  I think I'd had enough.  Of what?  Well, the list is loooooong.

I mean, I had a crappy vehicle that was dying with each expensive part. I was dealing with a knee surgery that didn't end up like I thought it would and the rehab that followed. I developed a foot issue, gained more weight, dealt with a family crisis, managed TWO new initiatives on top of an insane school year. It was a lot. I gave up.

I told myself that I was 44 ... I was of the age of enjoying the Hermit's Life. But honestly, I was crawling in my hole because the amount of crap I was dealing with was just. too. much.

As a result, I didn't savor one bit of 2016.  It passed me right by ... like a flash. It does that when you get to be my age. I do NOT want to find myself staring at the end of 2017 with the same feeling of regret that I had looking back at 2016.

I want to savor.

Resolutions are so not my thing.  I mean, I like them in theory, but in reality, I can never seem to hang on to them long.  However, the List Writer in me seems totally cool with Goals (capital letter intended).  They seem a bit more doable in my mind's eye.  So, let's talk about goals, shall we?

My overall goal in 2017?  SAVOR EACH MOMENT.

My quarterly goals:
1st Qtr (Jan-March)

  • Carve out time for ME to do the stuff I love to do. This is going to be difficult. I waste crap tons of time. So, new habits will have to be practiced. 
  • Dedicated Quiet Time for Bible Study.
  • Eat healthier meals that I prepare.
  • Make sure my physical environments (both home and school) are decluttered of the stuff that isn't necessary to essential living. 
  • Find at least one adventure a month to go on. It doesn't have to be anything big. Just an adventure that is different from the everyday norm.


2nd Qtr (April-June)
  • Dedicated Quiet Time for Bible Study.
  • Have an established ME time habit established during the week. 
  • Have an established writing time and workout time. This will probably not be an every day thing due to the amount of extracurricular "stuff" I have in my life right now. By this point in the year, I should have figured out some sort of system. 
  • Make sure my physical environments (both home and school) are decluttered of the stuff that isn't necessary to essential living. 
  • Continue having one adventure a month. This might include a trip or retreat. 
3rd Qtr (July-Sept)
  • Host a get together at least once.
  • Dedicated Quiet Time for Bible Study.
  • Have an established ME time habit established during the week. 
  • Have an established writing time and workout time. This will probably not be an every day thing due to the amount of extracurricular "stuff" I have in my life right now. By this point in the year, I should have figured out some sort of system. 
  • Make sure my physical environments (both home and school) are decluttered of the stuff that isn't necessary to essential living. 
  • Continue having one adventure a month.  This might include a trip or retreat. 

4th Qtr (Oct - Dec)

  • Plan a holiday get together.
  • Dedicated Quiet Time for Bible Study.
  • Have an established ME time habit established during the week. 
  • Have an established writing time and workout time. This will probably not be an every day thing due to the amount of extracurricular "stuff" I have in my life right now. By this point in the year, I should have figured out some sort of system. 
  • Make sure my physical environments (both home and school) are decluttered of the stuff that isn't necessary to essential living. 
  • Continue having one adventure a month.  This might include a trip or retreat. 

Through it all, I want to savor every moment. I want to be able to pinpoint one thing a day that was a blessing or a happy event or something that made me smile.  I want to enjoy this life.

As I reread this blog, these goals seem awfully structured, and, in truth, they probably are.  But it's a guide to help me savor each moment. It's my mantra, and I am going to attempt to approach it with the same drive I approach my professional life.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE AND ALL!