I have tried time and time again to change certain things in my life. One thing after another come into play to make those changes not succeed. This year I have once again tried to make changes with new years resolutions in January. I really try to make them realistic and not things I know will get so overwhelming that I can't succeed.
So the new years resolution is still going strong. Every January we sit down as a family and make individual goals for the year. I print them off on the computer and we pin them onto the fridge so we can see them often and review through the year how it is going. We all get together as a family the following January to make goals and review how last years went. If they were accomplished then we are happy, if not fulfilled how we would like then we make them again and add new ones. Usually with them up on the fridge then we stay pretty accountable to ourselves and usually accomplish all of our goals. There are some goals which are more long term and take longer.
With life things that come up it's hard to make changes in lifestyle, eating habits, parenting techniques and other changes we realized need to be made in our lives and things that can improve our lives that we sometimes need to just start doing. This is something I've known my whole life, but just recently have decided enough is enough.
My dad used to say I was an excusiologist. I was wonderfully adept at making excuses and rationalizing anything. Test me anytime. If you came up with something being done, I can almost always have a reason for why, even if it's someone else. So I have decided to stop making or using excuses. I have been trying to make this change for years, but just this year I've decided I've had enough.
One thing that I kept hoping would change is my yard. We have lived in this house for 14 years now and still our yard has not been how we've wanted it. We started landscaping that wasn't getting finished. Things I would see needing to get done, wouldn't. Even when asking my husband or kids to do it they would seem to get half of the job done and then it would sit there. So this year I was determined to get out there hands on and do it myself. I've finally finished the landscaping out front and that is a huge relief. I have now cleaned up my back yard more than it has ever been and found more grass than I thought we had. I'm watering more because I made a portable watering system to water faster. The watering, years previously, was taking so much time due to having a small sprinkler. I know, see, another excuse. So now I've taken charge. My yard looks better. I have filled at least 12 big yard garbage bags with hand pulled weeds and have more to do. I'm just done with fighting the weeds with poisons that aren't working and spending money on something that doesn't produce results.
I know making changes takes time, but sometimes making changes means jumping in and taking this overwhelming change a small peice at a time. Sometimes changes are fast, like a car accident or an illness. Sometimes it's fast like giving birth, one minute you are just you, suddenly you're a mom. Most changes take time. I'm hoping all this hard work gives results next year to produce more grass in our back yard and less weeds. I'm hoping this is a change that is hard this year, but makes for maintenance in years to come. Back breaking work now means a fun place where our family can hang out together.
When we bought this house it had a lot of issues and we had a lot of help in fixing it up by family and friends who sacrificed time and talent to help us have a wonderful place to live. Now it's in a lot better shape. Hard work has brought amazing change that has bettered our lives. I'm grateful and much appreciate that we are surrounded by such amazing people who are giving and that talented and willing to share.
Jumping in with both feet to make a change is hard, but saying things like, "tomorrow," is never going to allow the change to come. Today is all we have and today makes what tomorrow will be. There is no tomorrow for starting something. Start now, take that overwhelming piece that just seems too much one little bite at a time and make it a change for the better. Sometimes relationships are something that need change too and those are definitely things that take time, a lifetime. One day, sometimes one minute at a time is what it takes sometimes, but saying a minute later will never allow the change to come.
Lately a lot of people are talking about changes in economy, the country, the world. I love that saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world." The story that makes me think I can do something is the one about the man and the starfish. A man is walking along the beach and sees another man bend down, pick something up and throw it into the sea. As he walks along he sees this man do it again and again. At a certain point he catches up to the man and asks what he is doing. He tells him he is throwing the start fish that have washed onto shore back into the ocean as they will die on the beach. He says, "but there are hundreds, you can't possibly make a difference." The man looks down, picks up another one and throws it into the sea, looks at the man who had watched him and said, "It made a difference to that one."
We can't talk to everyone, change anyone or change the world in a moment. We can make changes in things around us, cheer up those who are sad, help those who are down and simply smile at those we don't know. Change takes time, a smile takes a second, and a smile can change everything. I'm diving in with both feet to make the changes I want to see.