Friday, August 14, 2009

A Glowing Tribute to Wisconsin (and "The Good List")

Well, friends, it's 8am, and I've all ready knocked out one of my tasks for the day (in addition to waking up and hauling myself into work an hour earlier than usual!) Therefore, I feel that this is a well deserved break :)

Today I would like to pay tribute to a little tool that I believe has changed my life, one which I call (uncreatively) "The Good List". I will be first to admit that this is not an original idea, but I think that it is unique enough that most people do not yet know of it's existence. The idea is a simple one: use the concept of a "Good List" to quantitatively evaluate your day and list all the good things you can (very, very much the same concept as a "gratitude journal"!) Simple, yes. Life and perspective altering- Oh Yes.

I first began "Good Listing" when I co-oped in Wisconsin during the Fall of 2007. (I am sure that I will get into this more in the future-- but suffice it to say that WI was good for me. Although there were definitely some heart-wrenching times, I would have to say that, for one of the first times in my life, I felt that I was really living. I lived, loved and laughed so much that Fall- and I can honestly say, that was one of the best (and I do not say that lightly) times in my life.) I made it a habit every morning to sit down and write out at least 10 good things in my little red notebook (haha... If you didn't know, I consider myself a "writer"... spiral notebooks are my medium of choice-- I need big pages to fill with my big dreams...)

...And it honestly did change my perspective on the whole day... It allowed me to focus on all the good things that were happening in my life (from the little things like visiting a farmers market on Saturday morning to the BIG stuff like celebrating an anniversary with J., and getting kisses from "the babies") Admittedly (as I mentioned before) this was a really, really good time in my life. I was experiencing all sorts of new things (freedoms, people, opportunities, self-awareness)-- and (to borrow a phrase from Pr. Bud) "God was blessing my socks off". I knew I owed it to myself to capture all of it that I could, so that I might carry a physical reminder, along with the glowing memories in my heart.

And now, almost 2 years later, I have gotten away from "The Good List" (momentarily-- like an old friend, we always seem to pick up right where we left off...) ....And I miss it. This has been a year fraught with changes, and I feel like I am finally "regaining a hold on my own life". I realize that even though God continues to "bless off my socks", I have been doing a bad job at realizing that. Over the past 8 months (gah. I can't believe it's all ready August! 36 days!!!!!), it has been all too easy for me to get caught up in the NSG things (eh hem: NSG = Not-so-good) -- letting myself get overwhelmed, bringing home the stress that kept me down all day, and worst of all, allowing myself to believe that sometimes maybe-- just maybe, I was not enough.

NO more.

This, friends, marks the return of the "Good List". This marks the return of me taking control of my life-- letting my optimism reign and my hope overpower all the NSG stuff. I am ready to live fully once again (not just existing from day to day)- to embrace each day and welcome the possibilities it brings. This HAS been a big, good year for me so far (and more good to come, I am sure)-- and I am blessed that I have finally awakened to realize that. So, in honor of life (and me! I suppose....) here is a Good List to make up for the (too long) 8-month hiatus (don't worry... it won't be that long!!)

GOOD LIST (January - Present)

  1. J. In a little over a month I will be marrying a man who, for the past 6 years, has been the best friend a girl could ask for. (And a man who, for the past 8 months has demonstrated that he does, indeed, have the patience of a saint...) I am so excited to become his wife; to share a life and being a family together. I am confident that we will, truly, be best friends forever.

  2. Coffee. Ah, sweet sweet brew! Although we have had a love-hate relationship in the past, you have become a beautiful part of each weekday morning.

  3. I have found a really, really great church family who supports me and encourages me. I feel connected like never before, and through my worship I have been able to nurture and expand my faith in and understanding of God. I know in my heart that this is very obviously where I need to be, and I am excited to see where this might lead (stay tuned... I have a feeling that something BIG might happen in this arena this Fall....)

  4. My friends have been such a blessing to me. When I graduated from college and moved back to my hometown, I worried that I might lose some of my connections, or become so involved in my work that I didn't have time to meet people or keep old friendships going. How wrong I was! Not only have I made some (really good!!) new friends, but I have been able to keep ad deepen the existing friendships I had.

  5. Really giving my heart to a certain black and white kitty. Being a (part-time, shifting to full time in 36 days...) fur mommy has allowed me to grow in so many ways, and I wouldn't trade it for the world! (There is no better feeling than having someone small and fuzzy greet you at the door, and refuse to leave your side until you have shown the appropriate "level of lovin'" because he's missed you... *melts*)

  6. Watching all the details of my wedding fall into place. So far everything has really felt Right- I feel confident that the wedding will be the celebration of love I have always dreamed about-- very Amy+J in every way.

  7. Health and well-being of family and friends (D made it through several successful surgeries, C&E welcomed baby Aiden in July, and Grandma and Grandpa are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this weekend!)

  8. Discovering the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Good, GOOD stuff. (Especially Jacob Black...)
  9. Discovering the multi-purpose (bike?) paths in Westerville and Dublin.
  10. "Friday nights in" with J. (Something I treasure and look forward to... I may be old and lame, but I'm okay with that :)

All right... that's it for today (haha, thanks for bearing with me, if you did!) The promised book review is still coming.... look for it on Sunday or Monday!

Lots of "bloggie-love" to you! It's Friday!!

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