Friday, January 4, 2013

"How's that workin' for ya?"


Do you have something on your counter that looks like this?  

I do.  

[Nah, this pic's not mine -- I could've spent half my morning trying to take a good picture of mine and then upload it, but I distinctly heard Papa do that throat-clearing thing and realized I just needed to borrow something from the 'Net and get on with the process!  Score one for listening!  There's hope for my someday moving on to the GT class, after all!]

My "something" consists of two white ironstone mini-pitchers holding pens, pencils, an emery board or two, small paint brushes, highlighters, the occasional pairs of scissors . . . well, you know, 'cause yours probably holds the same kind of stuff.  It's where we all go when we need to grab some kind of tool to get certain kinds of job done (crossword puzzle working, ragged nail smoothing, back-of-a-check signing, grocery listing, appointment noting . . . ).

This morning, right after Papa whispered something about writing lists, I went to my pitchers, grabbed a blue gel pen and sat down to write.  Blue ink came out in short spasms on my crisp white paper, looking pretty darn pitiful for something so essential to the writing process.  Yup, sure enough, ol' blue had done its duty and wasn't up  for any kind of re-enlistment bonus.  As I hauled myself off the couch to said pitchers for another tool, I had a -- for me -- revolutionary idea . . . I was going to actually throw away the tool that no longer worked instead of simply dropping it back in amongst the other tools as I normally would.  


Couldn't help but wonder how many times I have hung on to something that just doesn't work, hasn't worked, and isn't going to work --  hung on to it and actually put it right back in a spot that set me up to grab it again at some later time, only to go through the whole dang-this-ain't-working process all over again.  

I am not a big Dr. Phil fan, but I do love me some "How's that workin' for ya?" philosophy.  

What an idea:  If it's not working, let it go!  Toss it.  Recycle it.  Whatever.  But stop hanging on to it.  Grab onto a new hey-here's-one-that-works something.

Wow.  This listening thing is pretty cool.

Listening and grinning,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


image from


Harder than it sounds.  (Oops, no pun intended.)

Lately I've been asking Papa-God to speak to me.  A fresh word.  

He asks me, instead, to give him fresh ears.  

I guess that's my word for 2013 then.  


How simple is that?  I used to teach speech communication, for Pete's sake.  And the first principle I always taught my kids was that regardless of what is said, there is no communication until someone has heard what is said and responded.  

Yup.  I definitely need to start actively listening.  

What does that -- actively listening -- look like exactly?

My being still for one thing.  (Nope, not too good at that; well, unless I'm parked in front of NCIS or Hawaii Five-O . . .  or have the latest issue of Country Living in my hands.)

Eliminating distractions while sitting still.  (See above.  But, at least for me, it also means choosing not to look around the room looking for pictures that need to be straightened, dust bunnies that need to be chased . . . yes, I am difinitely spiritually ADD.)

Carving out time specifically to sit still without said distractions.  (And let's be honest, doesn't it feel like that sometimes?  Carving out -- almost surgically incising -- a slice of time from each crazy-busy day strictly for the purpose of some soul-biopsy.  Often painful, always time-consuming, but so necessary for the overall health of my being.)

I guess I've been wanting Papa to just send me a text or to facebook me.  


I gotta start listening.  Actively.


What's your word for this new year?  You can tell me.  I'm listening.