December, This is the month to think about what did we want to accomplish this last year of 2015, and what can we still do in 31 days. Unfortunately, there are only four weekends, yet technically five weeks before the new year.
December is not always a joyful month as the sentimental pressure misguides many. Many create debts on supposed deals, and the problems created are felt months into the new year. Approaching this month thoughtfully and cautiously can be very freeing.
It is a good time to think about next years goals, monthly, quarterly, seasonable, 1/2 time such as June/July, and end of year accomplishments. The master lists for the year and all these time periods can be a great guide to refer to so as to reach your goals. I depend on them. Is it the day planner or what system that promotes the Master list Theory? I did not invent it and I may not even have the right words for describing it. Years ago I learned it from one of those famous planners. A business tool that can be used in our personal life for greater accomplishment. Praying about them, looking at them, and working toward their accomplishment makes you feel a little more control in your life. Living haphazardly has few rewards.
Are there debts you want to pay down? Are there vacations you want to save for? Are there physical exams that need to be scheduled? Have you neglected family members that do not live near you, can you plan to see them or invite them?
If there are school age children at home, school vacations and winter days off, all can be involved in deep cleaning, changing rooms around, assessing clothes in closets and drawers. Children keep growing and I know you do not need reminding. If you have a grandchild, niece or nephew in school why not ask the parent if you can take the child shopping for shoes or clothes that will invest in the young persons new growth. It will help the family with their tight budget to help with these practical needs. Getting the kids hair cut, new socks and essentials, new school clothes and replenishing their school supplies can be a help to the family. Being respectful of the parents standards of attire is important. Then it is a real blessing.
This month is a great time to change things up for your kids. Remember, the school load of homework, and chores at home can be enough responsibilities for the kids. Extracurricular activities can burden the parent whom is running the children around, as well as burden the budget. If the activities are decided on, keep them to a minimum, and remember, you are the adult. Too many let their children decide on matters. A lot of children are exhausted with all the homework, activities and long days. They miss out on helping with chores, keeping good habits, just having good times playing in the yard. We have been teaching a young girl age 12 how to knit, and her grandma is now teaching her to crochet. If we can help others with their situation then that is a gift.
Getting the car serviced or deep cleaned is a great gift to self or a family member. Check the tires, and getting a detailed cleaning on the car when you have a day off is refreshing.
This is the month for wrapping it up for me so I can start 2016 a little less burdened. I have so many projects that are near done that have been weighing heavy on my mind instead of the satisfaction I should be feeling. I am just going to pick up a “Near Done”, and finish it. If you have read my previous articles, then you are aware this is an ongoing challenge for me.
My Aunt Ellie was so kind. I had written her a letter and told her about how I get aggravated with the piles or clutter I create with all the projects. She basically said there are people with no clutter and no projects, and their mindset is different than those of us with the creative mind. We do things, we need the material etc. to do the projects and that is going to create some clutter. That is very reasonable.
My husband married a writer, painter, photographer, knitter, cook, etc. so there seems to be all the matter around to support those activities.
Good News! We have been getting some house maintenance issues attended to. It feels great seeing things get done. The addition needed painted and a friend new to the area needed a small job. To the dismay of my mother-in-law, I chose the lightest of tan for the siding, and true red for the trim. It looks wonderful, although it is only the first coat.
Brock, our 23 year old son has painted and stained the steps and railing. When I chose terracotta red for the risers, pecan stain for the treads and a cool white with a hue that complements the reddish tones everyone was concerned about the outcome. They all thought I should stick with the standard of stain it all or use the white on the risers. It really looks so inviting and tasteful. Being that the floors are all terracotta, our eyes follow the color right up the stairs. A visual treat. It would be nice to have the exterior finished and our minds unburdened. That is one thing to finish up this month.
Unable to do these things myself, I kept putting them off hoping I would get well enough to do them. It has become a help that I have accepted that I will not be capable of doing this work on the house and am hiring it out. This is giving me much relief.
It would be unreal if I did not mention that in this world there are people whom are suffering due to circumstances out of their control. If there is a family member, workmate, or neighbor that is dealing with illness, caregiver responsibilities, loneliness, hardship, tragedy or loss can we do more than just give them a passing thought? Besides taking a few moments to say a meaningful prayer for them, is there some practical thing we can do to make their load a little lighter? Send a card, make a meal, call the power company and pay their bill for the month, call them, give a hug, or offer to spend time with them. In this age of selfies and instant communication it seems people have lost touch. Touch someone’s life in a practical way. If someone has been kind to you, send them a card and thank them. A text is a bit tacky when someone takes the time to do something kind for you. Making a card or buying one is a worthy way to express appreciation. There are still post offices in most towns, and they sell stamps, let us support our post offices by sending a little love and kindness in the mail. Snail mail is a misnomer. Mail processes quick enough to delight the person that is surprised when they open the mail box.
Using our next few weeks wisely can enrich our lives as we step into the new year with optimism and joy.