White Christmas that was melted before (a lovely) sunrise.
Thoughts about being wholehearted and obedient and seeking simplicity. Waking up laughing.
Cuddling with the whole family starting at 6am.
Long morning wanders on the golf course with my mom & aunt.
Dark espresso & eggs/bacon.
Joy from giving & seeing delighted loved ones.
So many blessings in return – Sunlamp alarm clock, baby crockpot, beautiful sea glass jewelry made by my sister, comfy jean shirt, Patagonia jacket, lavender…
Accidental naps on the couch.
Cozy fire & reflection on Christ’s gift.
Family movie night w/ blanket beds on the floor.
Christmas celebration at it’s best!
A sprained ligament in my knee did not stop me from hiking to the top of Smuggler’s Notch (the road is closed in winter and used for hiking) with micro-spikes. Or snowshoeing up to the cabin at the top of the mountain at Trapp Family Lodge resort. Or cross-country skiing for a couple of hours in Sterling Forest. And I enjoyed every moment outdoors even in the snow (actively snowing) and cold. The six inches of snow during the weekend transformed everything into a winter wonderland – all the trees were blanketed in snow.
|Cabin where we had lunch by the fire|
But the best part of the weekend was surprising my sister by walking out of the Burlington Airport as she pulled up to the curb to pick up one of her best friends. She had absolutely no idea that I was coming. Her two best friends from high school were coming and I managed to get on the same flight as one of them. We had a great weekend of conversation, feasting, reminiscing, and playing outdoors. And can’t forget the Banana Grams!
My sister is blessed to have maintained close friendships with at least three friends from high school. They can laugh together and encourage one another and be honest with each other. So many stories! Apparently they all thought I was the cool one in high school – who knew – probably just because I was older. But they accept me warmly and I am touched.
Everyone says that when your children are old enough, they will choose their own faith and the prevailing thought is that you have no control over whether they will choose your faith. I disagree. I think if you teach them the faith in their formative years, and disciple them in the 18+ years that you have with them, the choice will be obvious. The faith is compelling and the “world” does not have to win. Your children can have a relationship with God from the time that they are small. Don’t leave it to the church!
I am thankful that I enjoy relatively good health, but these last three years it seems I’ve had more than my share of injuries …
Jan 2011 – fell on the ice and broke my humerus and tore my left rotator cuff
Spring 2012 – threw out my back
Summer 2012 – injured my right shoulder
Spring 2013 – broke a rib
Summer 2013 – problems with my right knee exacerbated by my couch potato to 5k running program
Fall 2013 – pain in my right elbow
November 2013 – badly twisted my ankle while hiking and made it worse by running 2 miles a few days later
January 2014 – injured my left knee
I must be getting old! Although I try to take care of my body, it is not repaying me with kindness. Still paying some of the physical therapy bills out of my HSA. I’m thinking of joining a YMCA because I need some help getting in shape and getting stronger. I’m hopeful that if I lose some weight and get fit, I won’t continue to have injuries. I enjoy my running, biking, walking, occasional sailing and paddle tennis and want to continue to enjoy them. In a good news report, one of my exercise apps reported a total of 212 miles for 2013 … I also used a second app for running, so my total is 250 miles (and that probably does not include lots of walks where I forgot to use the apps.
As a knowledge worker, I am always on the alert for how to maximize my productivity. As anyone can attest, your mental energy ebbs and flows throughout the day. I’ve been reading about how to take advantage of those rhythms and how to recognize the optimal structuring of your time and attention. This article caught my eye, “One of the first keys, … is to recognize that you have a finite attentional window–and structure your workflow to be congruent with that capacity. This speaks to … how work is a series of sprints–and to be our most productive and most creative, we need to unplug throughout our workdays.” The rest of the article can be found here.
So that morning cup of tea and reading an article on creativity and productivity are actually going to boost my productivity. The down time where we focus on something other than the task at hand often produces new ideas or new approaches that actually move the project along. Getting up and taking a brisk walk or talking to a colleague are other ways that I take a mental energy break. So often I find that a bit of fresh air gets those neurons firing again. I always take Siri along on my walks so I can dictate any brainstorms that come to me. I find that these habits boost my attention.