I'm a list maker from way back. It gives me a feeling of control - even though I know I actually have very little. On my electronic calendar I have lists of things to do each day, from exercise to writing to paperwork. I delete them as I do them or as I realize they're not going to happen today.
Significant happenings sometimes occur without a calendar entry. They are not matters of scheduling but of timing. They come upon me; I am the recipient rather than the initiator. Here are a few examples from just this week:
1. For the last year most of my clothes have been about five pounds too small. I knew it was due at least partly to daily mochas and the evening bowls of ice cream my husband Art and I enjoyed. But there were other food diversions - wrapped candies in bowls, peanut butter sandwiches, bars of dark chocolate. I considered a diet but didn't have much interest - just a low-grade dissatisfaction with myself.
Then, on May 1, a Facebook friend posted that everyone at her workplace was going without sugar for the month of May, and did anyone want to join them? It was 7:30 a.m. when I read the post. At 7:32 I responded, "I'm in." That was even before I told Art, who is both the shopper and the cook. He's a good sport, though, and within two days he'd brought home extra fresh fruits and vegetables. I switched from a mocha in the morning to a latte, from ice cream in the evening to fruit smoothies.
The first five days were hard. I told my Facebook friend I resented her for suggesting we go without sugar! After that it got easier. There are so many things I can eat: omelets with spinach and mushrooms over avocado slices, popcorn, baked potatoes with butter, nuts, salads, oatmeal with fresh berries. I'm now on Day 25 of no sugar. Today Art and I went to a potluck and someone had made a cheesecake. I LOVE cheesecake. We calculated one and a half tablespoons of sugar in each slice. I passed on the cheesecake.
This doesn't feel like a diet. It feels like a different way of eating. And today I noticed my jeans and T-shirt are looser. I've decided to continue without the sugar after May to see whether I lose weight or inches eating like this. I would like to enlarge my wearable wardrobe. I'd also like to have a Body Mass Index under 30. It would be a good feeling to say "I'm overweight, but I'm no longer obese." My friend's Facebook post came at just the right time.
2. My sister and her husband have moved to our area for new jobs, and they have been living in their motorhome on our property for nearly two weeks. We have abided by the "neighbors sharing a plot of land" concept. We have discovered, rather to our surprise, that we all benefit from each other's talents. I would never have imagined I'd be living so close to my sister. I left home for college when she was 11. This is a good time for us to share our lives.
3. This month I wrote a short piece about a conversation between a 14-year-old girl and her grandmother and, at the suggestion of members of my writers' group, submitted it for publication. It was accepted. My first! It's called "Grandma Speaks". I'll post a link to the online site when it's published. Again, a matter of timing. It was just making a decision to put my writing out there rather than storing it on my computer.
4. Two small group travel possibilities have come up for next year. One is a vehicle-supported hike on the Camino de Santiago in Spain - a trip I've thought about taking for years. The other is a 17-day trip with friends to Italy I hadn't considered until I received a copy of the itinerary. Time will tell on these.
5. I've been attending a local church for almost a year. After our trip to Kenya last May I realized we're all in this together and I wanted to be part of a group of like-minded people. I've decided to join the church and will be meeting with the minister this week to talk about what part I can play in the community. It's clear to me this is a matter of Timing.
My to-do list didn't include any of these things. Isn't that wonderful?