Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I hate New Year's Resolutions because I can never keep them. I think maybe when God gave out will power I thought He was serving liver and onions and only took a tiny serving, just to be polite. So this year I didn't make any. Not one resolution. I gave myself permission to forget that whole process and it was quite freeing.

However, I do think that everyone should have goals.....things you want to do, things you dream about doing, things you know you ought to do but haven't quite achieved yet. The difference between goals and resolutions is that goals are always changing - they're never stagnant. For instance, a resolution you might make at the beginning of the year would be to lose 50 pounds this year. A lofty resolution indeed. One that would take a miracle to achieve. You might as well have wished for world peace. A goal would be more like....I'm going to eat a healthier diet so that I can lose weight and feel better. It's not a line drawn in the sand. If you eat healthier that doesn't mean you can't have brownies. If you have to lose 50 pounds, well then brownies are definitely not gonna happen. Ok, it's a fine line but work with me here.


I decided that this year I would set goals each month. And then I decided that, to hold myself accountable, I would post them on my sidebar. What was I thinking! That means I have to report my progress. That means you are all going to know about my will power and the connection with liver and onions. But during that brief brain freeze I went ahead and put them out there so now I have to belly up. What the heck does that mean...belly up? I've heard it all my life and I still don't know but it sounded good here, didn't it? Anyway, here goes.

1. Read The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. Done. Finished. I know this is a really old book, relatively speaking and that I probably shouldn't tell you I've had this book for nearly five years. The copy I have was a gift to my Dad many years ago. I'm not sure who gave it to him but after Dad died I brought it home with me with every intention of reading it right away. I knew he loved it and I thought it would help me through the grief process. Wrong. This book is a collection of interviews/stories with and about men and women and their roles in World War II. My dad was a very, very proud veteran of that war and reading these stories was like reading about him. I started the book right after his death and had to put it down. It was just too hard. But this time when I started it I was better. I could read it and nod my head, thinking oh yea - that's just what he would have done. It was.....nostalgic but soothing. That might not make sense but that's how it felt.

2. Finish one block of Botanika. Botanika is an applique quilt top sort of like a Baltimore Album if you've ever seen one of those quilts. I started it one year ago, or was it two? I got two or three blocks finished and I was working on the next one when I laid it down. And didn't pick it back up. For a long time. I was feeling overwhelmed by a rediculous number of UFOs (unfinished objects) and by several other quilt tops I had started with my guild. I determined I would start again this year. The nice thing about goals is: they aren't written in stone. They can change. Excuses, excuses. Ok, here's the truth. I not only didn't finish a Botanika block, I never picked one up. I think I might know where they are. I might not. But I could find them in a hurry if I needed to. Sigh. This goal will be moved to my February list.


3. Finish Butterfly Quilt Top. Another one bit the dust! I don't remember when I started this quilt but it was at least a couple of years ago. I saw one similar to this one on Alex Anderson's quilt show that used to be on HGTV. I downloaded the pattern, which I didn't understand at all so I ignored it. I did, however, use the pattern for the butterfly as a base for my pattern. I used Steam A Seam Lite to iron on the black butterfly, then to iron on the slightly smaller floral butterfly, and then to iron on the body. I think there might have been an easier way to do this but if there is don't tell me. I added the sashes and the corner posts and....done! Well, sort of done. It still has to be quilted of course. I haven't sewn any on the butterflies and plan to stitch around them as part of the quilting.







4. Finish Redwork Christmas Stocking. The Redwork is finished! but the stocking isn't made. This is the 10th redwork stocking I've made and, I hope, the last. I might finish the stocking in February, but it isn't going on the goals because, heavens I don't need it for 11 more months!















5. Lose 5 pounds. On December 26th, the day after Christmas, I got on the scales and, well let's just say I wasn't happy. I knew it was time. My weight was at an all time high, my blood pressure was going up and down in a way that flashed warning signs, my arthritis was doing a number on my hips and I was having trouble breathing and walking up a flight of stairs at the same time. Not good. No, not good at all. I'm happy to say that on January 31, one month (plus a few days) after the weigh-in, I am down 6 pounds. I regret to say that on January 26, one month exactly after the weigh-in, I was down 9 pounds. Which means I added 3 pounds back in those few days. I blame that on my Bible study class having dinner together. Because of the homemade cornbread muffins and Italian Cream Cake I lapsed in my determination. But I'm back on track and shall forge ahead. I'm also going to physical therapy two or three times a week, either working out on the torture devices they call exercise machines or exercising in the pool. And I found a great DVD (Leslie Sansone: Walk At Home) that I put in my computer and that I can walk with in my bedroom. It has five miles on it in one mile increments. And even though I'm still at one mile I plan to add a second mile soon.

6. Make one charity quilt. This is another finish. A friend in my quilt guild is going to Peru in May and wanted to take some quilts for children with her. A couple of women in the guild decided to help out with that and have now collected 50 kids quilts! This Noah's Ark Quilt is going to Peru! It's just a quilted panel that I put the binding on but it's a quilt and some child will love it.




7. This wasn't listed as part of my goals but my ongoing determination to finish some UFOs I got out this Easter Bunny I embroidered last year. I had already put the borders on and it was just waiting for the quilting. I'm happy to say that I did some free motion quilting on the borders but I'm unhappy to say that somehow the center panel ended up wrinkled. I'm not sure how to fix that unless I do some really close quilting in the unembroidered spaces. Any suggestions?

So that's my January goals report. Some accomplished, some not. Those nots will go on my February Goals list along with a few new ones. One thing I've learned from this little adventure is that when you post something on your sidebar you really do feel responsible for doing what you say you will do and, if you're anything like me, you'll feel guilty for those you didn't manage to meet. I am the Guilt Queen of America and can manage to feel guilty about most anything!

26 comments:

Molly said...

If you are the guilt queen, I'm claiming the UFO crown! You should come visit our little Get It Done blog at http://gidchallenge.blogspot.com
Our goal is to encourage each other to finish our UFOs. I think you need to join us!

Michelle said...

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments! Way to go Marlene!
Your projects look great, and way to go on your weight loss. I know for me, it is a huge struggle. I have lost weight, then failed so many times,I get tired of trying sometimes.

Guilt? Uh, what did you tell me last week? Hmmmm....
Blessings to you, and have a wonderful weekend!
Michelle

Marie said...

Congratulations on having accomplished some of your goals Marlene! Way to go on the weight loss! I need to get me some of your willpower! I love all your creations. They are so very beautiful!

Janera said...

You go, Girl! I just love to look at your beautiful masterpieces. Your redwork is my absolute favorite.

Amelia said...

Having goals means you are thinking about these changes...that is the first step anyway. I suppose those that are the most important are the ones that get done...just think about your work for the Lord.

The butterfly quilt is so pretty. From the way I understand the edges were not turned under...will they fray if washed? Regardless - so eye appealing.

Congratulations on the weight loss.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Julie in the Barn said...

Way to go, Marlene! I think you've done great on your accomplishments for January including the weight loss thing. Your embroidery work is beautiful. The way you defined the difference between resolutions & goals hit the nail on the head.

Dandelion Quilts said...

Good job, Marlene. I think you stuck to quite a few of those. I like lists and I like goals. I think that goals at the beginning of the month is a great idea. You're doing great. Look at all of that hardwork and those nice projects!

Living on the Spit said...

Those are some great goals and accomplishments! Way to go. You always have a way of inspiring me and making me feel calm. I love you for that.

Jan said...

Well done reading the book ,its funny how it hurt at the time but now you enjoyed it, time does heal somewhat ,I love the phrase UFO ,I shall use that ,all I have done this month is the back of a sweater Idid have the flue though ,see like youi Ican justify not doing stuff lol ,well done on what you did achieve ,think how miserable you would be if you had nothing to do! ..lover Jan xx

Milah said...

Wow! I think that's quite impressive. Really, you have accomplished a lot this month, Congratulations! Now chop chop, you still have one more day!

Kathy said...

Oh My Gosh! You have been busy! Great job......

Linda said...

I too make goals not resolutions. My defininition a goal is measurable and therefore we are more likely to succeed and you have done so very well! Congrats on those!!

Love Bears All Things said...

Well, I make a list of resolutions/goals each year and write them in the front of my journal. I go back over the ones for the year just past and if I accomplished any I record that. They are similar to yours but also more personl with a few ministry goals included.
I haven't done that yet this year.
Congratulations on the ones you completed. 6 pounds, wow, that is great. I must confess I hadn't seen the list on your sidebar until today. I think I'll try that. Maybe it will help me. I like the Butterfly quilt.
Mama Bear

Veggie Mom said...

Congrats on your weight loss. I've got that goal in my sights, too. Your quilting is amazing...have you ever considered selling your work?

Adrienne said...

You have accomplished some things - good for you! I once heard someone say, about goals, that if you don't set a goal to accomplish something you will succeed. You will accomplish nothing! 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained'. You did make progress. I'm glad to hear what you accomplished. My plans and goals had to be set aside so I could go other directions. That's OK - I'll get to them one of these days. Keep moving toward your goals. You'll make progress that way.
~Adrienne~

Marge said...

Nice job on the completion of some of your goals. Yeah! I have too many UFO's sitting around, or maybe tucked out of sight in the closet! As oon a we get home from Florida I need to put the binding on the flannel quilt I made for my son in Alaka. We're heading up there in July and I want to give it to him....in finished form!

I understand about The Greatest Generation. As I read it I thought of uncles who had been in the war, one who was shot down and lost on a Pacific Island for over a month before he was rescued. My heart ached with some stories, but I was so proud of all of the men and women! It really was the greatest generation!

Blessings to you........

Connie W said...

Your post hits home with me too. For most of my life I would have carried around guilt over not achieving goals I had written down, but no more. Somehow my mindset has shifted so that now I am fairly free about things like that. I have finally given myself permission to not finish things I choose not to, and to goof off when I 'should' be doing something productive, and so on. I guess reaching 61 has awakened in me my mortality and also the knowing that in the end, none of this will matter one bit and if I am content, I feel I achieved my best. I look at super-achievers like Martha Stewart and could never measure up to her standards...it's a good thing. I would drive myself to insanity if I tried and being me is so much easier. And that is how I handle the shoulds in life. I live it one day at a time and if things get done, they get done. If not today, maybe tomorrow.
And there you have my philosophy in a nutshell.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Question...

Where did January go? Mind you, I felt every ounce of December, but January was a passing blur, and now I'm thinking Valentines.

Glad to hear about your many worthy goals for the year. I just bought a new Leslie Sansone tape after 5 years; the last one promised me that I would "walk away the pounds." I'm sad to say that they didn't go anywhere. Still here. Still clinging. Hopefully the new tape will kick the old one to the curb...pounds and all.

Have a great week, and yes, why did you start a new blog? I'll head over there now for a peek.

peace~elaine

Valerie said...

I love what Connie said. She told exactly how I feel. The perfectionism still creeps up in me. I am more interested in setting goals that I want to do like quilting, crocheting, etc. I love seeing everything you are doing. Love the pictures.

Grammy Staffy said...

I am in awe!!! Well done. I can't believe that you have accomplished so much in such a short time. Your new year is off to a great start. How I wish that I could say the same for me. Wow.... you inspire me. Thanks for the good example. You are amazing my friend.

Oma aka Meme said...

I love the way that you have set up your goals and the way you are being accountable- this is ablessing in a good idea- (to list your goals)
I think maybe I should make some goals for me as it might help in my journey- hugs from Meme

Janet, said...

I think it's a good idea writing your goals on the side bar, because you are more likely to do them. It's like making a list of things to do at the beginning of the week. If I have a list, I'm much more likely to do them. I love your Noah's Ark quilt, it's beautiful

Dionne said...

wonderful goals and great finishes! I am a firm believer in goals!
Cheers,
Dionne

Letters From Midlife said...

I like new year's resolutions and goals! Thanks for sharing photos of your projects. They inspire me. I've already started on some things for Christmas gifts.

em's scrapbag said...

Good job on your goals. I tell my kids you never fail until you give up. So even if all were not met. You made progress and are still trying. Good for you!!!

Dawn said...

You accomplish so much just with who you are.