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Plan Pursuing (continued post: Achieving Dreams)

Pursuing your plan.  As you’ll see it may not be as simple as you might think.  Thanks for coming back and best of luck as you continue working to make your dreams come true!!

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Working the Plan

Oh, if this was as simple as it sounded, right?  Working the plan.  In a perfect world, we would sit down the night before and create our to-do list and when we woke up we would start at the top, work our way to the bottom and that night we would say, “Wow!  Look at everything I accomplished today.”

News flash.  Life doesn’t work that way if you haven’t figured that out already.  But that’s okay.  Remember how I started this post (yeah, I know.  It was a loooonnng time ago)?  If memory serves me correctly it had something to do with chaos and craziness.  Well that isn’t going to go away just because you have a plan.  So how do we work the plan?

With a lot of diligence, a heck of a lot of patience, and a lifetime full of grace.

Diligence is spending the time each night creating your to-do list.  When you start this, just start writing everything you’ve wanted to complete down.  Do you want to weed the garden?  Write it down.  Transplant the raspberry bushes?  Write it down.  Devote an hour a day to writing?  Write it down.  Unload the dishwasher?  Yep, you got it.  Write it down.

Nothing is too mundane, too trivial, too irrelevant.  All that weeding, laundry, dishes, vacuuming out your car?  I call those ‘anchors’.  For every one of those items on our to-do list that you don’t get done (whether you write them down or not), if you start assigning a weigh to them, they start becoming heavy, very quickly.

Think of it this way.  If you gave each of your anchors an assigned weight, say 5 pounds, and then think about all the anchors you want to finish, with only a list of ten items you’re carrying around an extra 50 pounds of weight.

You could even take this a step further and assign a larger weight to items that are more of a priority, thus making your total anchorage a HUGE amount!

And before you scoff at me and start thinking what the heck am I talking about, I challenge you to try it before blowing this off.  It truly does work.  When I spend time finishing these little “mundane” tasks that I have been contemplating finishing for quite some time, I amazingly start having more energy to do other things I want to achieve.  Such as working on my social media profiles.  Or writing an E-book series (more on that to come!!).

While I would love to offer some grand prize if you try this and it works like I say it does, which it does I will repeat, but I can’t.  And if you do try it and you don’t believe it works, which I truly cannot see happening, I would love to offer some type of money back guarantee, but I can’t do that either.  This is one of those things that you need to experience for yourself.  Try it.  Explore with it.  See what happens.  You might be surprised.

After you compile the great to-do list of the century, review your calendar for the next day.  What is on the schedule?   Do the kids have soccer practice?  Is there a project for work that must be done ASAP?  Figure out a rough idea on how much time you’ll have to work on your to-do list.  Do you have an extra hour?  Two?  Ten?  Try to underestimate your time versus overestimating.  Always discovering you have more time is a wonderful thing.  Feeling like you’re under the gun to finish things is honestly?  Another anchor.

Next, compare the time you estimate with your to-do list.  Start prioritizing the things that must be done, the items that could be done, and those that are when you have time.  I like to label mine A, B, and C (which I believe is from Stephen Covey).  A, of course, is the item with the most importance; C the least important.

Once, I have assigned each of my to-do items a letter; or you can use a number, the Dewey decimal system, whatever you want truthfully, I fall asleep dreaming of all the greatness I will achieve the next day.

Ha!  I almost had you believing it was that simple, didn’t I?  It’s not.

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All that diligent planning and work putting together your list, and tomorrow your son falls on his way to school and knocks out a tooth.  In that split moment your daily events just changed and now you won’t have as much time as you thought you would.  Or maybe your mom is sick.  Your car broke down.  The job from h, e, double hockey sticks, just blew up in your face.  The point is none of us can plan out every day.  This, again, is where the chaos and craziness fits in.

You may get lucky, and finish all your must do items, and start on your could items.  Or maybe you skipped down and did some when you have time items.  Or you may have a day where nothing gets done.  This is where the patience and grace come in to play.

Patience is for when the above things happen.  When your day blows up in your face?  There’s always tomorrow.  Did you only get one thing done on your list?  First celebrate that you accomplished one thing!  Second – patience.  And third – grace for yourself because even you are not a super human who can accomplish everything all at once.  You are human.  And that involves a lot of trial and error, mistakes, and forgiving yourself.

Lastly, spend some time each night reviewing your list.  Cross off the items that were completed.  Add the items that cropped up during the day.  Revise the order if need be as to which items get done first.  Assign the new items their rankings.  And then pass out for the night after a long day’s work.

There they are.  My three “simple” tricks for achieving your dreams.  When we spend the time living authentically, after defining what that is for us, we are more in alignment with who we are.  When we a life full of authenticity, karma, the stars align, I’m not exactly sure what it is, but if nothing else it feels like you are getting back what you put out.

A piece of living authentically is living true to who we are and what we want to be (in my case when I grow up – because at almost 53 years old, I don’t believe I have grown up yet).  To live true to who we are, honoring ourselves and working towards our goals and dreams is a necessary piece of the puzzle.  However, if we don’t define what those dreams and goals are, how do we know what to do to achieve them?  Additionally, if we don’t know what our outcome is for that dream/goal, then how do we know what to do to make it come true?

Finally, we need to work the plan.  We need to devise a plan that works for us as an individual.  When that happens, and we slowly start to remove all the anchors that are in our way, it is such a relief – it’s almost like you’re walking on air.  Just remember that with all toddlers learning to walk, we need patience, guidance, and grace – because learning to walk is not an easy task.

Up until my cancer diagnosis, I spent a lot of time dreaming about things I wanted.  Things like being able to use a DSLR camera without it being on automatic mode – I wanted to be able to tell the camera what to do.  Not have the camera tell me what to do.  I wanted to work with dogs.  I wanted to touch other people’s lives and let them know that they are not alone.  That there is an entire world of people out there who are living the same, but different, life as you.  The feelings you are experiencing, the worries you have; despite it feeling like you are, you are not alone.

It was great to dream about these things, but it wasn’t until I looked at my cousin’s flower garden one day that it dawned on me that if I wanted to have a garden that looked like hers, I needed to work for it.  I couldn’t just sit here looking out the window and say, “Gee, I wish my garden looked like that.”  Because I had been doing that for years, and amazingly my garden still didn’t look like hers.

It was that day that I realized I was never going to reach my dreams, dreaming about them.  If I truly wanted those dreams to come true, I would have to work hard.  I would need to plan.  I would need to figure out what truly meant something to me and what didn’t.  That caveat to that is sometimes that changes mid-stream.  And that’s okay.  I find that when I work the plan, some things resonate with me more than others.  Those that resonate with me, are the ones I follow, because that usually means I have a passion for that, and with passion comes desire.  And when I am passionate about something, and desire to make it a reality, I find I work much harder at making it come true.  (Plus, it feels easier.  As if someone I already know what I need to do.)

So what dreams do you have?  What would you like to accomplish?  Better yet, what are you going to do to make those dreams come true?!  Leave me a comment.  I want to help you make your dreams come true!

Until next time, capture life kreatively!


P.S.  I alluded to the fact of an E-book series – yes that is true!  I am in the process of creating a series of E-books regarding Living Life Kreatively.  They are still in the planning stages and will probably take a while to finish them but if you want to be notified of their progress and when they are complete, sign up for my newsletter.  That way you’ll be one of the first to know!

P.P.S.  For a reminder on how I found the courage to start pursuing my dreams, check out my blog post:  Finding Courage When I Least Expected it

If you are interested in combining the free download with a your bullet journal – I’ve listed one of my favorites below.  (Please note, I am an affiliate and will receive a small commission from making a purchase through this link.)

Chemo Changed Me…I have no complaints

Yesterday was one of those days, that even if you tried your hardest, your mind will never let you forget.  It was the two year anniversary from my last chemo treatment.  It should be, without any unequivocal thoughts, a great day.  Mine was, thanks to my husband’s (bless his soul) thoughtfulness; yet lurking in the dark depths of my mind,  great sadness and thoughtful contemplation also lurked.  This was confirmed for me when I turned the corner at a store and saw a sign (I’m paraphrasing here):  “Cancer touched my breast, and so I kicked its ass.”
The fortunate thing is I did just that.  The unfortunate part was it immediately brought tears to my eyes.  I remember last year my husband encouraging me to just not think about it.  Which is a valid observation.  Yet our minds are not so logical and accommodating.  Our brains have a mind of their own, and try as we might, they won’t let go.  And then Facebook.  Lovely, annoying, showing you want you sometimes do not want to see, Facebook.
Yesterday when I opened Facebook, this photo was the first thing I saw.   Reminding me – point blank – of just who, what, and where I was two years ago.

Last day of chemo.06-09-2016
Last day of chemo – 06-09-2016

As I looked at this photo; at that person looking back at me; I was surprised to discover that I barely remember that person anymore.  I looked at that face and it felt like I dreamed about her once upon a time; but that she never truly lived.
Yesterday, my husband and I were going to take the motorcycle down to Shakopee, Minnesota and go to Canterbury Downs (a horse racetrack).  Hubby had discovered that the Clydesdale Budweiser Horses would be there, and he knows I am absolutely, completely, over the moon and back, obsessed with them.  Unfortunately, the weather was not so kind and we ended up going in a different direction, to a little town called Dorset about an hour and a half from us.
As I was getting ready, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought of that photo from two years ago and said, “Way to go sweet cheeks.  You have taken the most miserable time of your life, and used it to pave the path for the you who has been silent all these years.”  (Okay – maybe I didn’t say those exact words, but they sound good now, don’t they?)
Me – 06-09-2018

And it’s true.  Since chemo I have pursued passions (photography, dog training/agility, blogging)  that for years I told myself I was not good enough to pursue; I talk with anyone and everyone who will listen (Some of you may be going ha!  You did that before too, but I really didn’t.  It was a facade.); I now enjoy being in my own skin; life is good; and I am on a path that is making me happy.  If all of that is the result of chemo; I honestly should be grateful for it.
Now – don’t get me wrong.  I still have my insecure, self-defeating, miserable feeling moments, that might even last a day or two.  And I am not entirely sure I’ll ever be able to say thank you to whom/whatever orchestrated my being struck with a disease that is so ugly.
However, I can tell you that the more I get to know this “new” me, whether a result of chemo, or my ever advancing years (HA!), the more I am okay with those changes.  The “me” I see in the mirror today, is more of the “me” I have always wanted to see, and that makes my heart sing a beautiful new tune.
So on this, the day after my two year chemo stop-erversary, I encourage all my wonderful, fellow, cancer thrivers, survivors, fighters, and warriors to hang in there (or anyone else going through an incredible difficult time).  I pray for all of you every day that you too will find peace, joy, and love somewhere in this crappy, ugly, vicious cancer journey; and that you too will someday be able to look in the mirror and on the majority of days be able to say, “Hi love.  Don’t you look grand.”

Now – I thought as long as I mentioned Dorset, I should probably tell you a bit about this little gem.  Dorset is about 5 miles east of Park Rapids, Minnesota and 27 miles from Walker, Minnesota.  It is a thriving little community that took several of the homes that sat along the road, and turned them into shops and restaurants.  With four different style restaurants, you are sure to find something that will tempt your tastebuds.  Plus, in recent years, their mayor has alternately been four and three years old.  I mean seriously, who wouldn’t love a town like that!?!
Dorset also sits along the edge of the Heartland Trail, which connects to the Paul Bunyan Trail.  It presents a beautiful way to spend the day with family and friends biking to and from a local town, or strolling back and forth along the paved pathway to burn off those calories you ate and drank.  Dorset is also home to a Bed and Breakfast, which provides trailside lodging for “pedal-in convenience”.   The B&B is the 1920’s Dorset schoolhouse and while we did not go inside, looks divine from the outside.
When we pulled into Dorset, we were met with a row of shiny, old automobiles.

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That was a fun and unexpected surprise!
Then, as it was the noon hour, we decided we should partake in appetizers and drinks at one of the eateries.  After a moment or two of hesitation, we decided to go Mexican (rather than Italian, Pizza, or the Cafe).

We started (I started) with a little Cuba Libra (Bacardi with Diet Pepsi – no coke – and lime) chips and salsa.  While the salsa had a great flavor, be forewarned, it is not the typical salsa you would find when visiting Mexico.  This was a pureed salsa and very runny – but again, very flavorful.
We then ordered a Black Bean Supreme Dip and Nachos with Chicken.  We were again slightly disappointed with the lack of food upon the nachos (chips, cheese, and chicken); however, the Black Bean Supreme Dip was an excellent compliment to the nachos and we devoured both plates.  There is just something about a dip when the sour cream and guacamole almost melt into the ooeey, gooey, goodness of the beans and cheese.  Yummy!
After our appetizers, we wandered the little shops and streets of Dorset.  We sat on the boardwalk of the general store, where we sipped our water and watched the cars passing by (and where you could also enjoy a game of checkers FYI).  We read the Dorset Daily Bugle, which is “printed once a year whether there is news or not” and discovered that there was to be a “Foodar Eclipse” on August 5; and that the Dorset International Airport is to open in 2019.  (Check out the Dorset MN Facebook page here.)

We finished up pursuing the goodies at Meadowbrook Gifts, where you can see the old State Bank safe, and the Dorset Trading Post.

We finished off the day by heading to Park Rapids and stopping at the Red Bridge Park and enjoyed sitting in the shade talking about this and that, and whether we should stop at the farm store and bring back some chicks on the motorcycle.  (We opted not to FYI.)  This park had a wonderful walking trail, and some truly unique, creative sculptures, and was a great stop before heading back home.

It was a fabulous day, and a most spectacular way to spend the day commemorating all we’ve been through the past couple years; and a reminder for us that there is always something new and exciting before us, if we just look hard enough.
Until next time, capture life kreatively!
P.S.  I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Dorset, MN.  Do you have a favorite destination that you like to go to?  Leave me a comment and let me know.  I am always looking for new places to explore and write about!
P.P.S.  I know I missed last week’s post, and this post was supposed to be a continuation about Smithville, Texas, but I got a little sidetracked.  Go figure.  I promise Smithville is coming back – next week!
P.P.S.  Like what you see?  Sign up for my E-Newsletter notifications.   I will soon be sending out notices regarding cards and photographs I have for sale, and events I will be attending.  It’s a great way to stay on top of what I am doing!