Monday, March 25, 2013

It's not too late!

I have some good news:  If you are reading this, it is not too late!  Too late for what?  Almost ANYTHING.  If you are reading this, chances are you are alive. :-)

Are there things you wanted to change in your life?  Do you have habits that you wanted to let go of or establish?  Just because it has been difficult or or you've failed many times doesn't mean you signed a lifetime contract to do things a certain way.  As long as you are alive, you have the chance to change yourself.  It is not too late.  

Is there someone you need to forgive, in order for you to move on?  Do it now, while you still can.  Forgiveness is much harder after someone dies, but if you are still alive, do it now.  It may make the other person feel better, and it will make you feel better because you will be able to get on with your life.  Is there someone to whom you need to say "I LOVE YOU."?  Do so now.  Perhaps that person needs to hear it and it may change their life.  Again, it is so much easier to say that now, than after someone's death.

Have you let your house get dirty?  Go ahead and clean it up now.  Are you out of shape?  Change your diet and get active now.  If it's something you want, go ahead and do it.  Do you want a different job?  Go ahead and apply for one.  If you find that you don't want it after you learn more about it, you can always decline if you get an offer, but at least you will have looked.  Do you want to learn something new?  Sign up for a course.  Many online courses start monthly or any time and they are very flexible.  Have you given up on your New Year's resolutions?  I have more news for you:  TODAY IS THE START OF A NEW YEAR!

Have you fallen short of your goals for Lent this year?  There are still a few days left to do what you can.  Even when Lent is over, it will not be too late to try to build up character and virtue.

I have fallen short on some Lenten goals this year and have met or exceeded other goals.  

If you would like to share other ideas about what you can do at any time and without reason, feel free to leave a comment.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

After a tenth of Lent

As I write this, it is four days into the season of Lent, 2013;  One tenth of the way through the season. 

This time of year seems to be like a second chance at New Year's resolutions.  The difference is that with New Year's resolutions, people seem to give up on themselves if they break their promises to themselves.  If we break a promise to ourselves, how can we expect to possibly keep a promise with an often hidden God?  Still, we promise to do this or that or give up this or that.  Fortunately, with Lent there seems to be a stronger conviction to try again if we fail to keep our Lenten resolutions.  We can choose to abandon our Lenten resolutions or we can choose to try again because we feel guilty or because we know that it is only temporary, or we can be even more determined to make a permanent change in our lives. 

So far, this Lent, I have partially fulfilled my hopes for the season.  I had hoped to give up Facebook and Television, except on Sundays.  Instead of giving them up entirely, I have cut way back on both.  Of the two, television was the easiest to let go, due to a lack of good programming.  Facebook was harder to let go, but at least I no longer check it while on lunch or break at work and I just skim through it and update my status only sporadically.  While I could still further increase my prayer life, so far, for the most part, I have been faithful at starting and ending the day with prayers.

In addition to using by time better by writing more and cleaning house, I have also volunteered my time for something for later in the Spring which I hope will have long term benefits for a few people in my area.

I have a long way to go this Lent, but it is off to a fairly good start.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Balancing work and life outside of work with co-workers.

I have often been the type of person who has many friends, many co-workers, gets along well with many people, but sets rather clear boundaries.  It is rare that co-workers cross the boundary into my non work social life or other areas of my life.  I have never worked with people who were my friends before work.  I have never worked with family.  Friends from church do not work with me, nor do they participate in my family life.  I could go on.

While I am still mostly the same in this regard, in the past month or so, I and several people who work in my department have met for lunch outside of work.  Two weeks ago we met for lunch at a place that sold tacos for $1 each.  Today it was a place that had an all you can eat buffet of Chinese food for a reasonable price.  In prior years, we had attended once a year cookouts or helped move furniture for one another, but now it seems that we are socializing outside of work a lot more often than before. 

The result of this seems to be an easing of tensions and hostilities at work.  We seem to work better as a team at work.  We make it a point to invite as many people from our department as we can to these gatherings.  Of course work related subjects are discussed and I admit there is gossip and opinions exchanged, but there is just as much non-work related discussion.  The most noticeable difference I've seen at work is the fact that we tend to view one another as human beings instead of machines.  We do not have a perfect working relationship, but it seems to help our departmental morale if nothing else. 

I still have my well defined boundaries.  Work is work and my life outside of work is still that, but investing a little time every now and then seems to be worth it.  I'm sure too much of it would not be a good thing, but it seems we have found the right balance for now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New way of looking at time

The idea for this entry came to me when someone else pointed out that today, May 1st, is 1/3 of the way through the year.  I honestly had never thought about the year that way.  Many businesses mark the passage of time in weeks, months and quarters, with some starting at different times. (Some fiscal years start in January, some in July, some in October, and some, like Wal-Mart start in February.)

So, today marks the beginning of the second Tri-mester of 2012.  I had heard of tri-mesters in pregnancy and grade-school I think it was, but not really since then.  Semesters and quarters, yes, but few people seemed to divide the year up into threes.  Still, it allows for another point of reference.  It offers another chance to start fresh.

May 1st has significant meaning for me for other reasons.  I can think of three important personal things that happened to me on May 1st in different years. 

I can say that looking at this marker, so far this year has been pretty good for me.  I have already met at least one of my goals for the year and I am making progress toward others.  I must remind myself that, like time, I need to keep on moving.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Success in letting go and adapting to changes.

I had the day off from work on Friday.  The first thing I did after I woke up was to check Facebook.  That was a mistake.  That one little act sucked me back in to the workplace mentality being seeing updates and complaints by co-workers.  It was while on Facebook, however, that I was rescued from my doomed fate.  I read a blog about the interruptions caused by cellphones and computers.  Armed with that information, I left my cellphone in another room most of the day.  I was on the computer, but tried to limit myself there as well.

I had some more small success in my discipline of self discipline by doing two loads of laundry and washing some dishes fairly early in the day and calling to set an important appointment before lunch.  One problem I had was that the weather did not go as planned.  The forecast was for a sunny afternoon, windy and a high of 70. What we got instead were rain showers, wind and mid 50s if that.  So, the laundry I hung out on the outside clothesline to dry, instead got an extra rinse and very little drying.

While I was in the process of calling for my appointment, I realized how many phone directories I had.  So, seven outdated phone directories are in a box to get recycled this coming week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where to start...

In the beginning, there was so much randomness that I didn't know where to begin.  I don't know how many times I have wanted to start a project, but just didn't know what to do first, and, as a result, nothing got done.  Hopefully that will not happen with my current project.

I plan on working on self discipline over the next 6 and a half weeks.  I hope to have a cleaner house and more good articles written, as well as some new material for future writing.

Today was the official first day.  Though not perfect, I was disciplined more than usual.  I did not get up as early as I wanted, but I did cook a healthy breakfast of oatmeal.  I did not prepare spiritually for the day before I left the house, but I did while I was in the car on my short drive to work by leaving the radio off and collecting my thoughts and trying to focus my attention on spiritual matters.  I may have been rewarded for this by having EVERY light between home and work stay GREEN for me. 

I did what I had to do at work, only sending out a few text messages while on lunch, and leaving right on time.  I continued a simple evening at home, resting for about 30 minutes, sending a few more texts, getting ready for recycling tomorrow, cooking a simple meal.  Instead of watching the news, I watched a documentary on The Salton Sea in southern California and a day in the life (and an interview with) a 105 year old woman.  After starting the dishwasher and heading to my room, I realized that I had not written anything yet today.  Bad discipline.

So, today was a good start in self discipline.  At least I had some luck with a low-key day and got the kitchen sink looking less cluttered instead of just ignoring the mess.  So much more yet to work on, but day one was OK. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Starting early, or is it late?

One of my resolutions for 2012 and other prior years was to write more than before. 

I have written more on hubpages   tom-vogler.hubpages.com this year, publishing something new about every two weeks or so, but I'm afraid I've been neglecting my blog.  So, 7 weeks into the new year, I renew my intent to write. 

The timing of this renewal comes the day before the start of Lent.  I see Lent as a time of sacrifice as well as a time of preparation.  Writing more often (hopefully daily) will be a sacrifice because it will require self discipline to set aside a few minutes a day and give up some other less productive uses of my time.  It will be a time of preparation because hopefully I will develop my talents and come up with some more good material for my portfolio.

I actually started Lent yesterday by going into the chapel on my way home from work.