Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Balanced Life Goals - Update

Since today is the last day of the month, it is time to do an update on my February Goals for a Balanced Life:

Spiritual:  The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.
- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude; focus on being positive - I have been praying daily and trying to be positive.  I prayed for my surgery to go smoothly and for an easy recovery; I am grateful that my prayers have been answered.  I am trying to stay focused on the many blessings and positives in my life and not dwell on any perceived negatives.
- Take time for meditation- I have been meditating during my walks, while waiting at the doctor's office, when I say my prayers, etc.; this month, a lot of the meditating was on the subject of death and impermanence.  If I may share a little bit about it, this is a Buddhist stanza, in Pali (which is the language used in Buddhist scriptures), that is a meditation on the impermanence of all formations (beings, things, states of being, etc.) :

"Aniccā vatha sankhārā - Uppāda vaya dhamminō
Uppajjitvā nirujjhanti - Te san vūpa samō sukhō"

Translated into English, it basically means:
"All formations are impermanent - They arise (or come into being) and pass,
Having arisen/come into being, they come to an end - the ending of this is bliss (i.e. nibbana or nirvana)

Nibbana is Pali; nirvana is Sanskrit; to Buddhists, it is not a place one goes to, but, rather, a state of being, or, more accurately, a state of non-being, or non-existence!  The word nibbana or nirvana means "putting out" or "extinguishing", such as putting out a fire or extinguishing a flame.  It is a turning off of the endless cycle of life and death.

- Cultivate non-attachment  - declutter 3 items/day in February, too, for a total of 84 items - I was not able to continue decluttering in any disciplined manner, this month.  It was sporadic at best and I didn't push it.  I realize I still have an abundance of possessions - books, decorative items, enough plates for a small restaurant, etc. - but, it is hard for me to declutter for the sake of decluttering, if you know what I mean.  I am not a minimalist by any means!  It would be easier if I had to downsize, I think, because then, I would have a reason to declutter!  I know I won't take half these things with me, if I were to move into a smaller space.  So why am I keeping them?  Because I enjoy having them! I will be giving this another go, again, in March.

Among the items I did declutter this month was my catheter port!  I think that, in itself, was enough for this month, don't you? 

- Attend the monthly prayer gathering, if possible (don't know when it will be held, who will host, how I will feel after surgery, etc.) - Did so on 2/18 and there was no problem attending because it was held before my surgery.  I also gave a ride to my cousin P and friend F to the prayer gathering and back (F had called and asked if I could give her a ride and I called P and offered her a ride).

- Visit the temple and give a donation of alms in memory of my mother - Accomplished.

Environment:  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house and a well-maintained garden.
- Focus on decluttering and maintaining cleaned areas - House cleaning has been done, in fits and starts, but, nevertheless, accomplished!  I dusted, vacuumed, and mopped just before surgery, so, this week, I am just relaxing, but keeping up with the dishes, the laundry, and wiping down the kitchen counters.  The decluttering, not so much! 

- Maintain (water 2x per week; weed) - Between friend M and I, we've kept the garden watered (with a little help from Mother Nature who provided a well-timed shower of rain, this week, so I didn't have to water; more rain is in the forecast for Friday) and the weeds cut back, if not removed.

Prepare a planting bed & scatter some flower seeds - I went one better and bought some lavender plants for the front flower bed.

Daughter:  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her.
- Daily texts, phone calls, emails, and video chatting - Have been doing so

- Be supportive of her career plans by continuing to be a sounding board - Yes, and was supportive of her decision to renew her current lease, as well.

- Look forward to her coming to be with me during my surgery - She came down last Wednesday and has been taking good care of me since my surgery.  She's working from home this week and will take Friday off to celebrate her birthday.  She will fly back next Monday and I know I will miss her company.  

Family & Friends:  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.
- Call, email, etc.  (have already exchanged several emails with one cousin; called aunt C, this morning) -  With the goal of focusing on the positives, I am only reviewing what I did to keep in touch with family and friends (and making a note, too, if someone calls or visits me, as that is positive, too).  I called cousin V to wish her for her birthday, at the beginning of the month.  I called Aunt C and friend R a few times throughout the month (and they've called me, several times, and almost daily post surgery).  I called  cousin P to offer her a ride to the rosary prayer gathering.  I called my half-sister, last week, to inform her that I was going in for surgery; later, her daughter who lives out of state, called to ask how I was doing, after surgery.  I called one of my friends, yesterday, to check on her after I heard that she and her younger daughter had met with an accident (they are both OK).  And, of course, friend R visited me and brought us brunch on Monday, as I mentioned before.   

- Wish cousin and nephew on their birthdays - wished cousin, already; nephew's birthday is next week - Wished them both, and the husband of one niece and a couple of other friends, as well, on their birthdays.

- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at the monthly prayer gathering, if attending - This month's monthly rosary prayer gathering was poorly attended.  Only one cousin and one friend attended, along with the friends who were hosting.  But, I enjoyed the more intimate gathering. 

- Weekly calls with neighbor T - Accomplished; in fact, she called me again, today, to check on me.

Community:  The goal is to become more involved in my community
- Continue to participate in the blogging community - Accomplished; thank you to all who blog and all who comment on my blog!  I generally read and comment on a few blogs on a regular basis, as that is all that time allows me to do.  Occasionally, like this week, when I have more time, I visit other blogs and sometimes, I leave a comment on those blogs, as well.  I truly enjoy reading what others have to share about their lives. 

Career:  The goal is to continue to do work which I enjoy (for the most part) and which enables me to support myself.
- Continue to do my assignments in a timely manner - I tried to clear my in box as much as I could before I took this week of medical leave; the one or two projects I couldn't complete (including the one that arrived in my in box at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, an hour before I left for the day), I notified everyone concerned.

Finances:  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose - anticipated large expenses this month will include the second installment of my property tax - I continue to do well in this goal.  I have a good income, no debts of any kind, and savings, including retirement accounts.  Saving money isn't a problem for me; spending it, is!  

Health & Well Being:  The goal is good health.
- Schedule surgery - DONE!  Surgery went well and post-op recovering is going well, too.

- Attend the appointments with my various medical doctors - 2 scheduled so far, there might be a 3rd - DONE - I met with the oncologist on 2/19 and the 2nd appointment with the primary care doctor, initially scheduled for 2/23, was rescheduled for March 9, as it conflicted with the surgery date.  There wasn't a 3rd appointment, as I didn't need to see the surgeon prior to surgery, but I will be seeing him on 3/7 to get the stitches removed. 

- Continue to go for additional screening tests, as needed - 1 blood test scheduled - DONE; the results were good.

- Continue to monitor blood pressure, sugar levels, and weight - On-going; everything seemed fine during my doctors' appointments and pre-op checks.

- Continue to focus on a healthier diet (more vegetables!), drinking enough water (8x 8oz), exercising regularly (walk for 30 minutes), and getting sufficient sleep (11:30 p.m. bed time during the work week!) - Work in progress - I have been trying on the healthier diet, walking fairly regularly during the week, and drinking my water.  I haven't been able to keep to the 11:30 p.m. bed time, however!

- Focus on accomplishments and staying positive - Trying!

Time Management:  The goal is having enough time to do all what I want to do!
- Procrastinate less
- Implement routines and schedules
One of the areas I am struggling with the most!   - Yes; let's just say that it is a work in progress, still, shall we?!  

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time:  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Set aside 30 minutes a day to do something relaxing, such as reading books, or doing a craft, that is not blogging!  LOL!  I can easily spend the entire evening reading blogs and writing up a blog post! - I have taken up sudoku!  I have been doing at least one sudoku and one crossword puzzle a day (often, more than one!)

So, that is the February goals update!  I think it was a good month, overall.  Plenty of room for improvement, of course, but quite a few accomplishments, as well.  Did you make any goals for February?  If so, how did you do on them?


  1. You had a good and productive month. I continue to be thankful you had an easy surgery and recovery period. I am a sudoku fan also. I do it in the wee hours of the morning while I am trying to get to sleep. It works sometimes and keeps me awake other times.

    1. Thank you, Anne. I know it was more than my own personal prayers that have made things go so smoothly for me. I am very grateful for everyone's thoughts. I've downloaded the Microsoft sudoku and am having a wonderful time! Very addictive!

  2. Sounds like you had a great, productive month. I like the idea of decluttering but if you aren't a hoarder and your house is neat(ish) I don't see the point of getting rid of a little something that brings you pleasure. Have a great Thursday!

    1. Thank you, Sharon. I think my problem (with clutter) is I have a LOT of things that bring me pleasure! LOL! I am not a hoarder, but I am a collector, or, perhaps more accurately, an accumulator! Every so often, I think I have too much and I should get rid of it. It's an on-going process, I think.

  3. Bless, you did so well again this month with all your goals. I laughed at your decluttering your catheter port! As for decluttering your house, as you said you enjoy the things you have. If you have the room for them and they're helpful, there's really no need to get rid of them, right? Now if you were a hoarder, it would be a different story. You already got rid of old magazines and clothes and such other things last year. At some point, you need to not get rid of items that give you pleasure since you're NOT moving to a smaller place (unless there's something you're not telling us. Are you thinking about moving to Berkeley with your daughter once you've retired?).

    Keep up with your walks, we love seeing the pictures, even if you repeat them! Happy Birthday to your Daughter, by the way!

    1. Thank you, Nathalie; I'll convey your wishes to her. :)

      I guess the catheter port is a very good example of decluttering - it was very useful when needed, but made no sense to hold on to just in case it comes in useful again!

      No, I am not planning to move to Berkeley, although, I would, if I need to. :) I just feel I have a bit too much, so I will continue to weed out things, little by little.


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