Sunday, September 2, 2018

August Balanced Life Goals - Month End Review

As I've explained before, my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes on a wheel, with the length of each spoke representing my satisfaction in that area of my life, from 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.

August was a month of vacation and, at the beginning of the month, I had high expectations of what I'd be able to achieve.  Reality, of course, is a little different!  But, isn't that usually the case?

Spiritual (8)(8):  The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.
- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude; focus on being positive - On-going; prayers are being said, daily; I've been listing 5 things I am grateful for, daily; and I made an effort to be positive.

- Take time for meditation - Resume going to Friday night meditation sessions at the temple - I went twice, this month; basically, every other week.  That worked out quite well for me.  I will continue to aim for twice a month, next month, too.  

- Cultivate non-attachment - focus on letting go of attachment to material possessions - Still working on this!

- Attend the monthly rosary prayer gathering -  Attended the prayer gathering on 8/26; daughter was able to go with me and we gave a ride to my cousin P, as well.  

I am keeping the rating at 8, since there were one or two things I didn't accomplish, but I am very happy with this aspect of my life.

House (5)(8):  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house:
- Focus on decluttering and maintaining cleaned areas - get 20 bags of donations out of the house by the end of the month! -  I got a lot of cleaning done - dusting, vacuuming, mopping, etc., although some of it was necessitated by the flea situation!  I didn't get any donations out of the house, but I have several bags ready to go; just have to call and arrange for a pick up
- Deep clean my bedroom - It is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night; it should be a place of calm restoration!  DONE!  It took me several days, but the bedroom has been cleaned!  All that is left to do is clean the ceiling and wash the windows, but I'll do that as part of my Fall cleaning, when the window a/c unit is taken down, etc.  At that time, I will also wash the curtains or, maybe, sew new curtains.

In addition, I deep cleaned the living room, dining area, laundry area, and family room!  The kitchen doesn't look half bad, either, although I didn't deep clean it.  I am happy with what I was able to accomplish in this area - getting the bedroom and other areas of the house deep cleaned have raised the level of satisfaction from a 5 to 8. 

Garden (8)(7):
- Maintain (water 2x per week; weed; prune pine tree) as it is too hot to do any real gardening - The garden has been maintained, watered and weeded, although the heat has scorched some of my plants, including some of the succulents, and the pine tree didn't get pruned, yet.  I mentioned it, again, to M, when he was here, on the last Friday of the month.  I might just buy myself a small chain saw and do it, myself; as my old handsaw isn't of much use.  Not when I am alone, though - I'd want someone to hold the ladder for me.  

I reduced the rating a little bit, simply because the garden is a sorry sight in August and I haven't felt like going out to garden because of the fleas!  I plan to spray the garden at least one more time before I feel comfortable about being out any longer than I have to!

Daughter (10)(10):  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her (without being over-protective!)
- Daily texts, phone calls, emails, and video chatting - On going

- Look forward to her visit towards the end of August - She was down here for a week and it was wonderful!  She came down mostly to be with me during my medical procedure on Wednesday and to be on hand for the preparation and recovery.  She worked from home during the week, except Wednesday, but having her home was still lovely.

As always, this section is rated as high as it can go!

Family & Friends (9.5)(10):  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.
- Wish Aunt C for her birthday - DONE; paid her a visit and took lunch for her (and cousin, too)

- Wish friend S's daughter on her birthday - DONE

- Take Cousin P to the Sri Lankan store - Didn't go; but gave her a ride to a friend's birthday party and to the prayer gathering

- Take friend R to get her shipping boxes - DONE; she treated me to lunch, in return!

- Regular phone calls and emails - There were plenty of those!

- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at this month's prayer gathering - Accomplished

- Weekly calls with neighbor T/have coffee with her one day - We've enjoyed our weekly Sunday chats and I made her a belated birthday card.  

In addition, cousin N made herself available to accompany daughter and me to my medical procedure, rearranging her schedule in order to do so, keeping daughter company while I was having the procedure done, and driving me home, afterwards.  I am very grateful to her for being there for me, and so willingly, too.  We are second cousins, actually (her father and mine were first cousins), but she is more like a sister to me.

Also, cousin P and I were able to help each other out, when she gave me a ride to a friend's birthday party and her car broke down on our way there.  

And the birthday party, itself, was another opportunity to be with family and friends, once we made it to the event!

My level of satisfaction was already quite high and now, it is as high as it can go!

Community (8) (9):  The goal is to become more involved in my community.
- Continue to participate in the blogging community -  DONE

In addition, I was able to attend the knitting group at the library, twice.  The first time I went, I wasn't quite sure if I would continue to attend, because everyone else was speaking in Spanish, and although a few made the effort to speak to me in English or translate for others, it was hard to participate in the general conversation.  The second time, however, there were one or two additional English speakers and I felt that the regulars were a little friendlier with me.  I quite enjoyed the second session and I think I will continue to attend the sessions, at least every other week, if not weekly.  

Also, participating in the Friday night meditation sessions is also more community participation, I feel.

As a result, I have felt quite happy with with segment of my life.

Finances (8)(9):  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose - On-going; I did very well with the grocery budget, in August!
- Attend the appointment with financial planner (8/6) - DONE - had a good meeting and was treated to lunch, as well!
- Make final decisions about pension options - DONE!  Decisions made and papers filed!  I was told there will be more papers to be filled out, but, at least, the official notification has been handed in!  

I am quite satisfied with this segment of my life, too, and I've increased the rating to 9.  It has taken years of careful spending and frugal living to get to this point. And, even now, I don't spend simply because I can.  I still prefer to spend $1 instead of $10, whenever possible! 

Health & Well Being (5)(7):  The goal is good health.
- Attend the appointments with my various medical doctors - 4 scheduled for August, so far:
8/2 - podiatrist - DONE
8/15 - radiation oncologist - DONE
8/17 - primary care physician assistant - DONE
8/22 - endoscopy & colonoscopy - DONE
- Call and make dental appointments! - Not done!
Continue to monitor blood pressure, sugar levels, and weight - On-going; all blood test results, etc. have been very good.
- Continue to focus on a healthier diet, drinking enough water (8x 8oz), exercising regularly (resume walking for 30 minutes, Monday through Friday), and getting sufficient sleep - Ha! Ha!
- Focus on accomplishments and staying positive - On-going

There is much room for improvement, but, I am going to raise the level of satisfaction a bit, because, I attended all medical appointments, had all the tests and procedures done, and my blood test results and pressure readings have all been good!

Time Management (5)(6):  The goal is having enough time to do all what I want to do!
- Procrastinate less - Yes, well, we all know just how well I met that objective!  BUT, nevertheless, I got the retirement papers done and turned in by my own self-set deadline of by the end of the month!  So, YAY! 
- Implement routines and schedules - Work in progress!

I debated long and hard on the rating for this category!  I am not very happy with it, BUT, on the other hand, I DID accomplish filling out the retirement paperwork, even if I procrastinated on it until the very last day!  And, I got to my various appointments on time and got the cleaning done as needed when it mattered.  So, in an attempt to stay focused on the positives, I will give myself a pat of encouragement on the back and raise the rating to a 6!  Positive reinforcement is a good thing, right?  Right!

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (8)(10):  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  blogs, or doing a craft - Oh, yes!  Often, it was more than 30 minutes a day, but, hey!  I'm on vacation!  I've spent hours reading blogs/blog hopping to my heart's content (not always commenting, however; just reading), I've played hours playing solitaire and sudoku and mah jong online, I've read a couple of books, I've knitted several red hats for the American Heart Association, I've started on yet another patchwork quilt, watched several hours of TV, made a couple of cards, and relaxed!  Occasionally, I've felt guilty about not doing certain other things (like housework, paperwork, filing, etc.), but, I can't complain I haven't had time to relax!

So, that was my August Goals for a balanced life, reviewed.  Most segments went up!  One, Garden, came down slightly, but that's OK.  I am looking forwards to September!  


  1. You accomplished a lot, Bless. I really like how you list the things you are grateful for. You had a very successful month in all areas.
    Here's to a well balanced September!

    1. Thank you, Nil. It was a good month, overall. I am hopeful that September will be an equally good month. :)

  2. You had a fantastic month. Lots of goals met, and surpassed. I am so impressed (and jealous) with ALL the deep-cleaning you got done. Now you are able to implement those cleaning schedules you have always imagined. You survived the flea invasion. Give yourself a pat on both shoulders for that one.

    1. Thank you, Susan. Don't be jealous - you focused on the garden in August while I focused on the house, but you still got quite a bit of cleaning done in your house, as well. You'll get to focus on the house later, when it is too cold to garden!

      Both shoulders have been patted! :D


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