Three Words to Begin 2017: Past, Now, and Future

JUGGLING THE PAST, NOW, AND FUTURE

Confessions are good for the soul so I confess now I am not a good juggler. Sometimes life presents us with a juggling act which seems outside our abilities. And often the start of a new year does the same.

The questions I asked as I wrote this post were:

  • Where did 2016 go?
  • What does 2017 hold in the way of goals?
  • What about now--the present, today, even tonight?

WHERE DID 2016 GO?

Wherever it went, it dragged by. I felt this year would never end. My days were ones of sitting and lying down to relieve relentless, intense pain. A short break in the early fall led me to believe the journey was almost over. Then a setback occurred.

I am still attempting to reach the end of the journey created by a fall last January. Things are so much better I am able to write a few hours a day on this blog and my book review blog. One good result from my immobility is a stack of books finally read.

Another accomplishment was accepting that some degree of pain will always be with me as a result of a fusion. I've also accepted that walking with a cane does get doors opened for you.

WHAT DOES 2017 HOLD IN THE WAY OF GOALS?

A top priority for me in 2017 is the hope of more therapy helping me to reach a higher level of activity. This would allow me to engage in daily activities without the need of pain medications. If I am told I need to take one pill a day, I can handle that. The narcotic haze is not something I enjoy nor do I want it interfering with my creative life.

Other than that, I have decided I am not establishing any set-in-concrete goals for 2017. My plan is to do something different this year. The concept came to me as I searched for a suitable graphic to include with this post. Not finding one, I set about creating my own which is inserted above. The word "now" was not easy to find in the company of the words "present" and "future."

Days with therapy or doctor appointments and home exercises create a need for flexibility. Working those things around my writing life means there has to be a give and take. That leads us to the "now" option.

WHAT ABOUT NOW--THE PRESENT, TODAY, EVEN TONIGHT?

The word "now" is defined by Dictionary.com as "at the present time or moment." In my opinion, "at the present time or moment" can mean today, this hour, or a variety of other phrases. It means I have the flexibility of moving something from today to another day. It doesn't mean I can forget about anything forever. Things go better as long as I get something done and don't leave it hanging ad ifinitum.

Last week I picked up something from Jamie Raintree, writer and blogger at JamieRaintree.com. I was reading a post by Jamie on time blocking and productive time. I'm not a rigidly organized soul, and my writing proves that when I confess I'm a pantser. This resulted from almost 40 years working for attorneys unwilling to track billable time. Their cry was "it doesn't let me create the pleas and arguments I need to win!" If I'm worrying about when or how I'm going to get everything done on today's schedule, I'll never get it done.

Jamie has created a Time Blocking Worksheet. About her system, she says:

The idea is that you schedule your days in chunks, marking off large time periods for certain types of work, but leaving the details of what work you’ll accomplish more open.

Based on that statement, I decided to download Jamie's worksheet and give it a try. If you're interested, you can see an image of Jamie's worksheet and download it here.

I like the idea of categorizing creative and personal priorities and assigning days. I currently use a similar time blocking tool. Yet, it lacks the flexibility of Jamie's system. Thank you, Jamie!

CONCLUSION

What about 2016? I am disappointed. I struggle with losing time on my manuscript and maintaining my blogs and newsletter. But truthfully, there wasn't much I could do about it.

What about 2017? I don't know yet. We'll see what comes down the path.

What about NOW? I'm going to use it to the best of my ability as I'm able. Really can't do more than that can we?

WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING OR 2017? SHARE WITH US IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.