December 2, 2008

Twenty-three days 'til Christmas

My new approach to life is to figure out each morning the most important task of the day and do it first. On Sunday, that meant rearranging the office space in the dining room, because I had, for the second time in less than a month, upended a full cup of coffee onto the desk. Something about the space had changed to bring about these sopping messes, so I took action. The area is not in final form, but at least I can't cause more destruction this way.

Yesterday the most important task was to make Christmas cards to send to the Red Cross/Pitney Bowes gathering of Christmas greetings for military folks. Postal deadline for sending cards to them is December 10, but I won't have more time next week than this week. I don't want the season is going to overtake me before I get the cards made. I have 15 finished and will be scanning them in the next few days to post online.

Today the most important task was to order photo Christmas cards. (I really could have put off this task, except I need to go to Walgreens anyhow to pick up prescriptions, so I might as well accomplish two projects at once.) Last Christmas I took a photo of our good dog, Kokomo, that I dearly love, so that's what we're using on the card.

Tomorrow's task is to come up with a new title for the new book. We wanted to use Writing the River (because we've seen in leading workshops on writing that most people have a river of narrative within themselves just waiting to be written). I'd tried out the title on a few people over the holiday and saw that it's hard for people to distinguish between the words Writing and Riding in conversation. Meanwhile, the folks at the publishing company were tossing around the title and hating it; they want something more immediate. I'm leaning right this minute toward Writing for Spiritual Growth. It's not fancy, but it's clear. Anyhow, tomorrow's the deadline for getting a new title to them.

Once upon a time I could make a loose mental list of the thirty things I wanted to do in one day and accomplish fifteen or twenty of them by suppertime without especially trying. Life requires more intention these days. I'm no longer a list maker, so I needed a simple and straightforward method of keeping up with what's important. First things first, as it turns out, is effective. The key to the planning is that I decide what's most important.

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