THE THREE Ps PLUS ONE MORE FOR GOOD MEASURE

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My Pony Tail Plant never stops growing

This is the time of year when many of us are struggling to keep our New Year’s Resolutions.  Lose 10 pounds.  Workout at the gym 5 times a week. Stop buying books until you’ve gotten through the pile next to your bed.  Be kind to the people you find to be horribly difficult. Etc, etc. 

I’m not one for resolutions. Instead over the years I’ve opted to choose words that I would like to focus on for the coming year. They are words that I hope will help me work on a particular issue I’ve been struggling with which need of bit of extra attention. They’ve been successful most of the time. But occasionally I get caught up in other distractions and high dive into life without thinking much about what my focus is supposed to be.  

I sometimes wonder if I’m wasting my time but keep at it only because 6 to 8 months of working on one issue is better than nothing. Right now I have some burning issues and it’s time for me to get serious about cleaning up my act.  This past December I found three inspiring words that seem to fit together beautifully. My hope is they’ll start me on my way. I expect them to take me through some deep learning and bring me closer to the person I most want to be. I’m calling them The Three Ps.

The first P is for Presence. I no longer want to wander into the past regretting things that I’ve done.   What’s done is done. No amount of going back to see how I could have done something better will help me now. 

I also want to stop worrying about what tomorrow will bring. I simply want to trust that everything will work out, and that I’ll be able to handle whatever comes my way.  I wish to be in the now, working with what is before me in each and every moment. I want to be present with myself, noticing how my brain works.  Am I being as kind to myself as I am to others or am I constantly trashing what I do, giving myself a C or D instead of an A+ for my efforts? 

The second P is for Perspective. Instead of the same old, same old, I want to see and do things in a new way. It’s time for me to be more positive, knowing that I’ll always do the best I can. I hope to quit telling myself stories that are filled with doom, gloom, and all of the nasty things that could go wrong. I deeply believe that every negative experience holds a positive lesson. Why go for the worst when I can take the time to look through the grey clouds and find a patch of blue sky? Oh look, there’s a rainbow beginning to show behind the biggest black cloud of all.

 The third P is for Persistence.  Instead of of giving up when the first thing I try doesn’t work, I’d like to keep going and look for a way to get beyond what I don’t think is possible. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

  Just a few days ago, I added another P, because without it none of the above will work.  That P is for Patience. This work will take time. It will not necessarily be easy.  But I am certain that I can do it if I take my time and forgive myself when I stumble.  Nothing is perfect, especially human beings like me.    

How about you?  Have you a resolution or word you’re grabbing onto to help you through another year?

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NEWS  On January 18th, I will have rotator cuff surgery to repair a number of tears in my right shoulder. I may be unable to type or write for a few weeks, so on January 23rd, I will be featuring a post by my friend, Kathy Pooler, who will share her list of what she’s learned about aging.  Be sure to check out her memoir, Ever Faithful to his Lead: My Journey Away from Emotional Abuse, available on Amazon.

Depending on how I’m feeling after the surgery, I may miss a few posts.  I will be in a sling for 6 weeks and I’m not sure how easily I’ll be able to type. But I just learned how to dictate to my computer and I’ll be playing with that feature.  We’ll see how it works!

Comments

  1. These are good words and intentions to take into this new year, Joan. Wishing you much success with your surgery. Gerry had both shoulders done a few years ago (not at the same time). Recovery was gradual, but with perseverance (another P word!) and physical therapy, he regained full mobility and has been pain free since.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Linda. I hear more and more that in the end this surgery is amazing. Though I don’t look forward to the surgery itself I am so excited about not being in pain. I will add your word, Perseverance to my list of P words!

  2. Thank you for this, Joan. My watch word for 2019 also begins with a P, which I plan to announce next week. Prayers for you as you undergo surgery very soon. You could use the word “slingshot” somehow/somewhere if you plan to post during your recovery – ha!

    I’d like to learn more about dictating into your computer’s ear: Sounds intriguing!

    • Joan Rough says:

      I’m looking forward to hearing your word, Marian. And yes, I will be adding “slingshot,” to my vocabulary in exactly one week from tomorrow. I will be sure to take a selfie. Thanks so much for your prayers! I so appreciate them.

  3. Joan, I love your word choices for the year, especially how you’ve underscored them with patience. Wishing you a successful surgery and rapid healing. I look forward to being your guest on 1/23. Take good care!

  4. Thanks Kathy, for all of your best wishes. I will be finalizing your guest post before Friday and publishing on the 23rd by clicking a button with my left hand!!

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