I am Dixie Dawn Miller Goode. My favorite protagonist is a young boy with Cerebral Palsy. "Duffy Barkley walks on four legs," the kids tease, because he uses crutches. There are many things Duffy has to work extra hard to accomplish, but no-one can tell him "No!"
This Blog has things that somehow tie into my Duffy Barkley books, or into my writing, including the time twisted, Double Time: On The Oregon Trail and my various kids picture books.
This year I chose things I know I will get better at, because they are important to me, and because I am already making progress on them, I have written 3 1/2 books, and I have lost 40 pounds and given up soda and started adding in lots of random acts of fitness thanks to Jonathan Roche and The No Excuses Workouts.
I do live in a beautiful place where getting outside is a Joy
I do Treasure my Family but the miles between us makes it a bit more effort to keep those connections alive now.
Balance, Well, sometimes, but not so much in my bank balance, so that is the focus this year.
Do I love New Year's and the Resolutions to do things differently and better? Well, yes and no. Rather than going out to a party, I love going inside with my journal and reading notes and essays and lists from previous years. But I see that a lot of the things stay the same from year to year without change. That is good and bad. It means I hold the same values but also that I have the same problems. A couple of times I have followed the suggestion I saw years ago in a "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine that suggests not writing what you want to do, but making a list of 100 things you tolerate, small things that sap your time and energy if you don't deal with them. That has worked well for me, I can always go back and check off several that I did deal with and feel empowered even as I move some to the new list. I have gotten rid of a lot of the specific piles of clutter I've written about and done some of the maintenance tasks on house and car and marriage, because, yep, even after 30 years together, there needs to be time and effort in maintaining that closeness, especially as out role changes from family with children, to couple with grown adults who sometimes visit.
Last year I chose only one thing to focus on, one small three letter word that I wanted to have be at the heart of the first and last thoughts in my mind every day. JOY! That was a wonderful change in attitude for me because I often tended to walk around with a cloud of worries and anger. Now i habitually find the good before The bad thoughts even start. If I panic over the money, I start to breath and tell myself, "for today, you have everything you need, yesterday you did too, trust that you will Tomorrow as well."
So I have found Joy and beauty all around me, even in the worn and abandoned house down the street. It is lovely in a strange, mysterious way I think.
This year I am looking with Wonder on the giant stumps on the former Redwood logging camp land where I live, and thinking of how things change over time, but how those changes can let in the sun and bring wonder and growth too.
I see my blind dog trusting that he is safe if one of us is near and realize that we are a lot like that dog, we don't see all the things that are in out world, but if we can trust that we will be Ok, we usually will be.
So a year of Joy, Wonder, Balance and Storytelling for me. Blessings to you,