Friday, May 17, 2013
The latest Reader's Digest has an article featuring a new book by life coach J. P. Hansen, The Bliss List. There's an exercise entitled "Bliss: List What you Love." #1 is Identify Your Passions. As I thought about this, I wasn't surprised to realize I would be in a totally 'blissful' state if I could spend every afternoon doing family history. Or maybe even all day long every day!! Then on the 22 hour drive home from South Dakota, I listened to an audio book by Stephen Covey, "Focus: Achieving Your Highest Priorities." I scribbled a few things that came to mind as I drove across those endlessly beautiful miles of rolling green hills dotted with sheep - lots of little white lambs frolicking about and black calves following their mothers, and even buffalo and hundreds of antelope. What did I want to focus most on? What were my highest priorities? You will not be surprised at my list. I want to finish my Mom's life story this year. I had 91 pictures set aside and labeled as to where they went in the story she and I worked on for the better part of 10 years before we left on our mission to Armenia...and never finished when we returned. I have dipped into that cache of pictures many times for relatives who wanted copies - now I have to start all over again organizing. But I will finish this year - it will be my Christmas present to my three sisters. Next on my list was typing all my old journals into the computer. I have been a daily journalist for over 35 years and didn't begin typing them on the computer until Armenia when the beautiful journal I had taken filled up. Thus I have about 25 years worth of journals to type. Worth the effort? Absolutely. If they are digitized, they will take up much less space and if anyone is interested enough to read them, it will be easier. I don't really want anyone to read them, but I was being obedient to a prophet when I began and it became a habit. Can't tell you how often they have been indispensable in retrieving forgotten information! Next on my list of things to focus on (and that make me blissfully happy when I'm doing it) was to get as many of our pictures as possible into Shutterfly albums this year. I've had them all scanned and organized by year. What fun gifts for my kids for birthdays and Christmas to see their life stories in their own books! After those blissfully fun goals, next on my list was sorting all the family history papers, scanning them into the computer and tossing the ones that aren't important. This will not be as fun, but I have to tell you, it will be far more enjoyable than trying to please evaluators who wish I would write the story the way they would write it instead of the way I envisioned it. No more editors except for spelling and punctuation!! I invite you to check with me periodically to see if I am actually accomplishing my goals and achieving that state of blissful happiness that is promised when I do!