This is not a year end post…

It is a year beginning post. Don’t think about the past. In fact, don’t ruminate on the year to come. Think about today. Think about one thing that you can do this day to make a difference in the way you begin…

What task can you knock off to ensure it does not follow you?

What bill can you pay to start off with reduced debt?

What simple deed can you do for another who needs it?

What item can you remove from your desk to make the space more productive?

What email can you answer or archive to start of with a cleaner inbox?

What project can you launch? (Ready or not. The details will sort themselves out later.)

I’m answering at least three of these questions as soon as I hit the “Publish” button… Who’s with me?

Give and Take

“For everything we take, someone else must give.”

– Patrick Rhone

There is a reason for that self-quote above. A few days ago, I was reviewing my modest goals for last year and that is a paraphrase of the last sentence in that post. I have been reflecting on it ever since. I now think it should have been my only goal for last year, as it really does encapsulate or eclipse the rest.

The fact is that this world operates on the principle of give and take. Yet so few of us look at it this way. I think we should. I think we would feel a much greater connection to all that we have if we did. We also would have a greater consciousness about the effect of everything we consume and create.

This computer I’m typing on I had to give money for, but someone also had to gather the resources to allow the capacity to take money in exchange for it. A website had to be built to allow me to order it. Parts had to be manufactured to build it. Minerals and precious metals mined. And, all of it was done through a process of give (labor) and take (wages). And though I know Apple’s profits say otherwise, when I think about the hundreds (thousands?) of hands that went into producing this singular piece of technology it hardly seems fair.

Therefore, this year, it will be. This will be a guiding reminder to be more aware of the giving that goes into the things I take. Particularly where money and time are involved. Also, doing all I can to give more. Because, I know that, for me, doing something for others (give) has the end result of making me feel so much better (take). Even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts.

Words and Wisdom

I keep this text file on my computer called “Bits of Words and Wisdom” for capturing nice sentences and word pairings. It’s not quite a Text Playlist (I keep one of those as well) but sort of it’s shorter and faster brother. I’ve been doing this for years and the list has grown quite large. I often refer to this list whenever I want to be inspired. Here is a snippet from the list to give you an idea of the sort of things that end up here:

  • dear thursday, please me kind and gentle. my defenses are worn down and my exhausted heart is weary – DIYSara

  • Through stacks of unread books, seas of feeds, people, invitations, events, and unanswered emails, if we stand still long enough, if we listen and look, if we pause, we see that nothing is ever the same again tomorrow. – Liz Danzico

  • You’re defined by your inspiration, your vision, your creativeness and in trusting your instincts to break away from your comfort zone and not trying so hard to be different but in being you. – Jorge Quinteros

  • One gets better at writing by writing and reading good writing. – Frank Chimero

  • Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless. And lonely is healing if you make it. – Tanya Davis, How to be alone

  • For me, form is beauty. Get the structure of a sentence right, make every word work as hard as it possibly can, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful sentence — Iain Broome

  • Sometimes the voices we miss most are the only ones we can hear, calling us out into the night, filling the darkness with howls. — Jenny Browne – We Should Dance While We Can

  • When everything works best it’s not because you chose writing but because writing chose you. It’s when you’re mad with it, it’s when it’s stuffed in your ears, your nostrils, under your fingernails. It’s when there’s no hope but that. – Charles Bukowski

As you can see, it could be anything. Represented above are snippets from blog posts, tweets, things spoken in videos, things written in letters. If I read it, or hear it and it causes me to pause, I capture it here. There are even a few things I have written that I have been proud of.

Mainly, I’m sharing this with you so that maybe it will spark a similar idea or at least a mandate to remember and appreciate some well crafted words.

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