Week 3 – Complain or Compliment?

“You have found that the Individual may act on the Universal, and that the result of this action and interaction is cause and effect. Thought, therefore, is the cause, and the experiences with which you meet in life are the effect. Eliminate, therefore, any possible tendency to complain of conditions as they have been, or as they are, because it rests with you to change them and make them what you would like them to be.”

I LOVE week 3! The first few lines are my second-favorite Haanel quote EVER.

The tendency to complain is a very human thing. We complain about work, about our families, about the lines at the grocery store/department store/car wash/DMV, and everyone around us understand the complaint and is willing to complain in turn. We connect through our complaints, and can share a moment of unity in a world that seems to be sliding more and more into division.  That’s especially true on social media. People share their gripes; other people respond with either sympathy, or a similar plaint.

But.

What are we really bonding over? Think about those social media posts. Once people start chiming in with their own gripes, you now have a conversation of people, all talking about something that ‘makes’ them angry and upset. Each person’s response then reinforces the complaints of the others. They feel validated, but instead of calming down or letting the irritation go, they get even more grouchy as a result. And what do you suppose then happens to the folks who are merely reading the thread, hm? I don’t know about you, but when I read those threads, I get upset too. Maybe what they’re complaining about isn’t the specific thing about the situation – whatever it is – that I find upsetting, but if I’m not paying attention then my emotional state still shifts just reading the vitriol.

How does it help to connect with other people over negativity? (And how many of us excuse ourselves, once we notice the complain-fest – i.e., pity party – and its results, by saying, “Well, everyone does it.”)   And how do you suppose that affects your subconscious mind?  Your internal blueprint?

Complaining is contagious, to ourselves as well as to others. And then we trap ourselves into a circle, feeding on our own anger and that of the people we’re talking to, as we each complain in turn, and eventually we believe that the world is a sewer and it’s never going to get any better.

What kind of effects do you suppose those thoughts will cause?

Jerry’s gotten into a habit recently of complaining every time he opens his mouth to say anything. There might be a sentence or two mixed in where he’s asking a question or actually saying something that isn’t negative, but most of it is a complaint. He’s tired, he’s in pain, the people at work don’t know anything and if they’d just listen to him then they could improve everything, he shouldn’t have to work at all… and so on and so on and so on.

I don’t like it. I work second shift, he works first. So most days the only time we have are the ten minutes of my half-hour lunch I set aside to call and talk to him. I don’t want to spend that entire time listing to a rambling litany of complaint, for several reasons.

But what to do? It falls upon me to change those conditions, not whine about them. And yet, I can’t simply dictate to Jerry that if he can’t say anything nice just don’t say anything at all. (Okay, yes, I could. But that would cause effects that I probably wouldn’t want; a henpecked husband, a resentful husband, a husband who would feel negatively judged and then not talk to me because he’d feel like he couldn’t say anything right. He’s got a mind and will of his own, you know.)

So what in my own behavior will encourage him to respond with fewer complaints and more positivity?

Well, when I’m on the phone with him at break, I don’t gripe. I talk about the things that have gone right, or relate the funny instances with coworkers that happen almost every day.  As soon as he complains about something, I ask a question like, “So what was the best part of your day?” or “What made you smile at work today?” or “So did anyone do anything kind for you today? Did you do something kind for someone else?” And I’ve collected some of my favorite memes from social media to print out and hang around the house – positive things, you know.

Don’t snort. They exist.

I haven’t been doing it for long. But I’ve already noticed a slight change in how he talks. And of course I’m happier, too. Because positivity is also contagious!

Week #3 – Principles are universal

“It is evident, therefore, that all we have to do is let our light shine; the more energy we can radiate, the more rapidly shall we be enabled to transmute undesirable conditions into sources of pleasure and profit.” – Charles Haanel

So for some time now I’ve been learning how to create and publish low- and no-content books.  You know, like grownup coloring books, journals, workbooks.  Going to be expanding now into activity books, like mazes and find-its and other fun stuff like that!

It’s been a blast learning about the publishing world.  And the lady I’ve been learning from is absolutely amazing.  I’m a member of her mastermind group, and she recently forwarded a theory she’d been working on.

In essence, if you were to turn on the tap to fill a glass with water, and the glass begins to overflow, turning off the tap because letting it run is wasteful is an example of scarcity thinking.  If you’re thinking properly, she says, you get a bigger glass.  As each glass fills, you pass it around so everyone can have a drink.  When there’s nobody else to take a glass, and the one you’re holding begins to overflow, you get a bucket.  When that fills, get a barrel.  And then when the barrel overflows, you get a firehose and start spreading that water around.

I know she’s never studied Haanel – I asked her.  And yet, her own self-development has led her to the same ideas.  Like in Og, “…experience is comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow. Only principles endure and these I now possess…”

Amazing what connections you can make, once eyes and ears and mind are open!

Week 2 – What is a thought?

Now be perfectly still as before, but inhibit all thought. This will give you control over all thoughts of care, worry, and fear, and will enable you to entertain only the kind of thoughts you desire.”

Okay.  No thinking.  I can do that.  How hard can it be?

Monday

Inhibit all thought.  Drat, I should have taken off my shoes.  The edges of the soles are not comfortable.  Stop.  Inhibit all thought.  Owwwwww, there’s a metal sliver digging into my kneeeeeeee.  Stop it!  No thinking.  Silence.  The sound of birds chirping.  Firefly, meowing and pawing at the door.  Go away, kitten…  “Pen-pineapple-apple-pen, i have a pen, i have an apple…”
Blast it.  Thanks a lot, Becky, now I have an earworm.

Tuesday

Okay, comfortable  clothes, comfortably seated, start the timer and…  No thinking.  Heartbeat.  Breathing.  Silence, peace.  Oh, how lovely…  Wait.  Was that a thought?  Crap!  Even if it wasn’t, that was!  Well, I’ll be all right if I just don’t…  “apple pen, pineapple pen, ahhhhh!  Pen-pineapple-apple-pen…”

Dammit.

Okay, so, it’s obvious what the exercise is intended to do, right?  I mean, our world without is created by our world within, and the world within is controlled by our thought, specifically the habits of thought within our subconscious mind.  But until we can control the thoughts that get in, our subconscious is going to be contaminated by all the stray bits we’ve allowed in while we weren’t watching.

But.

Is hearing the sound of birds, and dry leaves rattling in the breeze a thought?  Is is thinking, to focus on breathing and feeling the rhythm of a heartbeat?  What about hearing music – not lyrics, but only music – inside your head?  Is that thinking?

Google defines thought as being “an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind” and has a second definition of “the action or process of thinking.”  Which is… not helpful at all, really.

What is a thought?  And how does it differ from awareness?

Week 1 – A more detailed map

A September sunrise

A September sunrise

Week one again!  It’s thrilling – I’ve missed the webinars, the wisdom, the automatic companionship with other MKMMA members.  It’s intimidating – working full time plus, in addition to a daily photographic project and related blog, will I remain faithful to the exercises?  Haven’t always been so, in the past when my schedule was easier, though I’ve muddled through, muddled through.

And it’s promising.  Because it’s a human truth that if you don’t know where you’re going, then

  1. any road will get you there, and
  2. you won’t actually know when you’ve arrived.

After two years of asking myself, over and over, what do I want?, two years of retraining myself to believe that I can have what I truly and deeply want, the answer is crystallizing.  I know myself better now, understand more of what my gift to the world actually is… and how to most effectively give it away.

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights under the Big Dipper

And to think the realization had its roots in a chance comment of mine, that once I wouId have paid no attention to, a comment I wouldn’t have been in a position to even make, if not for the past two years of studying Haanel and Og and Emerson.

Since January the 1st, I’ve been taking pictures of the sunrise from the eastern overlook of Barn Bluff in Red Wing, MN.  Barn Bluff is a local landmark overlooking the mighty Mississippi; from the easternmost point of the bluff, you can see for ten-twelve miles – which is a feat in southeast Minnesota, let me tell you!  By the end of the year I’ll have photos of 366 consecutive sunrises, all from the same spot!

And word’s been getting around; I was recently interviewed by a writer from the Rochester Post-Bulletin about the project.  One of the questions he asked was why.  Why the project, why Barn Bluff, why every single sunrise for a year.

“I want to show people how pretty the world is,” was what I said.

It was a flippant, off-the-cuff answer meant to sound good for the interview… and yet it resonated with every layer of my being, from conscious to subconscious.  _MG_0682The voice of my deepest self seized an unguarded moment and spoke clearly.  We miss so much of beauty, particularly in our own back yards, because we never look up from our technology and stress and hectic schedules long enough to notice what’s right there – the liquid ice sculpture of a dew-covered spiderweb in the morning sunlight;  the first flowers of spring, poking up through a late snow; the constantly-shifting, fathomless patterns in the clouds on a stormy day; a baby’s laugh; the warm and steady rumble of a cat’s purr.

Beauty everywhere.

Time to get all these new realizations down in my DMP!

Week #19 – Do the unexpected

Okay, those of you following the daily sunrise posts on my photography blog know that I had a bit of a shock this week.  Rather than going over it again here, I’ll post a link:  2016-02-12 – Writing copy… exposing weakness, underscoring strength

On the plus side, I managed to avoid an argument and get Jerry to modulate both his voice and his emotional state this week.

Years ago, a family of friends had a dog named Cinder.  He was a German Shepherd-type, though being taller with a narrow, deep chest there might have been some greyhound in his background, and he went to become a police dog.  He washed out of training – a bit too high strung; he broke out in hot spots.  When he came back, he was still the same energetic dog, but he’d developed a quirk; you couldn’t put your face down near his.  He’d tolerate it for a few seconds, then he’d develop this strange, almost feral, look in his eye, and he’d lunge for you.

One afternoon he tried it with me.  He wanted a walk in the worst way, and he shoved his muzzle up to where it was almost touching my nose to plead silently.  As our gazes met and held, I watched his expression change, then – just before he would have lunged – I turned my back on him.  Mom Terwilliger laughed and said later his face was something to see as he tried to work out what had just happened and what he should do.  I let him make friends with me again after about five minutes of him circling around, whimpering and poking at me with a paw.

So this week, Jerry’s been in a temper most of the time.  He shouts, throws tools, and congratulates himself for ‘getting it all out’ so he ‘won’t turn into a wife beater.’

First of all, I have a serious problem with that phrase.  Basically what it means is that he’s content to not be a bad person, rather than wanting to work on improving himself to that he can be a good person.

There was a matter we had to discuss, and he wanted to shout and engage in hyperbole and empty threat rather than talk.  I was tired of his volume, I wasn’t going to start shouting in return; imagine my surprise when I found myself turning my back on him, given that I’d all but forgotten that incident with Cinder.

And like Cinder before him, Jerry didn’t quite understand what was happening or what he should do about it.  When he stopped shouting, I said over my shoulder that I wasn’t interested in discussing anything with someone who couldn’t use a conversational tone.  Twice more he started shouting; twice more I turned my back until he stopped. We eventually got the burr under his saddle talked out in a reasonable fashion.

It felt good.  No muss, no fuss, no anger feeding back on itself and growing into massive proportions.  And it was satisfying, too, because for weeks I’ve resented (while trying to choose otherwise) the fact that because of the MKMMA and the Franklin Makeover, he could say anything he wanted, however inflammatory or hurtful and I couldn’t.

I’m starting to suspect I need to spend less time around him, as long as he’s determined to be anxious and angry.

Week #18 – Fitting together nicely

Sunday’s webinar was marvelous, made better by the company I was in; I was masterminding with Don before the webinar, and taking pictures of a droolsome Valentine Day meal that Leanne made as a supplement to her Gluten-free cookbook (coming soon!) after the webinar.

Being around the right people can do worlds of good for your mood and attitude.

And it came in perfect timing, too.  Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been trekking to the eastern overlook of the nearby Barn Bluff – a hill here in bluff country that stands 1001 feet above sea level, and you have to hike about 343 feet upward to get to the top of the ridge.  I’ve pushed myself to get up early enough to make the half-hour drive in to town and the forty-minute walk to the overlook; dealt with snow and ice on the trail, winds and fog and twenty-below-zero (Fahrenheit, now, not Centigrade) temperatures.  I’ve taken pictures of a sunrise that was only theoretical, the clouds were so thick and grey; seen vivid reds, deep purples, fiery oranges and molten golds fair fit to adorn an artist’s palette.  Each day I’ve posted those photos of sunrise on my photo blog, along with a story of a thought that occurred to me on the trail – sometimes photography advice, sometimes a tale related to self-development or a particular challenge, sometimes words that have nothing to do with anything.

Nothing has stopped me yet.  Not snow, not ice, nor cold, or wet numb feet; not the increasingly-early hour or a brief bout with a wretched cold, nor nights of short sleep; even the nasty huge specks on my camera sensor didn’t do more than slow me down a bit – sent my camera in for cleaning while a kind friend loaned me his.

The “I” in me had decided, the die was cast, and there was no longer any doubt; I am getting my 366 Barn Bluff sunrises this year.

So when my photography buddy Ivan and my husband Jerry started saying to me earlier this week that “unforseen life events happen, and you have to prepare yourself for not getting all your sunrises,” and “it’s not as if you have to get them all in one year, as long as you get photos of each day of the year,” it was something of a blind-side strike.

I told them both, “No life events are going to happen that will prevent my capturing the 366 sunrises, and you need to mind your thoughts because I don’t need those intentions sent into the Universe.”

Dream-stealers, however well-intentioned, aren’t going to stop me, either.

Well, got an e-mail this week from a gentleman that I met on January 1st; David is a member of the group Friends of the Bluff.  They’re local folks who help maintain the paths, work with the park services when controlled burns are necessary, promote the Bluff as a spot of interest.  David says they’re starting a newsletter among their members and other people who have expressed interest in the Bluff, and he’d like to feature me and my project in their first issue!  He wants to get me traffic to my photoblog and share some of the photos and stories of the Bluff.

Pretty cool, huh?

And on the publishing front, the print-on-demand service that I had my eye on for my journals is running a special for the month of February; they are waiving the one-time $50 setup fee for all new titles!  I’d been wondering where I would come up with the funds to get all six volumes of the meditation journals done!

Question asked, and the Universe answered.

_MG_5414

One more event of note this week – southern Minnesota was supposed to get slammed with a rip-snorter of a winter storm on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I asked, ever so politely, that the snow not start until after I was home on Tuesday, and that by the time I was on the road Wednesday morning the roads would be clear and easy to drive.  And barring a bit of drifting and some patches of ice on the county roads (easy to spot and perfectly safe to drive over so long as you slow down), what happened was exactly what I asked for.

Week #17HJ – A dream I didn’t know I had

So several months ago I took a course on how to create low-content books (books like journals, coloring books, anything with less than 5,000 words).  I’ve been formulating, creating outlines, learning software – you know, procrastinating and not getting anything done while at the same time pretending to be busy doing things.

I am pleased to say I have the content finished on the first five of my planned journals, and will be sending at least one to the printers to produce a proof by the end of the weekend!

It’s been a fun and sometimes frustrating process, learning what works and what doesn’t on the design software, incorporating tips and techniques to make them look professionally produced, and of course, coming up with the writing prompts, structure, and background images.  The best part, though?  These first six (still working on the final volume) are meditation journals designed to be paired with Haanel’s Master Keys, so I’ve spent the last week absolutely immersed in his beautifully-constructed sentences and perfectly phrased wisdom.  I’ve also included quotations from other folks on each day’s journaling pages.

And I’ve got outlines for sooooo many more journals!  Cruises – 3-day, 5-day, 7-day and 14-day, each cruise length its own separate book – road trip journals, an airshow journal, hunting and fishing journals, coin collector’s journal (which can then be easily modified to become a stamp collector’s journal), gardening journals…  The goal is to produce one per week this year.  Of course, they still have to meet quality standards – not going to produce junk just to meet a goal, I can tell you that!

But, add the journal work to my sunrise photos and related daily photoblog, and my week has been both full and focused.  Also got some work done on my photo library, sorting through and tagging the candidates for “Minnesota Skies, a 2017 calendar” that I’ll be printing up between June and August this year.

Driving home from Barn Bluff this morning (and it was another colorful morning, which is always wonderful), I was contemplating this growing enthusiasm and skill for publishing design.  And I found myself wondering:  Is this why I could never interest a publisher in my work?  Because once upon a time I ate, slept, breathed writing.  I worked with great joy and enthusiasm, had it all planned.  I was going to write wonderful stories that my chosen publishing company would see as a hidden gem, people would love the books and I’d get to go on book tours and signings and maybe even develop a worldwide following and when I wasn’t writing books I would be breeding and training search and rescue dogs who would eventually be paired with a search and rescue human who suited each other perfectly.  It was planned.  Visualized.  Worked on daily, with always the goal in view of becoming a full-time writer.

None it ever materialized.  Always, my manuscripts were rejected.

Only now I’m learning how to publish for myself from Kristen Joy the Book Ninja, learning techniques for making self-published work look professionally done; listening to her teach the intricacies of the book publishing world, from ISBNs to barcodes to LoC registry and prepping a book for Kindle publishing rather than hard copy…

… and it comes at a time when I’ve been working really hard on myself, too, learning who and what I am and what I truly want and become acquainted with my own power to the extent that I have the confidence to take a leap of faith…

It’s only a gigantic coincidence if you don’t believe in Universal Mind.

Week #17 – As above, so below; as within, so without

_MG_5022

Wow – is it Thursday again already?  Yep, must be – it’s written on my schedule to write and post a blog today.

You know, honestly, I follow along with the MKMMA, I do my best to meet all the requirements, and yet I find I am learning more about myself, what I’m meant to do, how to arrange my life so that I am happy, through my sunrise project on Barn Bluff than I am through the MKMMA exercises and webinars – making the walk, taking the pictures, writing my photography blog.  I suppose it’s partly because there’s lots of time for introspection and contemplation of the world within while walking the trail.  But it’s also that I’m out here doing something that I enjoy.  If you’ve gotten all this way into the MKMMA course, you should already be doing things that support your deepest desires – the DMP, the index card with the Plan of Action and all, should take care of that.

But if you’re not – if you’re still wrestling with who am I really, and what am I meant to do? – then do yourself a favor.  First of all, STOP OBSESSING.  Mental effort defeats itself, remember?  Just… get out of your own head.  Commit to a daily series, whether it be writing a poem a day, or taking a set of pictures, or sketching, or painting, whatever you like to do.  Find the time, find the attention to spare for it.  You’ll discover that the very act of commitment, followed by the activity every day, will accelerate the process of change.

_MG_5284And along the way, you’ll inevitably find yourself answering the questions of who you are, what you want, where your life’s purpose lies.  Because meeting the demands of that daily series is very like another type of meditation; you’re focused; you’re present; you’ve opened the door to that secret, creative part of your mind and heart and you’re listening to what it says.  It’s… like studying the reflections in the water in order to understand what they’re an image of.

And I’ve discovered that in making the walk up to the top of Barn Bluff, in taking pictures of the sunrise and being aware of what’s around me, the Master Keys and Og and the exercises all make so much more sense.  I can apply the principles to my actions, my thoughts, my plans.  It’s a connection that I just don’t feel in the Alliances or during the webinars.  I read, I listen, I understand… but I don’t feel.  And I see blog posts and shares in the Alliances, people who are manifesting exactly what they’ve always wanted, which feeds belief and enthusiasm, which accelerates the change, which in turn fuels greater belief and enthusiasm, and those folk are radiating gratitude and appreciation of Mark, Davene, and the guides… and sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me, that I continue to view the people and the process with the eyes of an outsider, an observer, a non-participant.

On the other hand, maybe some of that is how it’s supposed to work.  We start out dependent, feeling our way into the power of the world within through the help of Mark, Davene and the guides, taking uncertain steps into the darkness until we find our light – following the gurus, however little they want to be thought of as such!  But then, because we’ve been openly and yet subtly retaught how to think for ourselves, we graduate to forging our own meanings, our own interpretations:  Haanel, Og, Campbell, Wooden, Allen, Hill, as their wise words apply to us, specifically, instead of a more sweeping, generalized, one-size-fits-all outlook.

The principles remain; solid, unchanging.  But the details of the application become more personalized, tailored to our own uniqueness.

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Week #16 – A shield of uniqueness

So, some of you know that I’ve embarked on a year-long photography project; capturing 366 sunrises in a calendar year from the same spot – namely, Barn Bluff in Red Wing.  Each day is a blog post with accompanying pictures; each blog post details an experience, a photography tip or technique, a story.

This morning, I had one of those terrible human moments.  It centered around an email that I’d gotten yesterday from a group that I follow; Great Escape Publishing.  The newsletter is titled “The Right Way to Travel” and featured an interview with a gal who had built a passive-income website that this year was allowing she and her husband to spend eight weeks away from a Chicago winter.  Connie Reed is a fun writer, she enjoys what she does, she’s good at describing events and places.  Her website is organized, pretty, and while there are ads they aren’t overwhelming.  The problem?  The title she chose is the Midwest Wanderer; my travel website is the Midwestern Wanderer.  And as I was paging through Connie’s site and thinking how nice it looked and how mine was… well, was basically a reflection of me:  sloppy, inconsistent, focused on stories instead of conveying information about places and events, and I thought, what do I have, what is it about my writing and my chosen niche that are good enough for me to think I can attract a following?

Photography blogs are a dime a dozen; travel sites even cheaper.  And fitness blogs?  Hah!  Everyone and their sister has a fitness blog.  What about me is so unique that people would come to my website and share their story, read and enjoy the stories that are there?  In what way would I ever stand out, other than the fact the articles were written by me?  And who – other than me – would be interested in reading a thing that, essentially, is all about me?

What possible justification could there be for me to have a website at all?  Not an expert, no area of great skill, no education beyond a year and a half at what amounted to a trade school, what about me is so doggone interesting that it would ever leave a mark on the world?

What if there’s nothing left behind to remind anyone that I was ever here?

Fortunately, it was snowing lightly in Red Wing; the slippery stuff had already coated the ground.  And as a wave of cold terror rolled over me, the truck skidded pulling up to a stop sign.  I was reminded very sharply to pay attention to the here and now, and let the there and thereafter take care of itself.  And sitting at the stop sign, waiting for my heart to slow back down to a more normal rhythm, Og’s Scroll IV sprang to mind:  I am nature’s greatest miracle.

And it occurred to me that these new phrases that we are pounding, pounding, pounding into our brains are more than just new habits of thought and repetition that we’re using to create the future; they’re also a shield against the old and more destructive patterns of the past, springing to mind in our new self’s defense whenever the old habits rear up to strike at us from out of the darkness behind our eyes.

What’s unique about my websites is me.  Nature’s greatest miracle, like no other before me and never again to be repeated.  My fellow Midwestern storytellers will find the site whenever the Universe decrees the time is right for them to do so; they’ll share their tales, with me and with others that frequent the site, and fond memories will be preserved on the ‘net for all time.  And maybe I’ll put ads for passive income on it and maybe I won’t – right now, I’m leaning toward ‘not’ no matter how big the site gets.  The farthest I’ll go would be affiliate marketing for the specific hotels that I’ve stayed in and can favorably recommend.

Because that is part of my uniqueness that I place on display.

Week #15 – Getting Organized

2016-01-04 Sunrise

2016-01-04 Sunrise – Pretty, isn’t it?

Since I work from home, I’m not in the world much (I might have mentioned that before).  So during the weeks of the Franklin Makeover, most of my results will be from Jerry, myself, and the people whose webinars I regularly attend (Tony Laidig.  Kristen Joy.  Dom of Elite eCoach.  And of course the MKMMA).

Once upon a time, the files here at home were meticulously kept, bank statements reviewed and logged regularly, and any piece of financial information could be located in less than a minute.  The last year and a half, that’s no longer the case.  And the longer the papers were in that condition, the easier it got to put off organizing it again, because facing the mess they’d become was too, too depressing.

Well, it’s tax time again.  And having that information organized and readily to hand is now vital.

Can you guess what virtue fills the first blank in my Franklin Makeover?

So I got myself a day planner – because using a notebook to plan my days wasn’t cutting it, and nor was the scheduling of reminders in the iPad.  The first three days were experimental; I filled them in with what I wanted to get done and guesstimated how long each task would take.  (Just as a side note, I did awesome at keeping up with the schedule those days.)  The evening of Sunday the 3rd, I sat down with a pocket notebook and the day planner and asked “What do I want to get done this week?”  Wrote a list.  Sketched in how much time each would take, then added a bit.  Checked with Jerry – was there anything special he wanted to do this week?  Looked at his medical stuff – yep, one appointment at Mayo on Wednesday that would take a goodly chunk of day.

Day plannerDrew up the schedule.  There have been some hiccups; some modifications, a couple of regular weekly items I missed writing down, but all in all the week has been enormously productive (if a bit lacking in sleep).  I’ve posted every day of my sunrise blog, complete with pictures.  I have my very first low-content book, a meditation journal, on schedule to be ready for publication by Saturday evening.  And I’ve gathered every paper unfiled and out of place and have them sorted into stacks on the kitchen table.  Next step is to sort the piles into chronological order, then scan them to a searchable file with my printer/scanner (that is so cool – did you know some printers can do that?  If your scanner has the right software, you can tell it to create a searchable document, where it recognizes the text and you can sort and run searches by keywords!); third step (third week of January) is to file everything away in boxes; fourth step, the last week of January, is collating all the business-related financials and filling out the taxes.  After that, of course, is to maintain the proper organization and collation of information as the year passes, rather than waiting for the end of the year to do it all.

And you know what?  Apparently this part of the MKMMA is contagious; Jerry’s been organizing the basement.  He built a closet in a patch of odd space, and in that is to be stored towels and washcloths for the downstairs bathroom, plus games and puzzles and my sewing bins of fabric and tools.  Bookshelves have been shifted, reorganized, and repopulated.  The basement is starting to look magnificent, and I’ve told him so several times.  (Of course, that was between scolds to stop lifting things that weigh more than twenty pounds!  He has an inguinal hernia; the surgery is scheduled for the 21st, and I don’t want it strangulating before then!)

I should have taken the picture during the day, but you can still see his winter leaves!

I should have taken the picture during the day, but you can still see his winter leaves!

Oh, and hey, check this out – my hibiscus is still flourishing, and you can tell the difference between the summer and the winter leaves!  The winter leaves are the lighter-colored larger ones that have rotated themselves toward the window, so the greatest surface area is facing the winter sun.  Law of Growth!

Gotta go.  Time to get more paper sorting done.