January 19, 2019-
Many people make resolutions, the first thing, when the calendar rolls over. I don’t indulge in that particular practice, knowing that making firm commitments to new practices takes time.
There are nine task areas, labours of love, that have defined my life, since the passing of Penny, nearly eight years ago. I will focus today on what these mean, relative to 2019.
1. Family- With Aram and Yoonhee based in Busan, for at least the rest of this year, my focuses are: To be in Korea for their sacred wedding ceremony, in March; to tend to such of their needs as can only be addressed on this side of the Pacific; to meet them in the U.S., should they visit here in the summer.
2. Work- I remain committed to working, during the regular academic year, through at least December, 2020 and no later than May. 2021, depending on the needs of the school, preferably in the High School Autism Program. Thus, work is a major daily focus through the fourth week of May and from August-December.
3. Faith- No day has gone by, since February 23, 1981, that I have not begun my morning in devotions and a fairly long recitation of prayer. Service to Baha’u’llah remains a prime expression of my inner joy and love for humanity. This year marks the Bicentenary of the Birth of al-Bab (The Gate), Who we revere as both Baha’u’llah’s Herald and His Twin Messenger of God, as al-Bab’s spiritual Dispensation took place from 1844-1853, immediately before the beginning of Baha’u’llah’s. Their birthdays also fall on two consecutive days, on the lunar calendar. This year, these are October 29-30, with al-Bab’s anniversary occurring first. (Historically, Baha’u’llah was born in 1817 and al-Bab, in 1819). There are also regular Spiritual Feasts and other Holy Days, throughout the year and I am participating in regular study groups and other activities.
4. Community Life- I take part in volunteering on community projects, with the American Red Cross and Slow Food Prescott. The focuses are on disaster response, home safety, school gardens and, new this year, food recovery. These activities largely define my giving back to Prescott and Yavapai County, for having been a large part of my solace, in the Fall of 2011. The American Legion’s Post 6 celebrates its 100th anniversary, in May, and I will have a part to play in that celebration.
5. Writing- Blogging and journaling have also been critical to my inner healing, even in the midst of my caretaking, in 2008-11. They remain an integral part of who I am, and so Word Press, with its being extended to Facebook and Linked In, remains my primary means of self-expression, through this year and beyond. I also maintain a pen and ink private journal.
6, Hiking- This has been a huge lifelong pastime, pretty much since I was old enough to walk. Since I’ve been old enough to take off on my own, without getting into trouble, many trails and paths, from my native Massachusetts to the desert Southwest, Colorado, southeast Alaska, Korea and northwestern Europe have seen my bootprints. This year, my focuses will be on further segments of the Maricopa Trail, at least two visits to the Grand Canyon, more beach walks in southern California, Fall hikes in Utah and the Navajo Nation, and several walks with Aram and Yoonhee, whilst in Korea.
7. Travel- This has also long been one of my passions, often dovetailing with hiking. The Korea trip will take me to Gwangju and Jeju, as well as Busan. Prior to that, will be a Presidents’ Day weekend visit to southern California, hopefully connecting with friends in Orange County and the San Diego area-with La Jolla, Dana Point, San Clemente and possibly Crystal Cove being on the itinerary.
June and July largely hinge on my little family’s schedule. Carson City, in late May, is a given, with a new extended family member having been born, this past week. A 1-2 week visit to the Northwest, Vancouver Island/Sunshine Coast and southeast Alaska is likely-as is the now customary jaunt through the Midwest to New England and back through the mid-South.
October (Fall Break) will find me in Monument Valley and southeast Utah- returning to Capitol Reef and Natural Bridges, as well as the Goosenecks of the San Juan River. Christmas, God-willing, will see a return to Massachusetts.
8. Diet and Exercise- Planet Fitness and our daily Adaptive Physical Education regimen have largely provided my continuity as a healthy physical specimen. Stretches at home have also proven critical, as I recovered from a posterior knee strain, over the past ten weeks. Things are 99% back to normal and I want to keep it that way- up to, and maintaining, 100%. I am cutting back on coffee consumption, not out of any pressure, but because my body tells me that’s what it wants. Less red meat is also finding its way onto my plate-and what there is, is certified grass-fed and organic. A greater percentage of my diet being of vegetables, fruits and whole grains is on tap for this year, as well. Yes, I will drink more water-that’s not an empty statement. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, including Lifelong Vitality Supplements, are a continual source of sustenance.
9. Study- My mind is always looking to keep current with advances in health, trends in positive thought and expanding my awareness of subjects in which I have scant knowledge- as well as continual study of Baha’i texts and new correspondence. This will continue, as 2019 progresses.
This is a longer post than usual, but there you have my year’s plan.