What’s important now?

January 25, 2015 by Melissa L. Weber (@Melwriter, melwriter.com)

#YourTurnChallenge Day 7 https://www.yourturn.link/

Our Christmas decorations are still up

Today is one month past Christmas and I’m still looking at a lit tree in my living room. Along with lights on the mantle, a collection of snowmen (and snow women!) on a shelf, a few small decorative Christmas trees, and of course the nativity scenes in the hall and the family room.

We buy a live tree each year – I love the scent of pine during the holidays. (As our oldest son pointed out one year, it’s actually a dying tree, which is a little bit depressing.) This year I welcomed the Frazer fir and actually felt a great deal of affection towards it. I usually put the holiday decorations up in early December and put them away around the middle of January. I typically wait until I am tired of them. I enjoy the process of re-packing and labeling boxes. I  enjoy getting our “normal” decorations out, and the clean, tidy look that the house has after they’re put away.

I am fortunate to live with a man who believes that keeping the decorations up helps make the cold, gray Ohio January more bearable. More important still, I am fortunate to live with a partner who recognized my commitment to daily writing is more important than an arbitrary deadline for a household chore.

For the past seven days, I have committed to producing words for the #YourTurnChallenge and my personal blog.

For years, I have tried to live by the credo made known by Lou Holtz, football coach at Notre Dame and now an analyst on ESPN. The “WIN” strategy: “What’s Important Now?”

So instead of four hours re-packing the boxes today, I made a conscious decision to take care of more important things.

My next question: What’s next – now that it’s my turn?

Who’s your best friend?

January 22, 2015

Who’s your best friend? And more importantly, when was the last time you spoke to that person? I just got off the phone with a friend I have known since second grade (More than 40 years). I love her dearly. She lives about 20 minutes away, in a nearby suburb. We may go weeks without communicating, and it never matters – we can always pick up where we left off. I have several wonderful women friends – the kind of people who bring you food and send get well cards when you’re ill. I try to go to lunch occasionally, or meet after work for dinner. I read a quote once (not sure who said it): If you’re too busy for your friends, you’re too busy.

The same is true of family – parents, siblings, and children. When work prevents you from spending time with the important people in your life, you are not achieving “work-life balance”- that elusive concept. Even if you love your work, you will be a more efficient, creative employee if you take breaks to rejuvenate your spirit. And the people you love – and the ones who love you back – are an important part of your spirit.

We have had several older family members who have passed away in the last few years. They slowly declined, and then took a turn at the end so that we all had the opportunity to go say goodbye. I say, spend time now with the people who will be there at the end. When you plan the activities you enjoy doing, invite friends and family to come along sometimes. Be a tourist in your own town. Think about where you would take-out of-town guests if you wanted to show off – and then go enjoy those places and events with the people who matter most to you.

What’s your favorite tourist spot? A local museum? Arts festival? Sporting event? Make it a priority to get there this year with your best friend.