Looking Back, Looking Forward

by | Dec 5, 2023

December 2023

As the holiday season approaches I’m determined to be chill and not too wound up about everything having to be perfect. This plan involves lots of deep breathing and getting enough sleep.   Also, what will 2024 bring? On a personal level, can I set some intentions and then see if I can use them as a guide for the coming year?                     

Currently Obsessed With

My Bird Bath

It was a struggle but I set up a bird bath dripper gadget, since birds like moving water. For days, maybe even weeks, nothing happened. What a waste of money and time, what an aggravation, I thought.


Not a great photo (and the bird bath is dirty!) but imagine droplets coming from the nozzle. Trust me, birds LOVE it!

But NOW!!!  My birdbath is hopping! Busiest bird hang out in the neighborhood and I don’t have to keep refilling it (like with the bird seed, I mean). Give it a try! Tell me if it worked for you, too.

Before and After

This is the time of year people begin to review the last 12 months. I am in the process of collecting family photos for the year for my annual family calendar. This forces me to look back over the whole year, which is a good exercise. It’s easy to forget or gloss over things you’ve done or places you’ve been once they are past. 

In the same spirit, I’m trying hard to remember to take before and after photos of projects, whether in the garden, or the house, and even with my writing. I’ve realized recently that it helps to appreciate your progress if you have a snapshot of where you started.

How many times have you finished something and then dismissed the accomplishment because it didn’t look particularly different. But what would happen if you had a before and after? I think your feelings about your accomplishment would be a lot more positive. Give it a try!

Writing Tip

This definitely would work with a manuscript. One of the best presentations I ever watched involved an author showing us early version of her work and then several iterations along the way. Powerful stuff. 

Dig out an early version of something you are working on. Sit with it and see how and where your work has changed. It will give you momentum to keep going, I think.

Embracing Cold and Dark Times

Me to myself: “It is coming on to winter. Deal with it. Fifty degrees is not so cold that you have to stay inside. Get out. Walk a friend’s dog. Appreciate sunsets. Wear another layer.”

A friend’s dog. Havanese named Wally…

Check back with me in the spring and I’ll let you know how this talking to worked out.

Alexandra the Great book cover

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