Monday, August 7, 2017

"Time Well Spent" Goals

*I wrote this post yesterday afternoon with the plan to schedule it for Monday morning. I just hung up from talking with Sluggy, figuring out her arrival time in Minnesota. I noticed I had a text from one of my sisters. My nieces husband passed away earlier this afternoon. While there is comfort in knowing he is no longer in excruciating pain, my heart is breaking for my niece and those two young kids. This makes this post even more important to me. 

On my side of the family, everyone is living more flexibly for the time being. I am sad to report that my nieces husband who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer back in early spring, has not responded to any of the treatment. The decision was made to focus on pain management for however long he has. He and my niece chose to stay with his parents, more help for days when hospice isn't visiting. The kids are staying with my brother and sister-in- law who has taken a leave of absence. DD2 was on call to help with the kids as my sister-in-law and brother may be needed elsewhere. She spent several hours on Friday, and rearranged a practice schedule with her violin partner to Sunday, so she would free up more time to be on call as the kids are spending a long weekend with their aunt (my other niece), uncle and cousins, for hopefully a bit of fun respite. A family friend is drawing up a schedule/rotation of what needs to be done such as caring for their home, mowing grass, meals, and other parts of life that just need to keep going on. Having a large family, plus a network of caring friends, means we can all divide and conquer, giving  them space they need.

 In thinking about what I should set for goals for August, I decided to focus on just living a good life. I'd like to get to September, look over my notes in my calendar, and say, "that was time well spent." For now, that means I want to appreciate every moment of every activity I do. 
  • I'm super excited to meet in person Sluggy, from Don't Read This, It's Boring later today. I'm one of her stops on her home route of her cross country road trip. If she is 1/10th as fun as she comes across in her blog, it will be a good visit. I spent some time on Sunday baking and preparing some food, a little tidying, though I have been pretty honest in my housekeeping skills in my blog, so I hope her expectations are low. I would have liked to take the day off, but I am in meetings until 1:30, and then have a stop or two to make on route. We haven't finalized a specific time yet.
  • As much as I get annoyed with my MIL, I am aware she does have incredibly lonely times since my father-in-law died. I hope that we make her birthday weekend next week special. I have a very cute picture of DD2 and my nephew that I'm going to get printed for her, but not really sure what else. I might order her mums from DD2's show choir fundraiser. 
  • DD2 and I are going on her first college visit next Friday. The next few years will be a mix of excitement and bitter sweet. I am excited to see her react to what she sees and learns as she makes her decision on life after high school.
  • I am working two events for work, the state fair, and the open house weekend for the unveiling of the renovated Minnesota State Capitol building. I could look at both as a burden on my time, or choose instead to view as an experience networking with colleagues and community, celebrating our home state. Heck, I get two t-shirts out of the deal!
  • I'm determined to get that first light of morning walk in each day, both for the exercise physically, but for the mind cleanse to start the day. Knowing pup will want to tag along, I'll not be bothered by his many sniff and pee stops. Several acquaintances have lost their fur babies recently, and I need to cherish every annoying minute we have him. 
  • Even with my budget challenge, I want to savor the simplicity of the meals I prepare, and use the time to teach DD2 better kitchen and budgeting skills. 
Other than those activities above, the rest of August is an open book, ready to be of use where needed. Keep your family and friends close in your heart. Life can be rough, but I hope by savoring the positive experiences, I'll be a testament of a life well lived.  

Speaking of the good life, I'd like to recommend a book to you all. It is quite old now, but I had bought a used copy some time ago and came across it recently.  Loving and Leaving the Good Life is Helen Nearing's memoir about her life with her husband Scott, after living together for 53 years, building  a life of self-sufficiency, generosity, social justice, and peace. Scott died at age 100 in 1983; Helen 12 years later at 91. I want to reread this month and bolster my mind set on what living a good life truly means.

Photo and book from



  1. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your niece's husband. How difficult for everyone involved.

  2. So sad about your niece's husband. How very fortunate she is to have a large family and friends to help out. The road ahead is not an easy one but it will be made easier by that support

  3. I am so sad to read of the loss of your niece's husband. It has been a hard year for you where losing good people is concerned. I'm thinking of you. x

  4. So very sorry to hear about your niece's husband....hugs all around.

  5. Life is so uncertain that all we can do is try our best to live it intentionally. I am so sorry for your loss of a family member. My aunt died yesterday, but she had lived a long and full life so rather than sadness we will be celebrating her life. It is so much different when it happens to someone young.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your nephew-in-law. Hugs and prayers for you and your extended family during this time.

    I love your idea of trying to live each moment and enjoy each moment fully. With some bad and sadness in our world today, we often get lost in the day to day stuff. I will also be trying to enjoy each moment, even those mundane moments that happen daily, and not complain about the busyness of my schedule, etc. Hope you have a wonderful visit with Sluggy-- I get to visit with her in real life next week!

  7. I'm also so sorry to hear of your loss and like the others have said, I am truly glad that you have a large family to help and support your niece at this dreadful time. Anna

  8. Very sad news about your niece's husband.I'm glad she's got such a wonderfully supportive family to help her and her children through it all.

  9. Thank you everyone. I'm a bit tired this morning and feel like I'd be repeating my comments so hope s group response is ok. Services are Thursday and from there, my niece does have as much support as she wants. I want to be done sharing sad news. Peace to all.

  10. i am so sorry for the loss of your niece's husband - it sounds as though there was a great support system in place but what a tragic time for you all. my heart goes out to your niece and her children.


Join the conversation. Your respectful comments are welcome. Spam and advertising products or services without permission will be deleted, as will anything deemed hurtful to others. A change, I moderate comments older than three days to be sure I read them all and stay ahead of the spam. If you're a blogger, feel free to include your blog URL.