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Making a List and Checking It Twice

According to the Christmas song, Santa Claus is busy checking his list – to find out which children have been naughty and which have been nice.  The list, presumably, is made by the Brownies and Elves who act as spies in the houses of children all over the world – that is, when they aren’t busy putting together all those toys in Santa’s workshop.

Meanwhile, you and I are checking our lists to see if we’ve remembered to buy a present for everyone named there and hoping that the items we put on our own wish lists will appear at the gift exchange.  And then, too soon, it will be time to turn our attention to that other list – the New Year’s Resolution List that some of us continue to make year after year.

I like the way Judy Bridges, founder and director of Redbird Studio, dismissed that list last year.  She checked her list from 2007and found that her goals and resolutions were exactly the same.  There was some satisfaction, she said, to know that she was still focused in the right direction.

I’m a great list maker – always have been.  And, like Judy, many of my good intentions for the new year are the same ones, with minor variation, that appeared last year and the year before that.  My biggest hang-up is the daily To Do list.  Every morning I construct the list with renewed enthusiasm, and then by noon have to face the reality that there’s not enough time in the day to do everything on the list.  Admittedly, that’s often because things that aren’t on the To Do list, like the daily Sudoku puzzle, have eaten into my productive hours.  

At the end of the day, the leftovers from the day’s To Do list are relinquished for another day, but the pile-up of things undone keeps growing.  Every New Year, and many times throughout the year, I restate my resolution to “get organized” and I attack the paper pile-ups that have become the nemesis of my life.  The lists are helpful to me, though – they make me feel organized; they make me feel like I’m “on track.”

So here I am again, approaching 2009, and my optimistic nature always looks at the possibilities – of all those things I can do, if I really set my mind to it.  Like our President-Elect Barack Obama, I believe that change is possible – for me, for you, for this entire country.  I still believe in the Christmas proclamation of “Peace on earth, good will toward men,” and I embrace the philosophy of that song, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

So there you have it.  I just crossed off one item on today’s “To Do” list – write a new blog for Hales Corners and Franklin NOW.

Wishing all of you who read to the end of this blog (and all those who didn’t) a blessed, peaceful new year. 

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