Sunday, June 23, 2013

The view from the balcony

Every summer solstice for several years now, I've sat atop a hillside at a Salt Lake City park and watched the sun set on the longest day of the year while reflecting, and writing, about the year that had passed.

This year, I missed the solstice because I was making s'mores with my family on Friday night. I couldn't go a day later, either, because I was throwing batting practice to Michael as he struggles to regain his confidence at the plate. So here I am tonight, listening to "Sister Golden Hair," writing about life while watching the sunset. However, I'm not on the hillside, but instead, am typing from the balcony at work. The sun just dipped behind some clouds that will block my view of it setting below the mountains of Antelope Island.

I'm writing tonight, here, and not at the usual time and place because of commitments I have made. Commitments to support my family in any way possible. I gladly welcome these commitments with the knowledge that sometimes they won't be convenient and tidy. So perhaps writing this from the balcony on a delayed dinner break is fitting.

I'm reading last year's solstice post and am a little stunned how fast the year went. The year was great but could have been even better. Goals were met, but other goals weren't. And the boys grew up a year.

This past week, I've been thinking a lot about getting things done. I look at the last 12 months and am impressed with what I achieved but am still wanting more. I thought much about focus. I can achieve the focus needed when it really counts, but I find myself becoming unfocused or a little aimless. Sometimes, that's annoying; this past week, it became absolutely infuriating. So that's my plan for the next 12 months -- focus, accompanied by  goals, hard work, success, excellence, fun, achievement, organization, joy.

And I don't mean running myself ragged, but instead, being goal-oriented. These past couple days, when I wasn't sure what to do next, I forced myself to find something to do. For example, today, with five extra minutes, I looked through a basement closet I want to organize. I didn't have time to do the whole project, but was able to assess the job and throw out a couple things that we don't need that had been in that closet for years. There will be times when I need to step away from the goals I'm trying to achieve, and that's fine, as long as I turn my focus elsewhere, no matter how inconsequential or unstructured that focus could be. Am I tired midday after not getting enough sleep? Take a little nap, but then wake up and direct my energies toward where they need to be directed. Too often, I'm taking too long to refocus, and really, my new outlook is to not waste that time.

The sun has set, and the clouds are creating a little darker dusk than normal. Michael will start fourth grade this year -- we are about halfway between his birth and college. We are hitting the years before the boys become teens, years that will go by fast but are so crucial. The nine years for Michael and 11 years for Ben will be fleeting. The time is now to be at my best, to improve even more on previous successes. The cycle of summer solstice to summer solstice begins anew and will continue over and over. Summer, fall, winter, spring, and another longest day of the year, but this time, it's 2014.

There's no time to delay.  The view has been great. I'm ready to make it even greater.


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