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Mrs. T's Opinion
Reader Beware ... I say what I think!

Happy New Year 2011!!!!!!!!! The beginning of a New Year ... the first day of the rest of your life ... time to ring out the old and ring in the new.

What are you doing to ring out the old? Personally, I’ve started a physical and mental version of "Spring Cleaning". In the school and in our home, I’ve started going through everything ... throwing away the junk and organizing what’s left. I’m doing the same thing mentally and emotionally ... cleaning out the junk and organizing what’s left ... that’s much more difficult than the house cleaning.

First, I have to clean out the junk. The things that I spend time on that is just time spent "spinning my wheels". Time that is spent during the work day that is not productive needs to be weeded out and replaced with productive activity. I sat down and made a list of everything that I do during my work day, and divided that list into three "sub-lists" - things I do that waste time, things I do that are productive, and productive things that I need to add in order to grow professionally.

I’ve made another set of lists ... things that I am emotionally invested in that are a total waste of self (sadly, this also includes some relationships) ... things that are of value (happily, this also includes some relationships) ... and things that need to be added in order to achieve personal growth.

Geoff and I have found two really great books that everyone should read, even if you don’t think you have "issues". They are both very good at helping to weed out the junk and get back on course.

One is "Rules to Live By", by Richard Templar. It is exactly what it says it is. If everyone followed the rules absolutely, it would be a nearly perfect world. But that’s always been true. In case you’ve forgotten the rules ... or no one ever told you ... this could help.

The other book is "Shut up! Stop Whining and Get a Life!", by Larry Winget. I absolutely adore Larry. He is a no nonsense, up front, slap you in the face with the truth kind of guy. I read a lot, and some of the books I read are on religion, spirituality, self awareness, and self improvement. His is the only book in its particular genre that I have ever nodded in agreement with ALMOST all the way through. The few things that I didn’t totally agree with ... that really couldn’t be at all applied to my own particular personality ... at least made sense from his point of view.

The Serenity Prayer goes: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. In my job and in my life, there are a lot of people who count on me to be there for them to help them to grow and evolve. My own personal Serenity Prayer goes more like: God, grant me the wisdom to constructively pass on to others what they need when they need it, the courage to tell them even the things they’d rather not hear, and the serenity to know that I have done all I can and retreat with my heart still in tact.

So, how will you ring in the new? Guilt, resentment, and bitterness keep us from being who we are meant to be. No one OWES us anything that we haven’t paid them to give us. We must learn from the past but not dwell on it. We must genuinely forgive others unconditionally ... whether they ask us to or not ... and move on. We must plan for the future but not dwell on it. We must totally BE in the here and now ... live every moment to the fullest ... love completely and unconditionally. We must do everything we do to the very best of our ability. I’ve been to enough funerals and read enough obituaries to know that tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. My ultimate goal is to simply serve life to the very best of my ability instead of expecting it to serve me.

Mrs. T