Intentions Review for 2019

Finish every year and be done with it. For manners and for wise living it is a vice to remember. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. To-morrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


My Star Word for this year was “Empathy”. The internet defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster says, “Empathy is similar to sympathy, but empathy usually suggests stronger, more instinctive feeling.”

Here are my intentions for 2019.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 6.5 lbs this year. Since my colonoscopy, on the recommendation of my gastroenterologist, I am trying to eat a minimum of 25 grams of fiber every day. Since fiber is usually paired with carbs, I’m not losing as quickly as I probably might, but I’m eating real food, not fast food.
  • I did well over Christmas. I went a little crazy over some of the cookie and candy exchanges, but all in all, I lost the Thanksgiving weight, and a little more.
  • Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit. – done. This week I’ve dropped my step count target back to 10,000 steps a day. The guilt wasn’t worth the extra steps.
  • My personal trainer has scheduled me for 3 days a week and I’ve been trying to walk a little bit, even if it’s only around the grocery store, every morning. Walking outside is not fun, now that we’ve entered “the Big Dark” of cloudy skies and/or fog almost every day.

Emotional Health

  • I AM trying to remember “empathy” in my interactions with people I meet.
  • I have continued posting Five Things that Made Me Happy Today every day here on this blog. I don’t do it for other people – I do it for myself – to remind me how much I have to be thankful for.

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading from fluff mysteries to more substantial novels. – Books read this year.
    1. The Library Book by Susan Orleans – finished
    2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – finished
    3. Becoming by Michelle Obama – finished
    4. Womanish Midrash by Wil Gafney – finished
    5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – finished
    6. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor – finished
    7. Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine – finished
    8. Silent Night by Danielle Steele – finished
    9. Autumn by Ali Smith – finished
    10. Winter by Ali Smith – finished
    11.  A Good Year by Peter Mayle – finished
    12.  Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley – finished
    13. The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman – finished
    14.  Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel – finished
    15.  Cleaning the Gold by Karen Slaughter and Lee Child – finished
    16.  Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley – finished
    17. Everything is F*cked – a Book about Hope by Mark Manson – finished
    18. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – finished
    19. The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – finished
    20. There, There by Tommy Orange – finished
    21. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – finished
    22. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – finished
    23. Calico Joe by John Grisham – finished
    24. The Nickle Boys by Colson Whitehead -finished
    25. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – finished
    26. Kindred by Octavia E Butler – finished
    27. The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck – finished
    28. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – finished
    29.  No Winter Lasts Forever by Fran Tilton Sheldon – finished
    30. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – finished
    31. Blue Moon by Lee Child – finished
    32. A Redbird Christmas by Fanny Flagg – finished
    33. Mood Signs by Helen Haught Fanick – finished
    34. Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman – finished
    35. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – reading
  • Continue to read the Washington Post and the New York Times for reasonably non-biased reporting. – I scan the headlines and read articles that interest me.
  • I subscribe to Mediumand read articles of current interest.
  • Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve. – Check
  • Creative Writing will resume early next year.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship.
  • I have encouraged Bethany to become an Earth Care Congregation, and I’ll be writing articles for the newsletter and doing Minutes for Mission regularly to help fulfill our requirements for that designation.
  • Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation. I’ve subscribed to several email “prompts” that arrive in my inbox every morning. The Upper Room has a couple of short reflections and/or devotionals every morning, and A Network for Gratefulness (the tag at the top of this post is from these folks) also gives me something to think about as I go about my day.
  • I’ve missed the last couple of meetings with my Interfaith Group. I’ll try to get back to it next year.
  • I post Morning and Evening Prayer on Facebook in Casa – An Experiment in Doing Church On-line on the 23rd of every month.

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones. – I still regularly attend the Gazebo Group (the folks who meet on Monday evenings for Happy Hour.)
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
  • Tend the relationships I have on Social Media. I’m making an effort to avoid posting or reposting political articles. I’ve removed Facebook from my “always open” on my desktop, and moved it out of my homepage on my phone and my iPad. Next year I will continue that.
  • It’s nice to have my younger son and his family in the same time zone. Unfortunately they are on the other side of the mountains, so travel there is not easy once the snow starts.


  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.
  • Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually. We are scheduled for a face-to-face in March.
  • Support #BlackLiveMatter, #Me,Too, #ThePoorPeople’sCampaign, #ClimateAction, and other social justice movements. – I donate regularly to MoveOn, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I attend rallies and marches if I’m available.


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