Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another Return & Report Update

For the past week, my tasks were:
1. Details and agreements to sell/lease house completed.
2. 30 minutes of exercise each day.
3. Spend 8 hours on off-line pursuits like drawing or crafts.
4. Decide garage sale days, begin advertising it and finish getting stuff packaged up and ready to sell
5. Research pricing for furniture to be sold and place ads on and
6. Work on the big pre-move goal.
7. Unclog the bath tub drain.
Task 1 is on track.  The details and agreements are ready to move forward with the lease-to-sell option as the folks who want to buy my house got a sad/sick appraisal on theirs.  I'm looking a huge loss but I still have equity.  They're upside down.  This real estate market is all around painful right now.

Task 2 went a little better this week.  I think I still missed a couple of days getting the full 30 minutes in but between going up and down the stairs getting stuff packed and ready for a garage sale this coming weekend and getting out to walk every day and doing some stretches specifically to help with flexibility I'm getting the time in most days.  I'm feeling pretty pleased about this, but I want to keep it on my weekly list for awhile longer so it becomes a solid habit.

Task 3 is another tough one.  Life circumstances left me with too much idle time to play around online and it became a hard habit to break!  I may have got the 8 hours in, but barely.  This one needs to stay on the list indefinitely!!

Task 4 is done.  The garage sale is going to be Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22.  I'll have quite a bit of stuff ready to go out but (shudder) may have to have another in a few weeks to get rid of straggler items.  I advertised in my Ward's RS Newsletter and will be placing ads on KSL,com, and Facebook as well as making posterboard signs to place around the neighborhood on Thursday morning.

Task 5 is a rough one...  Pricing, generally, should be about 1/3 of what you paid (can you say financial rape?) but people here in Utah are so tight they could back up to a wall and suck a brick out.  The brown sectional and coordinating area rug upstairs, for example, cost me around $3,400.  I've been asking $1,100 and get treated like crap for it.  No one wants to pay more than $100 for anything.  I wish I could just donate it for the tax write off and be done and not have to deal with rude, horrible people!

Task 6 is more personal than I want to share on the internet, but it's coming along right on track.

Task 7 is done.  After major plungering, the bath tub drain is unclogged.  That kind of stuff happens now and then in an old house.

Other things I accomplished this week, in addition to the above, include:
  • Went to the first goodbye lunch with Marcy and Brantz.
  • Finalized which mover to use.  The truck will be here on Oct 25.
  • Got my flight to Atlanta booked for Oct 31.  Hehehe... does Derek get a trick or a treat?
  • We made the plans for our first big adventure together - a 10 day Caribbean Cruise leaving Nov 2.

My 7 'must accomplish' tasks for the coming week are:
1.  30 minutes of exercise each day.
2.  Spend 8 hours on off-line pursuits like drawing or crafts.
3.  Hold the garage sale on Sept 21 and 22.
4.  Research consignment arrangements to sell furniture.
5.  Make significant progress on the private big pre-move goal.
6.  Start the liquidation process on all remaining assets so there's cash to cover car purchase, Oct mortgage and moving related expenses.
7.  Make a list of what I need to pack for the cruise so I can hold it out separately.
And though I've given up expecting anyone to follow up with me that reinforcement would still be helpful and welcome!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One Day That Defines Us

Every generation has it's day.  The day that lives on forever in our collective memory.  The day we will always know exactly where we were and what we were doing when an event unfolded that changed each of us.  Changed our perception, attitude, outlook and often our very way of life.

For our parents (and some grandparents) that day is December 7, 1942 - the day that will live in infamy - when Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor and brought World War II to America in a very much more personal way.  I remember my parents stopping, even 50 years later, to reflect on what had happened that day and to recall friends and family who died on ships just off the Hawaiian coast.  And it's right to remember.

As awful as the event was, so many good things happened as a consequence.  Young adults of that era went on to be the innovators with the dead-on hard working ethics that drove America to newfound prosperity.  They become known as 'the greatest generation' because they earned that title by sacrifice and doing things that had never been done before.  They set the stage for the accomplishments we enjoy today and we owe them a debt of gratitude so huge that it can never be repaid.  With so many of them now passed on it's right and good for us to pick up their torch, to remember and to mark this solemn day even if it is not part of our own memories.

My generation, so called baby-boomers and younger, have a different defining day.  For us September 11, 2001 is when our world changed.  That's when we can each recall with near perfect clarity where we were and what we were doing when news broke that terrorists had flown planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC and if not for the heroic acts of passengers onboard another hijacked flight, the White House.  Agents of hate brought their war to our own soil.  For many of us, it was the first time we really tasted the fear and horror of war.  And still today, those emotions are raw and so near the surface.

Events were happening as I was getting up and ready for work.  It was a day like every other at the bank when I walked into the office early that morning.  Then almost immediately I was called over to the reception area where a television usually played market news and a continual stock ticker tape.  As I walked up to the desk to see why everyone was huddled there I saw the second plane crashing into WTC. There was a moment of utter disbelief and denial and hope that it was some kind of hideous accident but it soon became clear that the planes had been flown into the towers purposefully as an act of war.  It was stunningly chilling to realize that America was now in a war at home.

Some of my next thoughts were for the members of my work team who were in training meetings in Boise.  They should still be at breakfast... Did they know?  What did this mean for them personally and as far as continuing on with the training?  In the end, their flights home were cancelled.  They rented a car and drove back to Salt Lake a day or two later.  Luckily everyone I knew, and their families and close friends, had escaped being touched directly by this event.  No one close to me had been killed or injured in the initial attacks or when the towers fell.

Yet, emotionally and mentally we were dazed and confused and angry and hurt.  And some combination of thousands of other emotions ran through our minds.  But there was no physical connection.

Or so I thought.

Yesterday, for the first time, I read this account of the day by my friend Mashell Jolley Anderson:  Mashell's husband worked at the Pentagon and was there when that plane was purposely crashed.  I bawled reading her account of the day.  I cried for the suffering and distress her family experienced and then I cried for a whole different reason.  Out of all this horror, Mashell has found something so positive that she can look back and call it a good day for her family. She learned lessons that we all need to know about what is truly important.  I encourage you to read her message, let its poignancy touch your heart and then make changes in your own life so that 9/11 is a good day for you, too.  I know I am.

And I know it is a day I will always remember.  Amid all the messages telling us to 'never forget' I think we sometimes lose sight of just why its good and right to remember.  The past can be an amazing catalyst for the future if we learn its lesson and do what is necessary.  So now it's up to us to make the consequence of these horrific actions something worthy of our collective memory.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

George Washington's Moral Fiber

Ever since President Obama declared that America was no longer a Christian nation there's been a bit of an uproar.  Some claim we are a Christian nation and others claim that was never the intention of the  'Founding Fathers.'  The history classes I've taken didn't really prepare to say much about it either way because honestly, I didn't know and finding out what George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others had to say themselves hadn't made it to the top of my very very long TO DO list.  Then today, in Stake Conference, L. Tom Perry quoted George Washington.  It was too quick for me to write the quote down so I came home and googled it and learned that Mr. Washington actually had quite a lot to say.

Some of the most relevant and compelling quotes, in my opinion, are:

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

"Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

"The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves."

"Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God."

"Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected."

"Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals."

"We are persuaded that good Christians will always be good citizens, and that where righteousness prevails among individuals the Nation will be great and happy. Thus while just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government it's surest support."

As Americans, we do not have a national religion.  Indeed, our Constitution prohibits it and promises us freedom of religion - the right to choose how and where we worship.  But a look at the principles underlying the country's formation and the ideals (while often not perfectly lived) of the men who took on that important job shows a commitment to the tenets common to all sects of Christianity and most other religious and philosophical schools of thought:  to act in all things and at all times with integrity and compassion and to treat others the way you wish to be treated.

So why are we having this huge debate on morality?  Have we as a people really degenerated so far that we have to question integrity, compassion, kindness and commitment?  Where is the glue that holds us united?

Sometimes I am truly frightened for the future of the United States of America.

Return & Report (and Revise)

Nobody commented on my post about some essential tasks I needed to complete or asked me about them during the week.  It would have been helpful if someone out there cared enough about me to keep me accountable and on track.  But you didn't.  I'm not going to allow myself to become my own worst enemy and let these details get past me and I'm not going to wallow in self-pity over the appearance that no one cares.

So, my 'friends' count this as your notice:  Either you walk with me or you'll watch me walk away.

How did I do with the 7 goals for 7 days?
1.  I did get the bulk of things packed up.  Planning to get to the post office Tuesday with them.  And there will be an additional padded envelope once I locate the last few items in the basement.  Gonna call it close enough. 
2.  In total, I got 8 resumes out there.  And one follow up.  Put a checkmark by that item on the list! 
3.  Got the mortgage payment made.  Woohoo for another check mark.  I like checking things off... 
4.  Some days I fell short and some days I got significantly more exercise.  I think it all balances out.  I'm going to keep this one on my list for more work but I'm rather pleased at how well I did do. 
5.  That big pre-move goal is well underway.  Thank goodness for those few people in life you know won't let you down. 
6.  The china cabinet is partially packed up.  I stopped working on this because I got the wild hare to see how much it would cost to have a full-service moving company move my stuff - and they pack it for liability purposes - rather than me doing it all and using PODS.  The initial estimates have the real movers coming in cheaper.   Pending the last 2 bids to be done early in the coming week, this task might just be outsourced.
7.  Off-line pursuits still took a backseat to on-line ones.  But I did get some time in doing enjoyable things away from the computer.  I'm also going to keep this one on my list for more work.
In addition, I managed to complete several other tasks that were equally important.  And that keeps them from appearing on future lists.  And that puts a happy smile on my face!

And my 7 goals for this coming week are:
1.  Details and agreements to sell/lease house completed.
2.  30 minutes of exercise each day.
3.  Spend 8 hours on off-line pursuits like drawing or crafts.
4.  Decide garage sale days, begin advertising it and finish getting stuff ready to sell
5.  Research pricing for furniture to be sold and place ads on and
6.  Work on the big pre-move goal.
7.  Unclog the bath tub drain.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

7 Days 7 Goals

This could just as well say, "The difference between your LIFE this week and next is what you do for the next seven days to achieve your goals."  So hold me accountable someone because if I know it can slide I will let it slide and then I'll be unhappy because another week is gone and I'm no closer to the life I want.

1. Package of grandma's things in the mail to my cousin, Sandy.
2. At least 5 resume's placed for jobs in the Atlanta area.
3. September mortgage payment made.
4. 30 minutes of exercise each day.
5. Talk to Helen about helping with my major pre-move goal.
6. China cabinet contents packed.
7. Spend 8 hours on off-line pursuits like drawing or crafts.