Wednesday, January 18, 2017

On Being Intentional,-illustration-from-Alice-in-Wonderland-by-Lewis-Carroll-1832-9-2

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
 From Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

I'm thinking through these weeks in January about how I'd like to focus in on a few particular areas that I know need some shoring up. I'm not very good at making resolutions or thinking much about them after the first page of the calendar is turned. I'm also not sure what specific goals or benchmarks would indicate my progress, but I do know the direction I want to go.

So I've chosen a single word this year to guide me--intentional. I think this is a fluid word that I can use as a tool to help me stay focused on whatever I really want to change, include, or improve upon. For example, I've wanted to meet our neighbors when we moved into our new neighborhood. This was going well (and I've met some really nice people) until the heat of the summer moved in and I stayed inside instead of getting outdoors to walk. If I had kept in mind to be intentional about that, I could have walked at a cooler time of the day instead of my normal hours. Or when a neighbor down the street had a new addition to the family, I could have taken a baby gift. 

We have new neighbors who moved across the street a couple of weeks ago. I was intentional now in going over to chat with the mom as I saw her sitting on the porch. For me, being intentional keeps me focused. It seems to be a marriage between my goal-orientation and yet being open to spontaneity. I do think it's important to have an idea of what a day will hold so I know which direction to head each morning. But I've also learned to make my plans in pencil. God has a big eraser.

Alice and the Cheshire Cat, John Tenniel 1820-1914


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