Friday, December 19, 2014

Getting my priorities straight . . .



After being ill in the fall, I had a lot of time to think and I am slowly coming to the realization that I don't have to do everything in a huge way.


Yesterday I was a little stressed because many of our neighbors were coming over at 7:00 p.m. for a planning meeting - the organizer of our New Year's Eve Progressive Dinner has some family issues and the rest of us need to step up our efforts.


I wanted to have the house clean and I wanted to bake treats for the meeting -I had the ingredients to make caramels, fudge, Christmas cut out cookies and peanut butter blossoms.


But, I also wanted to take a long walk with Steve - we are working on creating a new habit of walking at least 2 hours a day.


When it came time for us to go on our walk, I only had the peanut butter blossoms made 


and the dining room table set.


I almost told Steve that I couldn't walk with him, but I stopped and asked myself how bad it would be if I only had peanut butter cookies for my guests - Lulu wasn't in favor of the walk because dogs aren't allowed on the beach we were walking yesterday.


I am so glad that I got my priorities straight because I would have missed out on 


a garden of rock sculptures lining the beach . . . 


tightrope walkers practicing on the promenade . . . 


the changing sky 


as the sun hid behind the clouds . . . 


our neighbor and his daughter in their Santa hats celebrating her winter vacation - she teaches at the local college . . .


adding to my collection of heart rocks and sea snails . . . 


Steve didn't tell me how far the walk would be.


We walked all the way to the World War II gun turret, barefoot on the beach - in the end it was 3 hours and just short of 8 miles.


I was so exhausted when we got home that we called for pizza and I barely finished vacuuming before the first neighbors arrived.


It was dark when our guests arrived and no one even noticed whether I had cleaned or not.


The vote was unanimous - dinner and midnight champagne at the Cook's this year.


But, I am keeping my priorities straight for New Year's Eve - everyone else is bringing the food and I just have to remove all my Christmas decorations to make room for the 47 people who have been invited.


And, today made it Day 6 of our long walks- we combined a little shopping, walking Lulu and our exercise into a walk downtown - this time it was only 6 miles.


I am not glad I was ill, but I am glad that I figured out what is most important in my life.

54 comments:

Jewels said...

Good for you - it's hard to simplify sometimes but it sure takes a lot of stress away when you do! Your walk looks marvelous

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

You know what dearest Carol? I find that as I "grow up", that these decisions are easier to make. Priority making is smart, wise, necessary. Focusing on what is most important gives us peace as we realize that some of the details can wait. You made the right choice to go for that walk, because you noticed even smaller details that get lost, like that woman walking with her father. The rock garden and the artists along the beach.....these are the forgotten things. Bravo, and I WISH YOU A FUN HOLIDAY! I miss you! Anita

JoAnne said...

You are so smart to set your priorities on what's most important like your walks together. I really think guests care a lot more about having a good time and feeling welcomed into your home than whether or not everything is perfect ~ something I am still learning! I love all of the pictures of your sweet decorations ~ the little stocking hanging from the chair, your pretty tree shining through your front door and so many more. Thanks so much for sharing them, Carol!

Rita C. said...

Excellent choice, Carol! My husband & I walk almost every day together, but only about 3 miles (and sometimes that tires me, or at least my joints). We once walked nearly 10 miles on Hilton Head Island beach and STILL talk about the mirage of the end being in sight and how exhausting that was - I immediately slept about an hour after that venture). The hour is long enough for us - we catch up, solve the world's problems, and stay in touch with neighbors and our community almost every day, and we love it. Looks like you've already made your NY resolution - Happy! Btw, your home looked totally inviting, clean and welcoming as it was pictured!
Rita
Rita

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Great shots, Carol. I love the pillow on the bed of course. Merry Christmas!

podso said...

Wonderful photos and good news. Once you're made your priorities it gets easier and easier to follow them. I'm impressed with your eight mile walk! And it sounds like you have some fun plans for NY Eve. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the moments.

Things and Thoughts said...

Your home reflects the warmth of your heart, everything is so precious and beautiful...
Merry Christmas to you and your family Carol!
Olympia

Susie said...

Me too sweet Carol. Your home is always pretty. I admire your good feet and legs...that you and your sweetheart can walk that far. Yahoo girl. I hope my friends and loved ones remember me for kindness and love, not my clean house or food. LOL. Blessings to you, Steve and your family for a glorious Christmas, xoxo,Susie

Jeanna said...

This is a great post Carol. Congrats on understanding what is most important and thank you for sharing with us. You've inspired me once more, this time to re-think my priorities.

Merry Christmas!!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

What a fabulous place to take a walk! I would love to be able to walk that far. Your peanut butter blossoms look yummy and I love how you decorated the back of your pretty red chair! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Blessings,
Sandi

chateau chic said...

You and Steve are such hospitable people that no matter what you served it would be wonderful! And your home is always so charming and welcoming, Carol. I love your new priority of walking 2 hours a day on the beach...what a great way to exercise!!
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas together!
Mary Alice

HWIT BLOGG said...

Hi!
What a lovely blog you have! Lovely pictures...Christmas time and the beach! Love it!
Have a cozy evening...
Warmly,
Titti

111 LaLa Lane said...

Wow, Carol. Good for you with your priorities. I bet you feel amazing already, with all that walking. Your home and Christmas decorations are as beautiful as ever. I wish I had a smidgen of your talent. Good luck with your New Years dinner, I can't wait to see those pictures.

ANNE said...

Sometimes we need to get knocked down to realize what is most important. I'm sorry you were sick, but if that had to happen to help you to make decisions then so be it. Good for you walking for 3 hours!!! and I would give anything to go for 2 hour walks every day... I'll have to slot that in for my weekends. You are such an inspiration.

Merry Christmas Carol. Enjoy every moment! xoxox

Junkchiccottage said...

Carol,
So happy you are doing so much better and you have found the small important things in life are the best. You live in the most perfect setting to do your walks. Enjoy that is such a gift for yourself. Woooo Hooo you will host New Year's. How fun.
Kris

Doreen@househoneys said...

Sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious after all, like how spending precious time with our better halfs, enjoying nature, and life's tender and meaningful moments are more important than a perfectly clean house or freshly baked cookies.

Good for you Carol!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Kathy said...

Wow, 2 hours a day is quite a goal and I am so happy to hear that you are feeling well enough to do it!! I understand exactly what you mean about that self-imposed to-do list. I do the same thing and have to constantly remind myself that it really doesn't have to ALL get done!

bobbie said...

Congratulations!! And many, many hugs ~

Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG said...

what a wonderful gift you have given yourself...congrats on being courageous enough to make the right choice for yourself!!

Jann Olson said...

Carol, isn't it funny how something like an illness is necessary to teach us lifes simple little lessons? I am sorry that you were ill also, but you learned so quickly! I'm glad that you didn't pass up the walk. Your home is always gorgeous and the peanut butter blossoms were just a wonderful treat! Love all of your décor this year! Have a very Merry Christmas my friend!
hugs,
Jann

Connie said...

Hi Carol, It is so good to hear that you are walking and getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and the gorgeous California weather. You are a great example for me . . . I am trying to get myself into an exerciser mode. Eating healthier as well, but that is very hard when our neighbor is a #1 - A+ pie baker and she is always sending us over a fresh baked pie, LOL
Who is going to turn that down, right?

cathy@my1929charmer said...

After my surgery/illness i also came to realize what my priorities should be. I realized it was the simple things, things i love doing, cooking, decorating, sewing, knitting, quitting, gardening. All the things I don't' need to leave home for.Home, where my comfort and joy are. It's good to put our priorities front and center, they are so easy to lose.Glad you are feeling better.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am so glad you have learned this. I'm working on it! After the year I've had the toll it has taken on my health I know I've got to change some things in my life. Learn to say No, Not Now and No! Putting me a the top of the list is so hard but IF I just move myself up a few rungs it will be an improvement. I'm going to try to remember this as 2015 brings a new baby, more health concerns for my Mom and maybe a move? NO...no moving!
hugs,
Linda

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I am so glad that you realize this. I was worried when you retired and had so many lists of things to do on a time schedule. I learned the hard way - we have to slow down and not have so many to do lists.
Now I get up when I want to - take it easy and the look at my list and do what I feel like doing. It works great. I have to make lists or I forget LOL So if it gets done - great, if not there is always tomorrow.
Have a wonderful weekend and a Very Merry Christmas. Your New Years Eve party sounds like so much fun. Enjoy!
Mary

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

I walk everyday too Carol but my view isn't as beautiful as your beach!! Your house always looks so pretty! Merry Christmas!!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Almost forgot...enjoy your New Year's Eve party :-)

diane said...

Glad you are feeling better. Good for you for realizing your priorities .... sometimes it takes a kick in the butt to bring us there. 2 hour walks? Wow! That's great! I need to get back out there and walk. I was doing 1 hour walks a day and I did feel so much better then. Lovely decorations in your home and those cookies look so delicious! Merry Christmas!
Diane @ thoughts and shots

Consider It All Joy said...

Good for you Carol! Trying to keep our priorities in order during the Christmas season can be a challenge, but it is SO worth it! I love your little heart rock collection! Have a Merry Christmas!!

Art @ Home said...

I'm sure one cookie was more than enough for your guests. Good job setting goals and maintaining priorities, especially during Christmas! Walks are so good for you.

I'm sorry to hear about your health. I'm sorry I've been a bad blog friend this semester.

xo,
RJ

Sarah said...

Your table and home are so charming! I'm sitting here thinking about how wonderful it would be to have my morning walk on a beach. I need to up my walking time to 2 hours. I've been walking 1 hour and need more exercise. '-)

cynthia lee designs said...

Carol...sometimes we worry more about everything then our friends and guest do. I'm sure the cookies were just perfect for everyone. How wonderful to have such a beautiful place to take your walks. I hope to take more walks in the new year...but they might be on the treadmill if we get a lot of snow this winter.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!
~Cindy

Kelly said...

Gosh you're such a good influence! I probably would've post poned the walk in favor of getting ready for my guests. But you're right. Who says you have to have everything perfect and grandiose? Your home is so charming and your cookies were so cute. I'm sure you were a better host for taking the time to get out of the house anyway. I wish I had so much beauty around me when I went for a walk. I would want to take long walks too!

Botanic Bleu said...

How fortunate you are that you have figured out your priorities while you still have time to do them. Thanks for taking us along on your walk filled with beauty and fun.

Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël

Judith

Susan said...

Oh boy, I'm trying to do thirty minutes a day. Tomorrow I clean for a get together at my house on Christmas Eve. I'll try not to be compulsive.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I think it's very important to let go of the perfection some blogs seem to show... It can eat up our time and what will we remember comes the new year? "Last year I had a clean house"? Not what I want to remember of 2014! Have a nice Christmas time!

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Carol, what a wonderful place to walk with gorgeous views. Your home is beautiful and I know the cookies were perfect. Sometime doing less is more and your post about life's priorities is an inspiration.
Sounds like the New Year's Eve party will be special.
Enjoy and wishing you a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!
XO

Dawn said...

Good for you taking the time for yourself and hubby. I am like you and want everything perfect, but you're right no one will notice if it's not.

Manuela@ A Cultivated Nest said...

Good for you! Walking is such good exercise and you have the advantage of living in place with good weather and lovely scenery. It's hard to not do so much if you've been used to doing alot. I had the same talk with myself today. I had a lot planned that I wanted to work on (still unpacking) but who knows what next Christmas will bring so I'm going to enjoy the week with my family and cut way back on my "plans".

Merry Christmas!

Daytona Damsel said...

Kudos to you. Family time always comes first. And extra kudos for an 8 mile walk! I would of collapsed after the first mile. LOL
Debbie

Acorn to Oak said...

Sounds and looks like your priorities are exactly in the right place. Walks and enjoying life are most important. Simple is better. And, one kind of cookie is perfect. Your house always looks adorable too! Congrats on all the walking! That's awesome! Sounds like you're feeling so much better! That's great! :-)

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

HA ! Those are one of my top 5 cookie favorites so if I was a guest, and you'd made all of those other cookies, I'd have just eaten these anyway! :)

A beautiful post, and a Merry Christmas to you! :)

Cynthia said...

Good for you girl. I do the same thing with my health. That's my priority, it has to be. I'm quite impressed the amount of miles. You're right about the beautiful sights you would've missed

Cindy

Laura Lane said...

You made the right choice. Where on Earth do you live? It's gorgeous!
Thanks for visiting me at Harvest Lane Cottage!
Happy Christmas!
Laura

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Carol,
A valueable lesson learned ... thankfully you recovered from your illness and are back to living in enjoyment. Priorities are so important no matter how or when you learn to start living life to the fullest. Your home looks so very merry and bright. Yours is a happy home. Impressive amount of miles ... wow! Wishing you, Steve and family plus Lulu a very Merry Christmas. Sending elf kisses and love to you.

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

You are so very wise, Carol. Those walks along the beach are priceless, and once your cozy house is filled with people, nobody is going to notice a little dust in a dark corner. I'm trying to walk every day, but I really have to push myself to go out when the weather is harsh. You are so lucky to have so many choices of walking destinations nearby! I'm glad you're feeling better and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!
Vickie

Ana said...

Wise choice my friend. I should learn from you. I tend to lose sight of what is truly important sometimes and worry too much on things that are actually not that important. Prioritizing is a definite must. Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration my friend. Sending you a warm hug.

❤️Ana

lynn said...

your walk path is simply amazing, carol! and your home looks lovely for guests to me! merry christmas and healthy wishes to you in the new year:)

Rhondi said...

Why does it take us so long to get our priorities straight? Glad you figured it out. Good for you walking so far! John and I had the routine of walking 2 miles every morning before he went to work. Once we got out of the habit , it has been hard to start back again. We need to make it a priority. Thanks for the reminder!

LanasArtStudio said...

I love to keep my walking 3 miles routing everyday... and today raining second day in the row... so I will have to drive to club for bike spinning... but I prefer walking as you! Love you traditional decoration arrangement and make to room for more then forty guests... will be hard :) ... but enjoy your happy Christmas time and thank you for sharing your beautiful decor!

Kim said...

Wow, that is some walk, Carol! Sometimes it takes a little jolt to help us see what's really important, but I'm glad you're feeling better!! We do a progressive dinner on New Year's Eve also. We have had a lot going on here and this year we said that we could participate, but not host. Everyone understood, so this year we are just guests. It will be a little odd not to be hosting or preparing, but it might be nice to just show up for the festivities for once!! :) I wish you, Steve, your pup and your family a very, very Merry Christmas! :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Carol, I am so proud of you! Way to go!

And I pray you are feeling better.

xoxox

Sheila :-)

Prince Snow Farm said...

I am glad that you are feeling better! Wow, those are amazing walks! I am impressed! You are going to be at your healthiest! I need to think like you, and stop overdoing. have had a sad, sentimental holiday after the passing of my dad, but I need to get back to writing and photography. Wish I could happen by for New Year's Eve!

CatieAn said...

Oh carol. I can so relate. You want everything to be perfect and you make yourself weary trying to get it all done. This Christmas season started out so organized and full and then one of our nephew's became critically ill and remains in the hospital still. He is slowly improving but my sister's family and us decided that his improving was Christmas enough. We stayed in town and didn't even get to see our children and they were insistent we remain here. I still have presents unfinished after christmas but we are rejoicing in the small blessings every day.

Carla said...

Wow I'm impressed. I'm not so good at sticking to a walking routine. And I've tried walking with the husband and he has a different pace than I do. I need to get my little furry pooch Lilley to go with me I guess. Something always throws a wrench in my walking.
I guess I better try harder to get a routine going