So this is my first blog for Holidailies 2014. And I had noooo idea what to write about so of course, I consulted my husband. His suggestions were very telling:
Teenagers: Where to start? Nah, I am not sure I even have the energy for this one!
Absentee Contractors: I hear your collective sigh here…forget this one - let’s not get aggravated.
Home Ownership Headaches: Kind of goes along with the one above. Better skip this one, too.
The Holiday Season: Okay, but what? Fun stuff to do? Gift ideas? Recipes? Done to death.
Christmas Shopping Strategy: Too short. Shop & wrap until you drop.
College Visits: Check back with me in a year on this one!
And then it came to me: I recently heard an interview with Martin Short on NPR. I do not think I ever realized how smart and sage that man is. Anyway, he talked about his Nine Categories. These nine classifications relate to different aspects of his life that he evaluates regularly (like, quarterly!) and actually gives himself a grade. As an actor, his primary motivation for doing this over the course of his career is not to squander, nor get discouraged about, the months when he is not working.
A perfect thing to write about for this time of year! The beauty of this process is it serves many purposes that roll up into one big benefit: keeping your life on the track you want it to be on. No cat’s-in-the-cradle laments, no deathbed should’ve-worked-less-and-played-more regrets, nothing, nada.
At this point I can feel you begging me to reveal the categories that Martin Short so carefully and wisely crafted so long ago. Well, without further ado:
Self: Are you taking care of your mental and physical health? Can’t really do anything else well if you don’t do this properly.
Immediate Family: Your children – spending enough time with them? In a good, productive relationship with them?
Original Family: Siblings – same drill as above
Friends: As you get older, maintaining friendships becomes an effort. Have you kept up?
Money: Are you doing the best you can with what you have and overall being fiscally responsible?
Career: Getting more out of it than you are putting into it? Happy with where you are?
Creativity: This is one of my favorites. What are you building/changing/making beautiful/enriching yourself with?
Discipline: Also an interesting one. Taking steps to curtail a particular unwanted behavior or characteristic?
Lifestyle: Are you getting out much? Leading a life that is interesting to you and in line with your belief system?
So, my internet friends, how do you rate? A’s on everything but one thing? Easy to know what to do in that situation. B-‘s in all categories? Sounds like it’s time to do a little soul-searching. My hope is that each one of you who reads this sees one little change that you didn’t realize you needed to make before you sat down to read my little essay. That is my gift to you this holiday season. (OK, technically it’s a re-gifting from Martin Short.)
HAPPY HOLIDAILIES 2014!