Thursday, January 24, 2019

This Year Is Going To Be Different . . .

It's hard to believe that Christmas was just one month ago.  Seems like much longer ago than that to me.  I think I have successfully slowed time down again to a more reasonable pace.

Over the holidays I gave a lot of thought about how I spend my time.  I'm burned out.  I spent the last three years as Master of one of my Lodges--then a month after I got out of that chair I was right back in it again as Excellent High Priest of my Royal Arch Chapter.  I did a term as Sovereign Master of my Allied Masonic Degree Council during that same time period, Scottish Rite, Midnight Freemasons (over a hundred pieces between the two blogs during that same period of time).  Secretary of my second Lodge.  I'm a School Board Member.  The responsibility of being the Eastern Area Education Officer for my Grand Lodge turned out to be a much larger job that I had anticipated.  And I've had a growing interest in being involved with a church again--I've found one I like a lot that I intend to join in the next couple months (in fact I'm back into the role of "church pianist" this Sunday morning for the first time in about 25 years).

But do you know what I don't have much time for?  The most important thing I have--my family.

I'm always telling people they have to get involved if they want to make the world a better place.  But one person can't do it all by himself.  We have to focus on getting more hands on deck.  Too many Masons get into this boat I'm in, and they flame out.  They vanish.  They get to that point when they get tired of pushing, and don't feel they're making any progress.  That's because they're applying all of their focus on a hundred different things, and that's just not enough to move the needle on any of those areas.  But if that same Mason applied all of his energy just on two or three things--he'd get a different result.  He could make a difference.  Too many of us scatter our time and energy around like a shotgun blast, instead of focusing all of our time and energy on a specific target--like you would with a rifle.

My bullet journal couldn't have made this any clearer to me since I started it back in August.  In order to be completely prepared for everything I've had on my calendar over the last six months I'd have to work three or four hours every evening on top of a full day at my real job.  It's no wonder I've been overwhelmed and teetering on the edge of just quitting everything.

The way you fix that is you look at what you're doing--what's working and what's not working.  And then determine where you get the most bang for your buck.  In other words, figuring out what you enjoy doing the most, where do you see you can make the biggest difference, and then let the rest of those obligations go.

My calendar was pretty easy to figure out after I spent some time looking at it.  The last time I was really enjoying what I was doing and feeling as if I was accomplishing something was back when I was focusing my time on my local lodges, and writing in the evenings.  So that's what it's going to be this year.  Just my local lodges, and writing in the evenings--and in the past my contribution to many of these groups has been researching and writing pieces for their publications.  I don't know how I drifted away from doing that, but that's what I need to get back to doing.  These changes should give me time for the family, for my responsibilities on the school board, and time to become involved in the church again.

The great thing about a new year is it's a clean slate--a time to start over again.  But change doesn't have to happen as the result of a resolution at the end of one year and the beginning of another.  Every new day is a clean slate.  Every day is the opportunity to learn from the mistakes we made yesterday and move forward wiser and better prepared.  Every sunrise is another chance to begin again--and only God knows how many of those sunrises we have left.

~Todd E. Creason, 33°




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