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Good advice

Posted by joeabbott on August 17, 2020

I don’t have a big following on this blog, mostly family: it’s the reason I changed the subtitle to Letters home to mom. And, honestly, I’m not trying to change the world, make a buck, or even educate/inspire others with my small stories; I guess I’m just sharing in a fairly public way the small doings of a little, comfortable life. But, I do recognize a few regular visitors and I always take a look into what they’re saying on their blogs when they let me know they’re watching (by dropping a “like”). And, recently, I read a post from a reader I’ve seen before and I thought she had some pretty good advice … so, like I do with all good things I stumble across, I’m stealing it.

Her first tip was Set small, attainable goals. This simple bit of advice feels important without the weight of obligation or the pain to keep pushing. On my last hike my feet were sore and I was a bit disgruntled as we had some route-finding problems but on the way back to the car we detoured up another peak. This was a small, attainable goal. I didn’t plan out for weeks and with the destination being directly off the homebound trail it might seem like it’s a bad example for setting a small but attainable goal, and yet the drive to push myself just a bit was right there. Perhaps this was more of a mental challenge than physical, but I like this because it reminds me not to just keep doing something I know I can do … but to do something just a bit outside my comfort zone.


The second tip was Be realistic. Not just great advice when risk to your physical well-being plays into your decisions, but also important when you you need to set limits to avoid demoralization due to falling short of a goal. For me this advice manifests itself best in projects around the house. There’s so much that needs to be done when you move into a new place and want to make it yours, but I remind myself I have a fulltime job, we have projects that are getting done, and I live in an area that’s screaming to be explored and enjoyed! If those moving boxes don’t get emptied this week I’ll still be fine. Really. Yes, I want to tidy things up and get my stuff out of boxes, bit I’m being realistic and understand that some things will fall to a lower priority than other more important stuff (even relaxing or fun stuff) in my life.

The final words of wisdom were the most important: Be grateful. Maybe this advice echoed loudest for me because I honestly believe in its importance; it’s the reason I finished my last blog post reminding myself to appreciate what my mind and body can do … not the minor failure of messing up route finding. It’s easy to remember this advice when your feet are stretched out and you’re sitting atop something, and just a bit harder when you’re laboring for another step to get up that mountain. But whenever you find gratitude, I hope you can recognize its importance …whether you’re climbing physical mountains or some mental challenge.

The writer of these tidbits of advice was far more eloquent and had better examples than I … and you can read her post here:Going the distance. She’s inspirational and a bit more so when you realize she’s not a 25yo college kid with unlimited time and energy. I hope you can enjoy some of her posts in the days to come … I know I will continue to!

Thanks for dropping by.

3 Responses to “Good advice”

  1. Fran/Mom said

    Excellent, Joe. For quite a while now I end each day by writing down one or two things that I plan to “get off my mental list” the following day. Maybe just list one or two “parts” of the job in mind. (Being Realistic…) And I put the note right on my K counter. Once I’ve “committed” to it, it’s gotta be done. And I’m usually so surprised at how easily.
    I also do #3 each day – ‘have a beautiful “Gratitude Journal” I bought at an antique shop, so its a pleasure just to see it there. Monday’s entry was “I Am Grateful for the lovely brunch with Dana @ Mon Petit Cheri in Stillwater, and the boat ride with Neil & Dana & Toby, Jay’s little pup that they are pup-sitting for 4 days while Jay’s family enjoys the North Shore.:
    On Saturday I was grateful that I’d bought new grass clippers at Beisswenger’s, instead of putting up with the dull, ancient ones I’ve had for ages. The new ones made clipping actually FUN!
    And so it goes….

    • joeabbott said

      Lovely sentiments … I see where my commitment to gratitude comes from. 🙂 I’m a bit more lazy with setting attainable goals and being realistic … seems I bumble through things, fortunate for a good partner and having a healthy apportion of luck.

  2. I started a gratitude journal years ago and still write in it almost daily. When you can be appreciative it send an energy to those you come in contact with. This is science based and what you get back is way bigger than what you set forth. It’s like a miracle. Yes, being grateful can help bring about miracles.

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