Tag Archives: Goals

Goals for Life

Me and Baxter Puppers

I was reading an article the other day about living your life to the fullest. It was geared towards middle aged people, but it still hit home for me. Here is a link to the article although it is not required reading to appreciate this post. https://www.marcandangel.com/2023/03/14/4-little-things-that-will-matter-a-lot-more-to-you-in-40-years/

I suppose the information is even more pertinent to me because I likely have less years left than the average middle-aged person. I still feel young and do the activities I have always done. I don’t have many aches and pains compared to what I hear from others. (Except for that knee I hurt a few years ago and it is mostly an occasional inconvenience.) But still. I am 60 years old. It is a biological fact that I have less years remaining ahead of me than I have already lived. Looking back, 20 years does not seem that long ago. Looking forward, that will put me at 80 years old. I must decide what is still important to me and do it now. This is the time to do the things that I think will make me happy and make a difference in the world. With longer life spans, I may well live past 80, but I need to at least get started with those things I still want to accomplish. There is no time like NOW! to take action.

I retired three years ago, and a few months before leaving my job, I made a Retirement Bucket List that I printed and framed. I wanted a plan for my path forward. Something concrete, to keep me moving. I have been less successful than I had hoped but some of this is due to the Covid pandemic.

And I have been successful on some of the items. The blog goal could be considered either way. I have 477 subscribers but earn no money from it. The most successful item on the list is number 7. We hike nearly every day that it doesn’t rain. We have covered hundreds of miles and seen many beautiful things that nature has to offer. This also leaves us with relatively well-behaved dogs! Because a tired dog is a good dog.

Other items are more of a work in progress. I am moving forward at a snail’s pace. I continue my dog rescue work. Not on the level that I had hoped to achieve, but I am still contributing and helping to save lives. Saving and improving lives must always be counted as a win. I started writing a book. Multiple books. I have chapters of different sorts saved on my computer. Still, they are something to work with.

Other items on the list, I have been less successful with. This tells me that it is time to re-evaluate and possibly make a new list. Some items I need to take a more in depth look at and maybe interpret them in a different way. The time may have passed for other things I wanted to do. I look at the dream of having a pit bull and think that I may be getting too old for this one. These are powerful dogs and I’m just not sure I have the strength to handle it anymore. Especially given the fact that I still intend to have multiple dogs and will be walking multiple dogs at the same time. There are still plenty of other deserving dogs out there who deserve a good home and would make me equally happy. We may downsize our pack a little. I think I could be happy with four dogs. Actually, it’s never that I wanted six or more dogs. There were just always dogs in need, and I was happy to have them around. Not everyone is cut out to take on some of the nutcases (and I say nutcases in the most loving way) we have adopted. Dan asked me recently if I liked having a dog as demanding as Zekie the Wonder Dog. I told him, it’s not that I want dogs with these types of issues, I consider it the price I pay because I love them. For the record, Dan loves him too. He and Dan are fast companions.

So, in the hopefully not too distant future, I may have an updated Retirment Bucket List to share with you. I’ve always heard that if you share your goals with someone, you are more likely to achieve them because you will feel accountable.

Do any of you have bucket lists? Bucket lists can make a difference in your world and possibly the world of others. And if you don’t have, or want, a bucket list, remember, you can make a difference just by being kind.

Contemplation on a New Year

Contemplation on the New Year

Today is the beginning of the New Year. I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. After all, it is just a day, the same as any other. Why wait until a new year begins to decide on changes you want to make to your life? It just puts off what you could be starting earlier.

If you need or want to make changes to your life, do it when you realize the opportunity. Say you decide in November that you want to lose weight, the most common New Year’s resolution. If you wait until January 1, you have already lost two months of change. Add these up over a lifetime. You have lost years of improvement.

New Year’s Day is an arbitrary date on the calendar. It shouldn’t hold sway over the way we live our lives. We are free to change the path of our lives at any time. Readjust our sails at will. It takes time to realize the benefit of change and the sooner you start, the sooner you will notice a difference.

On the other hand, if you find change hard and need an impetus like the new year to get you moving, charting a better path at any time is better than not at all. If you fancy a symbol like a new year to motivate you, the time is NOW. Make your lists and goals and get started! If you find this overwhelming, remember that a tiny change to the sail on a boat results in a huge change in direction after a bit of time. You are in charge of your life. Take control. Make it something you are proud of.

And if you miss the new year to start on your goals, or your plans go awry, do not despair. The date was arbitrary. You can begin at any time or start again as needed. Tiny changes add up. Spend some time in contemplation and make your goals good ones. The thoughts you put in your mind will guide and change your life.

Here is the post from last New Year’s. Welcome 2020, Happy New Year! Wow, life seemed much simpler then, before we had even an inkling of the pandemic to come. Never forget to enjoy where you are. And never fear, this pandemic will pass and life will be normal again. Although we will probably only see it as normal in retrospect!

Blessings, peace, and good health to you, my readers!

Lights Out

This evening was our last class of Therapy Dog Training for this school year. It’s nice to have that evening free now, but I’ll miss my students.

In fact, I was debating if I wanted to make that kind of time commitment again, but I so enjoyed the students, and especially the dogs, that I think I will. Especially since the goal is so worthwhile.

Shelby is posing with one of the class props that the Animal Science kids use. This was just before our final “lights out “.

10,000 Steps

Someone who loves me got me a Fitbit for Christmas. I have to admit, I am having fun with it. I thought I was fairly active and would have no trouble getting my 10,000 steps. The first day I had to charge it and set it up after spending the day away from home so didn’t get far. It logged 45 steps. 

Ok, I thought, tomorrow I’ll reach 10,000 steps, no problem. I made it to 8,454 steps and this included a walk,  albeit one cut short by rain. And I was off work. And the second full day, I got in 8,190 steps. Ok, so I can see the need for this device to make sure you get enough exercise. 

Today though,  I did it! Over 10, 000 steps and I still have two more hours before bedtime. 

Shelby thinks this new contraption is pretty awesome. She got an extra walk out of the deal. Now, to see what tomorrow brings. 

Casting A Stone


Last week was a sad one. A dear friend of mine named Becky lost her battle with cancer. She will be missed by many because she was quite an impressive lady. The rest of this story is going to be upbeat because that’s what Becky would have wanted. That’s just who she was.

You never went away from time spent with Becky without feeling better about yourself and the world in general. She had this Pollyanna view of the world and she believed so hard that we all wanted to be a part of that vision. Her’s wasn’t an idle vision. She did realize that as part of being human, we all need help. And that’s where she went into action. She would roll up her sleeves and help. People, animals, you name it and she wanted to be part of the solution. She was there for people, family,  dear friends,  or acquaintances, often even strangers. She would show up with a gift of food, an offer of transportation, a shoulder to cry on. She would see a need and fill it. And she would do so joyfully or commiserate with you. Whatever you needed, she provided. Becky was one of the most selfless people I have known. I am fortunate to have called her friend.


Many of Becky’s interests paralleled my own. Of course this means they involved dogs! I met her through my, new at the time, husband. They were friends from church. I hadn’t known Becky for too many months when she told me that between us she thought we could start a 4-H Petpals group. This is an animal assisted therapy group, kind of like therapy dogs but employing other types of animals too. Her daughter Rachel was also a founding member of our Petpals group. She had Rachel helping and working with us every step of the way. (Rachel is also a wonderful human being -she learned from the best. Like mother, like daughter. But that is a story for another day.) So we all had dogs certified to visit residential care facilities and some of “our kids” had rabbits that visited too. Previously if someone had told me that I would be involved as a 4-H advisor and supervising visits between pets, kids, and residents, I would have responded “Say what?” But Becky suggested it and I believed it was possible. Not too mention that meant I got the added benefit of spending time with her. She had that effect on people. And you know what? She was right. She went around spreading her special brand of magic, making others believe too. And more often than not, people rose to the occasion.

Becky also became a Professional Certified Dog Trainer. She helped a friend of mine with dog training issues. At no cost of course. She helped local rescues train their dogs so that they would be more adoptable. She and her family raised several dogs for seeing guide dog groups. She was involved with training for the Cell Dog programs in correctional facilities. She spread love to the people as she went about her work too. All the 4-H kids knew she cared about them. The seniors and kids that were visited knew her sincere and  caring ways. The folks in the dog program in jail were recipients of her thoughtfulness from magazines she saved for them to her kind, listening ear.

And Becky was involved in so much more. Church groups and causes, school events, sporting events, local issues, veteran’s events, and too many more to list. I’m sure that I don’t even know all the causes and people she helped. And through it all, she was a caring and thoughtful mother.

And when Becky was diagnosed with her illness, do you think it slowed her down? She may have reprioritized her life to take advantage of what was most important to her but she kept on going and doing those things. She continued to help others. She still volunteered and found ways to brighten the days of others. Over the past year she sent me a thinking of you card, shared a small gift, and sent inspirational emails. I’m sure she did the same for other friends too.

Memories of my friend make think of the following quote from Mother Teresa. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” It’s more like my friend cast a large rock into the waters with the number of lives that she touched.

I hope that as my tribute to my friend,  I can make the world just a little bit better by showing care and compassion to others. She’s a hard act to follow but she makes me want to leave the world a better place too.

Bravo, my friend.