That’s where my eye will be in hot pursuit of my 2020 vision. “I” am going to have to step up my game in order to keep my focus right where it should be….on me. “I” must think and act in ways that will keep my vision for myself clear for this new year. I’ve got to remind myself of a popular quote that if I do nothing, nothing happens. The key word here is “I” and many times we forget that it is until we’re complaining about some need that hasn’t been met.

It’s more than a few years ago that I set out to become self- employed. I recognized that I could use my skills and experience to bring more value to my life both financially and emotionally. I’d made strides in setting up the basics to my plan and I was moving towards the marketing of my business. People say that life happens when you’re not looking and wow, was I blind-sided! A wonderful but somewhat unexpected bundle of joy changed the entire landscape of thought, intention and plan.  Fast forward to one year later and first-time mommyhood combined with relationship problems led to unpartnered parenthood. My plan for self- employment was now going nowhere, fast.

I looked up long enough from a pile of toddler laundry to realize that my next step would have to be full time employment. When I looked up again from a parent-teacher 3rd grade meeting I saw that others were speeding by me on life’s highway. I felt that I’d lost my place in line so the thought was why bother trying? I was in that space where we become other-focused; more concerned about what others think than what we think.  Our thoughts are about what we can’t do rather than what we can. Our mindset allows for self-doubt and self-criticism to take shape which keeps us in Park versus Drive mode. We forget that the “I” is the key in the ignition, the one word that starts everything up….and keeps it moving!

I’d practiced the power of the “I” many times before, forming a teenage dance troupe, going abroad to college, leading committees, getting married and… getting divorced.  I, like many of us, thought that life just happens. I just never consciously thought of my progress through life as coming from my decision to put my hands on the wheel and actively steer in the direction I wanted life to go. It turns out that it’s as simple as that however differently we might think or feel. The new year brings into view unchartered territory and unexplored terrain. We could just stand there staring it down or looking back at what we did or didn’t do last year. We could decide to use the fuel that’s called desire for more/better in our lives, set our sight on our dreams and goals, power up our imagination and courage and put the “I” into gear. Vroom! Vroom!

Contributory sources:





We want to stay in the happy zone and to do that we’ve got to navigate through or totally escape that Blue Zone.

How do we do that? First, on every list we make, top it up with one thing we’re grateful for. It does not have to be some huge, grand thing. During the holidays, we tend to forget that the little ordinary things still matter. It’s keeping up with the ordinary that will keep us grounded versus keeping up with the Joneses.

We can remind ourselves that each moment of our day makes up the fabric of our lives. We can decide how we make it meaningful or not. If we keep our expectations of ourselves and others as realistic as possible, we’ll avoid that sinkhole called disappointment.

There’s so much we can give to ourselves that we won’t have to return in the new year. We can start by accepting others for who they are and that includes ourselves. We’ll enter into the new year, guilt free!

We can give family members the freedom to be themselves. We don’t have to force each other to fit into a label on the canister we call, Family. Then we’re free to savor the flavor of warm support and understanding which keeps loneliness at bay.

The best gift that we can give to ourselves is that of health and well-being. If we truly want to give to others, then we must first give to ourselves with rest and ease on our journey to the non-blue/happy me zone.

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Read more on Escaping… and other blogposts by Sallye at


Where am I on The P-Scale ?




  1. When a deadline has been set for me…
  • a) it’s either forgotten or ignored
  • b) the task takes longer than I planned
  • c) the deadline is missed
  • d) I manage to get it done by the last minute
  • e) Write your own____________________________
  1. If I make a to-do list….
  • a) it’s forgotten, lost or ignored
  • b) I don’t make to-do lists
  • c) I feel suddenly tired or bored
  • d) Suddenly I have a thousand more pressing things to do
  • e) Write your own_______________________________
  1. I do try to control or manage procrastination by
  • a) saying I’ll do better next time
  • b) blaming others, the tasks or situation for it
  • c) calling myself a laissez-faire free spirit, not anal retentive
  • d) saying “That’s just the way I am or how I do things”
  • e) some of the above
  1. I find myself procrastinating when the task
  • a) has too many details
  • b) is challenging and time-consuming
  • c) does not hold my interest
  • d) feels like its beneath my capabilities
  • e) none of the above
  1. I’m fully in procrastination mode when
  • a) I’ve decided to do the task later
  • b) I can’t be bothered because there are more important things in the world
  • c) I don’t realize I’m procrastinating and call it organizing
  • d) I feel like I can’t help myself
  • e) none of the above
  1. When I put off doing things I find myself
  • a) with lots of unfinished projects
  • b) feeling that I’m in control rather than others
  • c) with a million and one to-do lists
  • d) feeling disorganized and unproductive
  • d i i) wanting to give up on trying before I start
  • e) none of the above
  1. As I keep putting things off
  • a) it affects how I feel/think about myself
  • b) it affects how I feel/think about others
  • c) it affects how others feel/think about me
  • d) all of the above
  • e) none of the above

You Scored:

(a) 3 or more (a)’s = I’ve got the 1st Big A: Anxiety

(b) 3 or more (b)’s = Poor time management; really!

© 3 or more ( c)’s  = Say it ain’t so: the 2nd Big A: Avoidance

(d) 3 or more (d)’s = I need an Approach-to-Life Tune Up!

(e) 2 or less of a, b, c or d’s = I’m keeping life in balance  Yayyyyyyyy!

A Calm Matters Production 2007

To read more from Sallye Forth, go to

Contributory Image:

Driving Young


So it’s the time of year when the Snowbirds fly in and descend on us unsuspecting public like locusts on a corn field. And just like locusts, they look well fed, they’re everywhere and they’re going nowhere fast. Fast is not their operative word as they saunter about, oh, just picking up some butter and it’s 8:35 in the morning and the middle of RUSH hour, for the rest of us! Yes, we know you’re no longer working 8 hour days and you exert yourself only when you have to. We know that you’ve been up since 5am and it wasn’t because the baby was crying. Okay, so you have a doctor’s appointment but that’s not until 10am. If you just literally steered clear of the roads during the time the rest of us are getting the kids to school, putting on our make up in the car, dropping off the dry cleaning and stopping by the ATM for lunch money…’d get to the doc’s sooner. Yes, you would…..safer for you and for us.

Then again, maybe you wouldn’t get there sooner. After all, we think when we see the flashy red sports car with the hood down or sporty sedan that it’s someone, Ahem!, younger driving. We’re expecting that the driver will swish through traffic like a piranha after goldfish. We expect that we’ll be eating dust as soon as the lights go green.  So our foot’s on the gas, reflexes at the ready. Instead, it’s you, driving young but not youthfully. You’ve always wanted a sporty little number and since it didn’t come with the mid-life crisis, you’re going to rent, buy or borrow it even if it kills you….or mine!

Sir…Ma’am how about we both have our fun, keep things respectful and you come out to play or pray after 9:30am, shop to your heart’s content till 11:00, head home for a siesta from 11:30 to 2pm then enjoy your favorite activity [other than driving] until about 6pm? Do you think that all those hours out will tucker you out enough for a good night’s sleep? I know if we’d all agree on Snowbird Hour much like Happy Hour or Early Bird Specials, then you could drive as recklessly young as you want to be…….and leave Rush Hour to us working stiffs!