Celebrate! You’re A Work In Progress

My birthday was last week and I had a ball. (see photos below – and, yes that’s a tiara, cuz – that’s what happens when you take a dare at 50 and it starts a tradition!)

In the afterglow of a day of celebration and indulgence, I’m taking a timeout to look ahead. How do I get to this time next year wiser, healthier, better off than I am right now.

We are all works in progress.

Progress being the operative word. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying.

Mirriam-Webster defines progress this way: to move forward: to develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage

Listed antonyms of progress are: decline, descend, deteriorate, weaken, decay, or relapse.

We are either progressing or decaying.

At my age, I could “retire”. Legit, I’ve put in the years and am eligible for Social Security, (how in the world did that happen?) but I’m not ready to decay any faster than I have to.

Whether or not it’s your birthday week, you have to determine how to keep progressing so you don’t decay any quicker either.

We are all works in progress.

Progress being the operative word. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying.

7 ways to keep your work in progress.

1. Love God with all your heart.

Tell him your secrets. Read His words back to him. Praise him with your words and your actions. Every day, find a way to acknowledge Him, honor Him or partner with Him.

2. Love Your People

Be kind. Being snippy and sarcastic may make you feel smart or superior.
But … you won’t win their hearts or demonstrate Jesus to them that way, so be liberal with your words of affirmation and encouragement.

3. Practice forgiveness till you’re an expert.

You’ll add years to your life by forgiving yourself and others. Forgive yourself the harsh words, lousy choices, wasted time, inappropriate behavior, ridiculous expenditures, weight gain, missed opportunities and even that thing you think is too bad or too big. Keep short accounts and let stuff go that won’t matter in the long run.

4. Live in community.

Isolation is a lonely and vulnerable place. Choosing women to do life with makes it richer and safer. Ask for help. Share the burdens and the struggles. Celebrate the victories and the triumphs.

The richness of the relationships I have with my core group of women
provides us stability and support for all seasons and situations.

5. Take care of yourself.

Sleep 8 hours. Eat something green that isn’t a jelly bean. Exercise a little. Write some goals. Save some money. Wear pants with elastic waistbands, comfortable undies and sensible shoes.

6. Have some fun.

Listen to music. Dance in the kitchen. Bake a cake and eat it. Plan an adventure. Visit a distant relative, or a museum, or the Football Hall of Fame.

7. Celebrate life and be glad you’re a work in PROGRESS!

I’d love to hear what your best strategy is to avoid decay and continue to make progress. Leave me a comment below.

Prayer: Lord, it’s so easy to coast. It’s so easy just to turn on the tv and veg out. It’s so easy to say I worked hard enough, served enough, done enough and sit down. It takes a lifetime to really know you and learn to love you with all my heart. Coax me to keep being a work in progress – In Jesus Name amen.