Monday, July 22, 2013

Keeping on Track - What is Important and What Really Isn't?

Goodness Gracious!! It's been 18 days since I blogged!! Where does the time go? Summer heat, 50th High School reunion planning, crises in an organization, The Ole Bull Music Festival Awards Concert, church events, supervising home repairs... that's where the time has gone. SO what have I accomplished?

1. Two new websites: and

2. A new concept for the altar at church: "Social Justice on the Altar." This Sunday, in lieu of flowers from my fairly-fried garden (where the major life form is weeds), I placed a model of a Navajo weaver's loom on the altar, along with two cushions woven by Anita K. Jackson.  The model loom was a gift from Anita too. Anita is a master weaver in Arizona who I "adopted" through the Adopt-A-Native-Elder program 10 years ago. I added an insert to the church bulletin, telling everyone about the ANE program, and saying that, rather than giving them flowers to look at this week, I am sending an extra $25.00 to ANE to help someone in Anita's community. You can learn more about this wonderful program at

3. Made the program and served as Mistress of Ceremonies for The 60th Ole Bull Awards Concert at Merkin Hall in New York. A fine time was had by all and the young musicians were inspiring!

4. Planned out the first 3 months of next year's Girl Scout meetings for the troop I co-lead.

5. Helped host a KidSave adoption event at my church (and baked gingerbread for the All-Church-Birthday Party).

6. Picked out tile, planned a pattern, kept everyone up to date on events in the home-improvement project and in my non-profit (The Spunky Norwegian Foundation), began to put together this year's program booklet for the Ole Bull Music Festival in Pennsylvania, volunteered at the library, created a storyboard and some preliminary sketches for a book for a friend, pulled a few weeds, did some laundry, watered the yard and garden, cooked a few meals, read five books.

So maybe that's why I haven't blogged, haven't drawn, haven't revised text for my book.

It's the "URGENT" vs "IMPORTANT" conundrum. If you haven't read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People you might give it a whirl. I've done all the really urgent things on my list. There are a few left, but they aren't imminently urgent. I have begun to work on several important things that will  be coming up in the next few months. I'm trying to keep them from becoming urgent. They are all important. But I have gotten enough of a space cleared that I think tomorrow I can get back to work on THE important thing: my children's book. Tomorrow I have pledged myself to do a new drawing, one of the revisions I've determined is needed before I can submit to a publisher.

I've also thought a lot about who that publisher might be, and - after reading A Corner of White - and the acknowledgements in it, have decided I may submit to Scholastic, through one of the folks I've met volunteering as Book Fair Ambassador at the Scholastic Book Fair at the school where I used to teach. She told me once she'd love to see my work. Maybe it's time. Most other publishers I see as good matches aren't accepting un-agented or unsolicited manuscripts. We'll see. But tomorrow will bring me one illustration nearer to my goal.

 To summarize:
      A. Clear the decks of truly urgent things.
      B. Decide what is really important.
      C. Put in a bit of time on future important things.
      D. Clear a day to work for a concentrated time on something that is truly important.
       E. Accept that much of what today or tomorrow seems  urgent, isn't important. Don't spend time on these things.

I know the weeds will still be there next week so I can clear out the driveway or my wildlife garden then. Or next month. Or next spring.  But tonight I have blogged and tomorrow I'll be that much closer to my Caldecott winning book!

Sweet Dreams!


  1. Thanks for reminding me that I have to read that book! I am drowning in a crazy to-do list! I also love that Native American Elder program - really thoughtful idea to send a donation that way! Keep up the good blogging! xoxo

    1. To-do lists are pretty essential to us all. We managed to reclaim the wildlife/butterfly garden this week. I'll post photos later in the week when it's mulched. Have seen tiger-swallowtails, spicebush swallowtails (which I thought were mourning cloaks, but just looked them up), cabbage butterflies and skippers. Now that things are cleared out, hopefully I'll see more. Repotted enough things today that I can now check off several more items. Maybe art work tomorrow!