Framing my life… What does that mean exactly?? One lesson I learned from my dear friend Paul Roberts Abernathy is the value of defining words for your audience. So to “frame”, as defined by Webster’s dictionary is “to plan, shape or construct. To fit or adjust especially to something or for an end”… Now I know none of us can predict the future, but we certainly can get our New Year off to a great start by planning what we’d like to have happen in our lives. I’ve chosen to do that this year with “frames” as opposed to resolutions. I’ve spent the last 8 days working on and planning my 2018 in LEGO brick form. Resolutions usually last 30 days or less for most people, so I built “frames” which I plan to look at and focus on all year long.
First and most important for me is to keep my faith in the forefront of my life in 2018, and that goal is represented by my “Cross Frame”. It is a very different cross, just as all of us are different in many ways, but we are a community bound by our connections. I plan to enlarge my community and my love for God by making more connections and loving folks unconditionally. May we all make more connections in 2018 with folks who are different from us. I dedicate this frame to Paul Roberts Abernathy, Gayle Fisher-Stewart and Michele Morgan, who have all taught me a thing or two about faith and unconditional love in their quests for love and justice.
Next is my “Butterfly Frame”, representing the fact that we can all make changes in our lives. We may have been caterpillars but we can all become beautiful butterflies and soar. I hope to gain stronger wings and fly with more confidence in 2018. I dedicate this frame to my granddaughter Kendal, the most amazing butterfly that I know, and she’s currently raising a few butterflies of her own!
Next is my “Acceptance Frame”. It represents the fact that we don’t all fit into an 8×10 or 11×14 frame. We have bumps and curves and flaws, but they shouldn’t disqualify us from being accepted. I want to Accept others as they are and not try to force them to fit into the frame that I want them to fit in. I dedicate this frame to all caregivers, that they can accept the state of being of those they care for, and to my Mom Doris, who is different every single day and who I love more than anything!
My fourth frame is “My Calling” frame which gives me my voice to continue to inspire and teach those I’m privileged to speak to. With the love and support of all of the “pillars” in my life by my side, I pray I’ll always find the right words to share as I go out on the road again starting in January. I dedicate this frame to all the members of Loretta’s Angels, my amazing support group who inspire me to keep going even when I don’t always feel like it.
My 5th frame is called my “Scene Frame”! This frame represents all of the “scenes” that are important in our lives, places where we hang out and feel comfortable. But what would happen if we invited someone new into our “scene” or tried out a “new scene” ourselves, even if it’s outside of our comfort zones? In 2018 I plan on inviting some new folks into my “scenes” and going back to some of the ” old scenes” I shared with Tim. I also want to do more research into dementia-friendly churches and would love to attend a service with Mom.
My last frame is my favorite! It’s a series of little frames that I made into one big frame, which I simply call my “Life Frame”. I want to fill the little frames with as many experiences and adventures as possible, making the big frame a representative of the best year ever! I want to rekindle some old relationships and make some new ones. I want to see as much of this country as possible in my beautiful RV named Joy and record every second of my adventures. When you think of your 2018, who and what will be in your frames???
In my frame, I see myself spending lots of time with my family in 2018 because even though we are small we have overcome our struggles and shared great triumphs! We share unconditional love and put family first! I dedicate this frame to Kim and Kendal, also known as two-thirds of the Adventure Girls with the hope that we continue to soar, grow and love and live life to the fullest!!
I’m grateful for all of my friends and family who have helped get me through 2017, which wasn’t easy on some days! My wish for all of us is an amazing 2018 filled with love and peace! I know my angel Tim will continue to inspire me throughout 2018 whenever I need him most! Happy New Year!