Learn new tricks

Published 4:02 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The steady hum of the air conditioner makes me think of summer days ahead as I relax in my favorite chair. I am so relieved that the house renovation is finally complete. Now things are back to normal, or relatively so. It has been a busy day, but a good one.

Upon awakening this morning, I realized something was different. It took me a moment to understand that this unusual feeling was simply due to having nothing pressing to accomplish today. How deliciously wonderful to feel relatively stress free from a too-packed schedule.

Now don’t get me wrong; there are always things to accomplish. But today I actually felt that I didn’t have more on the absolutely necessary list than I could realistically do.

As usual things come up that are unexpected so I find that it’s always beneficial to have margins in place. This is something that I have had to learn because I’ve always had the tendency to underestimate the amount of time needed for a given task.

On more than one occasion I’ve found myself burning the midnight oil to finish a paper or other project on time. Over the years I have learned that it’s much better to allot more time than I think I’ll actually need for the inevitable delays. This one small habit can greatly increase productivity and calm.

Also, I have learned that when things do take longer than expected or something unplanned pops up it’s better to rearrange my schedule. Today, my trusty canine friend wasn’t feeling very well. Actually, she hadn’t seemed herself for several days so we decided a trip to the vet was in order.

Thankfully, Dr. Smith was able to see her, but we got some unwelcome news. A swollen lymph node called for a biopsy to rule out a serious issue. I almost cried with the thought of a negative report, but quickly reminded myself that it could very possibly be a totally treatable infection.

Mike and I had made plans for an evening out with our family. When I mentioned the situation to our sweet daughter in love she suggested a rain check. In the past I would have stayed with our original plan, but wisdom has taught me to be more flexible with scheduling.

Our little love, Missy, is snuggled in her bed while we grill on the newly tiled back porch. We have rescheduled our dinner plans for next week although Mike will be back at work and miss out. Hopefully Missy’s antibiotics will kick in by then, and she will be back to her playful old self.

Our plans are just that, our plans. But how much better off we are when we are flexible to the circumstances around us. I prayed for God to help me with time management a while back. I think I’m getting better at asking God to order my day in the morning, and letting go of control when he allows things to interrupt my plans. Thank God that with his guidance we can all continue to grow. Pardon the pun, but you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.