Christina Cole Romance

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New Resolutions?

k2-_77d96879-c52e-453f-ab60-ca61b22078b4.v1I think my Question and Answer book is a bit mixed up. It’s only August, yet it’s asking me about resolutions. I’ve heard of “Christmas in July”, so maybe they’re thinking we should have “New Year’s Day in August.” It makes sense in a somewhat crazy way, I suppose.

Here’s the question as it’s posed:

What is your resolution for tomorrow?

Throughout my life, I’ve had a tendency to do things backward. I think being left-handed has something to do with it. Most people, I presume, use this little journal late at night before they shut out the lights and go to bed. Not me. My habit is to grab my journal early in the morning soon after I wake up.  Like I said, yeah, I do a lot of things backward.

So, I’m revising the question a bit. I’m going to think about today and what I’m setting my sights on to accomplish.


First on the agenda is a bit of housecleaning. Daughter Liz and her husband are moving to California later this month. Before she leaves, she wants to visit with family. She lives about two hours away from us now, and she’ll be driving up early on Friday morning, spending the night here, and then visiting with her sisters nearby. She wouldn’t care if I cleaned house or not, and if the guest room is a bit messy, it wouldn’t bother her in the least. As long as she gets some of Mom’s cooking — and a few popsicles — she’ll be happy. All the same, I want to straighten things up a bit, sweep the floors, and do a little dusting and polishing.

Second on my “to-do” list is writing. I have two more western historical romances under contract with Secret Cravings Publishing, and deadlines have a way of sneaking up. I’m currently working on The Sheriff Wore Skirts, and I’ve reached the point in the process where things are coming together, ideas are developing, and sitting down to write each day is wonderfully fun.

Third will be cooking. Today I’m planning one of my personal favorites. Salmon patties with creamed peas and potatoes. I’ll probably serve it with a spicy tomato drink and toss up a green salad, too. Hurry, dinnertime! I’m hungry already.

Of course, I’m hungry now because I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. I slept late this morning — almost 5 AM. My husband didn’t wake me until he was ready to head out the door. But he did leave breakfast for me. So now that I’ve checked my Question and Answer book and have officially got this day under way, I’m going to go grab a bite to eat.

Happy Wednesday

What’s YOUR resolution for today?

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Get Rid of It!

“Junk accumulates to the amount of available space.”

My husband often tells me this, and despite my best efforts at staying organized, I have to admit, he’s usually right. No matter how many times I straighten my office or organize the desk drawers, it’s not long before the clutter returns.

“It’s not junk,” I protest.

Tiny Pup

Tiny Pup sits atop my pencil jar and guards my writing desk. He’s about 2 inches tall…but I like to think he’s got a big bark. So far, nobody has ever taken anything from my desk, so he seems to be doing his job.

Truly, it’s not. Looking at my desk this morning, I see lots of useful items. A pen, of course. A stapler. Photo paper. Drawing pencils. A few books. My breakfast dishes. Scraps of paper with scribbled notes — reminders to myself about things I need to do. Rubber bands. A tiny stuffed puppy. A tape measure, some paper clips, and…oh, there’s that flash drive I thought I’d lost!

Well, all right. I’ll admit it. Maybe some of it is junk. Most of it is useful, but in truth, it doesn’t need to be scattered out across my desk. I can spend a little time putting things away and quickly de-clutter my desktop.

What about the rest of the junk in my office? I have old magazines, bottles of essential oils, calendars from years gone by, and stacks of newspapers. I have art supplies, CDs, and a dozen colorful folders containing notes for stories — some in progress, some still in my head.

Is that a Nook I see poking out from the shelf? And do I really need all those computer games? What about all those birthday, holiday, and anniversary cards I’ve saved over the years? Do I really want to keep them?

Decisions, decisions.

From time to time, we have to get rid of old things, if only to make room for the new. For me, it’s never easy to part with possessions. Everything that comes into our home has a story; everything creates memories.

All the same, sometimes something’s got to go. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be going through closets, cleaning off the bookshelves, sorting through stacks of history magazines, and re-organizing my kitchen cabinets. Old clothes we no longer wear will be given to a thriftshop. Old books will go to the used book store. As painful as it will be, I’ll have to pitch out those old magazines, and the assorted odss and ends from the kitchen — cups whose saucers have mysteriously disappeared, containers whose lids have been swept into black holes — well, those will probably also end up in the trash heap.

Once I’ve gone through the house and cleared up a bit of space, I will feel better. Yes, gradually the junk will accumulate once more, and by next summer, I’ll once again be wondering where it all came from and trying to figure out what to do with it all. And once again my husband will remind me that junk does, indeed, accumulate to the amount of available space.

All of this is exterior work, of course. But what about the interior spaces of our lives? What about the clutter and needless junk that accumulates inside our minds? We carry around a lot of negative thoughts and ideas. They don’t help us in any way. Instead, they hinder us.

Those old beliefs — like the old, broken dishes in the cabinet — have got to go. The best place for them is on the rubbish heap. We tell ourselves a lot of lies, you know. For some reason, it seems to be human nature for us to latch on to the slightest things and turn them into what we perceive as undeniable truths about ourselves.

We say we’re lazy, we’re not smart enough, we’re not good enough, we’ll never succeed, nobody likes us, nobody believes in us, nobody cares. On and on we go. We tell ourselves these lies so many times that all too soon we begin to believe them.

Let’s stop! Out with the clutter in the kitchen, the closets, the drawers of the desk…and out, too, with the clutter in our heads and hearts. All the negative thoughts, all the painful emotions, and all those lies we’ve shoved into our brain can be gathered up, swept out, and thrown away.

Yes, like household clutter, some may return. Keeping our interior spaces clean and free from unnecessary clutter is as much an on-going process as any other sort of housekeeping. It’s a day to day process of evaluating our thoughts, determining which ones are truthful, useful, and effective for us, and which ones aren’t worth keeping.


I’m getting rid of garbage today.

How about you?