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I have a longtime friend with whom I’ve had January lunches and shared our year’s goals for quite some time. This year when we met and I asked her about her goals, she replied she’d given up on setting goals. Because she is a highly capable, efficient, busy, I-can-tackle-anything kind of woman, I was surprised to hear her say that. But when I queried further, she told me that she’d given up goals in favor of a yearly “theme.”

“So give me an example,” I said.

“Well, last year my theme was, ‘Eh, this is good enough.'” I’d heard her say for years that perfection and precision had plagued her so such a theme for her really meant a lot!

“Okay, how about this year’s theme?” I wondered.

“This year’s theme is, ‘If I were going to do this the easy way, how would I do it?’ Last week I gave a dinner party for 24. I filtered the plan through my theme then took my own nice serving dishes to Maggiano’s and asked them to cater it. . . right down to the salad, bread, wine and dessert! All I had to do was deliver my dishes!”

“Wow! I’m amazed,” I replied. I knew her to be an excellent, demanding cook herself. To yield the production was remarkable.

So I’ve been thinking about what my theme might be this year. Something I can use as a filter. I tried on a couple of themes and don’t quite have it nailed down yet but I’m pretty excited about the evolving idea. Have you heard the expression, “The woman who can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer?” Something embedded in that expression has snagged my heart.

It seems to me that my life is really, REALLY full, blessed, rich, healthy, unbelievably fine. Yet still sometimes I find myself grumbling. I’m pretty sure that it ticks God off to hear blessed girls grumble! And so I’ve been trying to practice taking in all the “yeses” in my life and accepting them. . . without grumbling but with delight and joy and enthusiasm and yes, with gratitude. Especially gratitude for a friend who has challenged me to new thinking about goals and themes!