Personal Gifts and Fall Priorities


Red-shafted Northern Flickers

Red-shafted Northern Flickers

Fall officially arrives next weekend and I’m having trouble letting go of my summertime no-daily-schedule mindset. Without children in school it’s easy to coast into September and ignore the subtle seasonal changes. But many of our regular church groups and community activities resume next week so it’s time to begin gearing up and setting priorities.

In my more youthful (read that as ‘energetic’) years, it was normal to have things written into every square of the calendar — multiple meetings, appointments, and commitments of all sorts. I didn’t function well in that routine, but there  wasn’t much time left over to stop and plan alternatives. Retirement gives me the freedom to choose how I want to spend my days.  Being an introvert has meant I often choose activities I can pursue in solitude. At one time that would have made me feel guilty, but I’ve come to realize it’s okay to indulge my individualism (maybe some would call it my eccentricity). 

The things I like to do are generally those that I do best. Yes, I know it’s good to stretch myself at times, but I’m not too limber anymore. Instead of struggling in uncomfortable traces to do things for which others are better qualified, I’m happier looking for ways to make use of my own particular abilities, however modest they may be in comparison. I already have a couple projects on the go and am also planning to spend extra hours during the next month revising a manuscript and preparing for the upcoming Surrey International Writing Conference.

That may not sound very ambitious, but who said I had to be ambitious? After all, I’m retired! 😉


  • In what way(s) are you stretched beyond your comfort zone? Is it a good thing for you, or not?
  • Can you identify your unique gifts/abilities?
  • If you could choose just one activity/group/form of service to be involved in without answering to anyone else, what would it be?


Use what talents you possess;
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang there
except those that sang best.

(Henry Van Dyke)
~  ~  ~

2 thoughts on “Personal Gifts and Fall Priorities

  1. Mary Helen says:

    Good one, Carol. I love your questions at the bottom each time. I’m off to Bird Lake with a car full of “things to do” there, mostly heal. Keep writing! I enjoy your blog. mh

  2. sjlewis says:

    Thank you for reminding us that we need not be the best ( or the most nimble) of singers to share our solitary songs with others.

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