I am going through an “accreditation” process right now for work. For the first time in a long time I am reading books with a highlighter in one hand, writing papers and even developing a Personal Growth Plan.

The whole growth plan thing is quite an exercise. I have to assess things like my personal capacity and stage of life, receive feedback from influential people around me and come up with action steps and goals. It is a good exercise in humility to hear from others the ways in which they think you need to develop. On my own I have come up with quite a list. The challenge is to set a clear focus and reasonable goals, recognizing too that there is no easy formula for all this. I do always find there to be this interesting tension between being present to the moment and preparing for the future. I’m still looking for the balance.

One of the things I want to work on is curbing the tendency to procrastinate. In many ways I am a decent time manager, especially given the number of roles I have. Sometimes though…oh dear…procrastination rears its head and I put off that thing that I really shouldn’t. Every single time this happens I swear I won’t let it happen again. Ha.

I need to come up with some focus words and I’m convinced that there must be a good one that means the opposite of ‘procrastinate’ or ‘procrastinator’.  I’ve asked some of my wordsmith friends, looked around the internet and pulled out my beloved dictionary (yes, I love a good dictionary), but have yet to land on a word that captures it. According to the Urban Dictionary a definition of procrastinator is: One who will do anything, including spending an entire day looking up random words on urban dictionary, to get out of doing work. This habit often has a terrible effect on that person’s relationships, work, or grades. Ouch.

Since it would be rather sad if I put off finding a word that means ‘to not procrastinate’, I’m looking for help. Does anything come to mind? My personal growth plan and I will thank you.

I turned on the computer and was met with the horrible news: 26 people killed; 20 of them children. I think I croaked out, “oh God, no” and began to weep. I felt sick.

I immediately thought of my Cate. She goes to a school quite similar to the one in Connecticut, except that it goes to grade five instead of grade four. I stand in the schoolyard five days a week, kissing Cate goodbye in the morning and hello in the afternoon. I remember as though it were yesterday her first day of Junior Kindergarten. She seemed so small and everything else so big.

And now so many parents, just like me, are simply saying goodbye to their beautiful small ones. Nothing about this is right.

I have no idea what was going on inside of the mind of Adam Lanza. I am completely dismayed that he was somehow able to have a firearm in his possession. I mourn the systems that are so broken to begin with and just don’t protect people the way they seemingly intend to. I can’t comprehend how the families and friends left behind will move through Christmas. I wonder where God is in all of this.

I have so many questions and no answers. I hang on (sometimes by a thread) to the faith and hope that lingers in my heart. I believe that there will come a day when mental illness, anger, weapons, fear, misguided pride, injustice and murder will all be eradicated. Until then you and I get to be a part of ushering in the kind of kingdom that will one day reign, one where we recognize we belong to one another. Cate doesn’t just belong to me and Dion- she belongs to a much larger family. As Mother Teresa once said, “”If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten [this]”.

Today I want to remember.