The Ducks of Life and a Year End Special – December 2016 Newsletter

The Ducks of Life and a Year End Special

Remember that song, My Favorite Things? Being a mostly pessimistic child I didn’t really understand the solace my mother took in these lyrics:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen  mittens….and on to

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.

If you’re of my generation or older, you can probably hear the melody as you read these lines.

Well, the past few weeks I admit to reminding myself of things that work, rather than things I can’t directly control. That said, before we get into this month’s topic, I will risk all by including a link to an article that says it all for me on the current political climate. Please feel free to skip it and move on to the topic below.

Leonard Pitts Article

Hopefully this will not lose me any readers, and I promise not to burden this platform with any other such opinions.

While thinking pleasant thought of crisp apple strudels may help a bit, I find that in times of stress and general malaise it helps more to re-focus on what matters. To that end I invented a system for shifting my thinking away from current problems and back to what I call:

The Ducks of Life

The Ducks of life are those things that form the basis of my well-being, overall comfort and balance. In an ideal world all those ducks would be in nice line following me, quacking happily. I would be able to carry on with daily tasks and decisions knowing that my ducks were all accounted for and able to take care of themselves for the moment.

The power of this lies in trusting that I have kept track of my ducks. It means that I can turn my attention to other issues, like activism or cookie baking. And I still know that the central concerns of my life are acknowledged and managed.

So what if one of the ducks is off in the weeds, about to be eaten by a fox? Well, now I have a choice. Before this gets too silly, I better define what my ducks of life really represent.

I have a list of the ducks and it’s important to remember that they may change order, and that sometimes one duck goes to the back of the line while others need to be hustled up front.

  • Husband  / Primary relationship
  • Business / duties like filing and email
  • Exercise
  • Parents  / Elder care
  • Home maintenance
  • Spiritual practice / meditation
  • General health / diet
  • Friends / planning time together
  • Children / communication
  • Travel / planning and saving
  • Relaxation: reading, knitting

You probably get the idea. It’s important that you include EVERYTHING in the list; especially the things you know in your heart have been slipping. There will always be at least one duck that is about to get eaten by that fox. But armed with your list, it is possible to shift things around and gather the poor thing into line again.

As usual, the more self-awareness you have, the more possible it is to own your time and create space that feels like home.


I hope the year end finds you warm, safe and counting blessings, be they cream colored ponies or woolen mittens.

And then there is my favorite line in the song:  Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings…



If by any chance one of your ducks has anything to do with home organizing or managing a backlog of paper, have I got an offer for you!


All 2 hour appointments made for December and January are available for 2014 prices: $175

Since that was my last rate adjustment and it will soon be 2017, be advised: In February I will shatter a long avoided ceiling and charge $100 per hour for regular clients.


Comments are closed.