12 Monthly Focuses…

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

In the Bible (in Leviticus), 50 is the year of Jubilee. So, I am declaring this coming year to be my personal “Year of Jubilee.”  (See page “My Personal Year of Jubilee”)

Youth is all about having a passion to experience new things. As we get older, we learn to appreciate everyday things. As I begin my 50th year (from 49th birthday on May 27, 2011 to 50th birthday on May 27, 2012), I am choosing to be very intentional about seeking to both improve my current lifestyle and to learn new things.

When I was a teen, I did many things: play cello in an orchestra, play trombone in the high school marching band, talk to everyone possible in Spanish, play with art, test all the rules and do stupid things, and always, always reach for experiences over the horizon.

I absolutely do NOT want to be a teenager again, with all the miseries and harmful, hurtful experiences that included. I do, however, want to carry some of the joys and passion from that era into my future.

With this year of focused activities, I am giving myself the freedom to not maintain these things beyond their planned time. Then again, some of these things will hopefully become a regular part of the second half of my life!

First, I am planning a different focus for each month; something to either learn or re-learn; something to work on each day of that month. These are listed below.

In addition to these focused month-long activities, I have chosen 38 more activities to complete during this year, making a total of 50 special things I will do this year to celebrate this Year of Jubilee! These activities are listed on another page (“50 Activities to Celebrate 50 Years”)

A Year of Focused Month-long Activities:


I’ve played a lot of cello over the years, but have been away from it so long that I’ve lost all the calluses on my fingers (except for still having a dent in my thumb where the frog of the bow rests!) My goal is to practice daily to be able to once again smoothly play the Bach Unaccompanied Suites (and maybe a few other fun pieces, if it all comes back quickly).


In Japan, the tradition of folding 1,000 cranes is done when someone has a wish, be it for peace, health or luck. It is believed that the more people involved the more luck you will have! I think this is a really neat tradition. It is also quite beautiful to see this many origami cranes hanging by nearly invisible threads, moving gently as people walk by. I will be inviting others to help me reach my goal during this month.


I want to stretch myself to take more than just family and travel photos…

(Specific “assignment” ideas are listed on another page…)


If I’m planning a Jubilee Year for myself, the least I can do is put together some special things to celebrate my husband’s milestone birthday. Plus, some of the things I want to do for him take awhile to pull together. Focusing on this during the month of September will help me keep from procrastinating!

OCTOBER: READ POETRY—Collect one poem I like for each day of the month

Einstein said: Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death. I’m with him on that – the day I stop wanting to learn will be the day I give up on life.

Randy’s 50th Birthday on October 15

NOVEMBER: CHOOSE 50 PEOPLE to whom to dedicate daily mile walks in April and May. Write a letter to each person explaining why they are special to me and/or how they have effected my life (to be mailed in early April—include a request for each person to send a photo to be put into an album with a copy of each letter).

Do something special at 11:11 on 11/11/11


Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. This looks interesting and it fits with my theme of celebrating my own personal Year of Jubilee. I plan to participate in this event as my activity focus for December.

JANUARY: SCRAPBOOK about my life (perhaps in Encyclopedia format??)

I’ve thought about making a scrapbook all about ME for a long time but have never taken time to do so. This will at least get me started…

Our 30th Anniversary (January 16): as Robert Browning says, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.”


Another activity I’ve had on my “to-do” list for years but rarely make time to actually do. By the end of this month, I may decide this is so much fun I want to continue it…or it may become clear that this isn’t so important after all!

MARCH: WATCH THE SUN SET every evening for a month

“The dawn and sunset shout for joy!!!” Psalm 65:9

“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.”  — George MacDonald

I love this tradition that is part of visiting friends at “the Rock.” Many evenings I notice the sunset and, when I do, I take a moment to enjoy the beautiful show. I want to become more intentional about this.

March 20 – Experience Spring Equinox at Chaco Canyon

APRIL: left open for ideas that come up during the year

Perhaps there will be other activities I want to focus on before this Year of Jubilee is over. Or perhaps I will want to use an additional month to focus on a previous activity (such as finishing up a scrapbook about me?) If not, I will use the idea of walking 1 mile dedicated to a special person or couple each day for 50 days as my back up focus for this month (an activity I already plan to complete).

MAY: see April…


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fonda Erdman
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 14:40:59

    Hi Jill, You have a wonderful gift of expressing your self and your thoughts and also listening to others. We need to ponder on our gifts more often then we do, especially me. Thanks to you and Randy for visiting us last July for those few hours. Was such a pleasure to have you here. Can hardly believe a year has come and gone but we still have each other. Glad to see all the wonderful changes there at Lybrook, beautiful colors and your smiling faces. Those bright colors will blend in with the sunsets and the beautiful blue sky. Have a great summer and know that you all are always in our prayers. Fonda


  2. mydailycreativity
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 19:46:31

    This looks similar to my 365 day creativity challenge – a different theme for every month. I have enjoyed it so far – I hope you enjoyed yours as well!


    • jecolorfulheart
      Dec 29, 2011 @ 09:05:32

      Thanks Angela! Just checked out your blog as well—I’ve finished reading the archives of a few favorite blogs and have been looking for another one to follow…just found it! YAY!


  3. Trackback: Progress Report… « Journey2Wonder
  4. Kim Fernando
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 11:31:45

    I love your focus on being intentional. I’m trying to practice being still and being intentional in 2013 to see what God brings of it. 🙂


    • jecolorfulheart
      Jan 15, 2013 @ 12:15:54

      Intentional isn’t/wasn’t too hard for me…but this year’s word of BEing (rather than doing, thinking, organizing, etc) is a great challenge to me…Best wishes in 2013. Yes, it is exciting to see what God brings of the things He puts on our hearts!


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