Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Five : Sequestration Edition

Well, it's here. For better or for worse, automatic spending cuts in the federal budget are due to go into effect today. It's call "sequestration," which, when I looked it up in the dictionary, seemed to have something to do with "isolation," as in isolating a portion of the budget and making it unavailable. Or something to that effect.

There are wildly different ideas swirling around about how the cuts will effect the economy, the employment rate, and the services we are accustomed to counting on from the government. Here at the Friday Five, ours is not to prognosticate... let's leave that to the politicians and the pundits. Instead, let's all agree that there are some things that it would be good to have less of, some things that could use a nice trimming.

I invite you to name five of them here! The possibilities are endless, from the pruning required for the health of a tree to the hair cut that makes us feel fabulous. What are you planning to cut in the near future? And in what way will those cuts improve someone's life?

1. The photo above shows the aftermath of the necessary ministrations to the flowers I received on Valentine's Day. I learned only recently how vitally important it is to trim flowers before plunking them in water. I used to wonder why mine wilted and faded (and got kind of smelly) so quickly. Then I learned the secret of trimming flowers and pulling off any leaves that will be below the surface of the water. Now cut flowers last much longer. I enjoyed my Valentine's flowers for nearly a week!

2. I am in the midst of a project involving cutting down on the amount of paper I bring into my house... cancelling subscriptions to magazines I don't have time to read, going paperless on as many bills as possible, etc. Feels great.

3. In keeping with the above, I am beginning a discipline of cutting down on the amount of sheer stuff in my house. I'm a keeper of piles, as anyone who's ever been in the pastor's study at my church knows. And I've had it. I'm adopting the attitude suggested by a college friend: Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. Amen!

4. I want to cut down on wasted time. What is wasted? Certainly, I can get sucked into arguments and controversies on social media sites. (The election, the Oscars... too much time spent on those). But at the same time I want to "cut down on wasted time," I want to allow for and honor sabbath. I actually think these things go hand in hand. Not squandering my time on things that won't enrich me in the long run means a real sabbath experience and not losing my sabbath to last minute sermon writing, etc.

5. Sugar. I have struggled with my weight my whole life, and I realize I am quite the sugar addict. I want to find a way to cut it down, if not out entirely. I know I feel better when I do... but it just tastes so good!

Looking forward to hearing about all your cuts-for-the-better!


  1. Cutting sugar is a good goal, albeit difficult! And, yes I love the trick of cutting the stem of fresh flowers and how much longer they last when one does! I'm with you with the cutting back on wasting time - or at least minimizing what needs to be done each day. Good play today!

  2. I have noticed that nearly all of us are cutting back food intake or at least trying to. The Battle of the Bulge is ever with us--I think it is like poverty and sin!

  3. Dang, Pat. I didn't know you were in Endicott. I was at St. Paul's in my career. Sometime give me a call and we can share stories. I am going to be there next week. I will try to give you a call.

  4. Cutting down, cutting out the sheer stuff. I'm with you there. Last week it was the books in the living room bookcase. This week it's going to be the files to the right of my desk.

    Having read these blogs between breakfast out (Huevos Rancheros) and lunch out, I was inspired to order only a side of fruit for lunch. Thank you, sisters.

  5. that's where you got that wonderful photograph! wise move to cut down on paper, too--thanks for hosting and playing!