The Sally List

What a fun weekend! My Place to Yours is the Pink Saturday feature blog at How Sweet the Sound, so let me say a big WELCOME to all of you Pink Saturday readers. If this is your first time here, I certainly hope it won’t be your last! The visitors at My Place are some of the best around, and I think you’ll feel very welcome here.
So to visitors — new and old faithful — I’m really glad you’ve picked today to stop by. This post has been awhile in the making, and it’s a topic near and dear to my heart. You regular readers will immediately notice the absence of pictures (very unusual at My Place), but this week it’s about words … and challenge … and your quality of life … your future. Seriously, it is. Read on…

I’ve decided to try to be a better person; But not right away of course. Maybe a few days from now.

(Sally to Charlie Brown in a Peanuts cartoon)
Sound familiar? This isn’t about procrastination. It’s different. You realize that, don’t you?
I was recently thumbing through the book Practice Random Acts of Kindness (Will Glennon and Rabbi Harold Kushner, 2007) and stumbled across Sally’s oh-too-familiar sentiment. The writers went on to tell the story of a woman who for four years talked of getting ready to start a diet. One day while sharing a meal with the woman, her exasperated friend said, “If you really want to lose weight, then put that damn fork down right now!” OUCH! The shocked woman put down her fork – and unexpectedly began her diet.
I started thinking (not so comfortably) how many times through the years … or in the past few weeks … I’ve acted like Sally, saying to myself, I’ve decided to… But not right away of course. What about you? Are any of these on your Sally List?

  • Start exercising
  • Eat healthier
  • Get organized
  • Make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off
  • Lose weight
  • Be more patient with people
  • Pay more attention to “the real world” where people are hurting and need a kind word
  • Be an encouragement to a young family
  • Write a letter – a real letter – to someone
  • Say “thank you” to a veteran, a teacher, a church staff person …
  • Spend more time in Bible study
  • Spend less time nagging and complaining
  • Do something nice for public servants (policemen, firemen, medical personnel …)
  • Volunteer at a local school, hospital, food bank, homeless shelter
  • Invite someone to dinner to re-establish a neglected friendship
  • Become a foster parent or children’s advocate
  • Meet a new neighbor (even if they’re not really “new” anymore …)
  • Visit a stranger in the nursing home or run errands for an elderly neighbor
  • Forgive someone – whether they’ve asked for forgiveness or not
  • Spend as much at Christmas on strangers as on family and friends
  • Stop spending money on unnecessary things and give it away to someone who needs it – or to an organization that will distribute it wisely

OK, I’ll stop the list there since some of you are thinking I’ve gone to meddling at the mention of money. But I wonder … have you ever thought about someday doing any of those things – or is there something else that’s an I want to be a better person.  But not right away of course desire for you? What are you waiting on? What are we waiting on?
May we just be honest with each other? If we actually have a list (even unwritten) of things we want to do for others, that’s a good, selfless start. But quite honestly, like Sally in the comic strip, our untouched lists aren’t accomplishing anything, except perhaps making us feel guilty. Don’t you think it’s time we JUST DO IT?
Of course not everything can be done immediately; some things like becoming a children’s advocate or hospital volunteer require time to “work through the system” … BUT the phone call to start the process can be made immediately. It’s possible that when you get all of the information, the project won’t turn out to be a good “match” for you at this stage of your life – but at least you’ll know. At least you will have stopped thinking and started acting.
As the holidays rapidly approach, I hope you’ll join me and think of something that’s on your Sally List – something that you’re going to DO SOMETHING ABOUT during the next few weeks rather than just talking or thinking about it.  Seriously … we’ve waited long enough, don’t you think?  Beginning today, let’s encourage each other.  Let’s hold each other accountable.
I’ll go first … (deep breath): I’m going to invite a few friends to join me in preparing lunch for the residents of a local women’s shelter – tablescape included, of course! I’m going to make the offer and hopefully get a date on the calendar when I call. Once the ball’s rolling, I’ll post a comment here. (If you’re a local friend reading this and want to help, email me.  You don’t have to wait for me to call you!)
Here’s what you fantastic readers can do … Leave a comment with your “something” (or somethings) so we can all be pulling for you! Be as specific or vague as you wish; we don’t need to know all of the details. Also, please remember that this is something that’s important to YOU – for whatever reason. Nothing is too big or too small … THEN, come back and leave a comment again when you’ve accomplished it – or at least when you’ve taken the first step in the right direction. Just click on the Sally List picture on my sidebar to come right back to this post.
Why not encourage your friends to join you? Co-workers, Bible Study friends, neighbors… And, if you have a blog, share your story and what you’re doing with your readers — linking back here so we can all see how many things we in Blogland can accomplish TOGETHER. This isn’t a “look at us” project, folks. It’s a “let’s make a difference” in our world.  Start right where you are with the people in your circle of influence … then see where it leads you. Together, let’s start working our way through our Sally Lists, shall we?
After you leave your comment, be sure to stop by How Sweet the Sound to check out all of the pink posts at Pink Saturday. Beverly is a wonderful hostess!
I’m also joining the dynamic sister-duo Heather and Vanessa of At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday AND the blogging duo Charlotte and Ginger at Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sundays.
11.8.11 Update: The Sally List seems to be resonating with many of you, and I’ve seen a couple of blog posts out there already.  I’m adding those posts to the link-up below. Please add yours, too, if/when you post about The Sally List … so we can all read it! The link will be open as long as I can keep it open (Dec. 31, 2013!)


  1. Susan, I love your Sally List. It is a great thing for almost everyone. My constant goal is patience and acceptance of things I cannot change. It is something I work at every day, but sometimes more successfully than others.

    I will use your Sally button as a reminder to keep trying.

    Happy Pink Saturday. I hope you enjoy being the featured blog.

  2. Hello Susan, It is a pleasure to meet you. I read every word of your post and I am inspired. My Sally list is going to get done. First I have to make one. We are out of town but we will be leaving for home On Sunday. I’ll be back with my goal from my Sally list to share with you. My goal right now is to follow through with my plans to do this as soon as I get home.

    Congrats for being featured and thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring ideas with us.
    XO, Jeanne

  3. Love it, Susan. If I lived near you I would not even blink before joining you in preparing those lunches for the women’s shelter. I love a good challenge so I’m with you, my friend. Wheels spinning. Get back to you soon.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  4. Great list! And…I actually started doing a couple of things on this list recently so you have made me feel good today! Congrats on being featured on Pink Saturday!


  5. Happy pink saturday, sweet blogger. I came over from PS and saw your button about supporting our military and as a wife of a retired Marine and mother to a former Marine I think you from the bottom of my heart. I love our military who fight to keep my country safe. There are the heroes and warriors I worship. Thanks!!!

  6. Hi Susan! I am new following you from Beverly’s Pink Saturday! I love the Sally list. I will post the button too!
    You should visit Suzanne at Colorado Lady if you don’t already know her. She has a birthday blessing project. She collects names of seniors and we all send birthday cards. Check it out. It is a nice project and it makes someone smile!
    Come visit soon. I have a blogaversary giveaway and it has a twist. You pay it forward!
    Enjoy your weekend. Anne

  7. Ohhh boy…yep, you hit a nerve, Ha! 🙂 Thank you for this post. You’re so right…I’m always the planner but never quite the do-er! 🙂 Would you mind if I put your Sally button on my blog to sort of remind myself of the commitment I’m making? I’d link it back here, of course. I’ll wait until I hear back from you…

    So, my big commitment is going to be that I stick to the eating plan that I’ve been kicking around…and I stick to it long enough to see some results in my weight loss. I will feel that I’ve taken my first successful step when I stay on the plan for one full week.

    I enjoyed reading the little bit you wrote up for your feature on Beverly’s post today. I remember the candle post…what a blessing that was—that was the first time I “met” you and I still think about that encouraging idea now and then! 🙂

    Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    HaPpY pInK sAtUrDaY!

  8. Old Faithful here.

    I love this, Susan. As I was reading it, I felt like you were talking about me.

    Now, as to the ONE thing for this post? I want to give it some thought. You see, I am afraid that I have too many Sallies to count.

    I will be pondering this and be back with it.

  9. By the way, I would like to put that Sally List thingie on my blog with a link back here. I’m unsure how to do it. Is there any way you can either explain it to me or do it as a button so I can put it on my blog?

    Again, love this! I would love to see a Sally Revolution in Blog Land!

  10. It was wonderful to meet you through Pink Saturday. Sadly, there are so many great bloggers on the list any more, that it’s impossible to meet every one. . . and I have to say, I don’t spend the hours on the computer that I once did. . .just too much to do in the real world. However, I loved your blog and your post!!

    I, too, felt you were speaking just to me. . . the queen of the lists and the to-dos and the not get dones. I do think that keeping the list is such a huge first step. . . at least it gets our mind focused on the areas we want to address/improve. And, yes, actually doing what we want sometimes takes a push or a shove from some one. This time, it was from you!! And to you, I say “thanks”!!

    Like Beverly said, I will use your Sally button to keep reminding me of my goals.

    Happy Pink Saturday!


  11. On my “Sally List” is putting that link on my sidebar. DONE! 🙂

    This is a great idea. I am going to spend more time with Adelaide’s children, ministering to them as the holidays approach. This is going to be their first Christmas without their mother/grandmother and mine without my BFF so I want to be sure and try to help them keep focussed on the real meaning of the season and the joy found within it.





  12. Hi Susan! I enjoyed reading your post about your blog at Beverly’s. So nicely stated. I cringed at “make that Dr.’s appointment”. I’m so bad about that. Some really good advice here!

  13. Susan, amazing you would write this today! I just decided to get off my duff and 1) exercise more 2) eat right 3) get healthy 4) lose weight! I’ll keep my Sally list going and you will be an inspiration to hear how yours is going too! Blessings, Mindi

  14. So beautiful!

    Pink hat, have a great weekend!

  15. I did not know about a Sally List…but I have definitely had a mental one about many things! I could call it my “One of these days” lists!

    Good post.

  16. You are very inspiring, Susan. As for me, I will have to practice the saying that charity begins at home because right now, all I can think of are my 2 pregnant daughters, one with twins who are due next month so I am volunteering my time to them. I am pretty much staying there in FL to help them for a month and possibly 2, withthe babies, depending on how long they need me….Christine

  17. My Sally List includes taking off a few lbs. Exercise more. Better organizational skills at home. Downsize. Be diligent with the Senior Birthday project. Smile more! Get grumpy less!

  18. ouch….it’s true though what you said…stop talking…start doing. ☺

  19. What a wonderful post! My ongoing goal is to stop worrying about things I can not change.
    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you’re having a great weekend.

  20. What a wonderful post! I have just done some of the things on the list, and am not a procrastinator….but there is always things to do to better the world.
    I’m going to be thinking about what I can do…..Thanks!

  21. Hi again, Susan. Just stopped by to let you know I’ve posted my Sally List at
    Thank you again for doing this.
    Much love to you, my friend.

  22. I love this, Susan. What a great blog! I’m your newest follower. I will be working on making my Sally list!
    Very cool.

  23. Hi Susan,
    I’m finally going through email that’s piled up for the past few days and saw yours asking me to leave a comment on which things I’m doing on the list. Here goes:
    I’ve had my annual check-up.
    I’m writing a “real letter” to my nephew who is serving a mission for our church.
    I’m spending more time reading and marking in my Bible.
    I started exercising on my new bicycle but now I have to have surgery on my shoulder so that’s been put on hold for now but I am eating better.
    And your suggestion of doing something nice for a public servant has given me a great idea for a service project for the girls I work with at church to do! Thanks!!


  24. I was curious about the Sally list. I had no idea what it was when I clicked on your link to come here. I love it. It was perfect for Pink Saturday and Spiritual Sundays. I have a lot of things I could put on a Sally list. I will, but not today. LOL I’m thinking of some of the things that would go on the list right now. I’d better stop that or I’ll be making a list right now.
    Hope you’re having a great week.

  25. Hi there…I came over to your blog from The Picket Fence. I’m following you now. I love the Sally List…I’ve actually made a list like that before, so maybe my List should be called Sally List and should be framed so I have to look at it everyday! I always think about doing something good (charity work), but never get around to it. I’m going to try to smarten up now. Thanks for the pep talk!

  26. A very wonderful post, indeed. I must get my Sally list started and look forward to checking them off. Your post is truly inspiring. Happy Pink Saturday.
    Hugs, LisaKay
    Belles Roses Romantiques

  27. I’ve made the initial contact re: providing lunch for our local women’s shelter. Waiting for a response!

  28. This is great…thanks so much for the nudge…because God has me doing a lot of this right now…getting off the “to-do list” and on to the “done” list. This week I made pumpkin bread for a new neighbor…a single older woman. I also bought two cards for a family going through a tremendous loss.
    So your post has encouraged me to keep it going and not stop….and of course the list is growing also.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. Thanks for doing this. Loved your list. Mine is long but the #1 item is this:

    Forgive. This is a hard one for me, so need to work on it all the time. But truth be known forgiveness is not for the one being forgiven, it is for the one doing the forgiving. So this will be the one thing I will work on.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  30. Susan , this is brilliant! I will need to work on my list and join in..xo HHL

  31. I have my own list of things which I try to accomplish everyday 🙂
    Being nice is what I am aiming to be these days
    Not to lose patience easily

  32. We’ve set a date! Dinner (rather than lunch) for the ladies at my local women’s shelter. Candlelight, Valentine-theme… Feb. 13. Stay tuned!

  33. Oh how I love this “Sally List.” I call it sheltering…and I’m loving the idea of sheltering these women who have been through so much pain. I’ll have to start my own Sally list.

  34. Thanks for the inspiration on doing for my personal self…it’s nice to see it’s not all about decor, crafts & food on a blog, but about enrichment of life as well…not that I don’t love those things, but I’ve always felt people need to touch each other’s hearts more!


  35. Hi Susan. I’m on day 3 of making dinner for my neighbour recuperating from surgery and her husband (who doesn’t cook much) and I feel good! It’s so nice to do something helpful for someone so they don’t have to worry! Today they’re having something more substantial, but I felt she just needed homemade chicken soup and homemade 9-bean soup with baked wholegrain breads the first couple days! Thanks for your inspiration again! xo

  36. This is a great post! I’ve put the button on my blog and I am going to make a Sally List and then work on one at a time…right away!

  37. Well, I am such a Sally! I am always thinking of things to do or organizations and people I want to help. Something always gets in my way (because I realize now that I let it.) I actually have a note to myself to “do something TODAY!”
    One of the most profound things that hit me in our church was when our minister said “sympathy is not an action” I am so guilty of sympathizing and praying but not really getting hands on. We have an interactive resource center where the homeless can come during the day to learn skills, wash their clothes, and learn skills to turn their lives around. I’ve always thought I would enjoy volunteering there but haven’t. This has inspired me to go try it! Putting a Sally button on my blog now. Hope to post soon and I will let you know.
    Again, you have created something amazing here 🙂 Bless you!

  38. Sally and I have been busy! Baking and delivering goodies in the community. Visiting an elderly friend. Simplifying. Providing a pretty table w/ snacks for men and women needing assistance through our church’s benevolence ministry. Those weren’t so hard; just took time. Now I’ve got to tackle the tough ones on my Sally List…

  39. Hi Susan! First of all, I am a HUGE Peanuts fan! LOVE Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and all the gang!.. So when I saw Sally on a couple of sidebars now, I had to check this out. Understanding the idea behind it now, I think this is a great idea! I know one MONSTROUS thing I’d like to do to become a better me, is to be nicer, less hard and critical on myself. Maybe it’s menopause? I don’t know??.. But I’ve been harder and harder on myself as time goes on, and I KNOW it’s not good! So I think this is what I’d like to change the most. I will post Sally on my right sidebar, see what I can do about this, and get back to you soon! Thanks for the inspiration, and hope you’re enjoying your holiday season! ~tina

  40. I remember this one, Susan, and it’s certainly worthy of a medal! It’s a great reminder to weigh what’s really important in our lives!

  41. Monday, July 30, 2012 in Manila

    Hi, Susan! Something happened to my link, above, so I re-added it. I will be working on an Olympic post! Yay! Love the idea, of course, it’s hard deciding, isn’t it?!

  42. There is so much… and I’m so far behind… but I bought a small sign in the Beall’s Outlet near my home. “God didn’t do it all in one day–so what makes me think I should?” I have no idea where to start… but I guess at home (since that’s where I spend most of my time) is as good a place as any. Get organized, and try to cut down on the stuff. I have so much stuff, my stuff has stuff. I think I’ll tackle home first.

    • Jennifer, I know all about stuff having its own stuff! I spent last year decluttering my stash of stuff — and I’m still working on it this year. I’m making really good progress, and (best of all) it feels great! Amazing how decluttering the stash also seems to help declutter the mind and spirit. Good luck tackling your home!