Saturday, March 18, 2023



Which is more important; the big picture or the small details? Some people love the big picture way of thinking while others prefer to stick with the small details. For me, they BOTH are equally important. The saying that you can't see the forest for the trees come to my mind. It is important to not miss the forest for the trees. A clear image of the forest is the big picture. Yet remembering that the forest is made up of individual trees  -  those small details. As the quote from Gail Lynne Goodwin adds that when that happens it may be time to go for a walk IN the forest just to see how it is made up with the details.

I am relating this to my own writing of my novel I want to finish writing and either send off to an editor and then publishers or self-publish, if necessary and hope that people will buy it and enjoy it. Some people know this about me but if asked about what small details that went into writing and formatting my book, I don't seem to have a clear step-by-step plan outlined. Why? Because I am not that clear about the details myself and I tend to stay stuck in the "thinking mode." 

Too many small details really do seem to overwhelm me. I just must remember that it is ok to have them both - the big picture and the small details going on at the same time. Taking action on those small details is the direction that I must head toward getting me to the big picture. 

It is best to have them both understood and in my brain at the same time. Action must be taken on those small details is the direction that I must head toward getting me to the BIG PICTURE. They work together. Call it 'team work' if you will. It is actually the details that help me march toward the big picture. They become motivational cues that I am using as post-it notes on a story board for myself. A little progress towards my major goal is better than no progress. The details actually create the big picture.

There really is no such thing as going back to square one. Even if I have felt like I am having to start over. I simply am trying again with more knowledge, strength and power than I had before. My journey was never over, it was just waiting for me to find it again. I am glad it waited on me. I am worth it!

Saturday, March 11, 2023



To get along in life, all I try to do is to continue to look for the magic that is all around me. Really, it is everywhere. I could focus on negativity, however, I choose to look for the power of positivity. It actually comes fairly easy for me. I do consider this a gift because I know that a lot of people have trouble with this. One thing that helps me is that I have stopped watching so much news and weather. DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA! The station managers feel that is what draws in their viewers and to be honest? I believe it does. Just read social media some times and hear what people are saying about the times that we live in today. (Another thing that I have learned to do is to use my scroll button and to not let others pull me into their negative drama!)

It is true that happiness is actually in our own hands. I just open all of my senses, along with my heart and soul and I can feel the power that is within me. The power that can make my mood elevator soar to the penthouse. Some days, I will admit, that I must push the going up button a little harder than others. Another trick that I use to help me is to surround myself with others who can support what is happening in my life and understand me with no judgments. I know that I already have what it takes, I just need a little encouragement now and then. 

One recent example is that I had my hair fried. I won't go into detail of who, what, when or where. I just wanted to cry and did all the way home and each time that I looked in the mirror. And if the bleach mess up job was not bad enough, then I had scissors taken to it and received the worse lopsided haircut ever. So between the bleach not being done correctly and then wild, uncontrolled scissor swipes, I left crying after I removed the scissors from my hairdresser's hands. Thank goodness the support of the staff there took care of me. I am so grateful for that. After one time back to the salon, I was able to live with it because they showed me what to do and gave me the products to do it myself until my hair becomes normal again.

It really is a matter of looking for the magic all around us while we look on the brighter side of life. My close family and friends were a huge support to help get me through this trying time. As far as the salon goes, I sent them a little special treat for their kindness.

Really it is easier to help spread kindness, love, empathy, peace, hope and compassion all around to others than spew out negativity. I find it not only soothes me on the receiving end but also on the giving end of it. 

I know that I truly do already have what it takes to find my happy place. I tend to joke and say that my happy place is on the beach (and it is.) Let's be honest here. I am living in landlocked Memphis, Tennessee. So I would say that if the beach is my only happy place then I am not going to be happy very often within the year. 

Finding my happy place is  really easy when I take the time to play and to make it colorful and to plant more flowers (which I have planned out already for the garden). 

Living with two very special granddaughters gives me lots of time for play. And hopping on The City of New Orleans, I have two more granddaughters in New Orleans to show me how it is to just let the inner child in me out. It is a great feeling. I watch tv shows and movies with them that I never watched before. Coloring, painting, helping with homework, and playing games are ways of helping to make my life more colorful and fun. Try it sometime in whatever way it works for you. Right now, we have caterpillars living in our dining room, making cocoons and in a little over a week...BUTTERFLIES! So yes, I try to make things colorful in every way I can. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023



There are times that I can feel so overwhelmed in trying to get tasks accomplished that I have a voice in my head saying that you don't have time to take fifteen minutes to regroup. I KNOW in my head that I need to take just a fifteen minute break to feel better and able to complete what I need to do with a clearer mind. 

Most of what I have set up for myself actually does take fifteen minutes, while a few I give a little more attention to. I should be able to accomplish this. Afterall, I am now retired, yet swirling in my head is a question that asks, "How did you work a full time job and get things done that take so much time and energy?" My answer to myself if probably by prioritizing. 

My life (even as a retiree) seems to be so full of lists to do that making time for self-care or just giving myself a moment to catch my breath seems impossible. I have started to feel this way often. But I have discovered that simple things that don't take a lot of time can make a huge difference in how I feel mentally and physically about completing must do tasks. It had become easy to dismiss them by telling myself that these activities can't possibly make a dent in my overwhelmed feeling of getting through all of the paperwork.

Wow! Was I ever wrong about that. My first idea popped to me after reading in three different articles about how just taking a break for 10 - 15 minutes and going for a brisk (however brisk you want to make it) walk. At the time, my walk outside involves just going around the garden. Spring is starting to show up in mysterious ways. I think it has to do with the outside air, whether it is cold or not. It helps clear my mind. And, I enjoy seeing how the signs of Spring are ever changing in their beauty.

In the beginning, I know I was fighting with one side of my brain telling me to just keep cranking out the work while the other side was telling me to take that walk. I may not have the sand and the ocean to take my walk however, I am grateful that I have a beautiful garden with a pool to walk around and breathe the fresh air. I know that I need this and I always feel better. 

Another activity that I try to use is to get on my recumbent bike for an activity. It only takes 10 - 15 minutes. Every time that I pedal away, I try to beat how far I went the last time in the same amount of minutes. I compete against myself which helps me to let out steam and then get back to work.

A very British thing to do is to have a special Tea Party for one. "ME!" Use a special flavored tea in a real china tea cup and saucer and perhaps a little butter cookie? Hmmm  That always does the trick to change my hum-drum tasks that I must work on to a more engaging activity. 

Then there are days that my dry eyes are bothering me more than usual. Time to get my dry eye therapy kit out, heat it and set my timer for 10 minutes of closing my eyes with the heated eye mask over my eyes. That is something that can really make a huge difference if dry eyes are an issue.

My last idea that helps me take a break and refocus takes a little more time than 10 - 15 minutes in total time. I figure that is ok because this is something that I use to unwind at the end of a day.

It can wipe away all that I have been through during the day. It involves pouring a glass of wine, running a hot bubble bath, lighting a candle and just unwinding and relaxing. Trust me. It works wonders!

If I can find a way to spend 5 - 10 less minutes on social media, or 5 - 10 minutes less watching the news and weather, then I have the time needed for my own self-care. 


Sunday, February 26, 2023



"Happiness does not come from happiness itself, but from the journey towards achieving it."  Finnish Proverb

Through observing my dogs, I have come to the conclusion that our dogs really are more on cue with self-care than most humans. Our Earth gives us so many ways to heal ourselves and to take care of ourselves, yet so many times we are too busy to take the time to notice this. 

For me, especially in the winter months, a cup of tea is such a sweet thing to do for myself. I just must take the time to do this once a day. It warms my very soul. Many times, it is when I finally take a moment to put my feet up and just breathe.... which by the way is another major observation of dog behavior. They obviously can't make a cup of tea, even if they wanted it, but they do love their little treats and notice the way they breathe. It is the correct way of breathing (just like an infant). The simplicity of full body breath affects everything within us from the spinal column, to our lungs and our nervous system. I have noticed that just as each of my dogs get ready for a little rest, they take a deep breath, sort of a deep sigh. From that point on they are breathing by inhaling and their belly moves up...exhaling takes it back down again. This oxygenates our bodies and stirs up the nerves throughout our system. It is the consistent care and attentiveness to one form of self care.

"Discipline provides a constancy which is independent of what kind of day you had yesterday and what kind of day you anticipate today." Jon Kabat-Zinn

We all need to acknowledge our small moments of accomplishments and think about what courage we had to achieve our goals. Enjoy it and relish in it. Every moment won't be perfect and that is ok. That's life. We can't have it all every moment. What I like to do is to think of all of the good things that I have and go for the gold. In other words, don't save the good dishes for special occasions only. We are special and we should enjoy using it for ourselves. One specific example I read about is that if you get a box of expensive organic dark chocolate cherries and only eat a few each day. Then later you discover the others have started to rot away. One must give freely and abundantly even to ourselves. I know that my dogs do this as a second nature. It seems that the moral here is that, "While we pursue happiness we flee from contentment." This is a Hasidic proverb which really hit home with me. 

Change is always inevitable. I am learning more to make do with what I have. It is enough. And it can be quite interesting. It can be a time to slow down and listen to the quiet. 

Saturday, February 18, 2023



Now that we all have just gotten through Valentine's Day, I was thinking, especially for myself, that it would be a good time to think about my own Love Inventory. It seems that when Valentine's Day comes around that there are so many people who have love on the brain. I am not excluding myself. Afterall, Steve and I married on Valentine's Day. It was OUR day. In reality, every day was OUR day. Love is not something to focus on for one day a year.

Love needs to be a daily practice of loving yourself and those around you. It often takes practice to accomplish this. I took a Love Inventory Self Assessment that was on-line and could be taken as an individual or a couple. When I took the Inventory, I discovered that I was most definitely a Right Brain person. More subjective, seeing the big picture, kinesthetic and paying more attention to what my heart says. I really did not need an Inventory test to learn this.

The "unifier" is the one who has intuitive skills, usually calm, gives love and accepts love unconditionally, spiritual, creative, and I do know that I fit into most of these categories vs. a logical thinker. 

One way to be sure to work on this love practice is to always write how you practice love daily in a journal. I find it can be most meaningful and rewarding to myself. I love to write as if I am talking to Steve if he were still physically here with me. And, I try to include what inspired my love for others today. Putting a smile on my face, looking at others in positive ways can be so fulfilling. My heart seems to grow stronger with love. Sounds corny, I know. Hey, that is just me and who I am. 

Yesterday, I was a judge in an Elementary Science Fair. As each child came up to present their project, I could feel their love of what they were presenting and how proud they felt to share it with me. (Let's say at least 9 times out of 10!) Love is everywhere. Love is all around us.

It can even happen in line while waiting at the grocery store. It is a form of kindness for others. Sharing a piece of yourself, not expanding only on the romantic love and finding our soulmate. The absolute chance to love and be loved can happen at just about any moment in our lives such as with friends, with family, and yes, even at times with strangers. Thinking of times when someone showed me that they cared enough to do a little something special for me. It is always fun to reciprocate that love. Then it becomes a special bond. 

I highly suggest each person take a look at their own Love Inventory and write about it or sketch it out. Sometimes we can surprise ourselves with our own creativity. No one will be judging you.

Saturday, February 11, 2023



As I wrote about just a few blogs ago, for myself, I do not set resolutions. I set a word to live by that fits what I feel will help me to accomplish what I want to set out to do. Definitely, it is based on good intentions so in a round about way, I guess it is sort of a resolution yet it covers so many areas of my life. 

It is interesting to notice that the New Year starts with a BANG at gyms everywhere. The resolution being that there are those that want to get fit and back in shape, or healthier, etc. If you drive by the gyms in January the parking lots are jammed full. Now that we are coming up on mid-February...not so much. 

For me, setting my hopes on one specific thing or several things just did not make it happen for me. This is why my word is the best thing for me to work with. It is broader in my mind and not just ONE focus to work on. 

Don't get me wrong. Intentions do matter, just not always so specific. I have good intentions of getting my exercise in and my own positive hope can help that happen. And I will say that if a day goes by and it is not on my things accomplished, then I make sure that I do not beat myself up about it. I am human. I look over my schedule and see what I possibly could have changed around so that it does not happen again in the next few days. It is the little steps that matter to me of what I want to accomplish so it is important to look at my intentions and did I fulfill them? Sometimes it is a matter of getting back on the right track of my "HOPE."

I need to be my own inspiration. Thinking about what will inspire me to meet my intentions. It is good to have my own inspirations, yet also I believe that it is wise to allow some others that I admire to help inspire me and to help give me hope of meeting my goals.

Many times it is the hardest thing of all just to "get started." I know that I had a task that was not going to be easy. I held high hopes that I could do it. I almost didn't go through with it at all. I am the Queen of putting it off and talking myself out of something that is scaring me to try. FINALLY, after two hours of coming up in my head with all of the reasons that I could not accomplish this task...I pulled up my big girl panties, marched to the car and I did it. And if I say so myself, I did it with confidence and my head held high. YES! I did make it happen all by myself. There are no words to use that can let others know just how proud that I was of myself. It was exhilarating. 

Everyday there are not always major tasks that I hope I can accomplish to get this feeling of walking on sunshine. Yet there are most of the time at least small tasks that need to be celebrated. In fact, I love to make a list in my journal at night of things that I can celebrate throughout my day. All of these little things can really add up and make me feel proud. That is where the HOPE comes in. Time does seem to fly so that is why it is so important to celebrate the large and not so large accomplishments in our lives.

I never let go of HOPE. I hold on to it, even if it is at times pulling me along instead of me pulling it along.

Saturday, February 4, 2023




Just the other day I saw a quote with a picture of Liam Neeson above it. I actually believed that this must have been his quote. After a bit of research, I discovered that a Bosnian writer used this quote in one of his books. His name is Mesa Selimovic. 

I believe that you may be able to see where I could have been mistaken. However, I really wanted to get into the actual quote.  So, let's start with the beginning. Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. If you remember back to the song  called 'Love Hurts' sung by many different artists including The Everly Brothers, Roy Obison, and Nazareth you may believe that it does. The song states that love wounds and marks any heart not tough and strong. And on and on and on. And I suppose, literally? It can. But let's not look at it in such a way. 

There are many things that hurt. Loneliness hurts.


Chemicals are released in the brain when we deal with emotions such as loneliness and rejection and envy. It is a little different than physical pain but nonetheless, it has been scientifically proven to be true. Neuroscience has concluded that it does literally hurt.

Moving on to the 'the envy' part of the quote, we all know this is not a pleasant experience. It can make us feel inferior to other people. The negative effects of envy can make us less likely to help others. So yes, envy hurts.

One more emotion that I would like to add in this blog is grief. It is hard and it hurts. It is such a personal thing and it upends our world because it is so confusing. It changes us and others may not understand what some are going through. It hits the heart and it hurts because love is real. 

What is important to remember is that everyone gets these things all confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.

Although the pain of losing the love of my life has taken me through so many different phases of emotions (and I am still going through them and will be forever) I still know my love for him in my heart is what I will always need. When I think of him and feel all of our memories come to life then I know that love can make someone feel wonderful again, even if it is in a different way.