Saturday, November 26, 2022

MOVING ON!

 MOVING ON


My question is just how do I move on? When one loses the one person in their life who was their everything it is most definitely not an easy thing to do. Some things that I have learned in the last month is that there are times that I am stronger than I feel at the moment. Is this ok? Yes, it is. 

As I wrote in my 'New Beginnings' blog is that the possibilities seem almost magical. I can assure you that is not how I feel about my new beginnings. What I am feeling is that if I take care of myself, allow myself to grieve at my own pace, try to throw myself into things that I do love to do and find what makes me happy - then I realize that I am better off. 

Do I have minor and major breakdowns each and every day? Yes, I do and there is no need to apologize for it. Time will help, this I know. People that have gone through the same thing of losing their soulmate have shared this with me. Not a day will go by that memories and thoughts will not pass through my heart and soul of Steve. Expressing them in my journal and to close family and friends help tremendously. 

Finding the courage to focus on what makes me happy is where I am finding myself now. For almost a month, I just avoided going to bed. I could not bear to get into bed and see the spot where he slept. Or wake up to an empty spot beside me. Truly, I was exhausted. This was not working for me. It took a strong and stubborn daughter to tell me to, "GO TO BED" one night at 8:00. I could hear in her voice that she meant business. So I did. And after 11 hours of sleep, I almost felt human again. 

Top that off with a 2 hour afternoon nap and I could focus and feel the words that Steve told me once. He said that if he went first to please not feel sad. Feel his presence all around me. Feel his touch, see his smile and hear his words. Allow him to guide me through this difficult time. Find the things that make me happy and I can feel him guiding me to get my book to an editor. 



He was my Marketing Director. So now what? I stop and think to myself of what he would say to me as he listened to my blog, or saw my paintings or helped me finish up my novel and send to an editor. He was my cheerleader and will forever be there for me.

We talked about possibilities of depending on which one of us went first, to have our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters move into the house with the one of us left. Two families merge to help each other all in the name of love. The house is totally set up for us all to have our own space. As far as meals go, we do share the kitchen and most every night have a shared sit down meal with no electronics. If it were me alone, I would have a bowl of cereal, a peanut butter sandwich or a grilled cheese! Jenni and I plan out the shopping list for the week and the meals (which we are flexible if something comes up to switch meals around).

To have the activity and laughter of our granddaughters is so heartwarming and therapeutic. Step by step we are all working together to make this happen.

Next big step is that in December I am traveling on Amtrak's The City of New Orleans down to see my son and daughter-in-law along with two more granddaughters. This will help me get through Steve's birthday yet back in time for mine. The plans were already made to celebrate our birthdays as usual at The Peabody for The High Tea. This year it fell on my birthday. We were going to take our eldest granddaughter for her first. So a party of 2 adults and 1 child was already made. I called to add one more granddaughter to our reservation. Not a problem. Now, in honor of Steve, we will celebrate his life with the 4 girls of his life that are here in Memphis. 

For me, it is a matter of navigating my life to new beginnings. Moving on to new adventures and new chapters with such sweet and loving memories.



Saturday, November 19, 2022

  A NEW BEGINNING (A Repost - Just for me!)


Possibilities! That is what I think of when I hear the words, 'New Beginnings.' It is almost a magical feeling. A feeling that needs to be embraced at the limitless hope and potential that is within us. Most of the time it is more than we can even imagine for ourselves.

It could be in the way of a promotion or a major career change, going to a new city or possibly country. A new relationship is the start of new beginnings or perhaps just going out on your own to find your own mind, body and soul and what exactly you want to experience in life. 

There are times that it can just be as simple as waking up to a new day and all of the possibilities that we can face. Anything is possible because miracles are all around us if we choose to open our eyes and look for them. 

New beginnings are not always easy. The opposite of a new beginning is an ending. And that is not always easy to accept and move on. Some endings are joyful such as graduations. Others can be rather difficult and challenging such as ending a relationship.

What is needed here is the courage to move forward even when we are not sure where exactly we are going. Even though we may have loved the path behind us, the path ahead can be just as beautiful. We do need to try to embrace each day. Embrace each moment. Stop there and just embrace each breath that you take. 

It is not always easy to follow our hearts, no matter what. Our heart does hold wisdom and we need to not be so quick to dismiss what it is trying to convey to us. It really is important to trust what we feel. All of us have inner voices, it is finding a way to hear them.

I stumbled upon so many wonderful quotes on new beginnings and I could not possibly choose just one. So what did I do? I listed all of the ones that resonated with me. I hope they do with you.

  • "And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." ~ Meister Eckhart
  • "Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction." ~ Germany Kent
  • "Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions  perfect."  ~ Alan Cohen
  • "There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning." ~ Louis L'Amour
  • "Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now. ~ Paulo Coelho
  • "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."  ~ Arthur Ashe
Be courageous enough to be happy!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

FINDING YOUR PASSION

 FINDING YOUR PASSION



If someone asked me the question of what is it that I am passionate about, I probably could come up with a variety of answers. Whether they were right or wrong? Who is to say? It is my belief that I should follow my dream. A passion about something is not just a dream. I now know (with age and experience) that I need to have time to think about what it means, allowing me the opportunity to reflect and think how it makes me feel and does it feel right? Actually have a moment of gratitude about these passions.

Being passionate is not something that everyone is born with. It is an actual option for how somebody chooses to live their lives and then becoming involved in the pursuit of working towards it.

Always easier said than done, but finding your passion and then pursuing it is the key to happiness. For me, there are many things that I like doing. I needed to find out which ones bring me more joy or give me a feeling of satisfaction. I used a journal and wrote down what I feel passion about. Then start to work on pursuing them.

It is not a selfish thing to follow your passion. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to passions. I had to break myself out of this habit and find ways, NEW ways, to express myself and to enjoy my passions more often. Retirement helped a bunch to find that time.

A matter of doing something every day to improve my skills is where I chose to start. 


Now that the pandemic has slowed down enough to even think about travel, I have decided to plan out two trips. One involving one way by train to New Orleans and then following up with a one way trip back on a River Cruise up the Mississippi River. Spoiler alert: and spending a few nights with twin granddaughters while in New Orleans. Planning the trip is where the passion comes into play.

Painting is another passion that I know is deeply rooted within me. Like my Grandmother, I did not discover how much I loved painting and what joy it brought to me until later in life. My hopes are that I can paint my own Christmas cards to send to some close friends and family this year. Spending time sketching and practicing what I will paint on the cards is the joy of it all.

While working on becoming more passionate, I found out that it is okay and I should be passionate in about everything that I do. Not just one thing. I will never know where one or more may take me so I just need to go for it. Having an open mind to try new things and possibly changing my feelings about something is a good thing. 


For example: I know that hiking, no matter how open minded I may be is not going to be one of my passions. First of all, I am a fair weather walker. Hikers hike through all elements. I do not like bugs and all of the things that go with hiking. Not to mention my knees would not hold up to it. Being realistic is important in finding our passions.



When I was searching for my career path in life, my passion was with teaching. I did enjoy that and it brought me great happiness. Thank goodness it still does to a large number of teachers, however, the number is dwindling with all of the red tape involved in teaching and then add in the low pay scale. One really must have a driving passion for teaching to stick with it. In my own opinion, teaching is an Art. This is in total conflict with politicians who believe it is a Science and everyone needs to be teaching the same way to every student. I will just stop there. I know those who are passionate teachers know exactly what I am talking about. I feel for you.


Cooking is a big passion that I very much enjoy doing with my husband. New recipes pop up all the time and we enjoy trying them out. We usually have a Plan B if something does not work out. I am proud to say that this does not happen very often. I adore watching Steve cook. He truly cooks with such passion. There is love in every bite when we have our meal that he is the chef and I am the sous chef. I believe that we both feel this way.



Let me express what has become my current life passion. It is writing. I started a novel quite a while back. Have I finished it yet? No! Will I? YES! And then it is off to an editor. I must learn to stop editing it over and over myself and get a good ending to it. A matter of me putting myself out there and not be afraid of failure is part of turning it over to an editor and if lucky, then an agent. I have read that many major authors had their first books turned down. So I am prepared.

In order to continue this love of writing, I do write a weekly blog and have for a number of years. I also write in my journal daily. Stored in boxes and some in my closet are years of journals telling the tales of my daily life. Will anyone ever read them? Who knows? I just know that it brought me great joy each day. It helps me plan out my next day and not get too frustrated about the way certain things turn out. It is a matter of living life to the fullest.
 
 “Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.”
 Anonymous




Saturday, October 8, 2022

A NEW BEGINNING

 A NEW BEGINNING


Possibilities! That is what I think of when I hear the words, 'New Beginnings.' It is almost a magical feeling. A feeling that needs to be embraced at the limitless hope and potential that is within us. Most of the time it is more than we can even imagine for ourselves.

It could be in the way of a promotion or a major career change, going to a new city or possibly country. A new relationship is the start of new beginnings or perhaps just going out on your own to find your own mind, body and soul and what exactly you want to experience in life. 

There are times that it can just be as simple as waking up to a new day and all of the possibilities that we can face. Anything is possible because miracles are all around us if we choose to open our eyes and look for them. 

New beginnings are not always easy. The opposite of a new beginning is an ending. And that is not always easy to accept and move on. Some endings are joyful such as graduations. Others can be rather difficult and challenging such as ending a relationship.

What is needed here is the courage to move forward even when we are not sure where exactly we are going. Even though we may have loved the path behind us, the path ahead can be just as beautiful. We do need to try to embrace each day. Embrace each moment. Stop there and just embrace each breath that you take. 

It is not always easy to follow our hearts, no matter what. Our heart does hold wisdom and we need to not be so quick to dismiss what it is trying to convey to us. It really is important to trust what we feel. All of us have inner voices, it is finding a way to hear them.

I stumbled upon so many wonderful quotes on new beginnings and I could not possibly choose just one. So what did I do? I listed all of the ones that resonated with me. I hope they do with you.

  • "And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." ~ Meister Eckhart
  • "Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction." ~ Germany Kent
  • "Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions  perfect."  ~ Alan Cohen
  • "There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning." ~ Louis L'Amour
  • "Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now. ~ Paulo Coelho
  • "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."  ~ Arthur Ashe
Be courageous enough to be happy!

Saturday, October 1, 2022

DID YOU REALLY MEAN TO SAY THAT?

 DID YOU REALLY MEAN TO SAY THAT?

As I was doing a bit of research and reading, I came across something interesting. It reminded me of a workshop that I attended years ago that was to help us phrase things that we say to others in a more positive way. Not only does it help others, but more importantly, it helps us to be more positive in our thinking. It helps us feel more confident.

The article that caught my attention was by a brother and sister team of authors who wrote, You're Saying It Wrong." They have other books from the Best Seller Lists but this one put all of the phrases together and stated depending on how we phrase words will depend on what it is we want to accomplish. Reframing our thoughts will help to change our attitudes. Other behavioral scientists, researchers and psychologists agree. I know that in the past I have been guilty of saying each one of these statements and try to be more aware of how I phrase what I mean to say to others. Examples:

1.  "I have to do that." Try changing one little word will turn what sounds like an obligation into an opportunity. Even if the task is unpleasant, it can teach new lessons and open doors. The word is changing have to, "I get to do that." 

Thinking of how I sounded when I said that I HAVE to go to work today. By gosh, I should be thankful that I have work to go to so turning it around and saying that I get to go to work today helps me in my mind begin to see what I might be able to accomplish at my job for myself, as well as for others. In doing so, I was able to be able to turn a negative into a positive.

2.  "I can't do that."  That truly is admitting defeat before I even start. By turning it around and saying that I can try to do that sets the whole scenario into a chance to succeed at something that I did not think that I could do. Yet it does not set excessively high expectations. Trying to do something and failing the first time is not the end of the world. Try and try again. I always told my own children, as well as the children that I taught that I would not accept the words I CAN'T before you even try.

3.  "SHOULD" is most definitely a controlling word. Pressure is there. Getting myself back in control by stating, "I will do that," instead of I should do that" makes me the decision-maker by choosing whether or not to do something on my own terms.

4.  How many times have I asked myself, "Why is this happening to me?" That is a complainer's way of talking. Instead, find the good in what is a difficult situation by asking myself, "What am I learning from this?" It can help lead me to better things and I don't sound like a whiner.

5.  "I never should have," can be easily be changed to, "Because I did that, I now know (xyz)." Simply rephrasing this thought can help make me see and think about the good things that happened because I did something that I thought perhaps I shouldn't have. Possibly, it helped me discover something wonderful or someone wonderful?

6.  "This attempt did not work," sounds much more positive than, "I failed!" Maybe something I tried did not work the way I thought it would but if I phrase it as, I failed then that is the end of my story. I am being unfair to myself and forgetting that there will be other opportunities.

7.  "If only I had done x,y,z." Instead simply say nothing at all. There will always be our if only moments in life. It is truly a dead-end way of thinking and no one learns from the past if you dwell on if onlys.

8.  Students, as well as adults in their jobs will say, "This is too complicated." Doesn't it sound more positive to say that I don't understand this right now. If I am facing a new challenge and start off by stating that it is too complicated then I will never get my mind around the new way of thinking. We all are works in progress. By stating it is too complicated I am making it sound like there is no way I can win.

9.  How many times have we heard ourselves, as well as others say, "It is not fair." My mother and many teachers would say, "Life is not fair!" So my take on this is I can deal with it anyway. Life is unfair at times but it does not mean that I need to keep repeating this negative mantra to myself and feel beaten down. Instead, find solutions and answers to what will get me where I want to be.

10.  "It's never going to change or I can change the way I approach this." Which sounds more active rather than passive. It puts me in charge.

11.  "Never or Always!" It is best, in my opinion, to avoid absolutes altogether. I'll never do such and such. You probably are right. Not with that attitude. Or I always get overlooked. Hmmm, wonder why? Life is not always black and white. Be objective!

It is those little voices in our heads that weigh in on everything we say and do. It can make us feel less capable and we will not accomplish what we want.

As Kathy and Ross Petras wrote:

"It helps to reframe our thoughts and change our attitudes by thinking and speaking more positively." 



My perspective is to change my latitude of my mood elevator by changing my attitude toward my thinking. Jimmy Buffett had it right all along!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

 WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD


Just as the song from Louie Armstrong states it really is a wonderful world. Look around. The lyrics are still true. 
I see trees so green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you.
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies so blue and clouds so white.
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by.

I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do.
They're really saying I love you.
I hear babies crying, I watch them grow.
They'll learn so much more than I'll ever know.

And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I can listen to the news and hear other things in the world that are not so wonderful. What we all must remember is to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other one and moving on. There is lots of joy out there. We sometimes have to definitely acknowledge these hideous events and remember that what faces us in a moment will remain with us the rest of our lives. The one thing to not forget is this important message: "Even damaged, even fraying at the seams, the world remains stunning and full of stubborn wonder."  Megan Mayhew Bergman

This quote is what continues to make the world go around. It is what helps each and everyone of us put that one foot in front of the other and move on to a more positive world. Our world really demonstrates this to us again and again by continuing to shine and thrive despite us. It is designed to heal itself if we can just remember all is change. Listen to the stubborn wonder and have faith and trust.

Things are not always just black and white. There is a much larger gray in between. Rules are not always black and white. That is much too subjective. I have to always ask myself if there is something that I can let go of. I do not believe it to be healthy to be so stark and fierce. Closing my eyes and letting the breeze in to blow away the negative vibes. Not forget them. Just to let go enough to continue on in the world with more positive thoughts.
Here is an example:


There was a beautiful well-versed lady who always woke each morning at 8, dressed stylishly from head to toe, and put on her make-up along with completing her hair fashioned appropriately. After her husband died, she wanted to sell the house and move into a retirement community. It all made perfect sense.

The day that she was ready, she sat in the lobby of the Village that she was moving in to while they prepared her room. When they told her that it was ready, she wheeled her walker with the employee toward the elevator as she was being told of the room's set up. She exclaimed with excitement that she loved it. The worker seemed surprised and said to her that she had not even seen it yet.

This remarkable woman stated that it did not matter. Happiness is something you decide over time. Whether or not I like my room doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged, it depends on how I arrange my mind. I have already decided that I like it. I make this decision every morning when I wake up. I have the choice; I can spend the day in bed, going through the difficulty I have with my body parts that don't work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the parts that do work.

She continued on that every day is a gift and as long as I open eyes, I will focus on the new day and the happy memories I've stored just for this time in my life. Happiness is like a bank account in that you withdraw from it what you deposit. Her advice was to always deposit a lot of happiness into your memory account. According to her (and I believe her to be a smart lady) there are five simple rules to remember:

 




Sunday, September 18, 2022

LISTENING TO MY OWN ADVICE

 LISTENING TO MY OWN ADVICE


This week there is no weekly blog. Sometimes we all have days like no others. Just hard to get motivated. Feeling a little burned out? Really not knowing why and still so wanting to go by my "TO DO" list. 

I just thought that it would be a wonderfully energetic day and it turned out not to be. So instead of getting all 'antsy' with myself, I decided to just let it be. My husband and I did work together to get on the slow cooker pork chops and fresh hull peas. We did even change the sheets. Finally, we are getting the routine down with a split king size Sleep Number bed, which we needed lessons on how to put on the sheets after washing them. (I kid you not!) 

My one BIG accomplishment was to do my physical therapy routine, read and watch football. And then to let my readers know that this is all of the blog I can write today and you know what? It will all be OK!