Three Little Words

March 19th, 2015

bff Have you ever thought about how something so small can make such a HUGE impact?

Yesterday, after four hours of sleep due to a LOT of concern for JJ and a torn ligament in his knee that he got while playing, I woke up in a funk.    Nothing major, but one of those mornings where you feel a little blue.   We all have them-  and I knew exactly what mine was stemming from, so I also knew that like all ‘blue days’ that it would be temporary.

I usually take these days and just let them run their course-  I don’t fight them, because in some ways I feel like that’s saying it isn’t ‘ok’ to feel that way, when it is.   I’m not a big believer in suppressing emotions, but rather more in feeling them and going through what you are feeling.

I was soaking in the tub, when Marcel came in and handed me a yellow envelope and said, “This may add a smile to your face.”    I turned the card over, and saw that it was from my best friend of more than 30 years.     Inside, a few words which expressed in more detail what the outside three words said-  Thinking of You.  Three words, out of the blue that brought a smile to my face, and warmth to my heart on a day that before that felt somewhat gloomy.

It was simple, but yet timed perfect.     When I messaged to thank her-  apparently it had taken longer than usual to arrive, but it arrived at exactly when I needed it the most-  when the special value was raised and the love was felt even more than usual.

I’m grateful, and blessed.

 

A simple gesture can make all the difference in the life of someone else-  let those three little words-  Thinking of You be part of your day.

Wanderlust to Vermont

March 19th, 2015

A Vermont vacation in the Fall- that’s what dreams are made of. For a long as I can remember, Fall is one of my absolute favorite seasons, and spending it in the East- Vermont, Maine, Connecticut is high on my ‘bucket list’.

I have this vision that goes beyond beautiful foliage and breathtaking views, something that is along the lines of a Thomas Kinkade painting- picturesque and yet homey at the same time. I can picture a quaint bed and breakfast with a breathtaking view, sipping steaming hot coffee on a cool morning from a front porch. The ultimate vision of relaxation.

Having friends in neighboring states, I have seen photos that show there is so much to do with every season. Skiing in the winter, beautiful blooming flowers in the Spring, spending Summers on the lakes. Being a coastal Southern girl, I believe the knowledge of having a ‘real’ definition between each season is part of the enticement, along with my never-ending wanderlust and desire to explore new places, experience new things.

Granted, I know that I couldn’t go East without a visit to the Big Apple, but I suspect the ‘busyness’ of the city would grow old quickly. I love the solitude of being close to forests I can walk in, small villages and towns that I can explore, filled with quaint shops, and charming shop owners. Small restaurants which offer amazing local cuisine. Doesn’t it make you want to pack your bags NOW? Well, it does me too.

I would love to know what your favorite Vermont establishments are. Everything from restaurants to small boutique shops. What should I ‘not miss’ if I were planning a trip today? Inquiring minds want to know- and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’m definitely taking notes so that when that day comes- I’ll know exactly where I want to spend my time. Thanks y’all.

March 12th, 2015

remembering.Today-  as I was getting something out of a drawer, I came across an old calendar from 2007.  Inside of it were various things-  most of which I tossed in the garbage, but amongst them was a worn envelope-  with Happy Mother’s Day Grandma Tanner written in my ‘young’ handwriting.   I would recognize that handwriting anywhere.

I opened the card, and inside was a Mother’s Day greeting card from our family to my grandma.   Also inside was this hand-made card that I’d created for my grandmother.   (see photo to right)

 

I shared this photo, and the thoughts that came pouring to mind on Facebook-   Below is what I shared:

 

There are moments that are preserved in time, that even when they slip from our minds- a simple card, made with love many years ago- can flood the mind with beautiful memories.
(Mother’s Day card I made for my grandmother Tanner- circa late 1970’s. )

It is often said that we rarely recognize those special/ magical moments as they are happening, but instead, as we later (sometimes much later) look back upon them realize their true value.

I wonder if we were able to step outside of the fact that the ‘ordinary’ moments that we take for granted are actually ‘extraordinary’ moments in the making, if we would embrace and enjoy them even more?

Choosing Your Focus 

March 11th, 2015

To know me is to know that I am always thinking about ‘something’- things that challenge me and cause me to pause and evaluate how I can continue to learn and grow as a person.  

Yesterday that thought process led me to the following post I made on Facebook (which I made public), but I also feel led to share it here in hopes it will offer a source of inspiration to another.  

If we focus on the love in our lives, we will see it in even the tiniest of moments- as well as with joy and gratitude.

On the flip side of that coin- if we live and focus on fear, we will become fearful, including in our relationships.  The same can be said with bitterness, negativity and so forth.  

In the garden of life- what we ‘water’ and nurture WILL take seed and grow.  The plus side to this is its up to US what we choose, and it’s never too late to change the seeds we choose to water.  

What seeds are you growing?  Love, Joy, Gratitude, and Abundance- or fear, anger, insecurities and frustration?

Going Through…

March 6th, 2015

Robert Frost once wrote:

“The best way out is always through.”

A simple, seven word sentence, yet filled with much wisdom and truth.

Having been someone who learned the hard way by attempting to avoid painful situations,   I learned that the best (and only) way is to walk through something.

There are times when it may even feel as though we are crawling-  or possibly even sitting and spinning our wheels-  with all vision lost of the path in front of us.  But even then-   in the midst of walking through-   those moments of uncertainty, of raw vulnerability where we realize that occasionally- pause is necessary for a moment.

Sometimes-   it’s a moment of pause that allows us to be silent-  to feel-  to regain our bearings, and while we do- the path before us once again becomes clear, as we move forward, albeit slowly.   There are moments- when we feel we can’t go on, but yet, there is great comfort in knowing that this is not permanent.  After all, What is?

To know me-  is to know that I am a thinker and analyzer by nature.   I’m also someone who has learned that there are no short cuts to living the best life possible.   Life is full of lessons, speed bumps, road blocks, beautiful and awe-inspiring moments.

We can’t keep things from happening-   after all, we are human, and we DO have feelings.   What we can do-  is make the choice how we will deal with things as they occur.  Sometimes that is much easier said than done, but it’s doable.    We often make things harder for ourselves, simply by the way we ‘choose’ to react to them.

This week-   was the five year anniversary of losing someone very dear to me.   She passed away suddenly, and I was almost 5,000 miles away when it happened.   Life waits for no one.    I mourned and grieved the loss that all who knew her felt-  and have long let go of any feelings of quilt that I initially had for not ‘being there’.

But this week, in spite of having really amazing things happening in my life-  I struggled, in a way that I really can’t even explain.

My initial thought was-  “I do not have time to feel like this-  I have this, this, and this to do.”   but the reality was-   I knew that if I chose to ignore my feelings and just bulldoze through life ahead-  that eventually those feelings would show up again.    I knew that I needed to walk THROUGH the feelings I was having, and not try to avoid them.   I knew it would be temporary-  but it is sometimes difficult to walk through anything that confronts us, or makes us feel vulnerable.

But I made a choice-   and I chose to simply ‘be’ with my feelings.  I didn’t try to overthink why, or even try to pinpoint what exactly it was that I was feeling and why-    because deep within, I knew why-   a cocktail of hormones, full-moonitis, and the anniversary of losing someone very precious to many of us.

I kept somewhat to myself for several days-    although I did talk to a few friends, one of which who came over last night to ‘hang out’ when she heard I was struggling.    No deep conversations, just two girlfriends hanging out and sharing life-  along with its ups and downs, just as friendship should be.

This morning-  I woke up, not with tears streaming down my face, but with a smile on my face, and the knowledge that the love and great memories I have with Carol will always live in my heart-  I’ll carry the good times and the life-lessons with me everywhere I go, but for me-   I had walked through the dark forest, and the sunshine on the other side was beautiful.

 

 

At the End of the Day…

February 22nd, 2015

“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished..it’s about who you have lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Denzel Washington

To know me is to know how much I love quotes, and when I find quotes that are in alignment with my thinking process, or which leave me challenged within the core of who I am-  I treasure them.   I also want to share them with others- in hopes that they will feel encouraged, inspired, or maybe even challenged within their own core being.

In a world where so many of us tend to rate our ‘successes’ based on how many ‘likes’ we get on Facebook posts, or the number of dollars in our bank account-   I find myself challenged as to how much that really matters at the end of the day.

This past year- I’ve had people tell me that they were ‘offended’ that I unfriended them on Facebook, even though we don’t communicate on there at all-  nor outside of the virtual world.     I also had someone tell me several years ago that I was ‘unkind’ for that same reason-    while in reality-  neither had anything to do with them, but my desire to simplify and be more focused on real connections and relationships.

I had a close friend message me and tell me that she was putting far too much emphasis on the validation that she received from ‘likes’ on Facebook, while not focusing on those right in front of her, so she decided that Facebook was not a place for her.   This was months ago, and she hasn’t looked back.     She is investing in the relationships and people that are right in front of her, and her life has changed dramatically for the positive.

For years I have tried to take pause and ask myself if I’m part of the solution when various things arise.    Reason being, because I am a firm believer that if we aren’t part of the solution- that we are very much a part of the problem.    I would love to be able to tell you that I handle all things in a manner of grace, perfection and dignity- but by saying so, I’d be lying.     I’m human after all-    So like everyone else-  I rise, I fall, and I rise again, but I never give up.

I also know that life is a series of choices-  and with those choices come circumstances-   some anticipated, some good-  some not as good, but the one constant is that there is always a lesson to be learned if we are open to receive it, and willing to look for it.

Throughout life we ALWAYS have the choice to rise up-  to show up in a big way and encourage another person.    To be genuine and to really want to see them do the best for themselves.    Truth is-  nothing brings me more joy than to see people do well, or to ‘get’ something that they’ve been unable to get in the past.    To play a small part in making the life of someone else a little better-   yeah, that’s what it’s all about.

So as I am challenged to rise and be the best version of me that I can be-  which is a constant learning process-  I also ask and challenge you for the same.    There is enough love for everyone..   so sprinkle a little everywhere you go.   You may make a permanent difference in someone else’s  life-  and that, my friend is what it’s all about..

Flu Days

February 21st, 2015

I was SO excited when I made it home from hours upon hours of closed airplane quarters and wandering through the people at the airport without getting sick.   In fact, I felt like I’d conquered something big, and I guess, in some ways I had.   After all-   it IS the middle of cold and flu season.

Forward several weeks later- and I innocently took a sip of a beverage that a friend offered me at a birthday party.   A few days later, she came down with the flu, which ended up including a non-welcome visit to the emergency room.     It wasn’t long after that and I came down with the sniffles and that general achy feeling one gets when on the edge of coming down with ‘something’.

I fought it for days upon days with nothing but Thieves Essential Oil, and truth is-  I thought my body and the essential oils had managed to beat it.   Until Tuesday evening-   aches and pains followed by fever.  It was exactly what I didn’t want-  but then again, who ‘wants’ the flu?

Life as I know it came to a screeching halt- and it has since.   My fun weekend plans were canceled because I didn’t want to infect any of my dear friends,  so here I sit at home taking care of me.

The silver lining to all this?   I’ve been streaming Netflix and catching up on shows that I haven’t ever watched, plus I’m reading again- something I haven’t done in a very long time.

It is also giving me plenty of time to think about my new business venture with a close friend, plus think about my company and where I would like it to go this year.

As a friend wrote in a message earlier in the week..  sick?  Ain’t no body got time for that!   So true!  But the body has a way of slowing us down, when we don’t want to, and for that, I’m grateful!

Day 100- 100 Happy Days

February 21st, 2015

100I have since started the part two version of 100 Happy Days- and am in my last 10 days-   I haven’t decided if I will share them here, as of yet- because like part one, they can be found on my public Facebook posts.   It’s something I’ll consider-  especially since it’s easy to give them a tag and they are ‘out there’ for all the world to potentially see- and hopefully inspire someone.  If not to create their own 100 Happy Days- but to take a moment in each day to really appreciate the beauty which surrounds them.   Life-

On the last day-  I shared this:

Today is the last of the 100 happy days, (but I love it so I’m starting another one on November 1st- join me if you like :)) and after browsing all the photos from the last 100 days- the common theme I found that really brings me joy and happiness is : life. Living life- sharing special moments with friends, family, enjoying the beauty that surrounds us daily, laughter, our pets, baking- all threads woven together that create beauty.
At the core of it all- love. Where would we be without it.

Day 99- 100 Happy Days

February 20th, 2015

99I love looking back at these-  to see the things that were ‘noticeable’ to me in each particular day-   The things I chose to focus on.

I love seasons, and seeing one roll gently (and sometimes not so gently) into the other.

 

This day was no different-  Seeing the mercury fall on the thermometer- shifting from one season into another.

Day 98- 100 Happy Days

February 20th, 2015

98There is much to be said about moments of solitude.   We have always needed them, but in this world that is full of constant distractions and being pulled from one direction to the other-    they are more important than ever.

 

This day-  Sitting outside on a cool rainy morning, enjoying coffee

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