The first day of the rest of your life (story)

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Today is the first day of the rest of your life

[Image credit: Ohmega1982]

One day your life will flash before your eyes.
Make sure it’s worth watching. ~ Unknown

So how did the year go?  Can you look back on the last 366* days and pat yourself on the back for a job well done?  Or did your enthusiasm start with a bang and end with a fizzle?  My year was filled with starts and stops and ups and downs.  Many of my goals were accomplished, even ones that were not a glimmer on January 1st.  Now tomorrow is another New Year — a chance for a clean slate and for us to continue writing our life story.  The cool part is that a story writes itself and, as it plays out, the ending is always being revised.  May your story play out exactly as you dream, with delightful surprises woven throughout each chapter.  And when you reach the final page, I hope you’ll be truly satisfied with how it turned out.

What are your plans to celebrate the advent of 2013?

*Leap Year (thanks for pointing that out, Big Sister!)

From the bottom of my heart

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From the bottom of my heart

[Image credit: arztsamui]

As of tomorrow, I’ve fulfilled one of my two dozen goals for 2012.  Although it may be the end of my daily blogs, it is not the end of my rambling and rhetoric.  Plans for 2013  include randomly checking in and sharing a piece of wisdom, posting updates on how my other writing ventures are going and my ever-present quest for Someday.  Maybe I’ll note a quote that touched my writer’s soul or step on my soapbox to air a grievance.  Rest assured (to the chagrin of many), I’m not likely to run out of things to say anytime soon.  So if you’ve been a follower, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And I hope you’ll stick with me as I enter yet another new season where I put fingers to keyboard and tackle a dream.  In the meantime, go after what you want with everything you’ve got.  It’s always the *write* time.

If you could devote yourself to fulfilling one dream, what would it be?

Preparing for a fabulous new year


Preparing for a fabulous new year

[Image credit: chanpipat]

You may currently have all your resolutions, goals and “to dos” put in place for the New Year.  However, those lists may just as well be words on paper — rather than an action plan toward fulfilling dreams or simply navigating life’s choppy waters — if you don’t prepare yourself mentally.  It’s your mind that will either talk you out of it, or keep you on track.  Here are five tips to help you plan for a happy, successful and (hopefully) life-changing 2013:

  1. Begin each day with expectation that something wonderful is going to happen.
  2. Plan and prioritize.  If it moves you closer to your highest purpose in life, do it first.
  3. Let go of your results.  Remember, control the things you can.
  4. Turn off background TV or other distractions that pull your mind off track.  Focus on the job at hand.
  5. End each day with gratitude.  Write down at least one wonderful thing that happened.

How are you preparing for a fabulous New Year?

Never give up


Never give up

[Image credit: David Castillo]

Never, never, never, never give up.  ~ Winston Churchill

I ramble a lot about either changing the things we can, or quit complaining.  But what about the things we have no control over?  For instance, from the sidelines we can watch our friends and loved ones as they make choices we feel are not right for them.  But there’s nothing we can do about it.  However, when it comes to us, I think there’s (most) always a choice.  Maybe the timing isn’t right to act on change currently.  Or perhaps fear is holding us back.  Or it could be that we feel we’re being torn in completely opposite directions.  Whatever the reason keeping us from moving forward, the above quote says it all.  If we don’t hang on — whether it’s a breakthrough in our health or job situation or a struggling relationship — we’ll never know how the story may have turned out.

Are you ready to throw in the towel, or are you willing to see it through?

A writer with a capital W

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Writer with a capital W

This is not a new discussion.  I’m constantly beating my head against a brick wall on the topic and thought I’d ask my “closest” friends on Facebook what constitutes a “real” writer — forgetting, of course, that I’m a writer (at least that’s what I call myself).  Here are some responses:  … I enjoy a person that can provoke an emotion. Be it laughter, sorrow, glee, etc.; chain smoker; self-loathing, abusive, alcoholic; a person who has written, finished and published several works of literature in print; … a very active imagination; …can write something that will keep my attention from beginning to end; loner; … capable of captivating and retaining a reader.  According to a couple answers, I’m definitely a “real” writer.  I can provoke an emotion (even if it might be disgust).  I have a very active imagination (even if I say so myself).  Maybe if I take on the other qualities, I’ll be a Writer with a capital W.

What is a “real” writer in your book?

A simple touch of kindness

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A simple touch of kindness

[Image credit: chrisroll]

During Yoga practice and the spine strengthening series, yogis rest on their stomachs in between poses.  At that time, some of the instructors will “walk” on any eager feet.  The last time I was the recipient of this brief exchange, I was thankful for the willingness of my teacher to freely offer the gift of touch to her students.  During that moment of meditation, I felt a strong appreciation and wondered how many others in my life crave such a simple act of affection.  It seems we are more concerned about crossing over boundaries or insulting so we keep our distance.  That’s not what I want to be remembered for.  I would rather be thought of as the person who stepped outside her comfort zone and embraced a fellow mother, daughter, brother … human being.  Perhaps we’d be a lot happier if we didn’t worry so much about whom we offend, but instead care about those we friend.

Do you regularly show others kindness through a simple touch?

The meaning of Christmas

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Christmas 2012


[Image credit: Beachinaball]

Christmas, for some, is just another day marking time on the calendar.  For others, the main focus is steeped in a religious celebration with its myriad traditions.  The word Christmas may denote hope, second chances, thankfulness, time with loved ones.  Or it may mean shopping malls, long lines, Santa Claus and all the other holiday trappings.  For me, Christmastime signifies several things.  It takes me to the end of another year of dreams dreamed — some fulfilled, more still hanging in the balance.  It reminds me of a halcyon time in my childhood that my mother was so much a part of yet absent the past four Christmases.  And there’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled with family and friends who reside further than I can drive in a day.  But I also look forward with expectation to what the New Year will bring.  And I’m grateful every day for the good news and the continued promise of Someday.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Word-of-the-month: halcyon (adj., n.)

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[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

Memories from our childhood may bring to mind special traditions shared with family and friends during the holiday season — a halcyon time of year.  Today, however, many of us are unsettled and filled with stress.  Financial concerns, travel hassles, foul or unpredictable weather, health issues, missing loved ones who may as well live on the other side of the world or those who have passed on — all of these conditions are examples of what may turn a hopefully peaceful, reflective time into just the opposite.  Halcyon, an adjective (pronounced halsēən), means denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and serene.  This is oftentimes best illustrated around the holidays, but could also denote family vacations or favorite pastimes.  Synonyms of halcyon include quiet, calm, placid, tranquil, still, untroubled and heavenly.  Used as a noun, a halcyon is a kingfisher (especially of the genus Halcyon) with brightly colored plumage.

May your holidays be the kind you look back on as being halcyon, healthy and memorable.

The best is yet to come

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The best is yet to come

[Image credit: luigi diamanti]

This coming year, instead of putting together a list of goals, I plan to adjust my lifestyle and make a few decisions.  The other day as I was contemplating several of my options, I realized one of the questions I’ve neglected to ask myself is: what is best for me?  That may sound totally self-seeking, but it’s obviously a question that can only be answered by the person who knows me best.  And that’s me.  We oftentimes seek to please others, but lose ourselves in the process.  So although it’s still important to take into account the feelings of family, friends, co-workers, etc., at some point we need to ask ourselves what will make us happier people.  Because as the popular saying goes: “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.”   We might not get it right the first time.  But as long as we keep asking the question, we’re bound to come up with the perfect answer.  Someday.

Do you ever ask the question: what is best for me?

Tools for success

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Tools for success


[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

My nest is still empty as of this post.  My grown-up daughter has been “on her own” for over two weeks and, quite honestly, I thought she’d be back already.  Oh, she’s been back — doing laundry, helping herself to a frozen pizza and the chocolates in the candy jar.  She’s picked up mail, slept on the sofa and brightened up the home with her stories and, most recently, mentioned the apartments she’s looking at.  It turns out she’s contemplating a move across town after the first of the year.  No longer a 10-minute drive for a visit, it will require more planning and no doubt less “drop-ins.”  The most notable part about the plan is the complex she’s looking at is the same one I lived in over 24 years ago.  I can only hope there’s more to the “like mother like daughter” saying, and that I’ve equipped her with the tools to be a success wherever she goes.

Where have you recently seen your influence in action?

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