Sweet and simple pleasures

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Keep-it-sweet-and-simple

Recently, while shopping at Dollar Tree, I picked up a little plaque—black background covered with white chalk-like printing in varied fonts. Although a ribbon adorns the top for hanging, it resides propped up on my desk at home. The words etched on the plaque are simple reminders: Love one another, always tell the truth, sweet dreams, say please and thank you, share, play nice, work hard, say your prayers, keep your promises, laugh often. My intention to simplify this year (see ‘keep it simple…‘) encompasses not only my words (let them be fewer), but my schedule (say yes less, rest more), righting wrongs as they occur (rather than harboring bitterness) and recognizing simple pleasures daily. Beginning on day six, I received a hand-written thank you card in the mail—a simple gesture, yet one that seems to be a lost art. I hope to chronicle these treasures throughout 2016, a way to recognize and better appreciate life’s simple sweetness.

What is a recent simple pleasure you’ve encountered?

Photo courtesy of people-equation.com.

Righting wrongs, mending hearts

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righting wrongsOver the past several weeks, I’ve initiated a concerted effort to make amends with people I’ve hurt, owning up to my wrongs—taking ownership for unkind words and broken promises (see ‘Turn the page to begin anew’). Perhaps you are convinced someone close to you betrayed you and, without seeking any kind of validation, you succumbed to rash assumptions and drastic measures. Then, too late, you realized your erroneous thinking. It really doesn’t matter who was to blame because, in the end, it takes at least two. And love refuses to demand its own way. Consequently, all you can do is accept your personal role in the situation and ensure that your actions, moving forward, coincide with your words. In time the door to reconciliation might open but, until then, I suggest you offer up forgiveness and goodwill. When we accept responsibility, it doesn’t expunge our wrongs, yet it does free our hearts and minds from bitterness and regret.

Is there a wrong you need to right today?

Image courtesy of cbenjasuwan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Turn the page to begin anew

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Turn the page begin

The first blank page of 2016 arrives with good intentions: Simplicity. Balance. Happiness, health and wellness. Just when we thought it was safe, in creeps remnants of discouragement. Wait, didn’t we leave that behind at 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve? As I folded and put away a couple days’ worth of clean laundry this morning, I reflected on how, when not managed immediately (or within a reasonable amount of time), the wash and myriad household tasks pile up much like the residual of unkind words, broken promises and unrealized expectations—all of which weigh us down with disappointment, regrets or hurt. I suggest, instead, we do what we can in an allotted period of time; i.e., spend XX minutes each day working on housekeeping tasks or making an effort to right a wrong, and then be done with it. Let it go, whatever it is. And with intention, choose to travel lighter, unburdened. Then turn the page to begin anew.

How did your New Year’s Day transpire?

Image courtesy of sixninepixels at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Hope begins in the dark

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[Image credit: MR LIGHTMAN]

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you
just show up and try to do the right thing,
the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work:
you don’t give up. ~ Anne Lamott

For years I’ve routinely lived by the mindset that things always look better in the morning.  At night, when the world is slumbering yet sleep doesn’t come easily for me, my thoughts run rampant and I only see the negative staring at me through the shadows.  With the new dawn, however, my day has yet to be written and its potential is endless.  In Lamott’s quote, she puts a twist on the dark and finds a kernel of hope there.  And she says if you hold onto it — your stubborn hope for something better — the day’s promises show up.  But if you give up waiting, watching and working, at morning light, you may miss the possibilities altogether.

Does your hope begin in the dark or in the light of day?