Payback

Never fails. I have a good day and then the next, I pay for it. That’s ok, though. As long as I still have good days, that’s all that matters. My challenge to you today is to realize that not every day is going to perfect. That even the imperfect days can be full of joy, also. Today, I’m looking around my house at all I accomplished yesterday. That brings me great joy today and that’s all that matters. Every day contains joy if you just look for it.

So, I wish all of you a very good day!!

Freedom

Once you enter the grown up world of marriage, children, jobs, bills, home ownership, etc, you forget how freeing it is not to live by a set schedule. I have all the freedom in the world as far as what I do with my days. My income is set now with no chances for increasing it as I’ve done in the past with overtime or extra jobs. Therefore, as long as I stick to that budget, I have no real worries.

I’m not worried about my health because that’s completely out of my control. I’ve learned over the years that no matter what I do, the unexpected will happen and probably at the most inconvenient times possible. There’s nothing I can do to stop disaster from hitting my life so worrying about it is an absolute waste of time.

I have to remind myself of that daily, though, as I keep trying to control everything in my world. I’ve always been the care taker, the one to make everything right for my kids, the one to turn to for help. And now, though I’m still that person, my resources are limited. My energy is sapped by chronic pancreatitis and I’m totally aware of my limitations on making anything right for anyone. The will is there but that’s not realistic. Things happen that no one can control or expect. You can’t prepare for every single calamity that might occur.

Despite that pessimistic view, I’m an eternal optimist. I believe in preparing for things that may happen though I’ve let go of worrying about those things. Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs and you have to learn to enjoy the ride no matter how frightening it may be. That long trip climbing may end up being the most fun you’ve ever had once you reach the top and head down. That curve that jerks you around may end in straight track for awhile. And when the ride comes to an end, it’s part relief and part sadness that it’s over.

That’s life. My faith in God is strong and unshaken and I know what’s waiting for me at the end of my ride. Jesus is waiting with open arms. So worry? It serves no purpose.

That’s freedom. True freedom. Letting go of believing you have control over anything other than your own reactions to what occurs in your life. Today, I hope you grab hold of your own freedom and embrace the life given you fully.

Have a wonderful day!

Renewal

The best way for me to renew my spirit is to spend time with my family. This past weekend, it didn’t matter how I felt physically because I was with all three of my girls and all four of my grandkids. Sometimes all at once and sometimes just a few at a time. Every second is precious and means so much.

All of my girls have different personalities, as do each of my grandkids. Talking to each is a constant delight. They never fail to surprise me. They’re my heart and my life.

My challenge to you today is to find your heart. Someone who means the world to you, or a pet who loves you unconditionally, or a place that renews you with peace. Then whatever comes your way, you’re strong enough to handle without falling apart.

Wishing you peace in any storm and renewal of your spirit and optimism today.

Wonder

The night sky in Autumn. Very clear and the moon seems to shimmer in white against the blackness of the sky. I took my grandson outside last night to share the wonder of it all.

When we first stepped outside, he wasn’t impressed. Yeah, big deal. Slice of moon and stars. But I walked him further out into the yard and as we stood gazing upwards, more stars appeared to us. I’m hopeless at pointing out constellations but as I gestured to the sky telling him they’re there, he perked up more and more.

That’s my job as a Grandma. It was my job as a Mom and now it’s my responsibility to pass that wonder onto my grandkids, also. On vacation, I showed my granddaughter’s how fascinating it is to hunt for shells. Show them the wonder of geodes and rocks I find in different areas. When we walk outside, I point out things they may not see or present things to them in a different light. Sticks aren’t just sticks, nuts are all unique to the tree they come from and textures all vary.

As a grown up with chronic illness that gives me a reduced life span here on earth, it’s important I keep that childlike wonder alive in myself. Even if I didn’t have grandkids to share my discoveries with, I’d still be out there appreciating all that nature has to offer. I regularly walk around the property just to see what I can see. Collect things to make crafts from. Take photographs to enjoy forever.

My challenge to you is to find that childish wonder. Find the magic. Experience the discoveries.

Have a wonderful day!

Seasons

Found my lost images! Below are examples of the Halloween garlands I’ve been working on.

I love the changing of the seasons. Especially the transition from summer to fall. The air just feels different and you know immediately that fall has arrived. Even when the temps are still summer.

It’s finally acting like fall temperature wise and that energizes me. My homing instincts kick in and I start fixing up my house ready for hibernation. I must have been a bear in a previous life! Removing stuff that I no longer use, deep cleaning and rearranging…that’s what I’ve been doing since the air changed.

It’s good to shake things up once in awhile. Two of my daughter’s are very cautious with change but my youngest is constantly switching things up. Wonder where she learned that?!

No matter how much I love my house and the way I’ve set it up, I’m always doing things to give it a new look. Adding, subtracting, changing… I never get bored in my home because it’s always new. Filled with things I love and everything in here is important to me.

As I feel the need to change things in my environment, I also am aware of the need to change things within myself. If you don’t find ways to challenge yourself, you become stagnant. My body may be deteriorating but I’m trying to find ways to prevent my brain from following suit. For all I know, it’s not working, but I do enjoy learning new things as often as possible. I don’t do easy reading often. Books can teach you so much even when they’re fiction. Wars fascinate me and take me out of my pain and put me into someone else’s reality that is far worse. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when so many others are suffering much more. And mysteries challenge your mind to work out puzzles.

Autumn calls me to get out and walk. To enjoy the cooler weather and colors. As I’m working on the changes in my own life, it’s good to get out and see the changes going on everywhere else, also. Sometimes my world feels isolated and overwhelming but when I get out of my own world into the larger one, I realize it’s only that way if I let it be. Which I have no intention of allowing.

That’s my challenge today. Expanding my world so the wonder and joys can enter my heart and motivate me to keep on changing and improving all I can. And on that note, I wish you a wonderful day.

Satisfaction

Completing projects, not matter how small or how large, is very satisfying. Today’s challenge is to enjoy that satisfaction without allowing feelings of inadequacy to interfere. Would I have liked to finish these a couple weeks ago? Yes. Would I have liked to have finished more? Yes. But the fact I finished any at all is a huge success and I’m setting aside my Type A to enjoy that completion fully.

(My satisfaction is dulled considerably at this very moment, because I just discovered the photos I downloaded to post have disappeared somewhere within the memory of my laptop! Well, that is an issue to deal with tomorrow.)

Learning to let go of disappointments, learning to accept my limitations and learning how to celebrate the little victories is a task I’ve worked hard at these past few years. Some days, no matter how I try to talk myself out of a funk, I can’t. So on the days I can see physical evidence that I’m leaving something of myself behind in this world, I feel great satisfaction in that. I have a pile of completed Halloween garlands in front of me to remind me of the focus it took to create them. They’re fun and the finished products aren’t the only important thing. The image in my head, the process of making them, the pride in my work… It’s all very satisfying.

Lowering my expectations and learning how to deal with whatever curves the day brings to interfere with those is something I relearn every day. So my challenge to you today is to set aside those lists of things you should have completed today and for some reason, weren’t able to. Think of one thing that made you feel satisfaction. Focus on that and celebrate!

Have an awesome day.

 

Quiet

That’s the challenge for today. Turn off the tv, limit internet and phone and just be quiet for awhile. It’s amazing how it can refresh and energize you at the same time.

We’re surrounded by noise all the time. Radio, tv, traffic, etc, etc. Without realizing it, it’s sapping our resources within. Listen behind the artificial noise and you’ll hear things you wouldn’t ordinarily even be aware of. Birds singing, the wind in the trees and sounds that are too soft to be heard over our daily noise.

When it’s quiet and I’m not looking at my tv or computer screen, I look out my windows. I watch the trees change from season to season. I watch clouds scuttling past or slowly moving along. I watch the sun’s progress across the sky or storms roll in. I see wildlife I’d miss if I wasn’t looking outside or sitting on my porch. Daily guests are deer, rabbits and lizards. The dogs are a never ending source of entertainment. My grandkids playing and my grown children going about their business.

When it’s quiet, I also look around my house. My gaze falls on things I’ve picked up travelling. All beautiful and all precious memories. I stare at photos I’ve taken on travels and relive being there. I see details I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t do that. I look at photos of my family and offer thanks for such wonderful people being in or having been in my life. I look at my plants and see their growth progress. My house isn’t a dead space. It’s alive with living things and living memories that remind me that this is a house of love.

Look around you and remind yourself of all that’s good in your life. Renew yourself with love and good memories. Make resolutions on ways you can improve your immediate environment to make your space even more welcoming and joyful to you. Take awhile to be quiet and be grateful for all you have, no matter how little or how much. Even if your health is not what you’d wish, you can find joy and appreciation during quiet times.

And that is my wish for you today-joy, appreciation and lots of happiness.