A Daydream of Paradise

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Sometimes, when we are striving to reach our goals, we forget how very much we have in our lives. We start taking them for granted, feeling we don’t have enough because we want so much more. As an author, we might even compare ourselves with others, colleagues who have hit the big leagues, have titles we covet like “best-selling author”, a book that is a best seller or a book that is in the top 100’s when ours are teetering in the millions.

I want so much more in life and even more with my book business but it seems the struggle continues. I try and try but success seems so far away and I wonder if I will ever obtain it. The more I try, the more success seems to be out of my grasp, not even close enough to slip through my fingers. I don’t want to envy writers with fancy titles but I do sometimes and I wish I knew the secret to own one of those glorious titles because I have no idea how they became successful when I am still here, struggling and trying to remain positive among a sea of unknowns.

So in light of my own personal struggles with: juggling my caretaker responsibilities, my full-time day job that has lost its luster and passion for me, and my book business that most days seems to harbor on the back-burner anymore, I somehow lost sight of all the wonderful stuff and people I do have in my life and I was reminded about this fact, last night.

While staring up at the beautiful lights and ornaments of my Christmas tree, my special friend Michael reminded me to appreciate all that I have. He has been asking me to open my heart, which I did not know was in bad need of damage repair. Instead of love, anxiety and fear crept in. They have riddled my days, for quite a long while now, and I did not know. I didn’t realize, in this season of light and love, how far removed I was.

I am one that advises and encourage others any chance I can get. I help my fellow authors and author friends anytime I can and I work tirelessly to uplift others, even if it means spending hours messaging or talking with a friend so that they can feel better after our conversation. However, have I taken my own advice? Well… no. I encourage and cheer others but I haven’t done the same for myself. The problem is I expect so much out of life and out of myself and I want it Now. And because I haven’t received it and I see others successful when I am failing to achieve my goals, I have essentially forgotten to take care of myself.

I learned so many things yesterday but what I didn’t realize was that we can get caught up in our wants and desires and neglect ourselves in the process- and not even know it.

We need to take care of ourselves first because if we are not in the right frame of mind, we will accomplish nothing.

This is a reminder to look at your own lives and discover all that you have. I have seen several with no home when I have a comfortable one, begging for food when I am not lacking. I have an amazing dog and am fortunate enough to have found my life partner who is also my best friend. These are only a few of the many blessings that I, personally, have and I know you have a list too. During this upcoming New Year, write your list down and reflect upon it, knowing you are starting the New Year on a very good note. And may you receive many more blessing throughout 2018!

Christmas Memories

Hi Readers,

Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?

I posed this question to my Street Team earlier tonight.

I absolutely love Christmas and I shared with my group one of my favorite memories from when I was a kid but there are so many more like the time when my mom and I went Christmas Caroling through a volunteer group at our church.  It was wonderful.  There was nothing professional or organized about it.  Just a group of kind volunteers who wanted to spread Christmas cheer.  We followed each other, driving our individual cars to several homes and even to a local shelter to sing our hearts out.  Whether we were out of tune or not, no one cared and the smiles we received for our efforts lit up each home, each facility.

My best memory of that beautiful day was the last home we headed to.  It belonged to a man who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  I remember entering his bedroom and seeing him lying in bed.  We waited as the nurse propped him up on his pillow and he watched us, all huddled in one corner of the room.  It was the first time I had ever met anyone with a debilitating disease and I was humbled by the experience.  After we sung several songs, so out of tune and uncoordinated the angels must’ve blushed, the nurse looked over at us in the silence and said he was smiling.  It almost brings tears to my eyes, once again, while I am writing this.  He has since passed but I truly hope we were able to bring a little bit of peace, a little bit of joy in his life amidst his final battle.

My mom and I tried to volunteer the following year and hoped for the same enjoyment but sadly, the church replaced the random acts of kindness from good people wanting to sing Christmas carols with the professional church choir and it was not the same.

However, I hold this memory of that special day and that precious man in my heart and that is the spirit of Christmas.  Of giving, of loving, and of spreading joy and comfort to those around us.

I truly hope you are surrounded by such love and joy and miracles, too, for each one of you deserves a lifetime of happiness.  This is what I wish for you.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, my friends.  Be safe and enjoy the rest of the year.

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These are my favorite things…

Happy-Holidays-snowmanHi Readers,

The Holidays.  Just saying that, how does it make you feel?  Stressed?  Joyful?  Maybe a little of both or in between?  For me, I am sad the Holidays are almost over.  It is frightful to know we are on the last day of November when Halloween seemed to occur just yesterday!  However, I am determined to make the best of the rest of the year and I hope you are too.  These are a few of my favorite things at this time of year.

  1.  No more excuses.  Time to spend with the family and days off too.  Don’t you love it?  Not only do you get days off to spend time with family and friends but you get paid for the days too.  Now if you work in retail or other types of businesses where you have to work the holidays, I apologize because this can be a bummer.  I have a co-worker who worked in retail last year and was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving (for black Friday sales).  She will never forget how sad she felt having to work when her family was enjoying time together around the dinner table with relatives she hadn’t seen in quite a long while.
  2. Lot of sales!  I looove shopping throughout the year but items can add up and get expensive real quick.  However, at this time of year just about everything you can think of is on sale at some point.  You just have to watch the ads or check out the stores to catch them.
  3. Bright, twinkly lights.  Who doesn’t love beautiful lights?  Especially when you don’t have to pay for the electricity.  I love driving around with my hubby viewing beautiful displays of animated snowmen, merry Santa Clauses and cute reindeer.  It’s fun and it’s free.  What’s not to love?
  4. A different feeling in the air.  People are generally happier.  They open doors for you and are a bit kinder than they might’ve been the rest of the year.  Sometimes you might even receive a surprise like your favorite beverage paid for before your car hits the drive through window.
  5. An excuse to eat sweets with less guilt.  Yes, I have a sweet tooth.  In fact, I think I might have two or three instead of one.  Hahaha.  This time of year, you can feel a bit less guilty indulging in your favorite dishes though that’s not an excuse to gorge and overdo it!  But your doctor’s Rx is more lenient at this time and he says “treat yourself because you are special.”  You deserve it.  (wink)

These are just a few of the lovely things I enjoy this time of year.  What are yours?

I sincerely wish you Happy Holidays!  May they be merry and bright and filled with much love and laughter.  Till our next chat, take care and be safe throughout this holiday season!

 

It’s the little things..

surprise-happy-birthday-gifts-5Hi Readers,

Just some thoughts on my birthday to share.  You know, as the years pass by, it’s funny how our preferences change.  Just yesterday while my husband was running around trying to buy a gift for me, I realized how I would rather have his company instead of a gift.  Many, many years ago, in my twenties, I wouldn’t have agreed with this thinking and would’ve reached for the present instead but now with bills and responsibilities and duties, things like time are even more precious.  Objects can always be bought but company is hard to come by.

I still love receiving presents, though, but it’s the little things…  A special and unusual color of roses (dusty pink) in an arrangement from a man who means so much to me (when he has very little time to spare), whispered words in my ear of affection, generous hugs, pampering, festive communication in the middle of my day, and loving gestures mean the world to me, especially when coming from those I love.

So, as I sit here at my day job and am receiving a few birthday wishes, I am warmed by the recognition.  I’m also a bit sad with the realization that there hasn’t been any comments on my main FB page but it’s okay because it really doesn’t matter in the end and people have busy lives.  Yes, my birthday is special to me and I love celebrating it and the revelry behind it but… that all passes and then life continues.  So, in the meantime, on my special day, I will do little things to help celebrate who I am and where I’ve been.  And I am looking forward to those things that really matter to me and experiencing them with those I love.  That is the real celebration.