Goals Reached

Goals Reached

When I first started this blog it was to meet head on some life goals I wanted to reach.

My main goal was to be a published writer.

Another was to conquer my fear of all the new technology that continues to evolve in our world.

And yet another was to find a place where my thoughts and hopes and dreams were relevant. Especially as I was facing the Empty Nest and the end of my job as an active everyday parent.

I think one of the biggest fears we have as we grow older is that no one will need us anymore. I have discovered in these last 18 months that that will never be true.

My kids will always need me and I will always need them just like I will and still need my parents, and husband and sister and everyone important in my life. And the new generation, with the birth of our first grandchild, will continue the cycle.

And so I have come full circle–so this will be my last post on this blog. Although I doubt it will be the last time I write–now that I am a published writer!

Goals reached are a closing of one door and the opening of another where new goals live to be reached someday…

In my next incarnation I think I will be more active politically to help preserve this country I love so much…although I will continue to work hard to reach our goals of retirement, travel and family.

I have to say I owe this whole journey to one person that has always supported me, encouraged me, argued with me and made me stronger by making me think.

A person who always motivated me to pursue my goals, however difficult or improbable and no matter what the odds. This person also picked me up when I would fall and would spur me on to keep moving forward in my life.

It is because of this person that I reach my goals and continue making new ones.

And he has always been my biggest fan!

So while this is my last post on Empty Nest Savvy, it is certainly not the last goal I plan to reach…

Thanks Dad!

Making Safety a Priority

Making Safety a Priority

Every day in every way there are bad things happening to people and good things happening to people.

How can you determine which group of people you are in, is entirely in your power.

Here are some common sense tips to ensure your safety:

  • Do not involve yourself in dangerous behaviors.

Drinking and driving, using drugs, or hanging out with people who do will put you in situations that will compromise your safety.

  • Don’t go out late at night unless it is absolutely necessary.

Crime rates rise as soon as the sun goes down. The cover of darkness seems to help criminals hide their crimes. There is no need to make a trip to Walmart or the gas station after 9:00 pm at night.

  • Take caution with your personal belongings.

Keep your car and home locked at all times. Don’t leave valuables in your car–even in front of your home. Secure important papers with personal information in a safe place.

  • Make good choices.

Most of us know the difference between right and wrong. Always chose tondo the right thing in all situations. If you are unsure what is right and wrong–take no action until you can figure it out.

  • Ask for help.

If you find yourself in a dangerous situation–call for help. The police and the fire departments are specifically trained to help us stay safe in our society. If someone is hurt call for an ambulance.

  • Protect yourself from others

Stay away from people who are not safe, who engage in dangerous behavior or who you know are making bad choices in their lives, regardless of who they are. Friends and family who are dangerous or are associating with dangerous people will only bring those dangerous situations to you.

Today, life is becoming more dangerous, it is up to each of us to create a safe space for ourselves. You have the power of choice. Choose the right path and your safety will be ensured.

Make your safety a priority.

The Health of a Nation

The Health of a Nation

In the grand scheme of things, one of the most important things in life is our health.

Being healthy means a great many things. But I am not just thinking about eating right and exercising. That is important but more importantly is the epidemic taking over our country–the drug epidemic.

Drugs have always been available in every society. It seemed that people had fallen prey to this vice because they were already living a dangerous lifestyle and becoming a drug addict was a natural extension of that lifestyle.

It seemed for a while that drug addicts were also primarily found in the lower socioeconomic classes also as en extension of their plight in life.

Now it can be seen in almost every walk of life, every socioeconomic section of society and over many age groups.

The sad part is we do this to ourselves and our society enables it.

Taking drugs of any kind, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, is playing Russian Roulette with our lives.

And it is also a choice. No one forces anyone else to try drugs for the first time or to continue experimenting. Once your body is addicted to a substance we let our body’s needs dictate the downward spiral we began.

Our society promotes drug use, legalizing marijuana, and using tax dollars to provide clean needles and methodone to the addicted. This only serves to perpetuate the problem.

Now people of all backgrounds are addicted to some substance and are living among us creating more and more problems in our society.

Further the human body is extremely strong and can withstand years of substance abuse before it overdoses and dies.

Worse, this drug culture is ruining this nation. Crimes continue on the rise becoming more violent and senseless.

Children are born drug addicted to survive only to be abused or neglected by parents whose primary goal is their next hit.

Law enforcement doesn’t even arrest people for possession of drugs because there is not enough man power or jail space to address the problem.

The drug problem in this country is ultimately going to be the great divider. It is becoming the people that don’t use drugs against those that do.

The health of a nation can be tied directly to its success in this battle against the drug crisis.

Awarded By Merit

Awarded By Merit

I was raised to believe that if you work hard and are honest you will succeed.

I raised my kids with the same premise. Be honest, work hard and there is nothing that cannot be accomplished.

Then we see news like yesterday’s college bribary scandal. Parents, very rich parents were found to have paid a great deal of money–in one instance more than a million dollars–to ensure their children a spot at an elite school.

What does that say?

It says loud and clear that those parents did not encourage their children to do their best.

They did not teach their children that they cannot have every capricious thing they want.

These parents did not show their kids how important honesty is.

And worst of all they taught their children that their strongest advocates–their parents–did not believe in their ability to get into college on their own merits.

While this is a horrible thing and it is appalling that some very deserving students did not get a spot at their college of choice because of these cheaters, I believe this is a good lesson for all of us to learn.

Work hard, be honest. Success comes in more important ways than in the name of your University.

Success comes by merit–by earning it the hard way, the right way. And success gives each one of us a very important thing–it allows us to sleep soundly at night knowing that your life was well earned.

Latinx

Latinx

Ah Millennials…you have gone and done it again.

One of the things I have enjoyed the most of being in my 50s now in the Empty Nest is watching young people as they develop and expand and continue to surprise me on the wonderful things we can create in this world of ours.

And by the same token, one of the things I enjoy the least is watching young people waste their time, and often times mine, coming up with stupid ideas–or worse following the stupid ideas others have put in their heads–and believing they are doing something worthwhile.

Case in point, the Latinx Movement.

The Latinx Movement is a hugely popular and growing number of primarily college age and young adults that stand for….absolutely nothing.

Latinx is a gender neutral term that takes the place of the term Latino or Latina. It is meant to represent people of Latin American descent. It is meant to help politicize the ideas of this group without identifying each individual’s gender.

So basically, it is a bunch of young people of Latin American descent that want to be acknowledged as a separate social group and who are confused about their gender.

And what do they stand for? They strongly believe the rest of America should care about them and their confusion.

This would be hilarious if it weren’t so incredibly sad.

Here is what I say to those of you that are flying the Latinx flag.

  • Understand that if you are an American Citizen, you are an American. You are not Latina, Latino, or Latinx.
  • If you want to honor the culture of your ancestors from Latin America, by all means do so–by enjoying food, clothing, art, music, language and celebrations in your life, with people important to you.
  • However, if you feel the rest of us must embrace your culture, your gender identity issues and your struggles with your self esteem, you are very mistaken.
  • If you’re Latin American roots are so strong and so important to you that you do not want to be part of the American Culture, feel free to move to the country of your choice and request their citizenship status.
  • Stop trying to reinvent the wheel by coming up with new words that do not mean anything. Use your time wisely and invent or do something real, something you can be proud of.

This world and especially this country offers us unlimited opportunities to do and create and enjoy and discover anything we can imagine. Why waste your precious time pursuing and being part of a movement that means nothing?

Don’t allow yourself to be a pawn of the far left inteligencia. Stand up and be yourself!

Climate Change

Climate Change

I really think many of our congresspeople and the people in the entertainment industry skipped Geography class during their freshman year of high school.

If they had attended or paid attention in class they would know that the definition of climate is the measurement of weather conditions in a particular area over a period of time.

So in essence, all these people are upset and terrified about what weather is supposed to do…and that is change.

These people are yelling at the top of their lungs and trying to create a panic about the sky falling.

This would be extremely funny if it were not so incredibly ignorant.

The most radical of these folks have actually predicted that the world as we know it will end in 12 years.

Did they find another Mayan Calendar like the one used to say the world was going to end in 2012? Hmmm, that was 7 years ago…and nothing happened.

Will this be like the hysteria of 1999 when all the computers were going to take over the energy grid and our world was going to end at midnight on New Years Eve? Hmmm, that didn’t happen either.

And now the new hysteria is over the changing weather, which is exactly what weather is supposed to do? So now the new doomsday is 2031?

Well I for one am willing to wait it out as I am sure the world will not end.

In the meantime, in southern Texas, in March it is 36 degrees! No global warming here people just the weather! Bring on the climate change!

Dr.Seuss Under Attack

Dr.Seuss Under Attack

I remember loving Dr. Seuss books as a child and loved reading them to my children when they were little.

Hop on Pop, Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat being among the favorites.

Just last week, local newscasts reported on local schools around the nation celebrating Dr. Seuss Day. High school students visited elementary schools to read to the younger students.

And today, we hear that Dr. Seuss is a racist.

Because…according to leftest academia…less than 2% of characters in Dr. Seuss are persons of color.

I am truly speechless. Dr. Seuss books are iconic stories and gk of our nation’s cultural fabric. They are books that are fantastical and make reading fun for early readers.

But the left has been striving to destroy everything that unites people in America in any way: prayer in school, statues of historical people of our American past, the Ten Commandments in front of courthouses, Christopher Columbus, John Wayne and now a beloved children’s author: Dr. Seuss!

Now I know my generation and the previous generation are not going to let go of Dr. Seuss.

Hopefully my children’s generation, to whom we read our favorite Dr. Seuss books will not let go of it either… but slowly these millennials and the kids behind them will embrace the ridiculous idea that Dr. Seuss was a racist and his books are poison to the next generation…

But wait—these are the same kids that are being told the world is going to end in 12 years and they should choose not to have children anyway!

Sorry folks, this is the same ridiculousness that is creating the Green New Deal! And of course that will not work! Instead of the Green New Deal, let’s embrace Green Eggs and Ham instead:

Say! I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-Am!
And I would eat them in a boat.
And I would eat them with a goat…
And I will eat them, in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good, so good, you see!
So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them anywhere!
I do so like green eggs and ham!
Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-Am.

The Era of Good Feelings

The Era of Good Feelings

I’m going to give you a short history lesson today.

After the war of 1812, our country felt a resurgence of patriotism, unity and national purpose. The Federalists (future Democratic Party) fell apart and a new liberal party did not emerge for almost 10 years.

Many historians have said the Democrats of that day went “underground” and were inactive until Andrew Jackson brought them back to life in the Election of 1824.

Makes you wonder why?

One reason is the nation was experiencing great economic growth after the war. The Industrial Revolution created manufacturing, farming innovations and international trade with protective tariffs and a strong Bank of the United States. In a word–capitalism!

James Monroe wins the Republican nomination and the Presidency in 1816. The Federalists (read Democrats) were furious! They wanted to control the Bank, trade with England, and the growth of the railroads.

But the people (and it was their country, after all!) were happy–they were prospering! We were a nation of peace, patriotism and prosperity.

So the Federalists faded away and were quiet for about 10 years–1816 to 1826-The Era of Good Feeling.

History always seems to repeat itself…the fury of the Democrats in the face of a strong President and a prospering nation is a repeat of what happened exactly 200 years ago!

Today, just like 200 years ago, people in power ignored the will of people for their own envious and destructive ends.

Then, like now, the liberals were on the wrong side of History. You’d think they would learn from their mistakes…

Thank you Mr. President for your strength and loyalty to the people of this great nation! The Era of Trump!

Speaking My Truth

Speaking My Truth

The young people who are spending so much time involving themselves in politics without even understanding history, at first, made me laugh.

Now…not so much. Everyone is “speaking their truth”, as if their truth is more valid than the real truth. I’m not even sure they understand what truth is…

But I do know what my truth is. And here it is:

  • Positive thinking is always stronger than negative thinking.Equal opportunity is much better than just giving everyone an equal outcome.
  • Freedom and liberty means we can have differing views and still live together.
  • Utopian societal ideas never work in reality.
  • Coddled children grow up to be entitled adults.
  • Working hard is the best way to an honest successful life.
  • Nothing in this world is free.

Many people today have lost their way, or did not have a way to begin with. They are following the leader without question.

Who is this leader? The person with the loudest microphone drowning out the others.

Before you decide to “speak your truth” try first to understand what that truth really is for you. Study it, think about it, live it for a while and see if it works.

And if it doesn’t, change it–for yourself. Do not force it on others. Your truth may not be my truth, or the actual truth at all…that is why we live in a free country.

The First Inaugural Address

The First Inaugural Address

The first Inaugural Address ever in our country is of course George Washington’s first Address to congress after being elected and sworn in as President of the United States.

It became one of our great civic rituals that is part of the pomp and circumstance in the transfer of power from one President to the next.

Washington’s 1st inaugural is important (at least to me) because he was inherently honest. At the beginning of his address he admits to the anxiety that being elected President had caused him and how he misses his retirement.

In the 2nd paragraph of his speech he says “it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being” that he not only bless him but the new nation that had been established.

He continues throughout the speech to embrace the duty he feels to the American people and the new nation, to accept the responsibility of the office and to again ask God to guide and preserve the freedoms and liberties of the people.

George had a very good grasp on the enormity of the position he was in. He was honest about his fears, his anxiety and his gratitude. He was also wise enough to lay his anxiety at the feet of God to guide him on that 1st Presidential journey.

The first Inaugural set a precedent for other Presidents to follow. George was not worried about invoking the assistance of God or worried about offending anyone by his beliefs.

George Washington also set another precedent as he was sworn in by adding four words to the end of the oath, he said: “so help me God.” Every President after President Washington has uttered those same words.

Why then do so many Americans find the mention of God so offensive? Why in our modern times is Christianity under attack?

Neither George Washington nor any of the founding fathers stated or forced citizens to prescribe to their beliefs but simply invoked the blessings of their God upon this nation. As many have done after them and up to now we are still receiving those blessings.

Let us remember that our strength and our preserverance comes to us from a higher power: One Nation Under God.

Our 3rd Amendment

Our 3rd Amendment

Certainly not an Amendment most people remember is the 3rd Amendment. Why is this Amendment forgettable…basically because we don’t use it.

The 3rd Amendment protects homeowners from having to quarter soldiers in times of war. And that means that soldiers cannot burden a homeowner by moving into a person’s home–even if it advantageous to the military to do so to fight and win a war– without the homeowners permission.

Almost everyone I know does not even think about this Amendment or the right it affords us, mostly because after the Civil War we have not fought a war on our soil.

No one expects to have to fight a war here on our soil…and so this is an Amendment that is pretty much forgotten.

It is one of those things we take for granted as Americans–the things that are actually our choice to do or not do.

As our political atmosphere continues to get complicated we should really think about what consequences our actions today can have on our future.

We do not want to open ourselves up to an invasion from outside the U.S. or from within. It may be that one day we may have to invoke the 3rd Amendment.

When we were in the midsts of the American Revolution and Great Britain was forcing citizens to quarter British soldiers the delegates at the Constitutional Convention felt this was important.

It is a basic premise of our country–the Freedom to do as we choose–without any coercion from the government.

Or are we being coerced now by the political climate we are in? How many people are being les by the talking heads on television about what to believe is true, what to think and how to vote?

Have we, by choice, allowed the soldiers of the enemy into our homes and allowed them to cloud our judgment with their rhetoric?

The choice is ours–right now–to not allow the government to come into our homes uninvited and to fight a war that would allow a tyranny to replace the government established by the founders.

The right belongs to us-the people.

Anti Federalists to the Rescue

Anti Federalists to the Rescue

After the smoke cleared at the end of the American Revolution things got very serious very fast.

Unlike our Twitter feed, Facebook, 24 hour News Channel lives things back in 1783 did not move quite so quickly.

But there was a sense of urgency in establishing a government to protect the new citizens of the brand new United States of America!

And yet it took 5 years before the U.S. Constitution was written and ratified in 1788 and another 10 months before George Washington was sworn in as our First President.

Why did this take so long? Our fore fathers took the establishment of our new government very seriously. We needed our government to have enough power to coin money, establish a military to protect us and unite the new 13 states into one country while at the same time not having so much power that we would turn into a tyranny.

After all, the colonists had just spent 8 years and countless lives fighting against a tyranny!

In the end, the U.S. Constitution was the perfect balance of order in the three branches and strength in the Central government. Or was it?

The Federalists wanted to ratify the U.S. Constitution quickly. They felt there were enough provisions in the Constitution as written to limit the Federal powers…but the Anti-Federalists were more cautious and thought the Constitution gave the federal government too much power and it would eventually be used to oppress the people.

I am in awe that the more things change the more things stay the same. After 231 years it seems we are still having the same debate.

The Anti-Federalists came to the people’s rescue by insisting on and finally gaining the addition of the Bill of Rights–which protects the people’s rights then and now from a too big, too complicated and too oppressive Federal government.

If it’s not obvious to you yet let me explain. The Federalists eventually evolved into the Democratic Party while the Anti-Federalists evolved into the Republican Party.

While there were very intelligent and well meaning delegates on both sides, cool heads prevaled and the perfect balance of power was created thanks in major part to the more conservative delegates protecting the people and the country.

As you go about your busy run around every day lives remember we would not have this life at all if it had not been for the Anti-Federalists.

And if we want to preserve this nation and our freedoms we need to sit up and pay attention to what a few are attempting to do to take control of the government.

Anti-Federalists to the rescue! May cool heads prevail and protect our nation and our freedoms from the few power hungry politicians that would destroy our way of life just to say they won.

You Are Doing Better Than You Think

You Are Doing Better Than You Think

Today’s post will be a little shorter than my others. I just want to express one idea in my multitude of ideas.

As a blogger, I read many other people’s blogs. This forum allows us all to share ideas, thoughts and what I call written prayers.

We all have good days and we all have bad days. Once in a while a bad day is not a bad day but just a challenging week. Because, as you know, life happens.

Life has been happening…for…has it only been 36 hours? It feels like days.

And in reading a blog post by Lori Deschene of The Tiny Buddha, I came across a quote that says it all:

“Most of us expect far too much of ourselves and never give ourselves credit for all the things we’re doing right. You’re trying your best, facing challenges that would likely overwhelm anyone, and learning and growing every day. And you’re doing it while feeling a range of messy confusing emotions and healing from pains large and small from the past. Stop and give yourself a little credit. You’re stronger than you know and you’re doing better than you think.”

Getting It Together

Getting It Together

Recently many people have told me they are working on getting it together.

It’s a funny phrase. What are they getting together? And once ‘it’ is together what are they going to do with ‘it’?

I am assuming–because I haven’t really asked anyone–that by it they mean their lives.

I assume this because a few have told me I have ‘it’ together. I didn’t think they were talking about my hair.

Apparently many people seem to be working on getting their lives together because they feel they don’t have it together.

These are my thoughts on that:

  • No one really has it together because life is ever changing.
  • Just when you think everything is perfect and right, life will throw you a curveball.
  • If you had everything in life together and you had no changes, you would be bored.
  • It’s really about your attitude towards life and not your aptitude to get life together.
  • Gratitude towards what is going right is better than worrying about what could go wrong.

So relax, enjoy all the parts of your together and not so together life.

When we are gone no one is going to remember us for how well we had it together but for how much we enjoyed life and those around us!

Your Story

Your Story

Our pasts define us. For good or not. Each one of us holds knowledge of our lives that no one else knows about, sometimes inconsequential things that do not matter to others, but make us each unique.

It is our story. The one we have written in our heads about who we are, where we are in life, and how we ended up here.

It is fascinating to listen to others describe their lot in life and how they are continuing to perpetuate those things they say they are against.

Politicians do this everyday. Exploiting every detail of their lives, real or imagined, that they can to appeal to others…to obtain a vote.

It is their story.

Our friends and family members do this also. Reworking stories until they fit into their needs at the time.

Their story.

Looking into your past is good, if you can do so as an objective observer. If you can accept it as the reality that it is and understand that our past does not have to be our future.

Life and time is very forgiving. Each day we have the opportunity to change, to turn over a new leaf, to begin again.

A chance to change your story.

Dwelling on the past and using it as an excuse not to move forward is what holds back most people.

They spend their lives and their energy in holding grudges over perceived wrongs, in finding ways to exact revenge or in creating havoc in other people’s lives.

Trying to change other people’s story.

These people do not understand why they don’t move forward. They are stuck. Hypocrites, absurd and sad.

But today is a new day, and you can use your past as a learning tool to propel yourself forward.

Use your past experience to be the best you, you can be today. Enjoy the present. And the future will take care of itself.

Don’t let your story hold you back.

Imagine

Imagine

Imagine what life would be like if no one ever encouraged you, worried about you or cared enough to protect you from the world or from yourself.

I can’t imagine it because from the moment I was born and most likely before the blessed event, I was loved.

I have been cared for and encouraged. I was educated, not just with school books, but lessons of how to behave, cope, treat others and respect myself.

That meant that I was disciplined, or corrected by not just my parents but my aunts and uncles and grandparents. Even my older cousins educated me and even though they were not much older than myself I respected them…as my younger cousins respected me.

Today’s millennials complain about being unloved, disrespected and disinterested in everything that does not have their instant gratification at the forefront.

It is hard to comprehend. Especially since many were raised with encouragement, love and caring.

The difference I believe is in society. Most notably in schools. Over the last 30 to 40 years the schools have been teaching children the opposite of the responsibilities and values taught at home.

Children have grown up thinking they don’t have to do the right thing, just appear to be doing the right thing.

They were taught that doing something wrong is not wrong until you get caught. And if caught the lesson was not about the bad deed but on how to not get caught in the future.

Parents who teach their children values and hold them accountable have been criticized as being harsh and unfeeling.

Children have been given mixed messages for almost 2 generations now.

The result is we have created a whole society that feels they are entitled to everything: jobs, trophies, degrees, love, and acceptance simply by the virtue of them being alive.

There are few young adults today that got through the school and societal indoctrination to become responsible hard working and compassionate people.

Regardless of what was taught at home.

Imagine how different our world would be with more defined rights and wrongs. Where children were loved and supported yes, but educated in such a way that respect for themselves and others was not lost.

Just imagine.

What I Know For Sure

What I Know For Sure

I just recently finished reading Oprah Winfrey’s book “What I Know For Sure” and was surprised by how many of her thoughts mirrored my own.

Now, I do not agree with Ms. Winfrey’s politics but Oprah has been a strong voice in my head for most of my life.

I watched Oprah when I was a young girl and she was on WGN News in Chicago. When she later became a talk show host on her own show I was a devoted follower.

I always enjoyed her show, her compassion for people and her celebration of people just for being who they were.

Oprah has a rare gift of asking the right questions and being brave enough to respectfully ask the tough questions of people, situations and of herself.

In her book, Oprah describes many things she has discovered over the years and things she has come to accept about herself and life in general.

The book resonated with me because as we get older most of us realize very clearly who we are, what we want from life and how we got to the point we are in.

Like Oprah I am grateful for this journey of my life and am looking forward to what is to come.

So what I know for sure…is how very lucky I have been to live in this country during this time surrounded by the people that have shaped my life.

A good book I would recommend to empty nesters and beyond.

Thank you Ms. Winfrey for your voice all these years!

Losing Track of Time

Time flies when your having fun…or seen another way, when we lose track of time it means we are content, engaged and dare I say…happy!

That is what happened to me this weekend. I lost track of time. And it was wonderful.

After working all week my husband and I took a short trip “home”. While we live in a new city now and love it, there is always a wonderful feeling when we go home.

At home, we spent time with family especially my sister and her kids who are growing so fast. I enjoyed my parents and got to spend time with one of the daughters that has flown the nest.

I marvel at how independent we all are now and at the same time so dependent on each other–in good way.

As I mentioned, the trip was short because on Sunday we were on our way back, enjoying the beautiful day and the open road and the calm and quiet of our empty nest that not too long ago I was dreading having.

What threw me off was I had Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (Thank you Dr. King!). I took the day slowly and did my chores and enjoyed a relaxing day. I was at peace in our daily routine…

And I lost track of time…

I forgot today was Tuesday, beginning the work week. I missed posting my self imposed scheduled post this morning.

So I am saving that one for Thursday to share this message with you…strive from time to time to lose track of time.

The time that is past we can never get back–how wonderful when it passes us in joy!!

Time Management

Time Management

Time management is one of the hardest skills to develop.

But it is a skill that if mastered will help you accomplish more of the goals you are aiming for.

Many times we have challenges in managing our time because we underestimate the time a project or task will take and because we allow other things to distract and interrupt us.

Here are a few tips that help me manage my time and make the most of every day.

  1. Prioritize your tasks. Making a list of the many things to do will not help you if you don’t indicate in some way which tasks are the most important to complete. Make your list and number it.
  2. Remove distractions. Turn off your phone or the television and complete tasks in an environment conducive to the task at hand.
  3. Complete all important tasks first. Concentrating on one important task at a time and working on it until it is finished before moving on to the next will help you stay focused.
  4. Give yourself the appropriate amount of time for each task. Underestimating the amount of time a task will take and not giving yourself the appropriate amount of time can be self defeating.

Set yourself up for success when managing your time and you will find your tasks and goals will be easier to achieve!

The Time is Yours!

The Time is Yours!

Do you ever wonder what is holding you back?  The reason I hear most often from colleagues and friends is time.

There is never enough time to get all the things done that need to get done.  The end of each day comes too quickly and there are too many things left to do that did not get accomplished.

So people stay up late, run to Wal-mart at 9 o’clock at night, run around trying to make up for the lost time in the day and to get ahead on the next.

The result is that many  people are run down, frazzled and frustrated. And then we get up the next morning, after too little sleep and do it all over again.

What is holding these people back? What is holding you back?

It is not time that is holding us back. Each one of us has the same 24 hours a day that everyone else has.  Why are some people so efficient and happy and accomplished?

It is very simple…and you can already tell what I am going to say. They are organized and have their priorities straight. They do not squander their time. And they value their health, their peace of mind and their priorities.

In the next few blog posts I will examine and revisit some golden ideas on time management, priorities and values. Stay tuned!

For today, I invite you to examine your day and your life. We are half way through January already and many of us have already given up on our plans and resolutions to get organized, get it together, and do things differently this year to get out from under the time crunch that rules our fast paced run around life.

Think about the time wasters in our day–losing track of time in the shower, talking to co-workers around the water cooler, making unnecessary trips to the store, allowing others to dominate our time by volunteering us for tasks that should belong to others.

Then think about the things that are really important to you in your life–the things that provide you with the quality of life you desire and deserve.  And get ready for some life changing ideas to help you take advantage of each day.

The time is yours–make the most of it.

Our Growing Capabilities

Our Growing Capabilities

This time we live in, like never before, provides a new definition of progress.

Progress used to mean to move forward or to advance, as in making things better.

But in this fast paced run around world we live in the definition has begun to change.

Progress, for some, has come to mean that we are not moving forward or we can’t move forward without the assistance of others.

And as the definition has been changing, we as Americans, have given up our capabilities.

That is by design, of course, by those who wish to control the masses.

The masses, are merely a collection of yous and mes. They are groups of people that have believed the story that we “can’t” do or be everything we are capable of being.

Yet if you stop to pay attention and look around our capabilities as humans continues to grow.

In my short 50 years on this earth, for example, we have gone from a box with a dial on the wall as a form of communication to a mini computer that fits in our pocket and that can communicate with people around the world. That was progress.

That progress was made because people refused to believe that their capabilities were insufficient, that through hard work and perseverance progress is made.

With every advance our capabilities grow and we can continue to reach new heights.

In this new year, stretch yourself, don’t buy into the idea that in order to have progress we must give up our capabilities, our ideas, our work ethic, or our values.

Continue to feed your growing capabilities day by day…and enjoy the progress and advances you will make.

Find your path, it is waiting for you.

Release The Power of Your Intentions

Release The Power of Your Intentions

The new year is all about starting with a clean slate, setting goals for the year and looking forward to all the opportunities before us.

Soon though, all our good intentions go off by the wayside and we fall back into the same routines. Goals we were so excited about are pushed to the back burner to simmer for another 12 months.

Why does this happen?

I think it is because we get caught up in other people’s intentions and we lose focus on our own.

Or we want to reach too many goals too fast and when it becomes difficult we give in to the old ways.

But the power is always within us to reach any goal we want, if we go about it the right way.

The right way is different for everyone. So I am not going to pretend I have the magic formula for that.

What I will say is that each one of us should not give away the power of our intentions by spending all our time walking around our goals instead of moving directly to them.

Here are a few pointers:

  1. Set your goal and set a time frame to reach it.
  2. Break your goal down into manageable steps you will need to take to reach your goal.
  3. If your steps are too big break them down further. (Remember some steps may take several days, weeks or months to achieve!)
  4. Set a daily intention that will move you towards that 1st step.
  5. Once you accomplish your first milestone, set a daily intention that will move you towards that 2nd step and so on.
  6. Make sure your daily intention is always moving you forward towards the steps for your goal.

The last point is the most critical. If your daily intention is not moving you forward then why is that your intention?

Do not be afraid to succeed! This is your year of forward momentum–you just have to release the power of your intention!

Setting Up Your Year

Setting Up Your Year

Before I set my intentions for this new year–I thought it would be important to chose a guiding principle for the year.

Some people refer to it as ‘your word for the year’ that will serve as a umbrella for all you intend to accomplish.

A guiding principle is not the ‘what’ you want to accomplish this year but the ‘how’ you want to pursue your ‘what’.

Here are a few good questions to ask yourself to come up with your guiding principle:

  1. How can your attitude help you reach the goals you are thinking of achieving this year?
  2. How will you find happiness as you work towards your goals?
  3. How will you implement your daily intentions to move you forward step by step?

I thought about this long and hard to be able to keep the momentum from last year into this one.

I found that I had the most success reaching goals when I kept things simple and used common sense to guide me through the difficult or confusing times.

So I chose two guiding principles for 2019: simplicity and prudence.

Simplicity, of course, means doing things in the easiest way possible. That sometimes takes a little thinking and planning time.

Simplicity does not necessarily mean fast–remember that trying to do something quickly often results in having to do double work because we decided to cut corners.

And prudence means to do things with caution and care and forethought. So again good planning to avoid making things harder than it needs to be.

We live in a fast paced, run around, world. But it doesn’t always have to be this way.

Give yourself some time to develop your ‘How’, write it down where you can see it every day, and use your how as your guidepost for 2019.

There are endless opportunities and possibilities to help you reach your goals. Set yourself up for success!

How To Master 2019

How To Master 2019

Happy New Year! This will not be a post about New Years Resolutions.

If you made some resolutions, great! If you didn’t, it’s ok because you can resolve to do anything you want any day of the year–it’s all good.

I met all my resolutions last year but only because I was ready to make the changes I did. And that is the key.

You have to want it. And you have to set your intentions every day towards your goals.

So here is how to master 2019:

  1. Know exactly what you want. If you don’t know what that is–that is not confusion about your life, that is fear. You know what you want…it’s right inside of you.
  1. Confront the fear. If you are afraid to fail or to let someone down you need to get over it. If you don’t confront what is holding you back you cannot move forward.
  1. Set your intention every day. Intend, in writing and out loud, what you are going to do today to get you one step closer to your goal. This is a marathon not a sprint.

That’s it. It really is easy to take these steps. Keep it simple.

That does not mean that everyday will be easy, but it does mean that whatever life throws at you this year-you will keep moving forward.

The new year gives us new opportunities and a mental fresh start–make the most of it! And make 2019 your year–master it!

Almost The New Year

Almost The New Year

The Christmas holidays have passed and the New Year is looming close.

It has been exactly one year since I began this blog and I started writing it for many reasons.

One reason is that I was looking for a creative outlet and I love to write.

Another was to share with other empty nesters that life does not end when the children become independent and move out–it is just a new phase of life.

But this blog has developed into more than that.

Along the way, these last twelve months I lightened my load and learned a few things myself.

I decluttered my life and home (although I’ve learned this is an ongoing process) of things I did not need, papers that were no longer useful and in a few instances people that were toxic.

I’ve lost weight, became a certified health coach and am living a healthier lifestyle with good foods, lots of water and exercise.

I gained more space in my house, my heart and my mind. I’ve gained more time and in many instances more peace.

I’ve gained-even more importantly-a great deal of perspective of what is truly important to me and my family.

2018 has been kind to me, but mostly because I have been kind to myself.

I am standing strong in my conviction that if something is not healthy for me-physically, emotionally or spiritually- then it doesn’t need to be in my life.

I am grateful for everyday of this year, even the difficult ones, and I am grateful for the people I share my life with–some close and some far–that have made this year so special.

In a few days we will raise a glass and toast the year that has passed and usher in a new one–

May 2019 bring us all more of the good, less of the bad and the strength and opportunity to continue our journeys.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

These are happy words meant to convey goodwill. All my life-50 years–and 50 Christmases it has been my greeting, or my parting words when leaving a store, a restaurant or someone’s home during the season.

No one has ever gotten offended by my well wishes.

Even when the schools, the 15 years I taught, changed the bulletin boards to read Happy Holidays and the calendar changed to read ‘winter break’ instead of ‘Christmas Break’ I continued on my “Merry” way.

I have been wished a Happy Hanukkuh and Happy Kwanza and I was thrilled to be included in the sentiment.

I have never subscribed to this political correctness in an effort to be ‘inclusive’ of everyone’s differences and avoid hurting people’s feelings.

It seems ridiculous that I would be trying to insult someone by wishing someone a Merry Christmas.

And when the thought police decided to ban the word Christmas–which I love and has so much meaning for me and countless others–they were not worried about offending me or hurting our feelings by ‘excluding’ us.

You see, no one can exclude you unless you allow yourself to feel excluded–and that is all up to how YOU look at it.

Don’t exclude yourself from someone else’s good wishes to you no matter how they may express it–because only you are the one that will miss out.

So when someone wishes me a Happy Holiday, I likewise do not feel offended, I smile and wish them a Merry Christmas back.

This is the season of goodwill and of good wishes and generosity of feelings. Enjoy the season in all its glory!

Because baby, it’s cold outside! Merry Christmas!

A Year In Review

A Year In Review

Now that we are in the second half of December I have taken some time to think about 2018.

The year seemed to go by so quickly–as we’ve all gone about our busy run around lives.

I am grateful for this year and the promise of another. Grateful for all of those around me-family and friends-that share our lives.

Some are close by while others are far away but still impact our lives and the people we are on a daily basis.

It is easier sometimes to reflect as we get older on our lives, on the impact many people have had on us and the impact we have on others.

Sometimes the people who impact us we’ve never met in person and sometimes there are people very close to our hearts.

The closing of this year is a time to celebrate our blessings and a time to also grieve for those who have left us physically but that will always be with us–in some fashion by the way they touched our lives.

Just the day before yesterday we lost Penny Marshall, actress and one of the first female directors. The beautiful Laverne from the Laverne and Shirley show.

We have lost other icons like Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett), Robin Leach (from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous), and Burt Reynolds (Smokey and the Bandit).

These characters lived with us through TV and molded our thoughts, our fantasies of our lives, and our sense of humor.

Others that impacted our lives and society are also gone–Billy Graham, Barbara Bush and months later her husband, George H.W. Bush. They leave us with their patriotism, their service and their great love of God and country.

Some that impacted me personally are Linda Brown-who was the center of the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education that overturned the ‘separate but equal’ ruling that helped end segregation.

Aretha Franklin, who helped me come of age with songs like ‘Respect’ , ‘Think’, and a ‘Natural Woman’.

Stan Lee, who fed my imagination with his superheroes and Marvel comics, always in a fight between good and evil in which good wins out in the end.

There are closer hits to the heart. A few family friends that molded us in our early years and we have fond memories of. And an aunt that shared my blood and beautiful memories of family with me that I will never forget and always cherish.

We leave all these behind in the history of this year and we will forever carry them forward with us as we continue to travel through our time.

Most of all, as we close 2018, we should remember how every part of us came from a part of others who touched our lives and how we continue to touch the lives of others.

Be kind, be honest and be grateful in these last days of the year and carry the memories with you into the next.

Another Christmas Story

Another Christmas Story

Christmas movies are made with many different plots, story lines, characters and happy endings. Most Christmas stories are about love.

However, the most important Christmas story of course, is the first one.

I imagine Mary and Joseph making preparations to travel to Bethlehem from Nazareth, to Joseph’s hometown. The trip was a necessary one–to register themselves as a married couple and their baby that was due to be born any day for the census–as was the Roman law at the time.

The trip would have normally taken about 3 days in good weather and under good conditions. But Mary was 9 months pregnant. Travel must have been arduous and slow.

It is no wonder that all the homes were full by others complying with the census law when Joseph and Mary arrived.

And that the only place left would be a lower house where usually the family animals were kept.

By ancient accounts and histories, neither Mary or Joseph looked for any particular assistance or special treatment. Seemingly accepting their fate and destiny.

And so a baby was born that brought salvation to us all.

This is the Christmas story we celebrate each year:

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 

Luke 2:11-14

This Christmas story is by far the most important and the one that leads us to all others. Why is this story so important? It is a story of hope, peace, family, humility and survival. But most importantly it’s a story about Love.

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

While my favorite Christmas movie is It’s a Wonderful Life, and my husband is kind enough to watch it with me each year–it is NOT his favorite Christmas movie.

My husband’s favorite Christmas movie doesn’t have a romantic, spiritual or an especially moralistic message.

In fact, the first time I saw his favorite: A Christmas Story–I was surprised that this movie would be popular at all.

The entire plot revolves around a young boy who is dreaming of receiving a bb gun from Santa at Christmas as he goes through his daily life in the weeks leading up to the holiday.

I just didn’t think it was funny–or good.

The 2nd year I watched the movie (we actually watched it twice since there was A Christmas Story Marathon), I noticed different details in the movie and enjoyed hearing my husband laugh as he watched.

And now, years later, as we watch his favorite I find myself laughing and looking forward to the scenes of 9 year old Ralphie battling a school bully, a mean Santa at the mall and convincing his clueless parents to get him the ultimate Christmas gift.

I love seeing him dressed up in his pink bunny pajamas and dealing with his little baby brother…

And while this movie is not my favorite movie of all time at Christmas, it is part of my tradition because my husband enjoys it so much that it makes me enjoy it too!

Ultimately it reminds me the importance of the season: joy, family, laughter, togetherness, and the blessing of living this American life that allows us to celebrate and enjoy the holiday in any way we choose.

Enjoy your own Christmas Story!

It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life

This time of year has special meaning in our society…not just because of the season, celebrations and traditions but also from the joys we get from watching Christmas movies.

Today I am going to share my favorite Christmas movie with you and its meaning…and in my next post I am going to share my husband’s favorite.

Each of us has a favorite and I’m sure if you think about it you’ll find you have one too!

It’s a Wonderful Life has been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember.

Filmed in 1946 it is a story about a desperate man, George Bailey, who is ready to throw away his life on Christmas Eve because of a crisis in his life.

In the middle of his desperation, George wishes he was never born and God sends down an Angel–Clarence–to grant his wish.

Through the magic of film we see how the lives of many people were irrevocably changed when George Bailey does not exist to save them.

It is a story of a man who spent his life unselfishly helping others–and who in the end, in the most desperate moment of his life, finds that everyone comes to his rescue.

This heartwarming story demonstrates the strength of the human spirit and the frailty of human life.

The importance of family, hard work, strong values and a love of God and country.

It’s a Wonderful Life is my yearly reminder of how fortunate we are in this life, year after year, because of the people who came before us.

While it is not a traditional Santa Claus tale–it is the recounting of the importance of the season because of the promises Jesus gave us.

Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed brought the best of the season to life–the love of community, a commitment to serving others and the importance of a miracle at Christmas.

And it really reminds us that it is a wonderful life!

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

When I was a little girl I wrote letters to Santa every year…even after I learned– in 4th grade–that Santa was not real.

He’s always been real to me. Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and I never tire of the magic at this time of year!

When my children were growing up, I taught them to write letters to Santa too. And I even found a service that I could pay to send the girls a letter FROM Santa postmarked the North Pole.

The idea of Santa is so real to me that I don’t really know when the girls realized Santa was not real…as now, even as adults, I ask them to send me their Santa lists every year.

And so in keeping with my tradition here is my letter for this year:

Dear Santa,

I have been really good this year! And this has really been a good year for my family.

We are all healthy, we have all we need and never miss a meal. The family is strong and united and we are blessed with extended family and friends that are also doing well.

I really don’t want anything for Christmas in particular this year. I know that is a change from my usual lists of items…

But you see–I’ve already have all I want. Family, love, joy, and the magic of Christmas.

I hope all is well at the North Pole! I’ll leave the cookies and milk out for you.

P.S. Tell Donner he’s still my favorite!

19 days left until Christmas! Have you written your letter to Santa yet?

Thank You For Your Service

Thank You For Your Service

No man (or woman) that has walked this earth is perfect–many are far from it. And that also holds true for our Presidents.

They are, for a time, the most powerful person in the world–and while they are held in high regard–we must also remember that they are human.

This last Friday evening we lost our beloved Papi Bush and we are reminded of many things–least of all political.

President Bush was beloved, not because of his titles and accolades but for who he was as a person.

He dedicated his life to service–to God, to his country, and to his family. And he held his values close and lives them out each day.

President Bush’s values is the legacy he leaves for each of us–honesty, honor and humility.

We are a better country for having you at our helm.

Thank you for your service President Bush, as you now live among the angels.

A Little Caffeine

A Little Caffeine

Each morning when I prepare my cup of hot tea, I use the time as a moment of reflection.

Sometimes I think about the tasks to complete on that day or I review in my mind events from the previous day.

Many times I use this time to think about events in the past and how those events have influenced where we are now in life.

Everything has a correlation.

The little jolt of caffeine from my tea also helps my brain wake up and see the connections.

It is important to take stock of ourselves, our thoughts, our actions, our goals and dreams.

It’s like making a grocery list that we can check off and use to remind us of what we need and what we don’t.

If you have a hard time collecting your thoughts about the multitudes of things we are responsible for or would like to accomplish — using your tea (or coffee) time is the best place to start.

  1. Brew your favorite tea or coffee.
  1. Use cups you like to drink from-something that is uniquely you.
  1. Breathe deeply and relax.
  1. Focus on the warmth of your cup and let your mind wake up to your thoughts.
  1. Listen to what your mind is telling you.
  1. Practice directing your thoughts to the things you are grateful for.
  1. Allow your thoughts to flow freely but be conscious of when you need to redirect your reflection back to positive things about your past, present or future.

It does take a little practice to train your brain to direct itself to some positive reflection but over time you will find that it helps to order your day and your future goals.

The added benefit of a little caffeine gets your brain activated and firing on your synapses and can many times help you see things more clearly.

All from a few minutes over a lovely cup of tea.

Enjoy your day!

Deck The Halls

Deck The Halls

It has become our family tradition to put up the Christmas tree and the decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Since the birdies have left the nest, it was just me and the hubby doing the honors.

I have always liked an artificial tree and my husband prefers a real tree–and over the years we have had both, but I finally convinced him that an artificial tree is better for us because of our (read my) allergies and the mess of pine needles a real tree leaves behind.

So last year we bought one that even has the lights already on it!

While I was at it, I also bought all new ornaments in a country theme–and the results were spectacular.

To top it off my husband surprised me with a beautiful old fashioned country angel for the top!

So this year I was very excited to put it all up again!

We set up the tree and my 3 (count them! 3!) nativity sets and we were very pleased with the results.

A pleasant hush came over the house as even the doggies were impressed with the decorations!

It is really the simple things in life that makes all the difference in our hurry up run around life.

This time of year reminds me of the importance of family and traditions.

But it also reminds me how wonderful this American life is that we can have traditions about a tree and a barn that promises love, hope and charity to close out each year.

For This I Am Thankful

For This I Am Thankful

There is nothing like getting older to really put your life in perspective and to show you how to be humble, grateful and thankful for all we have.

And there is no better time than Thanksgiving to reflect and share those thoughts with others.

I am thankful for my family. My mom and dad who gave me life, good examples, education and purpose. My sister, who is not just family but my trusted friend. My husband who travels this journey with me as confidant, companion, friend and champion. Our daughters who have taught us the importance of living. My nieces and nephews that renew my motherhood. And all the other family members and friends who have added to my development and joy to be who I am today.

I am thankful to be an American, to live in a country that is free, strong and prosperous. A country in which we have a right to our lives, our liberty and to pursue our individual happiness.

I am thankful to all our military, past and present, who are willing to lay their life down to preserve the values of our founding fathers and keep our way of life alive.

And I am thankful for God who made all of this possible.

Wherever you are and whoever you are with–Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Santa Has It Right

Santa Has It Right

Tis the week of Thanksgiving and all we hear is on its way…is another busy run around Black Friday!

Silly me, what was I thinking going out this weekend to the stores? Well I was thinking I just wanted to get a look at what is available this year.

Maybe, I thought, I’d find a clever hostess gift for my sister who is hosting Thanksgiving next week.

Boy was I ever wrong! Even Walgreens has Christmas trees and Christmas stuff wall to wall.

And this is what I found…a lot of people walking around, just like me, a little overwhelmed with the impending season.

It’s a mixed up time! We are all looking forward to Thanksgiving so that the commercial Christmas season can begin–although it really began about 5 weeks ago.

Santa has it right…he is a wise old elf. He stays, safely in the North Pole, away from, well…everything and everyone and he concentrates on his job: making a list and checking it twice.

Then Santa makes sure that each person on his “Good” list has a little something under the tree, and those on the “Naughty” list receive a lump of coal.

We do the same thing. The people on our good list get a gift to show that they are important and thought of and those that make our naughty list–well I guess they didn’t make the cut.

That’s exactly as it should be. We gift the people we cherish most of all because Christmas should not be about everyone that crosses our path but about those we enjoy sharing the path with.

And while there is a multitude of stuff that can be purchased to put under the tree, it is the smaller, thoughtful gifts that are usually the most appreciated.

Also, a reason to be thankful, not for the gifts but for another year with those we love the most.

So this year I have decided to slow down, enjoy Thanksgiving with my family and be grateful for all our blessings.

Then I will make a list, and check it twice…before deciding on the gifts to be placed under the tree.

Thanks Santa!

The Color of the Fence

The Color of the Fence

When my daughters were little girls and I would tuck them in at night we played imagination games together so I could get them to fall asleep.

Many times the bedtime readings were not enough…and Dr. Seuss usually got them more excited than relaxed at bedtime.

One day I invented a game that worked for me for years in helping get them to sleep and just last night when I found myself wide awake at 2 am I thought of the game again…and sure enough, it worked!  I fell asleep within 5 or 6 minutes.

This is how the game went.  I would ask them a series of questions meant to help them visualize a pasture with sheep, and then we would count the sheep.  I know…not very original…but it was…because each night we played, the pasture and the sheep would change.

First I would tell them to close their eyes and think of a field with short grass.  And then the questions would begin:

  1. What color is the grass?
  2. Let’s build a wooden fence around the field.  What color is your fence?
  3. We left all the sheep outside the fence!  What color are the sheep?
  4. How many sheep do you think we have?  Let’s count them as they jump over the fence…
  5. and so we would count…slowly, until they fell asleep.

My oldest daughter loved this game and she was very imaginative with her sheep.  Her grass was almost always pink when she was very little and later it was always green because “there is no such thing as pink grass mom!”  Her sheep sometimes had stripes and polka dots and once they were all rainbow sheep.

She, being the oldest of course, outgrew the game first–one day announcing “I’m sleepy mom, I don’t want to build a fence.” And soon after, this little game was not needed for her to fall asleep. She has always been straightforward and logical.

The youngest also enjoyed this game but always tried to outsmart me. I would ask her the game questions and she would answer with a question of her own.  I would ask her what color is your fence? and she would ask me why the fence had to be made of wood?

It always took me a little bit more time to get her to sleep and I have to admit a few times I think she put me to sleep because I would wake up sometimes an hour later, still in her bed beside her.

She outgrew the game when she decided one evening that she did not want the sheep to jump the fence and come poop in her field. She has always been curious and practical.

And so the game was forgotten.

Until last night I had not thought of it in a long time…but in my mind I thought of long yellow grass, surrounded by a short white wooden fence.  I thought of white and gray sheep and as I visualized them jumping over the fence into the field I started to count…1, 2, 3, …. I was asleep before I knew it. The game still works.

What color is your fence?

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life

My life is probably, to the casual observer, a predictable and boring one.

And it is a life that I cherish exactly for that reason.

No matter how routine and boring you think your life may be, what makes it wonderful is that it is unique to you.

No one else will live the same life you have lived. Just as it is impossible for you to live life for others.

I love hearing about or reading about other people’s lives simply because their experiences are different from mine. Oftentimes it gives me a different perspective from which to see or understand situations and events.

But it will never change my life and my journey nor will it change yours because our journeys belong strictly to us.

A day in my life is–in my view–is typical. I wake up, drink tea, get ready for work, work, come home, do some household chores and go to sleep to rest so I can get up again the next day and start again.

Sound boring right? It’s really not. Over tea (and coffee) -for my husband- is when we spend quality time together before the start of our day.

We talk about the weather or world events or about how to get rid of ants in the backyard–it doesn’t matter because we are talking and enjoying each other’s company.

Getting ready for work can include a multitude of things I do around the house including exercising or playing with my dogs before the shower-hair-makeup routine.

Work, of course, is the bulk of the day but I never underestimate the number of lives I touch every day and the lives that touch mine. And the contribution I am making to my family by earning a paycheck.

When I come home in the evening I always enjoy that first step into my home where the dogs are happy to see me and my husband too-if he’s the first one home.

My evening routines change depending on my mood and what needs to get done but it is satisfying to have so many things to do.

A day in my life may seem mundane to you but it is filled with all that is important to me.

And your life holds all the important things to you. Let’s not forget to count our blessings and enjoy a day in the life.

The Freedom of Dressing Up

The Freedom of Dressing Up

This weekend my husband and I took a little road trip to Todd Mission, Texas home of the yearly Renaissance Festival.

We had a wonderful time even though the temperature hovered in the high 40s and low 50s all day and there was a little rain.

But as my husband aptly put it, it is like stepping back in time. The festival is held in a forest of tall pines and other trees in which a small village has been constructed. By small I mean pretty big since it takes a good 3 hours to walk the whole park.

The village looks like it is straight out of central casting for a medieval movie set in 1400s Europe.

There are shops and eateries throughout with wonderful names like: “The King’s Swordworks” and “MiLady’s Fashions”. There are statues of dragons and suits of armor but my favorite part are the costumes.

Not only do the people who run the fair dress in period wardrobe but most of the people coming into the park come dressed as well!

The costumes are varied and elaborate and I noticed no one being self conscious or feeling out of place. They felt free to be who their character was.

We saw Queen Elizabeth and King Henry the VIII, soldiers of the realm, Scottish royalty, and lords and ladies galore. But we also saw peasants, serving wenches, and street entertainers.

Among some of the more imaginative costumes also included Jack Sparrow, Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, the witches from Hocus Pocus, and Robin Hood.

There were many dressed as famous couples too: Merlin and Morgan la Fey, Ursurla and King Triton, and the devil walking with Jesus.

My favorites are always the barbarians–because they look so–barbarous!

The beauty of the day is that everyone is there to enjoy the atmosphere and each other. Dressing in costumes frees people from their everyday realities and lets them escape into the fairyland world of the medieval forest in a trip back in time.

Enjoy the freedom someday and visit a Renaissance park-it is an experience no one should miss!

The Good Neighbor Policy

The Good Neighbor Policy

Some would say our communities are becoming more dangerous and our safety less secure.  And that for the most part we are letting it happen.  Many people who find themselves thinking, feeling and believing this are reaping what they have sown.

More and more, I see people, in my neighborhood who do not even acknowledge the people living around them.  They ignore the person across the street, the kids playing in the yards or the lost dog.

The world is changing–people have forgotten or never learned the importance of community.  They don’t care about anything that doesn’t directly affect them–what they don’t realize is that their attitude towards their neighbors is hurting themselves.

How? They have stopped caring, stopped being involved in our communities, and have stopped thinking about the well being of themselves and those around them.  And then lamenting when something goes wrong.  We absolutely need to do something about it.

I am not talking about being the nosy neighbor that pulls out the by laws of the Home owner’s Association and berates their neighbors for not hiding their trash cans on the right side of their homes.

I am talking about being a good neighbor.

Now I have been very blessed in my life to always have good neighbors.  I hope in the bottom of my heart that my neighbors have thought of me as a good neighbor as well.

I don’t believe the complainers, the people who don’t care about others, the ones who scare others with talk of crime and mischief.

These are the traits of good neighbors:

Good neighbors watch out for each other–they know who lives in each house, the cars they drive and who their kids are.  Many good neighbors will know which dog or cat belongs to which human.

Good neighbors will pick up a newspaper, or trash if they see it in a neighbor’s yard and they know that person is out of town.

Good neighbors keep an eye out when there are strangers about.

Good neighbors are always willing to lend a hand mowing lawns, mending a fence, fixing a car or preparing for a hurricane and evacuation.

Good neighbors will give time, lend tools and provide advice especially from older neighbors to younger, less experienced homeowners.

Good neighbors are not afraid to call in the authorities when they see something that is not right, that is not normal for their community.

Good neighbors worry about others, not just themselves.

With the world changing all around us–be a good neighbor–the benefits of this are directly felt by yourself.

 

Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas

I know, I know…it is shameful to think of Christmas right after Halloween with still 2 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving…but today markes 50 days to Christmas and I have still not gotten one Christmas gift!

Some of you may think that I am over-reacting but if you knew me you would know that usually I begin my Christmas shopping in July and by Halloween the only task I have left is the wrapping.

In years past starting early and having everything taken care of way before the blessed day has helped me reduce the holiday stress and spread out any expenses over several months–which of course further helps reduce the holiday stress.

I have always done very deliberate planning for the holidays so that I do not fall into the consumer trap of over buying or feeling obligated to gift people that are normally not on my list.

I also have made it a point, in the last 10 years now, to purchase a few toys and clothing items to donate for kids that have less than we do. It’s what I believe the season is for.

I don’t know how this year has gotten away with me…but it did.  I love Christmas, but I do not love the added rush around craziness that comes with it.  Here are a few tips to help you have a stress free Merry Christmas.

  1. Make a list of the people you would like to get gifts for–and check it twice.
  2. Understand what your budget is for the season and stay true to your limits.
  3. Think of unique ways to “gift” the people on the list.
  4. Shop as early in the day as you can when you go out to shop.
  5. Consider online shopping to avoid traffic, long lines, product shortages and frustrations.

Ultimately, Christmas should not be about the presents under the tree but the people around it.  Spending time with those you love–family and friends–is much more important than finding the perfect coffee maker, 45 tools in one, trendy toy of this year.

50 days to go folks!  Make them count and enjoy the season.

For the Love of Peace

For the Love of Peace

If I have learned anything in these first 50 years of my life is that you cannot have peace when you are at war–war with ourselves or war with others.

My dad’s favorite thing on his Christmas list each year when I was growing up–and well into my adulthood–was Peace.

We’d say: “What do you want for Christmas dad?”

And he would always say “Peace”.

It took me a long time to understand what he meant–but I did get it about 10 years ago. And from the moment I finally figured out what my dad meant, I wanted the same thing.

Our world today is filled with strife, anger and hatred.

There is no peace globally or politically or even among religious groups that you would think would be all about peace.

Yet there are people, families and community units that are peaceful. And peace is achievable.

Let me tell you how to achieve some peace in your life but first, let me define what I see as peace.

Peace means that you separate yourself (and your family) from negativity, chaos, worry, and deception.

That doesn’t mean these things are not all around us–but that you do not allow them to effect you.

Here’s how:

  1. Wake up each day and embrace the opportunities the day has for you. Be positive. If today is a difficult day, know that your contribution to the world is felt through the ripple effects you leave in your wake. Smile at someone today, thank someone today, go out of your way for someone else–it does have an impact.
    Remove toxic people from your life. I’ve written about this before because I believe it is so important. You do not have to associate with people who are toxic to you. Wish them well, block their phone number, remove them from your Social Media and stop, when possible, from spending unnecessary time with them.
  1. Mind your own business. Take care of yourself and those closest to you. Avoid getting involved in petty arguments or hard feelings with people that don’t matter in your life. Those people are “peace busters”. Don’t stir the pot, as my dad would say, it only brings the stink out of what is in the pot.
  1. Live with integrity and honesty. Do your job, pay your bills on time, be truthful and honest in your dealings with others, take care of your responsibilities. These things will keep a positive and protective aura around you.

Peace is achievable. Peace lets you sleep well at night, keeps you safe from harm in an uncertain world and can spread to those you love.

The choice is ours to make, peace is always there but each person must want it badly enough to turn away from the chaos.

For the love of peace–give yourself and those you love this gift. Thanks dad!

El Dia de los Muertos

El Dia de los Muertos

This week we will celebrate not only Halloween but a very significant and cultural holiday for Hispanics-the day of the dead.

It is culturally not a celebration of ghosts and goblins but a celebration of the lives of our loved ones that are no longer with us.

There has been some comments I’ve heard lately that Halloween and El Dia de los Muertos are un-Christian and further inspired by the devil himself!

It never ceases to surprise me how people who know nothing about a subject will have the strongest opinions about it. So let me tell you a little about how I understand El Dia de los Muertos.

Although this is not part of my cultural heritage it is part of my husband’s and many friends’ culture–and over the years, one that I have come to respect and enjoy.

The idea behind it is that we are provided a day in which we can remember and celebrate those that came before us–our parents, grandparents, children–that were once our family and have passed away.

Altars are created with their pictures, their favorite foods, and candles to light their way as they visit us here on earth.

Sugar skulls representing the souls of our dearly departed are also placed on the alters-which are called ofrendas- and hand decorated.

Believing that those that have gone before us visit us on this particular day feels to me to be extremely Christian.

It means–and as closely as we can almost, prove–that there is a heaven. That our loved ones are at peace and watching over us and that they have the ability to visit us here on earth.

It feels good to me to know that I can still communicate with my abuela, and my grandfather and my aunt and uncle who impacted me so much in life–and that they can communicate with me.

El Dia de los Muertos is a day each year when we have the opportunity to connect–with the past, with the future and with ourselves.

Enjoy the journey.

Vision Boards for Finding Clarity

Vision Boards for Finding Clarity

A long time ago, I started creating visions boards….in the 80’s, when I was in high school, I would comb through magazines and cut out pictures of things I liked, places I wanted to go, ideas for future adventures.  I would stick all these pictures on a poster board I would hang in my room.

I cannot tell you where I learned to make them or the fact that it is a form of positive thinking and manifesting, and setting goals for your life.

Like most teenagers my boards centered around–well me.  They didn’t necessarily have any specific goals in mind and were certainly market driven–based on the magazines I chose, but they did help clarify what I wanted out of life.

If I remember correctly some of the things I put on those boards were definately expensive (I remember having a fondness for diamonds) and I would need to have a college degree in order to achieve them.

Did that goal manifest itself?  It did.  I did, thankfully, attend and finish college successfully and been able, over time, to have all the I’ve wanted (although now I am not too impressed by diamonds anymore.)

The boards also helped solidify my values–because on them I have always placed pictures that represented family, work, God, service and country.

I’m a nerd like that–and I have always been blessed to have these strong foundations in my life, because I sought them out–at least my brain did.

In college I made vision boards too, and throughout my life as an adult.  I have even shared this little goal setting craft with my girls.  And I hope it helps them focus on what they want as well.

It used to  surprise me when something on my boards would manifest itself in my life–although it really should not have surprised me at all.  These were things that I had on my mind and the mind is so much stronger than we know.

Now that I am older–I still make them on a smaller scale, using a 12 x 12 sheet of scrapbook paper and the pictures I print at home after collecting visual images of my ideas from the internet.

I have my vision boards where I can see them daily.  And while our hurry up run around life may not allow for study of the boards–our mind’s eye sees them and goes to work.

The clarity they provide is one of honing in on the things that are really important in your life.

Now, I am not sure how it works, but I do know that it does work. I am not a scientist and cannot break down the steps the brain takes to create the vibrations from this visualization exercise to in turn create the energy in you and the world to make things happen.

But I do know this. Our brain, once it has clarity, subconsciously will lead us in the right path.  It will tell us when to turn right instead of left to find those things, events, people, and circumstances that we are meant to interact with.

When we don’t have clarity–in our lives–there are moments when things are unorganized, in chaos, and indistinct. Bad things happen to us.  We have a car accident, we make a bad financial decision, we come in contact with people who mean to do us harm. And things seem to be out of control.

Even in a world that is out of control–look at the people it does not affect.  Is it because those people are better, smarter or richer?  Or is it because they practice positivity in their lives regardless of the insanity around them?

Imagine if everyone created vision boards–and were able to create their positive energy that could mix with other people’s positive energy.  What would our world look like?  It would certainly be a different place.

My thoughts today, as I watch the chaos in the world on the news, is that they are manifesting exactly what the talking heads see in their mind’s eye. Their lives are in turmoil and it shows in their broadcasts.  Long time politicians are losing their foothold because the negativity itself is bringing them to their knees. People are being used because they cannot visualize a different way and are vulnerable to the suggestions of others, of promises that will not come true.

Each one of us is responsible for our energy–vision boards are one way–to clarify and direct that energy for good.

Rights and Responsibility

Rights and Responsibility

With great power comes great responsibility.  Powerful words used in a Spiderman movie.  Powerful words and true words.

The United States is the most powerful country in the world.  Because we are are powerful we must live up to the great responsibilities we have to lead the world by example.

This great nation has the responsibility to establish a more perfect union–we are not perfect but we must continue to strive to be the best.

Our country has the responsibility to establish justice for our citizens, to keep them safe from criminals that would do our society harm.

This nation has the responsibility to insure domestic tranquility–so we can lead ordered and calm lives.

The United States has the responsibility to provide for the common defense to protect us from bad actors from other countries who want to destroy our way of life.

This country has the responsibility to promote the general welfare of our citizenry by encouraging people to educate themselves and provide the necessary services for each other: police, fire, medical, agriculture, education.

Our nation has the responsibility to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our future generations to have the ability to pursue our God given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

These are the principles our established government has promised to its citizens–to protect us and our rights.

We the people then, have the power–the government was established by us, for us.

And with that power comes great responsibility.

As citizens we have the responsibility to support and defend the Constitution, respect and obey federal, state, and local laws, respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others, participate and stay informed of issues affecting your community, pay income taxes on time, serve on a jury when called upon, defend the country if the need should arise and participate in the democratic process.

As citizens, we are not here to just sit back and receive from the government. That is not the reason we set up our government. We are here to live in a free society in which we have the resources to help ourselves and our communities and the government protects our rights to do so.

As citizens we must participate in the democratic process so we can knowledgeably chose people to represent our best interests–this above all is extremely important.

Use your power–fulfill your responsibility–participate in your democracy!

Early voting opens today!  Go out and vote!

Stand Up

Stand Up

I have always been an advocate of the underdog.  I have never liked situations that are unfair, or unequal or that are set up to do harm to others deliberately.  Name calling, bullying, unfair treatment of those that don’t have the resources to stand up for themselves.

By “resources”, I am not just talking about money. Some people do no have the physical resources, the intellectual resources, the political resources, or the emotional resources to deal with the life circumstances they find themselves in.

And they are being taken advantage of by the exploitation of countries, politicians, education systems, societal pressures and economic threats that push them to make decisions that are not in their best interests–just to serve the wants of the current power structure.

For those who do not know me, let me describe myself a little.  I am a woman, 4′ 11, 124 lbs.  Not large by any means.  As an empty nester, I have reached the beautiful age of 50, so I am not young, but also not old or infirm.  I am a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, and wife.  I am a teacher, a life long learner, an advocate of others. I am a very proud American of hispanic descent.

Those attributes make me stronger not weaker.  I have been attacked and bullied, mostly verbally, at times, because I do not conform to the waves of thought that go through this country from time to time in regards to women’s rights, education, work place politics, gender and ethnicity roles and the larger rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

What people fail to see in me and more importantly, in themselves, is the power they have in their own opinions.  No one has to believe what they are told if they can see something different with their own eyes.  No one has to take at face value that things are right if they feel in their gut that things are wrong. Yet they do, every day, and then are sorry whey they are manipulated, bullied, and taken advantage of.

Here is a list of examples we should all take a hard look at in our own lives and stand up for what we truly believe–whether you are right or wrong.  Find your compass, listen to your gut–not to the thousands of screaming heads we encounter in our daily lives:

  1. The “me too” mentality–we all encounter some sort of sexism in the world during our lives. All of us, at one time or another, men as well as women.  Pick a side, once and for all.  It is up to you–not to the person using sexism as a weapon or to the people around you that have an opinion about it–you. Decide if you want to be a victim and wallow in self pity, never moving forward in your life or decide if you want to stand up for yourself, own it and put it behind you.
  2. Our education system–our education system is broken, it has been for a long time but at the same time forms the backbone for developing our children’s ability to question, study, research and learn.  We cannot blame the system itself if people–you and me–do not stand up and either change it, or if we cannot, then use it for good.  As parents we have the responsibility and the right to teach our children MORE than what they are learning from their books and curriculums in school.  Decide if you want the current powers that be mold the minds of your children or if you want to take the responsibility of building the minds of your children to be critical thinkers.
  3. The wage disparity among men and women.  It may exist.  I don’t really know because I have been able to find and read research on both sides of this argument that sound credible.  Here is what I know.  We live in a wonderful country that lets us choose our line of work.  If you accept a job at a certain amount of compensation for certain duties then that is your choice.  If you feel that you are not being compensated fairly for your work because of your gender–then you have the choice to CHANGE YOUR JOB.  Decide what you want to do with your life and work hard at it, the money will come.
  4. The immigration issue.  I believe in the rights of the underdog.  I always have and I have often stood up for others that cannot stand up for themselves. But I have also always said and lived the fact that “if you are going to do something, do it right.”  There is always a right and wrong way of doing things.  The current immigration situation in our country is a problem of our own making.  We must take care of ourselves–our citizens–FIRST, before we attempt to help citizens of other countries that want to come here. It is the responsibility of other countries to take care of their people FIRST, if they are not doing that–IT IS NOT OUR FAULT or OUR RESPONSIBILITY to make up for their failures. Decide which side of the issue you are on.  If we ruin this country, we will no longer have the power to help the people of other countries.
  5. Our ethnicity and our responsibilities as Americans.  I am proud to be of hispanic descent. I am proud that I am bilingual.  But I am more proud that I am American–that I live in a country in which many cultures can live together and work towards a common goal:  keeping America a free, safe and prosperous nation. That comes first–ALWAYS–before any other consideration of cultural celebrations and traditions, language rights, or family loyalties from other countries. Decide if you really want to be American, and if you are willing to live up to the responsibilities of what that requires.  We all have a choice here.  Decide if you want to not just live in this country but be a PART of it–if not then decide where you would be happier and go there.

It is time to stand up! It is time to decide what you want for you and your family. There is no right or wrong in this decision. There is power in your thoughts and in how you want to live your life.  It is your choice.  Make it!

Don’t be the underdog, stand up for your convictions. Don’t play the victim, the only person that allows victimhood is yourself.  Don’t stop learning because someone told you this is all there is, there is always more. Don’t accept that others are telling you you don’t get paid what you deserve–work harder, Don’t allow others to call you names because you want to protect your country from the problems of the world, take care of your country and let others take care of theirs. Don’t let people view you as a part of a minority when you are in the majority as an American, you give them your POWER when you let them. The world is a beautiful place–Stand up and find your place in it.

Change of Weather

Change of Weather

In the last 48 hours, in Texas, we have gone from the high 80’s in our “autumn” to a cold and rainy 54 degrees.  This is a major change of weather from one day to the next and it is very refreshing.   It reminds me that nothing ever stays constant.  There is always change in the air.

We can learn a great deal from mother nature if we understand that there is a season for everything–but when it is time for the season to change–we should embrace the cold front.

What am I talking about, you might think?  Well I am talking about a change in our thinking.  Sometimes we are just locked into one way of thinking and events in our lives seem to be spiraling out of control and causing harm or pain to ourselves or others.

Why does this happen? Because we are unwilling to change.  We are unwilling to see a different outcome or a different path.  We are unable to see the good side of bad situations, negative people and events that did not unfold the way we expected it to unfold.

There are many movements that have become popular now to learn how to change, to learn to think and act positively, to believe in a higher power that can lead us to the answers we are seeking.

What do all these things have in common?  Positive thinking.  It is a change of weather for many people.

I am a true believer of positive thinking, of finding the silver living in every storm, of learning from our mistakes and of putting our faith in a higher power that can help us find the miracle.

Being a believer does not make it easier–but it opens the doors to what is possible. And once we accept what is possible, opportunities will open up for us where we once thought that no path was available.

It is an amazing shift–if you allow the winds of change to bring the fresh air in!

I have seen it work powerfully in my life time and time again.  We find ourselves in a situation that we are unsure how we are going to handle and we start to panic, or we think we will just never make it through this hurdle.

But if you just stop–look at the situation honestly–and accept that there is an opportunity to change, good things can happen. Think about the outcome you would like to occur,  visualize what the situation can look like, how you intend to get over the hurdle, and the steps that will help you fix or turn around the challenge.

Then keep a positive attitude, accept the lesson the situation is teaching you and give it to God or a higher power.

Everytime, without fail, there will be a change of weather, and a way will be found where you thought there was no way.  The things and people you need will appear just when you need them and a new season will begin.

Enjoy the cooler weather–and see it as the positive change that it is–a time for renewal and an opportunity for a new way forward.

10 Things I Would Not Want to Live Without

10 Things I Would Not Want to Live Without

There is a cute survey going around on Facebook and articles online through quora.com and other sites being shared, asking people to think about and list 10 things they could not live without.

Some of the replies and lists I have read are very surprising!  And some things are really very confusing.

These are several of the funniest answers I have read that people feel they could not live without which were surprising: bathtubs, cheese, toilet paper, Netflix, eyeliner, fire, toothbrushes, television, shampoo, coffee,  and chocolate.

Yet others were confusing:  trees, credit cards, vacuum cleaner, mops, ironing boards, shaving cream, travel agents, high heels and children.

While the surveys and articles are cute and some are funny, there were very few that were serious.  I think that is because we live in a world where there is so much abundance that we no longer think about the basic needs for life.

It also shows me that a basic seriousness about life is not on the minds of most people. Which explains a great deal about our society today.

Then I also thought, what would the top 10 things be I could not live without?  As I thought about it I realized that the top 10 things for me were also the top 10 things I am grateful for:

  1. My family
  2. My freedom
  3. My health
  4. Shelter
  5. My faith
  6. Safety
  7. Clean water and healthy food
  8. Knowledge
  9. Survival skills
  10. Books

I fully believe that if I have my top 10 things all the other things we are accustomed to that we think we can’t live without will follow.  We should seriously think about these types of things once in a while, as it goes to the core of our values as humans–so open up the conversation with others and listen carefully to what others have to say.

What are the top 10 things you could not live without?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being The Real You

Being The Real You

Life can sometimes be hard. And without thinking about it we sometimes make life harder for ourselves.

Being 50 gives you (ie. read me) a lot of perspective.

We cannot deny our personality but many times that is exactly what we do in order to impress other people, to not rock the boat, to go along to get along or to keep others from hurting us.

However, when we deny our personality and our true selves in order to protect ourselves what often happens is it backfires and we complicate our lives.

It does us no good to deny our true needs and wants because in the end we will be frustrated, angry or full of regrets.

Also, we usually get to a point in our lives–for me it was 50–when we no longer want to settle to please others or to keep wasting time in endeavors that are not making us happy.

Life can sometimes be hard but it can also be wonderful if you find a way to be the real you as you navigate the rough parts.

Here is what I have been doing to be the real me:

  • I choose to be honest, with others but mostly with myself.
  • I choose to spend time doing things that I find enjoyable and fulfilling.
  • I choose not to apologize for my feelings and opinions.
  • I choose not to worry about what other people think.

I know, it sounds easy…but it is actually hard. But oh so worth it! So enjoy being the real you–its the only you there really is!

Lessons from Horner Park

Lessons from Horner Park

When I was a young girl, I would go to day camp every summer at Horner Park.  It was amazing.

Each day was filled with outdoor activities, crafts, sun and ice cream.

It never rained.  At least I don’t remember every having a rainy day those summers.

I climbed crab apple trees and ate the sour crab apples right off the branches.

I swam and I played on a T-ball team and I rolled down a grass hill.

Here are the lessons I learned at Horner Park that are still important to remember today:

  1. Physical exercise is important for health and happiness.
  2. Being outdoors in the sun is good for the soul.
  3. Never skip the ice cream.
  4. Don’t forget to climb the trees in your life and eat the crab apples.
  5. Play as part of a team–teamwork is important.
  6. Never give up a chance to roll down the grass hill.

Time passes too quickly to forget the lessons we learned at the park.  Life does not have to be complicated. Find the lessons and enjoy life.