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.”

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.

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!!

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!

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!