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!

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 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.

 

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.