Good neighbours

I live in a townhouse complex. And sometimes the people can be pretty complex too πŸ˜›
We do not have a security guard at the gate or anything like that, but basically we each have our own houses with a small fenced in yard, within a larger boundary that is high walled with electric fencing running along the top. With the increase in crime here, and a few incidents of late, the decision has been made to install cameras at the main gate as well.
Living like this has its perks, and its downfalls. You can’t help but ‘know your neighbours’ because they’re not very far away from you.
I know the neighbour next to me quite well, because he’s been living here for six years now, and I know the neighbours and their beautiful adopted little boys well too – we’ve shared life for nine years now!

I tell you this because today, among other days to be celebrated, is ‘Good Neighbour Day’.

I can remember the times when I lived in a ‘freestanding house’, on a road, along with other houses. I still knew my neighbours then, simply because when we moved in, I would go to the houses across from me and both sides of me and introduce myself. Many times, I think people thought I was just plain weird.
Someone once commented to me that it’s a good thing to do because at least you ‘know them’ if something happens to you, or if there’s a break in etc.

But that was never my reason. I’m a people person, and I like to ‘know’ – to try and connect. (So no, the reason was never out of curiosity or nosiness either πŸ˜› ) I also wanted people to ‘see me’, so that if they needed help they could approach me.

Your neighbours are not just the people living next to you, or in the vicinity of your home, though.

My theory is this : ‘home is where the heart is’, so wherever my heart travels (wherever I go, whether it be to the shop, or to the bank etc. my heart is inside my body and goes with me) and therefore every person who comes into contact with me could be considered my neighbour. Because I live in my body – it is a home for my soul.

And so yes, we get back to the familiar tangent I always seem to be on, ha ha ha!

Having a good house neighbour that you know you can call on to borrow some sugar, or feed your dogs if you’re away, or bring home bread and milk if you are ill etc, is fantastic!

What if, when we are out there in the world (away from our ‘living in’ home) we still practice being a good neighbour? A smile, and a greeting, to the person who we happen to catch the eye of; assistance for the lady juggling three bags of groceries and her keys; an offer to assist someone who seems to be wandering aimlessly around a grocery store (it can be fun to BOTH be searching for the same thing, ha ha ha!).

Sometimes this means stepping out of our comfort zone. For some of us, it isn’t easy to ‘go boldly and just do’ because it isn’t in our nature.

But the rewards of kindness, for both the person performing the act as well as the person on the receiving end, are simply out of this world! And they make your heart/home a little happier and lighter.

So once again….

Let’s leave footprints of love and kindness wherever we go! πŸ˜‰

Quality Street

Six years ago, I was invited to attend Friday night youth, and give ‘a talk’ for the teens. When I unpacked my ‘visual aid’ for my talk, I had the attention of each and every one of them…. especially when I proceeded to open the bags and allow the taste delights to spill out on to the table in front of me. Because, you see, I had brought with me three large bags like this :

The image comes from the Nestle website, and you’ll notice in the fine print below the ‘Choice Chocolates & Toffees’, it states that it is ‘everyone’s favourite favourite’.

Funnily enough, the pictures alongside that (the green, yellow and purple chocolates) happen to be MY favourites in the bag πŸ˜‰
Now Quality Street has always been ‘an expensive treat’, and when growing up, if our family gifted a box of chocolates, this was usually the one that was given.
We had them for ‘us’ a few times a year…. and I can remember many a battle over MY favourites, ha ha ha!
They are still one of the ‘more expensive’ boxes/packets of chocolates, and I think we probably only get them once a year now – usually around Christmas time.

One of my reasons for using them for the Youth Talk was this : Like the bag of chocolates, with it’s variety, we are all different. And we all have different things that we ‘prefer/like/favourite’ as well as different strengths and weaknesses – ‘tastes’, if you will.
But what if I said to them that they could have any chocolate from the bag, just not their favourite? Would they still choose one? Their reply was a unanimous yes.
And I used this to illustrate to them that just because someone wasn’t their favourite, or wasn’t ‘like them’, didn’t mean that that person didn’t have value. That person was still SOMEBODY’S favourite, and deserved kindness and love, just as much as they themselves did.
And that even if they felt they themselves were different, they still had worth!

And as I look around me in the world today, I see a whole lot of people with a variety of talents, and weaknesses, and strengths, and ‘differences’.
And I may not always ‘approve’ or be comfortable with their choices, or choose to spend ‘quality time’ with those people – they may not be my choice at all….
But they still deserve kindness (which is an expression of love!!!) no matter what I think or feel. Because they are still Someone’s favourite.

IN A WORLD WHERE YOU CAN BE ANYTHING, BE KIND!

(And yes, I let the teens eat the chocolates – although supervision was required to ensure that they were evenly distributed πŸ˜› )

What if…

I saw this meme on Facebook, and it made me smile. It reminded me of a happy time as a little girl, sitting with my dad, and being allowed to watch Star Trek….

And ever since the pandemic hit, it appears that a world that had already seemed to have gone insanely crazy in a bad way has just added a whole new level to its craziness. That old saying springs to mind… ”Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse”….

It got me to thinking though….

What if we add another different level of craziness? One that could quite possibly boggle many an educated brain? What if, despite everything that is happening around us, we …..

What if we smile at strangers? Or buy a stranger a cup of coffee? Or share our food with the tramp on the corner? Or pick some flowers for the old lady down the road? Or compliment someone randomly?

I know I have said these things before… but it’s really on my heart to say it again.

I shared this on my Facebook yesterday and it is so very true…..

Let’s work on being the change we want to see in this world, one small random act of kindness at a time πŸ˜‰

Stay safe, fellow bloggers! And please don’t forget to smile πŸ˜‰

Photo credits : Facebook and arisesociety.com

Men living in my house

In my house, Mr Nobody resides. Because apparently, nobody forgot to take their plate to the kitchen, and nobody missed the dustbin when they threw a paper away and it landed on the floor, and nobody spilled water on my bathroom floor…. to mention just a few πŸ˜›

But there is also a Mr Not Mine. He appears when I walk through and ask, ”Please can you bring that glass to the sink while I am doing dishes?”

”But Mom, it’s not mine!”

Sigh. The joys of parenthood… sometimes… πŸ˜‰

It always reminds me of this story though :

”There once was a king who decided to do a little experiment. He had a giant boulder put right in the middle of the street. He then hid near the boulder to see who, if anyone, would try to move it out of the way.

First, some wealthy merchants walked by. They walked around the boulder, complaining that the king hasn’t been maintaining the roads very well.

Next, a peasant walked by, heading home with his arms full of food for his family. When he noticed the boulder, he put his groceries down and attempted to move it out of everyone’s way. It took him a while to move it,Β but he eventually succeeded.

After the peasant gathered up his groceries to carry on home, he noticed a bag lying in the middle of the road, just where the boulder once was. He opened the bag to find that it was stuffedΒ full of gold coins, along with a letter from the king saying that the bag’s gold was a reward for the peasant to keep because he had taken the time and energy to move the boulder out of the road for the convenience of others who would be travelling the road in the future.”

There are actually two morals in this story – the first being the ‘obvious’….

Every obstacle we face offers us an opportunity to improve, thus providing us with a form of reward. If we are able to just push through, we will probably end up better off than what we were.

But the other moral is the one that my children remind me of πŸ˜›

Personal responsibility. Sometimes, we need to do the job/task, even if it’s not ours to do. If we see something, and we can do something about it? Then why not just do it, in order to help the next person (or in my case, help Mom πŸ˜› )
(And yes, this is not always applicable to every situation or circumstance in life… but it’s good to bear it in mind for the times that we could be applying it πŸ˜‰ )

And yes, I had a good giggle about these Mr’s that are living in my house, because I am supposed to be single πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Here’s hoping your challenges are few, but your rewards are great! ❀

Love Taps

Most people know a ‘love tap’ as being a ‘light punch’, usually done in jest.

I prefer the other meaning that someone once told me about. They said that a ‘love tap’ is when you get a little ‘sub conscious/pretend’ tap on the shoulder, either when receiving a form of love, or when you’re being prodded to do something to give love. Now THAT really appealed to me.

As I mentioned in my previous shared post, this last week has been a tough one. And yet every day, for the last five days, I have experienced love taps…. FOR ME! People who ‘were tapped’, and followed through. In little ways…. that encouraged me SO MUCH! An email that reminded me how very loved I am, and that I am NOT alone; messages to not only encourage me but thank me for who I am; and a video that was sent to me on Thursday.

This video? It carried a powerful message. And was sent by a ‘friendly acquaintance’ who had NO idea of anything I was going through – she sent it with the caption : ”I watched this and you came to mind, don’t know why. But I am sending it to you, and I hope you have a great day!” She followed through on her love tap…. and it made a HUGE difference to me!

The video spoke of a father and daughter who were driving home after a time away. The daughter was the driver, and having only just recently acquired her license, when a storm came up, she got nervous. Her dad said to keep driving. The storm got worse, and other cars and even a great big truck, all pulled over. But her dad told her she would be okay, and to just keep driving. And then they were through the storm. And her dad said,
”You can pull over now.”
She did, and she smiled and said, ”I know, Dad. You want me to stop and thank God for bringing us through safely.”
He replied, ”Yes, but there is something else too. Climb out the car, and I’ll show you.”
So they got out of the car, and he told her to look back the way they had come, and asked her what she saw. She replied that she could still see the storm back that way. He asked her to look again and tell him what else she saw, and she seemed a bit confused, and so he asked,
”Where are the cars, and the big truck, who pulled over? Do you see them?”
She looked back and slowly shook her head.
He said, ”You don’t see them, because they are still in the storm. You see, when you pull over, you make the storm last longer. If you keep going, keep moving ahead, keep believing that it’s possible, keep your hope and your faith…. then you will make it through your storm.”

Now, there may be plenty of ‘holes’ in this story. But for me? It was just another reminder of the general theme in my life : Hold on to your hope, keep pushing on… you’ll be okay.

And I needed to hear it, and know it, and feel it.

And I know that when we’re in the storm, sometimes the generic replies like : this too shall pass; you can’t have a rainbow without the rain; it’s just a bad day and not a bad life – sometimes those replies can be frustrating, and not very helpful for the place we are in.

But for me personally? I have learned that the even if I don’t like them, and even if I don’t feel them… I will keep saying them out loud anyway – because there comes a time where THEY become the first thoughts my brain has when the next storm threatens πŸ˜‰

And one more thing about love taps …..

(And sometimes I embarrass my children, ha ha ha!)
I often have these moments where I will notice someone, and perhaps see that they have on a pretty dress, or a top that brings out their eyes, or their hair looks really pretty that day – but let’s stick with the dress for now πŸ˜‰ I say it in my head. But a minute later, they pass me again, and I have the urge to tell them, ”That’s a really pretty dress.” I hold back though. And then we’ll end up in the queue together, or they’ll pass me again, and the urge is too great… and I end up blurting it out,
”I’m sorry… but I just want to tell you, that is a really pretty dress that you’re wearing.”
Most times, they’re a little taken aback at first… and then I see the light in their eyes, and the difference my silly comment has made to them in that moment… and it makes it all worth it.

Follow through on your love taps…. it makes the world just that little bit better, for them…
and for you ❀

Monday Musings

The last few days have been particularly hard. And I suppose that on hard days, we sort of store up emotions… and then have a day where that just overwhelms us and comes to a head.
Today I have cried. A lot. Not about one thing in particular, but rather about everything that has just become too much.
And despite being overwhelmed by the negative emotions, and the whys and the whats and the self-doubt; with tears pouring down my cheeks, I have stated out loud the ‘so much’ that I have to be grateful for.

I came onto WordPress, wanting to write a post, but knowing I didn’t really have it in me today. And then I read this post… and I cried some more… because there is so much truth in here – I felt it in my soul, and right down to the soles of my feet.

So I know I will keep walking… for life itself IS something to be celebrated. The good and the bad. And there is always SOMETHING to be grateful for.
(Like great friends on WordPress who post things at just the right time without even knowing how much you need to read it! πŸ˜‰ )

Letters To Pogue

Dear Pogue,

It’s said that we don’t appreciate things in our life until they are gone and there’s truth in that. We only understand plenty once we know lack, and companionship after we’ve greeted loneliness. I could go on with a list but I’m sure you’re there before me.

But have you ever thought that you must have what you don’t want in your life to allow you to experience more of what you do want? β€œWe cannot have more sensitivity to pleasure without more sensitivity to pain” (Alan Watts). You cannot see more of what is good in the world without realising more of what is not.

Everything comes at a cost in life but if you want to be the very best person you can possibly be, it’s worth bearing. Realise it is only when you have been blessed with the good that you notice the bad. Count…

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Bring Your Manners To Work Day

Yes, apparently that is the day that is being celebrated today.

But as with all these days that have their own specific celebratory day, we should be practising them every day! Today is a good day to acknowledge the importance of manners though πŸ˜‰

My teen and young adult STILL sometimes forget their ‘please and thank you’s’ with me – and it frustrates me to no end.
But I have been told on numerous occasions that they are very well-mannered. And I was reminded of something someone once said to me when I complained about my then four year old’s behaviour.

”Would you rather have them misbehave at home, or in public? Because in public, she is an absolute gem, and you can be proud!”

Naturally my answer was that I was glad she wasn’t that way ‘out in the world’, ha ha ha!

But something I tell my kids regularly is this : it’s just as important ‘at home’, and when you’re alone, to be consistent in your behaviour – and that includes remembering your manners πŸ˜‰

Because what you keep doing, and thinking, and saying will eventually spill over into all spheres in your life.

Saying please and thank you are basic etiquette, and cost nothing. Such simple words that we sometimes seem to forget.

Such simple words that actually mean more than we sometimes realise, because they show kindness and respect, which are things of great value.

And if we really think about it? When we neglect the small things we start to form poor habits, and the consequences of that can be quite overwhelming.

So for today, PLEASE remember to say please πŸ˜‰
And don’t forget that a simple thank you can go a long way.

THANK YOU πŸ˜‰