Where’s the photograph?

Photo credit : Pinterest

I am probably the worst when it comes to taking photographs! And I don’t just mean selfies. I mean in general. It’s pretty much an ‘every time’ thing : I see something, and a few minutes after that particular thing/moment has passed, something in my brain says, ”You should have taken a photo!”

It was my daughter’s birthday last week, and on the Saturday that has just passed, she had a small get together with nine friends (at another friends house) – a ‘party’ on a budget, and so I worked hard! Ha ha!
(I can confirm that my lungs still work well – I managed to blow up 17 balloons without incident! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Knowing how dreadful I am with picture taking, I asked my daughter to take photo’s of ‘the party’ for me! And then I got busy decorating, and setting the table.

The following morning, I was very excited when she came to me, cellphone in hand, to show me all the pictures she had taken.
But alas, there was not a single one of all my hard work! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
I did not let my disappointment show, and smiled and laughed as she enthusiastically shared all the pictures of her friends. When she was finished, I casually commented, ”Why no pictures of the food and decor; all the stuff I did?”

She smiled, and replied,

”Because, Mom, isn’t it better to see the amount of happiness and fun what you did produced? You know I appreciate everything you did – look how much everyone else appreciated it too!”

That made me want to cry!

Because I really had tried, on a very limited budget, and had been so worried that it would be a flop – so many had already had rather elaborate parties that I could never have ‘matched’… but maybe I did ๐Ÿ˜‰
Because… despite everything that was lacking… the evidence was in every photograph of how much fun these teenagers had actually had! (Even though all my balloons, and prettily folded serviettes, and homemade foods etc. were nowhere in sight!)

It was yet another great reminder of ‘the little things that count and make big things happen’… like all those smiling faces and laughter as a result of a bunch of ‘little efforts’ in various ways!

Photo credit : shotkit.com

I sincerely doubt that I will ever really improve when it comes to ‘taking photographs’…
Maybe I am more the ‘maker’ of the photographs ๐Ÿ˜›

Here’s wishing you all plenty of happiness and love, and heartwarming tears ๐Ÿ˜› , for the moments you create that bring joy into the lives of others ๐Ÿ˜‰
(Even if you forget to take a picture ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Cracked Pots

quotefancy.com

I also like to think that that is how the light shines through.

It’s a nice thought : some of us are perfect. But it’s not true. Even if that is how we may perceive some people to be.

I painted this weirdo about ten years ago :

My favourite thing about him was his cracks. I loved filling them in, and in the odd spot? Adding in some of my own. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For me, when he was finished, he was ‘perfect’. Just the way he was. He still stands in my home, and is one of my sources of joy.

This morning, I read (for the umpteenth time) this little story, and wanted to share it with you :

”A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

If you’re feeling a little bit broken…
(Side note : broken crayons still colour ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
If you’re worried that you may not measure up…
If you’re struggling to reach perfection in areas you are certain that you should have achieved it in…
If you’re feeling inadequate, and imperfect?

Please remember : Without you being just the way you are, there would not be ‘this beauty’ (the beauty of you) to grace the world!!!
You may feel like your light has grown dim, but it is still shining – and even dim light can brighten up the darkest room!

(And yes, we should all try to do better and be better… there is always room for improvement. But along the way, while you are trying, it’s important to remember that there is still beauty in you. You are loved โค )

Sharing IS caring, no matter how little

This morning I sipped my coffee and pondered the three different blogposts in my head, struggling to decide which to post first. As WordPress loaded on my computer, I found myself thinking, ”you should at least try to catch up on a few other blogs before you even think of typing a post”! I was stopped in my tracks at the very first page I visited. A memory popped into my head, from about ten years ago – as clear as if I had seen it happen yesterday!

I am sure many of you are familiar with the statement : ”Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse…”
I am seeing a lot of that of late. More friends have passed in such a short space of time; our crime has escalated to a point that is even more frightening than what it was; I am seeing more and more people suffering in so many ways. And I feel utterly helpless.

To echo a line from the blog post that I read : For the worldโ€™s more full of weeping than you can understand

I’ve had to stop trying to understand.

The part of this particular blog post that sparked the memory in me was this :
But give in proportion to what you have and can comfortably give (I did say โ€˜giveโ€™ and you will be giving, be that advice, consolation, time, physical resources). They get it for free and you pick up the tab. But as with food, thereโ€™s more than enough to go around. If only the world could grasp the fact that if each of us gave from our excess then we would change everything.

I remembered : sometimes we also just need to share the little that we have.
(And to quote another line from that same blog post : ”Itโ€™s a Law of the Universe that we get in order that we can give and then the Universe gives us more.”)

The only thing I have in excess is a heart full of comfort and caring, and my smile that comes from an unexplainable happiness within me. Those things? I freely give and share, because it is easy to.

The struggle comes in when it comes to the things I don’t have in excess…
And discernment is important in situations like that! I may not have in excess, but there are times where I have had to share what I did have – a loaf of bread halved so that we can eat, and so can someone else.

The memory that jumped to the forefront of my mind this morning was this :

About ten years ago, we were still relatively safe driving along, and parking, on the esplanade of our main beachfront – so long as you kept your doors locked and your windows up. I had been at a government building and had another couple of hours until I needed to get back. Since this was the route I was driving, I decided to stop and just watch the waves for a while. As I was driving along, looking for a good spot for me, I noticed an old beggar shuffling along, stooped low and leaning on his stick heavily.
I pulled in at the shop along the way and purchased the largest soup of the day that they had, and a loaf of bread. It was all that I could afford that day. I then doubled back to where he had settled on a bench, and went to give him the bag from the shop. He smiled, and thanked me, in his native language. I returned to my car, and looked back at him from its warmth. And what I saw made me cry – even now there are tears in my eyes.

A short distance away was a group of street children – about five of them in total, varying in age (the smallest looked about five years old). They were sitting on the wall, messing about in their ragged clothes. The oldest was scratching in the dustbin nearby, and unfortunately making a mess with the contents. The old man shouted something to him, and from the expression on his face I think he was chastised for his behaviour, ha ha! He hastily began putting the litter back in the bin. When he was finished the old man called him over, and they spoke for a short while. It looked serious. Suddenly a look of disbelief came over the child’s face, and the old man nodded and shooed him away.

I watched the encounter with great interest, wondering at this point what on earth had happened.

The child ran back to ‘his crew’, and the next thing they all jumped up and came running over to the old man. Some sat on the wall opposite him, two sat on the ground at his feet…
And I watched him share out that loaf of bread, and place the soup in the middle of their little group so that they could all dip their bread into it.
As the tears rolled down my face, I found myself thinking, ”But what will the old man eat tonight?”

I remember that that night I was so very grateful for the toast that the kids and I ate. And the thought that then went through my mind was : ”I suppose it was all he had to give them, to try and help them. It wasn’t much, and it didn’t solve any of their problems, but at least those kids had a meal that day!”

I don’t understand what is happening in this world right now. I can’t help everyone, all the time. But what I can do is help at least ONE person, in ONE moment!
Perhaps someone will notice that… not to pat me on the back, but to be inspired to do the same. The whole ‘Pay It Forward’ concept in a way.
I know everything is broken. But we can still try and bring small bits of sunshine to dark and gloomy days. โค

Go to the Trees!

I’ve mentioned before that one of my all time favourite movies is ”You’ve Got Mail”.

Whenever ‘bad’ things happen, I can hear Tom Hanks doing his ”Godfather” impression in the movie, telling Meg Ryan to ”go to the mattresses”. ”GO TO WAR! Use ruthless tactics, if you must! But fight fight fight!”

When I get off my mattress in the morning though, I go to the trees! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (and I am ruthless about focusing on positive self talk ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Somebody once told me that their peaceful place is a beach – the rolling waves and the cry of seagulls, the sand between their toes… it instantly calms them.
I smiled, because that isn’t my sedative ๐Ÿ˜‰ and told them, ”I’m a forest and waterfall, mountains kinda girl.”

Neither option is safe for me to run to for some solitude in my area. BUT there ARE trees!!!! And I always feel a sense of silent wonderment when I gaze upon them!

I am not a tree hugger in the sense of ‘campaigning for the environment’… but I have been known to hug a tree once or twice, ha ha ha!

And when things go wrong, as they so often do; and when I am feeling sad or angry or overwhelmed…
I go to the trees! Sometimes this means finding a place to pull over in my car where there is a tree, so that I can just look at it!
And most times I am amused when my brain reminds me : you’re feeling down, and now you’re looking up ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have no idea where this fascination or appreciation comes from – I do think it’s a culmination of many things, and people. But I do remember that as a child we had a large garden with big trees – some I would climb, and some I would hide behind. I’d use the large trunk to support my back, and read ”The Enchanted Wood” series. Hmmm, perhaps I have Enid Blyton to thank ๐Ÿ˜‰

And then there was the garden next door!
It was huge, and the side section was made up of a maze of pathways in amongst the lilies, daisies and clivias, and what to this little girl seemed like giant Weeping Willows!
The couple who lived there were grandparents – not mine – but they might as well have been, ha ha! I would often go there for tea – freshly baked scones with jam and cream, or whatever batch of homemade biscuits/cookies had just been baked! And then I would go and help Uncle Ian in the garden, while Aunty June rang my mother to let her know I was with them (because sometimes I just went there without seeking permission to! Ha ha!) Tea was always after the garden!
Uncle Ian knew how much I loved my Enchanted Wood books, and would let me drone on about the interesting characters, never once getting impatient with me!
And one day when I arrived unannounced, he told me he had known I was coming and he had a surprise for me. Looking back now as an adult, I am still filled with such fondness for that dear old man!

As we approached the Weeping Willows, he put his finger to his lips and whispered, ”You need to be very quiet. Maybe you will spot a fairy!” My eyes were suddenly the largest they had ever been, and they glistened with excitement as my lips made an excited oval! He smiled, and continued whispering, ”I think the fairies have come to live here because of you. Be careful where you step, because they have made little beds in places on the side of the path. Off you go now! I’ll wait here. They might run away if they see me!”
And he waited and watched as I tiptoed along the path, being extra careful where I put my feet, my eyes searching the area for fairy beds, and fairies!
The fairies were afraid of me, and stayed hidden… but oh! I found some of their little beds!!! Tufts of canopy foliage all bunched together – and some even slept with a small daisy as a pillow! (I grew up and realised he had made those little beds, especially for me! I think my heart did cartwheels the day I realised that!)

Inwardly, I squealed with delight upon every discovery – but I remembered what Uncle Ian had said about scaring the fairies, and so I would look back at him with a huge smile, my eyes dancing, and a finger to my lips, nodding that I understood. And he would be standing there, in the same spot under the shade of a tree, smiling back at me.
We had eight magical months of fairy seeking (despite my mother being extremely unhappy about it because he was filling my head with nonsense!) – and my imagination being what it was, I even caught a glimpse of a few fairies in that time ๐Ÿ˜‰ And then Uncle Ian got really sick, and a few days later he passed away.
I snuck back into the garden one day, without first seeking out Aunty June because I knew she was sad. I couldn’t find a single fairy bed, and I remember curling up on the path, staring up at the Weeping Willows, and weeping!
I wasn’t there for very long when Aunty June found me. (My mother had rung to say I was missing and Aunty June knew where I would be.)
Over tea and scones she explained to me that the fairies had gone with Uncle Ian, to look after him. And I actually remember that that made my heart happy!
I’m guessing Uncle Ian played a big part in my love for trees too!

Why all the tree ‘bark’ (talk)? ๐Ÿ˜›

I saw something on Facebook, and it actually made me cry! Thinking back on the last 40 plus years of my life, I identified with every single word of it! The ending was an epiphany of sorts!

Trees help me breathe! Not just because they produce oxygen! They truly stop me in my tracks… they force me to pause in their magical beauty… they remind me to BREATHE!

I don’t know what works for you…. I don’t know what it is that reminds you, in pain and sorrow and anger and confusion; in moments where you just want to give up…. TO BREATHE….

But my hope for every single one of you reading this is that in the coming days whatever that thing is, it will find its way to you somehow, in immense amounts, so that whatever you are facing, you will be able to remember to ‘just breathe’! โค

Paying attention to good stuff

3am. A little dog panting and jumping on me. ”I need to go, Mom!”
I stumbled around in the semi darkness, finding my glasses on the floor (how did they get there?), reached for the keys to open up, and dropped them… twice.
All the while, little Miss was running in circles… ”Hurry up, Mom, hurry up!”
Thankfully, she was quick. And my brain was just foggy enough still to not want coffee! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I slept another hour and a bit, and woke to my 5am alarm.
Yes, I groaned. ๐Ÿ˜›
Sipping on my second cup of coffee, my mind started waking up properly, and as it always does, it produced a blog post.
(This is the part where I admit to the following : I write blog posts in my head a lot! They’re usually pretty good, ha ha! Then I find that peaceful gap where I can sit and type one out, and they’re all gone! Disappeared! Bermuda Triangle stuff! Mysterious, indeed!)

6am found me sitting at the computer, determined to type the ‘brilliant’ post in my head, but first I needed to catch up on a few blogs.

The following is not what I was going to blog about!

If we can start our day with a giggle or a smile, a little bit of happiness, it changes things. Well, it does for me anyway. It’s a small thing, a small difference, but it somehow makes something in me a little bit stronger – as if it equips me for whatever might come my way.
Yes, admittedly, when really bad stuff happens, I may falter. But for the most part is helps.

Wic from Letters to Pogue always seems to speak to me in one way or another – soul food and thoughts to ponder! Inspiration and encouragement more often than not! A worthy blog to visit if you have not already done so ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning I was catching up, and it was his Monday Musing for today that made me giggle. (Not to detract from serious thoughts in there – there was definitely food for thought – I’ll be contemplating after this ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Please do go and read it : I think what I am saying is that the things that often make life rich and bring a smile to our faces are the โ€˜littleโ€™ things.

In the meantime, here’s the ‘little memory’ that made me giggle :

For some odd reason, when I was younger, the Tooth Fairy never visited my house. My teeth were whisked off to a magical place, with a shiny coin to replace them, by the Tooth Mouse.
There were discussions about this amongst my little peers, with the boys being of the opinion that it was simply because I wasn’t dainty enough for the fairy – conversations that took place in whatever tree we were climbing at the time ๐Ÿ˜› (My mother eventually stopped sending me to pre-school in pretty dresses ๐Ÿ˜› The strange thing was that I liked being girly, and dresses made me feel like a princess, but I simply couldn’t resist climbing the tree! Ha ha!)

When I had a loose tooth, the money I could get did not attract me in the least – I tried hard to hide that loose tooth! Because if my cousins found out (the three girls), they were delighted! My aunt would double check that it was loose enough, and then one of them would sit on my chest, one would hold my arms, and the third my legs. And they’d wiggle it right out of my mouth for me! (looking back, this was definitely a better alternative to tying string to my tooth and a doorknob and slamming the door, ha ha ha!) They’d send me home, tooth in hand, delighted at the thought that soon I’d have a shiny coin!

One day while I was munching on some Crackerbread, alone in our large kitchen (oh! How I miss having a big kitchen!), I caught a glimpse of the Tooth Mouse!
Unable to contain my excitement, I ran out to the garage to tell my dad! He smiled, but I remember some concern too.
We made our way to the kitchen, to find my mother there, putting the kettle on for some tea. I was delighted to share my news with her, and somewhat confused when she shrieked and ran off to her bedroom! (Dad refused to set mouse traps – it would be too traumatising for me.)

But I suspect the Tooth Mouse had seen and heard it all, because none of us ever saw him again!
I did still get a shiny new coin when my next tooth got retrieved though ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope your week is FULL of little reminders of happy memories from the past! Have a great one, everyone! โค


Feeling dim?

I saw this on Facebook this morning. I had a whole other blog post in mind, but it stopped me in my tracks. It was one of those : ”oh my gosh, this is a very worthy re-share!” And so not to leave my blogging friends out, here it is :

Nobody’s perfect, all of the time. (I linked the song by Mike and the Mechanics because it is one I really like.

In many of my moments of imperfection, I was cast aside by the very people who were ‘supposed’ to love me. I know EXACTLY how it feels to be in that dark place (sometimes even because it really was my own fault that I was there) and be cast aside, judged unfairly, treated as unlovable.

I wasted many years allowing the anger and bitterness of that influence my words and actions. I excused myself with the ‘why should I’ attitude : why should I be considerate of him when he did xyz; why should I be kind to her when she did xyz? And on and on.
And sadly, I allowed it to form a part of me that became the very thing that had hurt me so much. It didn’t consume me, but there were too many times where I sat myself on a throne of my own making, and cast others aside for what I now realise were actually just honest mistakes and poor choices, because the choices they had to choose from were not so great to begin with.

I now realise.

Intensely painful self reflection, and a soul growth spurt that was remarkable in so many ways finds me in a very different place to ‘way back when’. It has been difficult (because my rebellious side still enjoys a little bit of ‘wickedness’ ๐Ÿ˜› ) and my thoughts are not always very well controlled! But true changes only really emerged when I put in the effort to feed the right wolf 90% of the time (old blog post linked for the wolf story… if you want to skip the actual post, the wolf story is at the end ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) – nobody’s perfect, hence my inability to achieve 100%! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

These days I choose to dish out my attention, affection, acceptance and compassion. I am happy to help with direction too, if I have anything to offer. Sometimes I even find myself extending this to the very people who didn’t give it to me. (nobody’s perfect though, please remember, so I have to be honest and say that it isn’t always done without some grumbling and if there was someone close enough to read my mind, they’d be shocked! ๐Ÿ˜› )

Sharing my light is important to me.

We all know that being the change we want to see in this world does have a positive impact, because the ripple in our immediate area often times gets carried and becomes the most beautiful wave.

But sometimes I think we need to also be who we needed when we were younger (for me, that means the period of my life from birth to my early thirties, ha ha!).

Here’s to a week of sharing our lights! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thoughts Doing Love

That really is how it sometimes goes! ๐Ÿ˜› There are even times where I find myself nodding in agreement when I see this :

I remember a conversation with someone a couple of years ago where they made a comment : ”you sure do think a lot!” It was said as a tease, based on the topic we were discussing, and there was not a single bit of malice in it. But it made me pause for thought later in the day ๐Ÿ˜› (I am shaking my head at me too right now, don’t worry, ha ha!)

The question that came to mind as I sat petting my dog was : Am I really a thinker?

Right up until my early thirties, I definitely tended more towards being a doer – often times with not so pleasant consequences. While I knew what my next step was, I usually didn’t think much further than that, and had a tendency to just ‘jump right into’ whatever it was that was going on.
As I’ve said many times, it’s possible that life experience has made me the way I am now : a sudden awakening of age (I’m old before my time ๐Ÿ˜› ), a dash of wisdom and an abundance of caution have all resulted in some major changes the last few years – most of which have been positive changes, much to my delight!

But had I really suddenly become a thinker, as opposed to a doer? Had the thoughtful side of me really grown enough to be the dominant part of who I was?

Something else I say often is that I am very glad I am not a cat! The nine lives part is great, I guess… but curiosity apparently kills the cat – and I am a little too curious by nature! Ha ha! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Curiosity got the better of me this time again, and off I went to do a little bit of personal research! (Because I am not a cat, and therefore I did not die ๐Ÿ˜› )

I was so surprised at all the information out there – www. you did it again! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Apparently ‘are you a thinker’ falls into all sorts of different categories, and is based upon what the comparisons are. For example : if the choice is between a thinker or a feeler, then I am a feeler, and not a thinker! (Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, ha ha!) But apparently you get thinking feelers too!

I discovered, to my surprise, that I was indeed much more of a thinker than I thought ๐Ÿ˜› and that although I was still a doer, my mind won hands down! I found it interesting that being a thinker has its own classifications too! And my end result of that was this :

My natural thinking style leans most strongly towards being both a connector and a coach! As a connector, I like to build and strengthen relationships, bringing people together around shared interests and for mutual benefit. And as a coach, I like to work with people one-one-one, helping them see their potential, overcome barriers and achieve their dreams.
I am also classified as an ‘Intuitive Thinker’. Inner knowledge is apparently what I draw from to guide me. I process information and facts, but ultimately rely on intuition to make decisions and choices. I’m creative, imaginative and emotional – and I can’t be confined to the limitations of logic. I draw on past experiences to develop foresight.

Upon further exploration I was extremely amused to learn that intuitive thinking is a mystery to the science world, but that scientists believe that it happens in a region of our brain that is close to the pineal gland (lines up with the middle of your forehead between your eyebrows).
Two sources of amusement : I am a scientific mystery – insert a VERY loud laugh here! – and I may have discovered the source for one of these daily headaches of mine ๐Ÿ˜›
(I am convinced my offspring cause two of the others I experience ๐Ÿ˜› )

All of the above may or may not be correct. As far as I know, I am not part of a scientific experiment and there has been no major testing done on my brain ๐Ÿ˜›
It could all be true though – especially since I know within myself that a lot of it really is me! That whole ‘I definitely identify with this’ thing that we so often experience in life! (As well as the : ‘how do they know me so well’ aspect ๐Ÿ˜› )

Two reasons for this blog post : The first being that I happened to find my notes on all of the above tucked away in the back of a book I just pulled from my bookshelf for a reread (the book, in case you are interested, being : Motive, by Jonathan Kellerman – how funny that I stuck those notes in a book with that title! – well, funny to me, anyway – ha ha ha!)

The second being a theme I have noticed so far in this New Year. We’re only on the sixth day of January, and I have been asked three times by three individuals who have no connection to each other : So, Meg, what are you going to DO in 2022?
To the one I replied stating a goal/dream that I have for this year, and they said ”great, are you doing what you need to in order to achieve it?” (In case you are wondering, yes…. I am. The parts I can do, and can control – the rest is requiring a lot of patience! Ha ha!)
To another, the flippant response ‘same procedure as every year, James’… (if you have not watched Dinner for One, you might want to – I know I laugh, every time! And it’s only the introduction that is in German – the rest is English ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Their reply? Noooo…. you need to add some excitement to your to DO list!

By the third, I had carefully considered this whole DOING thing, and I replied : I am going to love more. (kindness, compassion, mercy, patience, honesty)
The response was a sweet laugh, and ”Oh Megs, but that’s not doing anything! You know what I mean!”

And I smiled and simply said, ”Believe me, it’s DOING a lot of things. Love needs action. I can’t help everyone all the time, but I am sure as heck going to put more effort into helping those I can, and DOING practical things along the way!”

(Speaking of which, I am supposed to be DOING my children’s laundry right now ๐Ÿ˜› )

The little things make big things happen, remember?
So here’s hoping you will all join me and let’s DO something together to be that change we want to see in this world! โค

I THINK I need another cup of coffee before I DO the washing ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

Almost time

It’s that time of year again! The very last day of it! Soon we will usher in a whole new 365 days! What will we do with them?

Do you have big plans for tonight? I do – they involve my dogs, my daughter and my pyjama’s! ๐Ÿ˜› I probably won’t make it to midnight, again! No matter! So long as I get to wake up and experience the next new day, I’m happy ๐Ÿ˜‰
My happiness may be short lived, because we all know that while each day is a gift and full of opportunity, sometimes things come our way and try to detract from its beauty. But this is life. A mixture of mishaps and motivations! Disappointments, and fulfilling rewards!
As the saying goes, ‘you can’t have a rainbow without the rain‘ ๐Ÿ˜‰

I gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago. I decided that life applies enough pressure, why should I add to it and find more ways to disappoint myself? ๐Ÿ˜› Ha ha ha! However, yes, I do still have goals and dreams… you just never know ๐Ÿ˜‰
But seriously…..

I find myself chanting, ”Little things make big things happen”.
And I’m a sucker for hope.

Being the way I am doesn’t win me a lot of friends, surprisingly. Comments are usually along the lines of me being ”annoyingly positive and optimistic”’, and ”unrealistically hopeful because you’re not in control of those things now, are you?”

Being annoyingly positive and optimistic is what works for me – it keeps me going, and it’s the way I choose to be, because without it I’d be risking becoming destructively negative and hateful. ”Know thyself” – I know me. I know my history, and I know there is the potential for much bitterness, if I don’t try and keep that door closed. So I simply HAVE to keep trying!

As for the unrealistically hopeful part? I agree – I can only control myself, and for most of us our living circumstances usually put us in a position where we’re at the mercy of others (some examples : if you live in a housing development, you can’t just do as you please because there are rules; each country has laws that need to be followed, so again, we cannot just do as we please; if you’re waiting on important documentation, you cannot control the time it will take/you have no say in the process that needs to be followed).
But as dire as those things seem, even when the outcome seems impossible….
There is always hope!
Once again, this is a way I choose to be, because without it I strongly suspect I may cease to be me.
It’s difficult for me to explain, and you could probably only understand it if you have ever felt the same way. It’s not that I am unrealistic. It’s not that I refuse to acknowledge the challenges, or am oblivious to the limitations. I DO see all of those things! But at the very same time there is a flame within that burns, reminding me, ”Don’t give up. Not yet. You just never know!”
I suspect that that is what fuels my journey. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. :

โ€œIf you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.ย And so today I still have a dream.โ€

Returning to ”little things make big things happen”…..

I am going into the New Year hoping for something in particular for 2022. It is not a big thing. It is monumentally huge! It’s going to require little and big things in order for it to happen. And to be totally honest, I am already feeling a little bit frustrated, ha ha ha! Because it’s a goal that is realistic, but at the same time because of time, and my inability to control everything, is also a little bit unrealistic.
Next mantra on repeat : ”Don’t give up. Not yet. You just never know!”

As and when, if it happens or if it doesn’t, I will share with all of you. I am hopeful that it will be a share of celebration! I acknowledge the possibility that it may not. BUT :
Whatever the ‘weather’, we’ll weather the weather, whether we want to or not ๐Ÿ˜‰

So very grateful to each and every one of you for reading and commenting and liking over the years – I treasure having you all along for the ride ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I’ll end with this :

โ€œWe spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.โ€ โ€• Ellen Goodman

No matter what lies ahead in the year that is coming, my hope is that you will all find the strength to carry on and face each new day with the thought to at least keep TRYING! And my extra special request for each person who has read this is that in that trying, you will be surprised by some ‘supposed unrealistic happenings’ being made real for you in the very best of ways! โค

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE AND ALL!

Win some, lose some

Yesterday, I had a one hour wait in my car with my teenage daughter, between her school ending and allotted time slot for dancing. She had some school work to finish, and I was looking forward to spending some time reading my book. It was only about fifteen minutes after we had parked that I was able to pick it up, because of course there is the ”catch up on her day” while she eats first.

Before I opened it, I first scanned the street, double checking our safety (because that is how life is lived here), and a man a little further down the road caught my eye.
And I struggled to concentrate after that, reading only a few lines before needing to look up and watch him for a bit.
Not because he was menacing. And not because he was attractive either ๐Ÿ˜›

He had his phone in his hand, and was clearly following some form of workout on it. He would jog a short distance, then jog back to his spot, then do three sets of eight of some form of cardio exercise. Then he’d take a deep breath in and out, and repeat the whole cycle – each repetition of the cardio changing as he progressed.

What struck me was this :

He was a slightly overweight man, who appeared to me to be somewhere in his fifties.
And he was not very good at what he was doing.
But he was still doing it… and on a public street too!

(I have to add that I have a LOT of admiration for ‘overweight, untoned’ people who exercise in public. I always look at them and think, ”good for you! I should be doing that! Keep your head held high – respect!”)

My daughter saw me watching, and told me not to stare. I told her, ”I can’t help it. I should be doing that!” She replied, ”then go do it…. but not here, please! All the dancers and parents will see you, and that’s just embarrassing!” And I laughed out loud!
I tried very hard to prevent him from seeing me watching, but about halfway through his workout, I found myself staring at him as he jogged back up the road to his spot without really thinking anything, and we locked eyes. He gave me a small smile, and lifted his hand to say hi, before turning his attention back to his phone to do his cardio.

Knowing I was watching changed nothing – he didn’t suddenly improve on the exercise, or get an impressive second wind and jog a bit faster…. he continued on exactly the same as before. He knew I was watching, but he didn’t stop! Sometimes, even though we’re in public, we only really get uncomfortable when we catch someone watching us. If the roles had been reversed, I would have stopped.
And the thought that came to mind was, This guy has it right! What other people think of him is none of his business! He is doing this for himself, and is focused on the task at hand, probably knowing that the more he does it, the better he’ll get at it.

A couple of minutes before my daughter went into the studio, I watched him finish off a small stretching routine, chug down some water, and walk back into his house. I was surprised to find that, for a moment, I felt some joy and satisfaction on his behalf! I know… I’m a weirdo ๐Ÿ˜›

Unfortunately I was brought up with far too many limiting beliefs, and a lot of negativity about me personally, and I still find myself trying to unpack a lot even now.
And it’s hard. There are daily battles (some come hourly), and I win some, and I lose some. And I think it happens that way to most of us.
But I still believe that the most important thing is not in the losing, or the winning… but the trying. Yes, we need to celebrate the wins. But sometimes I think we lost sight of the fact that we should also be celebrating the ‘TRY’S’.

One of my try’s is to ‘stop listening to the voice in your head that has told you for years that you can’t because what will people think!’

Now… please don’t get me wrong…. I am not saying that we should just do or say what we please because we don’t care what anyone thinks – because that sometimes becomes an excuse for us to behave badly. You can’t, for example, intentionally insult someone and have the attitude, ”Yes, I went there and I don’t care what you think, because this is me.”
Our ‘not caring what other people think’ should never be used as an excuse for us to be rude, disrespectful or hurtful. It should not make us insensitive or cause harm to others, whether they deserve it or not.

But I DO think that sometimes we need to just dance like no one is watching… and if we catch someone watching? Well, we should just carry on dancing.

Yes, I know it’s hard. But we can try ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s to trying, winning, and sometimes even losing. Because if we’re open to it, there’s usually a lesson in the losing ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great day, everyone!

What a word!

There are still times in my life, and I am sure there always will be, where I find myself questioning and grappling, and even sometimes frustrated, when it comes to ”purpose”.

Not just its definition, or how it applies to my own life, or whether or not I have found it etc. But also on the days where something happens and I end up asking it in a different way : something along the lines of ”Well, what is the purpose of that?”

I very much doubt that I will ever have a concrete answer for any of it. That one word – purpose – and our lives and the situations we find ourselves in and how it applies and all comes together, and what it means, and and and…. well, the answers are just as infinite and the layers of them exponentially greater than those of any onion. (For those who have seen the movie, yes… I just used a ‘Shrek‘ reference ๐Ÿ˜› )

Last week, I had a lengthy catch up telephone conversation with a young lady (she’s in her late twenties now) who I have known since she was 5 years old. I went from being her mom’s friend, when she was a little girl, to now being her friend, and big sister. (In fact, she has me listed as her sister on Facebook, which confuses many people – I get messages from old school acquaintances sometimes, who feel terrible for not knowing that I had a sister, ha ha ha!)

In this conversation, she was telling me about her husband’s sister who is a really talented singer, and is struggling to get a break – she’s young and naive and being taken advantage of by our local music world. We ended up talking about purpose in general. My friend, herself, is also frustrated – she has passions and talents, and just can’t seem to ‘get her break’ either. I offered her support, love and encouragement in ways, and with words, that I thought might be helpful. And there was a happy end to our conversation, and she still loves me… so I think I did okay ๐Ÿ˜›

The last few days have been grappling days for me. Days where my head is swimming with things like, ”What if what I am doing is not enough? What if I am failing at living out the purpose intended for me? Why isn’t there writing on my wall with a definitive that I can work from? Am I doing it wrong, because there isn’t actually anything tangible being produced here? I have nothing to show for any of it! What am I going to do?”

And this morning the friend that I mentioned above send me a picture message, and captioned it, ”This is you, endlessly! I love you, Meg!”

So I’ll end with the message to me, and share it as a message to all of you out there who may be able to identify with how I have been feeling (these feelings are temporary, but hey, they exist, so we might as well offer each other some encouragement for when we’re stuck in them, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

โค