art, blessings, Blog, Journey, memories, music, new years, thankful

Looking Forward to 2019

Day 88

I am not a person who wants to put the year behind me. 2018 had tribulations and sorrows, but it also had so many beautiful gifts and valuable lessons. I will move on into the new year and will bring 2018 along with me.

Dreams and Goals

I am excited about what the new year will bring. I know that goals do not move toward me — I must move toward them. And that takes work and dedication and desire. I am ready to take on these tasks to arrive at the destination I hold in my mind.

2018 saw the achievement of many things, but nothing I had really carved out for myself. That is how I trust 2019 will be different. I am working toward something concrete and that work is bringing me great joy and freedom of expression.

Sacred Space

So as I move forward into 2019, I hold a sacred space for the past — for the joy, the laughter, the accomplishments, and the losses. They are all valuable to me. For you see, when you reach my age, you realize what you look back on is the sum your life. There is no changing it, but there can be acceptance and grace and determination for tomorrow.

If times were tough and you survived and came out on top — wow! If life was full of love and times to cherish — know you are fortunate. If you are still struggling, don’t give up — lean on those who love you — those who want to see you succeed.

My Wish

My wish for all of you dear readers is a more peaceful and tranquil world. A world where each of us has an equal opportunity to achieve our hopes and dreams. I wish for less violence and more love and understanding. I wish for health and well being for each of you. But most of all, I pray you will find love and joy in your life.

Journey on…

 

 

 

Blog, change, friends, Love, thankful, Writing

Finding My Groove

Day 87

IMG_8307Tomorrow is the last day of December. It was a difficult month. Tomorrow is also the last day of the year, bringing 2018 to a close. It wasn’t always an easy year, but I don’t want to say it was a bad year because that casts an unwanted shadow on all the joy that 2018 brought into my life.

As I have stated before, I’m not a New Year’s resolution kind of person. I like to think about the coming year and what my hopes, goals, and dreams are for the future. As I have been thinking of how I can make the new year lighter, I think I’ve found a rather nice groove.

What does that mean exactly? It means I feel an aura of contentment. I feel like I know where I am headed. I know what I want to remove from my life. I feel like I am grounded and moving in a positive direction. It’s nice to be able to say that.

As I told a few of my friends when I recall my memories of people I have lost it always brings the same thought to mind. They loved life! I have the chance every day to live the life they can no longer enjoy. I’m not talking about important jobs, big houses or extravagant purchases. I’m talking about the breathing part of life. The place where joy lives.

Joy lives in little things. Today it was watching two Carolina wrens bathing in a puddle the rain left on the top of our patio table. It was delightful.

For me, joy lives in the full moon that lights up the trees, the blaze of orange that rises out of a sunset, and the magic of new-fallen snow. Joy lives in my writing, my friendships and the love of my family. It is my constant companion if I am willing to create space for it.

I am taking a couple of wonderful writing classes. They are inspiring me beyond belief! I have found a few goals I hope to achieve in the early part of 2019. I am excited and filled with anticipation. I have wonderful friends — old and new — and family that loves me. I have a husband that is a kind and gentle soul. How could I not be joyful?

The coming week will be difficult as we honor the life of our Mom. I will add her to the list of people who loved life and would be living it to the fullest. She would be planning the next meal, the next party, the next event or the next trip even before the current one had come to a close. I will honor her by living and loving life as much as she did.

Today I watched a video of a gentleman’s weight loss journey. The video ended with this question:

If you knew success was a certainty, what would you attempt to do?

I am enjoying this groove I’m in. I will have challenges and hurdles but I will look back on 2018 with the knowledge that it brought me more joy than sadness. What more could I ask for?

“Among the greatest tragedies is a person who believes that they aren’t meant to win–by winning I mean find their purpose, passion and joy in life.
They believe that other people have better DNA or happiness genes or something, but that they themselves are missing a critical chromosome.
This is a lie and it is begging to be un-believed.
For the moment we know the truth about ourselves, we can take both responsibility for our own lives and inspired action to create exactly the life which is our birthright.
In other words, you were meant to win. You were created for joy.” 
Jacob Nordby

Blog, children, christmas, Family, gardens, grandchildren, Holidays, memories, mother, traditions

What a Wonderful Day

Day 86

Today was nice. It was a bit of normalcy after a few weeks of difficulty. We are still trying to take in the holidays a little and today was a last-minute bit of holiday spirit.

Winter Lights

IMG_8305We had tickets to go to see Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum with our daughter and her family back before Christmas. We ended up canceling when we learned that Mom, sadly, would be going into hospice.

After Christmas, hubby and I decided we would like to try to get tickets to go see the lights and were delighted when our daughter and grandson wanted to go with us. We went last year and had such a good time we knew we would love it again this year.

Family Time

There is nothing better than just hanging out with those we love. The family came up and spent the afternoon with us. We went to a local pub-style restaurant for dinner and then drove up to Asheville to the Arboretum to see the lights.

It was much warmer this year than last. Last year was so COLD — in the 20’s F.  Brrr.  This year was in the low 40’s F so it was much warmer. We dressed warmly nonetheless.

The drive into the Arboretum was beautiful. Lights were strung in all the trees in the parking lot and throughout the grounds. It was beautiful and it was a clear night to boot. No rain in sight!

Chandeliers hanging from the trees, bottles of water lit in huge cylinders, lights synchronized to music, and trees decorated like ball gowns. It was fantastic!

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Times like this remind me of what is important. The time we spend with those we love just enjoying one another’s company is the absolute best. We are not promised any time, so take advantage of the time you have.

Mom wanted to come to Winter Lights this year. She had planned to come up with her sister and go see the lights with us. Unfortunately, she was not able to do so. I kept thinking over and over tonight how much she would have enjoyed it.

At the exit point of the light display, there is a Cocoa Shack. We had hot cocoa and I enjoyed a gingerbread cookie! It was a little bit of holiday joy in an otherwise tumultuous December.

That’s it for now. Time to publish this and hit the sack.

 

 

Blog, creativity, rainy day, Writing

I Need Your Input

Day 85

Today has been a relaxed day even though another day of heavy rains. I woke up around 7:00 am but then allowed the rain to lull me back to sleep. Since waking the second time, I have been relaxing, doing a few chores and doing some research. If you follow and read, or happen to stumble upon my blog, I’d love to ask for some input.

Why I’m Blogging

I have been a blogger both personally and professionally for years. I love the outlet it gives me when thoughts swirl around in my head. This particular blog, however, was started as part of a challenge out of an online writing class I was taking. The challenge was to blog for 365 days straight.

Well, I have not yet missed a day, although a couple of my blogs were delayed when we had a snow storm and no power, internet or cell service for three days. Today is my 85th day of blogging every day.

It has been good for me to come here and blog every day. Some of my recent posts have been very short as we found our way through the death of my mother-in-law. Regardless, I was here and I made the effort every day.

My Dilemma

humphrey
My New Writing Muse – Humphrey

If you are a follower of my blog, I am wondering if publishing a blog every day for a year is too much. Today I have read that many people unsubscribe from blogs because if it is too much it becomes almost spam-like. I certainly don’t want that.

I, myself, follow a number of blogs and I do get emails when they are published. Some days I may have 15 or 20 emails and other days I may only get a few. Some of the blogs I read faithfully — regardless of whether I am subscribed or not.

While I know I can continue to blog every day for 365 days, is this what I should be doing? Now that I am focused on some writing classes and joining some writing groups, I know I will be writing every day. In the beginning, the idea of blogging every day was for me. Now I’m wondering if this is the right fit for me. Maybe twice a week is better.

Here’s Where You Come In

If you read my blog, I would like to ask you to take a moment and let me know your thoughts. Are you tired of getting an email or notification every day? I read a suggestion that a newsletter is a better option than writing a blog every day, but that seems too business-like for me.

After all, I really blog for myself but do enjoy the interaction with those who read my blog. Some comment here and others on social media where I share the link to my blog. I love that people are reading but annoying my readers is not my goal.

So, if you don’t mind, take a minute to weigh in and let me know what you think. I value your opinion.

“And so I write. I write my life. I write to escape real life. I write to live moments over again. I write to rewrite the moments I’ve lived over in a way that makes more sense to me. I write the moments to heal. I write the moments I hope never happen. And I write the moments I hope will happen.” 
R.B. O’Brien

 

 

art, Blog, friends, rainy day, Writing

Under and Over the Weather

Day 84

Today I have been rather lethargic. I have felt a little under the weather all day. Nothing specific, just ‘off’. To top that off, the rain has started and we are under flood watches again. We have had so much rain this year it’s out of the norm. I am ‘over’ the rain to say the least.

We are trying to get back into the swing of taking our morning walks. I had to force myself to go today. I felt okay afterward, but it was a struggle today. I don’t think I’m sick, I think I’m just overly tired after all we have been through the last few weeks. Walking is important to me, so I do need to push myself to keep the exercise going.

I had such an amazing lift in the midst of this gloomy day. I received a beautiful and thoughtful card from one of my best friends. It is so nice to know people are thinking of us and praying for us. 2018 has been challenging for both of us, so for her to take the time to think of us touches my heart in a very big way.

I also received a beautiful comfort package in the mail from another amazing friend. I was so touched by her kindness in thinking of me and the loss of our mom. It was such a welcome and appreciated gift. She has one of the most generous and loving spirits I have ever known. I am so fortunate that she is a member of my tribe and that she considers me her friend. I am blessed.

One of the hard things about being the family members that live ‘away’ when someone dies, is you do much of your grieving alone. You don’t get the calls or cards or visits like you do when you live in the same town as your loved one. It makes the grieving process a very lonely one. The loving gestures from friends make the process a little easier.

authorI managed to do another chapter in my MasterClass. I have been criticized in the past for my writing process, but today I felt validated. If it works for me, that’s really all that matters. I am enjoying the class and thinking I may use one of my old blogs to test out some new ideas for a couple of short stories. I will post a link here if I manage to accomplish this feat within the next few days.

I did manage to update my FB cover and profile photo today to remind myself that I need to focus my energy on my writing.

Tonight I received a surprise video call from my youngest granddaughter. She’s 16 months old and was very elated playing with all of her new toys that Santa brought her. She gave me lots of ‘phone’ kisses and I really enjoyed watching her dance around and just enjoy life. What a pleasure!

Hubby cooked dinner tonight while I lounged around too long watching re-runs of old Top Chef shows. Before I knew it 11:00 PM had rolled around and I knew I needed to get this blog posted before the day slipped away.

I think I’ll enjoy a cup of decaf green tea with honey and tuck myself into bed soon. It’s been a long day.

“Just as a good rain clears the air, a good writing day clears the psyche.” 
Julia Cameron