And It’s Done

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Have you even accomplished something you thought you couldn’t do alone? I know it’s a little bit early but today I got the artificial Christmas tree up all by myself. I know it doesn’t sound like a difficult feat but being only five feet tall, I am somewhat challenged. Not only did I get the tree up and the lights on but I also managed to get the bow on the top. I guess it’s true, where there’s a will there’s a way and once we set out mind to getting something done, it’s as good as done. 

What have you done recently that you didn’t think you were capable of?

Let It Be

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If there is a one way ticket to disappointment, it is through our expectations. I do believe sometimes I think too much about how I want something to be instead of just allowing it to be. There is one thing I am certain of in 44 years, life is unpredictable. No matter how much I want something to go a certain way, it is simply going to play out with no narrative from me. Too much thinking can be a slow, debilitating, poison. Sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow and grab some popcorn for the front row ticket of your own show. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Sometimes I dread something that turns out better than I even imagine. So as John Lennon so eloquently put it, Let It Be.

Missing So Many Today

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I’m not really sure if I chose the right time to taper my depression medication. I am hoping by the time the holidays are over, I will be off of them for good. As I sit here quietly thinking about the family members who have passed away, I can’t help but shed a few tears. People come and go into our lives and they change us. Some for the better and others for worse but the ones we hold dearly never completely slip away.  Their lessons, their memory, their kind words and their smile live in very special part of our hearts. It seems like yesterday that I was a teenager sitting in a room full of relatives, surrounded by an amazing circle of love. It saddens me to know many of those special people haven’t been a part of my life in several years. Every Thanksgiving I allow myself to remember. I sit in the pain, in my loneliness and I quietly grieve for their loss. I also remind myself that life is so much shorten than we ever imagine and it is so important to make memories with the people I am still blessed to have a part of my life. My heart is so full knowing in three short days I will return to place I grew up. The house that built me will be standing strong with a faint memory of my grandmother standing in the window waiting for me to pull in the drive. I still feel her presence today. Take time to look around your table over this long weekend. Be grateful for every person, every day, every memory and for all the wonderful times that are still to come. Count your blessings. Count them a hundred times and allow that special love to fill your heart and tuck it away where you can pull it back out whenever you need it most. 

Giving Thanks for Family

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I am so excited counting the days to Thanksgiving. This year will be a little different than most. Other years, we have spent the day with my husbands family but this year it will just be the four of us at home. I realize the closer we get to the kids graduating from high school, the more we need to appreciate the time we have left. Life gets so busy sometimes with work, sports, school, studying and the days we spend quality time together are few and far between. That is why I am tickled pink to have my husband and kids all to myself for an entire day. No friends, no homework, no emails. Just our little family, some great food and some good old board games.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Will this year be filled with years of tradition or will you be doing something out of the ordinary?

Be The Difference

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I made a quick trip to the mall today. As I was standing in line at Old Navy, I noticed a young girl behind me talking to her son. I’m guessing he was around four and his mother was quietly urging him to behave. He started touching my purse and playfully punching his mom and the more he acted out, the more she pleaded with him to stop. I could tell by her posture that she was embarrassed and I couldn’t help but reach out to her. We spend so much time trying to conform to the way others think we should be. We get caught up in comparing ourselves to other parents and measuring our own kids against someone else’s. I smiled at her and explained how I remember those days shopping with small kids like it was yesterday. We exchanged stories and before long she was smiling back at me through grateful eyes. Life isn’t perfect and we aren’t perfect either. People need our empathy and not our criticism.People need our support, not our judgement. She decided to walk  with me for a short time so we could continue talking. She needed someone to take her by the hand and say it’s going to be okay. Those words of encouragement made a tremendous difference in her day and as we finally parted ways, she turned and looked me in the eyes and said, thank you for being so understanding. I smiled back and told her to have a nice day. 

There are days I feel her pain. Days I can’t help but ask myself, where have I gone wrong? Those are the times my heart really hurts and the more critical I am, the sadder I feel. We are hard enough on ourselves without friends, family and strangers chiming in to make us feel worse. Think of this story the next time you feel the urge to pass judgement. Offer support instead and notice the significant difference you make in somebody’s day. Be the difference you want to see in the world. Be kinder, be compassionate and always jump in to provide some support. One person can make a tremendous difference. What kind of difference are you willing to make?