Showing posts with label From the Heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label From the Heart. Show all posts

Sunday, January 8, 2023

A Review of 20 Ways to Improve Your Life in the New Year

A Review of 20 Ways to Improve Your Life in the New Year

The start of a new year is a time for reflection and resolution. It's a chance to take stock of your life and think about how you'd like to improve. Whether you're looking to get in shape, advance your career, or simply be a better person, there are many good reasons to focus on bettering yourself in the new year. 

In this article, we'll explore 20 ways you can self-improve. 

So if you're ready to make the most of the new year and take your personal development to the next level, read on!

20 Different Ways to Improve Your Life:

  1. Set specific, achievable goals for yourself. This will give you something concrete to work towards, and the sense of accomplishment you'll feel when you reach your goals can be very motivating.

  2. Make time for self-care. This could mean setting aside time for relaxation and hobbies, exercising regularly, or getting enough sleep. Taking care of yourself will help you feel better physically and mentally and give you more energy to tackle your goals.

  3. Seek out new experiences and opportunities. Trying new things can help you learn and grow and can be a lot of fun.

  4. Focus on developing healthy habits. This could include eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, or practicing good hygiene.

  5. Work on building solid relationships. This could mean spending quality time with loved ones, volunteering, or simply being there for others when they need support.

  6. Find ways to reduce stress and manage your time more effectively. This could involve simplifying your schedule, setting boundaries, or learning stress management techniques like meditation or deep breathing.

  7. Reflect on your values and priorities, and make sure that your actions align with them. This can help you feel more fulfilled and purposeful.

  8. Consider seeking out opportunities for personal and professional growth. This could include taking classes, getting a certification, or seeking a new job or career path.

  9. Learn a new skill or hobby. This could be something practical, like cooking or coding, or something creative, like painting or writing.

  10. Practice gratitude. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. This can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate a more positive outlook.

  11. Take care of your physical health. This could involve getting regular check-ups, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet.

  12. Practice forgiveness. Let go of grudges and try to see things from the perspective of others. This can help you move on from negative experiences and build stronger relationships.

  13. Seek out opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. This could involve therapy, journaling, or simply reflecting on your thoughts and feelings.

  14. Volunteer your time or resources to help others. This can be a rewarding way to give back and positively impact your community.

  15. Get organized. Take the time to declutter your space and create systems for managing your time and tasks. This can help you feel more in control and reduce stress.

  16. Practice mindfulness. This could involve meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and the present moment.

  17. Find ways to reduce your environmental impact. This could involve reducing your energy consumption, using reusable bags and containers, or reducing your use of single-use plastics.

  18. Learn a new language or take a course to improve your language skills. This can be a fun and rewarding way to challenge yourself and expand your horizons.

  19. Make an effort to be more present and attentive in your relationships. This could involve putting away your phone when you're with others, actively listening when someone is speaking, and showing appreciation for the people in your life.

  20. Set aside time for relaxation and enjoyment. This could involve hobbies, reading, or simply taking a few minutes each day to do something you enjoy. Taking breaks and relaxing can help you recharge and be more productive in the long run.

In conclusion, focusing on self-improvement in the new year can bring many benefits. It can help you achieve your goals, feel more fulfilled and purposeful, and build stronger relationships. It can also help you reduce stress, improve your physical and mental health, and feel more confident and capable. 

Consider setting specific, achievable goals, seeking new experiences and opportunities, and developing healthy habits. 

With a little effort and commitment, you can make the new year a time of growth and progress.

Happy New Year!

P.S. I've decided to be saucy about this year's resolution. 

My resolution: "Learn how to fold a fitted sheet." That's it. That's all. It's brief and achievable. :)



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Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year from The Contributors of ReviewThisReviews

Happy New Year 2023
Happy New Year - 2023!

Happy New Year to You and Yours

On behalf of ReviewThisReviews, we send you positive energy and all the ingredients needed for a balanced life in 2023. Body, mind, and spirit!

The year 2022 is officially in the books. Historians have compiled their notes for future generations; some hearts have been fulfilled, while others have been broken.

Whatever your story, we're sending you a bright light of hope for a peace-filled 2023.

A Quote for the New Year:

"For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice" - T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

 May You Tackle Life with Hope and Bravery - Here's a little musical inspiration:

"Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out, honestly, I wanna see you be brave with what you want to say and let the words fall out..." A Song by Sara Bareilles

 


With kindness, hope, and love as your guide, let this year be a year of bravery, strength, faith, and grace ... for all of us.

Happy 2023!





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Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays From ReviewThisReviews


happy holidays from reviewthisreviews

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

On behalf of the Contributors on ReviewThisReview, we send you good wishes for a peace-filled holiday season.

It's been a challenging 2022 for many. Thus, our Christmas wish for everyone is a kinder, gentler 2023. 

A quote to be guided by for the new year:

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete" - by Buckmister Fuller (1895-1983)

Here's to a wonderful year ahead for everyone...maybe with a helping hand...

"I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above; they come to you and me, in our darkest hour, to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love."






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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

WestJet Christmas Miracles

Discover a few of the miracles airline WestJet has performed over the years.

For today’s post, I thought I would rework an old post and offer up a bit of Christmas cheer in the form of a review of an event that a Canadian airline sponsored in 2013. Here's my story. 

We were at a Christmas party when someone said, "You have to see this." They turned on the television and pulled up a video on YouTube. We all watched with amazement as the passengers from two planes scanned their boarding passes and visited with Santa Claus. What happened next, was truly unexpected. 

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS REAL TIME GIVING (2013)


See for yourself what happened in this video called WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real Time Giving or Twas the Night Before Christmas.


Quite a video, isn't it? It must have been totally unbelievable at first. The passengers on that plane will never forget that flight with WestJet and nor will I. Not that I was there, of course. I was a participant via the video, just like you will be if you watch now.

SANTA'S BLOOPERS (2013)


And don't miss the Santa's Bloopers video. I love a good blooper reel!


FLASH MOB (2012)


But it turns out that the Christmas 2013 was not the first time Westjet 'performed' for Christmas for in 2012, the employees performed as a flash mob at the Calgary airport:


With over 50 million views of that 2013 video, Westjet definitely scored a public relations coup with their Santa Claus project 'Twas A Night Before Christmas and they made a pretty memorable day for all of the passengers involved. According to one newsreel that I read at the time, Westjet was planning for the next year right away.

MIRACLE MILES (2022)


Fast forward now with me to 2022 when I discover that WestJet has another Christmas Miracle video, this one called Christmas: Miracle Miles.


A quick peek on YouTube shows that WestJet may have done a similar video throughout the intervening years. I won't share them all here with you but I will smile at the kindness displayed in these videos.
 
Merry Christmas!
Brenda

MORE CHRISTMAS READING:











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Saturday, October 15, 2022

A Review of National Bullying Prevention Month

 


The month of October is designated as National Bullying Prevention Month. It was begun in 2006 by the Pacer Center in Minnesota. The Pacer Center is known as “Parents Helping Parents” and they focus on being Champions for Children with Disabilities. 


Don't Laugh at Me


Children with disabilities seem more prone to bullying than other children, but, sad-to-say, over the years bullying has become more widespread and often affects any child who is 'shy' or 'small for their age' or 'overweight' or just different in some way.  


Don't Call Me Names


I don't remember bullying being a 'thing' when I was a child, although I do remember one particular incident that affected me strongly in second grade; enough that I never forgot it. And not long ago I remember having a discussion with my grown children who worry about bullying affecting their own children. I said that didn't seem to be a problem when they were young and in school and all three related incidents of bullying they had experienced that they never told me about.


Therefore, bullying is not new, but today's awareness is bringing it into the open. So much so, that programs have been, and are being, developed to eliminate bullying ~ which is mean, aggressive and potentially life-threatening. It occurs in schools, on the playground, and now we have 'cyberbullying'. 


Don't Get Your Pleasure From My Pain


Bullying can be as simple as teasing a child because she has freckles or as terrible as calling names or shunning a child for being different. It all has the same impact!


Things to Do to Help Prevent Bullying


  • Students can be taught to practice empathy by befriending someone who is being bullied and report bullying when you see it.
  • Teachers can reward students who show respect for others and who demonstrate thoughtfulness for their classmates, for adults, and for their school. 
  • School administrators can plan bullying prevention programs that help parents, teachers and students understand the problem and how to handle it.


Wear and Share Orange – Unity Day



On the third Wednesday of October (October 19th in 2022), wear orange to show unity for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. It also sends a visible message that no child should ever experience bullying.


*This orange Unity Shirt, and others like it, is available on Amazon.


Operation Respect


In 2000, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame) began Operation Respect (OperationRespect.org), a nonprofit organization that brings to children, in schools and camps, a curriculum of tolerance and respect for each other's differences. 


In God's Eyes We're All the Same

Someday We'll All Have Perfect Wings.


The idea came about when Peter's children, Bethany and Christopher, heard the song “Don't Laugh at Me”. The song was written by Allen Shamblin and Steve Seskin. The idea for the song came about when Allen's daughter came home from school in tears because her peers were teasing her about her freckles. The song is a ballad about various characters (children and a crippled homeless man) who have been teased and are just asking for acceptance from others. 


You don't have to be my friend, 

But is it Too Much to Ask?

Don't Laugh at Me





I heard Peter Yarrow sing this song at a concert in Savannah, Georgia in October 2013. It made a big impression on me and I can see why Peter uses this song as the theme for his “Operation Respect” organization.

 

Related Post:


*National Bullying Prevention Month review written by Wednesday Elf





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Monday, August 1, 2022

Reviewing How Others Impact My Life and a Thank You to Melanie Ham

As I have moved physically to a peaceful location I have begun to move to a more peaceful emotional place in my mind. Over the past 6 months I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on who and what is important to my life and health. Since January 2022, when it was announced that Melanie Ham left this earth, I have focused even more on how we impact each other and who I should choose as mentors.



Who Was Melanie Ham

Melanie Ham was most known for her YouTube crochet and quilting tutorials. If you are a quilter or crocheter and have searched for help on the internet chances are good that you've come across her name. That is how I became familiar with her name and her gentle and affirming approach.

I would like to add to the heart-felt tributes to her life but I cannot imagine writing an adequate tribute. I do not have sufficient words. Prior to her death, Melanie and her husband began to prepare a documentary of her life. Made With Melanie - A Feature Documentary by Robert Ham went live just a couple of days ago. While I cried much of the way through the video, it was ultimately encouraging.

Life is cyclical. Life is a never-ending group of connections. I never imagined that I would find a crochet pattern to help comfort my friend during her battle with cancer - a pattern written by a woman who was ultimately taken from us by cancer.  

Jenny was a co-worker and friend who was battling cancer in 2019. The loss of her hair was devastating and we worked together to find a pattern for crocheted hats that would work for her. You can see my blog post about how I tweaked a pattern by Melanie Ham to suit Jenny's needs. Before Jenny passed, we worked together to mail off hats to a cancer treatment center. Even during times where she felt terrible physically, barely able to stand and concentrate, it was important to her to continue to give to others. 

I hope Jenny and Melanie are hanging out in heaven crocheting together.

How Those Around Us Impact Us

My dad was wrong about a good number of things. And while I thought he was wrong when he said "you are who your friends are" I now know that there is nothing more true.

If we choose to be around those who are cruel or angry, we will be cruel and angry. If we choose a mentor who says "I knew feelings would be crushed" with a gleam in their eye, we too will be pleased to crush others.

Now, the conundrum is what to do with those who are close to us but who have a negative impact on our peace. Do we cut them lose and end the relationships? Or do we work on improving the relationships?  The easy thing is to cut ties. The right thing may be to work on the relationship in a way that can move the relationship to a peaceful, productive, and good thing; as Robert and Melanie did.  

Whether we decide to cut ties or work to improve the relationship, we must do our own work. Moving from one person (or one group) to the next without doing our own work will do nothing to improve our lives.

How Will We Choose to Impact Those Around Us

Moving from a chaotic address to a peaceful address and from an extremely chaotic place of employment to a less chaotic jobsite has done wonders for my own peace of mind. I want to continue to broaden that peaceful feeling enough to be able to share it with others. 

Melanie Ham is a wonderful example of teaching and supporting others in a kind manner. And in a manner that spreads positivity.  She ran a highly successful business without cutting others down. Yes, sex and drama sell and there's a good chance that those business plans can bring in more dollars - at least for a period of time. But is that who we want to be? Profit via big drama? Some people want that in their lives. I have realized that I don't. 

"Pay It Forward" is often a tangible action; paying for the coffee of the person in line behind us. But it can be an emotional gift also. We can teach, donate, comfort, encourage, volunteer, and give with a kind and happy spirit.

I am a work in progress. There were long periods of my life that I was lost and struggling. And angry. I had a lot to be angry about but I truly didn't need to carry it with me for that long of a period of time. It's a bit sad that I am approaching my 6th decade of life before starting to live a peacefully. I imagine all I could have done with my life if I had found peaceful living sooner. But... I'm finding it now.  I am finding it by surrounding myself with good, peaceful, and faithful people who give of themselves. 

I wish you peace. And the ability to pay good things forward. Thank you Melanie for the shining example of living a best life during our time on earth and the crochet patterns that gave us comfort.






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Sunday, July 31, 2022

Have You Ever Felt Stuck? - A Personal Diary Entry

Have You Ever Felt Stuck in Life
Feeling Stuck - An Emotion Review

At the moment, I feel stuck.

However, I know I'm not stuck. Plus, I live by being grateful for life no matter what's going on or what I'm feeling. 

What we feel is king, so I suppose if I'm feeling stuck, I'm living that way, whether I know it or not.

Feeling stuck is new for me; it isn't something I've felt very often. In fact, I'm a bit confused by this emotion.

After Researching, Here are a Few Reasons That Might Make Us Feel Stuck:

There's a great deal of psychoanalysis online about what triggers this particular emotion. 

1. We Aren't Living Our Own Values - For Me, Maybe?

There are certain things in my life that do not fit with my values, nothing major, subtle things. So I'm coping with this by trusting and accepting that I'm doing the right things, living the right way, and accepting that each of us has to find our way and live our truth. I'm falling back on that old quote: "There are two things you can't change, natural law and other people." So maybe this is one reason I feel stuck?

2. We're Losing Hope - For Me, No Chance

Ok, this is a bold-faced, no way! No matter what goes on in my life, I never lose hope. In fact, I live for hope. Every day is another chance; that's how I see life. I can cross this one off the list.

3. We Are Conflicted About Making Big Changes - For Me, This One is a Yes

Some changes are coming our way (I'm not sure when), and I am very conflicted about this. One thing that is saving me is prayer and the belief that when the change is made if it's made, it will be wonderful.

4. We Are Overdoing It, Feeling Burnt Out - For Me, This is a Yes

It isn't that I'm overdoing things physically (although I am sometimes guilty of this). The mental pressure of life's challenges is consuming me. I've been working on the mental strain of this quite a bit by meditating, praying, writing, watching movies, and doing the things that need to be done, so the list doesn't pile up. 

5. We're Not Surrounded by Enough Like-Minded People - Yes, This is Big For Me

Obviously, we can't be around 'yes' people all the time. That's not what I'm missing. 

I'm feeling alone in my beliefs, values, and tastes. Taking this one ridiculous step further, I miss being around people who like the music, topics, discussions, and general life chit-chat I do. Maybe the isolation of Covid is a significant contributor to this? 

Writing has become my way of expressing myself and putting my beliefs and values out there. So I suppose I deal with this primarily via writing.




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Sunday, June 26, 2022

How To Get Through All of It - A Personal Diary Entry

How to Get Through All of It
How to Get Through All of It - A Personal Diary Entry Review

Living over six decades, I've gathered some of the tools needed to overcome life's constant challenges. I thought I'd share a few tidbits for those seeking coping mechanisms.

The Most Important Thing I've Learned in This Life So Far

I can definitively say, the most valuable lesson I've learned is that the peace we seek is entirely inside of us, at our core. It doesn't come from anything or any person. 

When the storm swirls around me, I hold onto that which is entirely mine, my soul. 

Our soul is the one thing that is truly ours. Unseen and always ready to be nurtured, it's not the possession of anyone except ourselves and the higher power we believe in.

Five Techniques to Help You Get Through It All

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be an overused, confusing term.

For me, it's when I choose to practice being wholly present in a moment. When being 'present' doesn't come naturally, I use a repetitive mantra or a prayer to bring my mind into the now and away from that rabbit-thinking-hole that leads nowhere. 

It takes practice to perfect, but like any exercise, it becomes easier each time.

2. Prayer

Prayer isn't just for the religiously committed. 

You can create your own prayer to the universe or the higher power that means something to you. For me, it's usually Psalm 23 on repeat in my mind. The beautiful thing about prayer is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. 

As soon as you feel yourself getting upset or thinking thoughts that lead you to a dark place, STOP and begin repeating that prayer or inspirational phrase you decided upon. Repeat it over and over until you bring yourself back to a healthy center. If it takes all day, so what! Repeat it all day, and don't let anything else in.

When I spend time praying for other people, one by one, with specifics for each of them, I feel so much better. Try it; when you're feeling at the end of your rope, start praying for all your loved ones.

I go on prayer bike rides; I get to exercise physically and spiritually. I spend the entire bike ride praying for my friends, family, country, planet, and the universe. The prayers are unique and specific to each of them.

3. Music

For me, I sing. Put your headphones on and listen or sing your guts out. My family is used to me singing full tilt. I'm grateful for that. Depending on the lyrics and message I need, I choose the song for the moment. One of my favorite spiritual groups is Mercy Me. While typing, I'm listening to their song "Say I Won't" (Live from the 2021 K-Love Fan Awards). 


4. Realize You Can't Change People

This is a tough lesson to learn. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll discover it quickly in your early years. If you understand this as early as your 20s, you might just have the world by the tail! 

What does it mean to understand that you can't change a person? 

It means that they have to walk their walk; you can't do it for them. That goes for spouses, siblings, friends, and children. We can teach with our words, but most importantly with our actions, and be there for them; we can't do it for them. I learned this first hand, it was brutal, but we got through it.

When there's a situation that hurts, that I have no power over (and the older I get, the more there are), I pray over and over. Some days I spend most of the day mentally praying.

5. Let It Go

Holy crap, that's overly simplified, isn't it?  

When I was younger, I used to get upset with people who told me to 'just let it go!' What in the world does that mean! That's how I used to feel.

What it DOESN'T mean is to not have empathy, compassion, and a good heart. Letting go isn't about not caring.

Today, at this stage of life, I completely understand what it means to let it go; it means,

  • practice mindfulness when you're consumed with an issue
  • pray when you're consumed with an issue
  • exercise when you're consumed with an issue
  • listen to music when you're consumed with an issue
  • trust in a positive outcome; see it
  • have faith in those around you
  • always embrace love no matter the pain; love them anyways
  • and finally, only take action to tackle a problem when it's warranted that you do so
HAVE FAITH. Believe in the greater good, and higher solutions, and believe in your prayers. 




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Sunday, May 8, 2022

10 Questions to Test How Well You Know Your Mother

Ten Questions for You to Answer or Ponder this Mother's Day about Your Mom or Mother Figure

A mother is anyone who raises us or is an integral part of our life.

My own mom recently passed away, but I'll answer too ...

1. What is the most significant life lesson you've learned from your mother?

For me, and maybe for you too, it's hard to pick one thing, but if I had to, I'd have to say my mother taught me strength through what she handled and how she coped with all of life's challenges.

2. Have you ever seen your mother cry?

Of course, I know mom cried, but I'm not sure I ever witnessed it. Mom wanted to protect us (or that is how I felt), so she kept many "grown-up" emotions private. I always thought it was because she didn't want us to be further burdened. I was intuitive enough to read her feelings whether she cried in front of me or not.

3. If you had to pick one, which personality trait would you say best describes your mom?

If I had to pick just one, I'd have to say strength. Mom was a lot more than just strong, but strength is what I think about when I wrap a bow around her life.

4. From your perspective, what moment in time would you say was your mother's happiest?

That's a tough one to answer. I'll pick a moment that doesn't involve the kids or grandkids because that's always happy, but it's work. Perhaps when she traveled with Dad on business conventions or when they would spend winters in a warm climate. 

5. Which food does/did your mom dislike the most, and which food does/did she like the most?

I'm feeling guilty that I may not know the answer to this! I'm going to say she hated any creamy white foods/sauces, and she loved pasta.

6. Does/Did your mother have a favorite color? If so, what is it?

I'll cheat; deep blues for clothes and neutral home decor.

7. Does/Did your mother have any regrets?

I think my mother regretted not pursuing the career she wanted to pursue. In her day, it was difficult to break out of the traditional jobs for women. Mom wanted to be an investigative lab technician (think CSI, lol).

8. What would your mother say was a perfect day for her?

I think my mom would answer, a day when everyone was ok, and the worries were few. I'm not sure she ever had a day like that, but there were many days I remember fun, family, and togetherness.

9. Who is/was your mom's favorite musician?

My mom loved Frank Sinatra's music, and later on, she absolutely loved Elton John's music.

10. If you asked your mom which one of her parent's personalities she believes she was most like, who would she pick?

My mom would say she was most like her dad. My grandfather was a strong family leader, and there's no doubt my mother was all of that and more.

Feel free to answer some, all, or none of these in the comments below.

Wishing You and Yours a Happy Mother's Day, and to all the Fur Baby Moms Too!

I wrote this video poem for mom years before she passed; it means even more today.





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Sunday, May 1, 2022

The True Meaning of a Kitchen Table

 


I'm having a moment.

We're in the process of giving our kitchen a facelift, and our dining room table, which has sometimes doubled as our kitchen table for thirty-six years, may need to be sold.

What's the Big Deal About Selling a Table Anyway?

Thirty years ago or so, I read an eloquently and emotionally written article in Reader's Digest about a family's kitchen table; it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it today. I tried to find it for you, so I could link to it here, but so far, no luck.

The author talked about her family's life around her table; gatherings, birthdays, celebrations, games, and tears. I've never forgotten about that article. Having such a big family, I  easily relate to the memories created around the family table.

She spoke about how she didn't want to sell her memory-filled table to just anyone. She wanted it to go to a family that would grow with it and fill it with their memories.

Why Thinking About Selling this Table Has Me in Tears

I'm a wuss. It's official.

My husband and I purchased this table in 1986. We needed a large table for our large family. I have three step-kids (all grown up now) and, at that time, one son of our own. Today we have four sons of our own, and we've since added six grandchildren. 

We have had almost every birthday for all the kids around this table. We've celebrated baptisms, Christmas, Thanksgiving, weddings, and every other major event families celebrate.

A memory from 1987 at this very table
with my Dad, our oldest boy as a baby, making us laugh,
and my youngest brother

Our kids have gone from little to big; we've added spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends to the family mix. There have been in-depth conversations, teasing, and great food shared for decades.

I recently sat with my oldest boy, sharing tears at this table about mom's (his grandmother's) passing. Mom and dad shared many dinners with all of us at this table. Dad passed in 2013; missing him is now a part of my soul.

This Table Has Lived

It's not just a table; it represents our life.

I'm not sure I'll sell it.

In fact, after typing this, I think if we can't incorporate it into the new design, I'll keep it just in case there's a move to a new home in our future. 

It's solid oak. In my book, it's priceless. 

It's not priceless because it's solid oak, but rather because the characteristics of an oak tree represent our family traits: longevity, strength, stability, and endurance. 

Hey, our family isn't perfect, we've had our share of struggles, but as the mom, I see many faces passing through time whenever I glance at the empty seats gathered around.

Here's our table, our life:

A Kitchen Table Filled with Memories

Do you have a table where your family has gathered for generations? 




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Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Secret to Happiness, What? Really? - A Personal Diary Entry

Is this really the secret to happiness? A Happiness Review

This quote from the Netflix movie "Full Count" has been on my mind since viewing it five days ago:

"The secret to happiness is to be content, no matter your situation"

 The Movie, Full Count, Caught Me Off Guard

The Netflix description, and preview, seemed to indicate that Full Count is your typical baseball hard life story. However, I was shocked by the direction the film takes.

The movie takes a spiritual turn. 

If you like films where it seems a happy ending is impossible, but with divine intervention, there it is, you'll enjoy this movie.

Could the Above Quote About the Secret to Happiness be Offensive to Some People?

After hearing the above quote narrated in the movie, my first thought was about those who rarely feel happy through no fault of their own or for medical reasons.

Don't get me wrong; the quote personally fits the core of my beliefs; however, my happy state of mind has been tested this past year.

Medical issues aside, I feel happiness will always be a personal choice. No matter the circumstances in this crazy life, I maintain that much-needed center and inner calm. I treat mental and spiritual training as a daily exercise with practice, practice, practice. 

Some days are a success at maintaining calm, and others not-so-much ... I just keep plugging away. I won't go through the laundry list of things recently faced, as I'm sure you've had your own life issues to conquer.

Do You Personally Agree With the Above Quote?

Can you relate to this quote? Have you been able to be the captain of your life's ship? 

For me, yes, after a great deal of thought, I do agree with the above quote. 

During the pits of hell, I've been able to keep a hold of the light, sometimes barely. It's never easy. Here's an example of a personal nightmare I faced over a decade ago. I wouldn't wish this on anyone!

Even through this less-than-perfect life, I've been able to maintain inner calm and thus some happiness. 

"Sometimes God calms the storm, and other times God calms the child who is in the storm"

I live by that quote about the storm.

Here's another quote from the movie Full Count. What do you think about it?

"Life isn't going to make you happy, but happiness is going to make your life"

Yes, I believe.

After multiple decades, the biggest life lesson I've so far learned is that our inner self, our soul, cannot be owned by anyone. It's the one thing that is truly ours. 

No matter what happens in this physical existence, in the end, our thoughts are something we can work to control; and for those who believe, guided by a higher power. For me, Free Will means protecting my soul, so I do.

Here's a video about love and light that I created one afternoon while visiting my amazing mother. She passed away three months ago. Knowing she was in her chair while I wrote this brings me unexpected added peace. I hope you enjoy viewing it, as much as I enjoyed writing it.


If you need a little more inspiration, I've authored a personal book of poetry based on fifty years of life experiences. You can find the book "We Will Have Morning Smiles" on Amazon.

May you know happiness, in some form, daily. Blessings.





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Sunday, February 13, 2022

10 Ideas on How to Unwind When Life is Nothing But a Big Knot

 

10 Ways to Unwind and Destress

How do you manage this crazy life? 

I know! Sometimes we can't!

When life gets too otherworldly, we can implement techniques to bring ourselves back to earth. But sometimes, spiritually leaving earth is the break we need!

Here are Ten Ideas on How to Destress and Unwind

(1) Go For a Walk

If you're able to handle walking, in my opinion, that's the best way to try and clear your head. Health permitting, physical movement is free and something we can do almost anytime, anywhere.

(2) Aromatherapy

Choose a scent that relaxes you. I love anything lemon or eucalyptus. How about you? What is your favorite candle scent?

(3) Meditation, Mindfulness, and/or Prayer

Whatever your belief system, focus on the combined power of body, mind, and spirit. I pray all the time and everywhere. You can also try repeating short, positive reinforcing phrases whenever negative thoughts creep over you. On really tough days, I've often been in a constant state of prayer repetition. For me, I find peace when I pray for others.

(4) Sleep

Are you overtired? Have you been restless and unable to get a good night's sleep? Admittedly it's hard to sleep on demand; otherwise, you would have slept, right? Try to take a nap or two (if you can), listen to relaxing music, or use the app "Calm." 

(5) A Hot Drink - Perhaps a Flavored Tea or Other Treat

A soothing hot beverage (as Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory often said, lol). It sounds too simple, doesn't it? A warm drink is comforting - he was right.

(6) A Day on the Couch, or in Bed, Doing Nothing, Watching Movies

Sometimes we just need to stop. Even when we feel we've been unproductive and don't deserve to stop, that's when we should stop. Watch your favorite movie with a warm blanket and a nice hot beverage!

(7) Drink More Water

For some people, drinking water is difficult. My mother-in-law wasn't a water drinker, so I get it. However, if you can handle drinking water, get a good six cups a day. To achieve the six-cup threshold, try to drink two cups in the morning, two in the afternoon, and two at night. 

(8) Turn Off the Negative News

We are bombarded with so much negativity these days. Be proactive with what you allow in your head. It's ok and necessary to be up-to-date and informed, but there's no need to have that news be on repeat and consume our lives. I'll venture a guess that most people in your life, directly or indirectly, are good people. The news does not reflect the life most of us are living. In the early 2000s, I was so consumed by the news that I wrote these song lyrics about the state of the planet. I proactively moved forward, and years later, followed up with this poem about Good People.

(9) Laugh! Watch or Read Something Funny

Skip movies and tv shows about crime, death, stealing, hate, and war. Don't turn those shows on when you're in a funk. Basically, turn off the ugly side of humanity. Go straight for humor. 

(10) Be Grateful - Practice Inner Truth

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I give myself a shake and remind myself how lucky I am. I'm actively grateful for things like running water, electricity, and plumbing! Truth is a self-searching technique I use. I force myself to examine my truths, be honest with my feelings and acknowledge my imperfections and how I can be better to those around me and myself.




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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Made With Love – From the Heart

 Reviewing heart-shaped gifts for Valentine's Day




This is a gift review of handmade gifts that are definitely 'made with love'; thus, are perfect for Valentine's Day or any occasion where you wish to express your love for the recipient.  


There have long been certain gifts associated with Valentine's Day. Flowers are the most popular, especially roses.  Chocolates and jewelry run a close second.


Today we are going to talk about handmade gifts made with love.


Couple in Love


Made with Love
Couple in Love Giraffe Wood Puzzle

For a sweet way to express the love of a couple, this set of giraffes with a heart in the form of a wood puzzle would be perfect.


Handmade from hardwood birch, sanded and coated with linseed oil, this 3-piece puzzle of two giraffes hugging, with a heart in the middle, is a lovely depiction of a 'couple in love'. Created by Ecopuzzle on Etsy.


Cuddly in Crochet


Made with Love
Crochet Pig with Heart


Cute for a little girl for Valentine's Day – a cuddly crocheted plush pig holding a heart.  Handmade by Amanda and found in her Etsy Shop Created by Manders.



Hearts Bibs for Baby 


Bib with Heart Designs

An easy and very practical way to remember baby for Valentine's Day is with a bib with a hearts design.  Cute photo-op too. 


These bibs are handmade in cotton with red hearts on a striped background. The back of the bibs is soft, absorbent terry cloth. Bib closes with a snap and comes in infant and toddler sizes.


Handmade by a Kentucky crafter for the Etsy Shop Nana's Notions Crafts



Grogu with Heart


Grogu with Heart (Baby Yoda)


A fun Valentine's gift for any Star Wars fan is this Grogu with Heart.  Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda, has become very popular. Finding him with a heart fits right in with this made with love from the heart themed gift guide.

Grogu with Heart and many other Baby Yodas can be found in the Etsy shop of Mad Mac Crochet created by Michelle of Calgory, Canada. 


Hearts for the Home


Valentine Beverage Coasters

For a heart-warming home décor gift, check out this set of Valentine Coasters handmade by Wednesday Elf and found in her Etsy Shop Coastal Crochet Crafts


Summary


So, if you are  looking for a gift that is perfect for Valentine's Day, or for any occasion where you want to give a gift that is 'from the heart', check out the Made with Love items here or anywhere on Etsy.


Source: Pixabay


This Made with Love article was written by Wednesday Elf







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Sunday, December 26, 2021

To All Those We Lost in 2021 - We Love You, Thank You


When I think back to 2020, for us, it was an easier year than 2021 ... and that's hard to believe.

There is one connection in life that truly matters; it's love. We take it with us.

My Mother Passed Away - If You Suffered Loss, My Heart is With You

My brothers and I shared the day and evening with my mother as she left this world in late November. It was the most beautiful and terrifying experience of my life. I compare it to birth for those very emotions.

As a little girl, I remember feeling so scared that my mother would die. I would ask to sleep with her when my dad traveled for work. When I was eight years old, I finally told her why - "I'm scared you're going to die, mom."

As a grown woman with kids and grandkids, I somehow graduated out of that fear of losing mom. I'm confused about how that happened - how did I lose that fear? I'm grateful for losing it but am genuinely baffled how I grew out of it. Since mom passed, I have had this strange feeling that she's with me (inside me), and I think that's the reason? It's weird.

On the night she passed, I broke down like an infant. They were the sobs I needed, and my brothers and my sister-in-law were there to hold me through it. We each had our moments, and the beautiful side is that my parents raised a family that gets along and stands by each other. We're fortunate.

My Wish for Humanity - That 2022 Goes Easy on Us

We've all been challenged in unforeseen ways, some more than others. Despite the difficulties we've faced, including the loss of my mom, I'm the first to admit how fortunate my family is to have a roof over our heads, running water, plumbing, and electricity! There's so much unfairness and financial inequity in the world that those of us who live in a functioning society need to remember how blessed we are.

My hopes and dreams for all of us are inner peace, love, prosperity, and good health. May 2022 bring you balance in body, mind, and spirit.

Here's a song that beautifully honors all moms; this lyric resonates with me, "there's no safer place I've found than the shoulder on her white nightgown."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year xxoo






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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

10 Wonderful Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress! From the Heart

The Big Holiday many people have been waiting for is just around the corner. 

It's literally just days away and many people are feeling the stress building! Oh don't get me wrong, I'm sure everyone loves this holiday, but when the stress becomes so all encompassing, it's hard to enjoy it!


What can you do to make this time of year the joyful and wonderful time it's supposed to be?  Well in my experience, I know I had put a lot of the pressure on myself and got caught up in all the things that could go wrong.  I needed help to see that my focus was in the wrong place!  Instead of focusing on the negative, I needed to focus on something positive and different.


So here are some of the things I do to help relieve that pressure:

  1. Wrapping things up can make me crazy.  I have two left hands but  I still want my packages to look nice!  Now I still do that, but I use gift bags to make the packing that much easier.  Dollar Stores are great help for this!  Inside each package goes a personalized note to the recipient, letting them know how much they mean to me! (It doesn't have to be long, just meaningful)
  2. Take lots of breaks,  drop everything and go for a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood.  When you get back you'll get twice as much done because you are  more relaxed.
  3. Take your phone with you and grab some festive pictures while out in the "hood".  Focus on Christmas decor, Dogs in their Christmas sweaters, People willing to smile at you, etc.
  4. Get physical and do someone a favor while you are out!  Do you have a neighbor that could use a little help?   Offer to do something for them (go to the store, shovel their walk, walk their dog, or ask them to join you for a cup of tea or coffee)  The gift of your time is priceless!
  5. Head out to a local church and just take a few steps inside the doors.  Go to a church/temple that you may never have been to before. (Check the internet for times, most places of worship will have some kind of schedule and extended hours)
  6. Take an hour or two and head to your local library.  Browse the shelves for something you might enjoy reading over the holidays.
  7. Turn up the music (not necessarily Christmas music, but something that you enjoy!  ABBA, the Beatles, Rolling Stones (am I dating myself?))
  8. Browse You Tube to learn a new dance.  Moving and getting your blood flowing are great ways to relief some stress.  Plus you could learn a few new moves along the way and share those with your family and friends (Even if it's just to laugh at yourself).  
  9. Sit back and watch a movie!  Again it doesn't need to be a Christmas movie, but one that you enjoy!
  10. If all this fails, then you can always take a nap!  Sometimes just resting your eyes can do wonders for your nerves and your anxiety. Close those eyes and say a little prayer so your focus is on something supernatural and divine.
When your stress  drops to a manageable level, you can restart what you were doing and probably accomplish more than if you had stayed with it.  Taking a break is a game changer for many people. Believe me, the holidays will come one way or the other, but if you are relaxed, they will be more enjoyable!

Learn to laugh and smile, what you share out in the world will come right back to you!


My hope for you is that you truly enjoy this Holiday Season to it's fullest!  May you have a lovely Christmas with your family and friends and may your New Year be Blessed with lots of Joy!






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Sunday, November 7, 2021

Do You Ever Feel Indifferent About Things In Your Life - A Personal Diary Entry

A Personal Diary Entry - Do You Ever Feel Indifferent?

How do you handle the feeling of indifference? 

I'm even reluctant to write about this mood!

Why am I reluctant to write about it? Apparently, I've heard and read that indifference is one of the least attractive and least productive emotions.

The Dictionary Definition of Indifference: "Lack of interest, concern, or sympathy"

In no-way do I feel a lack of sympathy for others when I'm feeling indifferent! (just wanted to put that out there)

Indifference About A Day, A Direction, Feeling a Lack of Control - That's The Indifference I'm Speaking About

Some days, not often, but a little more often lately, I feel a complete lack of control.

I know, I know, I know .... you're about to tell me that's a good thing.

Well, I agree; at times, that can undoubtedly be a good thing.

However, this lack of control brings out that dreaded word and feeling, "whatever." 

The Not-Knowing is Suppose to Be a Good Thing, Right?

Do you think, lack of control and not knowing what's ahead is a good thing? Do you accept those moments in your life for what they are ... hopefully a temporary blip?

For me, it seems when things are somewhat overwhelming and a bit out of control, I get a little bit "indifferent." I get a sort of "so what" "whatever" feeling. I honestly despise that feeling. In my opinion, a lack of concern about a situation is unproductive.

Could it be a survival mechanism? Nah, I just think it's a newer feeling for me, and I have to learn to process it because I've rarely felt this way about life.

Since I'm solution-oriented, feeling "blah-what-ever" about a life issue annoys me further! I prefer to move forward and resolve matters ... not wallow in "whatevers."

The good thing about not knowing the answers and the resulting indifference is being forced to practice patience and accept that I can't control everything.  Things have to resolve themselves in their own good time.

Two Things We Cannot Change: Natural Law and Other People

Most of us who have lived long enough already know and understand that we cannot change others. Goodness knows it took me into my thirties (a long time ago) to figure that one out.

However, I must ensure I don't get too indifferent about situations I cannot change or control lately. I'm not a heartless person and never want that unkind trait to infect my persona. It won't, but holy-hannah feeling indifferent really does suck! 

What Do You Do to Cope With and Manage Your Feelings?

My entire life, I've written poetry. I recently published 50 years of poems on Amazon. I've been writing poems since I was 8 years old and decided it was time to assemble a book.

To cope, do you write? Read? Exercise? Sleep? Sing? Dance? Travel? 

So today, I'm feeling indifferent (blah); this too shall pass.

Oh, by the way, what I've been doing to combat this unproductive feeling? Binge-watching Prime and Netflix series. Yah, I know, everything in moderation :)

Additional Personal Diary Entries:

Do You Have Any Regrets in Life?

Everything Will Be OK?

How to Accept Change in Life

10 Ways to Be Happy Even When Life Sucks

Ten Ways to Handle Stress and Anger





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