Archives for January 2012

Living Love Every Minute

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
– Albert Einstein

Growing up I had a second family. They are my parents’ best friends. Their sons are my brothers. We fought like it too. Having two moms who knew how to cook everything and two dads who seemed to know everything was an awesome way to grow up – except when it came time to get in trouble. That came in twos as well. However, having brothers that couldn’t routinely beat on the bathroom door was a pretty good bonus.

Thursday, Mike Kelly died at the age of 61 after a valiant stand with Alzheimer’s. 61, seriously.

The funeral was filled with tears and laughter. His wife and his children each wrote loving and funny letters about this wonderful man. I sat there thinking the miracle was he knew all this before he died. This family did not wait for death to understand love and they did not require a crisis to find closeness. I have watched them love – and have been loved by them – my entire life.

It occurred to me that so many of us live our lives as if this one thing today is a small thing. We fail to grasp the wondrousness of having the opportunity to experience the thing at all. I also considered how terrible it would be to mourn the death of a loved one with things left unsaid. Love left ungifted. How awful it would be to wonder if the one gone left knowing just how much they were cherished, loved, and respected.

It is a blessing to know this amazing man did not leave this world that way. It is a blessing that every word spoken for the family was a whole lot of love people already knew about. It is a miracle that still as an adult, after all this time, even in death, Mike Kelly is still teaching me things.

Today I encourage you to consider living a life full of gratitude for those you hold dear. Never resist the urge to pick up the phone, write the note, spend the time, send the message. Smile more. Hug a lot. Sure, for most of us we have a whole lot more time. But it isn’t guaranteed. Besides living one day or a million with that kind of love in your heart makes all the difference in the life.

Thanks for the coffee…

You Have What it Takes

It’s like you are sitting there, getting bored, and decide to yourself,
“I think I will find something hard to do.”
~My Beloved

My husband is known for his over dramatic assessment of my personality on a regular basis. (In other words, he is spot on 99% of the time.) He typical takes an isolated incident and blows it into a full scale character trait of epic proportions. (Translation, he knows me better than I know myself and has the uncanny ability to assess my tendencies.) So, when he delivered the aforementioned declaration, I just pshawed the whole thought and went on about my day. (I mulled over it for days and days and now you will be subjected to some of the findings.)

The truth is, I have been known to get excited about various things. I have embraced a few interests and these I pursue with a passion. It can be viewed as zealous and over indulgent to some. Masochistic to others. However, for myself, it is my attempt to embrace the fullness of possibility, laugh in the face of fear, and prove to myself that I do, indeed, still have what it takes to overcome the big challenges.

How will one know what is possible to obtain if one does not continually stretch the bounds of accomplishment? Amazing records are broken every day – athletics, knowledge, accomplishment, business, endurance. All of these fields are inhabited by folks that get up earlier, stay up later, work harder, learn more, and refuse to be told that the best that has been done is the best anyone can do. And why not you or I? And why should any of us be content to be as good as we have always been because others find it unreasonable to think we can strive to be better than expected? Foolishness.

And there are few things I am more defiant of than fear. Fear, while a necessary emotion for a variety of reasons, cannot be allowed to sit in the driver seat of decision making. If being afraid or unafraid is the sole determiner for our yes or no, we are remiss if we do not quickly reevaluate our standings. This is so much the case when we tackle those challenges that appear hard. Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of harm, fear of the unknown – all of these forms of fear can be paralyzing if not routinely assessed, processed, and dismissed. This habit is not an easy one for most and must therefore be practiced regularly to maintain.

Today I encourage you, us, to know without a doubt that we do, in fact, still have what it takes. If you exercise it regularly or have been out of practice for a while, there is still no time like the present to work that fortitude muscle out. Pick something, anything, that requires discipline, is greater than something you have done before, scares you just a bit (or even a lot), and sends your heart fluttering into the “hey, wouldn’t that be cool” zone. A bunch of different things can happen, and I can promise that utter failure is probably not one of them. Even if it does, you won’t be the first or the last. On the more likely flip side, you will probably experience some level of success, embrace a new possibility, laugh in the face of fear, and know for a fact, you’ve still got it.

Thanks for the coffee…

**Photo credit

Know Your Worth

To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth… is potentially to have everything…
~Joan Didion

Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!
~Rocky Balboa

Self confidence is an interesting thing. If it is lacking, you have one set of problems. If you have it in abundance (regardless of its merit) you have others. There is a fine line of balance there. And, as difficult as this line may be to tread, it is a necessary introspection. There a few things that damage a relationship more than unbecoming behavior. And there is immeasurable damage done to oneself who has not learned to appreciate their own self worth.

The idea of self worth is one that cannot be taken lightly. In fact, I am learning that it is a topic that must be keep to the mind’s forefront. I amaze myself every time I allow an unfortunate, often trivial, event affect the whole of my mood – even when the vast amount of everything else is going fine. I appear to have a bit of company in this trait. It seems to be more common than ought that we allow ourselves, our moods, and our forward progression to be thwarted by obstacles of the sabotage kind. In truth, crappy stuff happens, we make mistakes, and we are subjected to the mistakes of others. That does not, in it self, describe, limit, or define our own self worth.

Self worth should also not be confused with self entitlement. Not one of us is guaranteed anything – not another day, another breath, another meal, another dream – nothing is guaranteed. We have our potential, our drive, our desire, and our right now. Those things are the raw materials with which we are granted the opportunity to create our best life. Should we under represent or employ any of these materials, our progress will be found wanting. It is not the disparaging nature in the world around us that have created this gap, but our own miscalculation of perception and utilization of our unique gifts.

Today I encourage you to know your worth – and don’t underestimate it. Protect it against the occurrences that inevitably pop up to undermine it. Appreciate its greatness. It is that worth that makes you capable of completing good works. Look for opportunities to make deposits into, grow, and nurture it. Remember, this is a valuable asset to you and your worth is an amazing resource. Use that worth towards efforts of good and be generous with it. It is in this generosity that this becomes one of our most valuable and effective renewable resources. And it is all in you.

Thanks for the coffee 🙂

Photo credit Trippography

Happy New Year!

A happy New Year!
Grant that I May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ~Anaïs Nin

Happy New Year! I want to thank all of you for being so patient with me as I took the holidays off. It was an amazing time of getting settled with my new team at work, enjoying family festivities, filing away all the things of 2011 and really getting ready to rock 2012.

I love New Year’s. It is so conducive to reflection, evaluation, and hope. It has come to be a special time for me. I have joyfully succeeded in taking nearly all the stress out of the holiday.

I do not make “before the end of the year” checklists. Likewise, I do not make resolutions…

Aside – Now I understand that “not making resolutions” has become the hip and “enlightened” thing to do. So let me say, if you DO make them, good for you. There is some real merit in making conscience decisions to modify and change. You, better than a coolio guru, know how your brain works. Always go with that.

…Both of these activities generate large amounts of stress in my life. Who needs that? Moreover, in truth, I already do this nearly EVERYDAY. I have things that need to get done. Some of it has to get rescheduled because I still haven’t figured out how to function with no sleep or add more hours to my day. But there is never NOT anything to do.

And I am consistently looking for ways to move into my potential. There are always skills I am looking to hone, things I would like to learn, habits I am attempting to unlearn. This does not simply happen once a year. It is a daily desire to confess, learn, and try again.

Today I encourage you embrace joyfulness. Be glad in the ability to throw out an old calendar and put up a new one. Enjoy the cleanness a new year brings. Resist the urge to place more stress on yourself than you should. Appreciate the things you do on a daily basis and do not buy into the idea that you have under performed or failed to be all that you should. It is a new day, everyday. Welcome to it.

Thanks for the coffee,

Hello 2012!

Welcome, 2012.

I am really glad to see you. Thanks for giving me a bit of extra time to send off 2011. We really were great together. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn, grown, and experience. But, that was yesterday…rather yesterday yesterday. Call me fickle, but you, 2012, are now my true love.

You will understand if I decline to make “resolutions.” Seriously, I have enough stress and pressure in my life. You will allow me this one simple pass. I have shared with you things that I have learned and plans I aim to take. That really should be sufficient. Thanks.

And I will promise to attempt to respect you more than the ones before you. I appreciate that you are the holder of time. You dispense  at a constant rate, you do not allow additions or withdraws. I am understanding more all the time how valuable you are and how much I take you for granted. I will do better (so don’t let the stories 2011 told you matter in the least.)

And that is the deal you and I can strike, dear 2012. In lieu of ridiculous resolutions, I will instead not bring the ugly and unfortunate from 2011 into you if you promise…oh dear, I guess you can only be who you are and do what you do…

But yes, we will strike the deal anyway…because if I hold up my end of the bargain, you will naturally give me your best…and in turn, you will get mine

Yep, it’s good to see you…

Daniel Fast Breakfast Day 1