An acquaintance of mine is always stuck in the past.
His life view — and eventual decisions — are the result of re-living events and experiences that occurred long ago. And while he’s a decent, even likeable person, the inability to move forward without first consulting with his inner gypsy about previous circumstances better laid to rest seem to hold him captive in a constant state of uncertainty.
For many people, clinging to a state of mental hesitation creates a barrier to progress, because nothing much changes in their lives. …
The real truths in life are sometimes discovered only after we’ve taken a lot of wrong turns or spent too much time pursuing the transitory and superficial. Regrettably, these revelations usually arrive too late — their promise and caution appearing only after we’ve compromised our health or relationships.
Thankfully, we don’t have to personally endure all of life’s hardships and disappointments to gain the perspective and wisdom that comes from living a long life.
A better option? We can recognize that the experience of previous generations is an excellent source of suggestions to help us get the most from our lives — while avoiding the majority of pitfalls along the way. …
Ever wonder why you occasionally say or do things that send out the wrong message?
Even though your words or actions aren’t intended to be untruthful, somehow, you can’t help keeping your real feelings inside. The problem is, by not expressing what you truly think, you’re usually left feeling empty and insecure.
Lack of confidence, fear of the unknown, and force of habit are all possible suspects. But none of them have served you so far.
Maybe it’s time to take a close look at what’s causing the internal conflict — and explore a few solutions that can help some of us sleep a little better at night. …
You’ve made up your mind:
This is the day you’ll begin focusing on those important priorities — the ones you never seem to have time to take care of. You begin by organizing your schedule, planning a meal menu for the week, making a grocery list, packing your gym bag, and then …
It’s your second cousin on your mother’s side and she wants to talk about the annual family reunion next year. She tells you it’s really important and going over the details won’t take long — she promises.
An hour later, you end the call, exhausted and drained from the overwhelming info dump about the picnic, her family, and everything going on in her life. …
It’s usually on the list of most people’s dream occupation — being a writer. There seems to be something mystical, even esoteric about the profession.
Maybe it’s the fantasized notion of creating unique masterpieces, or being able to write on an independent schedule — without a boss or supervisor — and having the freedom to take a day off whenever the mood strikes.
And while writing is a noble and rewarding endeavor, the truth is many may not have a true calling. Or patience.
It takes more than a naive interest to sit down and express your thoughts to the world. It takes courage. A writer is on a constant journey — often without a road map or compass. Sometimes it means expressing an unpopular opinion or asking unanswerable questions — either of which can result in ridicule, insults, and undeserved criticism. …
The universe tapped me on the shoulder …again.
It’s the sense that something — or everything — isn’t quite right. You might feel edgy or depressed, or even unclear about the future. And as hard as you try to tell yourself everything will eventually be okay, you find it difficult to get back in alignment with the real life you know you were meant to live.
For many, the presence of uncertainty and confusion are the result of a struggle of identity — the on-going conversation in your mind between who you really are, and the person attempting to measure up to others’ expectations. …
With all the changes in our lives this year resulting from the pandemic and a variety of social disruptions, the holidays may be somewhat lonely and melancholy for many.
Personally, I’m feeling the effects of an overabundance of negativity and depression overshadowing the spirit of the season. Instead of happy and joyful messages, my incoming stream of email and social media posts are laden with guarded caution, mandatory protocols, and restrictions— a far cry from past years when the holidays brought hope, inspiration, and connection with family and friends.
But rather than dwell on the current guidelines and limitations holding my heart in check from fully enjoying the gifts and blessings of this inspiring time, I’m grateful for the future possibilities to come — and the memories that keep me close to those I love. In celebration of the season, I’m embracing the values of respect, humility, and courtesy with an open mind — and joyful spirit. …
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, there are several definitions of the word “fancy,” including the following:
“an image or representation of something formed in the mind”
“imagination, especially of a capricious or delusive sort”
“to believe mistakenly or without evidence”
“devotees of some particular art, practice, or amusement”
And if you happen to be an animal or plant: “ bred especially for bizarre or ornamental qualities that lack practical utility”
It’s quite a list — and a lot to consider and digest. Which is why I’m not fancy.
And it definitely wasn’t toward the fancy end of the spectrum.
While an easy choice to consider, the decision wasn’t made lightly. Societal approval, peer pressure, and the lure of being one of the chosen few — particularly those who receive glitzy party invitations — typically overwhelmed logic and reason. …
There are many holiday memories from my youth, including one particular Christmas when my older brother received a train set. My father thought he was old enough, and building the layout would give them time to spend together.
The look on my brother’s face as he unwrapped his gift that Christmas morning was priceless — surprise, excitement, and pure happiness. After examining the boxes and detailed pictures, his enthusiasm was temporarily put on hold after my dad explained they’d work on the train that afternoon — after the family had finished our holiday morning festivities.
I followed them into the basement, where my father had already cleared a spot for the assembly. It was a basic set, including straight and curved pieces of track, an engine, several box cars, and a caboose. After measuring and cutting a large piece of plywood, my brother — with help from my dad — began attaching and securing the track. …
You know it’s coming. In fact, it’s already here.
We’re feeling the urgency — the hustle, bustle, and rush to start (and finish) shopping, organize meal plans, and schedule family visits, along with the necessary travel arrangements and protocols.
Annual greeting cards — each one containing short, semi-personal notes — wait patiently to be addressed, sealed, and stamped. Sales advertisements, holiday commercials, and unbelievable special deals are on a steady course to disrupting our routines and diverting our focus.
With so much going on — and a dizzying influx of distraction — how do we stay committed to maintaining our “normal” life, the one we’ve worked so hard to keep on track? …