Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Drum Roll Please........

When I hear a line in a song or in a movie, or on television, that really speaks to me, I jot it down. I keep a collection of these thoughts on random slips of paper for moments just like this.....Today's winner is:

                                  "It's time to be the best version of yourself"

The meaning and impact of these nine simple words are anything but simple. They are powerful, motivational and a gentle reminder that NOW is the time!

It is a forgiving statement and a starting point, whenever I look at it. It disregards the screw ups, shortcomings and less than motivated days, that together produce far from the best version of me, that I feel I can be. 

It reaffirms the drive to get it right, while enjoying the journey along the way. After all
the little "getting it rights" add up to Life...and the pressure is eased when there is another NOW each time I choose to read that powerful slip of paper again...and again...and again! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wispy White Reminder........

Snow kissed trees out the studio window

As coconut sprinkles make a cake look prettier, so does the falling snow (well not on a cake, but you know what I mean right??) on this Sunday afternoon. 

Somehow it just got a little prettier outside, as the yard is kissed in white. It changes the ordinary into extraordinary....the plain into pizzazz.

Not being a big fan of the winter months (I prefer longer daylight, mild temperatures and no snow & ice) I look for the good of winter. Funny story, after snow storm Nemo a few weeks ago, my family (minus me) were going out to shovel. As I remained inside with a never ending cold and bronchitis, I shouted to my husband, "you know I'd be out there helping if I could?" trying to conceal my smirk.  His playful reply..."Oh I know you are an inside kitty." We both knew even if I wasn't sick I wouldn't be out there shoveling. 

So as the snow of today falls in big wispy white flakes, I go to my happy place. I picture myself in a snow globe...magical and cozy inside my 320 year old farmhouse, with a cup of tea and a book at the ready....(still with a cold unfortunately) admiring the beauty outside my window. 

In true New England tradition, weather is ever changing. In the brief time I wrote this post the snow flurries have subsided. Realizing now it was sent to  serve as a reminder, to notice the beauty around us, while it is here, because we never know when it will vanish.

Find the beauty in your own world dear readers, sometimes it's closer than we think.....hold on tight.....and smile!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So Glad We Are Still Friends..............

What I feel like sharing right now

Live genuinely with yourself and those in your Life

Approach and stand up to the things that make you apprehensive with a sense of hope and believe there is something good there

Really listen and use your words thoughtfully

Make the effort in relationships when they truly matter

Don't take for granted the special people in your Life...
Tell Them!

Hug often....Love greatly

Discover what truly matters to you ~ THAT is your beacon

Make that phone call

The above list is a pep talk to MYSELF. When I started this blog over a year ago, I said "I will put out there what I am thinking at the time I sit down to write". Well, today I was thinking "I could use a refresher because I am losing focus of what is important to me."  In coming up with the list, I was reminded that there are so many opportunities around us to "live, learn and grow". Sitting and listening through the quiet, is a great place to start ~ 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love In A Jar.................

This past weekend, my family and I had the great pleasure of celebrating my Dad's 80th birthday. Our plan was a specific one, to fill the gathering with heartfelt moments that convey our enormous love for him.

One of the highlights was a "Love Jar"! What is that you ask??? Well, I'm going to tell you, because it may just be an idea you want to bestow on a loved one in your Life. (I should have timed this post for Valentine's Day if I had been thinking...oh well...never to late for a "just because") 

So go ahead and write/type out special memories, what you love, what you appreciate or what you are thankful for about your special someone. Once when the boys were little, we did a Love Jar for my husband for Father's Day. Included were things like "Dad I like it when you read me books and you make funny voices" another "thank you for playing trucks with me on the floor" (you know that means total commitment to a child, when Mom or Dad get down on the floor to play.)

Once your feelings are captured on paper, simply cut them into strips - fortune cookie style - and put them into a jar. Decorating the outside of it is fun too. That is where I include a message for the special recipient....something like "Take a look and you will see, just how very special you are to me!" I've also used  "When you're feeling down and blue, just take a peek inside to see all we love about you!" 

At the celebration for my Dad, his opening the Love Jar was heartwarming and memorable. He started by saying..."Oh I'll just read a couple now"....well, he just kept going.....and going. The thirteen of us had provided handfuls of memories, appreciation and words of thanks. With a smile on his face, he read each and every one out loud, as we all eagerly listened, shared in laughter and reminisced....quality family moments in the making!

Memories were shared & memories were made this past weekend...simply by capturing our feelings of Love and putting them in a jar.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Building Off Nemo................

Recent storm Nemo left behind over 2 ft of snow in many areas. As well as power outages, downed limbs, refrigerator aisles empty in the market and many things to catch up on, like laundry, dishes and canceled appointments. Which all proved to be frustrating and annoying to say the least!

But here's the thing..Mother Nature, as nasty as she can be, provides opportunities for humanity to shine. The silver lining, (if even ever so tiny in comparison) of blizzards, hurricanes and tropical storms, are the heartfelt and long lasting images of people reaching out to help.

At times of overwhelming weather conditions, people pull together like super heroes! 
There is unconditional and unspoken help that just appears. You can see an example of this in the * Sea Bright Rising project, filmed after Super Storm Sandy. The amazing strength and dedication of others is displayed in this heartwarming fourteen minute documentary.

On a greatly smaller scale, we saw helping hands towards others this past weekend on the East coast once the snow stopped. My family and I ventured out to my parent's house to be spoiled with heat, food and family bonding time. Once at their street we brazenly proceeded through the unplowed Pawtucket snowy mess. Well, sure enough we got stuck 30 ft. from their driveway. 

With a few more spins of the tires and  our pick up was wedged in the snow. As I looked through the rear view mirror I saw a young man with a shovel walking towards us. He helped shovel us out and made our job so much easier and quicker.

We saw it all weekend...neighbors helping neighbors. Bonding over the daunting task of snow removal and difficult conditions. Co workers and friends shared similar stories as well. Their streets came alive with team shoveling, generator hook up help and offering warm places to stay. It does feel good when you make an effort and others benefit.

Perhaps these times of pulling together can serve as gentle reminders or a more forceful nudge if we need it, to extend a helping hand more often than not.....connect with others in a way that let's them know we are here for them. The sweet reward will come back to us in many ways and give an additional meaning to the Circle of Life!

* The Sea Bright Rising piece can be viewed without joining the site. Simply click on "watch" once on the site:Sea Bright Rising

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What Nemo Showed Me.......

Blizzard Nemo visited the East coast this past weekend, and certainly left an impression!

Courtesy of Zachery Holme

My Take Away From Nemo

Lack of electricity fosters quality, family time & conversation

More than 3 chapters of a book can be read at one sitting

A sleepover at your parent's provides many laughs & special memories

Overwhelming amounts of snow encourages people to talk to each other and generously lend a helping hand

Once you have have built in shovelers

Time without internet slows my a really good way

Being without the essentials of heat & electricity makes you so appreciative once they return

The beauty of a robin in February is a promise of hope....that spring is on it's way

additional photos by Zachery Holme 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Beauty In The Flowers.....................

"I Believe In You" Flowers

My dear husband thoughtfully brought me flowers this past week. A beautiful gesture to brighten the spirits of a waning believer that great amounts of rest, fluids, zpack, and eating "right" would quicken the pace of my perpetual cold and asthma aggravated bronchitis.

The flowers themselves are beautiful, but for me the real beauty is what they mean!
Looking at them I see his message of "I believe in you Babe", "You will get better real soon...I know it!!" "My crazy drive of an hour and a half after work was nuts and I just wanted to get home...but I stopped and got you flowers, because you mean so much to me." 

Yup! I got all of that out of those flowers.

We do what we do for a reason and when in a family and heartfelt relationships they are our way of saying I Love You....You Matter!  I am remembering now about twelve years ago...the boys were real little, I was that overwhelmed, shower every other day, hair in a clip, no time for "just me" phase of motherhood. 

Marketing needed to be done and my Mom came by to watch the boys...God Bless her! As I was leaving she said "have fun." Seriously?! It was not the send off I was looking for. I replied "I really don't think doing this for the family will be fun and I want to be doing something for me!!" (wow..... cranky much???)

With clarity, I now get my Mom's response..... I'm a bit more of a "seasoned"...ok OLDER, Mom..... She said "think about how special it is that you can go and get food to prepare meals for your family." Well, let's just say THAT was not well received by me then, but makes all kinds of sense to me now!!

There is beauty and a message in the things we do for others. I'm guilty of losing sight of those things that I do and so importantly all that is done for me! It's tough to think while cleaning the toilet "I do love my family and I will show them that by really making this bowl shine."...but you get what I mean.. right?? We are all trying and have good intentions. Sometimes it takes a little reminder to nudge us to see all that family members are doing to show their Love.

So let it be said "I am open to the beauty and message in all that I give and receive."