You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
This Memorial Day weekend we remember those who have died in pursuit of the liberty and freedoms that we as Americans enjoy. Often this means spending time with family and friends over good food and activities designed to remind us that we are truly blessed. This has perfectly described my weekend. On Saturday, we headed out to my parents’ home to celebrate the birthday of my nephew who just turned 8. Family, friends and good food! It was the recipe for a perfect day. Yesterday, we loaded up the car and headed to my in-laws who were hosting a BBQ. Again we were surrounded by family, friends and good food. Watching my kid play basketball with his cousins and grandpa, chow down on ribs and smores, I was reminded just how blessed I am. While we aren’t Bill Gates wealthy, our lives are filled with abundance. One of the learning points in this week’s lesson is “Change your perspective.” Sometimes in the humdrum of life, we forget just how much we are blessed with. If we could just scrape enough together for that new car, or a larger TV or more of this or that, we could then feel like we’re really living the good life. But over this Memorial Day weekend, as nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles as well as grandparents surrounded us, I was reminded what an incredibly wealthy man I am! Today, as we remember those who gave their lives so that we could enjoy our families in freedom, I want to remember to always live in this attitude of gratitude. To be this blessed and not show thanks would be a true tragedy.
Here’s to recognizing the abundance that fills our lives! Cheers y’all!
We come fresh to the different stages of life, and in each of them we are quite inexperienced, no matter how old we are. ~ François de la Rochefoucauld
I’ve decided that navigating through the confusion that is one-phase-or-another in life is perhaps our biggest challenge. My kid is 14 and, like most 14-year-old boys, is going through the “boners and boobs” phase. How do I know this? Let me state the obvious, he’s a 14-year-old boy. That means as his parents we get to give great advise like, “don’t run up to girls and ask to see their boobs…that’s not the way it works.” I feel pretty sure my kid will grow out of this phase into a mature man. At least he will if we have anything to say about it. When we hit a new phase in our lives, the trick is to acknowledge that we really don’t know how to handle what we’re about to face (or are facing) and then quickly figure out what we need to do to master said phase and move on. It’s easy to say that this is a kid problem, I mean, they don’t have the reservoir of knowledge from which to draw to know that there are different phases of life to master. But I think maybe, those of us who have lived a little bit need to be reminded that we start off at square one in each new phase of life and it’s up to us to master and move on. Staying perpetually stuck in the “boners and boobs” phase might be good if you’re trying to sell certain genres of music, but it won’t be very helpful when it comes to being a success at life. As I’m starting school again after 20+ years, it’s helpful to be reminded that I’m coming in to this inexperienced and it’s gonna take a little while to figure everything out. But I’ll get it done! Watch me!
Here’s to remembering that we have to walk before we run! Cheers y’all!
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. ~ Marianne Williamson
The other day, while Paris played outside with the neighborhood kids, I took the opportunity to perform one of my least favorite chores…cleaning the bathroom. I had just started mopping the floor when I heard all this screaming, yelling and general racket. Cries of “kill it” and “stomp on it” were followed by more screams and yells. I really didn’t feel like running downstairs, but given all the commotion, I figured I’d better check it out. Just as I started down the stairs I heard Paris yell “I’ll be brave!” The screaming and yelling stopped and before I had a chance to get down the stairs, normalacy had returned. I found out later it was a spider that had scared the girls and brought out the bravery of my kid. Last night after I climbed into bed, my mind again turned to the kid’s bravery super-imposed over the quote attributed to Ms. Williamson. I wondered what would happen if we really recognized our fear for what it was (fear of success) and made a determined effort to be brave; to suck it up and actually live in the light our success brings. My little guy faced the fear the spider brought AND he instantly became a hero to the little girls surrounding him (at least one of whom thinks he’s “hot”).
Here’s to recognizing our fears for what they really are! Cheers y’all!
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. ~ Henry Ford
Tonight I’ve been helping the kid write out his science report for an experiment that failed. He was totally bummed about the failure. I don’t blame him because tomorrow he has to get up in front of his 8th grade science class and give an oral presentation about an experiment that wasn’t. I could see it in his face and it made me sad. As I was thinking about his disappointment, I had a thought about failure. So, I pulled out my trusty computer and did a little Google search. It didn’t take too long to come across some very interesting facts about failure and success. Did you know that Henry Ford had five failed business ventures before starting what turned into one of the world’s largest automobile companies…Ford Motor Company? I mentioned this to the kid and was amazed at how his face quickly brighten up. It didn’t take much encouragement and just a little research before the kid was busy writing out a really good paper about failure and how it is often the catalyst for success. I’m proud of him for realizing that sometimes it’s going to take hitting a wall before making the big breakthrough. It was also a great reminder for me that not everything will come out like I hoped. That’s ok though because if Thomas Edison could have over one thousand failures before coming up with that one invention that has literally lit the world, then perhaps I’ll be all right as well.
Here’s to failure and the success it brings! Cheers y’all!
A good book should leave you slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~ William Styron
Growing up we didn’t have a TV. Finally, at 17 we got one. I’d like to say that a whole world was opened up to me, but, in truth, my world was already far expanded beyond my short 17 years. At an early age, reading was encouraged in my family. My mom and dad read to us before we could read and, as I grew older, reading was my escape. At age 14, my mom and I waded into the writings of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. I remember staying up all night, the reading light emitting a dim glow beneath my covers reading about the adventures of Bilbo Baggins of Baggins End, Gandolf and all the other interesting and other-worldly characters that inhabit The Hobbit and the Trilogy of the Rings. The lives I lived during the reading of those books was intense. I’m currently re-reading these masterpieces (I’ve finished The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring) and, again, I’m finding myself wrapped up, and yes, slightly exhausted. As Paris was learning to read, every night we would read The Chronicles of Narnia like my parents did with me. The other day, packing up some books to give to the school book drive, we came across the Narnia books and Paris reminded me of the nights we spent reading them. I had wondered if our reading sessions had made a difference in a little boys mind. Turns out, they had. Reading gave me the tools to communicate, gave me dreams to chase after, gave me sleepless nights, yeah, reading left me exhausted. I’m better off for reading!
Here’s to reading! As Dr. Seuss says, “oh the places you’ll go!” Cheers y’all!