Happy Anniversary – who knew?


I received a Happy Anniversary greeting from WordPress acknowledging my 5 years of blogging with them. Time has a way of flying by, doesn’t it?

Now, since it took me off guard, I didn’t have time to write an acceptance speech. But I want to begin by thanking WordPress who made it all possible. Without them, where would I be?

Next, I want to thank my readers especially those who have become my blogging friends over the years. Kisses to you all!

Next  I can’t forget the long line of cameras that have come into my world and have either been lost or used to death. The images I took on them helped bring the words to life.

I’m running out of time, I know… there are so many of you to mention.

I remember 5 years ago wanting to blog but not having a niche. Many of my blogging friends wrote about their books, kids, quilts, photography, lessons, travels and other magical topics. I just wanted to write.

It took a while to get in the groove and then it took more time to stay in the groove then sometimes I lost my groove and when I found it, it was a new groove.

I took several paths – offering information about online help, writing about Internet Goodies, blogging daily, blogging outside my comfort zone and on and on. What worked was writing about something that I read, or a person I met or a song or lecture that inspired me. Inspiration came in the form of watching the clouds or the seasons or a train pass by. I wrote when something made a difference in my world and I wanted to share it.

So, here I am five years later. Will I still be writing five years from now? And if so, will there be something brilliant that makes you want to tap the stranger next to you and read them my dazzling words? No?

What I love most about blogging is looking back over the years to see what I wrote. Like a journal, it gives me a glimpse of where I was at that point in time.

Warm regards and thanks for a great 5 years. (More hugs, kisses and a bow…)

Photos below from the Denver Botanical Gardens – Dale Chihuly exhibit

IMG_3598 IMG_3639 IMG_3620 IMG_3674 IMG_3693

 

The love of my fate …


I have three books that I’m currently reading and today I picked one up titled I Believe: When What You Believe Matters by Eldon Taylor.  I found a passage that jumped out at me and I read it again and again. It’s a story Joseph Campbell tells about Freidrich NIstzsche.

“At a certain moment in Nietzsche’s life, the idea came to him of what he called “the love of your fate.” Whatever your fate is, whatever the heck happens, you say, “This is what I need.” It may look like a wreck but go through it as though it were an opportunity or a challenge.

If you bring love to that moment–not discouragement– you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking a back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true.

IMG_3570As I read this, I looked back at those moments when my life was in total chaos and relived the wreckage that surrounded me. I don’t think the words “This is what I need” ever crossed my mind but over time I realize I did need it. I needed a clear ending. I needed focus. I needed to let go. I needed to cry. I needed to heal. And with the help of friends and family, I found the strength.

The trouble is, when you are in that moment, it’s hard to see the pieces of your shattered life as an opportunity or challenge. You mainly see failure and loss.

And yet, standing here and looking back I understand it was an opportunity to choose a new path. And over time, I picked up what I needed from the wreckage and redefined me.

The love of my fate…

I Believe: When what you believe matters by Eldon Taylor
Joseph Campbell – Reflections on the Art of Living

Letting Dreams Go


Rustic Rocky Mountain Log Cabin - Can't you just smell the wood fire burning?

Rustic Rocky Mountain Log Cabin – Can’t you just smell the wood fire burning?

I always dreamed about having a mountain home. It won’t happen. I can rent one for a week and enjoy the crisp early morning air, take long walks, make campfires and fly fish to my heart’s content – – but not in my mountain home. And that’s ok. Not only is it ok, it takes a huge weight off my shoulders. If I did own the home, it would be alll the other stuff too — the mortgage payments, concern about forest fires, insurance, fees, winter preparation, utility payments, and on and on.

I feel ok with letting it go. I’ve released many hopes and dreams over my lifetime and replaced them with new ones.

Currently, I am sitting in a yard surrounded by all shades of green. I have privacy, can see the sky and totally enjoy my new environment. My plan began with emptying out my clutter, recycling items, and preparing to leave one home and move into another. Step by step, I released belongings, painted, dusted, and prepared for my departure. I was so ready to move I could taste it. Once here, it took several months to paint, brighten, update, renovate, and recreate my home. I let go of the mountain home and now embrace my city home.

Growing up, I didn’t have a list of goals and achievements I wanted to accomplish. I just went with the flow and found my way after I landed. I learned to be a wife, figured out how to be a mom, worked at various jobs, returned to school, found more jobs and lived in a piecemeal world. I never saw the big picture and how I would make my way through it. I just did it, maybe by instinct or happenstance or just plain luck.

Oh, yeah, about that luck… no such thing for me. My luck came in the form of family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and even strangers. My luck is a give and take — a phone call, a hug, a card, fresh picked flowers, a dinner here and there — I am not just the receiver of this luck. I give it and I receive it.  My luck is a community event.

Why am I going on and on? (That really is not rhetorical, I forgot…)

marge and sophie

Making new friends along the way!

Oh yeah – dreams. We all know people who are living their dreams. There is a sense of contentment around them. My new dream is not a dream at all. It’s a reality that is in the process of unfolding. It includes living in a city, making new friends, becoming connected and finding a support system. Like the physical move, my plan takes many steps. Getting visible, attending functions, volunteering, making conversation, offering help, asking questions and putting myself ‘out there.’

Can you see my smile?

What made us friends in the long ago?


Years ago I bought a card that had a poem on it. I kept the card and memorized the poem. Today I dedicate it to a dear friend as a birthday poem, a friendship poem and words that will hopefully make you and all my readers smile.

hollyhock4All my love to you, Dahling…

What made us friends in the long ago
When we first met?
Well, I think I know.
The best in you and the best in me
Hailed each other because we could see
That always and ever
Since time began,
Our being friends was part of the plan.

George Webster Douglas ~

chair

Moments matter


aspen in steamboatRobin Williams died this week.  He was suffering in ways we never knew. He was hurting and in pain. We didn’t know and if we did, we couldn’t help him.

There are so many people – friends and family and neighbors and colleagues who are also struggling right now. They are in a bad state because of their health, finances, marriage issues, job status, money struggles, addictions, fears and frets. These people are within range and can be reached. We have to reach out and say those magical word …”I’ve been thinking about you.” Then we need to just be quiet.  We can make a difference.

hollyhock3I can’t take the pain away that someone is feeling but I can be there for them when they need to talk. I can’t get those people through the dark night but I can hold their hand as they wade through the sludge.

I believe we are surrounded by people with stories – some are huge and over the top amazing stories! Most are everyday stories about average people just figuring it out. Some are about black-footed ferrets, tennis lessons, vegetable gardens, and others are about medications, health problems, loneliness and struggles. They are only uncovered when we take time to let others tell their stories.  Some people will gush with the chance to share and others will let their stories out bit by bit.

It’s about acknowledging the other person at the table, on the bus, in line at the store, in the other car, on the phone, at the drive-thru. Simple, really and on the surface pretty basic stuff, but the end result can be so much more. Sometimes there’s a sigh or a smile.

 

He made me laugh.

purple chair

SUMMER HAS A WAY    


It’s been my understanding that summer has a way of taking over my life. Whether I am busy hiking, walking, working, making new friends, visiting neighbors, working on my lawn, reading, writing, riding my bike or just watching the clouds go by – I find that sometimes I lift my head and days have flown by. It’s past the middle of July and I’ve yet to catch my breath!

amazing weather for flowersThe weather has been most wonderful – lots of afternoon rain and therefore humidity in the air which feels refreshing, not stifling and heavy.  Last night, rain woke me up two different times and then this morning the air was damp, chilly and inviting. As a kid, I remember going to the local beach and getting there first thing in the morning – in time to make bacon and eggs over the grill. That damp, wet feeling mixed with the smell of food over an open fire was  in the front of my memories when I stepped into my backyard today.

I’ve read a bunch of books and have hardly watched any television. There’s just no time. And as you can attest, I’ve had little ‘sit in the chair time’ when I normally blog.

red flower1I did most of my traveling in May and June which allows me to enjoy the summer like never before. Summer has a way of forcing me to get on trails and hike, to take photos, to care for my garden, to get my priorities in order.

And, did I mention the shades of green? Dark evergreen, bright green aspen leaves, deep green lilac leaves, healthy green lawn. For now – Green is my favorite color!

I’m enjoying summer this year more than ever before. It took me awhile to accept that spring was over and summer was indeed here and now I am loving it. I am requesting more rain, afternoon clouds, just a bit of heat (here and there), lots of sunshine (duh, it is COLORADO!) and the piece of mind to enjoy it all. (My spell checker wants me to write ‘peace of mind’ and maybe I should!)

Until the next time – Enjoy!

 

A Sense of Optimism About Humanity


GenerativityThe local newspaper is delivered to me 4x each week. When I get it, I read it all. That includes the obituaries. The thing is, I am new to this town so it’s not like back home where every other day someone I know or am related to is dying or dead (or being born or getting married…)

So, this obituary was two columns wide and really long. Lots of words.  A photo of a very pretty lady. The words were very poetic and magical. I think they were her words. She talked about the family grocery, then a paragraph was devoted to her ‘beloved’ father, her steps that took her to the nunnery until that didn’t feel right anymore. Then her quest next led to graduate school… The next quarter of a century she conducted basic research in neuroscience and eventually retired as Professor Emerita. She started her own business, spoke, wrote, published books and so much more.

I did not know this woman but I wish I had.  She lived a colorful life and in the end requested the following: In lieu of flowers, and in recognition of the generativity which coursed through her life, the family requests that those wishing to honor her pay kindness forward to three other individuals.

Why I read this, why it touched a cord, why I kept it, the article, why I had to write about it? Even in death, this woman is giving to others by asking us to reach out and pay something forward as a gift to her.  If only a handful of her family or “groundswell of devoted friends” as the obituary read reached out and paid a kindness forward then her essence lives on. And if each person paid it forward THREE times then the world would be a bit easier for someone, for no real reason.

She’s gone, right? And yet she created a web of web of giving. That she can do that in her death makes me wonder what crusades and undertakings she accomplished prior to departing.

I know we all have our own stories and nobody really knows the story of the person next to them – but if there were some way to know more – count me in.

So, what is it I don’t know about you? What is the event, illness, struggle, joy, friendship or woe that got you to this very place in time? For many, it was the turning point in our lives. For others it might be a goal that was reached and lessons learned along the way. This beautiful, wonderful woman had TONS of stories –  and this is just one more. 

generativity (google dictionary) In Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, generativity is a struggle against stagnation that ascends during adulthood.
in the psychosocial sense refers to the concern for establishing and guiding the next generation and is said to stem from a sense of optimism about humanity.

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