Three Years Ago……

Walden Pond

Walden Pond (Photo credit: bluebirdsandteapots)

While cleaning up my office work area I found my 2010 daybook and in the front I had written some words that Ralph Waldo Emerson penned one day, when I like to think he was being pensive….looking at life, what makes it up, what makes it worthwhile, and what the real definition of Success is…..

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or redeemed social conditions; to know that even one life has breathed easer because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

If ever there were words to live by, it is these.

I must have been on an Emerson bend in 2010, because just above his words on success, I have written another quote from him: “The ancestor of every action is a thought.”  So simply put, now to put those thoughts into action……………

Apparently I was trying to encourage myself lo those three years ago, because I have taped to the front inside cover of my daybook my horoscope for the year—which still hopefully applies:

Taurus: There is nothing you cannot achieve if you stick to your principles and plans. An offer or suggestion made will help you determine what you really want to achieve. You’ll be surprised by the response you get from a proposal you make.

Whoever wrote those words for all those born between April 20 and May 20 was wise. They may not have gleaned this wisdom from the stars, but put a general theory to work: give them hope and some rope.

And lastly, at the top of the inside cover, I have quoted Theodore Roethke and I am sure at the time what he said hit a high note with me: “Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.” As I read that quote today, it is not clear to me what I may have been thinking in 2010, but in 2013 it means that the cryptic critic does not win the day—the person who opens themselves up to life finds the treasures and secrets it has to offer.

What was I thinking three years ago? I am not sure—but the words I wrote into my daybook then are just as valuable today—daresay in a different way.

What words do you live by (or, as in my case, try to live by?)

Up a Creek Without a Paddle

English: "The Red Canoe," watercolor...

English: “The Red Canoe,” watercolor, by the American artist Winslow Homer. Courtesy of the Peabody Collection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Casting off in a canoe without paddles

Unearthing a smooth slender but substantial twig

that reached to the
shallow bottom

She carefully steered the boat out into the pond.

The water was calm

The journey short ~

Success.

Bliss often  comes from “making
do”. Have you ever found bliss by “making do”?

Published in: on April 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm  Comments (27)  
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Is Ignorance and Arrogance Bliss?

At a job interview

At a job interview (Photo credit: Arroz y Asado)

Michelle’s prompt today:

You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?

I would erase the ignorance and arrogance of youth and not miss the job interview that someone set up for me at a radio station. I was in university at the time, and thought that success would come easily.  If I had made that interview, secured the job in broadcasting, my life would have been different.

The question is: would it have been any better? Would securing that position mean that I might not meet my husband? Who knows? Maybe it was supposed to happen that way.

I went into print rather than broadcasting, though I did have a stint at a radio station as a stringer for a year or so. Success is in the mind of the beholder. Suffice to say that I would like to be more successful. But, in many ways, my life turned out the way I wanted it to. I am still working on my dreams, but as an eternal late-bloomer I am sure my “ship will come in”—here is hoping it doesn’t spring a leak.

Bliss is realizing that what could have been– was not for a reason. What do you think?

Published in: on March 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm  Comments (46)  
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Future Bliss

Rosebud

Like this Rosebud, I am still waiting to bloom.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write?

This is a timely prompt from lovely Michelle at WordPress, as I have not been looking forward to my upcoming birthday in April. I  have come to the realization that I will not be wandering this little place called earth for as many years as I have lived thus far. I am going to be 60 (sob, groan, ackkk!) and I am fairly sure I am not going to live another 60 years.

When I was younger, 60 was not something I could  easily imagine–and when I did, I imagined that I had “arrived”; that I had reached my ultimate goals; that I would be ensconced in comfort.

It is not so much the age of 60 itself that has me bummed out–it is the fact that I only have so much time left to “arrive”.  I am fighting the feeling that the book is closed and that my goals are unattainable, so I am going to write this letter to my sons in an effort to give them advice, and me some hope:

Dear Adam and Tyler;

As you read this, I am a vibrant 80 year old. I did not reach some of my goals until later in life, as I have always been a late bloomer. But along the way, I learned that even if I did not feel like I had been a “success” in the normal sense of the word, I reached success on many levels.

I found love with your dad; I found my maternal instincts as soon as I had you guys (it was an amazing transformation by the way as I did not know that I really wanted children until I had them); I worked at jobs I did not like; I worked at jobs I loved; I had a business of my own and learned that I would rather buy books than sell them; I learned how to be a “mother bear” advocate for you guys; I tried to learn to let go (even at this age, I am probably still struggling with that); I learned that family and friends can get you through anything; that losing your parents is rough but their voices stay with you; I have learned that success is not just financial (though it does make it easier); and I have learned that you should never give up.

As the two of you progress down the sometimes smooth, sometimes wretched path of life, keep in mind that in the end it is all worthwhile. You have seen your parents struggle, and now you see us comfortable in our own skins. Even though we are eighty, we live life as if there is no tomorrow, because as we all know, there may not be.

Live life well and fully. Enjoy good times even in the bad times. That old saying~this too will pass~is true, even though some things we would rather go away, do not go away fast enough.

You are loved, and my best successes!  ~ Love mom

I know that this letter to my sons twenty years down the line has fallen into cliché but I do not care–clichés are there for us to use–and sometimes they do the job. I am looking for my bliss today–in twenty years I am certain I will have found it and put it to good use.

What would you say to your loved ones from your place of bliss?

 

Published in: on March 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm  Comments (58)  
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~ Inspiration ~

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Photo credit: iansand)

Inspiration from the blog world is easy to come by. Here are two I happened upon in the last few days:

Robert of 101 Books:

“Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” –Mark Twain

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of overusing very. I find it a very good word, which I like to use verily. I believe I will take Mr. Twain’s advice, if not literally, at least in my editing process.

Nancy at Life Takes Over said this in response to a comment I made on her blog.:

I read a poster this morning that said: “No one can go back and change a bad beginning; but anyone can start now and create a successful ending.”

I love that we all have the chance to make our endings our own~and we are not held captive by bad beginnings.

Do you have a word that you overuse; or do you believe that “All’s well that ends well”?

Name That Shakespeare Play!

Name That Shakespeare Play! (Photo credit: Tracy Lee)

Published in: on November 12, 2012 at 12:51 am  Comments (50)  
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My To Do List ~ The Sorry Story

to do list

to do list (Photo credit: ebby)

How did I do with the first “To do” list I posted last week? Since you, my readers are clamouring for an update (okay only one of you asked—but that is all I need), I will tell you how I did. The list will be in italics and my response in a regular font.  I know you can’t wait to see how I made out (yes, Sheldon, that was sarcasm):

1. First things first: I must write my On The Homefront column for the week for my newspaper deadline, which is Monday, and as of 6:45 on Sunday night, have no idea what the topic will be.

This is one of those things that have to be done every week. Yes I completed it, but due to its nature, have to do it again this week. The only time this is ever taken off my list is the week between Christmas and the New Year, as it is a holiday for the whole newspaper staff.

2. Write up council news taken from last week’s council meeting—discounting all the drainage and sewage discussions,…

Again this is something I have to do every week, except for the above noted holiday.

3. Write up the article for the Wine, Writers and Words Workshop.

This makes it way to this week’s list and for Monday’s deadline. Sometimes I have leeway with things that have happened, but not things that are going to happen.

4. Continue doing book work for our company.

Ongoing, and another one for this week’s list—I so hate paperwork and filing, and numbers—I like words!

5. Get everything into files—

I don’t want to talk about it.

Time Management

Time Management (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)

6. Get some groceries and plan meals. Sounds easy but it is not. Or not for me. Will let you know how I do here.

This is one of those things that rears its ugly head week after week after week after (you get my drift). I did do it, but it has to be done again in a few days.

7. Get the house in some semblance of order which means get the pile of clothes off the bed and into the closet or drawers. Seriously, I cannot die suddenly, as my bedroom is in such a terrible mess I would be blushing in the next life over what I left behind.

Thinking about having a living will that says no one is allowed in my bedroom after I die except my husband. This is a mean thing to do to him, but at least finally the bedroom will be clean.

8. Email my youngest son, Tyler who is at college and my sister Peggy every day. Expect to hear back from Peggy. Be surprised if Ty ever emails back. (I am one of his free calls on his phone, so we do talk often).

Did this religiously, may have missed one day for each of them. As predicted, my sister writes back, but Tyler calls.

9. Do some kind of  post for this blog every day; keep up with my blogging friends.

So for the first week in a long time, I think I missed posting for a day. It was probably my rebellion due to the fact that it was on the list.

10. Prepare a presentation for my Writers’ Group about blogging.

I was going to email them at the last minute to say I did not do it, but pulled myself up by my frayed bootstraps and did it. It was not really that hard because so many of you helped me out with your suggestions—so I used your responses to provide them with answers from a variety of people, instead of just me. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

11. Work on my October book and an intro to my On The Homefront book—thinking of calling it “The Worst of On The Homefront.”

I did both of these this morning before I wrote up this account of my To Do list so I could say that I had done them.

The good thing about “To do” lists is that you do some of it because you have to, you rebel against some of it (which does not really pay off in the end as you still have to do them), and it makes you do things you know you should. The best thing is that I finally went back to my book-in-waiting “Always October”  with a new twist that will help move it forward, and I got a good start on my “On The Homefront” book by writing up part of the introduction.

All in all, I would give myself an A+. (I am a pretty easy marker unless I am marking other people’s papers.)

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm  Comments (31)  
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~My Wish List for this Week ~ October 15 to October 20~

Homefront-USB-Stick (4GB)

Homefront-USB-Stick (4GB) (Photo credit: THQ Deutschland)

It is Sunday night, and we are on the cusp of another work week. Thought I might list some of the  things I need to get done this week and check it out at the end of the week and see if I made any progress.

There are a number of bloggers who make a list of things they need to get done or just want to get done during the week, post it, and then  survey their successes at the end of the week and gauge how they have done. It seems to work for them, and since I have not posted an Organizing Post for a long time, this should serve to catch me up. Without further ado, here is my To Do List for October 15th – 20th:

1. First things first: I must write my On The Homefront column for the week for my newspaper deadline, which is Monday, and as of 6:45 on Sunday night, have no idea what the topic will be.

2. Write up council news taken from last week’s council meeting—discounting all the drainage and sewage discussions this leaves me with a few hot topics: the parade that stood in danger of being cancelled; expansion of more greenhouses; and a development that got a reprieve and approval even though they “forgot” to meet their deadline. I am sure  a few more things will pop up when I peruse the agenda again.

3. Write up the article for the Wine, Writers and Words Workshop I helped organize for deadline so it makes it in this week’s paper.

4. Continue doing book work for our company. This involves a lot of filing, figuring, and finagling.  I found out this week that being half-organized  is almost worse than being totally unorganized. I just assume that nothing is in its place, and everything is unfiled and not where it should be–so  that when I find I have actually put some things where they belong I am surprised, so my next goal is —

5. Get everything into files—I have started a system, so now I just have to keep at it. I just have to retrace my half-organized steps so I do not have three files with the same name (you may not think this is possible, but in my world it is.)

6. Get some groceries and plan meals. Sounds easy but it is not. Or not for me. Will let you know how I do here. At least I have cleaned the fridge of any wanton leftovers from Thanksgiving.

7. Get the house in some semblance of order which means  get the pile of clothes off the bed and into the closet or drawers. Seriously, I cannot die suddenly, as my bedroom is in such a terrible mess I would be blushing in the next life over what I left behind.

8. Email my youngest son, Tyler who is at college and my sister Peggy every day. Expect to hear back from Peggy. Be surprised if Ty ever emails back. (I am one of his free calls on his phone, so we do talk often).

9. Do some kind of  post for this blog every day; keep up with my blogging friends.

10. Prepare a presentation for my Writers’ Group about blogging. (Something many of you have already generously contributed to.)

11. Work on my October book and an intro to my On The Homefront book—thinking of calling it “The Worst of On The Homefront.”

Okay, think I am getting carried away a bit here, but it will be interesting to see what I can cross off, what I can take a bite out of, and what goes by the wayside. Actually, on review, I am exhausted—whose idea was this anyway? This week may prove to be a long road with no turning,….

English: Fishes and Peggy Hill Farm One of tho...

A long road  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on October 15, 2012 at 12:33 am  Comments (50)  
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