Celebrate today

It is important to live your life. Every single day is important. It doesn’t matter if the day is bad or good. You are still alive. At some time in everyone’s life we realize that there are more days behind us than ahead. Sometimes this realization is hard to take but life is still out there.

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If I sit in my chair and sink into sadness or depression because I have acknowledged this fact then I miss today and the days that are ahead of me. What a waste that would be. Many people in my life are gone. To not live each day and wring every bit of joy out of it would be a disservice to them. They don’t have more days but I do.

Most of them lived full lives and showed me, by example, how to live with all the passion you can muster…..no matter the circumstances.

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Today is the day that I have in front of me. It may be good, it may not. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that I experience it…that I live it fully, consciously, and lovingly. That is the only thing to do. If I do that the rest of my days, however many, will have meaning.

57 years

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary. It is almost impossible to think that we have been married for so long. Where did the time go? It really doesn’t seem that long ago…and yet a lot of people have no idea what life was like in 1962.

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For me it seemed ideal although looking at it now I wonder how. My husband was a new officer just graduated from West Point and beginning some training. He was in paratrooper school and went on to ranger training. During ranger training he was gone. How in the world did I think that was ideal. I guess I was living in a bubble of newly wed happiness. I think the saving grace was having other wives going through the same thing and us becoming friends. Friends were made quickly as we all needed support. We were lucky as our husbands had known each other at West Point and that made it easier.

Our life in the service was challenging. We moved often and I was alone a good bit. Some things were wonderful…the birth of our first child…language school in Monterey…living in Panama, Central America.

 

Times were also tough with spending two different years alone with children while my husband served in Viet Nam. I don’t know how I managed the worry but I seemed to cope with the stress and loneliness. Children are wonderful companions but they don’t replace a beloved spouse.

Our last tour was a joy. My husband went to graduate school and then taught math at West Point.  It was an amazing experience.

There have been many years and many different jobs for each of us since his retirement from the military and life has been good. Our three adult children, their spouses, our six grandchildren, one great grandchild and one on the way have added great joy.

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57 years. Amazing!

Tears fall

I am sad. Lucy has not been found yet. I am sad for my daughter and her family and sad for Lucy. This is not the end anyone wanted for that poor girl dog. She had such a bad life before. These things happen in life and I think they remind us that everything does not always go the way we want.

Life can be challenging. There are times of joy and times of sadness. Both are important because they are joined. There is not one without the other. I don’t think we would understand how important our good times are if there were not bad times.

The older I get the more empathy I feel. Tears come easily but I don’t mind that. Tears can be cleansing.

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Tears

Tears fall easily

their drops wash

my face

 

Etching the sorrow

my heart endures

as they fall

 

washing some

of the pain

from my soul

 

each tear

offers solace

and cleansing peace

 

Again with the change?

Today I am back from traveling again.’I think that traveling lowered my immunity and I am coming down with a cold. Always something to add to life. This too will pass. I’ve been at my other daughter’s home because of a baby shower for my grandson and his wife. Life is always messy. The odds of everything being perfect are astronomical. 

The shower was wonderful. Everything it should have been but….. as always expanding families create issues with change. I am going to be ever hopeful and hope that they work themselves out.

As we get older, we tend to look at the big picture. Life, hopefully, is long with much time to tweek things so that they work out. I live always with hope and some positive vibes.

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As usual, change always rocks the boat. Most of us don’t really like change. Me too! I would be happy if things just kept on as they are but that is not realistic. Sometimes change is good and sometimes not. We do have to try to roll with the flow but sometimes that is so hard. The trick for is to try not to look too far ahead. I have to keep reminding myself to take one day at at time…sometimes one minute at a time. Just keep going.

Discernment

Finally got to a computer at my daughter’s house. I can’t blame them it is my own relaxation that has stopped me from writing. It is nice to take a break.

I have been doing a lot of reading and just being. Spending time with this family is a boost in intellectual conversation and different foods. My son-in-law is a great chef and we have been indulging.

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It has also been time to consider my life in the scheme of things and I am mostly content with where I am. Sometimes there is that nudge to stretch out and do something more but my sense is that what I have is enough. Overextending can leave us with not energy. Then our ability to be creative is stifled. I have had to wean myself from some of my former passions and learn to be comfortable with where I am.

This is a difficult thing to do. There is always the pull wanting to go back but different times in live require different things of us. It is so tricky to discern what is called for. Life always throws us curves and makes us take a few steps back and reevaluate.

Image result for discernment quotesOne of life’s challenges is knowing what is called for at each stage of our life. To do that we have to take a hard look at where we have been and where we need to go. Sometimes we don’t want to take the time to do that processing and we end up in a quandary. We can be too hard on ourselves.

We must spend time “centering down” and living with quiet. it is crucial to our well being.

Life has meaning

I read a blog today that was an interesting discussion. There was much back and forth about life and death. It was quite technical. At some point a meaningful life was mentioned and it seemed to me to most participants completely let that drop for more esoteric thoughts.

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I am totally concerned about life having meaning. At this time in my life I have no doubts that mine does. This may be hubris on my part but over the years I can see where something that I did or said changed something or someone. I have had people that I don’t even remember who they are come up and say that I changed their life. I can’t remember what I said or did but that doesn’t matter. Somehow, at the time, I was blessed with the right thing to say. Does this mean that I am special? No way. I was just a catalyst…a stop on the road.

For me, these are the things that make life meaningful. Was I able to help someone? Was I in the right place at the right time? Did the right things come to me out of the blue? Yes! It was not me. It was God, or a higher power, or coincidence. Whatever works for you. But this is what helps me to understand how our lives are meaningful.

sharing love

Loving, giving and sharing our stories and our pains helps others along the path. Because of this I can know that even when I messed up my life has had meaning. I plan to keep on loving and giving until the day I die.

Have I?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “To leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you live—that is to have succeeded.”

That is my hope. I would like to think that somehow I have left the world better. That would bring meaning to my life.

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Have I done something to help someone?

Have I done something to make the earth cleaner?

Have I stood up or spoken out about abuse and injustice?

Have I showed kindness in the face of anger or hurt?

Have I helped the cause of injured or abused animals?

Have I listened when I should?

Have I followed my beliefs?

Have I showed love?

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And most important of all Have I done any of the above?

Shared wisdom

gardentimeToday was my first major day of gardening ending my lull during winter. Now I need to keep to a schedule or else the whole thing will become overwhelming. I worked so hard last year to get things to a maintenance state so I hope this year will be easier. We have a huge yard with lots of leftover plantings my grandmother did. Some of it is wonderful but some things completely took over after she died my aunt was in charge. She kept near the house neat and ignored the rest. After clearing out last year I can now recognize the places where some change needs to take place. I can get that done this year and be in good shape.

I like some gardening. it is really good exercise and fun to see the results but I don’t want to feel that it demands my attention every day. There is something about planting something and seeing it grow that gives me a sense of the continuity of life.

seed growingA friend gave my grandmother a needlework picture that says: “Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see believes in God.” I have this memento hanging in my house and love it!

 

My grandmother was an amazing person. She was born in the 19th century and lived to be 100 years old. I often went to her for advice and to tap into her wisdom. She grew up on a rice farm and watched the help beat the rice in a large mortar and pestle and throw it into the air to let the wind take the chaff away. She played the pump organ at her church and loved music. I was blessed to have her in my life.

I hope that those growing up now are taught to respect and appreciate their elders. There is so much that can be learned from those of us who have lived and learned. Our experience is there to share and it’s free.

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Life has stages

Western society is a “first-half-of-life” culture, largely concerned about surviving successfully. Richard Rohr

Some of the Eastern cultures understand that life has stages. The Hindus see a learning/student stage, a family/work stage, a retirement/spiritual exploration stage and an enlightenment stage.

This kind of thinking is also present in Buddhism and other cultures. We seem to get stuck in the beginning stages and have no understanding of how we need to live the “second half of life.”

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In the first half of our life we are learning and absorbing things. It is as if we are creating a receptacle in which to live. The second part of life should be about putting things in the receptacle. This means understanding the world around us from a deeper perspective. Filling ourselves up with the meaning of life and understanding what is important. This leads to a deep fulfillment and sense of purpose.

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Experience the first part of life with everything you have. Learn, grow, love but don’t skip the next part which will bring you to a place of peace.

Would you go back?

Today the plumbers came and fixed the pipes and covered the hole. Yea! Sometimes we tend to bite off more than we can chew. At our age it is so easy to do. One of the hard things about getting older is understanding that you are not 30. Even thought we are both active there are still some things we don’t have the strength for.

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My grandmother used to say there were advantages to growing older. ( I may have said this before) She said: “when I get up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror without my glasses I don’t look bad and when people are talking and I don’t want to listen I turn off my hearing aid.”

It’s funny but I have never wanted to be any age but what I am. Even now. Maybe if I get to be 100 I might wish to be younger. Who knows?

I know people who would like to go back and live certain years again. For me, every years has had its joys and its sorrows. I don’t need to revisit them. Each taught me new things that I use in my life now. Wisdom is gained by living.

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Sometimes I would like to tell someone how to fix their problem but manage to hold off. (Most of the time) With years behind me I can often see an easier way but each of us needs to learn for ourselves. If someone really wants me to share my wisdom I would be glad to. I do some of that on this blog.

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Learning is a lifelong journey. Don’t ever stop learning and growing. That’s when you are dead before you have died.