It’s call a friend day…

May 15, 2014

Today’s saying was embedded within other comments in the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard

Most of us have friends like that, for some it is our spouse and maybe a few others. These are people that we don’t have to be “guarded” around. We can just be comfortable being ourselves and knowing that these people know us well enough to understand and accept the good, bad and ugly about us and still be our friends. Now, of course, if you have enough bad and ugly going on you may even drive most of these people away.

Guys tend to have buddies and women seem to have friends. I’m not completely sure where the distinction lies, but I friends holdi handssuspect it’s in how much is really shared. Guys tend to remain guarded even around their buddies; whereas women who are friends get the full load of sharing, hugging, crying and other emotions and displays that go along with true friendship.

There’s likely something very therapeutic and healthy about being able to get to that level with a friend that guys seldom experience. Perhaps the old deer camp thing comes close, but that’s more about getting the chance to let loose and act a bit silly. I suspect that some of the shared experiences of soldiers in a war zone also come close. Nothing turns a buddy into a friend faster than sharing a few firefights together.

Think about the people that you know, and know well enough to know all about them and still love them. These are your friends. If you haven’t talked to them lately, give them a call. Having real, live friends like that is much more important than having a bunch of people whom you may barely know “Friend” you on Facebook. Keep your true friendships alive.

Be the flower that you are…

May 12, 2014

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”  (A.A. Milne) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog today.

sunflowerJack went on to talk about the fact that most of our garden flowers could have been considered weeds at one time and that many, if not all, weeds have flowers, too. He says that a weed is just a flower that we don’t want in our garden; but encourages us to look differently at people around us that we might consider being weeds. Click here to see 10 native flowers that some mistake for weeds.

I’d also point out that too many people get down on themselves and consider themselves to be weeds among the pretty flowers that they see all around them. It’s surprising sometimes to read how many people who we now consider to be glamorous once thought of themselves as weeds among their classmates or friends.  Here’s a link to a post about 11 celebrities who still don’t think they are flowers in the garden that is Hollywood.

The issue that we create for ourselves sometimes is that we don’t let people get to know us, so they never see the flower that is you. If you are sullen and withdrawn, because you see yourself as a weed; you don’t allow people to get to know you – you don’t even give them the chance to see your beauty as a person.

Sometimes you don’t even give yourself the chance to see what you could be – you hide, you shrink and you stay out of the limelight, preferring the dark corners of the room. Some even go further doing things to themselves or purposely dressing in a manner to accentuate the negatives that they see in themselves.

That’s a pity, because there is beauty in all of us and it is important that we can get in touch with it ourselves, if we are to let others see it. I wrote already about liking yourself (see the post –  I like me) and that is an important first step to allowing the world to see the flower that you are. The second thing to do is to stop trying to be like someone else. They are who they are and you are not them. Be the best you that you can be. Carry yourself with confidence in what you are and the things that you do well. Hold your head up and show the world the flower that is you.

Have a great day and bloom away!

Happy Mother’s Day

May 11, 2014

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog from yesterday – “A mother is a person who, seeing that there are only 4 pieces of pie for 5 people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”  (Tenneva Jordan)

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day and, for most of us, our thoughts turn nostalgic. Most of us can and probably do conjure up some fond memories from our childhood days, when Mom was that larger than life Wonder Woman who solved all problems, made everything better with a kiss on our boo-boo and made wonderful things to eat. We have developed quite an ability to romanticize the idea of motherhood; but it is not always that way.

For a great number of people and children in the world those are not the memories that they have of their mom’s. Many saw their mom trudging off to work in sweat factories every day or working in the fields just trying to make ends meet for the family or to make a better life for their children. For some, mom was the zoned out drug addict that they saw walking the streets to make money for more drugs.

The one thing that is fairly consistent is the notion of moms making sacrifices and doing whatever it takes to nurture and support her children. So, today’s little saying points back to that – the selfless nature of motherhood. Mom’s do without so that their children don’t have to. So, thank you moms everywhere for being there and being selfless so that we could all have what we have today. It took a while, but your sacrifices have not gone un-noticed or un-appreciated.hand mixer

On a less serious note, our daughter sent her mom a card which was just the humorous pick-me-up that is needed sometimes. It had the picture of a set of hand mixer beaters dripping with cake mix on it and the note said – Good moms let you lick the beaters. Great moms turn off the mixer first!

Have a great Mother’s day of you moms out there!

Can I come out and play?

May 9, 2014

“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.” ― Ogden Nash

It is funny how you meet some people who, though grown up in the sense of age, have somehow never matured; they’ve never really grown up. Sometimes this manifests itself in childish behavior in social situations and sometimes it is much more subtle, with the inability to make mature decisions.

Let’s be honest, many aspects of “growing up” are not much fun, certainly not as much fun as the immature pleasures that one could have as a child.  Accepting responsibilities is probably the biggie. As a youth, one can get away with immature behavior and it is written off by on-lookers as just expected childish behavior; however, the same behavior as an adult may be considered boorish or at least inappropriate. Some may find it cute or innocent, as was the case in the 1988 Movie “Big” with Tom Hanks; but most would just write off someone acting immature as silly or worse.

Because boys and girls appear to mature at vastly different rates the result is girls looking for boys who have grown up a bit (become men); until much later in life when a mature woman may prefer a younger (sometimes much younger) man. Girls may put up with the Peter Pan syndrome in boys, watching them skate boarding or hacky sacking well into high school or beyond, but eventually they want to see the kind of understanding and real commitment that only maturity can bring.

We all were young once and hopefully we can all find a way to get in touch with that inner child who is still in there and just bursting to get out and play again. I’ve written before about not completely letting go of all of the child in us all, but it is also important to be in control and to know when to let that inner child out to play. That is one of the signs of maturity. I think another is knowing that it’s not bad to let the child out every now and then. Life can get pretty boring if you have to stay in mature mode all of the time. In fact, we’ve managed to turn most of our “fun” activities into mature competitive environments. That’s not fun, that’s just more of the same stuff that we do all week.

So, it’s Friday; think of something that you can do with your inner child this weekend. Have a little fun.

pillow fight

Those aren’t scars; that’s wisdom building up…

May 7, 2014

I think I got today’s little saying from the blog Jack’s Winning Words; but, even if I didn’t, it sounds like something that Jack would use.

“Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.”
― Terry Pratchett

That’s so true. We build our wisdom from experiences and from taking the time to understand those experiences. Those who don’t take that second step are doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, instead of learning from them.

One can’t avoid having experiences; they just happen. As we are growing up and have experiences, especially those in which we make mistakes, we often hear the phrase – “You should have known better.” How helpful is that? Obviously we didn’t know better. A better phrase to offer to someone who has just made a mistake would be “what did you learn from that?”

Do you take some time at the end of the day to reflect on the good the bad and the ugly things of the day? Do youthnk about it
relish the good things that happened; turning them over in your mind and getting another smile out of them? What do you do with the bad and the ugly? Do you try to understand them and the way you reacted to them and perhaps think about a better way to have reacted, so that you’ll be prepared for those situations better next time? If you do, you are building your wisdom. If not, what do you expect to happen the next time? Will you still be flummoxed by the situation? Will you get angry again or be embarrassed again or just not know how to act – again? Why? Did you learn nothing from the experience?

If you’ve had an experience; turn that first into knowledge by thinking more about it and then into wisdom by figuring out how to use your new knowledge in the future, should that ever happen again. Remember too that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome each time. It’s better to be wise than to be thought to be insane.

Sometimes the things that we learn from involve pain, either real, physical pain or emotional pain, but eventually the wounds that our experiences open will scar over and heal (thus my title for today’s post) and we add what we have learned to our storehouse of wisdom. A surprising amount of our wisdom comes from what we learned out of our failures or the mistakes that we make in life; however, it is also important to add the things that we learn from successes, especially successes in relationships. What makes that significant other person in knowledge inyour life happy? What things that you do make them smile or laugh or give you a hug. If you know that, why wouldn’t you do those things more often?

I’m sure that many of us have some level of wisdom about what happens when we forget a birthday or anniversary or other important occasion for the one with whom we share life’s journey. Hopefully we also have good knowledge about what we should do on those occasions. We also have some level of recognition of our personal shortcomings, especially in terms of remembering things and occasions. So, in our new-found wisdom, we should take steps to make sure that no special occasion goes un-noticed and unrecognized. Write them down, put them in your calendar, and don’t forget again this year. None of us needs a new layer of wisdom scar tissue on those old wounds.

Learn from life and be wise my friends.

Don’t worry, be hopeful…

May 6, 2014

From one of my favorite sources of daily inspiration – Jack’s Winning Words – comes this little gem – “I’m not going to tell you to worry less.  I’m going to tell you to hope more.”  (Cora from Downtown Abbey)

In 1988 Bobby McFerrin released the song Don’t worry, be happy.  He might have taken a slightly different approach if he’d written “Don’t worry, be hopeful” instead.

I have written about hope before. If you remember the post about the four candles, when the other three candles flicker out, first peace, then love and then faith; there is only the candle of hope left burning and it is with that candle that the other three are relit.

We tend to allow things both good and bad play out in our minds. Unfortunately the worries of day to day life oft rule the day and our minds have little else to do but imagine all of the worst case scenarios. If we can refocus upon hope then we give our minds something else to do, something much more positive.

women dreamingInspirational speakers and success coaches call those positive mental exercises visualization. If we can visualize it, they tell us; then, we can take actions to achieve our visions. So, from hope springs visualization and with actions to realize our visualization, success surely follows. At least that’s the plan and I’m stickin’ to it.

The key is to take some action to realize the positive visualization that you have achieved out of your hopes. There is a drug ad on TV that has the lines, “A body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” If you never take any actions to realize your hopes you will not achieve them; however, if you take action you will at least be a body in motion and headed somewhere. Many times almost anywhere else is better than where you were; so, get your body in motion and pursue your hopes and dreams.

Don’t worry, be hopeful.

Live life in the front row…

May 5, 2014

My Moto: Life is a roller coaster and I want to sit in the front row! – The Bubbly Speckle (ne – Evelyne Wyss

It’s Monday and we all need a little something to get us going and to kick off another week. I like this little saying (motto) from Evelyne Wyss. Evelyne liked one of my earlier posts and when I went to check out who she was this was posted as her motto on her WordPress blog. You can click on her blog page name above – the Bubbly Speckle – to go there and learn more about her.

If you watch TV for very long you’ll probably see commercials that feature roller coasters, usually withbusinessman on roller coaster some kid and her dad in the front row – she’s having a ball and he thinks he’s about to die and is holding on for dear life. I’m not sure when or exactly why that happens, but somewhere along the way as we transition from kids to adults, many of us lose the ability to have fun with abandon, without fear. I suspect that we become more aware of the risks and spend more time thinking of all of the bad potential outcomes and that spoils it for us.

Then, sometime later in life you begin letting go of those fears again and returning to childlike enjoyment of life. I’m not there yet, but I’m headed in that direction. Fortunately, I have a life mate who never was as caution as me and she has never stopped trying to get me to stop worrying and loosen up. It’s starting to work; although not as fast as she would like, I’m sure.

turtleSo, what about you? Do you still like to be in the front row, or do you try to avoid the roller coaster altogether? Have you become frozen by Fear, Uncertainly and Doubts (FUD) or do you dive in and take on whatever comes your way – hands up and screaming all the way. Does life thrill you or scare you? How do you handle the ups and downs? If life turns you upside-down from time to time, do you think, “what a hoot” or “I’m going to be sick”?

Just think for a minute how dull and boring the roller coaster ride would be if there were no hills, no loop-the-loops or no twists and turns. It would be like a long slow ride on a set of smooth train tracks across the prairies of America. Boring!

There are lots of bits of advice based upon the “life is a roller coaster” analogy. Just Google that, to see a few pages of quotes and advice about life as a roller coaster. The thing is, this ride called life is one roller coasterthat you are already on and it’s a long one; so, you might as well have fun.

So here we are on a Monday. Let’s all join Evelyne and get in the front row, hands up, screaming our fool heads off and enjoy the ride!