Tag Archive | success

Key to Success…Key to Failure…

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill Cosby

Happy Monday to You!  I found this card this morning and just knew it was for today’s message.  In digging through my Dad’s personal items, I’ve found a ton of keys ~ most of which I have no clue as to what doors they open, but I find it interesting that there are so many doors that they could open and I wonder if I’ll ever find them.

On my own keyring, I have a key which I can’t figure out whose door it opens.  It’s been on there so long that I am afraid to throw it out for fear that it is a key I need.  Do you have any keys which don’t serve you anymore because you don’t know to which door they belong?  Have you thrown them out or are you holding onto them like me?

I feel like many of us hold onto keys in hopes of finding the doors to which they belong and in doing so, we somehow hold onto that ‘key of failure’ in the process.  Trying to keep the peace, helping to keep everyone happy and perhaps not keeping ourselves happy in the process is a key to failure.

It’s Your Life…it’s My Life…and I’m a guilty as the next key holder when it comes to trying to please everyone from time to time.  I’m not advocating not smoothing the road of life from time to time for others, but living your life to please everyone is not a life to live.  Giving yourself up in order to make others happy doesn’t allow you to be happy nor to grow by experiencing life as it could be.

As for my dilemma with an unknown door key ~ I’m going to take my own advice today ~ for the next week, I will truly try to figure out to which door it belongs and if at the end of a week I am unable to find it, I will simply take it off my keyring and put it away in my desk.  It’s not serving me and I feel like it’s weighing me down.  Perhaps it’ll be my symbolic key to failure that I’ll finally lay to rest.  I’m still unable to throw it out, but I think there will come a time that I will simply throw it away knowing that the door to that key is permanently closed…and I’ll feel good about it.

Do you carry keys to success on your key ring?  Or do you carry keys to failure?

xo

Summer ~ Today’s Gift to YOU!

Summer. Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. Sam Keen

Happy Saturday to You!  I hope you are enjoying the warm summer weather which seems to seep into my bones whenever I am outside in the sunshine lately.  I thought this sentiment was perfect for today because I think with the hustle and bustle of life, we sometimes forget to simply enjoy the weather, the season and nature.  It’s important to get off of the hamster wheel for awhile and just ‘be’ for a bit.  Many of us feel guilty (myself included) when we’re not doing something and we let our minds race with all of the woulda-coulda-shouldas instead of just breathing, observing, enjoying what is offered in The Presents of Presence (my FB page).

In fact, even in the card, it’s described as laziness finding respectability when it’s not that at all, but in our frenzy to continue to be busy, laziness is how we explain our doing nothing for awhile and enjoying it.  How sad that we need to label being present and just enjoying the moment as laziness.  Is that a label you use as well?  Or are you comfortable just being able to take time to be?

Even for a moment today, my challenge to you is to find 5 minutes in the sunshine ~ drop your burdens, your cares, your woes ~ allow the beauty, warmth and happiness of sunshine to seep into your bones for a bit, soak up some of the sun’s vitamin D (with sunscreen of course!) and take a break from that hamster wheel.   Hum a little tune, sing a little song, notice the sky, the sun, the world around you…take a moment to breathe in nature today and be grateful for this moment in time.

Time is all we have and it is limited.  None of us know when our time is up, but I can tell you that the clock is ticking…who’s life is this anyway?   It’s YOURS!  So enjoy it!

Happy Saturday!

Happy Summer!

xo

P.S.  And if it’s cloudy where you are today, look at a peaceful scene of sunshine and imagine what the sun feels like on your face…and if you can’t imagine that feeling, then we need to talk…you need sunshine! xo

I Am…who I want to be…

I Am…who I want to be

So I’m sticking with the latest theme…probably because today marks 2 weeks since my Dad died.  Wow…it’s been 2 weeks since I stood by his bedside while his heart ceased beating on its own ~ even though his breathing was being done for him by the ventilator.  It seems like years ago and in the same breath, it seems like just moments ago.

To me, this whole experience has just reinforced my determination to be able to say the above sentence with courage, with happiness and without regrets. Do me a favor, go to the nearest mirror in your home and say to your eyes which stare back,

“I AM who I want to be.”

How do you feel?  Can you say this truthfully?  And are you happy with who you are?

If you felt great with it ~ Woo Hoo!  I am so happy for you!  Now your job is to go spread your sunshine to others!

However, if you have trouble saying the above, then there’s a bit of work to do for you.  I think we are always evolving as we are always learning.  I know that I feel that I am who I want to be, but I always want to improve myself.  I am always reading and trying to learn about how to improve my life, myself and to be able to better hone in on my purpose in life.  I haven’t quite gotten my purpose figured out yet.

Sometimes I just think it’s a work in progress until God/Universe decides to give me another cosmic kick in the rear ~ although quite frankly ~ breast cancer 10 years ago, 7 surgeries in the last 10 years ~ with 3 more to go this year~ my Dad dying and leaving us his business to take care of ~ and other little trinkets that have been passed to me ~ I think are enough.  I just wish I knew more precisely what my purpose is…until I do, I think I’ll continue on the path I’m stepping and see where it takes me.

In the meantime,

I Am…who I want to be…

And I hope you are too!

xo

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,

that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Happy 4th of July to ALL ~ especially to those in the United States of America ~ for whom this quote is especially pertinent since it comes from the US Declaration of Independence which was adopted back in 1776.

I loved this quote because I believe it is everyone’s right…and it is in your own power to exercise your freedom to be whomever you wish to be and to pursue what makes you happy.  This is YOUR LIFE ~ and our time here on Earth is limited.  Why waste YOUR TIME?  Today, amidst the holiday, take a few moments to ask yourself:  Are you pursuing your happiness?  Are you happy with your life?  Do you feel free or under constraint?  If any of those answers are not what you deserve by your rights, then it’s time for a change in your life.  It’s the 2nd part of the year, so there’s plenty of time to begin any adjustments you may need to make.  And if your answers are that you are living your life happily within your rights, then kudos to you!  Keep up the great work and go on to inspire others!

Have the courage to be whomever you are inside…let your inner beauty sparkle and grow ~ let it blossom and be seen by others ~ let your light shine and inspire!

Do what makes you happy, be good to others and enjoy your life.  It is your right.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness….

Happy 4th Y’All!

xo

Gratitude 30 ~ Challenge Complete

Today marks my 30th day of the gratitude challenge…and it’s not how I thought it would end at all.  I had thought that I would be sending a card a day to different people (which I did) and hopefully sending love along the way to so many.  Spreading sunshine as it were to all those who touch my life ~ so that they would know how much I appreciated them.  But along the way, Dad passed away and today marks the anniversary of his first week which is hard.  I’m told that the first year is marked by 1sts along the way which become easier as time heals.  Right now, I’m still a bit overwhelmed, but I am grateful that he is at peace.

I enjoyed sending my cards everyday which was so easy because there’s always someone to thank and to be grateful for if you take a moment to just look at your life.  I’ve learned and shared that we only have today in which to make a difference in someone else’s life.  We only have today to tell those whom we appreciate, whom we love, whom we care about ~ how much they truly mean to us.

I loved hearing the excitement in their voices when the card recipients called me ~ telling me over and over how much I made their day.  Going out to the mailbox, expecting junk mail and bills and finding a personalized enveloped tucked inside with a heartfelt message from me…reading how much they mean to me, how much they are loved, how important they are ~ my personalized message and sometimes even pictures ~ I know for me, with the passing of my Dad and my last surgery, I received many heartfelt, personalized cards which never failed to make me smile, even when I was so very sad.

Cards have a special way of making others feel good ~ spreading sunshine ~ making the world a brighter place.  And that’s what I’m all about…I want everyone to know how special they are ~ and I want to do it easily, conveniently and cost-effectively which is why I love SendOutCards…

Regrets are for a lifetime and I don’t want any regrets.  I’ve found that what you give out, you receive in abundance…So if I can offer you any wisdom from my 30 days, let it be this:

Appreciate…Love…Forgive…Love…Smile…Love…Cherish…Love…

Remember…Love…Care…Love…Repeat…

 www.socgratitude.com

Sponsor # 126830


Gratitude 29 ~ Gracias Gracias Gracias

At age 12, my Dad brought me to my first Broadway play which was Evita.  I remember it was also the first time I wore high heels which he had bought for me.  Dad loved listening to the music from Evita and we listened to it over and over while we played checkers & backgammon in the living room at night.  It was then that I think my love for the Spanish language began and stayed with me.

I remember knowing the lyrics of the entire show and I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time, lip-syncing every word so as not to bother the people in front of me.  I was mesmerized by the story, the music, the lights ~ the entire experience.  I will always remember Patti LuPone and subsequently Madonna for their portrayals of Evita Peron.  When Evita the movie came out, Dad bought me the dvd…it was our special bond.

I began learning Spanish around the same time and I remember my Dad telling me that it was my only talent and that I should pursue it.  Mathematics was not my strong point, but languages ~ well there, I excelled.  I spent my Junior Year in Malaga, Spain where I fell in love with all things Spanish and felt so very much at home that my parents feared I wouldn’t return to finish my last year of university in the States, but I did.

So today I am thankful for my Dad’s wisdom and introduction to Spanish.  So Dad, today'[s gratefulness goes to you.

Gracias, Gracias, Gracias…

xo

Gratitude Day 28 ~ My Hometown

Life,  Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

I feel so grateful that my hometown and coincidentally, my Dad’s hometown, is acknowledging him this Saturday by flying the flags at half-mast.  My Dad loved our hometown and never left the town which he grew up in ~ he always said he would leave his childhood home in which he raised his own family, ‘feet first’ and my Dad was a man of his word.

Dad knew his hometown’s history, having lived there 75 years.  He would drive by various parts of town, telling us the history and how some of the buildings were the originals.  There’s the bend in the road by a pond where as a child, he watched the Queen of England pass by on her way through our town.  Funny that sometimes when I drive on that part of the road, I can hear him telling me the story.  He knew the families who resided in the area and enjoyed learning the history of each of them.  Like one of those old town family doctors (he wasn’t a doctor), he was privy to much information and always kept family secrets.

I have been so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers from many of the residents.   One particular message I received was, “I will tell you that his involvement with the installation of the new monument was something that I know made him very proud.  I also would consider him to be the “unofficial” chairman/ringleader of our town’s Veterans.  He was the one pushing all of them to come out each year and march in the Parade or attend the Vets Day Ceremony.”

My Dad was patriotic having served in the military for many years.  He loved history and could regale his audience with big and little known facts about many subjects.  He was proud of the fountain of knowledge in his head.  Unfortunately, he never had the time to write it all down, so there are only the scraps of memories which we hold dear to live on in his memory.

There’s much to be said about your hometown and never leaving it…

Bruce Springsteen writes about it and as a Jersey Girl

I am grateful to Our Hometown…

My Hometown video by Bruce

Gratitude Day 27 ~ Relish Life…

Journey. Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey,

and share our love with friends and family.

One day each of us will run out of tomorrows. Thomas S. Monson

We are all on this journey called life…together or apart, our journey doesn’t end as I believe we carry our dreams and memories with us so that even if we are far apart in death, we are close together in heart.  I am sad that my Dad has passed and as I awoke this morning, I had to think of what day it is…and then it hit me, it’s the first Monday without Dad and it brought tears to my eyes ~ because that is how he would have thought…and I am so much like him at times.

He counted the days, the times, the special moments ~ so many people have told me how he remembered their birthdays, anniversaries and special days and always called them ~ spreading good cheer.  He never wrote down any of these dates, he had them all in his head.  Somehow cataloged ~ and he could tell you all about their families, the relationships and how they intertwined.  He was a secret keeper I know, he knew others’ family secrets, but never broke that bond of silence.  I never appreciated this with enthusiasm until now and surely from the other side, he’s laughing now that I have realized and am appreciating who he was.

He didn’t know he was running out of his tomorrows ~ a lesson for us all.  The sadness comes in waves as do the tears and giggles of some of the memories I have of him.  I don’t want to be sad all the time because I’m a ‘glass is half full’ type of gal.

So I’m ending on a high note ~ this song is for you Dad…

You Can Call Me Al ~ uq-gYOrU8bA

I am grateful for Al.

xo

Gratitude Day 26 ~ Strength

Strength. Turn your face to the sun and shadows fall behind you.

We need strength now as we transition to getting used to not rushing to the hospital everyday, not worrying that every text or phone call could be ‘the one’ and learning to live without Dad.  There has been the utmost outpouring of support, stories and loving thoughts/prayers given to us which helps us continue to take the baby steps required in planning all that is needed for his memorial service etc.  But it’s hard…and unless you’ve experienced this part of growing up, you simply have no idea what you are missing…and quite frankly, stay that way please.

I liked this card because of Strength ~ but also because of turning towards the Sun ~ as I think we have a choice in how to remember those whom we loved.  You can turn towards the Sun and remember the Good in them or you can turn away and remember the sad, bad memories in the shadows.

Nobody is perfect (although secretly I think Dad thought he was!) ~ and so it is in truth that I say that I am choosing to remember the good times, the good memories and allow the bad ones to fall by the wayside, to exit the way many memories have gone via my chemo brain.  I figure I will keep my strength from faltering by basking in the beautiful memories of those around me, allowing their stories to bathe me in the love I had for my Dad.

Looking to the sun, allowing the shadows to fall behind…I think it’s the best way to be everyday.

Don’t you?

Thank you all for sharing your stories with me!

xo

Gratitude Day 25 ~ Soldiering On

We understand death for the first time

when he puts his hand upon one whom we love. Madame de Stael

I can’t sleep.  It’s 4am and I can’t stop listing in my head all that I need to do so I’m up.  All is quiet in my home, the coffee machine whispers, breaking the silence as I reach down to pet each of our cats who bring me so much joy and comfort.  I need to get so much done this morning…bills to pay for my family, bills for my parents, emails to write, a funeral to coordinate, my own business to run, my Dad’s business to run ~ funeral outfits for everyone ~ my head spins with all that I need to do.

So I do what I was ‘trained’ to do…I soldier on.  Being the daughter of a Navy man, I was trained (his vocabulary ~ certainly not the word I would choose for myself) from age 11 to work in my Dad’s office and to take care of things.  It is where I am most comfortable and I guess it’s how I am dealing with the grief that at times simply overwhelms me.   My friend KAngel remarked that we all grieve in different ways and I can see that clearly now.  My Mom and AAngel are grieving differently as well.  We are all incubated in our grieving and yet connected.  I hope we don’t lose that connection even though I see that it is tenuous as times.

I am grateful for my Dad’s insistence that I learn how to do what needs to be done without fanfare…I feel like it’s my contribution to my family to make things easier at this time.  It’s my way of grieving because I need to get done what needs to be done now.  It’s like a race for me and I know me…I am like my Dad, the Energizer Bunny…I’ll keep going and going until I fall apart and pass the torch of work onto whomever picks it up.  I need to do this now before I’m not able to help.

Thinking back, it’s how I deal with many aspects of my life ~ I just keep going ~ baby steps forward.  With the cancer and surgeries that I’ve endured, I just keep going ~ stopping occasionally to stomp my foot in sadness and a flood of “why me?” before picking myself back up to keep going for myself, my family and with the inner need to soldier on.

Before this, I don’t think I really ‘got’ what the death of a loved one means ~ and I’m still not quite sure that I do as I think this is going to be a process ~ yet again, Dad is training me from beyond.  I’m on autopilot nowadays, but in the quiet of the mornings, all alone, I allow myself the indulgence of communicating with him.  Right now, I can trick my mind into thinking he’s on vacation as I play worker bee in his office.  It’s easy because I’ve done it before ~ but this morning, I can feel his love around me.  I can remember how he looked when he passed and I know that the outer shell of that man is gone forever, but his spirit is still alive and kicking all around me.

And for that, this lil’ soldier is so grateful.

xo