Sharing the lessons along the way…

Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

Happy New Year!

I have written three different posts in the past week and none of them found its way onto my blog.  I didn’t post them because they were superficial and not at all where I am.  In between, something in life would happen to remind me of who I am, and where I am right now, so now you get what’s real.

The truth is, publishing a book about a challenging time in your life will stir up some crap.  The crap it stirs may not be what you think.  I am not traveling back in time revisiting emotions but I am again challenged to consider what I want to create in my future.

A future that, in that period of time about which the book is based, I wasn’t sure I would even have.  While I was busy these last few years making a difference in whatever time I had, I failed to realize that there may just be much more time than I had considered.  I am pretty sure on some level, I thought I was cheating the universe with each year that passed allowing me to do so.

I constantly remind myself that it was simply a colossal detour, it is in the past, not in my present or future.  Clearly, I have moved forward from it in action and in rational mind, but emotion often is more difficult to bring forward.

I am not just that young woman who became ill and homeless.  I am a competent and capable professional with more capacity to influence change than I probably ever will realize in my lifetime.  I am both that young woman and that middle-aged woman all rolled into one.

So now, the questions I have for myself include “How do I want to spend my time?”  “Where will I make the most impact?”  “Am I where I need to be to do that?”  “Is what I am already doing enough?”  “Can I broaden that scope?”  “What do I need to do to make whatever those answers are a reality?”

Honestly, I am not sure it matters how much time any of us have.  I think it matters more how we spend that time.  For me, it also matters whether or not my time is spent doing something that answers those very questions.  What I am doing is wonderful and I love it, but there is a gnawing somewhere inside that tells me that I can be and can do more.  More what and more how will have to unfold as I become clearer on what those mean.

I have a feeling 2018 has a lot in store.

 

 

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Perspective and the Detour

There are very few things in this life that change everything.  Examples might be loss, major life changes, total eclipses, gratitude, humility…

Perspective however seems to need at least two of the above examples.  And it sure changes everything.

Life changes when there is a detour on what you originally perceive as your path.  This path you have so carefully mapped out, perhaps sometime in your late teens or early twenties, or the path you have planned after that one didn’t work out.

That detour can bring chaos of unparalleled proportions.

That detour can bring perspective of unparalleled proportions.

The shift in consciousness of which you are left after the detour is not something you can hit the reverse button on a remote control.  In fact, that shift requires you move forward with a courage and boldness that you have never known.

If you have made it to this point in life where you recognize you are following the detour signs, I am proud of you.  If you have driven passed those big orange road signs and find yourself continually re-routed to somewhere else, keep your seat belt on.

You are on your way to something that your life has waited for…at a level you aren’t even sure exists until you reach the other side of the detour.

But you know when you get there.  It is like the surprise party that you wished you hadn’t been the person who is at the center of attention.  And then you have to figure out how and what to do with it.

Often we miss that surprise party, so the ah ha is more like an uh oh.  Other times, we are changed forever.

When we have perspective for what our true purpose here is, we cannot possibly use a remote control or GPS to re-route.

The title of my book is Detour.  It certainly was a detour that I could not have predicted nor could I have imagined being able to follow the signs to the other side.  I found my way and my perspective was changed forever.  I could not have predicted the good that would come out of it or the position it would place me to make quite the same difference in the lives of others that it did.

Now, the story of my Detour 15 years ago is out, in print.  Now my story hopes to be able to make a small difference in the lives of everyone struggling to figure out what the detour in their life may mean to them.

Unlikely Gratitude

I have a neighbor who has a little Chihuahua dog and he never kept him on a leash when they were in their front yard.  My boys and I struggled going past the house on our because my boy Amore’ often would get aggressive with other dogs.  When Amore died, Duke met the dog and the dog would often come to the other side of the street to see us on our walks.  Ruby met him too.  The guy seemed like a nice enough guy despite the one negative experience I had.

When I was using the walker and the motorized wheelchair, we didn’t have a choice but to go by his house because the sidewalks on the other street were better and I was less likely to fall.  But we always had to take that chance of the little dog coming and my dog or dogs pulling me off balance.  Once the neighbor yelled at me because I wouldn’t just go on down the same street instead of passing his street.  I yelled back that the sidewalks sucked and that the walker didn’t work well and to please get his dog.

We still exchanged pleasantries after that incident and I had no hard feelings because he couldn’t understand why sidewalks would be a problem or that Amore was often unpredictable—who could who hadn’t had to try using a walker or had a problem dog.

Fast forward from that moment three or four years ago to July 2017.

Hope Fiona and I were walking on a Friday evening past his house, which is our normal route.  I had noticed I hadn’t seen much of him this year and that he appeared to be frail and wasn’t walking that well in the past month I had seen him.  He stops me to tell me he was in a bad car accident in January and when he was having to learn to walk again, his first thought was of me.

He said he remembered me always continuing to walk my dogs whether it was with a wheelchair, a walker or a cane and that he hoped he had the same strength as he was struggling through his recovery.

He shared his journey from wheelchair to walker to cane and was proud to say he was getting around pretty well without the cane now and could walk around the block.  He asked me how I found the strength to do it and continued to say how much he thought of me during and still because he had a tremendous head injury that has to continue to heal.

We talked about muscle memory and physical therapy and water therapy, and even though it was starting to rain and Hope really wanted to walk, we talked about the importance of continuing to move forward no matter what.

He asked me my name because in the 12 years I have passed his house and talked with him, we had never exchanged names.  He thanked me for something I had no idea even happened.

This experience reminded me that I was doing something right in this life, but also reminded me about how someone is always watching you and that making an impact on others’ lives is far bigger than what you deliberately do for someone else.  It is more about who you are and how you are while you are doing the simple, routine things in this life that has just as much of an impact.

 

 

Challenge Completed!

Open Hearts=Open Doors

I feel a great sense of relief to have made it through the entire 30 day writing challenge, but I have to say that I also am a little bit sad about it being over.

Some friends asked me Saturday if I planned to continue blogging every day after the challenge was over, and I quickly (and without any thought) said, “Nope.”  It hasn’t been as easy as it might seem to come up with a worthwhile and coherent post each day, although my days are not without the inspiration to write several different posts.

I have enjoyed the challenge of it most of all because I wasn’t sure I could rise to the occasion, nor was I all that sure I wanted to do it when it began.  I took it five days at a time, as that was all I had originally committed to once it began.  It is easier to commit to something in short increments for me (and most people).

I have enjoyed getting back into the habit of writing daily and making something (I hope) to be of value to others using words.

Writing definitely helps me to stay grounded and no matter where I start when I write, I can almost always find a positive spin by the time I am finished.  If I cannot, then I must not be finished, so I just keep going until it happens.

November has been full of lessons for me.  Each of those lessons has directed me back to the basics and back to being grounded and focused.  Writing each day has certainly helped reframe some of the less pleasant lessons of the month, while truly enhancing the more pleasant ones.

I have enjoyed reading the posts from my fellow Team Peppers and have some new bloggers to follow that I wouldn’t have otherwise found.  I have found beauty and value in situations and individuals that were initially a challenge, and I probably wouldn’t have made such a conscious effort to do so had I not felt the need to create an experiment to look harder for it.

I am grateful for my favorite Dino Rara for leading the charge with the team of tiny peppers and I am grateful for each one of you for cheering me on through the month.  Clicking “Like,” posting a comment, sending a text, or telling me in person definitely goes a long way!

At the end of 30 days, I feel more grateful.  I feel more grounded and more connected to all things in my world—near and far.

Thank you all for playing from the bottom on my heart!  I cannot promise to write for you every day, but I can promise to do better than I have in recent months.  I am confident in my ability to do weekly posts after doing it daily for so long.

Feel free to subscribe your email so that you don’t miss any, particularly if you rely on your Facebook feed to deliver them.  Check out some of my fellow bloggers too!

 

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Thanks to You Day!

ruby

Today, I sincerely wish each and every one of you and heart genuinely overflowing with gratitude!

 

 

 

Day 26

nanopoblano2015light

May we all feel loved

gratitude

It is the eve of the day set aside to give thanks.  It is day 25 of the writing challenge.  It is my sister friend’s birthday.  It is a beautiful full moon.  It is day 2 of my positive experimentation.

It is the second day in a row that I have seen one of my favorite toddler sisters.  It is the day that will go down in history as having had the best-prepared collard greens EVER.

My experiment is going well so far and I have only had one instance where I struggled to find something positive about someone.  I haven’t done that well in sharing the positives that I see, so I will work on that tomorrow.  It is quite amazing how much good and how much common ground we can find when we are looking for it.

Today didn’t exactly go how my work calendar said it should, but it was a day to be grateful for just the same.

As the moon sets tomorrow morning, the sun rises, and we all prepare to spend time with family and friends, it is my hope that we can all celebrate one another for all the good we recognize in each other.

And that such love and gratitude can ripple out to those who will be struggling during this holiday because.  May we all feel love and appreciated tomorrow (and every day).

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Kitt O'Malley

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