Posts Tagged ‘grateful’

It is an absolutely beautiful day.  The sun is shining and I hear birds singing. There is a little breeze blowing and the temperature is probably in the low 70’s.  I can see some fabulous flowers blooming from my window.  Who could ask for anything more!

Oh, I am so very grateful that my husband and I each have work that we like and therefore, the money to put food on the table, a roof over our heads and the transportation that we need.  But, more importantly, it allows for me to enjoy this glorious day.  It does matter if you take the time to look around and take in all of the beauty that you can see.  It gives you such a feeling of peace and love and a real appreciation of everything that is just sitting there for you to enjoy.  And it puts you into a frame of mind that allows you to want to share your happiness and gratefulness with others.

I think that is why I am so enjoying my time writing these blogs and sharing my experiences with others.  My realization has been that we all have hard times and tough things with which to deal in our lives.  If you enjoy each day and appreciate all that it gives to you, it doesn’t take long to realize that all of the good things far outweigh the bad or hard times – if that is what you choose for yourself.

By your own choice, you have the opportunity to focus on the positive things in your life.  When you have a problem with which to deal, you can address it, choose a course of action and follow that course.  You can put your energy into overcoming the tough things that come your way and you can muster the strength in order to fight the fight.  But, you also can choose to wallow in self-pity and focus on the bad things or the tough times instead.  You can keep saying, “Why me?” and focus all of your energy on feeling badly and concentrating on how life has handed you a bad hand to play.

For me, I chose to take the hard things in stride, face them, deal with them and then try to find out what I could learn from them.  In my writings and sharing my tough times with others, I am hearing from those who have either gone through the same things or have been supportive of others who have experienced the same.  And the one thing that shows up over and over is that all of them have a very positive attitude.  They tell me how much they appreciate my sharing, how it helps them, how it helps others and that I am such a wonderful example to others for the work that I am doing.  And I am sitting here saying, “Whoa!”  These people are awesome.  I know so many people who haven’t faced what I would call a tough day in their lives and they don’t have a bit of appreciation for anything. 

Then I started to wonder, was that the way that I used to be?  Is that the reason that I’ve had to have the experiences that I’ve had?  I know that the answer is no.  But, I also know myself well enough to know that if that had been the reason; I would rather go through the tough times to learn about living than to never have the tough times that resulted in my having an appreciation for the wonder of life.

I’d love to hear your comments in the box below.

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I have always enjoyed the celebration of Easter.  I understand and appreciate the religious significance and have always felt very spiritual on this day.  I am sorry that many of the other traditions associated with the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have gone by the wayside in recent years.  But I do enjoy the fun of the Easter egg hunts, the awesome floral displays provided by nature and the special meals associated with this beautiful holiday that is celebrated in the glory of a most gorgeous spring day.

Last year, I was not able to celebrate Easter.  Although it was not on the same weekend, Kirk and I found ourselves on a plane to Florida in order to attend my brother’s funeral.  He had died unexpectedly earlier in the week in surgery and we were all walking around in a state of shock.  I suppose Easter will always hold those memories but I definitely have incorporated all of my family’s traditions into the celebration again this year.

I suppose what I love most about the holiday is the way that it is celebrated with family and friends.  It is so nice to see everyone getting dressed up in their best finery and going to church together.  I love the joy of the children hunting for the hidden candies and the delight when they locate them.  I love the fun that we all have while rolling the hard boiled eggs to see who has the winner from the nest.  I really enjoy preparing the meal where we all sit down together and share lots of good conversation.  But, most of all, it is the togetherness that reigns supreme.

I hear so many people talk about how they wish that the spirit of the holidays would remain all year around.  The interesting thing is that if you gather your family and friends near you and keep them there, you have that same sense of happiness and holiday all of the time.  In these days and times, it seems that everyone is so very busy that they can’t seem to sit down together for a meal or plan some time to spend with one another.  They are missing out on the important things in life.  If you must work long hours, it is not only important to you but also to your family to give them some dedicated time.  It may be only 10 or 15 minutes but not only do you have a moment to wind down but also they know how important they are to you if you make them feel special in this way.

If possible, share at least one meal a day with your family and/or friends.  It gives you time to sit back and relax and talk and laugh rather than plopping yourself down in front of the TV or computer and not even being able to enjoy your meal.  If you can go out on a porch or patio and enjoy the sunshine and beauty around you, this can vastly improve your experience.  If you are all alone, then prepare something really special for yourself and light some candles and turn on the music and sit back and relax.  You work hard and you deserve to treat yourself in a way that rewards your efforts.

No matter what you choose to do, you will be so much happier and alive if you include the spirit of a holiday into each day of your life.  Put a smile on your face, picture a cute bunny in your mind and send out tons of happy greetings to every person that you meet along the way.  If that is your focus, you can count on your day being so much brighter.

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I am honored by all of the responses that I received from a lot of really strong, courageous women who took on the fight and got out of their abusive situations no matter what the cost to them.  I think that there is one aspect left to discuss before moving on to another subject and that deals with starting over.  Here again, I am only sharing what I chose for myself and this is not to say that whatever anyone else chooses is wrong.  My choice is what worked for me.

I will never forget the day that I left.  The feeling of freedom was indescribable.  I felt that I had been given a new life and I had every intention of doing the best with it that I possibly could.  Although there were the immediate matters with which to deal, I knew that I had to handle them quickly and put them behind me if I was ever going to be able to start over. 

I got a divorce and ultimately left the state.  My ex had no idea where I was and I was pretty sure that he did not have the resources to find me.  I spent all of my time and effort securing a new job, new friends and a new life.  Whenever something from the past intruded, I made every effort to put it aside as quickly as possible.  I had spent enough time living the nightmare and I did not plan to keep re-living it for the rest of my life. 

Although my experience was really bad, I have chosen to learn from it and never held on to any hate and/or anger.  I understand that my ex was an extremely troubled person who felt that it was okay to take his anger and insecurities out on me.  I had to reach the point where I realized that there was nothing that I could do to change the situation and that there was nothing that I was doing to cause his behavior.  I needed to leave in order to survive and that was it.  I did learn that he died a few years ago, all alone, on Christmas Day.

The bigger lesson that I needed to learn was that I could learn from the past but not live in the past.  I could not change what had happened during those years but I could allow the lessons of that time to shape a kinder, gentler me.  I had the ability to structure a whole new life in which I could treat people with all of the kindness and love and understanding that I had not received in my marriage.  I also learned that all that I have is today and that when I go to bed at night, I wanted to be proud of the day that I had created.  The lessons that I have learned have become the basis for the lyrics for the music CD that my husband and I have created.  Not surprisingly, it is titled “Let Life Happen” and was the pre-cursor to my blog and the website.  Please feel free to share the music on this website and you will have a better understanding of the lessons that I have learned from that abusive time.

If you or anyone you know might need help, Check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

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Walk Like A man

Walk Like A man

Last week I wrote an open letter to the Crespi Carmelite High School lacrosse team members. I asked the girl who had involved me in this project whether she would provide a copy of the letter for each of the team members and have the team coaches hand them out to the guys. She agreed to do so and I was so happy that they would know how much all of their hard work and efforts meant to me and to the women who would benefit from all of their hard work.

I received an e-mail from my friend to whom I had made the initial request. She informed me that the coach read my letter to his players at practice. They were so moved by what I had to say that they upped the ante and although they have already raised $35,000.00 in less than two months, they challenged themselves to reach $50,000.00 by the time the event takes place next Saturday on February 14th.

Can you believe that? Most high school guys would have responded by resting on their laurels and thinking about how great they were. These men understood the message and stepped up to the plate to push themselves that much harder to set a tough goal for themselves.

Okay, that is why I am begging all of you to please help out in any way that you can. Please make a contribution to the cause if you can. Purchase some merchandise if you are able to do so. But if you are unable to do anything financially, I would really appreciate it if you would log on to the coach’s e-mail at joswaks@crespi.org and let them know how awesome they are for taking on this challenge and giving back to their community in such a big way.

This coach and his coaching staff and every member of the committee that put together this event and every member of the team that is raising money for the cause are our special angels. They have all literally been giving themselves to this cause to make it an unbridled success and are truly the angels in our community.

I have been checking the weather reports and there is nothing but rain in the forecast for next weekend. I know that everyone will still show up and do their part regardless but please, please help them and support them. I will be there myself come rain or shine so please feel free to send a message to me for them if you wish and I will be sure to pass it to them.

I can be reached at letlifehappen@gmail.com and would appreciate it if you would help all of us. And if you can make a contribution to the cause, please log on to the website at http://www.crespi.dojiggy.com and help in any way that you can. Your contributions will be appreciated more than you will ever know. I will update you on the results from this event in my blog next Sunday. Please, we need your support.

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It’s my favorite day of the year. I love everything about this day – not only all of the traditions that we have created in our family but mostly because of what it stands for.

I think that I am the most grateful person in the world today. Since last year, the cancer returned but is now gone and everything is looking very promising for the future. I had wonderful doctors to help me along the way and am so very happy to have my life.

I am so very grateful for the most wonderful spouse ever. I don’t know what I would have done without him in facing all of the hard times but he was there every second of the time. That is not surprising because he has always been right by my side during the hard time and he makes the good times totally remarkable and fun. There is nothing more important to me.

I have a job that I really enjoy and the promise for the future looks good there also. It is so great to join a group of people each day that support each other and help each other and laugh together. For this opportunity, I am ever so happy.

We have two autos that are working well. One is a company car for Kirk. Our second car which was 20 years old and in pretty bad condition was recently replaced by a used car that we were able to obtain in a most incredible deal under terms that we could afford – and we did not have to deal with a single car sales person. How would I not be thankful for that!

We have everything that we need to make a wonderful life together and that is most important. We don’t need fancy things nor the biggest and best of everything but we have exactly what we need which is trust and understanding and most of all, love.

So on Thursday as I prepare our traditional dinner and we sit down to share not only the food but also all of the things for which we are thankful, I will have the longest list of all. I will reflect on the past year and be appreciative for all of my good fortunes. And I will also know that in the coming year I will be grateful and thankful for each and every day of this life that I am given. And as long as I feel such happiness inside for everything that I have, how could I want for anything more?

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As I sat here tonight contemplating the first round of my reconstruction surgery on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but realize how fortunate I am to be in this situation.  I have survived two rounds of breast cancer and cannot believe that I have had such wonderful medical personnel with which to work that have provided me with the best of care and testing that has resulted in my diagnoses and surgeries before the cancer had a chance to spread.

I work for the Walt Disney Company.  I have been afforded the opportunity to have great medical insurance that continues to provide coverage that I would never have been able to afford under any other circumstances.  I am surrounded by a great team of co-workers that have been so supportive as I have traveled this journey for more than a year now.  What more could anyone ask for?

I really do find myself at the happiest place on earth.  There are so many more aspects to this company that people never have the opportunity to see.  If you happen to watch the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, you can get an idea of the spirit of this company and for what its employees stand.

Many of my co-workers are part of the Disney VoluntEARS who give countless hours of their time and energy in assisting people in their communities in just about every way imaginable.  The volunteering spirit seems to represent a uniqueness in the character of the people that this company employs.

My wish is that more companies begin to embody the spirit of this company and what it provides for its employees on so many levels.  It not only provides family values and content for its audiences around the world but also those employed here subscribe to the same values and share them in so many ways. 

So as I once again face a surgery on Tuesday, I not only will have my own wonderful family with me to cheer me on and support me along the way but I will also have another whole big team who has already supported my past recoveries and volunteered to help in any way possible.  I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me. 

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