Every now and then I find myself at a crossroad in life. A time and place where you know you need to choose a direction, make a decision and that the choice you make will affect the rest of your life.
I’ve sat at this crossroad wondering how I got there, trying to look at it objectively and thinking that once I saw the decisions I needed to make in the clear light of day, there was no debating, no wondering, no hesitation at all, the choices are simple.
You see, when I moved away from my ex husband my self-confidence was gone, my self-esteem was non-existent, and my self-worth was hiding in a dark corner somewhere. The verbal and emotional abuse had taken its toll and it has taken a long time to get back to…me.
So, after going through a very rough holiday season where I spent a lot of time alone, grieving and generally feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly realized that I was choosing to feel alone, choosing to grieve, choosing to feel sorry for myself. I had to stop and think about that awhile. What else have I been choosing either by doing nothing, trying to ignore things, or just not dealing with things I knew I needed to own up too?
The answers have astounded. How did I find them? By truly looking at where I was and thinking about how I want to be remembered when I’m gone. If I were to die 3 years from now, what would the people in my life say about me? I didn’t like the answers my mind came up with. I have a lot of work to do. There’s nothing like visualization to get your goals clearly back in focus.
One thing I’ve learned is that it takes far more energy to sit down and put up with things, force yourself to accept things, and look the other way, than it does to stand up, take responsibility, own up to your mistakes and take charge of your life.
When you find yourself feeling bored, unhappy, depressed, or just down, ask yourself why? Are you choosing to feel that way? Or are there things you are allowing to go on in your life that are not in sync with who you are and what you believe as a person? Either way you have choices, you have options and possibilities. Stand up and take action! It will change your perspective and your life.
Cherry Coley (c)
I look back on my life and realize I’ve made some major mistakes along the way. We try to avoid mistakes when we can. No one likes making mistakes, whether they are big or small one’s mistakes have consequences and no one likes the fall out.
The way we respond to our mistakes says a lot about our character and how we approach our lives. Successful people learn that making mistakes is not a bad thing. Mistakes can teach us what to do and what not to do.
Mistakes are choices we’ve made that haven’t worked out the way we thought they would. However, the benefit of making mistakes is knowing we are taking an active part in life, we are trying, we are making choices and even though some may wind up being mistakes, if we learn from them then there is still a benefit.
Benjamin Franklin said, “The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing.”
I thought about that statement today, the biggest mistake being to do nothing. How true a statement is that? There have been times in my life when I was afraid to move forward, to take a chance for fear of making a mistake. There have been opportunities that I missed because I took too long to think things through and choose to move forward.
To live, to really live, is to make the choice to participate, to meet new people, try new things, experience life. To experience life means to make mistakes. It’s okay, there may be consequences, but you can learn from the experience. Just don’t make the biggest mistake by choosing to do nothing, the consequences for that one is called “regret” and regret is a hard thing to live with.
Cherry Coley (c)
Spring is almost here. Amazing how quickly time passes. Valentines day is quickly approaching. It makes me wonder how we allowed all of our holidays to become so commercial. I love Valentines day candy and the stuffed animals and treats are pretty cute, but it’s a lot of hype for “showing love,” that shouldn’t be limited to one day of the year.
I like to keep my family all “loved up.” My kids know they are loved every day, not just one. We tell each other on a regular basis, show each other often and have fun just being together.
Valentines day is great and of course another day to enjoy sweet treats and pampering, but sharing love is something that never gets old.
Take a moment to show the people in your life you appreciate them, tell them, do something nice, and let them know they are loved.
Cherry Coley (c)
Tonight I watched “Touched By An Angel.” I haven’t watched that show in years, but it caught my eye while flipping channels for a moment.
It was a show about a drug addict that had a baby and Monica and Andrew worked to help her get clean. Being television it all worked out just in time and just fine on screen. It really was a good story. I miss the gentle kindness of the show and inviting it into our lives each night.
I remember so well watching “Touched By An Angel” and “Highway To Heaven” with my mom and dad. They loved the storyline with angels walking among us, helping and interacting, directing our paths when needed. My mom thoroughly enjoyed the shows for years. We would talk about the episode and then how it related to the bible and real life. Sure, a lot of it was fiction, but it was a good clean show with a heart and you don’t see many of those anymore.
So tonight, just for a moment, I was touched by another angel. I felt the presence of my mom come and sit down on the couch beside me and share in a memory. It was just a moment, but I am thankful for it just the same. It made me smile and I love memories that do that.
Take a moment today to remember some of the good memories you’ve shared. It’s good to appreciate where we come from, it’s better to then live in the moment and enjoy the things we have and the people in our lives. Life a gift, don’t take it for granted, enjoy every bit of it.
Cherry Coley (c)
Grief can play with your mind and your perception of the way events happened. The tricks of the mind can lead to feelings of regret and guilt, hurt and betrayal, and leave you with a feeling of loss that can drive you to your knees at times.
All week the residual feelings of the grief felt earlier this week have been with me. I finally got to the point I was asking “what is it I’m supposed to see or learn here?” “What am I missing, and why am I feeling this way?”
By asking these type of questions the feeling of distress is lifted a bit so that I can see what I need see instead of lingering on thoughts of how I wish things had been. My girls are teenagers and the oldest is getting ready to move on with her life. She is trying to find her way, changing her mind, debating what she wants, and taking her first steps forward.
Through the other milestones with my kids, my mom has been here. She was my voice of encouragement, my voice of reason, the person that would laugh at my worrying and say, “karma works.”
I think of all the times I was out too late at night, talking on the phone and tying up the line (before the age of personal cell phones), trying to find my way and changing my mind, and often driving my mom crazy with my ideas and dreams.
There are days when I feel lost without mom, yet I know her words, her wisdom and her love live on in me. I will not forget, Mom, I will remember and we will go forward.
Cherry Coley (c)
Like ripples on the water everything thing we do creates an effect on our environment and the people around us. Yesterday I was feeling rather blue and had several friends that were kind by calling to say they were thinking about me, or texting me to cheer me up. One of them helped me to see things in a different light as he often does.
It’s important to surround yourself with people who are interested in learning about you and who you are. People that share some of the same interests, have opposing opinions and aren’t afraid to share them, and people who are just fun to be around. We all really need a variety of friends to spend time with and keep us on our toes, to offer our support and encouragement, and to share with and learn from.
I have a couple of Eeyore type personality friends that have a sarcastic sense of humor and a realist outlook that borders on gloom, but they are good-natured and I love hearing from them.
I am thankful for the people in my life. We are all here to work together and help each other along the way. Each of us have our unique gifts and talents that make us who we are. It’s such a thrill to meet someone new and have the time to get to know them.
Cherry Coley (c)
Today I miss my mom. It’s not that I don’t miss her every day, but today the gaping hole in my chest where my parents used to be was hurting more.
I had been doing so much better, I was moving forward, getting things done and looking forward to the future and SLAM, grief strikes again. I hate that.
Grief has a way of popping up at times and turning the world upside down when you least expect it. It’s just the way it works unfortunately. The name of this round of grief is called – “things I wish I’d done differently.” The worst part of this round was not thinking of the things I would have done differently with my parents, (I went thru that part last year).
This was about things I wish I’d done differently in other areas of my life, with my ex-husband, my kids, my school days, and all the time I wasted doing stuff that didn’t really matter or turn out the way I wanted in the end.
My kids are growing up so fast and I still have questions, but no more answers. There are things that they bring up and do that I don’t know how to approach, so I make suggestions and do research. I feel inadequate at times, though I know it’s not true.
If my mom were here she would listen to my worries and insecurities and tell me to “suck it up,” and “karma works,” then smile and even laugh at me because I put her through many of the same issues and how well I remember that.
The things we thought were so fun as kids – like staying out too late, and talking on the phone all night, are not so funny as a parent. Life is a circle, that’s for sure.
I am thankful for the time I had with my mom and my dad. I’m thankful they always had my best interests at heart, even though they didn’t always understand me.
I am thankful I have two daughters, that remind me that life goes on and sometimes you have to look back to appreciate where you came from before you can go forward.
Cherry Coley (c)
“Every Beginning has an end, every end had a beginning.”
It’s a funny quote that can lead to some deep thought if you let it. It’s sad sometimes when things come to an end. There are a lot of things we don’t like to see end, yet everything in life has a beginning and an end.
When relationships end it can be a sad event. You don’t really want them to, but things just start to drift apart. Sometimes you can stop the drifting and sometimes you can’t. I’ve been in relationships like that where things just changed and it was time for the relationship to change too. On a few of those occasions I was fortunate enough to see the relationship evolve and become a lasting friendship, in other cases it was simply time to say goodbye.
How we respond to the changes in life can help define who we become. After all, if there is one thing that is constant and certain in life it is the fact that life will change. We will lose people, animals, friends, family, in our lives. They will leave, move, die, or just choose not to be a part of our lives anymore. It’s just the way things go.
We have a choice how we will respond to these changes. We can hold on for dear life and choke any chance for reconciliation or healing out of existence. Or we can learn to truly love with an open hand and realize that love, friendship, all relationships (other than those of parent and child) are a choice. Actually, in some ways I suppose the parent and child relationship is a choice too.
Keeping in mind that the people in your life are there because they CHOOSE to be there can lend a different perspective. Realizing that it’s a choice that they are there can make a you appreciate the other person more, treasure and make the most of your time you do have together instead of wondering why the person falls short of all the expectations put on them. Take a moment to appreciate that they are there because they care and they want to be there, and maybe a different approach is what is needed if there is stress in the relationship. Take a break.
This is life, there are no dress rehearsals, no redo’s, no rewind or erasing moments that suck. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. BUT…isn’t it nice, we have a choice, we can get up in the morning and change our attitude to thinking that each day, is a new beginning and then make it happen.
Tomorrow, will be the start of something new.
Cherry Coley (c)
Today I am thankful for indoor plumbing and appliances. As mundane as that sounds I remember all too well the stories my mom used to tell of having to walk to the well, or the creek to get water to cook with or bathe with. Imagine having to heat water on the stove then trying to fill up the bathtub enough to take a bath before it all got cold.
I heard a lot of stories how my parents would have to go to the creek in the winter to get water to cook with and have to break the ice first before filling their buckets. Many days the meals consisted of cornbread and milk. They had oatmeal, but not always sugar. Their meat they got from hunting or fishing.
In the mornings my mom and my aunt would have to go collect the eggs from the chickens. My mom hated to do that because sometimes snakes would crawl in the nest and swallow the eggs underneath the terrified hen.
They learned to survive in the harsh winters up in the mountains of Arkansas, to share and to take care of each other. Coats, clothes, shoes were all precious and taken care of so they would last for a long while. My mother learned to sew and made many of the clothes for the family.
Amazing the amount of progress we’ve made in just a few generations, going from a wood stove and an actual “ice” box where you put a large cube of ice in it to keep a few things cool to microwaves, toasters, mixers, refrigerators, washing machines, a myriad of coffee machines, and ovens you can turn on with a dial and not much thought.
I am thankful for all the stories they told of how hard life was and the obstacles they had to face just in day to day life. Even the stories of being afraid of go to the outhouse after dark for fear of animals and snakes, not to mention a practical joker for a brother.
Today I am thankful for all the creations that we have become so used to having that we take them for granted every day. Let us not forget where we came from and how far we’ve come. By keeping our roots in mind we can better see where we are today and the bright hope for the future. What’s next? The answer is whatever amazing thing we can dream up.
Cherry Coley ©
Lately it seems that there a lot more things to do than there is time in the day. I can’t even say that it is bad time management, there has just been a lot of last minute issues popping up that cannot be put off, which leads to other things not being done or completed when I would like them to be. Not being able to complete things on time – even though they are personal goals or items – brothers me at first, then quickly moves me into frustration if I let it.
I have been running sick kids to the doctor, dealing with a sprained elbow, and struggling through colds of my own for the last 3-4 weeks, running last minute errands, and attending school programs, which basically means I haven’t gotten home on time but maybe 3 days out of that time. I treasure my personal time, it’s time spent reading, writing, doing artwork, photography, walking, yard work, or spending time with friends. When that time becomes so encroached upon that I can’t manage to do those things, I start to feel cranky, then eventually worn down.
It’s not unusual to have things happen, after all life loves to throw in the unexpected for us to navigate, and I know I am not the only one struggling through all the “stuff” right now. I have had many friends tell me they are struggling with their own versions of the same issues of having to rush to get everything done and miss out on things they like to do or need to do in the process.
How do we cope? For me – taking a moment to meditate and/or pray can make a tremendous difference. Even if it is a brief moment, just to be able to relax, listen to some soothing tones, light a candle or incense, and drift off into a peaceful mindset for a bit can make the day much better and offer a bit of energy and spiritual renewal. Another way I like to recharge is to take a walk outside, but since I have been getting home after dark, there hasn’t been opportunity to do that.
Today, I am rearranging my schedule again, running errands at lunch, hoping to free up time after work. I have a lot of house work to catch up on, but as long as I can actually get home, I can multitask and knock out a lot of those type chores at the same time, even while listening to a book or catching a favorite show on television.
I hear people often say they need more hours in the day. Me? No thank you. I don’t need more hours, I just need to manage what I have better, have a few less crisis and last minute items pop up, and to multitask a bit faster and more efficiently, nothing that can’t be done as long as one can keep the right attitude and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Remember to take a moment in the middle of the chaos to stop, find things to be thankful for, people to appreciate, and be grateful for the fact that we are still here. Ask for help if you need it, find joy in the sunrise, sunset and realize that each day, no matter how stressful or wonderful it may be, is a gift. You get to decide your response to what happens along the way which will help decide the outcome. Just do the best you can and give yourself a break when you can.
Cherry Coley ©