Have you ever struggled trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B? One good way to figure out how to set priorities and goals is to visualize where you want to go, see yourself there, then start thinking of what you can do to get to the place you want to be.
What about life? Don’t you hate it when your employer asks you that dreaded question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” How about looking even further into the future? Where do you see yourself in 20 years? What about when you retire?
If you really want to have something serious to think about, what would you want people to say about you in your eulogy? If you can visualize your friends, family, co-workers and the people at your church or the charity you work with getting up to share a few words about your life. What sort of things would they say? What do you want them to say?
It makes you stop and think doesn’t it? It did me. It’s made me realize where I’ve fallen short, the mistakes I’ve made and all the work I still need to do. It’s made me realize I need to invest a lot more time in the people I care about and appreciate.
Life is short, time is precious and there’s no time like the present to get started. Start with the end in mind and put your heart and soul into where you want to be, the influence you’d like to have and the legacy you’d like to leave. You will leave a legacy, the great thing is you have a choice what that legacy will be.
Cherry Coley (c)
It’s cold and raining again. Kind of unusual weather for Texas. This is the first steadily cold winter I can remember. Usually, we have bi-polar weather that can’t make up its mind from day to day. One day it will be 70+ and the next in the 40′s.
I’m not complaining. I like the steady cold temps, I’m not sure I’m carried away with the grey days though. The rainy grey days make me feel mellow, and somewhat sleepy.
It reminds me of grey days I spent with my mom growing up. Often she would make chicken and dumplings, have me help her roll out the dough then cut it in strips to put in the pot.
Rainy days were great for reading, watching old movies, listening to music, or just spending time cooking. It’s pretty much the same now with my kids. I like rainy days now and then. There’s something soothing and nice about listening to the sound of the rain and watching it trickle down the windows.
Cherry Coley (c)
December is here already. It is hard to believe we have arrived at the last month of the year so soon. Now is a good time to look at where you are, what you’ve accomplished so far this year and see if there are any last minute projects that you can wrap up before the year ends.
This is has been a difficult year for many people due to illness and loss. It’s been a year of struggle for many who are still looking for work or trying to get back on their feet from having been without a job for a long while.
Each year has its challenges that we will either rise to meet or let over take us, how we respond is our choice.
December is a time when I like to look at the progress made throughout the year. That’s when I take the time to really look at things, could I have done something different? Would the results have been different if I had chosen a different approach? What did I learn and how can I improve on things for the next year?
Take some time today to be thankful for the blessings and events of this past year. Be thankful for the people you’ve met along the way, and the lessons you’ve learned, even if they weren’t too pleasant. Take some time to appreciate 2012, for we will never walk this path again.
Then start setting your sights on the future, 2013 is going to be a great year!
Cherry Coley ©
Being in such a state of change and self-reflection this year has proven to be a challenging, heartbreaking, sometimes tormenting, and sometimes joyful, happy, amazing experience. The roller coaster of emotions brought on by great change can seem like too much to bear at times. Yet the times like this – depending on how we choose to respond – can offer the most personal growth.
In the process I have had to seek and out and remove some words and thought patterns from my vocabulary that have been getting in my way of either seeing things clearly or creating obstacles that turn into excuses. Some of the words and phrases are:
I have been going through and creating affirmations to ward off each of those excuses, steadfastly cutting them out of my life and silencing them as they come up to block me from moving forward. The one that I came up against this last weekend caught me off guard. I honestly didn’t realize how much I was saying it and how much energy I was spending on basically, nothing. The words I have to push away now are “I wish.”
I find myself saying things to people like – “I wish you were here,” “I wish we could go to….” “I wish we had more time together,” too much wishing. It has now bled into other areas for other reasons such as: “I wish I could get my car painted,” “I wish the backdoor would lock better,” “I wish I could travel to Ireland,” or “I wish I could go spend some time with my long distance friends.”
I just realized how truly ridiculous it all sounds. Seriously? What am I doing wishing so much? Life isn’t about “wishing” – life is about “living.” If you spend all your time and energy wishing for things you, aren’t living in the present and making things happen.
It’s interesting what we wind up seeing as our limits and how we create excuses to justify staying stuck and keeping those limits in place. The truth is that the limits you are living with – you have created yourself. The person keeping you from reaching your goals and fulfilling your dreams is you.
Do some soul searching, find the things that inner voice uses to keep you in that limited frame of mind, realize that the inner voice – is you and you can learn to silence it or reprogram it to move forward instead of staying stuck. Even more important, if you find yourself constantly wishing for things to happen, realize that you have the ability to make them happen, but you have to first realize where you are and why, then take the steps to move forward. It’s time to stop wishing and start living.
Cherry Coley ©
“We all face obstacles of one kind or another in life, but if you let your deepest passion serve as your fuel, you’ll be able to travel the road back and move on to make your dreams happen.” – Dr. Francisco Bucio
This week has been a week of happiness, grief and reflection. September the 9th was my oldest daughters birthday, but September 11th was my dad’s birthday. So often through the years they enjoyed celebrating their birthdays today with my dad joking in earlier years that he didn’t get as many toys as Casey.
I am so thankful that my children got a chance to know and spend so much time with their grandparents. We had our issues and our family was nowhere near perfect, but my parents took active roles in the lives of their grandchildren.
Mom made many blankets, sewed dresses, helped with costumes, school projects and many other things. Dad tutored both kids on math on a few occasions. Both of them transported my kids to and from school or daycare many times. As a single parent, I honestly don’t know how I would have made it without their help.
Mom made sure we celebrated birthday on the day each time, and didn’t just put things off until the weekend or when it was convenient. We might gather with the rest of the family later, but we celebrated with mom and dad on the actual birthday.
Each year when the first day of fall rolled around, mom would gather the kids and I together to take our annual trip to Burlington Coat Factory or the mall to buy winter coats and maybe some sweaters. This was a tradition my parents started when my brother and I were small. Dad always made sure we all went and bought coats and new shoes for winter. It’s a small thing, but it’s a tradition we will keep this year as well.
It’s been a real trip down memory lane this week, realizing that last year on the 11th of September, I took a Boston creme cake to my dad, we bought him a new razor, socks, a few movies, a new CD and some funny cards. He waved his hand and said, “aw, you didn’t have to do that,” while we sang happy birthday, but smiled all the while. I have thought a lot of that moment this last week. I am thankful we have it to remember as it was 10 days later when dad passed away.
Traditions, no matter how big are small play an important part in each of our lives. Take the time to celebrate when you have the chance and if at all possible keep the dates sacred. You never know when life will interrupt your plans, treasure each and every moment, take advantage of every opportunity, and love the people in your life.
Cherry Coley (c)
You can’t control all the events in your life, that is a given fact. You can control your reaction, your thoughts, your actions. You can keep your mind open so you notice opportunities along the way. You can take advantage of the resources that are available to you at any given time. You can also reach out to others and find that there are those that will help you along the way.
Life is full of change, storms, mountains, valleys, sunlight and darkness, it’s just the way it is. How you handle things is a choice. At any given moment in the middle of joy, or crisis, there are choices to be made. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of good judgement, take a break, take the time and choose wisely.
Cherry Coley (c)
I remembered a conversation I had with my dad when I was about eight years old last night. It was a warm summer day and daddy had been working on the car all afternoon. He was in the backyard and scrubbing the grease off his hands using the water hose.
I had been playing on the swing set he had put up for us and it was about time to go in to eat dinner. I remember the light being just before the sun kisses the clouds at sunset. I had been thinking about my mom having a hard time with the ladies at the daycare. They were talking about money and the programs they wanted to do with the kids for Christmas and mom was frustrated. I didn’t understand all that was going on, just that it was hard on her.
“Daddy, why is life so hard?” I asked.
“Life is hard because it was designed that way,” dad said.
“Why was it designed that way?” I asked.
“Because only through the tough times do we learn to ask for help and grow, we won’t do some things unless we have too, so life was designed to bring us to our knees at times to keep us on track.” Said dad
“Sounds like a mean way to do things,” I said.
“It’s the same as me saying you have to clean house and do the dishes before you go outside to play,” he said. “You wouldn’t do it if you weren’t made to because you’re a kid and want to go play.”
“I guess, but adults don’t play much do they?” I asked.
“Sure, but only after hard work and making money to pay for things and buy the things we need and want. Life isn’t about getting something for nothing. You can’t learn unless you give and sometimes we get all involved in what we’re doing and God has to get our attention to show us that He’s got something we need to pay attention to and learn.” – he said.
“Then I want to learn to pay attention every day so God doesn’t have to knock me down to teach me things,” I said.
“I think that would be a good thing,” he patted me on the head.
Cherry Coley (c)
I love looking at spider webs even though the spiders do kind of creep me out. I really like looking at them through glass, because then they can’t jump on me. It truly is amazing though the detail and design of spider webs. Our houses or even tents are not near as versatile as the portable web that can be folded up or reconstructed as necessary.
Webs are made in so many shapes and sizes, built to fit the terrain around the spider and according to what they wish to catch. Webs that are frosted or graced with drops of water are beautiful to behold, but I bet it’s pretty frustrating for the spider. Wonder if it goes out there and jumps up and down to knock the water off?
I swear my parents’ house was built on something strange because the animals in their backyard would get really big! Grass snakes were 2 feet long and they had a toad the size of a Frisbee. The freakiest thing was going out there and seeing a spider web that covered my entire bedroom window and a BIG A$$ spider that was easily the size of my fist with long dangly legs! My face locked in a silent scream as I pointed it out to my dad. He stood there staring at it a minute trying to decide whether to get a shovel or a gun to get rid of it.
My other spider night mare was when I went to the zoo on a field trip with the daycare my mom worked at. I was a teachers helper that year and the zoo keeper handed me several baby animals to hold then show the kids. I got to hold a baby raccoon, a baby possum (that wrapped its tail around my finger), a baby hedgehog, and then they put a tarantula in my hand and told me not to move. I was standing still on the outside and running away screaming on the inside. The zookeeper wondered why I was so pale, and just as he took the tarantula away another one thought they would drape a snake on my shoulders – NO!! I ducked out from under it, my feet were not failing me that time! I ran towards the door, missed it, and ran into the glass, knocked myself out for about 2 minutes.
Yes, I love looking at spiders and studying about nature. This world we live in is absolutely fascinating, from the pages of TIME and National Geographic and, of course, through glass. As for me, I have been known to break out in Kung Fu moves when walking into a spider web myself, not sure if the spider found it humorous, but my neighbors have.
Cherry Coley ©