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Journaling A Past Time, A Legacy, A way to stay Sane!

journalsJournals, blank books, are one of my favorite things to get as a gift, to buy at the store, and to give to a fellow journal writer.

They have so many different journals to choose from now.  There are leather bound journals, silk bound journals, painted journals, journals with flowers, dragons, landscapes, designs, and just about anything you can think of.

There are big journals, small journals. pocket sized journals, journals with lines and without.  There are journals with questions to help you think of what to write, to write down your memories, or dreams.  I love journals.

This year has been really hard.  I have felt quiet lost at times, missing my parents so much it hurt.  I fell into a deep depression for a time.  It took awhile and a lot of effort to get back up out of the darkness that was threatening to swallow me up.  My journals helped to save me.  I could write whatever I wanted and not worry I would offend or upset anyone.

For the first year after my parents died I kept a journal where I wrote letters to my mom everyday, sometimes several times a day.  I had been so close to her, I was used to talking to her everyday, and it was a way for me to keep talking to her, to gradually accept that she was gone, but would never be forgotten.

I shared many things in my journal written to her.  I told her a lot of the things I wish I had had the time to tell her when she was here.  I apologized for some stupid mistakes.  I shared some new experiences with her.  Then as the year drew to a close and my journal was almost full, I realized it was time to let go.  I was okay with that.  My journal had allowed me to hold her close for awhile longer as I grieved.

There’s not a day when I don’t still miss my parents and wish I could talk to them, but I’m better prepared to face a future now, and I know that they are somehow watching over me.

If you’ve never tried writing in a journal then I encourage you to give it a try.  Keep it safe, keep it private.  Unless, you are journaling with a friend or spouse where you each take a turn writing a page. Free your mind – learn to journal, try it, you might like it.

Cherry Coley (c)

Side note*  there is an App for smartphones called “Momento”  it is a daily journal.  You can even set a reminder and it will ask you – “how was your day?”  It’s a great way to start keeping track of your memories and the moments in your life.

Fall is Here

cherrys iphone 031October is my favorite month.  The cooler temperatures, the fall decorations and pumpkins all around.  I love the smell of pumpkin spice and cranberry candles.

I love the fall decorations, and the change in the air.  Although, I love Halloween, the dressing up, the fun and games, the spooky stories, roasting marshmallows and drinking hot cocoa by the fire.

We are having cooler temperatures here already.  I love that too.  It also means that my favorite holiday will be here soon.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It’s a time of family, friends and togetherness.  A time to get together and enjoy each others company and good food.

I love fall.

Cherry Coley (c)

 

Comfort From A Furry Friend

Lindsey Keal

Lindsey Keal

Today our black cat reminded me how comforting the presence of an animal is.  I had asthma as a child and spent many hours in bed with a vaporizer.  My cat Mitten (who I was not allergic to) would cuddle up with me and purr.

Many nights I went to sleep to the comforting sound of singing and purring of my cat.  Batman, our black cat, reminded me this morning how comforting that sound can be.  It brought back warm memories of long ago when the sound calmed me, comforted and helped me breath at a slower rhythm.

Animals add so many wonderful things to our lives.  They add entertainment and companionship, acceptance and unquestioning love.  I thankful for the furry family members I’ve known over the years, they’ve added their share of smiles and tears to my memories and will never be forgotten

Cherry Coley (c).

Books Books and more Books!

booksI love books.  They are one of the greatest gifts we have! Wonderful tomes filled with fantasy, recipes, life experiences, and information to entertain, feed our bodies and minds, encourage our spirits and expand our knowledge.

What an amazing ability and opportunity we have to learn to read.  It is right up there at the top of the list of my things I am thankful for!  Probably second would be the ability to write and type.

I read constantly. I don’t believe in information overload.  There’s no such thing.  Our brains expand as needed!  You can fill it every day and it won’t run out of room or memory like your computer will.  Amazing!

Since I read a variety of books on a steady basis I am going to start a friendly book review.  I have come across some pretty wonderful books along the way and I can’t think of a better way to show appreciation than to review them honestly and give some verbal applause and kudos to those who put in the effort to share knowledge.

What have you written lately?  A letter? A recipe? An encouraging email? Kindness expressed is never wasted.

Cherry Coley (c)

Challenges Are Not Permanent

cherrys iphone 182This year started out kind of rocky and wound up being one big challenge after another. Yet, I am still here and I am grateful for the things we have.

In the midst of struggle we sometimes forget to be thankful.  Things could always be worse.  Life can find ways to be challenging that you never thought of.

I am thankful for my health.  Though there have been struggles the last few months, it is just part of life and the experiences we go through.

On my birthday this year I was feeling a bit blue. I had been missing my parents and feeling alone.  Then when I was driving up a busy side street by our house I saw a big, white, fluffy puppy.  I worried that he might get ran over.  I pulled the car over and called to him, he came running up to me and I put him in my car.  We cruised around, looking for signs and put up some of our own, but no one seemed to be looking for him.

pic by Cherry

pic by Cherry

This little became my birthday present and I named him Scout.  I THOUGHT he was a white husky.  I was wrong, he is a white husky mixed with a great Pyrenees.  He is a sweet and gentle giant in the making.

It amazes me, when life can seem so bleak how one or two things can change and bring joy.

One thing is sure, life will change.  Circumstances will change.  Some things will be challenging and others will be enjoyable.  Take the time to experience life fully.  These moments are yours, the experiences are yours and they only come once.

Scout has grown and is now 8 months old.  Lord, he is a BIG boy and still growing.

cherrys iphone 315

Scout isn’t the only change in our family.

There is another significant change coming in January. She is going to be beautiful just like her mommy.  I look forward to being a grandma!

 

Casey's baby girl

Casey’s baby girl

Cherry Coley (c)

Set Your Targets Closer and Set Your Sights High!

cherrys iphone 247Have you ever set your heart on a career or goal and then lost your focus?  Distractions and life events you didn’t have control over cropped up as obstacles and you had to put off what you were working on, or maybe you just put it aside hoping someday you might get back to your dream.  I have.  I remember dreaming of doing things, working hard to set goals and lists, then becoming discouraged because there were too many other things I was responsible for at the time and it seemed my dreams would always get shoved aside.

Here are some things you can do to stay motivated and keep making progress towards your dreams.

  • *        Focus on the outcome instead of the activities.

It’s easy to fill up a “to do” list with a lot of activities that seem necessary and valuable when we write them down, but are they?  If you aren’t careful what seemed like a good idea and vitally important can get confused with “busy work” and before you know it you’ll find yourself with a big to do list that you aren’t getting done, a feeling of despair because you aren’t making the progress you thought you would, and sometimes thoughts of giving up because you become discouraged, or feel overwhelmed with the distractions and events.

When you focus on the outcome instead of the activities – put up reminders of where you want to be.  Don’t do a big to do list, instead just focus on what you want for an outcome.  You will surprise yourself finding ways to fit in the things that must be done to get you to your goal.  What’s more is you may come to realize things you thought were important are just busy work and aren’t necessary to get you where you want to go.

Resources you didn’t see before will come into focus because you aren’t worried about the “to do list” – you’re looking for your end result.  When you keep your focus on the outcome it sets your brain and eyes in motion to look for opportunities that you might’ve otherwise missed.

  •     Set your targets closer

Another way to stay motivated is to set your targets closer.  When you want to gain self-confidence it helps to set some easily obtainable goals, once you reach your target – celebrate!!  Every success counts!  Get used to that feeling of celebration when you reach your goal, stop and enjoy it!  Build on your successes and keep the momentum going!  You can do it!

It seems silly to remind to celebrate, but how many times do you reach a goal and think, “okay, that’s done, now what?” and just move on to the next thing?  I was doing this a lot.  Where is the enjoyment? Where’s the lasting sense of accomplishment?  Well, gee, I just bypassed it and went on to the next thing.  It’s important to celebrate the little successes, it will make the big successes that much more sweet! Life is a joy to live and we need to celebrate when we reach a milestone or goal.

  •     Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and encourage you.

Notice I didn’t say – surround yourself with people who will beat you up and try to whip you into getting things done.  This may work for some, and I confess now and then I kick myself into gear, but put me with someone who’s going to belittle or make me feel bad for not reaching a goal on time and it has the opposite effect on me.  Eventually I may even start avoiding that person.  Who wants to talk to someone whose intent on judging you?  I’d rather find someone who will listen to my concerns and offer some encouragement and helpful suggestions.

Just keep that ant philosophy.  Ants don’t get distracted or let obstacles get in their way.  They just keep on going, up, down, around, under and through whatever gets in their way to reach their goal.  When they need help they send for reinforcements and get the job done.

Cherry Coley ©

Keep It Short and Pointed!

photo by Casey Keal

photo by Casey Keal

You don’t need to be long-winded to get a point across, in fact, it’s better if you’re not.  Now days if you take too long to get to the point you will lose your audience and even those who stick around to try to figure out what you’re saying, may forget what the original topic was if you take too long to get to the point.

Communication is not about speaking, it’s about listening,” Simon Sinek.

I agree with Simon, to communicate good listening skills are required, so do us all a favor and learn to cut the “fluff” and long descriptions.  If we want that type of writing we’ll pick up a novel and enjoy the scenery and visions that dance in our head.  However, if your topic is instructional, inspirational, business oriented, or something you want to share to improve the lives of others, then get to the point so that we can grasp the information quick and apply it.

Life is short, let’s find ways to improve our writing skills, improve our listening skills, and learn to communicate in a way that everyone can grasp and enjoy.

Why did I write on this subject?  I read my last post.  Ha.

-Cherry Coley ©