Family

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)

 

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)

Happiness

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“Some people pursue happiness…others create it.” – Anonymous

Now and then in the midst of the daily struggle and grind, stop and remind yourself that you are – at this moment experiencing a miracle.  Each breath that you take is a life giving miracle.  Can you feel the heart beating in your chest? Another miracle.  No doctor or scientist can explain life – they can look at it, study it, pursue answers and seek to protect and prolong it, but they can’t explain it. 

Now that you have experienced the miracle of being alive, think about the miracles that allow you to learn, to read, to have emotions, to experience life.  Amazing what we take for granted most of the time. 

Joy, laughter, happiness are around you – created for you to experience.  The birds singing, the whispering leaves in the trees, the soft touch of the wind in your hair, the warmth of the sun on your face, all wonderous things in this life for you to enjoy.

Wouldn’t it be great if humans acted with the joy and abandon of a dog being let outside to play? They run full out, leaping and rolling, barking and howling into the wind, giving it their all in a moment of pure joy! Can you imagine a place where people could play like that?

When was the last time you just went outside, closed your eyes and listened to everything you could hear for awhile?  Amazing when our mind is relaxed, eyes are closed how much we can hear. 

Or the last time you ate a plate of fruit in low light – so you can better savor the flavors of each one and allow yourself to only concentrate on the taste?

Take a moment to try something different, remind yourself of the little things that can bring joy each day.  Life is too short to rush through in pursuit of happiness, find your bliss in the little things, then share a smile with a friend.

Cherry Coley (c)

Wednesday Thoughtfulness

photo by Casey Keal

photo by Casey Keal

“Learn the wisdom of compromise,  for it’s better to bend a little than to break.” – Jane Wells

 

As children get older and go on their way to self discovery, parents sometimes get nervous and worried about the paths they are choosing to go down.  We hope and trust that we have taught them right and that they will hold true to the principles and knowledge they’ve gained while growing up.

Yet, there is a time when each person asks the question, “who am I and why am I here?” “What’s my purpose?”  “What am I going to do with my life?”

Some figure out the answers to these questions early on and hold true to their dreams, growing and learning, constantly reaching for their goals and owning their destiny.

Others of us go through different stages of growth and self discovery, a journey that lasts a lifetime, filled with ups and downs, leaps of faith, grand mistakes and endless opportunities. 

No matter the background, whether born into a life of plenty, or growing up with a struggling single parent, we each own our own destiny.  It is our response to life, to the challenges that we face and the choices that we are given that make us who we become.  Our perspective, our ability to remain open and humble enough to admit when we are wrong so we can learn new ways to do things can make all the difference.

I’ve been a parent now for over 19 years, and I am learning as I go.  I am not perfect and don’t profess to be, and neither are my children.  Yet God put us together on this journey for a reason.  Together we will face the future, learning from each other, facing obstacles in our path and offering hope and encouragement when needed. 

Take a moment today to be thankful for the people in your life, whether friends, family or co-workers, we each have a purpose for being in the life of the other. 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

Decisions, Cross Roads, Challenges and Me

askvilleEvery 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)

The Biggest Mistake

l_5877c808254742e986ad6762af59ea91I 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)

Touched By An Angel

Aunt Marlene and Mom

Aunt Marlene and Mom

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 as a Teacher

photo by Casey Keal

photo by Casey Keal

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)

Give A Little Love

100_5605Give a little love, do something nice and spread some cheer every chance you get. 

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)