Just Me

Spring Forward

clock    It’s time to move the clock forward again.  We watch the sunrise many times on the way to work in the morning now.  Bright hues of orange  and yellow streak the sky as the sun comes up and signals the start of another day.

I love this time of year.  Even though I like winter with the cold and snow blanketing things in white and adding an icy coat to the trees and streets, I love it when spring comes bringing sunshine and warmth to wake up the sleeping trees and plants.

I look forward to Spring this year.  It’s a time for renewal, a new beginning.  A perfect time to start writing again.

I welcome this new phase in life.  This year is proving to be more challenging in some ways and more fulfilling in others.  Each year we live is filled with different experiences and opportunities waiting to be taken advantage of if we have the courage to step forward and the willingness to try.  I am thankful there are new things to learn.

So tonight, don’t forget to set the clock forward.  Take advantage of the longer daylight hours to come.  Time is a precious resource, once it’s spent you cannot replace it or relive it.  Spend your time wisely.

Cherry Coley

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 ©

Get a New Perspective

animals.nationalgeographic.com

animals.nationalgeographic.com

Life is challenging at times.  If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves feeling cornered, over whelmed, tired, and stressed.  Things happen, unexpected events, circumstances change in moments.

Life is merciless and can come at a rapid pace that leaves us breathless and feeling helpless.  The thing to remember at such times is, this too shall pass.  It’s a cliché, but it’s still true.  Moments both good and bad only last for moments.

Sometimes all it takes to change a situation is to change your perspective.  My art teacher taught me long ago, when getting frustrated while working on a portrait a long time, sometimes you get too close to the subject and the picture can start to look off.  The best thing to do is put the picture up awhile, go do something else, then come back to it later.  When you take it out later, turn it upside down and you will immediately see any flaws in the portrait.

There are a lot of things that work the same way.  When you work on something a long while, your stress level and emotional involvement can skew your perspective.  It’s important to work with a partner, or have trusted friends who will tell you when something is off, or perhaps help you take a break and see things differently.

Finances, for instance, can weigh heavily on the mind, cause lack of sleep, stomach aches, and stress that affects the body and mind.  Still, we have the option to ask for help, seek guidance, and the ability to look up possible solutions literally at our fingertips.

Jim Rohn said, “Everything you need is already available to you.”  I had to think about that awhile, because I tell you, it didn’t feel like everything I needed was available earlier this year.  Yet, after reading books, studying classes, searching for resources and taking advantage of just part of the things I have access too and have available to me, I realize Jim Rohn is right.

Don’t allow yourself to feel cornered or down.  You have a choice, you are in control of your attitude and the emotions you choose to use at any given moment.  If what you’re doing each day doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled, or like your accomplishing something, happy, or content, then take a look at what’s going on in your life and how you’re responding.  Perhaps you need a break, a change in perspective.

Cherry Coley ©

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)