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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)

 

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)

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 ©

Share Some Love

Photo by Casey KealSpring 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)

Tipping the Scales and Maintaining Balance

balanceI used to think that multitasking was one of my strongest talents.  I juggle a lot of things at the same time.  Yet, this past year I kept finding myself having to slow down and focus on just one thing and at times it felt inhibiting, frustrating even.

 The problem with constantly multitasking is that you never truly master the “one” thing if your time and focus is on a lot of other things at the same time.  There are times when single-mindedness is a true blessing and there are some people who have the gift of focusing so intently that they stay with the “one” thing until they understand it through and through before moving on to the next thing.

 Those same people with such extraordinary focus sometimes complain about not being able to multitask.  To me that is the balance the universe threw in just for fun and another case where we are shown that we need each other to make things run smoothly.

 Balance is something that is sought by most people.  There are tons of books written about how to gain balance in work and home life.  There will be just as many more written in the future as we all try the different solutions to find the one that best works for us.

 For those people who are able to attain balance, they must stay aware and keep on top of their circumstances and events in their lives to keep the balance.  We all struggle at some point.

 The answer lies within the person seeking balance.

 For me, I have many projects and interests that I weed down to a few.  From that point I take those that are related to each other and group them together.  If they can be done around the same time then all is well, if not then each project will be allotted its own time and energy individually.  Some projects will be put aside until other projects are finished.  It’s important to prioritize.

 Balance is vital to keep up a healthy, mental, emotional, social, and physical life. 

 I read a quote the other day in the book – “The Success System that Never Fails” – by James Allen.  The quote said, “Eventually you will be controlled by your circumstances, so it’s important to control your circumstances now.”  I’ve thought about that quote a lot since then, I can’t think of a better call to action, to get up, take responsibility for your health, your surroundings and your life right now than that.

 Cherry Coley ©

Fa La La La La…La La..La Laaaa

Cherry's Camera Dec 2010 026Today I am thankful for music.  Music is a feast for the senses, especially with modern technology.  It’s quite a treat to be able to turn on your favorite tunes at will, sing along if you want and feel the rhythm of the music. 

Music is a language all by its self.  Often when I am feeling blue I will turn on some music to either cheer me up from my blue mood, or some soft music to go with the mood.    Music can be used to wake us up and get us moving, to entertain us while stuck in traffic, to keep us company while on a road trip, to remind us of events and people in our lives.

We have music to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and music for parties, and to celebrate just being able to get up and dance.  We have soothing music to sleep by, and lullaby’s to sing to our children.  We have love songs to say the things we feel when we can’t find the words, and sad songs for the same reason.

 Music helps us to express ourselves when we don’t really know what to say.  There have been times when I felt sad about circumstances in my life and listened to music because the words to the songs were describing exactly how I felt at the moment. 

 I can remember when I was very young, my dad singing me the anthems for the Navy, Air force, Army and Marines when I wasn’t feeling well and he was trying to cheer me up.  He had a song book with the music to many songs from the old South and war times.  He would go through the book picking out songs here and there and singing them to me while I lay beside him listening.

 I remember the soft melodies of Christmas like “Silent Night”, “Holy Night” and “What Child is This”, being played in the house at Christmas time while mom made peanut brittle and chocolate fudge.

 I remember hearing the chimes from the church bells ringing early on Sunday mornings.  One of the most haunting sounds came from an Irishman that lived several blocks over in our neighborhood, he would play 2-3 songs on the bagpipes every now and then at sunset.  My dad said his son died in the war and the man would play when he was missing him.

 I am thankful for the variety of music that is available and the ease we have to find it now.  I am thankful for the magnificent songwriters out there that put the music together, and then share their creation for others to enjoy.  I am thankful for Steve Jobs who created the ability to “put a thousand songs in your pocket.”

 I am not sure what a world without music would be like, but I don’t want to find out.  Music is such an important part of life that the impact of losing it would be devastating.

 Cherry Coley ©

 

Just Rockin’

rockersOne of the reasons I love going to Cracker Barrel restaurant is because of the big porch with all the rocking chairs.  Somehow just walking by that porch reminds me of a small town, a slower lifestyle and a more relaxed atmosphere. 

I would love to have a house with a porch with several rocking chairs.  My grandmother had a screened in front porch that had a couple of rockers and a porch swing on it.  I remember taking naps on that front porch swing when the weather was nice and spending hours playing on the floor of the porch.

There’s just something about sitting in a rocking chair, sipping on iced tea or lemonade, listening to the birds and crickets, and enjoying the view outside.  I now miss the slower pace of Arkansas, though when I was younger I didn’t appreciate it as much.

It’s nice now and then to remember the days gone by, I am thankful for the memories.

 Cherry Coley (c)

Sweet Dreams!

sleeping kitties

Today I am thankful for sleep.   Sleep is something we all need and crave more of at times.  There’s nothing that can take the place of a soft pillow and a warm blanket after a long day. 

 I love the luxury of a pillow top mattress and that there are so many types of mattresses to choose from. We really are spoiled with all the choices of pillows, comforters, and sheets available.  We take our rest and sleep very seriously.

 I am thankful to be able to rest and recharge, to close my eyes and drift away to another place where possibilities are endless and flying is possible without an airplane.  I am thankful to have a place to sleep safely at night. 

 

Sleep is truly a gift so our bodies have a chance to rest, recuperate and make a fresh start.  We do the majority of our growing and healing in our sleep.

I have often envied the cat and his ability to sleep most the day and night.  Then again, even though I enjoy sleeping I wouldn’t want to spend all my time dreaming, there’s a lot of living still to do.

 Cherry Coley ©