Oh December! You are Almost Here!

100_5469This year started on a stressful note and has decided to try to end that way as well.  This has been a very challenging time for a lot of people.  2017 has been a year of losing friends and loved one’s.  Yet, there is no path, no time so dark that light cannot break through.

I have thought a lot about mindset and what it means to me.  We have a choice on how we look at things and how we respond.  Never forget you have this choice, it is yours alone.  Me?  I am a spiritual being on a physical journey.  Knowing that helps me get through the tough times.  Everything in this life is temporary, both good and bad.  Knowing that keeps things tolerable and enjoyable.  Keep your head up through the tough times and realize that no matter what difficulty you are facing, it’s temporary.  Take time for the good things.  More importantly, take time to notice the good.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the struggle we forget to appreciate the sunrise or sunset.  We forget to notice that gentle breeze, or the color of the leaves this time of year.  Oh to absorb even a part of the excitement a dog feels when he see’s you walking toward him again.  Whether it’s been 5 minutes or 5 days, that dog doesn’t care.  They are ready to run around, wag their tail, bark, and show you how excited they are that you are there with them.

Take a moment to breathe.  Take a moment to be thankful.  You are still here.  You still have a purpose and as long as you don’t quit, there is still time, still hope.  December is going to be a good month.

Cherry Coley (c)

Book Review – Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

 book-coverI picked up this book because…who doesn’t want to better manage their day to day routine, find better focus and sharpen their creative mind?  Ha.  This is a typical book for this type of book.  It has a lot of good points about how to regain focus and create time to be creative.  It even mentions another of my favorite books – “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.  It talks about the Morning Pages which is something that I ran across years ago in “The Artist’s Way.”  It was a brilliant idea then and still is a great idea to get the creative mind going.  I am thankful for the reminder.  The author of this book also exposes the myth of multi tasking and elaborates that multi tasking is really not possible.  You can multi task by walking or driving and listening to music at the same time, but unless it is something along that line, you are really not multi tasking.  What are you actually doing is chopping small pieces of your time up and giving it to several things at once.  Before entering into trying to multi task always take a moment to look and see if it would be better and more efficient to do one thing, do it well, complete it and move on.  Good point.  I recommend this book for the insights it offers.

Cherry Coley (c)

The Draw of Netflix

I confess over the last year I discovered Netflix.  You know that feeling when you settle down to watch “a little” television then realize several hours have passed.  It’s addicting and I hear it call to me at times.

As a single mom struggling to stretch funds as far as possible, our little family went years without cable.  So signing up for Netflix has led to the discovery of many series that I had not ever watched, but had heard others talking about at work.  It also led to going back and watching childhood favorites and getting to watch the entire series of some shows where I had missed many episodes.  At first this seemed great!  We could finally catch up and know what others know and understand references to shows that we now had seen as well.

However, (you knew that was coming) Netflix, while wonderful when you have a cold or just need a break, is also very addicting.  Why?  I’ve watched some series more than once and then wondered why I was sitting and watching something I’d already seen.  Why am I spending my valuable time watching other people?  The answer is that Netflix fills a hunger, a void.  It can be entertaining when there is nothing you want to watch on regular cable or television.  It can be funny, horrifying, mind boggling, informative, or sad depending on what you choose.  In essence, Netflix is like a visual book.  What?   Yep, I said that right, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, all those streaming services are like a visual book.

Why are we so drawn to watch series on Netflix?  Is it because we are spoiled and want to watch the entire thing without the break from week to week like we get on television?  Partially, but mostly I think the essence of binge watching is caused by the need to feed your mind an ongoing story.  We get more attached to the stories when we watch them in succession.  The characters pull us in closer, we crave more until we reach the end and then, there is that same feeling as when you put down a good book, a good story, and it’s ended.  We are a little sad that our time with the characters is done.  Sometimes a little upset because it didn’t end the way we thought it would.  It’s the same.  What do you do if you want more?  You either pick another book – or series, or you go back to revisit or reread so you can be in that world a little longer.  This is why Netflix and Hulu, etc. are so popular.   So why not choose to read instead?  The imagination is so much more adept and better equipped to create that fantastic world the writer has in store for us than pictures and actors on the screen.  We say we don’t have time to read.  That’s not true.  There’s always time to read.  Reading is portable.  Oh, I know, with smart phones, tablets, watches and gizmo’s the shows we watch are also more and more portable every day.

So, it’s up to you.  You don’t have to choose one or the other, but it would be beneficial to switch things up at times.  Remind yourself of how much fun reading is.  How nice it is to let your mind be linked to another creative mind through the magic of pages for awhile.  You can read outside and decide to put the book down and take a walk.  Something that doesn’t really occur to you when you’re inside binge watching.  You choose.  Aren’t we all connected and stuck with taking in someone else’s interpretation of what they perceived something to be enough?  Take some time to do things to exercise your imagination.  Get lost in a good book and let your mind wander and explore.

Cherry Coley (c)