Three Years Ago

January 10, 2016…three years ago I settled in my recliner to write my first blog post. Back then I didn’t know what to expect or if anyone would even be interested in reading it. It was the first time in a very long while that I put caution to the wind and really took a chance. Those fleeting moments of filling the page with words felt liberating. There…I had done it. I listened to my heart and invested in the possibilities. It felt like I had unleashed a woman who had hidden within me for ages, not only a married working mom, but a writer who had copious words and stories to share. This passion has always lived within me, bubbling up finally. I thought maybe no one would care. Maybe someone would. I simply trusted myself and my readers and put it out there.

Since then I’ve learned that not everyone in your life will pay attention or care. Some joke about my blog like it’s a stupid thing or that its funny. That’s okay! But some have been interested and have encouraged me along the way! They signed up for my email! They read now and then and comment, sharing in my experiences in life. Whether you are my family of friends or ones who have stumbled upon my site, it doesn’t matter. What matters to me is that you care, that you support me as I travel this special journey. I’m eternally grateful for your support, your love and friendship.

As I continue this journey and dream of compiling my penned posts, I am considering taking writing classes to learn more. I hope you all will stay connected with me. I wish you all peace, joy and love as you start this new year.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

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Being Grateful Every day

This month of November it’s common to hear in podcasts and other media the theme of gratefulness. Thanksgiving reminds us all of what we have that we cherish…our family and friends, our health, a roof over our heads and food for meals. Although being thankful is truly what this holiday is about, I’d like to think that being grateful is my mantra every day of the year and not just the third Thursday in November! 

 

 

 

 

I used to have a practice of listing five things I was grateful for. Sometimes I listed Tom and the boys. Others my job and friends were included. I listed my health more than once, for despite a few health scares I’ve always managed to stay strong and healthy. Most times I thanked God for having Tom and the boys healthy too. 

 

 

 

 

I learned this habit from Oprah and did it religiously for a few years in my journals. Slowly it faded away yet I mentally go over my grateful list most days and continue to thank God for all the good in my life as well as the difficult challenges. It’s plowing steadily through those barriers that has built my character and fortitude. It comes full circle and after experiencing the rough bumps on this road of life, I am aware that the hurdles have strengthened me. I am extremely thankful for the gifts hidden along the way, for they have made me the person I am today! 

 

 

 

Now that I’m approaching 50 this coming year and my family is raised, I have ample time to reflect. Being grateful every day doesn’t mean a joy ride or perfect circumstances  but to me, it is finding special and maybe little things that can brighten my day. A kind smile or phone call from a friend or family member, feeling the rich soil of the garden and planting seeds for future days, being able to walk on both legs and cherishing serenity in nature are all things I’m thankful for. 

 

 

 

 

 

The more I think about this the more I realize that being grateful in some way every day is the key to happiness. If you notice what you have( such as being healthy or having a beautiful family) and not dwell on what you don’t have, you’ll truly appreciate what God has gifted you. I believe everyone has something to be grateful for and if you ponder over this you can generate quite a list.

 

What are you grateful for? Do you reflect on this just in November or everyday of the year? The more we notice all the good things in our lives, the richer your experience will become. 

 

 

I’m busy getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Today I’m vacuuming and shampooing my rugs, generating a last minute grocery list and planning my table setting. I’m grateful that I’m able to do this at home and Tom’s sister Bev and her husband Chris are coming, as well as my youngest son Branden. Dylan and his wife Lexy will come later for dessert , so both my sons will be here together. Excitement  is in the air as the big day approaches! 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🦃

 

 

This Feeling

 

 

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This feeling deep within

it lives and breathes alone

it strives to rise up

and make me feel at home

The best kind of notion

that was sparked so long ago

via a kind word

or

a heartfelt hug

from

someone

who believed in me

This feeling I now cradle

and swaddle as a new born baby

its always been there hidden

ready to emerge

a love I’m growing

Self love

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul❤️❤️❤️

 

 

 

A Purpose in Life

 

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Questions to ask yourself:

What is your purpose for being in your life?

Why are you here?

What is it you wish to accomplish before you leave?

 

My purpose in most of my married life has been raising good kids and making my husband happy. I focused on those things more than anything else. Now, years later, I must reinvent myself and discover who I am other than being a mother and wife. Finding happiness and fulfillment totally in my husband is too much pressure on him. We are happy together and best friends. But…I realize that I must do much of my inner work myself, love myself and move forward with visions of what I want to do and what my purpose on earth is.

 

It’s hard work starting from scratch with little tools to help. It’s probably one of the hardest things that I ever will do! Unfortunately I’ve built a life of dependency, hurt feelings and low self esteem. It’s been my security blanket and now I feel that I must tear it off, throw it aside and reinvent my life without it, unclothed. It’s my choice to plow forward and get to know who I really am. 

 

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I know I am here for a reason but I’m not sure what that is. Other than raising great boys and building a beautiful family .Maybe writing comes into play in some form? Maybe giving and volunteering? It make time for me to discover what I will do with my life from now on but that’s okay because I have time.

What do I want to accomplish?

 

Spreading love, kindness, being understanding

 

Being self confident

 

Loving my family and friends

 

Writing

 

Organizing our house

 

Gardening and creating beautiful gardens in our yard

 

Walking, hiking, exercising 

 

Baking for Pals ( a school parents group)

 

Giving to others

 

I think there are times in ones life when priorities shift and directions change. I’m at a time in my life when my children are grown and settling in just fine. My motherly role remains but has taken a back seat. Lately I feel similar to the twenty- year-old me, a young woman with a needed direction and focus. Here I am at the age of 49 and those feelings are back. I plan on using them to my advantage to learn who I am and what I want to do. How exciting it is…to live with a fresh outlook and forward vision. 

 

What is your life purpose? Have you always known? Did something trigger your purpose that changed your life?  If you have a similar experience I would love to hear your story!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

I’ve Been Thinking…By Maria Shriver

 

 

I stumbled upon my latest find by accident but maybe it was a  divine intervention. My sister and I attended a Keith Urban concert and stayed over in a hotel that night. She had this book in her bag, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver. I noticed it and thumbed through it and later purchased it after my sister ranted and raved over it.

 

My sister and I at the concert. What a great night we had, dancing, celebrating life and talking most of the night. I love my younger sister so much!

 

I love Maria Shriver and what she stands for. She is a strong woman, a person who knows what she wants to do( find a cure and an answer for Alzheimer’s, her true mission),who writes poetically with her heart and soul and has featured a Facebook video in the past with Christina Ferrare. These were about a year and a half ago, focusing on healthy foods for a healthy brain and body. What I loved about the videos was that these two are obvious friends and had a charisma and humor that kept you glued to it. I miss them but I’m getting my fill of Maria by reading her book.

 

Each chapter has various reflections that affect women and can strengthen them. She features joy in the home,gratitude, forgiveness, the power of positive thinking and letting go. Maria describes her battle with empty nest and where it has left her. I can relate to this as I’m experiencing the same thing.

 

I loved the chapter that focused on mental illness and how everyone has some form of it. It resonated with me because sometimes I feel like my thoughts are out of control and steamrolling the real me. Shriver says that everyone has mental problems and that it’s okay. She further says that “we all need to think about preserving its (the brain) health”. 

 

Lastly I encourage you to buy this book and rest it on your night stand. Read a bit at a time and reflect. Journal your thoughts and reflections after you read. If you enjoy short reflective chapters that make you think, then this is your book.

 

One last quote from Maria’s book that I love is,

I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.

-Carl Jung

Living Without My IPAD

 

This was Taken at the Ice castles this winter!

Sometimes you just know deep inside you that you need to walk away from a gadget or habit, you know? Even so… it’s such a part of your life that it seems extremely  difficult to stop. This is how I feel about my  iPad usage.  I’ve relied on it for five years, checking the weather, email, banking, blogging, messaging, you get the idea, right?

A few months ago the screen shattered when I dropped it. ( I had dropped it many times before but was lucky every time) I kept on using it and developed a system where I wouldn’t get glass splinters from touching the screen. Then the battery started acting up and not charging. I rushed to buy a new charger cable and discovered that the battery’s finally dead. My iPad is gone and here I am typing on my desktop computer. It’s not the same nor as convenient but I wonder if this was God’s doing, as the thoughts of addiction came to my mind. Everywhere I was the iPad wasn’t far away.

 

So this is why I haven’t written or posted pictures lately. Many of my photos for my blog were on the iPad and I didn’t back it up. So this is a lesson learned that if I ever do buy another gadget for information….I’ll back it up!

I hope this entry finds you all well and happy with your life!

I’m working on a post about this winter and a visit to the Ice Castles and my mom’s trip to Amish country in Ohio. Check back in soon, friends!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

Back and Forth

 

Written on an old tattered notebook page

First Draft, 1992

 

Windshield wipers scrape

BACK AND FORTH

Intense rain splatters

pitter

patter

on the windshield

Monstrous storm clouds hover

while a deluge of showers

clouds my vision

Cold rushes sweep

through the  inching vehicle

as the windshield wipers chime

BACK AND FORTH

Like a tune on an old record player

Constant

Unchanging

yet beautiful,

showers of rain

pitter

patter

BACK AND FORTH

 

 

What do you think of my poem from long ago? 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕