HELLO! I am so glad to see you for the last part of my “CRAZY LIFE ~IN AN ACRONYM” blog! I excited to share the last of the ‘character qualities’ I am working on this year, to be the best ME I can be. I am hoping you will find encouragement and some ideas as you read the last word in my blog~ “LIFE” in acronym! Each letter represents an aspect of my life that I am working on improving as the year 2012 begins and continues onward. So, here we go again! But before we start if you missed part one and part two...you will want to catch up!
Now for Part 3!
“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”
Life is SO short. It seems like only yesterday that I was in pigtails, playing hopscotch with my friends! And now, I sit and think, “GEE! Time has flown!” I sit here at a very different place in my life. Married, two adult children, a friend, a homemaker, educator, crafter and creator! I never dreamed I would end up in Florida, a place I only read about as I grew up in Maryland. I have such a joyful life.
And my desire it to make each day special in it’s own right.
There are days when things do not go exactly as I wish, but my goal is to always make a choice! To choose to LIVE that day happily, in spite of what is going on around me. There is ALWAYS something to be happy about. I carry a list in my purse of the very things that bring me joy- people, memories, goals, and when I have the urge to tuck and run, I pull out my list and take a moment to pause and choose to LIVE and LIVE happily in that very moment! I ‘change my thought’ direction and embrace what is good in my life. It is amazing how the day can turn around on a dime. It is not always easy. Last year, I had moments where I really struggled, but this year I am focused on becoming more successful at living in the moment. Refusing to let moments pass me by because I am so focused on issues that many times will take care of themselves.
This year I choose to laugh more. I look for the ‘funny’ in every situation, the joke, the LAUGHTER, that many times is there, but which can be overlooked because I am so bogged down with the details and the weight of the moment. I am learning to take things less seriously, myself less seriously. If I am down, I will call, or message a friend that I can count on for one good belly laugh, and a great big snort. Within minutes, I am feeling better. My goal is to be the one who others call when they need to laugh, or need a boost to their spirit. So, I am praying for the ability to laugh like a child and live in the moment!
Imagination is the highest kite one can fly. ~Author Unknown
(a painting hanging in my school~ wish I knew the artist... but this is one imaginative and creative elementary student)
This is the year, I plan to let the string out on my kite, and allow my imagination SOAR to heights I have not seen. I have always had a larger than life imagination, but last year, which was difficult in some ways, I allowed my imagination to stagnate somewhat. I was overwhelmed with circumstances I had not expected and found myself focused on the problems that I could not solve. There were times when I stopped reading, listening to music, creating new meals, or projects. It was during those moments of time that I found myself withdrawing, watching more television, and participating in activities that in no way sparked my imagination. I became depressed and anxious. Something changed that!
My daughter asked me to attend the premiere of the last Harry Potter movie. I had read all of the books, I had seen all of the movies, so I knew I had to pull myself together, to spend time with my daughter and finish the series. I sat in the theater waiting, my mind swirling with the ‘problems’ going on in my life. The movie began, and instantly I was carried away into a world of imagination! I was enthralled with the tale that I had read, as it played out before me. I LOVED the movie, and after it was over, I felt the desire to go back and reread the entire series. As I read, my imagination was reawakened and the smoldering flame of my imagination was fanned back into a blaze. It was amazing how reading and escaping into a different world could turn my imagination back to the ‘on’ position! I was determined not to lose the ‘imaginative’ track I was on, so I started a project, then I created a new recipe, then began reading another book and I WAS BACK. Since that time I have purposed to find ways to keep that imagination alive! I try and slate time to imagine what I would like to do, whether it is a new project to create, a new novel to escape into, a new recipe to whip up. Keeping the imagination going, keeps me going. I am including a great article about ways to develop your imagination!
Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life! ~Albert Einstein
My family means the world to me. In the crazy world of work, hobbies, friends, and just plain surviving, I have at times forgotten to reflect upon and show gratitude to the people who love me most. I am most definitely a “people person”, finding myself enjoying the joys of entertaining, socializing, eating out, going to the movies with my girls! It is SO easy for me to get caught up in my 'friend time' that I don’t plan the very essential family time that is so desperately needed in my life. The time to cultivate and enjoy celebrating life with my family! After all, my family members are those who see me at my worst and love me anyway! My husband literally bends over backwards to make my life a little easier! He cooks, helps me with cleaning, listens to my 'woes'! My children are not so involved in their lives, that they don’t stop to ask, “Mom, how was your day?” This year I am purposely scheduling time in for my family. I actually started over Christmas holiday. I had ONE party before Christmas and then devoted the rest of the holiday to time with my daughter, shopping and seeing a movie. With my son, home fresh from the National Guard, eating out and just sitting to chew the fat, and my husband, watching a movie, or just really talking and discussing our ideas and plans for the New Year, or even just for that day. My family and I ate meals~ TOGETHER! We enjoyed spending time in each other’s company. It was SO completely refreshing. So, I am purposing and making a point to find those quality moments in my day and week and month to share ‘special and ordinary’ moments with those who adore me most- my family. Oh, I won’t neglect my friends! But I will make sure that through my actions and my words, my family knows that they have the number ONE spot in my heart, and in my life.
“No matter how busy you are, you must take time to make the other person feel important.” - Mary Kay Ash
We are not here for ourselves. We are here for the purpose of encouraging and building up those who are part of our lives! I Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore, encourage each other and strengthen one another…” I am a firm believer in encouraging those that need encouragement. Encouraging someone may be as simple as smiling at a stranger, or calling a friend when we know they are in need of a boost. I pray each day before I walk out the door, that my heart would be sensitive to recognize those that are in need of a little ‘something’~ a gentle word, a prayer, a laugh. I want to keep my eyes opened to the needs of others, lest I become so entirely focused on myself. Being that I just watched “Scrooge” over the holidays, it was a quick reminder as to 'how only thinking of oneself' can be the ruination of not only your life but the lives of those around you. Thank goodness Scrooge had his ghostly visitors to point him in a different direction, resulting in good. Frankly, I will pass on any ‘ghostly apparitions’ and simply make sure that each and every day, I am encouraging others as much as possible. It is amazing when I pray for the opportunities, how often they present themselves. So, for 2012, I shall daily pray for eyes that are wide open, ears that are listening, and a heart that is ready to embrace the opportunity to... ENCOURAGE.
Wow, we have covered so many areas, but in reality, aren’t each and every one of these character qualities all rolled into one! Loving myself and others! LAUGHING at the sheer joy of being alive. Living each moment as if it were the last. This is my focus for 2012, and I am willing to do the work to make it the BEST YEAR EVER.
Thank you so much for joining me in my musings, goals, and desires for a New Year. I hope something tickles your fancy, and that you will find some ideas that you can incorporate into making 2012~ YOUR YEAR TO SHINE.
Living, Laughing and OH SO Loving my Life,