A Better Way To Live~Day 12

Are you more attuned to the little things, or the big things in life?

Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do. It does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however, what you think about you. You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities. You are special. Act it. Never neglect the little things.

littlethingsYears ago, I was looking out my patio door at the swimming pool in the backyard. The water had a hint of green to it, which was not a good thing. Looking back on it now, there were a series of little things going on that made me notice the big thing.

Maybe the water wasn’t circulating enough, or the salt was low and not able to produce enough chlorine. There was a checklist that I went through in my mind, but had to go out to the equipment to investigate.

There is usually a little thing not functioning at its highest potential, that causes a breakdown in the rest of the natural order of things. We see it everyday, and if ignored, will cause a domino effect and after time, a really big thing will be staring you in the face.

Like your vehicle telling you it’s time for an oil change. Someone said recently, “Oil is cheap. Parts are expensive.”

For me to be fulfilled it’s all the little things someone does that brings me to overflowing. It’s not a big, expensive act anymore, it’s just the little things of caring in everyday life that bring me joy. I notice the little things, and hope today that you will too, because they are indeed the big ones.

A Better Way To Live~Day 11

My daughter and I laugh all the time! We say some of the craziest things to one another. So much so….she keeps a record of it!

Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, and help you to put perspective on that seemingly terrible defeat of the moment. Banish tension, concern, and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.

hohohaha spiral orangeI have learned not to take life or myself too seriously. If I am having a moment of seriousness, my daughter starts reading off a list of funny things I’ve said in the past. By the time the second one is out of her mouth, we’re both laughing so hard we can barely breathe!

By hearing what she is reading, I can recall the time and circumstance it manifested, and it brings back great memories. Once we’re finished laughing, which I usually have to ask her to stop reading, we feel so much better! Not just physically lighter, but mentally clear as well.

There is a solution to every obstacle. You may not see it immediately, but give it time. You will know how to handle everything this life throws at you. In the meantime, laugh! It truly is the best medicine and it’s free!

A Better Way To Live~Day 10

Most-precious-resource-is-timeAs you have probably noticed from previous Blogs…I love Steve Jobs. His life here on this earth was cut short, but oh what a legacy he left behind! Where would we be today without this guy? Probably not typing on this laptop.

Are you ready for Day 10? It’s a real mind bender.

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care, kindness, understanding, and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

I love doing acts of kindness in secret. Recently, my daughter and I were at a local restaurant, and the waitress was a single Mom. She has three kids and is a little concerned about Christmas along with the power bill. She left our check laying on the table and our meal was $15. I paid for the meal, and my daughter leaves a $60 tip. We gathered up our belongings, hurried out the door and hopped into our truck before she could notice.

We do little things like that quite often, and enjoy helping others in that way. Today’s rule challenges us to show action face to face, with no thought of any reward. To show a complete stranger all the goodness you can muster. This should make for a very interesting day! If you are following this series, and choose to take this challenge, please share your comments below. I would love to hear how your life changed by changing someone else’s, and your thoughts around midnight.

A Better Way To Live~Day 9

There is nothing more heart wrenching for me than to meet someone living in the past. Regrets while walking this earth. Not seeing what this day has in store because they’re looking behind them.

loveLive this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find “tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats, and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. All you have. Make it the best day of the year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, “If I had my life to do over again…” Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day!

It’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around this day being my last. Even though, I hear stories daily of people younger than me leaving this world. I do know, this day will come to an end, so I need to make the most of it.

I tend to do small things continuously throughout the day. Instead of tackling something large, it’s a smoother journey to make a tweak here and there. Last year was my first Christmas as a single Mom. My daughter loves Christmas lights, but I could not get motivated to hang them. I bought two Christmas trees and decorated them, thinking that would work. Well….that was okay, but looking back, it didn’t fulfill either of us.

This weekend she was with her Dad, and I had some colorful icicle lights in a box from years ago. God even made sure I had clips, so there were no excuses. It took me less than an hour to hang those colorful strands around the roof of the front porch. I’m no roof climber, and I wasn’t out to prove anything masterful. When she comes home Monday evening, the look on her face will be more than worth it.

So, if I wouldn’t have been given this day, my daughter could have sat on the front porch and seen that Mama left her a world of light and love.

A Better Way to Live~Day 8

There was a time when I was so busy all the time that it seemed I had a full life. Then I learned the following lesson. There is a big difference between ‘full’, and ‘fulfilled’.

Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time and space to grow.

somedayOn a  continuous basis, I glance at my plate. Does it look like it was overloaded at a recent buffet, or is everything evenly distributed? The goal is for everything to fit, but not run together. Some helpings may be a little larger than others, but it’s what my daily life consists of, and I want it to be balanced.

Sometimes things ease onto my plate and it starts getting overcrowded. With that, one of two things will happen. I look closely at my plate and make sure I like what I see. If something has been there a while and not appetizing anymore, it may be time to remove it and make room for the new thing to help me grow.

It works best for me to remove something and pray about embracing the new, opposed to continually piling on. If I look at my plate and everything is balanced, working in sync and complimenting one another, then it’s time to say ‘No’ to adding anymore for now. Say ‘No’ without giving a reason. One of the perks of adulthood, because it’s your life. Savor every bite.

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 7

One week ago, I celebrated 16 years of sobriety. The first thing I do each morning is to thank God for waking me up sober. Each day is truly a gift, and waking up without a hangover, is an absolute miracle.

Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.

Serenity PrayerI had to let go of the person I was so familiar with, and open my heart and mind to who I could become. There was no room for negative thinking, or feeling sorry for myself for all the years spent drinking. The pain and hurt caused by my actions were in the past, and I was ready to make amends and embrace the present.

By accepting there is a higher power greater than myself, I was willing to follow His plan for my life. After all, my plan had placed me where I was and that was not desirable anymore. It was time for a new life, and a new me. Thank you God for waking me up sober, and thank you for my new life.

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 6

This took a long time to learn.

Let your actions always speak for you, but be forever on guard against the terrible traps of false pride and conceit that can halt your progress. The next time you are tempted to boast, just place your fist in a full pail of water, and when you remove it, the hole remaining will give you a correct measure of your importance.

handandactionI’ve made a lot of promises throughout my life. After a trail of broken promises, words ring empty. Leading with the best intentions, until life get’s in the way. Nike has been saying it for years, “Just Do It”. It was time to stop saying and just do.

Instead of saying what I was going to do, if it’s within my power, I would just do it. When the person I did it for sees it’s been done, they are pleasantly surprised. Sometimes they don’t recall asking, it’s just something I remembered they wanted. It’s much better to do a task silently, and be thanked, than making empty promises.

I’ve also learned not to take credit for anything. All the glory goes to God, and trust me, that was a painful lesson. If something fabulous manifests through me, then it’s God working His will. I am only a vessel. Just do the next right thing, and God will do the rest. Lesson learned.