Make Small Choices

“Maybe I’m too picky?”, was my thought.

I debunked that thought quickly after taking a glance at the past and seeing where not being picky landed me. Quality of life reflects choices my darling, no matter how small.

At 10:00 am I made my second Chemex. I’m not sitting here highly caffeinated because I poured the first Chemex out after tasting half a cup. I didn’t like the taste, but that meant wrestling the beast for the cup I wanted.

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The Kitchenaide Burr Grinder.

Meet the beast. The best burr grinder ever.

It’s solid steel and weighs a good chunk, especially to be lifted first thing in the morning. That’s what it was going to take to have the cup of coffee my heart desired. The beans that are stored in the top chamber are one of my favorite brands, but I bought the wrong origin. They have a bitter aftertaste I cannot acquire.

I slid the glass container off the bottom that catches the grinds, (important) removed the lid, picked him up and poured the beans into a container. Then refilled the top chamber with pure happiness and made another Chemex.

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Quality of life doesn’t happen automatically. Make Small Choices.

The Queen B

My daughter is still in England, but will be on her way to Paris to celebrate New Years.

I’m home making changes to the house.

I read a Blog where one Mom has a stack of shower curtains. She changes them out seasonally, which I thought was a sweet idea. My daughter and I don’t have room to store things plus, I love my shower curtain, but could see room for improvement.

Our shower curtain hooks are plastic.

We’ve had them a long time, and they’re beginning to break. I spotted these on Etsy and fell in love.

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My daughter’s nickname is “Queen B.’

The choices we make snowball over time.

Three years ago, my daughter would not be in England for three weeks. I wasn’t sure it was possible a year ago, because when she told me her plan, I saw dollar signs floating through the air.

By the grace of God, she’s on a trip of a lifetime.

I could have bought a new shower curtain, but opted for bee rings. It’s the small choices over a period of time that add up to a beautiful life.

All hail to the Queen! xx

Healing in Hugs

I saved the last cookie for my daughter. She broke it in half, and brought half over to me. This is how we live our life.

We are sitting at the table together. She is doing school while I write. There is a difference between living together, and being present. When I stepped away from Social Media, I realized we didn’t hug each other as much as we once did. It was time for that to change. There is healing in hugs.

Some of my favorite daily activities now include, sitting at the counter of my favorite coffee shop, and being present for the person working behind the counter. To walk into one of the shops downtown, and hug the owner for no reason than they’re there another day. People in town wave when they see my truck. How many of those waves were missed?

I freely give my laugh, a listening ear, a smile, and hugs.

My daughter is finding her way through life, and the only thing I have done different is to be present, and give hugs.

It was awkward at first for me to just walk up and hug her, so to lighten it up, I counted. I’d hug her and say, “There’s one.” In my mind there was a minimum of three a day.

She is almost as tall as me now, but it’s still a hug, and it heals.

 

May We All

Driving down the road the other day, I heard a song come on the radio. I recognized the voice, but not the song. It was that kind of song that you cannot sit still while listening to.

Florida Georgia Line, has a new song out.

I haven’t listened to these guys in a while. They are more redneck than country, and I think you either love them, or you don’t. I’m going to give them credit for hanging on to their individuality, in a world full of haters. They have stayed true to who they are, and this song was on my mind early this morning.

The voice I heard in the song as I was driving was none other than Tim McGraw. This is probably what made me listen to the lyrics more intently. If there is one thing this year has taught me, it’s to take absolutely nothing for granted. Not even breathing.

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May we all do a little bit better than the first time
Learn a little something from the worst times
Get a little stronger from the hurt times
May we all get to have a chance to ride the fast one
Walk away wiser when we crashed one
Keep hoping that the best one is the last one
Yeah you learn to fly and if you can’t then you just free-fall

May We All. (Click to watch and listen)

In the song, they talk about the little things in life.

God has definitely pulled me back to that this year. Can you see the little things, or are you looking for the big things in life? Is it your job, or climbing the cooperate ladder? Maybe it’s upcoming social engagements during the holidays? Is it the car you have sitting in the garage, or the one you’re wanting to buy?

I’ve had all of that, and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t last. Those things didn’t bring me happiness either. Happiness for me today, is calling my sister, and talking and laughing for an hour. Sitting in my porch swing, breathing in the country air, and listening to the quiet.

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I get to spend everyday with my daughter. She is growing up way too fast, and will leave the nest far too soon, but we have made more memories the past three years then ever before.

She doesn’t remember the time we rented a sailboat in the Florida Keys with a captain for the day. Nor all the fancy hotels we stayed in when she was a child. She doesn’t recall the Mercedes I drove her to private school in, but she will tell you about the time I tried to rescue her cat.

Her cat was stuck in a tree for three days. It was in the woods, across a field, when we lived on 40 acres a couple of years ago. I could hear it howling for help every time I walked outside. So, we pulled on our boots, and started praying for God’s favor and protection, as we walked across this field toward the howling cat. By the time we got there we were scared.

Not as scared as the cat though. It was way up high in the tree, and I knew there was no way to reach it. All of a sudden we felt a mist of water coming straight down on us. I thought it had started to rain until my daughter busted out laughing. The cat was so scared, it started to pee, and was peeing all over us!

That was enough for me. Kitty came down on her own.

We still laugh about that story, and we have lots of memorable times that have happened since we’ve been on our own together. She has them written down, and reads them off when we need a laugh. It’s amazing some of the things we’ve been through that have turned out to be the best moments of our lives!

These are the things she remembers, and they didn’t cost a dime. Just my time.

 

Light the Fuses

I woke up this morning pondering how different my life is today, compared to a few years ago.

I believe we all have a beautiful life, filled with God’s goodness. Now, whether or not we can see it, is the question. I couldn’t see mine. The marriage I was in for 25 years, had taken a sharp turn after 15 years. I was sober. By taking the drink away, I was the real me.

Staying for 10 more years was a struggle between where I was, and where I knew I could be.

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Change your thinking and change your life.

I’ve listened to a lot of motivational CD’s over my lifetime. One day, some things I had heard over the years came to the forefront of my mind. Tony Robbins was one of them.

Tony said, “Get disturbed. You’re not going to stand it any longer. What disturbs you in your life? What are you going to do about it today?”

I wasn’t disturbed anymore, even though my life was very disturbing! We become complacent, like it’s okay to live with the hand we are dealt. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s not okay. I pondered if this was the very best God had planned for me. Where was God?

He was there, watching and waiting.

This was not the life He had planned. This was the life I had created. Then Joyce Meyer’s words came to mind, right after Tony’s. I had heard on one of her CD’s, “Make a decision, so God can get in line and help you.” That was all I needed to hear. I needed to let my disturbing life actually disturb me, and make a decision.

Get disturbed, and make a decision.

I had stopped getting angry. My husband was so angry about everything, you could feel it a mile away. So, I stayed calm because anger fuels more anger. He was miserable too, but didn’t know how to fix it.

I did us both a favor the day I left even though he didn’t see it at first. Sometimes things fall apart completely, so they can fall back together.

I believe we both have a beautiful life today, even though we’re apart. When Tony asked, “What disturbs you in your life?”, it was my whole life. I had to blow it up, and start all over again. It felt like I had lost everything that made life worth living, but I was still standing there, so, what was it time to do?

Get disturbed, make a decision, and light the fuses.

Stay the Path

I slept through the night. That in itself is a miracle.

I woke up thinking about a Blog I wrote lastnight before bed entitled, How to Fly. I wanted to pull it up, and delete it because I wasn’t happy with it. Since when is this Blog about me? I just write what’s on my heart.

It’s Tuesday, but I don’t have Chemo. Week two begins of the three week break. There is no feeling of dread this morning. No dark cloud following me around. It’s a new day full of possibilities, and more healing.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life it’s this. There is a reason, and a season for everything. God doesn’t reveal the reason for the season while you’re in it, but as you stay the path, it becomes more clear.

A season can last a long time.

I have a friend that has been battling Breast Cancer a lot longer than me. To look at her circumstances, it seems to be getting worse, and not better. Let me tell you that God gives His biggest battles, to His toughest soldiers.

When her battle is over, it’s going to be obvious that God did for her what she couldn’t do for herself.

I have another friend that is in a season of quiet. She doesn’t feel she is being used by God.

This woman has been used by God her entire life. She introduced me to a church that reconnected me to God, and she was my daughter’s Nanny for a short time. She brought joy and laughter to our lives, and years later, she still does.

When you are in a season of quiet, that stinkin Devil will walk in and make you doubt every aspect of your life.

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I have been in a season of quiet for a long time. Going through Chemo has made it challenging to write. The toxins alone mess with your mind and body, and give ample opportunity for the devil to kick you while you’re down.

I started questioning my mission, and pondered maybe I should stop writing. Am I reaching people, or helping them in any way? I have to believe that God will use this Blog to encourage others. Even if I just reach one.

That same friend that isn’t feeling used by God, took time to encourage me yesterday.

She said she’s encouraged by my Blog.

She has said in the past that she always gets something out of it, and sometimes it feels like it’s written specifically for her. Well my friend if your are reading this, let me assure you that God is still using you. This writer that was doubting her ability to keep writing, has just written another Blog.

Anti Social Media

I have met three people this week that live in the same town I live in. This came to my attention just by talking, and asking questions to people I’ve run into throughout the week.

This small town, with one 4-way stop, has some darling people living in it. Recently, I have realized how much I miss talking face to face with people. Now, I see people everyday, but to take time to ask questions, and listen to their story is what I miss.

Two years ago, I posted my first Meme on my Letitgocoach Facebook page. I thought it would be a way to reach the masses, and encourage them. It took a year to reach 1,000 likes. Another year has passed, and the page has almost 10,000 likes. There has been almost 1,000 Memes posted to the page. It looks like I am reaching people, but that is not the case.

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One of the most difficult things in life for me is, deciding how long to stay somewhere. God knows this about me, and I’m sure He gets a chuckle out of how long I will hold on to someone, or something, and try every way imaginable to make it work. This is when I have to remember the name God gave this Blog, and Letitgocoach. It is time for me to let it go.

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This year has been an amazing journey through self. As I sit here at my desk typing this, I’m looking out the window, and around at my surroundings. Everything I see is pretty, and has some type of story behind it. The mug that holds my coffee is Vintage Starbucks, with their Mermaid wrapped around the mug, painted in gold. Every item has meaning and love.

When I started this Blog, my dream was to write a book. This has been placed on the back burner more times than I can count. For some reason, my journey through Breast Cancer, and Chemo, has given me remarkable clarity is all areas of my life.

If you are reading this from one of my social media pages, thank you for being here.

It may not make sense for me to be stepping away from social media in this day and age, but I’m excited. Why do people feel so alone today, and live with high anxiety if social media is social? Call me old fashioned but I don’t believe anything can replace the human touch.

A New Path

I backslid this morning and went down to the corner store for a cup of coffee. I’ve barely had any coffee with this round of Chemo. The trip to the store wasn’t about coffee after all.

Three days ago, I wrote a Blog and mentioned a song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. Randy Phillips have been associated with a church in Austin, TX called Promiseland for years.  Standing at the counter of the store this morning, a lady walked up and started talking to me. I had met her before, and it was such a blessing just to take the time to catch up.

We walked outside, and she said something that quickly got my attention. She asked if I was familiar with Promiseland Church Austin, and I told her yes. They are bringing a satellite church September 11th to Lockhart, TX. Literally 10 minutes from where I live. We exchanged phone numbers and made plans to go together. So glad I went for that coffee.

This is how God moves in my life.

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I saw this Meme earlier this week and saved it. Didn’t really know why at the time, but today, it makes sense. I noticed that this round of Chemo was trying to kick my butt. I’ve been on a vicious cycle of eating, and sleep the week of, and my quality of life was suffering.

My daughter was visiting a friend last weekend, and this gave me time to ponder who I wanted to be, versus who I was becoming. I was allowing my current circumstances to dictate my quality of life. I  made a list of what I wanted to accomplish and started working on the list.

I’ve acquired a new curiosity for life.

The things I listed are things God has shown me, that I had put on the back burner due to lack of energy. It was time to look at what I wanted, who I wanted to be, and get to work. My body has been through hell, and I’ve been caring for the inside with good nutrition. It was time to show some care to the outer shell, so Yoga began.

I started doing Yoga 3 years ago and loved it. It makes my body happy, and I’m a firm believer in using your body to strengthen itself. This lead to reading more about it, and downloading some other books that I’ve been curious about. Strengthening the mind, and body so to speak. I got everything accomplished on my list, so today we have a new one.

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Rebuilding myself from where I am today. People have often said to me, “Keep fighting.” That sounded strange because it didn’t feel like a fight. The Chemo was fighting the Cancer, but I discovered what I was fighting for was my life. Not to get lost in the circumstances, and not to become my circumstances. I am not the same woman I was in March.

I said to someone yesterday, “This has been a remarkable journey.” He said, “I’ve never heard it described that way before.”

That is probably true because it’s easy to let the Chemo become bigger than you. Get curious about life again. Muster up all the strength you have, and use it to start over. This journey is coming to an end, but it took me straight to a new path.

You’re Not Alone

My daughter went to visit a girlfriend Friday evening, and she’s coming home today. I was all alone, but I wasn’t lonely. There is nothing wrong with alone time, and sometimes it’s much needed. We are the only person we actually have in this world, so we need to like us.

I read a comment earlier by a lady on Facebook, and it took me back in time. She has been in an unhappy marriage, for 30 years, and just couldn’t take it anymore. I remember that feeling. Once I made the decision to leave, it was like everything lined up in the Universe, and it all fell into place.

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I believe this Meme to be true.

I couldn’t see any way out of that marriage. All I saw were roadblocks, and impossibilities. I had no money to speak of, and no family to help, but God had a way. The first thing on my list, was to find a place to live. My daughter found a house for rent an hour away from where we lived. It was like the owners were just waiting for us.

We moved in 30 days later, and my daughter and I relearned how to relax, and enjoy life.

That became part of my mission. To show people they can have a beautiful life after 50. I believe some think 50 years old is too late to start over, but it’s not. If anything it’s rather sweet to have all this life experience, and start your life over. I’ve done less stupid things.

Doing what I see possible, hands the baton to God to do the impossible.

Stress is worrying God can’t do His job .

When we depend on Him, and trust His plan, there is no stress. Unless we decide to stress ourselves out with the unknowing of it all. As I was sitting alone yesterday, I reminded myself, everything I need comes from God, not man. He promises to never leaves us, or forsake us, and I believe our part is to never leave Him.

Something else I thought of as I sat alone, was a song by Phillips, Craig and Dean. “You Are God Alone“, is the name of the song. I love the lyrics, and will share some of the with you.

You are not a god
Created by human hands
You are not a god
Dependent on any mortal man
You are not a god
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

[Chorus]
You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

From before time began, God was God alone.

He is not in need of anything from us, because He is God. I love the way it says, “That’s just the way it is.” No explanation needed. Even in my alone time, I am not alone.

Scoop and Skim

It took me 50 years to learn the art of napping. All I can say lovelies is, be a faster learner than me. We all have 24 hours in a day. It’s how we use them that brings quality to life.

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This is a photo of my backyard 10 years ago.

When we bought this house, the backyard resembled a football field, cradled by these Texas Live Oaks. It took me 3 years to surrender to having this pool put in. Most companies wanted to bulldoze the trees down, so they would have a clean, easy slate.

My then husband was a designer, and he loved landscape design, so he had it all figured out.

That pool was my first glimpse into the present moment. I love hands on type work, where you can see the fruits of your labor. The pool company showed me how to take care of it, and give it’s weekly maintenance. This was one of the first, successful saltwater pools, so if we had a hard rain, it would beat all the salt out.

Nothing like waking up to a green pool!

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Here is a bird’s eye view. This was the backyard, so you can imagine what all needed taking care of inside the house. That was my life. Taking care of man-made beauty.

Did it bring me joy? One small part of it did. Turning on the waterfall, and gazing into the clear blue water.

The maintenance entailed turning all power off, and backwashing the pump. Unrolling many feet of hose, and placing the end far away from any flowers for the dirty water to have a safe place to go. Roll the hose up back up tightly with precision, and then dumping 50lb bags of salt into the pool. That was the chemical part.

Now it was time to scoop and skim.

This was my favorite part. I would take a long handled net, and walk along all the large rocks you see encompassing the pool. Scooping and skimming the surface of all the debris from those blasted trees. The trees brought some shade, but they were mainly left there for looks. If it looked good, it stayed, no matter the financial cost, or the price paid.

Fast-forward 10 years, and today my life is simple. The house I live in today is about the size of the guest house sitting behind that pool. The monthly payment on that house, was more than I make in a month today.

When I left that life behind, all I had was God, my daughter, and me. I can see the natural beauty of life, and have time to care for ‘who’, and not ‘what’.

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I recall moving into our first little house, almost 4 years ago, and staring at the bed. I could not remember the last time I took a nap, because I wanted to, not because I had run myself down. I announced to my daughter in the other room, “I’m taking a nap.” She didn’t question it, but surely she thought it was odd. I fell across that bed, and let myself rest.

I believe God taught me that for a reason. It was normally just a 20 to 30 minute power nap. Anything longer than 30 minutes made me feel worse. I got napping down to a science, and saw that if I took better care of me, I was able to take better care of those who needed me.

My quality of life is based on the time I give it.

God, and Chemo have taught me I have very little control over the way I feel, and what I can accomplish in a day. I am just grateful to be writing this the day after Chemo! I have been strong for 30 years, so I discard that cape, and trust God in every area of my life.

I still remember the serenity in scoop and skim.