Thursday, May 31, 2012

Go for the Goal

Life without a goal is like driving without a destination. A goal without a plan is like having a destination but no gas in the tank to get you there. Evidently we need both; the goal and the plan to get us there.

The goal part is easy... I want to lose weight, I want to get fit, I want to improve our finances, I want to take my kids on a holiday, I want to get a pedicure, I want to go to bed sometime before 11pm and sleep past 5am. The word goal has a magical connotation, I set a thousand of them everyday and say 'goal' like a hocuspocus word... say it and things magically appear or disappear as the case might be.

Really the magic is in the plan. Planning the habits that support the goal. Seventy days ago I set a goal to get fit. I've been setting that goal for most of my adult life. Seventy days ago I made a plan to support my goal of getting fit. I set my clock to get me up twenty minutes earlier, I rearranged my morning schedule to make fitness fit in. I started the first week trying to get through 1 song on my elliptical. I planned habits and they stuck. Now I am up to eight songs (or 10km) on my elliptical on cardio days and I have added in a strength training and toning routine. I don't miss a day and I am achieving my goal. I am getting fit.

Time to apply the 'plan' principal to another personal goal. Writing for real is a goal I have touted for a very long time, one I dabble in achieving but it is time to get serious. Dabbling just won't do, this is an all-in or nothing dream. Last night was goal planning night, family goals and personal goals. I brought my writing goal to the table because a goal like that is going to need plan supporters.

So here is the plan... We have blocked off time in the family schedule for Mom to write and we have blocked off time for mom to research and network. These are specific times when Mom will "be at work" Dad will be officially in  charge and Mom will be 'unreachable'. Part two of the goal is to connect with minimum three opportunities every week. Part 3 is to get out from under my rock and not be shy about what I do.

So here I go with a goal to reach and a plan to get me there. With much gratitude to my family for supporting the plan and encouraging me. Much gratitude too to any of you reading who may be connected to publishers, writers, readers, agents, celebrity, editors or other persons of connection that you might pass my name and works along to *shameless hint dropping*

See you at the finish line!

Another step in the plan is a Facebook page to collect me writing - it's under constant construction...I'd love for you to stop by share your thoughts...Don't forget to 'like' the page! Thinking Places

Have a fabulous Thursday...don't forget to share your gratitude.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer...Let the Adventures Begin!

Summertime and the living is easy. Oh how I love love love nights of sitting out of doors enjoying slow conversations, great friends and warm breezes. I adore afternoons strolling through summer towns and resting on patios with live music and local foods. I cherish every memory born on sandy beach and forest trail. This is my time of the year. There is a thing refreshing about the confines of weather and temperature falling away, as though god reaches down, lifts our house off the set and leaves us standing exposed to wide open space, sunshine and infinite possibility. (Have I mentioned that I love, adore and crave summer?)

This is also the season of bright ideas. If the sun is shining and a child can remove nearly all of their clothing they will create themselves a fabulous Mark Twain, Huck Finn style adventure.

As parents we indulge every single one that is not beyond realistic achievement, we are, after all not so far removed from our own days of cooked up adventures to forget the tingle of a challenge.
It is the memory that propels us to strap a canoe onto the roof of the van at a moments notice and drive a couple of adventure seekers to the water.

That's what we did this past long weekend for KJ and her friend. They wanted to paddle around, we had the time and live pretty close to the water so a last minute voyage request it pretty do-able. We indulged.

It used to be that a canoe trip meant Mike would be on the water with a couple of gigglers who dropped paddle by the 1/4 mile in favour of a free ride. The kids are getting older now and are growing ever more capable of unaccompanied adventures. In short they can paddle their own canoe but they still need us to get them to the water. Lucky for them Mike and I have loaded the boat enough times that we have shortened the half day affair of strapping the canoe to the van down to a pretty fluid 10 minute system of heave, hoist and tie down. It makes saying yes a little easier.

We got them to the water, we lifted the canoe off the van, we supplied them with all the safety equipment and we wished them a safe voyage.

...and they stood there looking at us.

Warm summer days are also a time of great learning.

On this day the girls learned that people will help you get to to water but if you are going to live out your adventure...

You have to carry your own boat

Gratitude today for awesome kids who are not affraid of a little adventure seeking.

Gratitude, Hope & Smiles are meant to be shared...enjoy your Sunday

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Grandpa Left Behind

I found myself misty eyed in my mother's garden over the weekend. I had been sent to check in on the nest of duck eggs that were laid in a nest near the pond. I went traipsing, which in actual fact was a thirty pace jaunt from my deck chair, through the trellis and around the lawn ornamentation. My mother lives in suburbia, her back forty and forty feet of frontage are the same thing.

Despite the smallness of my journey I required instruction and direction, expertly shouted by my expedition fans on the deck. "Straight ahead...behind the the zebra grass"

"I don't see the nest." I sent back over my shoulder.

"Right there under Grandpa's bench" at this point I became very confused there are two benches around my mother's pond; one my Grandmother used to sit on when she was alive and one the neighbours bought in her memory after she died....I was near neither of them.

Then I looked a little closer at where I was standing. There in front of me hidden by knee high ornamental grass was a third bench. I froze and my eyes welled up with tears.

My Grandfather's bench.

Three simple planks of wood nailed together. I feel apart a little. When I was a little girl my grandfather was my hero. He was tall and strong, he spoke seldom but when he did you listened up because it was always something worth hearing. I soaked in wisdom like a sponge in his company, I could not listen enough to the things had or did not have to say. On Sundays we would walk up through the back of his property to a spot perched high above a gravel pit that lay quieted away behind his house. There under a large shady maple you could find two things; quiet and my Grandfather's bench. (As an adult I would also suspect that a 26er of rye was probably nestled in the crook of the roots somewhere) This was his 'Thinking Place.' 
Grandpa's Bench
(moved out of the grass - just for a minute)

Grandpa would spend hours there smoking his pipe and contemplating existence. I realize more now as an adult just how privileged we as grandchildren were to have been invited along in our turns to enjoy the reverence of such a place. No conversation under that maple, on that bench or the ground perch in the dirt at it's base was meaningless. I was forever amazed how my Grandpa knew what the conversation needed to be, he could sense my troubles before I could name them myself. Without fail his words would waft in like a breeze and carry the troubles away in departure. This is the place where I learned the value of thinking. Not the value of being smart but the act of being in thought. How many of our troubles could we quell just through quiet, focused thought and reflection?

Grandpa passed away at the end of my teenage years, several before I became a wife and a mother. What I wouldn't have traded many times over the years for just a few minutes with Grandpa in his  thinking spot, for just a shred of his wisdom to help me through the dark days.

I laid eyes on Grandpa's bench and cried for days well past, days missed and the gift that was my Grandfather's thinking place.

I also scratched my head in disbelief that my mother moved the bench from under the tree above the gravel pit to her own backyard more than 24 years ago and I had no clue it existed there! Just as well, I'm sure she would have gotten tired of me hanging out around her pond at all hours of the day and night! .

Gratitude today for memories and the pieces of our past we carry with us, some in our hearts and some in our flower beds.

Gratitude, Hope and Smiles are meant to be shared,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Please Say a Prayer

This happened in our community Thursday afternoon, the news is devastating, the story difficult to read but please do... and pray.

Jeff Outhit, Record staff

  • Fri May 18 2012

  • Girl fights for life after truck hits school bus

    An unidentified man rests on the shoulder of Erb's Road after a  garbage truck collided with a stopped school bus and then a child getting off the bus Thursday afternoon.
    Crash An unidentified man rests on the shoulder of Erb's Road after a garbage truck collided with a stopped school bus and then a child getting off the bus Thursday afternoon.
    Record staff
    ST. AGATHA — Horrified onlookers said a schoolgirl was hurled 25 metres and left curled in a ball on the pavement, her shoes torn off, when she was hit by a recycling truck that went into a ditch.
    Lydia Herrle, 13, had just stepped off her school bus Thursday at her home on Erb’s Road. The bus was stopped on a clear, straight stretch of road. Its stop sign was extended and its flashers activated to stop traffic in both directions.
    The collision left the girl fighting for her life, airlifted to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. “She has a skull facture with internal bleeding,” said her grandmother, Elsie Herrle.
    Family, friends and neighbours prayed for her safety. They complained about high speeds and reckless drivers on the rural road.
    Waterloo Regional Police say the truck came upon the bus from behind, clipped its right rear, passed the bus on the inside as the girl stepped out, and crashed into the ditch. Both vehicles were eastbound.
    “It is still under investigation,” Sgt. Frank Heinrich said at the scene. “The cause of this collision is not yet known.”
    Police closed the road for hours.
    Lydia was hit in front of the popular Herrle’s country market run by her well-known family, 1.5 kilometres west of the Waterloo regional landfill. It happened at 3:30 p.m.
    A handful of students were on the bus, which came from Baden Public School. Nobody else was injured.
    Kristine Mosburger heard a bang from her home across the street. She rushed out to call 911 and saw the truck in the ditch before she saw the girl on the road.
    “I looked down and I noticed that it was Lydia,” she said, tears flowing, voice breaking. “She’s the little girl across the street.”
    “I just did a prayer right there. She was lying on her side. All I can remember is seeing that she’s not even wearing her shoes any more, she was thrown so far.”
    Christine Leis heard the crash and turned to see the truck smash into the ditch. She was working outside the closed market, her back to traffic, when the school bus stopped to drop Lydia off. She rushed over to find her curled up on the pavement, breathing but unresponsive.
    Elsie Herrle came home from shopping to discover the crash near her house. She was told her granddaughter had been hit. “All I can hope is that everything’s OK,” she said at the scene, her voice breaking.
    “This is something that shouldn’t happen. They’ve got all these rules in place so that school buses are protected.”
    Jo-Anne Soye, principal of Baden Public School, struggled with her emotions, waiting with a handful of students who were interviewed by police. “They’re shaken, emotionally and physically,” she said. “It’s a very, very frightening experience.
    “It’s hard to understand how this could happen.”
    Mosburger and others say people drive too fast on Erb’s Road and take unnecessary passing risks. Last year she called police about a car that blew past a stopped school bus in front of her home. More recently she saw another driver do the same thing.
    “School buses have to be hot pink now because nobody sees orange any more,” she said, her anger rising. “They just don’t care.”
    “It’s just not safe, this road. People drive too fast and are out of control. They’re just so worried about getting from point A to point B.”
    Mosburger has two young sons who catch their school bus on the road. “I don’t how I’m ever going to let my kids get on and off the bus again.”
    Erb’s Road is about to be repaved where the collision happened. Neighbours say the road won’t get the paved shoulders they want for improved safety.
    The neighbouring Nedeljkovich family knows traffic risks all too well. Calvin Nedeljkovich was killed nearby in 2006 while cycling on Erb’s Road. He was 17.
    “It’s just not safe,” said Calvin’s sister, Danielle Nedeljkovich. She said impatient drivers tailgate other cars and drive too fast. Her family rushed over to offer help and support to the Herrle family, who were so kind when Calvin was killed.
    The recycling truck is operated by Plein Disposal of Elmira. The company would not comment at the scene.
    The school bus is operated by Sharp Bus Lines. The driver would not comment at the scene. “He’s pretty shaken up,” said Sherry Roswell, a branch manager with the bus company.

    I can not even begin to comprehend the pain and fear for the Herrle family. I read the story and it left me in tears, how do you stay strong through such a tragedy? Then I read a twitter message sent though the night by Trevor Herrle ... #community ♥ :) sorry I can't respond to all 400+ mentions, we feel your support and prayers, please remember the truck and bus driver too

    You find remarkable strength and you pray. Please say one today for these families.


    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Eating Frogs

    I've been talking about frogs quiet a bit, eating them mostly. It is a reference to Mark Twain's quote...

    “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
    ―    Mark Twain

    I have a similar line that I use with my kids... "Eat your brussel sprouts first!"

    Basically, I just want to find a way to encourage us to get all the gross things we would like to put off, out of the way. Any time I am faced with a list of chores, duties or obligations, I look at it decided what is the very last thing I want to do...then I do that first.

    My kids despise me for it, for encouraging them to get the homework done before the road hockey game or eat their dinner before dessert. (ok most times I serve the frogs)

    This is my biggest frog right now...

    ...and I am eating it.

    Twain was right (and kids your mom is right too) once you have eaten that frog, or gotten the brussel sprouts out of the way, the rest is gravy and peach cobbler!

    Gratitude that some days I only have one or two frogs to contend with!

    What is your frog today?

    Hope, Gratitude and Smiles are meant to be shared, go make someones day.


    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    The Space Between Raindrops: Happy ILYFD

    From the Achives...enjoy your day!

    The Space Between Raindrops: Happy ILYFD: A couple of post absent days around here, I do apologize my mind has been preoccupied with the eventuality that is Mother's Day. (A few extr...

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    It IS Your Business

    This week local Canadian broadcasters of Breakfast Television across the country joined together for Morning for Change. The event was held to raise the awareness of violence against women and to raise money to support programs that assist. I don't get to watch television any morning of the week, let alone one that involves school buses and pay cheques. I do however get to check into the world beyond my door with a little help from my Tweeting friends. When I saw @KathyBuckworth tweet about #Morningforchange my world came crashing in for a minute.

    I lost my friend to domestic violence. She was shot by her husband before he took his own life. It happened with a child in the house, a child left to deal with unspeakable tragedy and grief. My friend was very well educated, she had a very good career, we lived in a nice quiet neighbourhood, her child was well love and her home was well cared for, She was brilliant, attractive and kind. It happened to her anyway. That is not to say that someone of education and background is less likely to succumb to domestic violence, it is to say that no one, no one, escapes the possibility of it happening to them. I think sometimes that people have this misconception that violence against women is reserved for families struggling with financial challenges, living below the line and in less affluent neighbourhoods. Nothing could be further from the truth. People of all personalities weave through every level of society.

    So you may think; my daughter is not exposed to violence in our home she would never allow herself to be in that kind of relationship. Here is the problem with that theory; you have no control, or idea for that matter, just what kind of home your daughter's love interest grew up in. Maybe in his home mom getting a punch in the face was as common as please pass the butter. Your daughter doesn't know that either because even people who behave badly understand that they are socially deviant, it doesn't come up in conversation. So when your daughter receives her first exposure to a violent outburst it is quite likely that she will already be 'in love.' The sting will hurt worse but the apology will be more powerful , it will come with an overwhelming desire to rationalize in the name of preserving 'love.' There is an entire psychology that accompanies the victim, the abuser, their relationship and the family at large and I am not even going to pretend to understand it but I can tell you what my friend taught me...

    The time to teach, prevent and end violence is now, with your kids while they are little. Teach them that it is never okay for boys to hit girls (or for girls to hit boys, I have seen the first hand results that violence against men exists as well). Teach them that disrespectful language and put downs are a form of abuse. Teach them to not contend with anyone's disrespect. Teach them how to remove themselves from those friendships that make them uncomfortable. Really listen to them when they express concern Do not wait until they are teenagers, by then they are living too far socially out of your eye for you to know exactly what is going. Talk when they are little. Demonstrate respect in your own relationships so they have a model. Make sure they understand that there are people they know, go to school with and buy their bubble gum from who are not so lucky to live in a 'safe' environment. Make it real to them when the opportunity and questions present themselves; when they view a news report or an advertizement on the side of a bus. Make the topic as common as how to cross the street safely.

    Most importantly build a trusting relationship with your kids so that they can come to you with anything, confident in knowing you will be there.

    Even with all this teaching your child could end up in a violent relationship. Know the signs. My friend taught me that the embarrassment of landing in a situation you should have “known better” to avoid could cost you your life. because you might not reach out, you might let it go too far, you might decide and reach for help, but it might not be in time. Know the signs and do not be afraid to ask the question “Are you being abused?” There is a real stigma about minding your own business. If you suspect someone is being abused in anyway; It is your business. Say something, they will get mad, they will also get over it. If you are wrong they will understand and appreciate your concern, or not. If you are right and say nothing you will never forgive yourself for remaining silent.

    I could very likely write forever, the topic wells up a deep hurt and fear in me, It saddens me that by the time my friend reached for my hand there was not enough time to change her fate.

    So I beg you... when it comes to domestic violence “It IS your business”

    If you are in a situation where you need help or need help to help


    Worry Free Wednesday

    I am declaring today "Worry free Wednesday"

    Take all your troubles right now and put them away. Not forever, that is denial, but just for today... just for the next 12 hours. Put them on a shelf. Stick them in a bag and shove them in a closet. Write them down and stuff the paper in a drawer. Heck, send them to me in an email...I'll babysit them for you for the day.

    Just for today carry on like you have not a care in the world. Plaster a smile on your face and fake it till you make it if you have to. When somebody asks "How are you?" all day answer "I'm Great!" If someone gives you a new worry today put it on the shelf with the rest, tomorrow is for problems.

    Enjoy worry free Wednesday!

    Those problems will still be there for you tomorrow when you take them down off the shelf but the box will probably be lighter and you will be stronger.


    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Trading the Tractor for a Boat

    We are a family of goat farmers. With no disrespect to anyone reading who might be an actual farmer and who's livestock might actually be goats. It sucks! The noise, the smell, the eating everything in sight, I'm having reoccuring nightmares that I am Zsa Zsa Gabor humming the Green Acres theme song.

    I know, you are sitting there scratching you head; 'Michelle, you live in suburbia, your yard only looks like it has been eaten by goats it could fit into the average beer store twice! Your neighbours thrive on bylaw. Where are the goats?

    In the house! In the bedrooms and on the couch, they are tucked into bathroom drawers meant to house hair accessories and toothpaste, in toy boxes and the laundry room. The goats are everywhere,we take them in the car and on vacation. Every one of us has our own personal herd and is continually on the look out to increase head count.

    The phrase is 'Don't let them get your goat.' We must say it a hundred times a week. A phrase induced by sibling rivalry and combat. It is the description for that moment where one child does something intentionally to provoke outrage in another, they 'borrow' personal items, comment on relationships, personal appearance, hygiene and intelligence. It is taking control of the other person's emotions and playing them like a marionette. Perhaps we are not goat farmers as much as we are goat rustlers. No one in this house is ever satisfied with keeping their own goats, no they go on missions to collect them, pushing buttons and invading personal space, stopping at nothing to get another person's goat.

    It gets loud... "Am not!"...."Are too!".... "Am not!"...."Are too!"... "You're a goat farmer!"

    They know it! They know that they are being rustled and they don't close the gate to protect their livestock. No, they see it coming so they climb up on top of the barn Nananabooboo style, wiggle their butts at one another and dare the 'getting' of their goats. All the while I stand around like the sheriff in a cowboy western "Now, Now Jeb...let's just think about this for a minute, you don't really want to go a hurt'n your kin there do ya?"

    Heck ya they do! and they will take my goats in the process if they can!

    Somebody triumphs at every showdown, the victory cry rings out..."I GOT YOUR GOAT!" Yes they actually say it, as they skip away from the battle back to their room to count their reward.

    Leaving me in the wake, my boots covered in dust staring over an empty field wishing we were fishermen. Fishermen bob up and down on the water in their own little boats. They yell across the lake to one another "Any luck today?" They point each other in the direction of good shoals and pass along success tips, they recount great stories over lively music and the catch of the day.

    I want to be a fisherman.

    Gratitude today that while we spend an awful lot of time 'down on the farm' we also enjoy getting away to do some fishing from time to time.

    Are you a family of farmers of fisherman?

    Hope, Gratitude and Smiles are meant to be shared!

    Hey...I'm visiting Pleasantville this week! Stop by and say hello!!!!

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    How to Walk a Cat

    Where we used to live there was a man who used to walk his cat. This fascinated me, I would see him strolling at a snail's pace down the sidewalk with his black and white short hair on the end of a red leash and I would think to myself, "There is an unbelievable feat!"

    I've had cats all my life, they are obstinate, fickle creatures with high self-regard and survival-level tolerance for human beings. In the great who's smarter debate; dogs or cats? I take the feline position understanding that it takes superior intelligence to not be trained. Dogs win in the emotional strength category. Cat smarts is probably the reason for my awe every time I saw this man walking his cat. Either A) his cat had a dog level IQ or B) he had uncovered some amazing secret to keeping a cat on the end of a leash.

    At some point in my pinball parenting I told my kids about this neighbour who used to walk his cat around the block. We all make rookie mistakes, a mistake like telling your kids a cat can be walked, is one regretted before the punctuation is formed on the end of your sentence. 'why, why, why did I say something so stupid?' *mom smacks head against wall* This is what I think every time one of my kids says "I want to take the cat for a walk." The conversation plays out like this...

    Kid #1 or #3 (#2 knows cats don't walk) "Where is the leash? I want to take the cat for a walk"
    Me: "The leash is only for tying the cat out, cats don't walk."
    Kid: "I want to try."
    Me: "You can not walk a cat, they are not like dogs."
    Kid: "But you said one time we had a neighbour that used to walk his cat."
    Me: "Yes, but..."
    Kid: "I want to try."
    *sigh* I know this will end with frustration. Once it ended with a call home..."I got the cat this far and I can't get him back, will you come get us? I tried to pick him up but he keeps scratching me. pleaaaaase!"
    Me: "No, walk the dog."
    Kid: "Well, how come that man at our old house could walk his cat if you can't walk a cat? How?"
    Me: "I don't know."
    Kid: "But if that man walked his cat, you must be able to."
    Me: "Go to bed."

    Really the story of the man walking his cat is just a catalyst for ceaseless Q & A. I have low tolerance for that mind-numbing lunacy.

    There is usually a time span between "Cat-walk sessions" unless of course, like now when the air is fresh and the sun is shining, the cat is itching to get out of the house and the kids are looking to escape chores. Then I get inundated.

    Part of the frustration is because I really wish I knew how the guy managed to walk that darned cat. It would be cool to take the cat and the dog for a walk.

    Tonight the topic came up again. After so many attempts to explain the mentality of cats to my kids and why they are untrainable and un-walkable. I threw my hands into the air and spat out...

    "He could walk the cat because he wasn't in a hurry, he was a retired guy who had no time frame on getting the cat around the block!"

    Boom... discussion done, never to be had again. In one explosive blurt of frustration I solved two nagging issues. 1st, I halted the conversation forever because #2 I figured it out, by not trying to figure it out.

    He could walk the cat because he wasn't in a hurry. He knew he would get home all he had to do was let the cat set the pace. 

    Ahhhhhh...that exact moment was like finding out the Caramilk Secret, for a split second my life was complete.

    Gratitude today for the sudden gob-smacked understanding that people who achieve great feats do it in their own time at a pace of least resistance, always moving in the direction of their destination.

    Here's to a great weekends, clarity and the anticipation of a great week ahead!


    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Grateful Thursday

    Grateful Thursday has arrived, around here we call it Your Turn @ the Table. On Twitter we use the tag #GratefulThursday, on Facebook we just say "Hey, what are you grateful for today?"

    Wherever you are joining in and however you choose to recognise your grateful, sharing is the important part. Sharing inspires others to look for the 'good' in their own day, wear a smile and pass it on.

    I have some smiles to share this week, many little reasons to BE Grateful...

    • E learned that his class would be welcoming a new learner. A little girl who speaks only Mandarin. My heart burst when he declared that he needed an "app" to learn Mandarin. Being able to make her feel welcome with a friendly hello delivered in her own language was very important to him. This week we learned that Nǐ Hǎo (pronounced; Knee-how) means hello and wǒ jiào (pronounced: whoa jow) means My name is.

    • Lula and KJ have worked out a unique way to over come their squabbles. I called home to check in on them following a heated after school encounter. "We're all good now mom" I heard. "It was rough there for a bit but then I mooned her... she laughed... we're good."

    • Michael's enthusiasm for enterprise and making things work is being rejuvenated with his part-time business adventure. It's so nice to see him light up over something again.

    • There is a very nice lady named Candace who runs a little place called Pleasantville. She lets me write for Best Tools for Schools and makes me smile with her kind review of same. If you have never been to Pleasantville you should go there sometime, it's very nice. Maybe we can meet there next week while I'm visiting. (Oh, and Candace that MEME thing is still on my desktop, pics picked, posts written - blogs to pass along to is tripping me up- but I'll get there!)

    • I drank soy milk and did not die.

    • The dog's cone of 'no lick yourself' has saved a great deal of my house from being chewed and quite likely the cat's life the other night.

    • E won some great new teeth at school during a Diabetes awareness activity - I love them - that is all

    • I am watching a friend's life restore to balance and harmony - that is a very nice thing to witness.

    • My health and fitness are improving every day - up to 10km on the elliptical, blood pressure is dropping steadily, I seem to have misplaced my Muffin top along the way.

    • The very nice folks at @WelkerandAssoc have shared my stories in their Community Chronicle along with some very fine writing company. A big thank you for that, it's always a nice surprise when what you write rings a bell with someone and they pass it along.

    • A dear one received news this week. Not the news she wanted but not the devastating news everyone was anticipating - that's a pretty remarkable thing, not everybody gets so lucky.

    There is more, there is always more. That's what I love about gratitude, it is one of those rare things in life, like love, it multiples as you give it away.

    Your turn @ the table....Leave a comment, post a #GratefulThursday tweet, change your Facebook status, tell the girl in the coffee drive thru window that you appreciate her. Share your Gratitude today. I promise it will make someone's day...maybe even your own :)

    Aren't they great!


    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    On the Road to Possibility

    Something you might not know about me is that I am a bit of a motivation junkie. I read and listen, I collect motivational quotes and click 'like' a thousand times a day on motivational shared Facebook wall pics. Beyond the words scattered on the walls of my house I have taken them to work as well. In my office I have the words "Dwell in Possibilities" plastered just above my computer. (Some days I dwell in the thought that there is a lake where those words are) It is my goal to look for 'possibility' everywhere I go.

    I am a firm believer that the greatest thing you can possess is a strong positive attitude, I also know that it is also one of the very hardest things to maintain. That's where the motivational collecting comes in. The more inspiration I soak in the easier it becomes to maintain that positive attitude. Books, blogs, friends and motivational talks all boost my Hell Ya reflex. I'm not going to sugar coat it, the last couple  of months have been a bit of a struggle to keep the positivity gas tank full. When that happens I loose my abilities; the ability to be patient with my kids, the ability to parent constructively and cleverly, productivity slides, boredom rises, intolerance breeds and life starts looking like we're all heading out for a family picnic in a hurricane. We're going but it does look good.

    I do not like picnics or hurricanes and will do everything in my power to avoid both. That power at the moment has come from turning off my radio. Sorry drive time - I love your banter but I need more than the latest Usher song that IMHO should not be played between 7am and 7am. (but that's a sexual reference and demoralization of young women topic for another post) I've replaced my commute music with motivational Success Audio! For 45 minutes every day now I am riding around in my glory, you could probably rear end my van and steal all my tires when I stop to inspect the damage and I would still wish you a great day with a smile. Motivational speaking does that to me.

    I am motivated!

    What does it mean in the grand scheme. It means this; I am finding possibility and reclaiming my abilities.

    It also means that I have no clue what is going on in the world, I am devoid of celebrity gossip and hourly news, I don't know what the top ten is anymore or what traffic snarls might be laying in my path. It also means that I'm not worried about it. Those parts of life are going to occur and carry on with or without my attention to them. The results of the motivational shift leave me with more energy to devote to changing the things within my arm span, hopefully with enough positive energy that when those things and people leave that span they take that energy with them and we cause a ripple. My positive energy becomes their positive energy, their's rubs off on the next person and their's the next.

    Gratitude today for motivation and possibility.

    What are you going to do today to recharge your positivity ripple?