Counting Our Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we gather with our families, friends, loved ones, and take part in a Thanksgiving feast. We eat turkey and potatoes and vegetables and stuffing. We eat pies and cookies and pastries. We watch football and then pass out into a deep sleep.

But today is much more then all this.

Today is about counting our blessings. It’s about being thankful for our families, friends, loved ones and everything we have in this life.

Advertisements

Always Try

My great-grandmother, like so many others, came to this country with nothing. She came alone and didn’t speak a word of English. I’m told she was a smart and determined woman who could do great things when she set her mind to it. Even though I didn’t know her, I believe the story is true since she worked hard and taught herself English. Again, like so many others, she had to sacrifice so much with the hopes of coming to this country in search of a better life. In the end, I think she did well.

The point of this story is as follows — you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

At times I think we sell ourselves short. Maybe we don’t have the confidence. Maybe we think we don’t have the support system. Maybe we think we’re not good enough. Maybe the road between where we are and where we want to be looks long and treacherous. Or maybe there’s a number of other reasons we don’t try.

No one ever said life was going to be easy. And no one ever said life would simply hand us things. I believe anything worth having is worth fighting for, working for, putting in the time and effort necessary. If there’s something we want, then, we should at least try.

My great-grand-mother’s story, along with so many others, reminds me of this every day — try. Sometimes what seems impossible is actually very possible.

And we never truly know what we’re capable of until we try.

Things Life Has Taught Me (So Far…)

Life is an ongoing lesson. We learn and grown from our experiences, both good and bad. Sometimes life knocks us down, but then it’s nice enough to help up back up. We become stronger and gain knowledge from our daily travels and interactions with others. In the end, life is the greatest teacher we’ll ever have. I’ve learned a lot over the years, and I’m constantly learning every day, but here are a few key things I’ve learned so far.

The world isn’t all bad. It might be hard to believe with all the negative things we see and hear, especially in the news. It might be hard to believe there’s any good left, but there are still people who do good. There are still positive stories to be told. And in the face of any tragedy there are always people who will come together and help.

Work hard and play hard. It’s important to work hard (after all that’s how we pay the bills), but it’s equally as important to play hard. If we simply work and do nothing else, then, we’re going to miss out on a lot. In this case, it’s good to find a balance.

Enjoy every moment. We only have one life and that life only happens once. Each moment only happens once. These moments should be cherished and savored and enjoyed to the fullest.

Don’t take things and people for granted. It’s easy to think the things and people in our lives will last forever. The truth is, nothing in life is guaranteed. All the things we have today could be gone tomorrow. All the people currently in our lives could also be gone tomorrow.

Love. Love is important. Our families love us unconditionally and we love them. We share a special bond with our friends and love them as they love us. We also love that special some one in our life. Love is one of the most wonderful feelings in this life. It’s not something that should be feared, but embraced. Love fearlessly and fiercely.

Live. Life is short. We only have so many tomorrows. So make mistakes, learn, take risks, love, regret nothing and simply live.

Love Yourself

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” – Lucille Ball

Self-love is one of the most important things in this world.

When we truly love ourselves, only then can we truly love someone else.

When we truly love ourselves that feelings creates an air of confidence that glows like a beacon and can be seen by others. It’s not something that becomes egotistical. It’s not something that becomes superior. It’s something, a feeling, that simply says we’re confident in who we are and love ourselves.

But not everyone feels this way. Some people loathe themselves. Some people can’t see how wonderful they are, let alone find one good quality about themselves, and believe they’re basically worthless. This mindset seems to effect every aspect of their life – health, perception, relationships, job, ect. Of course we all have bad days and might be hard or down on ourselves from time to time, but that’s completely different than hating yourself every single day.

The love we have for ourselves can go a long way. It makes us feel good – warm on the inside. We feel strong and believe we’re capable of doing anything, conquering any obstacle. It can be a positive attribute in our job, relationships, health and life in general. Plus, that confidence can be attractive.

There will always be traits we don’t like about ourselves, but we’re all capable of self-love and having confidence. It might take some time to cultivate that love and grow that confidence, but it’ll be worth it in the end. After all, there’s plenty of people in this world who love and believe in us. So isn’t it about time we love and believe in ourselves too?

Life Is A Journey

If life is about the journey and not the destination, then why are we in such a rush to get there?

As children we keep a sense of innocence for many years. Then, one day, we reach a point where we can’t seem to wait to grow up. Once we’re “adults,” or what’s considered to be adulthood, we can’t wait to actually be adults. Real adults – house, car, job – the whole grown-up package. What we don’t realize is that being an adult also comes with bills, responsibilities and stresses that we didn’t have as kids. What we don’t realize is that childhood is short and we can never get it back.

Once we’re a full-fledged adult the aim, the main goal, seems to be working toward retirement. This is the stage where, once again, we have free time to live and do as we please. But it’s also the last stage of our lives. Let’s face it, much as seasons change, so do we and we also wither and fall like leaves on a tree.

So if the destination, the final destination, is death, why are we in such a rush to get there?

The journey is life itself. The journey is all the little things, all the stops we make on the way. We grow and learn and become who we are. It’s all the memories we have as a child, all the laughs, all the lessons, all the family. It’s traveling, seeing new things and new places, experiencing all that we can and all the world has to offer. It’s meeting new people, making connections, making friends, learning from others. It’s feeling pain, grief, joy, sadness, love, lost and everything in-between.

Life is made up of moments, good and bad. Each moment is as precious as the last. Nothing is guaranteed and nothing should be taken for granted.

So if it’s all about the journey, then, I truly hope we all take the time and enjoy it to the fullest.

Dear Readers

I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of my 100 followers as well as all of my supporters. I’m so happy, and a little surprised, but mostly happy at this recent milestone.

When I started blogging, I did it for the love of writing. Not only is it therapeutic, but a wonderful way of self-expression. And this blog was going to be an adventure. I wasn’t sure if it would take, if people would read it, if I could keep it going, but here it is and people are reading and following and it’s still going. This blog has some serious momentum and in many ways is still an adventure I’m glad to be part of.

But it’s not all about the followers. It’s about the writing. I write to express myself. I write to inspire. I write to show others that they’re not alone, that others experience similar situations. I write because I love writing.

In the end, I want to thank you all for following along, for the comments, the conversations and I want you all to know that I appreciate all of you as well.

I look forward to the future.

Thank you!

Maybe We’re All Little Trees

Have you ever noticed those little trees sprouting from rock hills or a cliffs? They’ve successfully managed to squeeze their way between two rocks and continued to grow. There’s no sight of soil and hardly any water, but their roots have taken hold. They’re strong and against all odds have found a way to live and grow.

But even if they find a way, I often wonder how they manage to survive. Maybe it’s determination. Maybe it perseverance. Or maybe it’s a little of both.

I can’t help but think that we can be compared to these little trees. Sometimes life doesn’t give us the best conditions to work with and, every so often, puts us in difficult situations. We might have trouble finding our so-called soil or water or even a place to plant our roots. Sometimes it may feels like the world is against us, rooting for us to fail. And even if we’ve found room to grow it’s possible we find ourselves between two rocks.

At times life is simply a struggle, but that’s life. Although, somehow, we always seem to survive. We always seem to find just enough soil, just enough water and just the right place to put our roots. Even if the elements beat us down we find a way to stand upright again. Often times we realize we’re stronger then we think and that we are capable of much more then we ever imagined.