Why do we hold on to mementos, reminders of the past? Are we "what we do"? Are we defined by our accomplishments?
The retired teacher has over flowing files of lesson plans at home in a cabinet, the business person hangs award plaques on the den wall, the writer stores years of newspaper stories in an old trunk while the architect keeps years of outdated blueprints.
Why do some of us hold on tightly to tangible evidence of what we have done, what we've accomplished in the past?
I am a woman who has worn many hats in the course of my life. I believe who I am can be defined without saying anything about what I've "done" in life.
What about you? Do you know who you are without attaching it to what you've "done"? Sounds like a good topic to think and journal about.
December is known as “the holidays” while January is “resolution time”. Let’s not forget February, the month that features, Hallmark cards, hearts, chocolate, flowers and love because of Valentine’s Day.
Love is a small four letter word with definitions that can differ from person to person. People throw the word around loosely to express feelings towards their car, clothes, food and the weather. We say we love a pet, friend, spouse, and family but what does that really mean? Words are one thing and expression through actions is another.
Many wise people write and speak of love and compassion. And preface it all with love of self; If we don’t love and accept ourselves as we are, we can’t truly love another.
Do you love yourself? How do you show love to yourself and to another living, breathing animal or person? What about humanity as a whole?
The broad questions are good to think about but can be used to journal, to go beyond initial responses and the swirling first thought response. Try it and see what happens.
The calendar has changed from December to January and a new year is in front of us ready to be lived! It could be an exciting or terrifying time depending how you look at it. A stepping off point of moving out of your comfort zone and making a positive change.
What does each day hold? Standing at the start of a year is when most people make resolutions. They want to make a change, thought about changes, but don’t want to be uncomfortable walking into the land of the unknown.
Moving out of our comfort zone is all about taking an action. Whether it’s going to a movie alone, signing up for a class, refraining from a habit or volunteering, any change from the tried and true opens up a whole new world. A sense of satisfaction and feeling good about ourselves sets in. Any type of change in behavior or attitude deserves a pat on the back no matter how small you think it might be.
Try something new and if you don’t like it, try something else. Be honest with yourself about why you don’t want to continue - don’t allow FEAR to stop you. If fear looms, write about it and talk about it.
Keep in mind that it takes more than one try to learn something and be comfortable. I do my best laughing when I try something new and it usually gives others around me permission to laugh at themselves too.
Do you have a personal plan? Are you brave enough to be under construction?
Why do we celebrate turning a page of the calendar from December to January? I’ve never known anyone to celebrate March turning to April or September to October. Have you?
I decided to do some research because there must be reason. I found a few interesting facts among the plethora of information on the web.
"The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him - it cannot fail” ~ Walt Whitman
The quote is so appropriate for this time of year and for each day that follows. Around the world, Jewish people start to celebrate Chanukah the night of December 12th and Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th.
While the two groups have different religious beliefs and traditions, they both include gift giving on their holiday.
Many people search for the perfect gift to give. They go from one store to another, checking websites in between, to find something specific or to get an idea. What can I get for him or her becomes the mantra.
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream is a pre-school song we all learned that evolved over the years to our singing it with others; singing in a round with each voice beginning at a different time and ending with “life is but a dream”.
The song made me think about learning to row a boat. It’s difficult to learn how to use both oars at the same time in order to go straight. Even if we use one oar at a time they have to be timed just right so we don’t end up going around in circles. We have to learn little by little, one step at a time, with patience and practice to get it just right.
The process of trying anything new is no different; always a challenge that takes patience and a time investment. A positive result happens more often than not depending on the effort we put forth. Playing the piano the first time sounds nothing like it does after a month of practice or six months after that.
As Thanksgiving arrives people tend to reflect and look at being grateful in different ways. Some of us practice gratitude throughout the year and others, it’s only in the month of November.
A lot of people really struggle around the holidays because they have lost loved ones or relive difficult memories that have impacted their lives. Others complain about their crazy family and the camaraderie over the holidays is a little too much to bear.
Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrated once a year. Food, drink and the gathering of people we like (or don't but feel responsible to have around) happens in homes throughout the country.
For me, being grateful and thankful is an everyday happening. Getting together with people I care about doesn't have to be a holiday.
The focus of each day should be GRATITUDE, being THANKFUL for "what is". Keeping a daily gratitude list is an important reminder that all my needs are met and I have every thing I need to create a good life.