Yes, I am one of a dying bred – people who still actually mail Christmas cards. Not only Christmas cards but birthday cards, anniversary cards, “Hello” my friend cards, “Thinking of You” cards, etc. Yes, I am doing my part to keep the paper card industry thriving in this country. Well, that’s not exactly the reason.
On holidays and special occasions, I think there is nothing more special than knowing that someone took the time to pick out just the right card and then took more time to send that special card you. Don’t get me wrong. I truly appreciate every eCard that I receive. But for me, I send paper cards ninety percent of the time.
It is much easier to send an eCard, group email, Facebook post, Tweet, Instagram message and any of the other social media or electronic messages that are available to us. We can do that without thinking. But a card that you can open with anticipation, read and re-read over and over again is special.
There will come a day, I am sure when I will succumb to the convenience and cost savings of the world of social media. But for now, I prefer to continue to reach out and spend a little time with those I may not seen for a while but whose friendship I still hold close.
Merry Christmas to everyone – however you get your message out!
There is a saying that has been around for years. It’s been embroidered on pillows, quoted in books, used in movies – so long that I am not sure who said it first but it still resonates every time I hear it. It goes “Every day might not be good. But there is good in every day.”
Like many sayings, they are intended to inspire and uplift us but over time we become dulled to its meaning. This one is worth revisiting.
Even on our worst days, we need to remember that we all have bad days and it’s OK. The challenge is to try to not let the bad days outnumber the good days and that can be a huge challenge for some of us. When that happens, we should always challenge ourselves to find at least one good thing about each and every day. It will lift us and make us grateful for the day regardless of how bad it seems to be. You might be surprised. If you find one, you can find others and before you know it – the day is not so bad after all.
Everyday I consider my first first good thing, my biggest blessing of the day is when I woke up. I get a chance to start all over again with a new day. We all do! Perhaps there was a physical, mental or emotional problem that zapped all of our strength and will power the day before but today – we get a chance to face it again and maybe accomplish a little more and find the strength to keep moving forward.
Sometimes, I just go outside and sit in the sun surrounded by the orchids or I volunteer at Girls, Inc. and see the smiling faces of the girls and realize how good the day really is . We need to find that one nugget inside of ourselves or outside of ourselves that, no matter how bad the day seems, will make us smile and say to ourselves that today is a good day and I am the good in this day!
It’s almost two weeks after Hurricane Irma swept through the Caribbean and Florida leaving a path of devastation, despair and sadness. But if we take a moment to look back on the storm we can find examples of incredible kindness, sensitivity and hope where we rose to be our best selves even in the midst of the chaos.
When I went to church this past Sunday morning, along with many other Floridians, I was moved to tears during much of the service. The church was packed as everyone came to give thanks for making it safely through the storm – whether suffering material losses or not, everyone was thankful to have their family and friends safe. When I entered the church and gazed down the long hallway – I felt so much of a sense of pride and amazement at seeing the stacks of supplies that were there for anyone who needed it – food, paper goods, diapers, water and more – serving not only our church but the entire community and the needs of all.
Before the hurricane hit, as preparations were being made and immediately after when everyone was helping with the clean up that will be on-going for a long time, no one cared what anyone’s race, ethnicity or sexual orientation was – it did not matter! Everyone dropped everything to help in some way. Think about it. Should it really take something like a hurricane to make us reach out to one another with kindness, respect and love? I hope not but if it does, let’s keep in mind what could have happened, be grateful that it didn’t happen and act as if we can be the person that we were during the storm even if the storm never comes.
Milestones along the journey.
For most of us who have faced cancer, reaching the one-year mark cancer-free is something we never think we will achieve. But we get there and feel a little relieved that maybe we can put this behind us. Then you face the five-year mark just hoping and praying that you reach that milestone – you don’t want to think about it too much because that fear of the now known unknown can consume you. So you get on with your life, still holding your breath and waiting for the other shoe to drop while praying that it never does.
You’ve done it!
Hallelujah! You have reached your five-year anniversary of being cancer free. and suddenly your heart opens a little wider and you loudly exhale. The actual number of years may vary depending on the type of cancer you had but the feeling is the same – you are truly back! You beat cancer! Your chances are now almost the same as anyone else. Everyone lives with the fear of what they don’t know but maybe now what you don’t know will not be so fearful since you rose victorious from the first time around.
No one wants to face it again but knowing that you dug deep and found the strength to get through it once will help you get through any challenge you now face in life since everything else then pales next to having your good health. The joy you found after your surgery when you heard “we were able to get it all” or when you finished your chemo or radiation treatments with successful results, the joy in just being alive and having one more day is what carries you through each and every day.
Moving forward with a purpose. Ask yourself – what can I do to continue to earn this second chance? The answer may be as simple as enjoy your life. Enjoy your successes large and small. Take joy in the successes of others – friends, family, strangers around you – for their joy will only increase your joy and gratitude in being alive and so very, very blessed.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain.”*
My favorite expression of all times. I use it as my signature on my emails and as a silent chant in my head when things seem to be rough. Everyone’s journey is from time to time fraught with challenges which may seem to rock your very being. As we get older, we only hope that it becomes easier to manage our expectations and our reactions to those situations which give rise to the challenges.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and consumed by a difficult time that is facing you. Whether it is a serious illness, the loss of a loved one or a friend, a serious argument with or disappointment in a loved one or a friend, the loss of a job, uncertainty about the future, it can all be difficult to handle and make us question how to move forward on our own journey. When we feel alone and confused, it is easy to start with the negative and get bogged down so that we can no longer move forward. What we should do is start with the positives – even the smallest things that we take for granted each day – and then with gratitude in mind for what we do have, we can better face the challenge in front of us.
This is a good time of year to step back and take a look at our lives and how we handle adversity. Do we truly turn lemons into lemonade or dance in the rain? Do you stand in the rain until your clothes, hair, and spirit feel heavy like a weight that adds to the burden you are carrying? In Spring and Summer, we shed the layers that cover us in the winter whether it be literally in terms of dressing for the cold weather or figuratively in coming out of the short dark days into the bright sunshine of summer where we can feel lighter and caressed by the sunlight and renewed energy around us. With that to move us forward and continue our journey.