Tuesday, July 31, 2012

If Only I Had ...

If Only I Had ...

Paid attention in school, studied harder, gotten a degree, taken my time choosing a profession, been kinder to my family and friends, taken better care of my health, prepared for the future, had a plan B, given back more to my community,  not always taken the easiest way out, read more of the classics,
taken responsibility for my downfalls, answered the call when someone needed me. If only I had waited 10 seconds before answering in haste, given more than I received, played fair, taken 
the high road, nurtured my children, shown respect to my family, friends
co-workers and strangers. If only happiness, peace 
and success were my mantra every
morning upon




is an opportunity
to pay attention, study and work
harder,  get a degree and rethink your
career and professional path. As of this moment
you have the chance to be kinder to family and friends.
Today you can start exercising and eat healthier, lay down a plan
for a better future, volunteer and take the time to go to the library and start
reading the classics. Now is the time to grow in the areas that you choose to improve
upon. This moment is the moment to think before you speak, take the high road and play
fair. Your children are always open to your love and ready to accept you for the person you
are: time to improve that person and nurture those you love. Time to give respect and wake 
up every day with a mantra that fills your heart and makes your spirit soar. Now, is the time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life = T + O + C

Life is scary and full of peril, says one.  Life is dull and dreary, says another.  A third one says life's a bowl of cherries, so why do I keep getting only the pits?  Yet a fourth says life is bright and beautiful.

Well, which is it?  How can several statements on the quality of life vary to such an extensive degree?  Simple.  T O C.

Timing, opportunity and choices.  Think about it.  What comments are often bantered about?  "Timing is everything," "Opportunity seldom knocks twice" and “The end result of your life here on earth will always be the sum total of the choices you made while you were here.”

Okay, that last quote is a mouthful and not often bantered about, but think about its essence: Your choices are what gave you and continue to give you your life.  Your past, present and future are representative of the choices you made and continue to make each day.

We learn about timing, opportunity and choices from a very early age.  Remember double dutch?  That skipping game with two skipping ropes being turned one after the other?  It was all about timing.  Granted your life did not hinge on whether you were able to jump into the middle of the two ropes, but it did rate high in the hierarchy of skipping!  If your timing was off the two ropes slackened and jumbled together like a pile of spaghetti and you the unsuspecting meatball!

Opportunity is not necessarily a do or die moment.  It also appears at a very early age.  Think back to when you were in grade school and the teacher asked for volunteers for a special project.  That was opportunity knocking.  Some of the students recognized it and opened the door while others ignored it, and probably ignored it throughout their formal education.

The third part of life's equation is choice.  The choices you make will most certainly determine the kind of life you lead.  Choices are present around the clock.  Should you set your alarm for six in the morning to get to the gym before you go to work or seven to get an extra hour of sleep?  Do you want to eat cold cereal or oatmeal?  Will you take the bus or the train to visit your friend in the country?  What color shirt or pants will you wear today?  Ten o'clock news show or read a book?

Each possibility, the timing plus opportunity plus choices that make up ones life is a continuum.  This collective sequence will lead to another and another.  By the time you're twenty, thirty, forty and so on, you will have experienced many collective sequences that timing, opportunity and choices afforded you.  At the end of the day, this will be the story of your life.

It is said that hindsight is twenty/twenty.  What, then, is foresight?  The ability to use your knowledge and past experiences, along with advice from those far more experienced.  Each third of the equation of life interlocks with the other two thirds.  Think of a Venn diagram.  The middle nugget where all three important parts overlap is your life.  Remember, the prior four statements varied greatly.  Each life was lived, but one surpassed the other three.   Carefully observe that moment when you can jump in between the two skipping ropes, pay attention to the situation at hand and be vigilant in avoiding the repetition of poor choices.  Mistakes are your education but making the same mistake twice is like repeating a level in grade school.

Be present, open the door when opportunity comes a knocking and solidly review the choices presented.  You will be among those quoted as saying, "Life is bright and beautiful."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Necessity is the Motherhood of Reinvention!

I look out at the expansive fairway and back up as if there's not enough room for what I am about to do.  A slow measured jog turns into an all-out run as I prepare for multiple cartwheels. One   two   three   four   five  –  and then I'm done. I look back, dimples of grass indicate where my hands and feet briefly touched down.  I'm very happy with what I just accomplished.

When I open my eyes I still see wall to wall green grass, but accomplishing the feat that I just did was virtual and now virtually impossible for me to do.   However, my mind is a powerful tool and keeps me as active as I was more than half a lifetime ago.  I envision taking the stairs three at a time and running whenever the mood strikes me.  In reality physical activities such as these are limited.  I don't allow that to determine who I am or what I am capable of doing in other areas, though.

As a large part of the nations' population grows older lifestyles become restrictive and have limitations placed upon them.  Many lose hope as they pine for the good old days: The days when they could run, climb and jump seem so long ago and, at the same time, just like yesterday.  

Our minds are powerful and capable of turning somersaults if we'll let them.  Now is the time to create what you once had by allowing your imagination to run wild.  Aging is no excuse for not singing or dancing.  There is no reason not to smile or laugh.  This might be the best time of your life as you attempt to do something you've never done before.

Desire and ability may be overruled by reality, but reality does have options.  Test the waters and find the middle ground of desire and ability.  You may be pleasantly surprised at what you can do.  Reinvent yourself.  You did when you stopped crawling and started walking.  You did it again when you went from riding a bike to driving a car.  You did it as you stopped getting allowance and started earning your own money.  And again you did it as you switched one career for another.  If Madonna, who is now in her fifties, can keep reinventing herself, so can you!