Appreciation of Life’s Small Snapshots of Valuables

George Hodan Photography, Kym Gordon Moore, Quotes

Sometimes we are always searching for the bigger picture but miss the important smaller snapshots along the way.
~ Kym Gordon Moore

How can you fully appreciate the big blessings of life when you overlook the small jewels that lead you there? More often than not, I find great joy and gratitude in the smaller overlooked valuables that others tend to dismiss as insignificant.

Monday Music Motivation: Raise Your Happy Level Today

Music, Happiness, Gratitude

Today, I invite you to raise your happiness and gratitude meter as we get our Monday Music Motivation on! Every day I read about or hear someone discussing the downward, depressive craziness that we encounter and tend to worry about each day.

So as we look ahead to this new week, refusing to allow negativity to win, here’s your happiness tip for today and each day you need to resort to it: Find one upbeat song, listen to it from beginning to the end, and dance. That’s right dance. No matter where you may be, even at work, put in your earplugs or put on your headphones if you have to, dance (and you don’t have to be a professional mind you) and then sit back down and get back to your work. It’s that simple! So if you’re feeling down, this is a mere suggestion for a quick pick me up, sort of like an energy drink! 😀

Happy #MondayMusicMotivation

Has My Daily Things to Do List Become an Asset or Liability?

Productivity

Image credit: Ian L

For most of my life, I always thought if I was not constantly busy I was not being productive. I surmised that being productive meant being busy all the time until it was time to go to bed. Yet, as I now get up each day, older and hopefully a little wiser, I find that it’s okay to be active and still be productive. I don’t however, have to be frantic, buzzing around minute by minute, thinking if I will, for the most part, sit down for an extended period of time, I wither away and die. Sometimes, too much productivity could make things worse instead of better. How?

Stress

Karen Arnold

Stress can send you spiraling into a plethora of new health concerns and mental exhaustion. Where I once made a list of things to do each day to keep me busy, I would get bent out of shape if I didn’t get the entire list done in that day. I felt like I somehow wasted time. 

In areas where I once pushed and pushed and pushed myself, I’ve grown to be a little more conscious of the amount of self-imposed pressure I put on my mind, body, and spirit. In my now non-list-making life, I learned to breathe, truly breathe. I still remain active without overexertion. I try to remain focused on what I have and less stressing out on what I don’t. Although I am certainly far from living the “Life of Riley,” I am content.

Relaxation

axelle b

Each day there is someone who transitions from this side of life to another. When I think about those individuals who I loved so dearly, who on this side of life I will never see again, I stop and reflect on those I am currently surrounded by, who show their unconditional love, and I am humbled and grateful. I learn to chill on my revolving-door of busyness and constant list making. Instead, I thank God I learned that productivity is also just as beneficial in rest and gratitude. You have to learn to relax, release and let go of those things that are toxic and a liability to your well-being and that includes the sometimes notorious lists of endless things to get done. 🙂

Gratitude

Linnaea Mallette

As the Morning Turns

Inspiration, MALIZ ONG, Trials

A new day…yes here I am, welcoming a new day. As I routinely do, I open my blinds to reveal another morning of life. This morning the sky is filled with low hanging gray clouds, you know the stormy and intimidating kind? Yet, as I comb the mass accumulation up above, a glowing brightness pierces a spot in this dreariness. The bright morning star may be shielded but its presence is not hidden. Then there was a patch drifting above the billows of gray revealing a hole where the blue sky peeked through.

A smile emerged from my lips as a ray of hope pierced through the shadows reminding me that gray storm clouds will certainly come again although they will be different the next time around. Still even the next time, no matter the intensity, those storms will pass away swept by the breath of light and life.

Thanks for the Memories That Bind Us

Memories, Camera

George Hodan

My fellow Baby Boomers: If you are blessed to grow older, in spite of the aches, pains, physical therapy and pills you may now have to take, you reflect on memories of old without waiting on a New Year to proclaim such memories. We are serenaded by those memories that bind us to our familial and communal network and find a comforting place in the arms of nostalgia.

We look at photos from our albums, remembering the great meals that we shared around a table fit for royalty, even if the place settings were chipped or mismatched. We remember our wonder years, the heartbreaks and challenges that accompanied growing up during a certain era or culturally categorized according to the status quo. We remember our first crush, our first love, our first embarrassment, our first failure, our first victory, our first kiss, our first tragedy, and our first disappointment, and then relish in the fact that we survived times we thought we would have died from the impact of great adversity.

Those of us who are blessed to have children, that turned into grandchildren, that turned into great-grands, we rejoice in seeing those new branches of life from the seeds we’ve planted. Although I was unable to have biological children, God had other plans of fruitfulness for me whether I expected them or not. We look fondly on the memories of close friends who have since passed away, as parents and other family members who have transitioned to that place I believe is in Heaven.

I find myself sitting, lost in multiple memories of ‘when’ and at times I am overwhelmed by melancholy from those who I think of often and are no longer here. Oh, how I would love to talk to them now and share many experiences I never thought I would ever have to deal with. Such is life.

But during these times of reflection, I am grateful to have memories that helped me to grow in ways I never imagined, even though many of those lessons were challenging. To those memories of old, I would not be what I am and where I am today if I did not have those experiences to build on, that bind me to generations of irreplaceable memories.

Ongoing Thoughts About Our Magnitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving, Gratitude

Image credit: Kai Stachowiak

A week ago today we celebrated Thanksgiving and when asked what we were thankful for, the top three answers were family, friends, and food.

My thoughts for today, post-Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, makes one ask again and wonder what you are truly grateful for. Is it still the same as it was a week ago? I thought about this as I looked through my slew of emails in my inbox at the EXTENDED Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers.

I can’t help but think about the people affected by this year’s devasting hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and wildfires who lost everything, some including their lives. I can’t help but think about the people who were brutally murdered by the hands of domestic violence, the school and nightclub shootings, the shootings in synagogues and other institutions of worship. Lives changed forever. Where does the level of the survivor’s gratitude stand today?

I think about the missing people who were found brutally murdered or individuals caught in the crossfire of injustice and hatred. I think about friends and relatives who passed away and people I knew who were tragically killed in a vehicle accident due to a driver who was driving impaired, or with a suspended/revoked driver’s license. Can survivors still find a glimmer of hope in gratitude?

I think about all of those innocent, immigrant children who were separated from their parents with the greatest of insensitivity, some who will probably never be reunited with their families ever again. I think about those parents who seek safe refuge for their families, who are demonized for trying to fulfill that responsibility of protecting and serving. Can they still remain hopeful and grateful?

As I watched the crowds who swarmed the aisles of stores during marathon hours of operation over the past week, seeking ‘slasher’ deals for items that may be obsolete this time next year, I am reminded of the humble gratitude of people who appreciate food donations or lonely seniors who have no family who checks on them frequently or anyone who will take the time to talk. 

So, in retrospect, I do not frown on those super fantastic deals that everyone is either rushing to brick-n-mortar or online stores to take advantage of. Nah. I simply say, let’s not forget how much we truly have to be grateful for each day, as we show compassion for the least of these, far passed the day we call and celebrate Thanksgiving.