Tag Archives: New Year

Music Monday – Happy New Year

Few videos are more inspiring for me to watch than time lapse nature photography set to music, and this one seems fitting as the “sunset” on 2017 has come and we celebrate the “dawning” of 2018.  Happy New Year my friends, may it be filled with wonderful, beautiful, inspiring things for you!  

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: New

 

It’s so fun to see that this week’s photo challenge is “New.”  Even as cliche’ as it may be with it being the new year and all, I was recently contemplating all things new just the other day, and jotted down a few of my favorite “new” things…

 

 a new day

new love

a new idea *light bulb!*

a new friend

new snow

a new book – or a new “old” book  😉

a new adventure

a new journal

a new brain cell  😀

new green in the spring

a new path to explore

a new perspective

a new coat of paint

new life

a new hobby

a newly made bed

a new season

~

All such wonderful, beautiful, and fun ‘new’ things!

But as to a photo for this challenge depicting “new,” what else can I share except yet another frost image captured at the dawning of a new day…

DSCF2851a1

Sorry if I’m being a bit repetitious, but seriously… is there anything more hopeful or more filled with wonderful possibilities than a fresh new day?   As you see… it topped my list of favorite ‘new’ things.   Shocking, I know.  😉

I’ve shared this before (last New Years, I believe), but it’s worth sharing again, and fitting…

 

“Waking up this morning, I smile:

Twenty-four brand-new hours are before me.

I vow to live each moment fully

and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

 ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

~

 

“Twenty-four brand new’ hours…”

May each of yours be filled with purpose, with beauty, and with…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

New “Day’s” Resolution

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  I find that I usually don’t do too well with them.  I go good for maybe a couple of months and then gradually fall into my old habits again.  Not that I really have any bad habits that need breaking, but there’s always room for improvement right?

I think what the problem is is that I’m not much for setting goals in general.  Now, before you judge me and label me lazy and aimless, let me try to explain…

First of all, my real “New Year” is on my birthday.  That’s the date on the calender I consider that a new year of life begins for me, and that is when I think about where I am and where I’m going; what changes I’d like to make in my life,  call them”goals” if you will, but I don’t really look at it that way.

People are all different and at different places in their journey, so it stands to reason that there are many different strategies that one can use for self-improvement.  For some, I suppose making New Year’s resolutions may be just the thing they need to spur them onto greater things, onto a better way of living and being.  But for me… I need a deeper meaning than just a date on the calender to motivate me and to help bring about real change in the areas of my life that need it.  Otherwise it just feels inauthentic.

Don’t get me wrong… a new calender year is a perfect time for reflection, for looking back, looking forward, and so on.  I am quite often aware of various dates on the calender throughout the year that hold special significance and cause me to contemplate things in my life, and New Year’s is no exception.

But I have found that I’ve been changing over the past few years in the way I think about things.  Maybe it’s because the rug of my entire world got pulled right out from under me in one big swoop, but I tend to now look at each new day as a new beginning, and I set out each day with “resolutions” of sorts.  Going too much further into the future just seems impractical to me.  We are not guaranteed a tomorrow; let alone a next week, next month, or next year.  All we truly have is today, right now, this moment.  We can make our plans, our “goals,” and some of them might succeed, but in the end we don’t really have any control over the outcomes.  We like to think we’re the masters of our own little mini universe of our lives, but the control we think we have is all just an illusion.

But I do have this moment, this day, right now, and I can make a “New Day’s Resolution” to live it in the best way I can.  And aside from all of the stuff in my life that I should consider changing (fill in the blank), as I simply purpose in my heart to live each new day with joy, with love and with gratitude, I truly believe all of those other things will fall in line.  Eventually.

I absolutely love this quote, it pretty much sums it up where I’m at right now…

“Waking up this morning, I smile:

Twenty-four brand-new hours are before me.

I vow to live each moment fully

and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

 ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

~

~

This is not all to say that I won’t still be waking up on New Year’s morning trying to start the new year out on a good foot.   😉

Peace & much Love to you all in the coming new year…

Hope 2013

Ahhh, so here it finally is!  What I’ve been waiting for ~ the New Years’ inspiration to kick in.

I’ve been really sick for the past week.  In fact, my entire family has been too, and it has hit us all pretty hard.  Other than just the general sense of feeling like absolute crap, the biggest issue for me through it all has been the complete lack of energy I’ve had, just sitting upright for more than a little while at a time has been a challenge.  Laying around being bored, with a million thoughts running through your mind, and feeling too sick to do anything else is certainly not a good way to start off the new year with a positive attitude.  And when you’re sick, there is a tendency to feel negative about everything anyway so many of those ‘million thoughts’ were mostly gloomy.

I feel like a broken record constantly mentioning how difficult the past few years have been for me, and I’m just so done with it all.  I want my happy, joyful, positive attitude back, and I want it naow!

There is such a fine line between acknowledging and giving validation to all of the struggles, hurts, and sorrows you’ve gone through and just getting over it and getting on with things.  On one hand, you can’t just skim right over it all and pretend like everything is all peachy because stuffing your problems never fixes them, they only build up, lurking just beneath the surface, and if they’re not dealt with they eventually pop up and affect other areas of your life.  I’d rather give them the required attention now so that I can truly move on and be done with it.  But on the other hand, geez how long does it take for crying out loud?!

In contemplating the new year, my thoughts and feelings have been all over the place ~ anywhere between hope and excitement to fear and trepidation.  My natural tendency is usually to be optimistic and positive, but when I look at a few of the cold hard facts of the ‘reality’ of my situation, that optimism fades a bit.

I feel like I’m constantly at war with myself, wanting to be realistic and practical, but at the same time wanting to dream, wanting to imagine, wanting to believe in “happily ever after.”  But I don’t like pretending.  Keeping things real and being authentic is very important to me.  If I’m not ‘feeling’ it, I’m not faking it.

I’ve mentioned many times before how thankfulness and gratitude are key to finding true happiness and I really believe that with all my heart.  Of course it’s easy to live in an “attitude of gratitude” when things are going well, but it’s much more of a challenge when things are difficult.  But it is possible to do, and to be authentic about it, because there is always something to find to be thankful for.  Always.

I used to live in a sort of bubble.  It was a wonderful bubble.  I miss my bubble.  I walked around every day and I was just… happy.  The birds were always singing, the sun was always shining, I met each day with hopeful anticipation, deeply grateful for all of my blessings, always expecting good and wonderful things for my life, and do you know what?  That’s exactly what I got.  Not that everything was perfect, not by any means, but I was happy, it was all about my attitude, and it was about my faith and trust in God that no matter what happened everything was always working for my good.  I want my bubble back.

So, yesterday was the first day I was finally feeling a tiny bit better and after being sick for a week I was really feeling the need to change my bedding.  I have a bit of OCD about my bedding always needing to be fresh and clean so when I’ve been sick it’s even more of an issue.  While I was doing the laundry, I sat with my sick daughter and my sick mother and watched a movie.  The movie was called “Enchanted.”  It’s just a silly little movie, I’ve seen it before, but as I sat there and watched it, I saw something new.  It wasn’t the movie itself really, it was the thoughts it provoked.  I hope I’m able to articulate those thoughts here…

Movies, or stories in general, have a way of getting inside of us and producing certain thoughts and feelings.  I think what happens is, there are common or universal ideas that go deep down somewhere and we relate to them on some certain level.  A particular story resonates with us, provokes feelings.  Ah it’s wonderful.  But then, then… reality.  Oh reality.  Sorry people, no dreaming, real life isn’t like this.  This is just make believe, real life doesn’t work that way.  Well why the heck not?!  Seriously, why not?  Why can’t real life be that way?  Obviously the reasons that stories touch us the way they do is because deep inside of us we know that life is meant to be more than it is.  There’s more to it than this ‘reality’ that we’ve been given.

Ya know… if there hadn’t been dreamers we wouldn’t have even half of what we do in the world today.  Inventors, crazy people they are, dreamers.  What if they let ‘reality’ hold them back?  What if they had listened to all the naysayers telling them “that’s not realistic.”  Why do we have to be realistic?  Lets dream!  Lets wish and imagine and hope and do what it is that we really long for!

A fellow blogger posted a TED video the other day of a young girl speaking on “What adults can learn from kids” and maybe it was the combination of that video mixed with the silly Enchanted movie that sparked all these thoughts.  One of the things that I really loved that the little gal said was  “In order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first.  In many ways, our audacity to imagine helps push the boundaries of possibility.”  Gosh, that’s good stuff right there!  What an extraordinary kid!  What is that quote… “out of the mouths of babes.”  We lose something when we grow up.  Something important.  I want to be just like this little gal when I grow up.

Forget about resolutions, for New Years I want grab hold of my dreams and not be afraid to pursue them.  I sort of have to figure them out first though, 😉 but then…

The future

~

Stinkin’ Thinkin’

“Has this ever happened to you?” 

You’re just going along on your merry way.  You’re doing your best to live each day with meaning and joy, when all of the sudden these thoughts start coming in and begin invading your mind with all sorts of negative and depressing things. Sucking the very life and light right out of you and sending you down into that dark place that’s cold and empty and filled with despair and hopelessness.

I know that’s quite a dramatic description, but you get my meaning…

It’s actually not really an “all of the sudden,” it’s usually more of a gradual process.

Our minds, and our way of thinking, literally have the power to shape our lives.  And it not only affects our mental health, but can also have a huge impact on our physical health as well.

In general, I am a happy and positive person ~ an optimist, if you will.  Not in a sickeningly way (at least I hope not to those who have to be around me on a regular basis), but I usually seem to have a cheerful attitude and the ability to “look at the bright-side” on most occasions.

But there are times when I get that stinkin’ thinkin’ and find myself feeling quite dismal.  And somehow it seems to multiply and accumulate like a snowball rolling down a hill.

Depending on what may be going on in my life at the present moment and/or even where I’m at in my hormonal cycle, the intensity of these thoughts varies.  But oh boy it is not fun…

During those times I want to shout curses at all of positive and disillusioned dreamers out there.  I hate every love song that comes on the radio and want to bash the tv in when anything comes on that is feel-good or romantic.  It’s all such a crock!  And if you are one of the dear friends who dares to try and say anything even remotely positive to me I will eat your face off and spit out the pieces.

Scary huh?  Yep.  And that’s not the real me at all.  But this is what happens when we give ourselves over to the dark side of the force and get into that stinkin’ way of thinkin.’

Don’t get me wrong… you gotta be real.  You gotta let your emotions run their course and go through your process when you’re dealing with a particular life issue.  But… you also have to be cautious.  Those darn emotions can sometimes run a muck.

“A muck a muck a muck.”

Sorry for the distraction there, but that’s how my brain operates.  😀  Everything reminds me of a song, a movie, or a tv commercial etc.

Anyways, moving right along…

We have to be careful not to let our emotions and/or even more importantly… our thoughts, run a muck.  We can allow ourselves to go there, but must not stay there.  And that can be a very delicate balancing act…

One of which I failed on this New Year’s.  I was feeling melancholy and sat and thought about all of the horrible, hurtful things that happened to me in 2011 instead of focusing on all of the wonderful, beautiful things in my life to be thankful for.  I had little glimpses of  things I was grateful for ~ simple things like just having a reliable and completely paid for vehicle to drive as my daughter and I were heading out to have a special New Year’s dinner at our favorite restaurant.  But then I let the stinkin’ thinkin’ come in and thought “Yeah, but I wonder how long it’ll keep being reliable.  And how will I be able to afford any repairs that it might need down the road.”  Those dang negative ‘what ifs’ will steal your joy and sense of peace every time…

Oh, but I had every valid reason to think those thoughts though.  I have lost so much and it seems like I just keep having more things taken away from me, so why not have car problems next?   See… it’s like we feel we’re entitled to think that way.  Watch out!  Run!  It’s a trap!   “Danger Will Robinson!”

If you stay there too long, you’ll get stuck there and before you even realize it those negative thoughts will be what comes naturally to mind.  And it will continue to grow… like a cancer, until you find yourself a very miserable, unhappy person.  But hey you’re entitled right?

I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy.  And being happy starts with your frame of mind.  It’s a choice.  I’m reminded of a quote here…

“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”                      ~ Abraham Lincoln

Here’s another…

“You don’t go to find meaning in life, you bring meaning to your life.  Meaning isn’t something out there waiting for you to discover. The meaning of your life is what you infuse it with – beauty or ugliness, happiness or sadness. It is totally your choice.”

I don’t know who said that last quote, but it’s such a good one.  Meaning of life is what we infuse it with…

So it seems fitting that as I enter a new year ~ that I try to make good choices in what I infuse my life with, and no more of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

Reflections & Resolutions

So a new year is right around the corner here and I’ve got a lot on my mind as it approaches.  Things past, things present, and things yet to come are all converging at once and simultaneously scrambling around in my head at the moment.  It’s gettin’ kinda crowded in there and I’m tempted to try and lock it all away behind a firewall of sorts somewhere within the depths of my brain.

Ordinarily I do more of a “New Year’s resolution” type thing around my birthday time.  I figure that’s really when a new year of my life begins ~ not the calendar year, but I still find myself contemplating life along with everyone else during this time of the year…

The past few years have been some of the most difficult of my life so far and there were times when I didn’t know how I was even going to continue on.  Hopeless, seemingly helpless, and dark times where it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But by living one moment at a time, simply concentrating on breathing in and out, and taking one step and then another, I got through it ~ along with a lot of support and encouragement from good friends and precious family, the companionship and comfort of my furry pets, and my faith in God.

~

But in just reflecting on the calendar year of 2011…

January began with the dissolution of my 21 year marriage as my divorce became final after over a year of horrendous upheaval and turmoil.  I know that divorce is common in our society these days, but what I went through was anything but “common” to me.  Such hurt, betrayal and regret.  I’m sure at some point I will blog about that whole process in more detail, but right now all I will say is that although my heart is still a bit bruised and battered ~ I am profoundly grateful to be free from that relationship.  And… that I’m doing okay.

In February I met someone new.  Yeah, I know… a month is hardly enough time to wait in between a tumultuous divorce and entering into a new relationship, but I didn’t mean for it to happen and believe me… I resisted.  But he was very persistent and before I knew it he had sneaked his way fully into my heart .  Also, I must confess that after feeling abandoned and discarded by my husband it just felt so darn good to be pursued and wanted.  And not only was this new guy the exact polar opposite of my ex, but he seemingly adored everything about me ~ even the things my ex had hated and complained about.  I fell hard.  Real hard.  And I am still not over the break-up of that relationship which was just this past October.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, my Dad passed away this past June after a valiant fight against colon cancer.  The pain and loss I have experienced through that and getting through the holidays has been especially difficult for me.

~

But now the holidays are over.  Well not quite… New Years is here now = reason for this post.

Ever since the realization of my impending divorce began, I have been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.  I didn’t have a career during my marriage because my focus was on raising our daughter, being a good wife, and taking care of my home.  I worked at my daughter’s school for 11 years and loved every minute of it.  Well… not every minute, but I enjoyed it very much and cherish the relationships I built during my time there.   It wasn’t just a job to me and I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  But in June of 2010, I was let go along with 20 or so other people as the school did some restructuring and cutting back.  So not only was I in the middle losing my marriage, but I had lost a job that I loved and a strong connection with a community that had grown to be like an extended family to me.

I knew in getting divorced that I was going to have to eventually find a different job that would support me financially, but I had also hoped that maybe I could stay working at the school and collect spousal maintenance until I figured out what to do next.  Maybe take some classes in this or that to try and rediscover my interests.  Up to that point my life had just been so wrapped up in being a wife and a mom that I hadn’t really given much thought to anything else.

Thankfully I am receiving some spousal maintenance, but the amount I’m getting will soon be drastically reduced and here I sit ~ jobless and still without a clue of which path to take.

So as this new year approaches I guess one of my top resolutions should/will be to really dig into the depths of my heart and mind and try and figure it all out huh?

That along with… eating healthier, taking better care of myself and a myriad of other things I want to change and/or improve in my life…  😉  I’m sure you can relate.

Out of curiosity I decided to Google the top ten new year’s resolutions and was not surprised to find they were:

1.  Spend more time with family & friends

2.  Make time for fitness

3.  Tame the bulge

4.  Quit smoking

5.  Enjoy life more

6.  Quit drinking

7.  Get out of debt

8.  Learn something new

9.  Help others

10.  Get organized

Sounds good to me.  And you know… 2012 is supposedly the end of the line, so we had better make the most of it!