Saturday, October 27, 2018

It's An Overlapping Time of Year

When I looked out the windows this week I saw dry leaves blowing across the parking lots, trees and burning bushes turning gold and crimson, pumpkins and corn stalks in front of many houses, and photos popping up on social media of a variety of Halloween costumes. It's the end of October which means plenty of Trunk Or Treating events. It also means Hallmark has kicked off their Christmas movie season. Some would say, 'What ... Christmas movies already? Slow down! Let's enjoy one holiday at a time.' But don't get mad at Hallmark. They aren't the only ones on the band wagon to speed up time. Many stores have had Christmas items for sale for weeks now; of course they're just an aisle over from the Halloween and Thanksgiving decor. Equal time for equal holidays? I'm not exactly sure about that, but then some holidays bring in more revenue than others (business is business after all).

My kids are grown now and yet for some reason it still seems like once Labor Day rolls around and the school year has resumed, time just seems to go by a little faster. Summer ends, autumn begins, football games and tailgating takes place every weekend, it gets darker outside earlier, Halloween is upon us, Thanksgiving dinner discussions are already in full gear, and some people already have their check list complete for Christmas (okay, maybe not many, but enough to make me feel a little rushed, lol).

As we get older we tend to wish that time would slow down. There's too many 'responsible' things to get done, leaving not much time for the 'fun' stuff. Every year I say I will do things a little differently in the coming year; that I'll get started earlier so that I can enjoy the holidays more. Truth be told, some things change and improve, and some things stay the same (there's still never enough time).

So, to anyone who complains to me this year that Christmas movies shouldn't be playing yet or the local radio stations shouldn't be asking 'When should they start playing their Christmas music?' I say ... 'Don't worry about it so much!' It's going to happen anyway, so just let it ... in fact, why not just embrace it? What's the worst thing that can happen? You'll be taking your kids trick or treating AND talk to family about Thanksgiving dinner plans AND start picking out your Christmas cards all in the same week. There are worse things in life.

Personally, I don't mind that it's an overlapping time of year. It means I have wonderful things to be part of and look forward to. I enjoy the fall colors, the pumpkins, and kids' costumes. I also like the idea that when everyone's schedules and lives are packed full and busy, that Thanksgiving is still a time to put all of that aside and come together to get caught up with each other. Then there's Christmas ... I LOVE the twinkling lights, the decorations, the aromas of cookies baking and cinnamon scented pine cones on the porch, writing out and receiving festive cards, and standing in line and shopping for just the right gifts for people (yes, I rarely shop online ... I would rather go to a brick and mortar store and talk to people while I stand in line ... I know, call me CRAZY).

My point is to not let your yourself become consumed with the commercialism or the schedules or the To Do lists. Enjoy the moments for what they are. Make the memories. Don't worry about the calendar or what is coming next.

What do you look forward to this time of year?
What part do you like or dislike the most?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Does Your Heart Listen To Your Head?

We've all had moments when we had to make big decisions; those decisions that make you stay awake all night playing out every possible scenario in your head. What if I choose (fill in the blank) and it's the wrong choice? What if it's not the right time to (fill in the blank)? What if I choose one direction and find out later I should have gone the other way?

The thing is that none of us have a crystal ball. None of us have someone that can tell us what the right choice is. The choices we are presented with aren't always clear; we won't always know what to do or if the choice is really what is being presented. Maybe we think it is offering us one thing, when in reality it really isn't. Sometimes if an opportunity seems too good to be true, chance are it might be. It's always going to be difficult to know.

When you have to make a big decision or a choice, people will say to 'go with your gut', 'trust your instincts'. Then you have to ask yourself, 'Do you tend to react with your heart or with your head'. Those that react with their heart may be more emotional; how will something make you feel? Happy, sad, stressed, needed, appreciated? Some tend to react more with their head. They will look at a situation or decision and think about the pros and the cons. What will the job offer? How much time will I be on the road and away from my family? Will the choice they make get them where they want to be and doing what they what to do?

Choices can be about relationships, finances, starting families, choosing the right health treatment, new jobs, taking risks, going back to school, etc. We all make tough choices and make decisions each and every day. We need to have faith that whatever decisions we make are the right ones for us. Will we make mistakes? Undoubtedly, we are human after all. Will we learn from our mistakes? Hopefully so. Will whatever choices we make in our lifetime develop and define our character? You bet they will.

When you have a big decision to make do you tend to go with your heart or your head?

Does your heart ever listen to your head or vice versa?

Does making a big decision tend to keep you up at night?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Defining the Moment

Have you ever listened to the lyrics of a song (that perhaps you've heard before) and for whatever reason they felt new? Have you ever looked at a painting and suddenly understood the meaning the artist was trying to convey? Have you ever felt like a friend supported you with kind words at just the right time?

Sometimes the moment you hear a song, read a poem or a scripture verse, or get a call from a friend is the exact moment you needed for it to happen. Call it luck, call it good timing, or call it destiny if you prefer. I don't always understand why it happens that way, but feel extremely fortunate and blessed when it does. 

We never know when we are going to need to be on the receiving end of 'that moment', but we can cross our fingers that it will happen. 

What can we do? We can stop and think twice the next time we are prompted to do something nice for someone else, whether it's a phone call just to check in, drop off a plate of the cookies we made (because we always make too many, lol), or just compliment the stranger that we chat with while standing in line at the store. Maybe the moment we choose to make that extra effort is 'the moment' they need to know they are being thought of or cared for. 

You know what they say about karma? It always comes back around (good or bad).

My advice, for what it's worth? Be proactive. Be nice. Be considerate. Be thoughtful. Be respectful with your words and actions. In a time when our society is up in arms about everything under the sun and choosing sides over every possible topic ... well, I think a little niceness could go a long way. Will it solve the nastiness of the upcoming elections or social media topics? Probably not, but if I can go to bed at night knowing I tried to be part of a solution, rather than contributing to a problem, I may be able to sleep a little better.

When's the last time you had a moment? The kind of moment where things were turned around for the better, you felt loved and supported, or you felt blessed? I felt blessed last week when my kids (now adults) were in a car accident. The angels were watching over them as they skidded on a wet freeway, not hitting any other cars or getting hit by anyone else. Vehicles can be replaced and bruises and soreness will go away, but it was a moment of real blessing for my family. A moment we can't necessarily explain, but a moment we are truly grateful for.