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inspirational

A Blank Slate for the New Year

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A Blank Slate for the New Year

Happy New Year!

     Don’t you just love the crisp air that rolls in with the month of January? I find the light sting on my skin and brief burn in my lungs to be energizing. I purse my lips to exhale my breath and push out imaginary smoke rings that disappear into the cold air; it makes me giggle.  It is this childlike energy that fuels my perspective and optimism for the New Year; a vibrant, spirited attitude emerges when I anticipate the year ahead. I enjoy the blank slate I see when I sit down to write my goals or openly discuss them with others. Periodically the mature reality of responsibilities and deadlines of life push away my spirited demeanor; I’m weighed down with the thought of tasks and necessary sacrifices. To achieve some of my goals, the new disciples that I'll require will appear daunting. Occasionally my list of objectives will expand faster than my hand can write; I’m overwhelmed. No matter how positively I write each goal my plate of tasks and responsibilities feels more and more heavy. My scales of exhaustion can be tipped with simple comments like, “I’m going to eat healthier; walk two miles a day; write five pages each day in my book”. I don’t want to feel as though I’m adding more to my “to-do” list without first making room on my plate to grow. Instead I want to focus on what “I can do” and not place a spotlight on what “I can’t”; but again, I need the room.

      To make room in my life I find it necessary to first expand my attitude and make emotional space to get relief. What am I going to stop doing? For starters I’m going to stop judging myself and start appreciating who I am at this very moment. I’m going to stop parking my car so close to the front door of the store and I’m going to walk farther from where I park; this will add to my desired two miles a day. I’m going to stop worrying about what I’m going to serve my guests for dinner; this way I’ll be less stressed and able to focus more on the conversation; the pleasure of their company. With each objective or goal that’s added to my plate, one negative thought comes off.

     Traditionally the song “Auld Lang Syne” brings with it, a review of our past; a look back at the last year. It’s not easy to reminisce without recalling the goals I “didn’t" achieve. It’s also a challenge to acknowledge the mistakes I “did” make.  However, I’m not disappointed when I reminisce. I can only learn from my mistakes or underachieved goals by first admitting I want to make some changes. I’m not the same person as I was a year ago; in fact, I’m not the same person I was yesterday. Just  like the month of January I’m a blank slate too.

Happy New Year! – Annamarie

 

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No one told me to stop!

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No one told me to stop!

    I am amazed by how easy it is to get lost in the twinkle of Christmas lights. The glow from the bulbs on the tree will almost hypnotize and mesmerize me as the memories of my past swirl around in my thoughts. I catch myself smiling and feeling warm inside as I reflect on Christmases of long ago. Many of the traditions of my life can be seen around my home today; handmade and precious ornaments hang on the tree or decorate my walls. New traditions have been folded into the mix while too many of my favorite rituals have disappeared as if ticked away like the seconds of time. Why did I stop? Why did I stop making Ginger-bread cookies? Why did I stop setting up the Christmas Village and making dozens of Danish cookies or bourbon balls? Did I just get lazy? Did I stop doing all of these things because I thought no one would care? But what about me?....I cared! I remember when the mess of baking flour made the floor so slippery I had to hang on to the counter when I walked through the kitchen. I remember when the strong smell of vanilla, cinnamon and cloves was in competition with the scent of fresh pine. I remember how the beautiful feeling of exhaustion that filled my spirit, also lifted my soul.

    I WILL MAKE COOKIES TOMORROW! When our son comes home this weekend, he will make cookies with me. We WILL give cookies to our neighbors; our friends; and the hungry. I’m going to surprise strangers with cookies. I will be responsible for my own joy and remember that…..no one told me to stop.

Merry Christmas

Love,

Annamarie

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Life is short....Don't Wait!

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Life is short....Don't Wait!

I have wanted a scooter for over thirty years. I have “ridden” on the back of motorcycles but I have never driven one of my own. Anytime someone has mentioned a scooter, I have always said, “I want a scooter”. The fact I’ve stated my desire for so many years and never acted on it became a family joke. Everyone knew that I was afraid of getting a motorcycle license and I was afraid of tipping over. This fear kept me obligated to always be a passenger and never be in control of my destiny. If I wanted to take off and enjoy the freedom I felt while riding a scooter or motorcycle, I’d have to wait for someone else to take me.

In my last blog, I shared the story surrounding turning fifty-eight years old and the importance of a positive attitude with a vision of success. Last week, on my actual birthday, I had a good kick in the rump. I had just finished eating a large blueberry pancake at a local restaurant when I said, “I really, really want a scooter”. I asked my husband if we could test drive a scooter or one of those three-wheel motorcycles; so off we went to the motorcycle dealership. The salesman was a friendly gentleman who was a tad older than me. He had a personality that instantly makes everyone he meets, smile. However, I wasn’t smiling when he told me that a scooter wouldn’t be able to make it up the hills in my neighborhood. He went on further to tell me that a motorcycle that had enough power to make it up my hills would require a motorcycle license. He was however, able to peek my interest when he confirmed I could ride a three-wheel Spyder and didn’t need a motorcycle license. Without hesitation, I climbed on the back of the three-wheeler and scooted off with him on a test-drive. The funny part came when it was his turn to let me drive with him on the back. Nope, I’ve never driven a motorcycle. Not knowing where to put his hands, he accidentally grabbed my chest when I took off a little fast and tossed him back. That's when he made a surprising discovery. Yep, I keep my insulin pump tucked in the right side of my bra; my breast feels as hard as a rock. It has provided me with many moments of humor when it's vibrates to warn me of a low or beeps loudly for a high. The smile on my face when I returned from the test drive wasn't because of the accidental squeeze; it was because of my joy and confidence. My husband and son said they knew instantly that I was going to buy the bike.

Long story short….don’t wait. I bought the Spyder and I have had so much fun. The conversations I’ve had in parking lots with women who have always wanted to ride a motorcycle have been wonderful. The fresh air that fills my helmet is awesome; the freedom is exhilarating. Thirty years have gone by and I now ride my Spyder with only one regret; the regret of not doing it sooner. Don't wait to say, "I love you" or act on your dreams; life is short.

Ride-on!

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