When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons…

The Think Write Thursday prompt for this week is to write about the ways I stay positive when it feels like everything is going wrong. What do I do to get through those times and stay focused on the good?

For me the answer is not to make lemonade out of the crisis/issue/problem. Some problems cannot be sweetened or made better no matter how hard you try.

My solution when there is an issue/crisis/problem is to focus on something else entirely. And, not in an ignore the issue/crisis/problem kind of way, but instead it is a way for me to not get mired down in the issue/crisis/problem.

I want to stay “out of the pit” and approach it with a better view. I won’t solve anything if I am drowning with the problem.

Now, that does not always equate to staying positive, but it does help me keep my focus.

The other thing that I find extremely helpful is that I do not believe that every problem needs to be solved or has a solution. Sometimes it can’t be – and maybe the solution is to have a different focus.

I try to focus inward (perhaps you might even call it internalizing!!) Or, I might journal about the problem or I might meditate about it or I might even laugh about it. But, what I don’t like to do is to talk about the problem or solicit advice regarding the problem. This is in part because I have a huge aversion to being told what to do nor do I want you to “solve it for me”. I really do want to muddle through it on my own and in my own time.

So, when the life gives you lemons, my advice is to take a deep breath and eat a Clementine or two!

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That Christmas Feeling

That Christmas Feeling

Our Think Write Thursday topic for today is to write about holiday spirit. What does it mean to have it? Do I feel like I have it this year? Why? Or Why not?

Do I have an abundance of holiday spirit? A trace of holiday spirit? Or am I decidedly Scrooge-like?

And my answer to those questions is simply this – it depends on what day you ask me – okay, maybe even what minute you ask!

For me the question is really this: is my holiday spirit external or internal?

If it is external – then I would say my holiday spirit looks well in place. There is evidence of Christmas in this house – the tree is up – and the light issue has been fixed, presents are being wrapped, gifts are being sent off, and Christmas music is ringing though this house.

However, if it is internal – then I admit that some days my holiday spirit has completely vanished.

However, peace knitting has done wonders for the holiday spirit level – those forty-five minutes or so of contemplative knitting have been a real boost to my inner peace! Add to that the snowfall we got the other day has definitely helped move the holiday spirit level in an upwards direction.

So where does that leave me?

Truthfully, holiday spirit is a work in progress for me this year. I have really focused on the preparation time that Advent is giving me. Some days, I manage to fill the holiday spirit void more than others – but each day there is some filling taking place – even if it is only a drop or two.

I hope that by the time Christmas gets here, these words will ring true for me, “So here’s to the joy of Christmas. Here’s to the ones I hold dear. May you all have that Merry Christmas feeling, all through a happy new year.”

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Christmas Time is Here

Christmas Time is Here

This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to write about my favorite holiday tradition – what I love about it, how it started, and why it’s important to me.

So, here is my favorite holiday tradition that absolutely makes my Christmas brighter:

Christmas music – hundreds of hours of it. And, an eclectic mix of it that is heavy on English Carols, but includes Aaron Neville, James Taylor, Vince Guaraldi, and lots of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Those are the sounds of Christmas to me – but the best part of all were my mom’s Firestone Christmas Albums. And, singing along – so much singing along – loudly and with much joy! The Julie Andrews albums were my favorite. I came from a musical family, and every Christmas it feels good to be immersed in musical memories.

This pairs with the tradition above and involves more singing! But this singing is in church choir on Christmas Eve. To lift my voice in joyful song – there is nothing better in all the world. I have sung in choir since high school and cannot imagine Christmas without it.

But, what about you? Do you have any Holiday Traditions?

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Hello, December

Hello, December

For this week’s Think Write Thursday we are welcoming December with a hearty hello:

Hello, dear December,

I love you so much, but you can be a bit overwhelming at times.

With the flurry of activities that you bring, it seems that you can be over and done with before I even know it.

This year let’s try something different, shall we?

I think we will both be much happier if we slowed down and savored the season.

I love the anticipation that is Advent…my savoring plan to appreciate Advent each day will start with some Advent meditation.

I love the decorating portion of preparing for Christmas. The tree is up, the lights are on – but there are no ornaments on yet. AND – the tree in this state is not making me crazy! I know, right? My savoring plan for tree trimming is that it will be part of this Friday’s Happy Hour celebration – cocktails, good eats, music – and Steve and I will trim the tree together.

I love the foods of Christmas, and especially the sweets. However, all those sweets are unnecessary – and don’t fit in with the diet very well. My savoring plan for cookie baking will be to bake just one or two favorites – and it a manageable quantity (not dozens and dozens of cookies of a million different types!) And, these will be things to savor – one or two at a time – over the course of the month.

Other things to that I will be doing to remind myself to slow down and savor… tune out the news and tune in the Christmas music or turn off the television and open a book and read – things that are a good reminder that the world will keep, but December won’t.

I am glad you are here December and I am looking forward to spending some quality time together!

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Today’s Think Write Thursday is to write about Thanksgiving.

I am most thankful to have discovered Michelle recently and I participated in both Gratitude Week as well as Just Five Things.

So, today – I am going to challenge you all to spend some time today thinking about what or who you are thankful for.

It can be things – we are indeed a rich country with an abundance of things! Things like running water, heat, transportation, a multitude of shopping choices, with a multitude of items to choose from. Or things like a table full of food today – perhaps celebrating with friends and family.

But, what about being thankful for the intangible things. Things like kindness, good will, open-minds, open-hearts, love, and peace.

I will share my thankful list, but I will be thinking about this numerous times today – and as I learned with Michelle – in the course of a day, the things you think about can change dramatically. Powerfully. Exponentially. But, here is my start:

  • Food that is so abundant and has been prepared with love
  • Steve – who will share this quiet day with me
  • Family – who while they might be far away, they are always close in my heart
  • Quiet morning meditations that help me center my day and myself
  • Pandora’s timely email yesterday with a list of Thanksgiving stations which will keep me from driving Steve crazy with Christmas music (rather now I can do that with Thanksgiving music instead!)

Today, whether you are with family and friends or are celebrating alone – I will be thinking about all of you, with deep thanks in my heart for our paths crossing – even if it is only here on the internet.

If you would like to join us on Think Write Thursdays, Carole and I would love to have you! You can sign up here.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. May your day be overflowing with thankfulness.

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