Category Archives: Stillness Life Lessons

Farewell 2017, with Gratitude

On the last day of each year, I have a ritual of looking back over the previous twelve months. So, early this morning, while my family slept, I turned on the Christmas lights and took a seat in my favorite chair. This vantage point gave me a perfect view of the lighted garland draped along the banister and the tree adorned with years of memories. All was quiet save for the faint Christmas music playing throughout the house and the gentle sound of water from the foyer fountain. The perfect setting for a time of reflection.

With hot coffee in hand, I mentally reviewed each month. I reflected on the highs and lows. The sweet times and sad times. The moments of joy and pride. The moments that brought many tears.

I paused with each moment and offered gratitude. Gratitude for the experience, the memory, the milestone, or a life well lived.

I often hear people say, “good riddance” after a particularly challenging year. When tempted with this mindset, I always try to remember the sage wisdom of my grandmother, “Tootsie.” Any time I complained about something, Tootsie had a way of turning it around and showing me how I could bless it and be thankful for it. During difficult times, Tootsie would remind me that a silver lining did exist and would be revealed in due time. She would also tell me to be grateful for whatever the circumstance and believe that good would always result. I am happy for the reminder to see things through grateful, positive lenses, especially as one year ends and a new one begins.

Farewell 2017. I give thanks for all you brought. I choose to look for silver linings in the less than bright hours. I celebrate all the wonderful memories. Farewell 2017, with gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under finding the good, Gratitude, Something to think about, Stillness Life Lessons

A Lesson From The Geese

Yes, a lesson from the geese. I know it sounds strange, but I have learned over the years that life lessons can be found in the most unlikely places. A recent life lesson came to me one afternoon from a gaggle of geese as I hurried to pick my daughter up from school.

As I drove along the road leading to my daughter’s school, I noticed the geese a few hundred yards ahead walking along the side of the road. When I got closer, the leader turned and started walking across the street. The others naturally followed. I quickly realized that I couldn’t pass them before they were in the middle of the street, so I stopped and waited for them to cross. And waited. And waited. And waited.

I have never seen such a slow crossing of geese in my life. They took their sweet time, even pausing midway for a rest. At first I was extremely irritated as I didn’t want to wait for them to saunter across the street; I had children to pick up (child #2 to be picked up at an area high school) and music lessons to get to on time. However, once I accepted the fact that I had no choice but to wait, I put my car in park, opened my windows, turned off the radio, and shifted my paradigm. I decided to be still and enjoy the moment. I took several deep breaths. A gentle breeze blew the crisper air of fall into my car. Leaves softly flew through the air, just released from roadside trees that had turned gorgeous shades of bright orange and red. It was a beautiful, peaceful moment. One I wouldn’t have had if it had not been for the geese.

I thought about how difficult it seems in our busy lives to actually take a moment, or two, to be still and take in life. To just “be” and nothing more. The minutes I spent waiting for the geese actually  filled my spirit more that day than I could have ever expected.

I was reminded that our children need moments to “just be” as well. I sometimes notice each of my children laying across their beds staring into space. I think they are naturally doing what adults need to be reminded of– they are being still and just “being.”

This is the time of year when things start ramping up activity-wise. On top of normal schedules, we add holiday shopping, parties, festive events, and entertaining to the mix of our already busy lives. While all of these things are fun and enjoyable, they can still add stress and busyness to already hectic schedules. Let’s all take time each day to be still and just “be.” Even if it is just for five minutes, take the time.

Oh, and if you don’t feel like you have the time to be still and take a moment, don’t be surprised if a gaggle of geese cross your path and give you the opportunity to experience this life lesson when you least expect it. If that happens, embrace the moment. You will be glad you did! 🙂

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Filed under Gratitude, Stillness Life Lessons