Good advice to MYSELF

Question. Have you, like me, seen something like this floating around your social media newsfeed: If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I’ve seen several prompts like this lately. “Two words to your teenage self” and “Best advice to your college self” and “If I could write a letter to me”, etc.

You get the drift.

Hindsight being 20/20.

I have to say, I usually sass the answer with something quick.

“Wake up, Dummy” “That’s going to leave a mark!” “Gaaaaaaa”.

Sometimes I am more kind. “Slow down” “Don’t fall for that!!” “Trust your gut!!”

Sometimes I am more caring. “Wow, this is tough for you” “Looking good” “You’ve got this” “See the opportunities”.

I was thinking about this exercise last week, and I have also recently added the movie “About Time” into my favorites. There are so many sweet sentimental snippets, all tucked in nicely, about enjoying today.

What would I say to my younger self? So many things.

But what would I say to me last month, or last week, or yesterday?

Here’s what. It’s really good advice. To myself.

Spend some time on a few things, in a few places, and with a few people who make you feel like you. The best you. The cherished and valued and celebrated you.

It will be time well spent, my friend.

Very well spent.

Wake Me Up When September ENDS

I’m not one to wish my life away. Every day is precious.

September, however, always seemed so long. It’s the month after celebrating August, my birthday month. It’s the month before one of my favorite months, October.

Now there is a reason to celebrate September. My grandbaby. No more sleeping through September. I’m awake, grateful, blessed.

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All the water in the SEA

All the water in the sea cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside.

The situation I’m wrestling with is so personal and so loaded with tender and raw emotion that it’s all going into my journal.

The sentiment, however, is so worth sharing for your encouragement in what can be an angry world. Negatives cannot sink you unless you let them in.

Shore up your boundaries. Guard your heart. Don’t dwell on what you cannot control. Change what you can. Protect yourself with a strong foundation of positive thought and core values. Bend. Don’t break. Steep your mind in positive reading, learning, action, practices.

Set sail to a wonderful future… Enjoy the ride!

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The winds of CHANGE

A new season is blowing in. Autumn. My favorite.

I read an article on this shifting season, written by the staff of my local acupuncture studio, The Light Clinic.

To paraphrase, and by the spiritual seasonal calendar they use, it’s been a season of being handed bucket after bucket of dirt. As soon as you empty a bucket, you have been handed another. What you do with that dirt is up to you. You have either dumped it around you and are stuck in the dirt. Or you have carefully dumped the dirt to build a good foundation for the new season.

I have heard a similar story. A donkey is in a well with no way out. His farmer decides to bury it there. As he dumps bucket after bucket of dirt, the donkey shakes it off and uses it as a foundation to climb out of the well.

Not a bad idea…

The winds of change are blowing wild and free. Perfect time to walk on a firm foundation to the future.

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Lay down one’s LIFE

John 15:13- Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

To lay down one’s life.

I’ve often thought of this scripture as I call on a friend for counsel or help, or as a friend calls on me for the same.

We get one life. A limited amount of time, as well as the guessing game of when it will end.

To lay down one’s life, or to trade one’s time here on earth for a friend in need, is precious. It’s love. True love.

My family and I have experienced death after death in the last few years. A sad succession of fond remembrances. Quiet times lost in memories and grief. Tears and smiles. Never questioning to lay down our life for the stolen last moments of last words and I love yous and thank yous and caretaking. Never questioning trading the time of carefully choosing dresses and ties, funeral hymns, honoring, travel, goodbyes and “til we meet agains”. We lay down our life to honor yours.

There’s a heaviness that is trying to settle on my shoulders. My grieving is not finished for my grandparents.

I used to make drives to western Kentucky to visit. To rest, to play, to cook and eat and laugh and garden and sleep. Rejuvenate in the all-encompassing love of family. Staying for weekends, and weeks, and never really ready to leave.

Then I made drives to western Kentucky to give care.

Laying down my life to go with my mother and her mother to make funeral arrangements. Carefully selecting caskets, pallbearers, hymns for my grandparents, all still living. We smiled and held each other’s hands and signed off on our decisions. And loved on each other. Laying down our life to honor each other. Laying down our life to move them to our town.

I was not ready for the after-midnight call from my Grandmommie’s caregiver. Her keening into the phone over the loss. I was not ready for the drive across town. Alone.

I comforted the caregiver and welcomed the lady who directed the process. I called the undertaker. My brother came for a while. I waited. I called the undertaker again. Trading time in my life to honor hers. I wiped snow off the board they would put her on. I asked them to keep her blankets around her. I watched the daybreak snowfall from the window of the other room that they asked me to move to. I drove home. Alone.

I was not ready for my Granddaddy to pass. An accident and a succession of events had his passing come quickly. I held his hand for days knowing he was going. Grateful for a few more hours.

I was not ready for my Nannie to pass a few weeks later, only having a few days and hours to prepare and keep her comfortable.

I laid down my life for theirs as we packed, sorted, moved. I was glad to grieve this way. Trading time for sorting through memories and trinkets and treasures and pictures. Trying to comfort family as they grieved.

And it begins again. I will spend the next few overnights with my Nannie’s sister as we find caregivers.

It awakens and brings the grieving early. It pokes the grieving I am still going through. It prods the tender spots that are valiantly trying to heal. Again.

I miss them. I will miss her. Tu me manques. They are missing from me.

It is a blessing to lay down these hours for her care. I am grateful to care for her for this little while.

It is a gift. I will lay down my life for her this little while.

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