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Have the best day ever.

It doesn’t take much to bring a smile.

 

This image sure does bring a smile to your face.

I came across it in my phone’s photo library. Don’t know if someone sent it to me or if I found it myself. But it immediately made me smile. So, I in turn sent it to two people. And both wrote back right away. One said it was just what she needed. And the other said she had been thinking about me at the same time so she found the timing just perfect.

 

No effort needed.

After hearing from both these ladies, I began thinking about how something so simple brightened their day. There was no cost involved. Very little effort on my part. But huge payoffs all around. They smiled. And that made me smile.

Let’s spread a little sunshine.

Knowing how easy it is to spread a little sunshine, let’s think about doing it more often. Here are just a few thoughts on how we can bless others.

  • The minute someone comes to mind, be proactive. For me that typically means using Siri to set a reminder for a time when I can actually do something or make a plan.
  • Don’t let anything get in the way. A quick “I’m thinking of you” text or note means as much to a recipient as a gift delivered to the front door.
  • Baked goods hand-delivered or mailed are always appreciated.
  • Pray for that person. Right then. Later, let them know. Praying for others is always so appreciated.
  • Do something tangible. Be specific. Offer to bring a meal, “babysit” a child or their elderly parents while they go out. Offer to clean the bathrooms or do some laundry.
  • Drop off a plant or a single flower.
  • Send a card. It’s rather old-fashioned but who doesn’t like getting fun mail rather than just bills in their mailbox!

The ways to bring a smile are endless. But don’t put it off. Find someone to bless today.

What are your thoughts? How do you bring a smile to someone?

Mimi

 

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Well, that was a fun night!

Something didn’t seem right.

A few weeks back our normally quiet evening took a little detour. Greg was working in the office and I was on the sofa resting in between loads of laundry. I know the sounds my washer makes and something just didn’t seem right to me. In fact, it sounded very “un-right.”

I yelled for the hubster.

Quickly jumping to my feet, I raced to the laundry room where I was met with a floor filled with water, LOTS of water. And I could see the water was coming from near the wall outlet.

Thinking the faucets had gone bad, I tried to turn them off. But no matter how hard I tried, they wouldn’t budget. Now, on top of everything else, I’m mad at myself for never having tested them before. Meanwhile, the flood continued so I did the next best thing. I yelled for hubby to come.

Greg to the rescue.

Greg saw right away the real problem. It had nothing to do with the faucets; it was the drain hose. It had come out of the wall outlet and was laying behind the washer dumping all the dirty rinse water onto the floor.

While he shut off the machine (I hadn’t thought of that!!!), I began gathering towels from everywhere, trying desperately to sop up the water that was now in my hallway.

But there was a lot of water so Greg remembered the shop vac up in the attic. It does a great job with water so he retrieved it would work much better than the towels. But the thing wouldn’t work. (Murphy’s law my friends, Murphy’s law.)

All is well.

So, we made do with the towels, eventually got the water cleaned up, and started doing a few loads of the dirty towels.

And really, other than a little inconvenience and a lot more laundry, the whole thing wasn’t that big a deal. I was chill throughout and could even laugh about it. And I actually felt blessed that it had happened while Greg was home as he did the lion’s share of the work.

I learned a valuable lesson.

In this particular situation, I reacted quickly to the problem but in my haste made an assumption that turned out to be wrong. Had I spent an extra moment to really look at what was happening, I might have seen the water problem was actually with the drain hose.

In this case, and with Greg’s help, we were able to quickly make the fix and get things back to normal. But I have (hopefully) learned a good lesson: that sometimes it is actually better to take an extra moment to give yourself time to make a correct assessment.

“Many times, what we perceive as an error or failure is actually a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

How about you? Any stories in your lives where a lesson learned came as a result of something going wrong?

Mimi

Oh no! Not the scissors.

Aging has some fascinating aspects.

There are the typical face crinkles (wrinkles actually, but the word crinkles sounds a bit gentler), the annoying aches and pains that remind us we’re not as spry as we once were, the occasional brain fog where we tend to look for our glasses, only to discover we’re already wearing them. And a thousand other things that serve as continual reminders that though we’re not old, we are indeed aging.

But this reminder is annoying indeed.

While some reminders are mere annoyances, others seem to mock us. For example, something we all need to do but don’t necessary share with others: clipping our toenails.

Some opt for pedicures. But this frugal gal knows she can pocket $25 and do it herself, so she does. Typically, without any issues.

Of course, it is getting more difficult as each day goes by. Here’s why. I can no longer leave my feet on the ground, bend down with scissors in hand, and actually see what I’m doing. I wear progressive lenses and that very small reading or magnified portion is so small I am unable to get close enough to really see what I’m doing so I can ensure not only a straight cut across the nail but a straight cut without injury to my toe.

The solution?

Sample pedicure position minus the sock.

Glad you asked. As you can see in this picture, I lift my foot to the bathroom counter to get better access with the bright overhead lighting. This worked for years in my Orlando house, but our new house has higher counters so it’s nearly impossible to get the leg up, position the foot in the best light, and hold still long enough to make THE CUT.

This endeavor is quite the balancing act. And most times goes off without a hitch. But then this happens. As it did today. But I didn’t just drop the scissors; I yelled “Oh no!” like dropping them was the worst thing in the world. I guess at the moment it really was. Here I was, leg on the counter, ready to proceed with my own version of a pedi, but the scissors were now w-a-y down there. What to do?

Still the sock…but look down, w-a-y down on the carpet.

I had to detangle, get the foot off the counter, bend to get those pesky scissors, then figure out all over again how to get back into position to finish up.

In reality, dropping the scissors is just a minor annoyance, though at the time it seemed a huge hurdle to overcome, hence the “Oh no!”

Two things come to mind.

First: it really was no big deal. Annoying yes. After all, it’s not easy to “un-pretzel” yourself, bend those aging knees, then get all the way back up on the counter into just the right position to finish what you started.

Second: it is indeed a mocking reminder that I am aging and need to embrace adaptations that make life more manageable, sometimes easier.

Does this mean I’m old? Of course not. But as each year marches on, my body changes. My abilities physically and mentally are different than they used to. And my perspective needs to change as well. Because how I feel about all this will set the barometer for whether I can embrace this new phase I find myself in or whether I will despair and lament what’s been lost.

Some encouragement.

The Bible, my life guide, reminds me of what God has in mind for my aging years:

  • Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life. (Proverbs 16:31 NLT)
  • Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? (Job 12:12 NIV)
  • Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  • Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged. (Proverbs 17:6 NLT)
  • I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28 NIV)

With promises like those above, there is never a reason to lament. I still have much to offer others. I am being renewed every single day. And God is still speaking to and through me. And that’s not the half of it! There’s so much more.

Here’s to each of us finding the “more” in our own lives. The more that God promises. And the more that He takes delight in giving us.

Mimi

Medicare? No way; it can’t be!

Me, eligible for Medicare?

I turn 64-1/2 next week and my daily mail is now inundating me with offerings of various Medicare plans to consider. Many of these offers include a seminar and free meal. I figure these meal invitations could really amount to something. And I just might be able to manage a free meal each week right through the open enrollment period later this year.

Twenty short years ago my kids were out of high school by a few years, we were in our mid-40s, and Medicare seemed a long way off…and for old people! That 20 years flew by and now I’m one of those OLD people! Funny thing…(1) I don’t feel old at all and (2) it doesn’t bother me in the least to sign up.

What does being old look like anyway?

Ever wondered what old age was supposed to look like or feel like? I think I always had a fairly good idea of it. I never pictured grey-haired and wrinkled people, bent over and walking with canes. That was a caricature for sure. But I do think I pictured a wise person who had enough life experience behind them to offer sage advice to others. I pictured grandkids flocking around who thought I was great fun to hang with.

I figured an older person now had the time to pursue hobbies, volunteer experiences, and perhaps travel. I thought that person’s days were filled with things to delight and the complete flexibility to enjoy those delights as often as they liked or wherever they presented themselves. I figured for the most part that person would be happy and content knowing they had lived a full life.

What’s the reality?

Reality isn’t very far off. I’m definitely not a bent-over person walking with a cane. My hair is about 50% grey at this point, and wrinkles? Well, let’s just say I have a bunch, but I tell myself each one is a brush stroke in the portrait of my life so why would I want to remove even one.

I do have aches and pains and tend to grunt out loud when getting up after sitting awhile. But I’m fairly healthy and still able to do most things I want to do.

Hmm, the part about doling out sage advice. You’ll have to ask others. I try really hard (really, really hard—not always successfully), to keep my opinions to myself unless asked…especially with my grown children in mind. But sometimes…oh yes, sometimes, I do wish they’d ask. Because I certainly have learned a thing or two I would love to share. Advice that could save heartache. Advice that could make some things easier. Advice that could possibly reassure them that when they feel as if they’ve failed at something, they are not alone. Most of us have felt that way at one time or another and it’s just a feeling, not necessarily the truth of the situation.

My personal reality is that I look in the mirror and still see me but it’s definitely a me who has experienced a little more wear and tear. It’s a me who still has dreams to change the world or to simply make a difference in someone’s life. It’s a me who despite knowing there are way fewer years ahead than behind, still wants to make something of those years.

Some of my thanks…

  • I am crazy in love with my family! And I so enjoy the adult relationships I now share with my kids. I’m blessed beyond measure with my grandchildren and I love being called Mimi. It’s one of my favorite words at the moment. And the fact that my dad is still such an integral part of our lives is beyond amazing. Blessed, blessed, blessed am I.
  • Through the years I’ve always had a group of women in my life about 10-15 years ahead of me. They have lovingly shared themselves with me…their wisdom, their experience, their unconditional love. What a difference that’s made. And I’m so very grateful for them. What they have poured into my life cannot be described with words. They are my friends but more than that…they are my treasures.
  • I am so very grateful that I am at this point healthy. It’s something that can definitely be taken for granted. I can play ball with my grands, walk a few miles at a time, bike for pleasure, clean my house (occasionally), and have enough strength to accomplish most of the things I find important.

Your own experience.

There is so much more to be thankful for, but maybe I’ll leave that for you. Please comment below and let me know what you are thankful for. Or just let me know about your own experience with the aging process…what you thought vs. your reality.

Thanks for sharing part of your Monday with me. I appreciate each one of you.

Mimi

As we gratefully remember…another thought on Memorial Day.

This year, I noticed several people on social media shared a very good thought. One I needed to be reminded of.

At the end of last week’s post, I wished everyone a Happy Memorial Day. It was a sign-off, something written without giving it much thought. And then I began reading several posts that reminded us what the day was really about. It’s not a happy kind of day at all…rather it’s a day to remember and be thankful…very thankful for the sacrifice of so many.

At the same time, I received an email from a friend that was so deeply moving. I asked permission to share it. Turns out it was a compilation of two articles from Fox News. I’m including the links below but am going to reprint what he put together after reading the articles himself.

May it touch your hearts as well…as we gratefully remember.

From Robert O’Neill, the Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden:

Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about the loss of the brave men and women of our armed forces who died in combat defending America. Memorial Day is not a celebration.

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid.

From former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink (speaking as if he were a fallen soldier):

I am the fallen soldier, sailor, airman, and marine. Remember me.

I am the one that held the line. Sometimes I volunteered. Sometimes I went because I was told to go.  But when the nation called – I answered.

In order to serve, I left behind the family, friends, and freedom that so many take for granted.

The machines of war evolved and changed with the times. But remember that it was always me – the warrior – that had to fight our nation’s enemies.

As technology advanced, I used night vision goggles and global positioning systems and drones and lasers and thermal optics. But it was still me, a human being, that did the work.

It was me that patrolled up the mountains or across the desert or through the streets. It was me that suffered in the merciless heat and the bitter cold. It was me that went out, night after night, to confront our nation’s enemies and confront evil face to face.

It was me.

Remember me. I was a warrior.

That I was not only a warrior. I was not just a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.

Remember also: that I was a son, a brother, a father. I was a daughter, a sister, a mother.

I was a person – like you – a real person with hopes and dreams for the future.

I wanted to have children. I wanted to watch my children grow up. I wanted to see my son score a touchdown or shoot the winning basket. I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.

I wanted to kiss my wife again. I wanted to grow old with her – and be there to hold her hand when life grew hard.

When I told her I would be with her until the end – I meant it. When I told my children I would always be there for them – I meant it. But I gave all that away.

All of it.

Or on the unforgiving sea where we fought against the enemy and against the depths of the abyss. There, in those awful places: I held the line. I did not waiver and I did not hesitate. I The Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.

I stood my ground and sacrificed my life – my future, my hopes, my dreams. I sacrificed everything – for you.

This Memorial Day, remember me: the fallen warrior. And remember me not for my sake – but for yours. Remember what I sacrificed so you can truly appreciate the incredible treasures you have: Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.

You have the joys of life, the joys that I gave up, so that you can relish in them:

A cool wind in the air.

The gentle spring grass on your bare feet.

The warm summer sun on your face.

Family. Friends. And freedom.

Never forget where it all came from. It came from sacrifice: The supreme sacrifice.

Don’t waste it. Don’t waste any of your time on this earth.

Live a life that honors the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.

Remember them always. And make every day… Memorial Day.

Reference: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/26/seal-who-shot-bin-laden-dont-wish-me-happy-memorial-day.html

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/25/ex-seal-jocko-willink-remember-warriors-who-made-supreme-sacrifice-dont-waste-your-time-on-earth.html

Until next time…Mimi

 

Is my whole life “pending?”

Sitting down to do some computer work this morning, I found myself opening various file folders where I had stored items for a future looksee.

First up were two different iPhone dumps. This is where I temporarily store iPhone pictures every so often so I can get them off my phone. Sitting in a labeled file folder on my desktop, I know right where they are and can easily access them when ready. And when I am “at the ready” I delete most, rename the ones I’m keeping, then store them in the appropriate file folder in another location. Easy peasy.

Most of my other file folders have very specific functions as well. But then there’s my PENDING folder. This is truly a dump folder. Upon opening it today, I discovered recipes I want to try, research on a water filtration system I no longer need, a sweet note I kept from my daughter-in-law, a craft idea I hope to work on in the future, some ideas for a future Florida drive vacation, the drawing course I downloaded from Great Courses, and a host of other items too diverse to properly file at this point, but nevertheless things I want to hold on to.

Looking through that folder made me realize I have a lot of other pending items in my life. And it’s time to work on them. Greg and I really do need a get-away and a driving trip is probably the easiest to plan and the quickest to execute. So why haven’t I done anything about it?

And those recipes are calling out to me as I so often find myself preparing the “same old” stuff night after night and it’s as boring to eat as it is to prepare.

And the craft idea? Oh please. I have way too many hopes of turning trash into treasure and receiving accolades galore at my creativity.

Have I done anything at all from my pending list? Well, yes, I have. I made two blanket ladders as Mother’s Day gifts to my girls. I have tried a recipe or two. And I have the start of a Florida driving trip planned out.

So, I’m not condemning myself, I’m just realizing, I have fewer years ahead than I have behind me. And to-lists and bucket list items are great, but now is the time to put them into action.

So, the immediate course of action is to review the pending file often and start making plans I intend to follow through on. That means new meals for Greg (I think I hear a big cheer from him), hopefully a fun road trip to explore new places in the next month or two, and time put aside to finally learn to draw something other than stick figures.

How about you? What’s on your to-do list or in your own pending file?

Mimi

Cinco De Mayo? More like Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

May 7, 2018

Long before I had ever heard of Cinco de Mayo, May 5 held a much more important place in my heart. And that’s because it’s my parents’ anniversary.

Nearly 65 Years!

Mom passed away two years ago just a week before what would have celebrated being married for 65 years. 65 years! That’s amazing. It’s so rare for that to happen. And I’m delighted to let you know Greg and I are working hard on following their example as we’ll be celebrating 44 years this November.

So, while many celebrated Cinco de Mayo this past weekend, I spent some time thinking about my parents’ long marriage. And two things stood out: love and commitment.

Til Death Do Us Part

Most people marry for love and many make vows of commitment. But the love a marriage should be based on, is one that says “no matter what.” Because let’s face it; sometimes we’re not quite as lovable as we could be or should be.

Add to that the storms and turbulent times we all experience, and it becomes so very clear that without a foundation of love and a very strong commitment to each other, the marriage might not endure.

My parents did not have a perfect marriage. I dare so no one does, me included. But the secret to my parents’ long one was simply that they loved each other and were committed to each other “til death do us part.

What a great example to their kids, grandkids, and great-grands.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. You set the bar high.

Mimi