Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 287, October 24

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

I think Harriet Beecher Stowe's words can apply to tears shed over those who have passed on and those who are still among us.  Chief among my regrets are the kind words and deeds I haven't said or done.  (I have plenty of regrets for things I have said or done, but not nearly as many as those left unsaid and undone.)

You would think that at my advanced age that I could figure it out.  Say it now.  Do it now.  Don't wait.  Don't postpone to a more convenient time.

Joyu for today:  saying and doing.  Now.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 286, October 23

"Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become love. That is the mystery." ~ Katherine Mansfield

I had to read and re-read this quotation several times to gain even the slightest understanding of it.  When I saw the word "change," I wanted to stop reading.  I don't like change.  I don't adapt well to it.  I resent changes in my life.

When my sister died, I had to adapt to the biggest change and challenge in my life.  I had to find a new way to live, to accept, to love.  The mystery is that I've done as well as I have (which isn't really very well at all, but it's all I have).

Joy for today:  accepting change.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 285, October 22

 “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”--Winston Churchill

Yesterday I wrote about the relationship between failure and success.  I suppose there are those few among us who have never experienced failure; for the rest of us, it is part of life. 

On one bleak day, when the rejections had piled up and my courage and energy were waning, I decided to give up writing.  I decided I'd try something else (becoming a special ops soldier came to mind).  And then I realized that writing was a part of me.  I could no more give it up than I could give up one of my children.  (Yes, I've considered that before as well.)

Have you ever decided to give up something because the failures had become too frequent, too painful?  Did you go through with it?  If so, don't beat yourself up over it.  We have only so much time, so much energy, and we can't do everything.  If you decided to keep trying, what caused you to change your mind? I've been on both sides of the fence.  

Joy for today:  stumbling from failure to failure.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 284, October 21

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six  times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”--Michael Jordan

When a friend sent this to me, I knew I had to include it in a blog.   It is incredible to me that basketball icon Michael Jordan believes he has failed.   But he doesn't end there; he credits that to succeeding.   Could not all of us benefit from his insight?

I used to joke that I could paper my house with all the rejections I've received.  Currently, rejections come in electronic form, but the "joke" remains the same.  One year, I figured that I had received over  12 book rejections, with dozens upon dozens of rejections on short stories and articles.  And still I kept trying.  Part of the reason is sheer obstinacy on my part, and part is the belief that I could succeed if I just kept trying.

Joy for today:  failing ... and succeeding.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 283, October 20

"Anyone who tells a story speaks a world into being." ~ Michael Williams

Do you remember the days of storytelling?  Grandchildren, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles gathered around the storyteller, usually a grandparent, and listened, enthralled, to stories of "the olden days."  I loved those times.  I loved the feeling of family as much as the stories themselves.

I didn't mind a bit of some of the stories were exaggerated.  In fact, I preferred "tall tales," a sign of the storyteller's creativity.  Perhaps this is where my love of reading and writing comes from, because, in the end, aren't books just storytelling written down?

Joy for today:  telling stories, true and otherwise.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 282, October 19

Last week's Relief Society lesson was on "Being in the World, But Not of the World:  In other words, being firm in keeping the commandments.  The teacher gave an interesting definition of the word firm:  not yielding to pressure.

We find pressure in every aspect of our lives.  Whether it is to dress as the fashion mavens tell us is stylish (never mind modesty), or to live beyond our means, or to give up paying tithing in favor of buying something "fun," we experience worldly pressures.

The trouble with these things, of course, is that they do not bring happiness; they may bring a momentary pleasure, but that is all.

Joy for today:  being in the world, but not of it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 281, October 18

Last week, my husband and I drove to Denver to attend the LDS Temple there.  Early morning fog obscured the road for much of the way, causing me to clench my teeth and pray for our safety.  Larry navigated it with his usual skill, and we arrived safely.

As we drove through the fog, I was reminded that a different kind of fog can obscure other roadways in life.
The fog of wanting worldly success and rewards can blind us to true success and rewards:  that of living a Christ-like life and returning to live with Him someday.  The fog of wanting material possessions may cause us to treat others dishonestly.  The fog of criticizing others to make us feel better about ourselves can canker our souls.  And so on.

Joy for today:  navigating through the fogs of life.