Monthly Archives: December 2013

Gift-Giving

“Giving presents is a talent; to know what a person wants, to know when and how to get it, to give it lovingly and well.” – Pamela Glenconner

Giving is something that can play such an important role in our lives–it can give us great happiness and satisfaction, can help us to feel better about ourselves, and can bring joy to others in our lives. But one aspect we often overlook in giving is our ability to impact the lives of others in positive ways. As a gift giver, I feel that we have a responsibility to give a gift that will really make the person receiving it happy, not just a gift that we feel they should want.

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Nothing Lasts Forever

“You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the summit a few moments; then the wind blows your footprints away.” – Arlene Blum

For all things there is a beginning and an end… nothing lasts forever. I love Arlene’s complete acceptance of the idea of the transitory nature of all that we do, even our most vaunted accomplishments. No matter what we do, eventually the wind, the rain, and the sun will wash away all indication that we have ever been where we have been at all. We may think that we have made a lasting mark, but really, we have made a temporary mark that will not last forever–and this is ok, for we are not meant to be permanent fixtures on this planet.

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Live Life Fully

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Diane Ackerman

I find Diane’s analysis of living life fully to be visually stunning. It is easy to get caught up in seeing just the road in front and behind us on our journeys through life–for we can look at our lives as one long road from birth to death, and unfortunately, that is how many people live it–as a long, straight road that gets from here to there in the most direct way possible. We get caught up in getting to the next point–finishing the degree, getting the new job or the raise, having the child, waiting for the child to finish high school, and so on–that we forget to stop, look around, and see all that surrounds us at any given point along the road.

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Take Actions Today That Will Be A Positive Influence On Your Life

“A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.” – Rita Mae Brown

So many of us are under the belief that we are living free. Therefore, when Rita implies I may be living a life of slavery, I am immediately taken aback. However, she is right here–if I fail to initiate action in my life, then I am a servant to reacting to much of what life brings my way. Continue reading

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Reflect Upon Past Experiences To Find Potential Areas Of Growth

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.” – Georgia O’Keefe

We each have our pasts–our histories–that can be easy to get caught up in. We find it easy to talk about where we have been and what we have done, however, it is much more difficult to focus on what we are doing now, what we are adding to our life experiences today. Rarely do others talk about where they are in life–what is going on with them and how things are going. All of these things are the results of what we have done in the past, yet for some reason we do not talk about the results, just the causes. Continue reading

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Learn From Mistakes Or Failures, And Then Put Them Behind You

“Having harvested all the knowledge and wisdom we can from our mistakes and failures, we should put them behind us and go ahead.” – Edith Johnson

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life… enough of them that the knowledge and wisdom I have harvested will last me for a long time. And it is of course good that I can gain valuable and positive wisdom from my failures. In doing so, however, I must be able to reach a point where I can leave those failures behind me and move on, as Edith points out here. Just as a farmer stops harvesting once the crops are depleted, once I have harvested all the knowledge and wisdom that I can, I too must move on to another field, another season.

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All Work And No Play

“Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness.” – May Sarton

What May is saying here is that we have to be conscious of the lives that we are forging, and balance our discipline and hard work with play, silliness, and fun, so that we do not end up taking ourselves too seriously. The key part of this is that we find balance in our approach to life. If we become too serious and disciplined, we fail to enjoy the journey we are on in life. On the other hand, if we become too dependent upon fun and foolishness, we may find it impossible to contribute in a positive way to this world of ours.

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