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I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK. READ SLOWLY!

AND THEN IT IS WINTER

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is… the “back nine” of my life and it catches me by surprise…. How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that “I was only on the first hole” and the “back nine” was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is… my friends are retired and getting grey… they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me… but, I see the great change…. Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant… but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become. Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so… now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I’m on the “back nine”, and I’m not sure how long it will last… this I know, that when it’s over on this earth… it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done… things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the “back nine” yet… let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the “back nine” or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life… so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember… and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

“Life” is a gift to you.
The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
Make it a fantastic one.

LIVE IT WELL!
ENJOY TODAY!
DO SOMETHING FUN!
BE HAPPY !
HAVE A GREAT DAY

Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

LIVE HAPPY IN 2013 AND BEYOND!

LASTLY, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

~Your kids are becoming you…. but your grandchildren are perfect!
~Going out is good… Coming home is better!
~You forget names…. But it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything…. “especially golf”!
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do,
but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.
~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep”.
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”…” ???
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!!
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear..
~~~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!

It’s Not What You Gather,
But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN,
YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE,
SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Life isn’t about Surviving the storm
but learning to Dance in the rain.

 

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Caring for her paralyzed son taught Sandy Concar how to take care of herself — and other caregivers.

Sandy Concar was used to being in control of her life and her family’s. She found comfort in having a Plan A, B and even C. (Laura got me a book for Mother’s Day, “God Always has a Plan B). When, while raising two teenagers and working 14-hour days as a school bus driver and mail carrier, she needed to move her displaced mother into their home, Concar’s competence kept everyone and everything afloat.

Her kids grew up and forged independent lives. She helped her mom get reestablished in an apartment. Concar and her husband, Ron, empty-nesters at last, were reconnecting after years of responsibility, steering their motorcycle or hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains two hours from their Wake Forest, N.C., home.

“I masterminded my whole life,” Concar says, “until Keith’s accident.”

Her son, Keith, was 27 and on his second Hurricane Katrina volunteer stint, having stashed his belongings in storage and moved to New Orleans. There he spent his days ripping wet drywall and shoveling debris out of ravaged homes, and his nights sleeping on a classroom floor. En route to a job site, he was doing 55 mph on his motorcycle when the Jeep pulled out. Keith’s resulting spinal cord injury returned him to his mother’s care, ultimately leading Concar to what she considers her life’s purpose: supporting those who support others through her mentoring business Care Giver Sanity.

“Is he still alive?”
     This was Concar’s first reaction upon receiving the phone call, followed by, “Everything else, we can take care of.” That she did, shifting into organizational high gear and staying in it for a year and a half, shuttling Keith to doctor’s appointments, researching therapies, addressing financial issues and retrofitting the family home for wheelchair accessibility.

No time to feel
     Concar was looking for answers to heal Keith when an alternative medicine practitioner gently told her, “You need the healing first.” Using EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, Concar tapped specific body acupressure points with her fingertips, causing a “Niagara Falls” of tears as she released pent-up anger and grief. She was, she realized, in control of everybody’s life but her own.

Self-care as a priority
Caregivers aren’t necessarily good at receiving care, even from themselves. For many, Concar says, it traces back to old family rules the likes of “You don’t take the last piece of pie in case someone else wants it.” Healing meant putting herself at the top of her to-do list. Task No. 1: Get out of bed and shower before checking on Keith, which would spiral into task-tending and only getting around to showering at 4 p.m.

Her healing process
     Concar says she was not raised to have a career vision. “By age 25, I’d reached my dream: I had the husband, the two kids, the dog, the house, the picket fence. I said, ‘Now, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?’” Keith’s accident brought the answer. “When I began to heal, I saw so many other caregivers in distress,” she says. “Sure, I wish Keith’s accident hadn’t happened; I would prefer my son to be walking. But it did happen, and there was a reason for it.”

Giving rise to the reason
Two years of practicing self-care after her watershed EFT experience and with Keith settled in San Diego, Concar started CareGiverSanity, at first doing workshops and later adding mentoring: complimentary 30-minute CareGiver Chats via phone or Skype, followed, as desired, by extended one-on-one mentoring and access to a private Facebook support group. Her clients care for aging parents, family members with disabilities, children and other loved ones, and hail from as far away as Canada and France.

Root cause
Hers isn’t an easy sell. “This audience isn’t good at accepting help,” notes Concar. CareGiverSanity’s program only sticks if clients are willing to concede need. Up first is digging into their “stuff,” which, says Concar, they’ve dodged by concentrating on everybody else’s stuff. She guides them in considering such questions as, What is the benefit of doing everything themselves? Things get done right. The downside? They’re exhausted. After the reflection comes the practice.
Baby steps

Advise a caregiver to go for a walk, says Concar, and they’ll reply, “Yeah, right. Find me 10 minutes.” She promotes taking little steps: cooking a nutritious meal one night a week, looking out the window while drinking a cup of coffee, not rushing home from the grocery store. Little by little, such seemingly minor efforts can add up to having more energy, which makes caregiving easier.

“When I awakened to my need to start feeling me,” Concar says, “I realized that Keith’s accident didn’t just happen to Keith; it happened to each of us.” And what happened to Concar — losing control but gaining a calling — now instills hope in caregivers beyond herself.

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“There are only two ways to look at your life: one is though nothing is a miracle; the other as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein said that.

These are a few ways I live my life and I suppose my belief system is that indeed everything is a miracle. That is hard to see though.

The following are five door-openers for living life as the miracle that it is:

1. Be silent. Become silence. Minimize your personal impact on the moment.

2. Be curious. Do you feel a need to explain, interpret, tell or exclaim. Let all your thoughts begin and end with question marks.

3. Be accepting. Be discerning. Don’t stand in harm’s way, but for now suspend judgments. Let it be as it is.

4. Be open. Bask in the mystery. Are you attached to knowing? Learn to be comfortable with not knowing. Warm yourself in the shadows, instead of the sunlight. Be awed by the beauty of the thorn, not just the rose.

These words were a writing instructor’s words in his advice to writers. But they serve how one views life as well. There are plenty of opportunities one’s voice is needed. There are many other times where no words serves one well. Where silence, not noise serves the highest purpose. I have learned to recognize these times in my own life. Yet, sometimes, I don’t.

 

 

 

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I am sorting through my journals once again. This time it is not to gain any pertinent information from them in the years that have passed. Many years have passed. I have kept journals for many of those years. I have moved many times over the past fifty plus years. The journals I have kept have moved with me. The movers made note of the heftiness of the boxes housing my dense and numerous journals.

I write. I process. I create in my journals. They are my quiet space, my safe space. I give words flight that describe all the good, bad, ugly, mysterious, and almost always sacred in my life.

Even though I write a lot of words, I know pictures are worth 1,000 words. So I include pictures, both drawn and photographed in my journals.  The first year birthday of #1 grandson…

 

Holy pilgrimages taken in 2000 to Italy and Chartres and Paris, France.

 

…and some of the first words written on 9-11 –the attack on America. I was in a professional capacity of feature writer, so there were many words written outside of my journal as well.

 

 

I particularly liked Master Mind journals. Here is a page that shows that this journal keeper did not always journal on everyday. Yet, I can read back in the journal and be inspired by the affirmations that continue throughout the book. Also, many times they are a great writing prompt for me to “tell it like it is” when I come to that page.

Their monthly calendar was an easy read – shorthand accounting for what was important in that particular month.

Their pages, however, were cardstock quality, so the journal itself was quite heavy, then multiply it by almost ten year’s worth, plus other kind of tablet and book journals, and you have to have a muscle-man lift to transport these journals…which we did from home to home, then to condo, and several apartments, and two homes again.

Something I’ve practiced in all areas of my life is the grace and ability to LET GO.

And it is now time to let go in the apartment in which this two-some abides. I have let go of enough of them that what I have left is a full dresser drawer of Master Minds journals and several book style journals on one bookcase shelf. Yet even these bookcases will not make the next move which will come anytime within the next three years, near as we can guess, and it will be to senior independent or assisted living space.

No longer is it by our carbon foot print that we are measured, but by our age, and the lessening of possessions deemed necessary.  The journal was most important to me in writing about the PRESENT time. A great tool for processing either joy or grief, and all the things that have made up my life. Just like numerous photo albums kept over the year, now facing the same minimizing process, these images and words reside in my heart. They do not need to take up space in a drawer,  hardly ever opened or a book shelf, from which they are not frequently chosen.

The tearing and shredding of paper has begun. But in the middle of it all, I had to stop and write once more on this Napkinwriter file what I would put in my journal for today:

Tearing up journals, mixed emotions, opening up to new days where I might jot down a word or two. Next year begins a new decade 2020. I will be 77 on January 2nd,  just after the new year begins. I hope the big news of the beginning of this decade is that I will be busy marketing and selling Journey Girl, Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary that I have just finished writing.

 

 

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Perhaps This is Why

Awakening the Inner Eye (Images remembered and imagined)
“All things create themselves from their own innermost reflection and none can tell how they came to do so.” – Chang Tzu
Even before there are thoughts, there are images. Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and that calls it to destiny. To discover the image, we must enter the invisible world and allow it to carry us. Intuitive images occur, we cannot make them. All we can do is get out of the way, thereby inviting them to come through.
Images are the natural language of the unconscious. Psyche is revealed through images as in dreams. Sometimes the darkest image may prove the most valuable. Consider Kafka’s cockroach in Metamorphosis or Dante’s images of hell in his Inferno. So don’t censor what images emerge. Simply remain centered in yourself and watch them with awareness.
“The intolerable image is the transformational image.” – Wallace Stevens
The soul of reflection as of writing comes through the image — what Keats called “soul-making”. Images are the language of the soul. They integrate mind, body, and soul and thereby serve a healing function. The metaphorical or symbolic image lifts the reader above the gross level to a realm of poetry where image and soul reign. This is where transformation occurs.

Source:  Lesson 3: Soul Dialogues: Getting in Touch with Your Inner Journey — Daily Om On-Line Courses

By Catherine Ann Jones

 

Perhaps, this is why I am so in love with SoulCollage. I must see it; I must do it; I must read my cards; I must make the next image. All of this does reflect my soul so accurately, I am astounded. The ones that come about that are start and surprising; indeed transformational and informative. The words that follow….I Am One Who…and My Gift to you is… the writing that pours forth from the image is the natural language of the unconscious.

Yes, even before there are thoughts — there, indeed, are images. Those who practice SoulCollage know only too well this is true.

 

 

 

I am the one who travels complicated passageways.
I am one who twists simple things into complications.
I am one who is blessed with the gift to figure things out.

What I want you to know is that your journey is guided and blessed. Travel safe, dear one.

 

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In the Alps. Photo by Susan Heffron Hajec

 

GUEST BLOG from This Place Where You Are Right Now by Hafiz

I could tell you a priceless secret about
Your real worth, clear pilgrim,

But any unkindness to yourself,
Any confusion about others,

Will keep one
from accepting the grace, the love,

The sublime freedom
Divine knowledge always offers to you.

 

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We arrived on the day of the Lilac Parade. Our three-car caravan traveling North on I-75 into Gaylord, where we stopped for lunch and a Father’s Day Celebration.

 

Then we were ferry-bound, bicycles and all for Mackinac and Dufina Cottage.

 

and, of course, the Horse Taxi ride up to the cottage.

 

 

Passing the Grand.

 

 

Up the hill…

 

Good times and ambiance in Dufina.

 

 

 

 


Puzzle solving.

 

 

 

 

 

Music, music, music.

 

Early morning view from our bedroom window.

 

 

Porch sitting and conversations.

 

 

Breakfast nook.

 

 

 

Games of Go Fish!

 

 

Outings on the Island. Bicycles!

 

Outings on the Island.

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Cream!

 

Mission Point Date with Tom

 


 

Last Night Movie Night watching The Notebook.

 


 

Once more, time to leave again.  Wonderful time.


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