Question of the Day: Are You Happy?

Question of the day

How would you define happiness? Or create it? Do you feel happy most of the time?

Since I’ve moved to Florida, I have said many times that I’ve never been so consistently happy in my life. Plumbing, rats, and palmetto bugs aside, I am so happy here. Just last night, as we sat talking, maybe we were playing cards, sipping a glass of Pino Noir that we bought at Trader Joe’s earlier in the day, I suddenly shook my head in wonder that I was sitting here with Dan living this life. I was so filled with gratitude. A smile took over my face and Dan had to ask me what I was smiling about.

“Just that sometimes it amazes me that I ended up here, in this place, with you…”

I believe that practicing gratitude is the beginning, and continuous path to happiness. I know when we look for something to be grateful for, we will find many. Even if you have to begin with being grateful for your breath. Happiness and gratitude are so interwoven, I’m not sure it’s possible to have one without the other.

Denis-Waitley-happiness

The meme above is one of my favorite quotes. I think Denis Waitley has hit the nail on the head.

So, tell me, in a comment or in your own blog (linked back here so everyone can read it) about your thoughts on living in a state of happiness.

As always, love and light to everyone.

Fiction: What Lies Beyond

I have another writing prompt for my writer’s group.  The prompt is in italics, and what follows is my imagination.  I hope you enjoy this 2nd work of fiction.  This one required more thought on my part, but honestly, a lot of people told me to just start writing and where it goes.  That’s pretty much what I did this time.

My options were dwindling by the minute. Right or wrong, I had to do something. I couldn’t just wait this one out. I told my secretary to cancel all my appointments for the afternoon and slipped out the back door into the alley. And, sure enough, waiting for me there was the old, unkept man named Eli with the docile yellow lab he called Buster who had come to my office yesterday to tell me his woeful tale.

I told him to follow me as I briskly headed for the parking lot and my car. I hesitated when I got there, about putting both the man and his dog in my well-kept Lexus SUV. I only had a nano-second’s hesitation though, before I realized there was no choice if I was going to do something to help him and his friends in their plight.

You give me directions, Eli,” I instructed him. We wove along the city streets, to the river bank, where the roads led to the city park. He instructed me to go down an obviously little used utility road and park the car. Buster, in the back of the SUV, was pacing anxiously as I pushed the button to lift the hatchback and let him out. He ran ahead of Eli, and we followed at as fast a pace as the old man could walk. I was grateful I had worn slacks to work that day, not a dress.

Our path wove down to the river’s edge. Still, I saw nothing but river and its banks. I was beginning to think Eli had made it all up, when, a short way down the riverbank, we started climbing back up. As he moved some brush out of the way, the opening of a cave appeared about 5 feet beyond. As I walked through the brush he’d cleared, toward the mouth of the cave, Eli replaced the brush back into position to hide the cave. I stopped at the entrance, and waited for him. I wasn’t sure what to expect. My claustrophobia was setting in, and I had visions of bats flying into my hair, and was fighting the urge to tell him forget it.

But I couldn’t do that now. I was committed. There was no one else to help and there was a tragedy in the making. He urged me on, telling me we didn’t have to go too far in. Buster ran ahead, and Eli took my hand and led me into the cave.

 

I may continue this story, and then again, I might leave it where it is.  Thanks for reading!

Question of the Day: WHY???

Question of the day

Why???

Yesterday, I had the most wonderful Valentine’s Day of my life. A box of chocolate covered strawberries was delivered by Fedex, and the man I love took me out to a wonderful dinner on the veranda of an old Florida inn. He made me feel special, and loved, and I hope I did the same for him.

Then, my son called me and asked me if I’d heard about what was going on in Florida. While it takes nothing from the incredible day that Dan planned for us, it certainly has plunged me into some grief and a lot of asking WHY. Dan and I talked about it, and even though we don’t completely agree, we both know that something has to be done. There has to be an answer to stop this carnage.

I want the answer to be simple, like banning the weapon of choice, the AR-15, like mental health checks for all who own them, now or in the future. I know it all steps on right of others, but like many people, at the moment I don’t care, I just want the killing to be stopped. But those things won’t work in and of themselves. If you ban AR-15’s then those with malice in their hearts will find another weapon. Mental health background checks won’t discover those who have never been in the mental health system, which I’m guessing many of the shooters have not.

When Sandy Hook happened, I lived an hour away, and my son’s first girlfriend was from there, and actually went to school with the shooter, Adam Lanza. I cried for days over those small children, and I am crying again and just can’t seem to find any answers in my heart to stop this madness.

The answer is not simple, unless you believe that love cures everything. And maybe some day it will prevail in our thinking and attitudes toward others. But right now we need a way to stop this, before it happens. Maybe someday we will love each other enough that no one will think of bringing such horror on fellow human beings. Right now, in this reality, we need to somehow find a way to keep people safe. Thoughts and prayers are nice, but they aren’t keeping anyone safe, and personally, I feel it’s an insult for politicians to constantly offer thoughts and prayers and do nothing, absolutely nothing to change things for the better.

So, I am giving my Question of the Day over to the grief and pain and horror that we all feel about what happened on Valentine’s Day / Ash Wednesday in Parkland, Florida. And all the other mass shootings, and senseless shootings that happen in this country every day.

Love and light, more than ever, to all.

Question of the Day: Do You Live Intentionally?

Question of the day

Do you set intentions for the life you live?

I once heard Oprah say that after she learned the power of Intention, she required her staff, upon presenting her with ideas for shows, to tell her what the intention of the show was. She wanted to know that there was a reason, a positive reason for every show. I’m sure it was very much a big part of the reason for her success.

I’m thinking that intentions are part and parcel of manifesting our dreams. In my own life, unwittingly setting intentions at first, and now, consciously…has helped to bring me where I am today. I say unwittingly at first, because I didn’t realize that making a greater plan and then every day, figuring out what I could do to further that plan along was setting an intention. I went to court constantly during my divorce, not thinking of it as setting an intention, but intending to move along my plan to free my child and get what was mine. I also didn’t realize that dreaming of a specific type of man, in detail, was setting an intention to find him. But I did. Find him. After a few false starts, which were false because I didn’t dream of him in enough detail. I left too much to chance, lol, and got what I got. Now….I have exactly the man I dreamed of, and I believe, wholeheartedly that it helped to set an intention to find him.  Not to mention things like moving here, finding my home, making friends, being near family.  All done intentionally.

Intentions…..what is your purpose in doing what you’re doing? In writing, in creating, in living? Do we do them mindfully, do we have a plan, are we willing to try even if we aren’t sure of the outcome?

My intention on this Valentine’s Day is to intentionally live out the “Happily Ever After” that has come into my life.

So, tell me, do you set intentions for your life? Or might you after giving it some thought? I’d love to hear, in a comment or a blog linked back to this one.

As ever, love and light to all.

Question of the Day: Grocery Lists – Yes or No?

Question of the day.

Do you make a shopping list before you go grocery shopping?

There should be a 2nd question: Do you remember to bring it, and use it?

Because, I almost always make a list. And, I almost always forget something that is on the list, like the main thing I am going to the store for. I once added aluminum foil to the list for 3 weeks before I remembered to buy it. (By the way, have you tried the non-stick aluminum foil? It’s awesome!!Nothing sticks to it. Absolutely nothing.) And I have been known to make an elaborate list, with all my coupons clipped to it, and leave it on the kitchen table.

I used to write them out by hand, and had categories like meat, dairy, produce, grocery, toiletries. Now, I usually make them online, using the Publix (the store I use down here) app that lets you make it as you peruse the weekly flyer. Then I print it out. It’s kinda cool, because it tells you where the item is in the store, and if there’s a special what it is. Like if it’s BOGO, so you don’t forget to get 2 of them.

Dan and I usually go together, which has it’s benefits and it’s drawbacks. Benefit is we have stuff in two refrigerators, mine and his, and often one of us can remember where it is, so we don’t buy it again for the place that has it. Drawbacks of shopping together is we sometimes spend way too much money on stuff we don’t really need but that looks good at the time. We’re getting better about that though.

So, tell me, do you use a shopping list? Do you remember it? Leave me a comment, or if you want write a blog and link it back here so everyone can share.

As always, love and light to all.