34 years ago today. I was fortunate to marry a man I respect in Louisbourg , Nova Scotia. He is the best human being I know. He has always encouraged me to be who I am and treats all those he meets with kindness. Our children have been the recipients of his unwavering love. He is the role model I wished for , for our children.
As Leo Buscaglia says , “too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or a small act of caring ,all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
The many moments of caring are the reason we have shared 34 years together.
Every now and then I can get off track and do not celebrate each day. I think most of us know how precious life is , but sometimes we take it for granted. I have experienced too many losses in my life not to be fully cognizant of the value of each day. Each day I am reminded of the people in my life that have struggles and life may be cut short for them due to medical concerns.
Today, I embraced life fully. I appreciated all the moments of this beautiful day. I did not think of the sorrows, but of the joys of living and I need to remind myself to do this as often as possible. There are some I know who look at life as if they are dying instead of truly living. I want to always truly live each day no matter what life places in front of me.
It isn’t always easy living each day to the fullest especially when life throws you some unexpected troubles or sorrows. However, when life becomes uncertain, it can be the best time to breathe deeply and take life one minute, one hour or one day at a time.
Self talk comes in handy when I am feeling uneasy. I focus, take a deep breath and say to myself, I can get through this next ten minutes if I just remain calm and remind myself that I am strong . If I focus on just getting through the day it helps. Just for Today I can … makes life more manageable for me.
Just for Today I will look for the moments to be grateful knowing that living each day with gratitude helps me to be the kind of person that I wish to be. I am grateful I got on an airplane today , even though I was nervous about doing so. I focused on my breathing and other things so that time would fly by and it did. I arrived safely at my destination knowing that I would be in my little piece of heaven Out on The Mira.
What are your best tips for living each day fully?
If you know me you know how much friendship means to me. I am so fortunate to have walked along with so many friends during this time albeit from a distance. No matter, I have been able to connect and feel during those moments that everything was normal (well sort of) . I don’t know where i would be in life with out my friends. They bring me such great joy Friendships make everything in life look better. Even from a distance i have been able to maintain friendships. Thanks to zoom, facetime, email and phone calls. I miss those friends that I cannot physically be with but I would never want to lose those friendships as they make me a better person.
One of my best friends lives away and I miss her every day, but when I see her it makes it even more special . I treasure those moments and I will even treasure them more from now on. I said to one of my friends who I saw just before the pandemic if I knew then what I know now ( that would be the last time we would see each other most likely for a long, long time) I would have stayed longer, hugged longer and just be present longer.
Friendships are so vital to my well being and I need to nurture them whether I can physically see the person or not. It’s been a bit tougher to do during the pandemic as I used to get together weekly with a group of friends I treasure, not so much now. As I move about through this pandemic I need to find ways to reconnect knowing that my life is enhanced when I do.
Friendship lifts me up, I hope it does for you too.
Two years ago I started on a journey , I made a goal of walking every day for at least one half hour. I knew if I focused on the little things I could achieve, I would reach my goal. I knew if I walked 15 mins. in the morning and 15 minutes at night that was a goal I could achieve. I walked every single day, sometimes for more than a half hour and am very proud to say that I achieved my goal despite many obstacles.
On July 1st of last year I set a new goal. My dad had passed away on June 30th, his 4th heart attack and my mom was left on her own with health and mobility concerns, so I knew I needed to be as strong and as healthy as possible so that I could enter my senior years focused on being well physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I want to leave my children a legacy that their mom did everything she could to take care of herself. I set a new goal to record what I ate every day and to eat as healthy as possible. Again I am so happy to say that I achieved my goal. This year I walked longer and more but I missed days because of unavoidable circumstances. I am happy to say it has become a part of what I do and who I have become.
For July 1st 2020 – July 1st 2021, I plan on writing in my blog daily, even if it is only a very short post. It’s an opportunity to share some of my thoughts so I can reflect in the hopes that someday my children may read if they choose to.
My July – July goals work for me. Going into the summer is a great time to focus on what I want to do in the upcoming year. I take each day as it comes and am happy to focus on the little things. For me the little things are the big things. With Covid 19 coming into all of our lives this year, focusing on my well being was more important than ever. Later today I will go on a second physically distanced walk with another friend of mine. Walking and talking , noticing the little things brings such joy. On my earlier walk I saw the beautiful rainbow above. If I never walked outside I would not get to enjoy this little thing, which is a big thing for me.
In 1999 I thought I had breast cancer. I got the dreaded call that I had a mass in my breast and I would need to have a biopsy to find out if indeed I did. Being a very optimistic person, I thought well if I do I do. I can’t change what has happened , but I can decide how I will respond to it. From the moment I got the call to my surgery date which was over a one month period , I did think about the possibility of having cancer every day. I wasn’t under the delusion that it couldn’t happen to me. For the most part I was living as best as I could making the most out of my life. When the surgery was over and the results came in a week later, it was discovered I only had a fibroadenoma which was non cancerous and they removed it. I remember crying with relief vowing to even live life more fully than before.
I have experienced several deaths in my life including my first love, my roommate, my family doctor, my mechanic, my accountant, several friends, students, mentors and family members so I knew from a very young age to live life fully. I knew full well life could be cut short at a moment’s notice and I know many live with the truly sad reality that they could die at any time. Do I always live life fully? No, but I do my best to make the most out of each day. Living one day at a time is the best advice I have ever been given and often pass onto others. It sounds so easy , but is not always as easy as it sounds to do. I still work at this daily.
We can’t live in fear of dying. It will happen to us all someday. We can’t live in fear of coronavirus either. We can do all the things that we are supposed to as recommended by the health professionals and we should. We have a moral obligation, a responsibility to society and our family to do so. So go ahead and live life fully whatever that means for you. No, at the present time we can’t be around many of those we love and care about, but we can make the best of the situation we are in. Am I perfect at this? NO. Have I had moments of sadness , fear and a multitude of other feelings? YES, but just for today I am going to really LIVE. What about you?
At this time of year I know some of you are already preparing for next year, so I thought I’d add a little way to get to know your students and their stories better. If you’d like to do this yourself and share with me, that would be great too. Have a fabulous summer. You deserve it!
Life is a process of healing and I love to create more than ever before. Using art with students is a wonderful way to connect with them and let them express themselves. We often use art as a way to talk and share. They inspire me and I have found another way to help them. I am not an art therapist , but that does not mean I or you cannot use art in your counselling sessions to help students. Referring students as always when needed to a certified Art Therapist is ethical.
Here are some ideas to get you to start on your own creative journey. Let go of the fear and create art anyway. You may become a better teacher or counsellor. I know I have. A new chapter … a new journey. An ever ending journey of learning for me and I hope for you.
“Everything you do has an impact. Who you are – that you are – actually matters. In an interconnected world (the only kind we have), our actions and the actions of others are inextricably linked- we are always and forever in a dance of mutual influence with those with whom we directly and indirectly participate. It is the unavoidable reality of being social creatures, only magnified by an ever-increasingly complex and interwoven societal structure. We matter to each other.” – Paul Greiner
This sums up my feelings about so many people and about so many things. Today I sobbed as I viewed the faces of all those lost in the Vegas tragedy. They mattered to so many people and today they mattered to me even though I did not know them.
Life is truly fragile and I am ever reminded of this. I try very hard to live every day as if it is my last. Am I always successful ? No, but I really wish to live life as fully as I can, love those I can and let the people in my life that I am closest to know they matter. I don’t want to wait til someone passes away for them to know that they really matter to me.
So if you are one of those precious people in my life reading this , know that you do really matter to me and I am so grateful to have you in my life. So today and every day let others know that they matter and hopefully you too will see as Greiner says that in this complex interwoven societal structure we matter to each other.
I have been going to school almost every September for the past 53 years. When I reflect on that I can hardly believe it myself. This year as I focus on all the joy each day brings me, I am also going to reflect on my retirement year. The lasts …
The last time I will enter a building as a full-time educator . This awesome responsibility never eludes me. I know I can be the person who makes a difference in a child’s life. I will meet so many new students this year, many who will teach me great lessons. I look forward to that.
I also recognize that teaching and counselling takes great courage and energy. Often after a full week I feel like the pic above and need to rejuvenate for the week ahead. Weekends are a time for self-care and reflection so that the week ahead is exciting not only for the students , but for me as well.
I also recognize that each day requires me to challenge myself to focus on the positive while acknowledging that challenges will always occur along the way. It is up to me to not sweat the small stuff. Although I will never feel the anxiety I felt my first days of teaching “don’t sweat the small stuff “, still applies as much today as it did then.
I need to take each day as it comes and enjoy the moments. I must say easier to do as I have grown as a person and as an educator over the past years. Do I still fall short ? You bet. This is a life skill that is easy to say , but not always easy to master.
This will be my last first week of school … How did you feel your first week back to school?