I started looking at pictures that I have saved on my laptop from past years for the month of January: 2017, 2016, 2015; and then when I got to 2014, the pictures were there but were shown in the wrong month and year. I may not ever be able to determine the exact dates of some of them, but I know when I was in American Samoa. This one, among many others stuck out to me:
I remember exactly where I was on the island and what happened around the same time that I took this picture. It was one of two days that we visited this area. A few others and I ventured out into the ocean, carefully walking on the sharp coral. Most of the coral in this area was rather drab-looking — mainly gray, dull, and boring. Additionally, the water was not very deep when the tide was out. One could walk 50 feet or more from the shore and still be in water only up to one’s calf. However, I managed to find the edge of the coral, where the ocean floor dropped (or disappeared) like the edge of a canyon. To this day, I shake my head in amazement. There is absolutely no way for me to describe in words the discovery I felt I had made. I literally lied down on the coral (sharp as it was), put my goggles and snorkeling gear on, and peered down into a canyon. (Some might call it a “drop off” similar to the one depicted in Finding Nemo even though the one I saw probably was not as deep.) As I sit here 6,000 miles away from that tiny little island in the South Pacific and consider the vastness of the ocean and its unfathomable depth and color, I’m speechless. (Even Pixar‘s talent of creating believable animation cannot capture the awe-inspiring sight. It’s almost a joke for me to even mention that.) I remember wishing I had an underwater camera; and yet even if I had had one, it would be the same as trying to capture the beauty of a sunset through a single lens. And yet, the feelings I felt far exceed any feelings I’ve ever felt about the most beautiful of sunsets.
In an attempt to be a better ‘me’ this year, I’ve taken to tweeting with the hashtag, #SeizeTheDay. (Obviously, tweeting is not going to make me a better me, in and of itself.) My best friend of all time is celebrating her birthday today. We’ve not seen each other in nearly 18 years, and yet our friendship is as strong as ever. For my birthday, she gave me a daily calendar with quotes (and the words “Seize the Day”) for each day of the year (except only one on weekends). Today’s quote, after a brief search online, appears to be a bit of a misquote.
I’ve not read this blogpost word for word, but Sue Brewton points out that rewording quotes changes the meaning. Here’s the quote as printed by Sellers Publishing, Inc.:
If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
— John D. Rockerfeller, Sr.
According to Wikiquote, Zig Ziglar used this in Steps to the Top in 1985. However, according to Working in America by Catherine Reef and The Fra: For Philistines and Roycrofters edited by Elbert Hubbard and Felix Shay and Sue Brewton’s blog as already mentioned, the quote should be:
It requires a better type of mind to seek out and to support or to create the new than to follow the worn paths of accepted success.
— John D. Rockerfeller, Sr. in Random Reminiscences of Men and Events
For me, the quote exudes even more when one reads the whole paragraph (or better yet, the whole book); but in our society of instantaneous everything, we’ve come to expect ideas to come to us in 140 characters or less. Even Twitter realized that life can not be crammed into such a small box, as they recently doubled the allotted number of characters to 280.
So, let’s #SeizeTheDay and start seeking out more than the microwaved package of proverbial popcorn. Dig out the old air popper or pour some kernels in a small amount of hot oil. (Just be sure to have a lid nearby.) In other words, read a full paragraph, chapter, or book!
By the way, “Seize the Day” is a quote from approximately 2,041 years ago… long before the microwave, cellphone, Google, or even the printing press was invented.
In no particular order, here are 100 things I am grateful for:
- sunny sky with a few puffy clouds
- aroma of a turkey baking in the oven
- chimes of a church bell
- Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive
- the internet (to include WiFi, Google, instant messaging, etc.)
- Jesus’ love
- my parents
- my children
- extended family
- friends from all over
- not having to work on Thanksgiving this year
- hot coffee
- hot and cold running water
- ears to hear
- eyes to see
- a free country
- all of the United States military men and women and their families who’ve sacrificed so much for that freedom
- cell phones (it’s a love/hate relationship, actually. ha!)
- the ability to write
- freedom to write
- my journal
- The Four Agreements
- my Bible
- sweet potatoes
- my best friend (yes, this is different than #10 above)
- church families
- those who’ve gone before (this list is too numerous to count)
- a vest from my current employer, signifying a brief yet new chapter in my life
- a car that runs well
- money to put gas in that car
- my driver’s license
- the state of Georgia
- for the fact that I’ve been off of Facebook since August 2016
- roses (big, small, buds, any color … but especially red)
- smell of bacon cooking
- passionate teachers
- doctors who take time to listen to the whole issue
- the Swiss Alps
- simple beauty of a dandelion
- autumn leaves
- spring flowers
- Simply Mac authorized Mac dealer in this area
- my laptop
- marching bands
- free music
- clean water
- a refrigerator
- a stove with working oven
- a ticking clock
- my DVD player
- all my fingers and toes, arms and legs
- warm, fuzzy socks
- cute, frilly panties
- the house where my mom grew up
- time alone
- the sound of birds chirping, singing, twittering
- a starry night
- new days
- new friends
- warm covers on a comfy bed
- hardwood floors
- the smell of a freshly mown lawn
- dew on a single blade of grass
- cattle bellowing
- country music (well, mostly)
- semi-smart phones
- jigsaw puzzles
- jumping in leaves
- Fatu ma Futi in American Samoa
- the vast Pacific Ocean
- majestic, snow-capped mountains (in addition to #44 above)
- puppies and kittens
- new fallen snow
Additionally, my thanks to Jennifer for inspiring me to compose this list.
I’ve not blogged in a while… not because I’ve not wanted or needed to, but because I’m afraid of what people will think. Within recent months, I’ve told people (who I actually know) about my blog. And, that’s what has me frightened. I’m afraid I’ll divulge something that heretofore has been somewhat private. I’m afraid of being judged. (I know how people are… myself included. Why are we that way?)
Life is a complicated thing. Daily, all of us are learning how to maneuver and manage in this world… whether we realize it or not. Our world is changing fast. We don’t see it because of the intense speed with which it is changing.
I no longer feel like I’m able to accurately articulate my true feelings and thoughts about things. It’s like my own little corner of the world is spinning around and around and around with no end in sight, and I’m scrambling to try and figure out how to hold on or jump off. With my propensity to over-think things (EVERYthing), this spinning wheel may eventually crash. That being said, I truly am glad that I have a personal relationship with the One who holds it all together. Knowing that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. As James says, I’m verrrry slowly learning to “count it all joy when [I] fall into various trials.”
This song is not really related… or is it?
p.s. I have a different place to live. See my previous post if you don’t understand.
I am hesitant to ask for prayer mainly because my problems seem relatively minor compared to most. However, I am extremely stressed and overwhelmed. Things at work have changed supposedly for the better, and yet things are different. (And even though, in this case, different and better are good; they are still stressful.) The place where I live is being placed on the market to be sold. Searching for another place is difficult at best (especially considering my very limited income). The wonderful people who are a part of my local church and small group are so loving and kind, and yet I still so very often feel alone. Considering the lilies of the field and the birds of the air (and how God provides for them) is great until my feet have to hit the pavement. Trusting the Lord, completely, has been and continues to be one of the most difficult things. I am not even sure what to ask you to pray for, but thank you to whomever does pray.
This song by Laura Story featuring Mac Powell from Third Day is one of many that comes to mind:
So, my ex is married to “Ms. Positive of the Universe,” and I find myself wallowing in self-pity. Obviously, something is not right. Even to admit this publicly could bring shame upon myself. However, I need to get over it. (I’m sure “Ms. Positive” would agree with me. Oh wait… I should label her properly. It’s not “Ms.” but “Mrs.” Only those of us who are divorced and not remarried have the honour and privilege of the “Ms.” title. 🙂 )
Do I have a point to this? Probably not… except to say that I’m attempting to let off some steam. I struggle with seeing how she claims to be the number one fan of her daughters and includes my two daughters in the (literal) picture (along with her three daughters). I know I need to probably ‘address’ this issue with her, but I really do not know how to breach the subject. Will I be banned from WordPress for writing about it here? I highly doubt it. Will she ever see this? Probably not… unless someone who knows her (and me) points it out to her. Will I be upset if she sees it? Probably. Will she be? I don’t know. It’s possible. But, will we all get over it? Will it one day “pass,” like many people keep telling me, “This too shall pass”? I sure hope so! Maybe by me writing about it I’ll somehow feel better. I don’t know.
The longer I live, I’m finding that there are many things that I do not know. And, there are many things for which I have no answers. To simply say that Jesus is THE answer sounds great! I’ve been waiting a long time (and reading a lot of Scripture and excerpts from books written by dead theologians) to try and figure out how that applies to real life.
Frustrated with myself for…
thinking I can write as good as the best writer
thinking that I’m really not that good
thinking … period
wishing that life could be different
realizing that it can be different, if I make a change
not knowing how to make a change or even where to start
knowing how to make a change and how to start but being scared to death of it
knowing that God is with me and for me and that I can trust Him, but realizing that I must not be fully trusting Him because of how burdened down I seem
thinking so much that I don’t eat when I need to
being concerned that people who read this will think I’m a terrible writer
being concerned that people who read this will think I actually have something to say
being concerned what others think about me (After all, what difference does it make?)
Frustrated with and yet thankful for those who read my “Real Like the Velveteen Rabbit?” post from yesterday because…
one person commented on the actual post
a couple of people replied via email saying that I don’t need to ask people what to write about (duh, I know that!)
several people replied via text saying…
I follow your blog now; I subscribed
I never knew you wanted to be a writer?!
I knew you had a hidden talent somewhere
I want to go read that again sometime
I wish you the best in your endeavor
I love your picture!
I wasn’t seeking approval! Or, was I? (sigh) <— Add this to my "frustrated with myself" list (above).
So many clichés about life are true and yet I wish they weren't. I wish there was a way to 'break the cycle' in a sense. I don't want to be like the next person. I don't want to be famous. I'm tired of taking baby steps like Bob. I just wish I could express myself and have someone validate me. And yet, when validation is received, then what? What do I do with that? Where do I go from there? What’s really the point of any of this?