Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Live Like You Are Dying

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          In recent years, I have had old friends lose a parent to a terminal illness like cancer or heart disease.  One friend in particular lost her mother only after losing her father a few years earlier.  The loss of one parent can be devastating, but the loss of two can be unimaginable especially when you are relatively young.  Plotting a course forward without their love and guidance can be difficult to say the least.  I know from my own personal experience with my father that a terminal diagnosis sneaks up on you when you are unprepared and leaves you spinning in circles and asking why?  The journey can be exhausting emotionally, mentally and physically.  I consider myself fortunate in that my father’s battle with cancer continues, but eventually it will win.  Being past the initial shock, surgery and rounds of chemotherapy, I can reflect more on what his cancer journey means to me.  As I care for my father and encourage him onward, I began to take a look at my own life.  I noticed that death and dying is not relegated to the old, but that young and old leave this world at the same rate.  The death of a young adult or even a child is particularly hard to bear because we think they had their whole lives ahead of them, but in reality no one is promised a long life.  With that I mind, I began to examine the habits of my own life and asked myself some tough questions.  If I were to die today would I feel like I had made the most of my life?  Am I wasting time and energy by harboring old grudges and hurts?  Is there a fence I need to mend?  Could I have been kinder to people or volunteered more?  What dreams have I long ago abandoned? I knew the answers and I knew what I had to do.  It started with forgiveness.  Forgiving others for what happened in the past and forgiving myself for not making the most of my time. For me forgiveness cleaned the slate.  It provided a new start that allowed me to shake away the past and move forward with my eye on the future.

When I looked back over my life I could see how I could have made better use of my time both personally and professionally and I committed myself to make a change.  I am a person of lists and of making plans and without them I am soon adrift with nothing to propel me forward.  Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, I decided to set goals and post in them in frequently visited places in my home like my office and bathroom. With setting goals, there needs to be an action plan for reaching those goals.  For the first time in my life, I made a daily plan where every hour of the day is assigned an activity.  Even beyond making a daily plan, it allowed me to identify what was important to me and the things I am passionate about and to make a concerted effort to incorporate those priorities and passions into my daily life.  In a year from now or five years from now I want to look back with no regrets having used my time wisely.  I want my investment of time to reflect what matters to me the most.  I will live each day like I am dying.

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Spring—Time To Get Your Hands in the Dirt

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             As the thermometer rises and we shed our winter garb, for plant lovers like myself we know that longer sunlit days signal it’s time to get our hands in the dirt.  This spring brought us some of the coldest temperatures of the year.  The mild winter temperatures lulled me into thinking that it would pass without the jolt of a winter blast.  Just when I thought the coast was clear and I could don my flip flops and strapless dresses, winter showed up with its frosty fingers and reminded me “Not so fast.” 

Careful not to be outsmarted by Mother Nature, I waited until May for my annual pilgrimage to the local nursery for my favorite flowers and to test my hand at new wonders.  As I got in my car with checklist in hand, I thought back seven years ago when I first purchased my home.  I figured since I had crossed the threshold of homeownership that it was time to nurture a green thumb for my aesthetic pleasure and that of my neighbors.  I was nervous because my previous attempt to grow ferns in my apartment ended with me hauling two very dead bushes that vaguely resembled the ferns I had bought months earlier to the dumpster. 

Not deterred by my past failure, I visited the local garden shop and my eye examined each plant and its potential to add just the touch of color to compliment my front door. Row after row of pink, purple, yellow and white flowers filled my eyes and my nostrils with a sweet aroma.  Still undecided, I walked to the next row and was stopped in my tracks at the sight in front of me.  Sitting atop a display was a sunburst of color with yellow, green, brown and fuchsia intermingling in the perfect balance of color.  I walked closer admiring each leaf and wondered what was this creation.  I spun the plant around until I located the tag.  It read—Croton.  I had found what I was looking for and without any delay I picked up two crotons and before long I was at the register paying for my purchase. I carefully placed my crotons in the back seat of my car and eased out of the parking lot and made my way home.  I watered and fertilized my way into a new existence that summer and each year thereafter I would add something new–English Ivy,  Knock Out Roses, Tulips, and Azaleas to name a few.  

Now my trips to the local nursery include tomatoes, cucumbers and other delectables I enjoy on my table.  They grow in such abundance I am able to share with neighbors and friends Spring, it is my favorite time of year!

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