What I Want to be When I Grow Up

Sure, I’m 38 years old, but it’s never too late to think about the future.

When I grow up, I want to encourage people everywhere I go, every person I meet. I want to bring smiles to faces and pep to their steps. I want to live my entire life being everyone’s Head Cheerleader!

When I grow up, I want to dig into each one of the 50 states. I’ve lived in a hefty handful of states, already, and I’ve traveled to and through many more, but I’d like to live a life that allows me to spend real time in each state, getting to know the state, the people, and sharing joy as I go.

When I grow up, I want to read more than I watch. I want to feed my mind with positive messages and dig into learning opportunities though classic, tried-and-true philosophies and techniques. I want to remain a bit old-school.

When I grow up, I want to attend seminars! I want to travel to exotic places to sit for 12 hours a day while learning and growing and honing my natural skills with some expert in the field (think Tony Robbins, or the late Zig Ziglar and Dr. Wayne Dyer). I want to spend the big money these sorts of seminars cost and soak in all the knowledge I can!

When I grow up, I want to be outdoors more than I’m indoors. I want to be out exploring, camping, enjoying campfires, watching clouds and sunsets, running, cycling, and playing!

When I grow up, I want to live in a community where everyone is within walking distance, where I know everyone, and enjoy going and doing with the people I live life with everyday. I want to live in a community that enjoys the outdoors and maximizes life experiences.

When I grow up, I want to never stop looking forward to tomorrow. I want to never regret yesterday. And, I want to always treasure today’s lessons.

When I grow up, I want to have a space in which all are welcome and comfortable. Where people from all walks of life can come in, sit, visit, share, and be encouraged. Where we can enjoy hot tea, hot coffee, fresh pressed juices, and maybe a baked good or two. A place where people gather and become friends.

When I grow up, I want to continually look at my life and know that I am doing the most of what I can with the toolkit I was given. I want to maximize and enjoy life to the fullest, while also being productive, encouraging, and serving others.

You Do YOU

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Some mornings aren’t so pleasant in our little household. All it takes is one person to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, having not slept well, running late, or stubbing a toe to begin the snowball effect of cranky that can turn an otherwise pleasant, productive morning into a kickstart of silent treatment, brooding, and angst-induced pouting. Yep…doesn’t take much, does it?

However, the longer I practice living among others (and I’ve been practicing for almost 40 years, now), the more I see these mornings as ways of proving to myself and others that only YOU can decide what kind of day YOU are going to have.

Getting angry or upset is a choice to be upset.

Hearing hateful things aimed at you allow you an opportunity to choose to find the good and get ahead of the hurt.

In the same way, seeing the best in people and situations, understanding that others you encounter are  fighting internal battles you know nothing about, and choosing to make the most of every single day you are granted, are all choices.

My hope is that you choose to allow significantly more positive than negative happenings or people effect your world every day. My hope is that today And every day, you…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Create Sunshine Wherever You Go

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This idea of being the sunshine in someone else’s dark day, of walking in kindness wherever you roam, of being the light atop a great hill for all to see, not hidden from the world, is beautiful to me. Daily I attempt to walk through my own life this way. Some days I am better at that than others. But always, I will try. This is my nature.

Life would be exhausting and boring if everyone we’re just like me, with my same personality and styles of communication, always erring on the side of big bear hugs and squealing, hand clapping, jump-up-and-down excitement. The world would have an eternal headache is we were all…me. Thankfully, you don’t have to be uber gregarious and extroverted to live your life in such a way as to bring joy to others. You can be the sunshine in someone else’s day in your own, quiet way, just as I do in my loud, over-the-top way. We don’t have to have the same style to have the same effect.

There are many of you much more “neutral” than myself, and in a way I’m somewhat jealous of that. I feel everything! Extreme joy and extreme sadness. My younger cousin (as I am an only child my closest sibling-esque person was this cousin), Gabby, observed once when she was still quite young that there’s no middle ground with me. What an astute observation from such a young person! This is true in all areas of my life. There’s happy and unhappy, black and white, right and wrong, truth and lies, good and bad. For someone who lives to create and be creative, this has often struck me as odd. How can I love to live in a swirl of color and creativity, yet not see any middle ground in life?

A sweet friend of mine, Steph, told me that I am the way I am because I’m a horse-rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. I don’t know if I’m saying that right; I was born in the year of the horse (my gregarious, all-in or all-out ways) at the hour of the rabbit (which is why I feel evverryyyythhhiiinnnggggg so much). This intrigued me and I enjoyed my talks with Steph about this and how it effects every aspect of life. I could listen to her teaching for hours and ask questions at every lull. She was wonderfully enlightening.

My ways have made me many beautiful friendships. They make me great in customer-service industries. They make me just LOVE people…or at least, I love happy people. My way of being actually makes it very difficult to understand or relate to people who tend toward anger, criticism, or pessimism. I tend to think those people are just having a rough day and need a hug, then am completely thrown off course when my hugs, prep talks, and smiles don’t immediately fix everything.

I share all of this to simply point out that my hugs and smiles don’t fix everything for everyone, but everyone in the world was created with gifts for lifting others up and improving their day. I can still share sunshine in my own way, even with people who don’t care for my particular brand of sunshine, knowing that I am still improving the lives of others in my attempts.

I want to spread love and light to all I encounter, and I hope I inspire you to do the same, in your own way, in your own world.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Choose Thoughts Carefully

Every day we choose the kind of day we’ll have with our thoughts, and with our follow through.

We show the world where we stand with our smiles and with our attention.

We wear our pain like a cloak or we hang the cloak on a hook and walk unencumbered by the past into a bright future of possibilities.

We choose to give love to those we meet or we choose to withhold and, in turn, hand out hurt.

When we choose our thoughts, they determine the day, week, and life that is ahead of us.

Choose well today.

Make it a great day,
Marilyn

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Happy & Healthy

Charlottes Spring Performance 020 croppedWhen our kiddos have performances, I tend to go through the range of emotions from “oh, yay, that sounds adorable,” to “you’ve gotta practice, you’ve gotta pick out your outfit, you’ve gotta do this and that to be ready,” to “how in the world am I going to ever fit this into my schedule,” to “OH MY GOSH…that was completely adorable and MY KID ROCKED!” to “how quickly can I get out of this school and onto the next critical thing on my daily to-do list?”

It’s no wonder we’re not sleeping, struggling to stay healthy, and fighting to keep our marriages and our families protected, happy and healthy. We have so much inner turmoil every day to the point we (I should say “I” and quit speaking for you) struggle to be in one place at a time, focused completely on that one thing or person or event or need.

Today, as I look through the pictures of Charlotte and her class, all smiles and joy and visions of great health and happiness, I realize that even with all of the apparent struggles of juggling life and kids and significant others and parents and friends and jobs, jobs, jobs, and organizations, and on and on and on…I believe we are all doing a pretty great job! Moments like this are validation that all of our hard work and stresses are well worth the effort!

Hang in there! Vent when you need to, and keep taking care of everything you have on your plate each and every day. Days like this make it alllll worth it 🙂

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn