Childhood Memories

I’m Still Reading

It’s still the Pandemic, and I’m still reading…

In her book, “A Feather on the Breath of God”, Sigrid Nunez gives us a detailed description of her parents, and how she experienced them throughout her childhood. I’m guessing this continues into her adulthood, but I’m only halfway through the book.

 Of particular interest to me is the way she details the small wonders of life…those childhood remembrances that offer more sweetness than spice. It’s those memories, I believe, we can only truly cherish in retrospect.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

As much as people like to compete about who had it worse, maybe traveling through your childhood by letting your senses tell their story will give you a different history.

I remember the kitchen. It was red. I guess red was in vogue. But it felt warm…a sensual kitchen. Coming from that room was another sensual treat…the smell of bacon. 

Yes, I know I can fry my own bacon, but does a meal you’ve prepared for yourself ever taste as good as one prepared for you?

 Another memory is fireflies. Is firefly an anachronism? Do they still exist, or do I seldom (this means never) sit on my front lawn? And why would I? It’s a chemical cesspool. The lawn of my childhood was untreated. It had weeds. I could catch fireflies from the comfort of my own lawn.

We’re All Complicated

It’s been suggested to me that I write a book about my family. That always seemed like a monumental task. 

My memory is that of a child. Every human being is complicated, and as a child, you don’t have the brain development to see events through an accurate lens. In fact, do you ever? Can we ever see ourselves through an accurate lens? I doubt it. 

A Feather on the Breath of God” inspired me. I could take a similar course. Knowing that I’m writing purely from my own limited perception, I could make a stab at it. After all, they are my perceptions. I have the copyright.

The Small Things

I’ve been told that during your life review, it’s the small things that count the most…the small kindnesses, those things we’re quick to throw away…the things we deem inconsequential.

Only they’re not. The smallest things can mean the most. When I write, I want to remember the small things.

Your Life…A Meaningful Design

When I was growing up, I remember watching a TV show called “What’s My Line?”. Several panelists would try to guess what the contestants did for a living.

This is what most people think of when they hear the words “Life Purpose”. In their minds, it’s a job. If you look back at your life, you can almost divide your life into chapters. This is actually one of the things we do in my Life Purpose Coaching program.

 As people look back over their lives, it’s almost like they’ve had several distinct lifetimes in one. This is what makes life interesting. Just about the time you’re entirely bored with your life, another challenge appears.

Purpose

Sometimes the new chapter, or we could call it Purpose, is not something you see coming. It’s a direction change totally out of the blue. Sometimes you get tiny clues, or fore-shadowing, of what’s to come, but you have to pay attention.

Foreshadowing

When I was around 6 or 7 years old, I saw a picture of a dock going out into the water. I was mesmerized. I remember staring at it, intrigued. It must have made an impression on me because I never forgot that picture.

Here’s what makes the picture so meaningful. It was one of those things I didn’t see coming. After I graduated from college, I got a job teaching in Florida. Did I apply for a job in Florida…not exactly. I sent my resume to what I thought was Nassau, the island. Where I actually sent it was to Nassau County, in Florida.

 One day as I was crossing a long bridge over a large expanse of the St. John’s River, I saw it. There was the dock I had seen in the picture. This was extremely meaningful to me and was evidence of foreshadowing, or early evidence of things to come. As they say, you can’t make this stuff up!

So, when you’re wondering what your life purpose might be, just know you probably have more than one. Would you bother taking the trip to planet earth with only one life purpose? I’m not saying that can’t happen, but I don’t believe it’s the norm.

A Meaningful Design

I think every major event in your life has purpose. I believe every minor event has purpose. It’s like your life is a jigsaw puzzle with trillions of pieces that fit together. It only begins to make sense when you have enough pieces arranged to form a meaningful design.

Your life is a meaningful design. Nothing is wasted.

A New Purpose

Last week I had to put my cherished cat to sleep. For the past 15 years, part of my purpose was to take care of him, and I believe his was to take care of me.

As I grieve, I’m know I’m on the cusp of finding new purpose, new meaning, or new something!

If you’re finding yourself on the cusp too, let me help you find your new something.

Question: What would you like your new purpose to be?

 

The Power of Persistence

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Who, Me?

Here’s a question. Can you name your worst enemy? Even though a few names may cross your mind, I suggest it’s you.

How many of the 60,000 thoughts you’ll have today will be negative? I’m guessing a high percentage…and I’m not a pessimist. I simply know that our minds have a negative bias.

It’s a survival mechanism. Animals know this. It’s a matter of eat or be eaten.

I won’t go into the physiology of fear, but it plays a hefty role in not only your decision making, but your confidence level, and what you’re willing to try.

Failure…Yuck!

If you’ve ever failed at something, and who hasn’t, you might avoid this failed activity forever. Gone…trashed. Off your bucket list…kicked to the curb. But look at it this way… what made you try it in the first place, especially given the fact there are no guarantees?

I’m guessing it’s probably because it was something you wanted to do or achieve, something that interested you, something you were excited about, something you thought would be fun. Now, it’s like a deflated balloon. You’ve left this dream in shreds and shards.

What Next?

So, what to do next, and how many times to try …10,000?

No, that was Edison, and it paid off pretty well for him. But who, today, is that tenacious?

I’ll bet you’d make less than five attempts before you’d throw in the towel. That sounds like something I’d do.

It’s so easy to get discouraged. One failure, or one “No” to your request can feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back. After all, you still have those humiliating memories of that important test you studied for but failed, or the business plan that didn’t pan out. I wouldn’t blame you for quitting.

Keep the Faith!

But if you’re motivated enough to keep the faith, and throw in a dose of tenacity, your chances of not only success, but happiness multiply. The problem with most of us is we’re perfectionists. We can’t be happy unless we do it perfectly…anything less is seen as failure, and it’s shoved off the bucket list. If someone tells us we can’t, we make them the expert on our lives, and quit.

Many years ago, I played the banjo at an assisted living center. I was nervous about playing until one of the women in the room shouted out, “I don’t want to hear it!”. At that moment my fear morphed into irritation, as I remember thinking, “Well, you’re going to hear it!” I didn’t play it perfectly, but somehow that lady showed me, in a way, how silly it was to care so much about what other people think.

A Lightbulb Moment

After years of not playing, I rediscovered my love for bluegrass. I think Ken Burns’ documentary on country music had something to do with it.

I’d forgotten almost everything I knew and was, again, a total novice.

My goal is to practice every day for at least 5 minutes. I have no excuse not to. And some days I do, and some days I don’t. But the important thing is I haven’t given up.

I’ve learned that loving what you do is more important than how good you are. Bottom line, the more I practice, the better I’ll be.

I’ll never be Flatt and Scruggs but you know what, I’ll be happy, and to me, that’s what counts.