“Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.”
Bernice Johnson Reagon
The next few days will be a good time to bask in the holiday spirit and be grateful for what we have, especially our friends and our families. Now is a time in our history that we risk falling into to the depths of despair due to the economic conditions and the challenges that life often lays upon us. Thankfully when we review what is important, our family, friends, the air we breathe, the things that are there for us to see and more, the picture brightens. It often is not easy to see what we have as because of the challenges we face each day. But it is the overcoming of challenge that toughens and strengthens us and allows us to concentrate on what is really important.
What lies ahead will require almost all of us to review and plan for the differences that we will experience in the months and years to come. It is a good for most of us to reassess what is important and what really is not all that important. If we spend our time measuring losses based upon life as it once was instead of measuring what our life can be we may miss the chance to find happiness.
Do you take for granted the little everyday things that provide you comfort? Do you have a priority list of what really is important and what makes you happy? If you do, good for you for those are the things we need to protect and nurture. The year coming up can mark a new beginning where we have the opportunity to set the stage for a life compatible with the times and one that has the potential to bring us true happiness.
Here is a message that I copied from the wise Ralph Marston that I think is appropriate for today’s challenges.
There is some challenge you face right now which could move you forward in ways you cannot yet imagine. When you consider your resources and good fortune, rarely do you ever include the challenges in that list. Look back, though, at the challenges you've already overcome and you'll see their immense value. Look back at the forward progress you've made and you'll see all the challenges along the way which ultimately served to push you ahead.
Challenges are truly a blessing, though they rarely seem like it at the time they appear. In order to meet the challenges, you must grow, you must learn, you must take action, you must become more focused and effective. All those things are extraordinarily positive uses of your time and energy. They are the qualities which surely and reliably lead to success and achievement.
What are your most profound challenges? In them you'll find astonishing opportunities. Acknowledge your challenges. Experience them. Resolve to overcome them and see what great things you can accomplish in the process.
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
Her Holiday Poem
'Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
The punch and the candy, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd not said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt--- I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"
So--away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
"Till all the additional ounces have vanished. I won't have a cookie--not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore---
But isn't that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!
Today everyone wants instant gratification, no matter how long it takes.
The Wednesday-night church service coincided with the last day of hunting season.
Our pastor asked who had bagged a deer. No one raised a hand.
Puzzled, the pastor said, "I don't get it. Last Sunday many of you said you were missing because of hunting season. I had the whole congregation pray for your deer."
One hunter groaned, "Well, it worked. They're all safe."
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
In a stationery store, I quickly picked out a card for my wife for our anniversary. The clerk was surprised by how little time it took me, and she began relating a story about another customer who spent a half-hour searching for the right anniversary greeting.
Noticing the man lingering over one card after another, the clerk went to see if she could help. "Is there a problem?" she asked.
"Yes, there is," he replied ruefully. "I can't find one my wife will believe."
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
She told me that as a single, never-married woman in her 40s, she have been questioned endlessly about her status by her friends, relatives, and co-workers. Over the years, she noticed a subtle change in the nature of their inquiries.
In my teens, friends would ask, "Who are you going out with this weekend?"
In my 20s, relatives would say, "Who are you dating?"
In my 30s, co-workers might inquire, "So, are you dating anyone yet?"
Now people ask, "Where did you get that adorable purse?"
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
A little old man was escorted into the witness box. After being sworn in the lawyer asked him to explain what happened.
After a lengthy discussion of the events leading up to the incident he finally got around to the meat of the case, "...and then she hit me with a maple leaf."
"Surely that couldn't have caused you any serious injury?" said the lawyer.
"Are you kidding?" exclaimed the old man. "It was the leaf from the center of our dining room table."
"Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Hold that special someone's hand and squeeze it, while there's still time."
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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