Thoughts to Ponder

“Should you ever find yourself on your path
moving along in spite of fear
wondering if you’re ready or not to rise to the next level,
chances are great that you will not be ready.
Rise anyway.
You see, wondering means you’re not ready,
doing means you are.”**

Some people seem to be always ready to walk a new path, apply for a new job, dive off the high board. Others seem to be afraid to try anything new. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. We’re eager to try new things as long as the risk isn’t too scary, but we shy away from life changing possibilities.

I wander up and down the readiness ladder.

Once I tried for a job that sounded fun just for the application experience, knowing I wouldn’t be hired. Even though my skill set wasn’t exactly what they had in mind, I was hired because I’d done a number of different jobs and adapted easily to change. That job turned out to be my favorite, more fun than work.

I’ve moved to different states without much thought. Sometimes those moves were beneficial and made me happy. Others were dead ends that made me want to flee within the hour, if possible. It never was possible, and I learned valuable lessons.

Then there are smaller risks, like riding roller coasters. I’ve always been the one waiting on the ground for my friends to descend from their heart-racing adventure. Recently, the doctor told me to stay off roller coasters. Relief! Now I have a valid excuse to stay on the ground.

Writing “Thoughts to Ponder” was frightening at first. Who was I to offer life suggestions to others who probably knew more than I. However, I’ve learned that most people enjoy reading them and thank me for presenting a new idea. Those who don’t agree usually don’t comment.

Now folks are urging me to write a book. That is a terrifying thought. How can I stretch a 500-800 word thought into a 60-80,000 word book? Who would edit it? Who would publish it? Who would buy it and read it? At this point I’m still pondering those questions.

Recently I wrote about a meditation in which I was directed to step off the cliff. As soon as I can determine how to turn 500 words into 60,000 I’ll take that step, knowing the other issues will be solved as I write.

In the meantime, I hope you will take a little risk, then a larger one, then step off the cliff. You just might find a wonderful adventure.

** “A Note from the Universe,” February 17, 2015, Mike Dooley www.tut.com

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 20, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, VOICES of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com Continue reading “Thoughts to Ponder”

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Fearful or Peaceful

“Don’t fight fearful thoughts.

Just match each one with an alternative thought

that brings you more peace.”

Martha Beck

We all have fearful thoughts. What if I lose my job? Is that spot on my arm cancerous? If I die, what will happen to my family? What will I do if my loved one leaves? Those questions and so many more fill our waking hours and nag us in our dreams.

Martha Beck says to match each fearful thought with one that brings peace. That sounds too easy to be useful. Even so, let’s think about what she says and see how it works by going through our questions one at a time.

What if I lose my job?
I have a job today and my family is fed. Deep breath. Relax your face, jaw and neck muscles.

Is that spot on my arm cancerous?
I’ll call the dermatologist for an appointment. She’ll analyze it and offer a solution. Skin cancer is not fatal unless neglected and I’m taking action. Deep breath. Relax your shoulders, arms and hands.

The bank called and they want to talk to me. Yikes! What’s up? Checking account empty?
Perhaps they just want to sell me a Certificate of Deposit. Deep breath. Relax your torso.

What if my loved one leaves?
I’ll feel sad but I won’t die. Deep breath. Relax your lower extremities.

Now we are relaxed head to toe and can think clearly.

This seems like a rather simplistic look at life, but I it works. I’ve had, and still occasionally have, my brain and body in knots over both small and large events. However, once I decide to jump off the panic merry-go-round, take a few deep breaths and look at my situation with open eyes, I see small actions I can take. By making one decision then another I soon find myself in a new, better situation.

Mike Dooley said the same thing with different words:
“When a thing hurts your eyes, stop looking at it.
When it hurts your ears, stop listening to it.
And when it hurts your heart, stop justifying it.”

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 15, 2015

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” or my humor posts, please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

All grown up and . . .

When I was a child I was told that becoming an adult not only brought added responsibilities, but also certain privileges such as drinking coffee and alcohol. I concede that the responsibilities part is true, but I’m here to tell you that the privilege part is not reality, at least in my world.

Let’s start with caffeine. Brewing coffee always smelled enticing, but tasted nasty. You’d have thought someone had just given me something disgusting, like liver.

When visiting friends and relatives who offered coffee and I said, “No, thank you,” nothing else was offered. As a young bride I complained to my husband that I would have appreciated being offered an alternative. He asked, “Why didn’t you ask for something else?

“Isn’t that rude? If they had something else, they would have offered it.”

“Many coffee drinkers just don’t think of other options.”

On future visits my husband would intercede for me. When I was offered coffee and declined he would say, “She’d like a soda or water.” The alternative was usually water.

As the years passed I learned to drink tea saturated with lemon. Pepsi was nectar from the gods. One day the doctor told me that to control my blood pressure I should stop drinking tea and soda. Thinking that two Pepsis and two cups of lemony tea a day was not much, I quit cold turkey. Have you ever seen a nice woman turn into the Wicked Witch of the West? After about three weeks, I was me again, unhappy but no longer evil.

Twice I attempted to make coffee, once for each husband. Both endeavors were met with, “Don’t ever touch my coffee pot again!”

Over the years I kept a 4-cup pot and a small coffee container in the freezer for my mother’s visits. A few years ago on a trip to Minnesota my friend and I stopped for gas. She said, “Let’s get a latte. It doesn’t taste like coffee.” I agreed and liked it. We bought another on the return trip.

Sometime later Ohio friends were visiting for a few days. Trying to be a good host, I asked another friend to buy some fresh coffee for them. On the way to the airport I remembered that they used creamer. I stopped at the store to buy some. The dairy case display was overwhelming. I called my daughter for advice. She suggested some options. Selecting one, I approached the checkout and then remembered something else. Frantically calling her back, I said, “I’m on my way to the airport. Won’t it spoil?” She then directed me to the coffee aisle for a non-dairy selection.

After her arrival my friend made coffee and asked if I wanted some. Recalling the two lattes I’d enjoyed in Minnesota I said, “Yes, if you can flavor it.” She did. I added more flavor and enjoyed it. The next day she asked, “Would you some more coffee in your cream?” I did. She then showed me how to brew my own coffee.

I enjoyed my flavored coffee for a couple years until a few months ago. After my big vertigo incident, my doctor advised me that part of the trouble was dehydration and to stop drinking caffeine beverages. She explained that caffeine is a diuretic and had contributed to my dehydration. Is that why coffee drinkers drink so much coffee?

Alcoholic beverages had their own story. The taste was pleasant as long the alcohol was in a mixed drink. My problem was that I was a cheap – and short – date. One drink made me happy, a second sent me to sleepy-by-land. So much for a fun night on the town.

Beer had its own peculiar reaction. One beer sends me running to the little girls’ room, praying to the porcelain god. A co-worker advised me, “Sharon, you are supposed to get drunk first, then throw up.”

So, here I am again, a little girl who can’t drink coffee or alcohol. I know it’s better for my health, but gosh. . . .

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 5, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com