Nothing is Permanent

Thoughts to Ponder – March 12, 2016

“… the only way to find permanent joy is by embracing

the fact that nothing is permanent.”*

Non-permanence is a hard concept to grasp. From the time we were very small we were taught about the difference between permanent and temporary. Our parents taught us that candy is temporary, but that they would never leave us. When we started first grade they told us that our baby teeth would fall out and would be replaced by permanent teeth. Then teachers told us to behave or it would go on our permanent record.

As we matured we learned that candy was not only temporary, but also that “a moment on the lips is forever on the hips,” was true. Eventually, we chose to leave home or our parents left us by disagreement or by death. Our baby teeth fell out. Some permanent teeth may have disappeared too. We learned that our childhood misdemeanors didn’t follow us into the work world.

We learned that many things we thought were forever, weren’t – friends, marriages, good jobs and, and, and…. We learned that “happily ever after” was a myth, but on the bright side, so was “sadly ever after.” An example of a difficult lesson learned is that I once worked with a woman who frustrated me. When I complained about something, she nodded and said, “This too shall pass.” When I bragged that something wonderful happened, she smiled and said, “This too shall pass.” Eventually her lesson that nothing is permanent began to sink into my belief system.

The world has evolved dramatically. We may not feel comfortable with the rapid changes. Our old ideas about how things work no longer apply. I wonder if I have shifted my belief system enough to keep up with all those changes. All I can do is try to keep current. However, the biggest change I see is personal. I think differently about life, God and myself. For example, I see myself as a nice person, kind to puppies and understanding of other people’s foibles. Yet I know I could do better, so I’ll continuing looking for change.

Other people can’t change me. Only I can work that miracle, but good intentions won’t do the job. I wish I could say, “From now on I’ll be kind to every person I meet no matter how they act or what they say,” and it would instantly occur, but that’s not possible. What I can do is what we discussed in last week’s Thoughts to Ponder: determine that I want to redefine who I am and watch it happen, a little each day.

Spirit,

Thank you for showing us that nothing is permanent, whether it is pain or joy. We know that even the oceans and the mountains change over time and so must we. Change can be painful or easy and joyful. Either way, the change will be for the better if we allow it to happen in its own way.

And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration, info@marthabeck.com, March 9, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, March 12, 2016

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Watch your thoughts

Thoughts to Ponder – March 6, 2016

 “The way to start changing your mind is not to

force it or command it but to watch it.”

Martha Beck*

 Many of us have been told since we were small children that if we want something we need to work hard and stay focused. That tactic often leads to frustration rather than to adjusting our thinking or obtaining peace of mind.

I’ve learned, the hard way, that when I want to change my behavior I do not succeed on determination alone. For example, I may decide to exercise more and even purchase a gym membership. But, I seldom go to the gym unless I have an exercise partner who keeps reminding me that it’s workout day.

However, if I say to myself and the Universe, “I’d like to get more exercise,” and not worry about how that will happen, I find that situations arise that require muscle use. Perhaps a storm comes and I need to rake the yard and carry debris to the compost pile. Possibly, I’ll need a small item or two from the store. I usually say, “That’s not worth driving the car. I’ll walk to the store.”

The same applies to eating healthy food. If I decide to diet all sorts of tempting yummies pop up in front of my face and call my name. If I say, “I choose to eat healthy,’ and release the outcome, I find that my food choices are healthier, even when tempting desserts are on the table.

One of my biggest problems was to see certain people in the light of what they did to me. That trait caused me mental and physical anguish over the years. What we think about becomes evident in our bodies with chronic headaches, back aches, compulsive eating and other issues. So how do we reverse those situations and let go of the physical pain? We must realize that we choose to experience our life as it is. I know this gets into the whoo-whoo view of life, but I’ve found it makes sense.

For example, I was married twice – to jerks. Whose decision was that? Mine. Different people suggested that perhaps these men were not the best choice, but I chose not to listen. Unhappy work experiences – the same. Just because a job pays more money doesn’t mean it will give more satisfaction. An unhappy person tends to take it out on others. They react in kind. All these events seemed to prove that everyone was conspiring to make me miserable.

Eventually, I learned that my thoughts and actions were creating these unpleasant experiences. When I became aware that, just perhaps, my complaining caused people to dislike my company, I asked the Universe to help me complain less. When I realized that I had an option other than fearing what awaited me at home, I asked myself and if there was a way to leave the situation.

As far as my parents were concerned, well, they treated me better than they had been treated.

I repeated the “tradition” with my children. Even thought I became aware of other options, I just didn’t know how to implement them, Sometimes I was so frustrated by life that I took it out on them. Just knowing that there were other ways to raise children, gave me the impetus to change. I told myself and the Universe that I wanted to be a better parent. Parenting books came to my attention. School counselors suggested a better way. Little by little I improved my skills. I still made a lot of mistakes, but I must have changed some, because my children are now an important part of my life.

Situations don’t come into our lives to give us grief, even though it often seems that way. Events happen to help us grow into the people we are capable of being. It’s our choice how we respond to those events. We can fall into the poor me pit or we can chose to find a solution. I know this is true, because I spent many years in that nasty pit. It was only when I wanted to find a way out that I began to see a little blue sky here or a ray of sun there. I was able to start climbing up to the surface. I’m not dancing on sunshine yet, but I’m beginning to hear a few notes from the band.

I used a lot of words to say that when you want to change the easiest way is to state your problem to yourself and the Universe. Part two is to not worry about how and release the outcome. Step three is to do something else while you are waiting for the miracle. Mike Dooley expressed it well in a recent message from the Universe.

“Often the very most spiritual thing one can do is get busy. Physically busy.

Hoeing, chopping, planting. Connecting, moving, grooving. Dipping, swirling, twirling….”**

Spirit,

Sometimes we are sunk in despair up to our necks and see no way out. We ask you to show us how to move from fear and anger toward joy. We know it may be a short step or a long walk. Either way we know that if we ask for an option it will come into our awareness and prompt us to necessary action.

And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration, info@marthabeck.com, February 26, 2016

**Dooley, Mike, TUT – A note from the Universe, theuniverse@tut.com, March 4, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, March 6, 2016

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

The gift of 70

Thoughts to Ponder – February 22, 2016

 “The hardest years in life are those between 10 and 70.”

Helen Hayes*

That is, indeed, good news, something I needed to hear on dark, cold February morning. A few days ago I turned 70, the culmination of a 69 year roller coaster ride. The past several weeks have been a period of reflection, looking at good times and bad and realizing that they were all just experiences that made me who I am today.

While birthdays brought just a continuation of the year before, decades were a little different. For instance, on my 20th birthday I was married, expecting a baby and looking forward to turning 21 so I could vote. By the time my 40th came along my children had all left home. I was single and starting to think about attending college. Then one day I was 60 and life had changed dramatically. I was retired, but still working and living near my daughters, their husbands and almost adult grandchildren.

Now, at 70 a new chapter is beginning. I’m not sure what that means. I’m still working, enjoying play dates with four great-grandsons and still hoping to write the great American novel. While my current job cushions the limitations of Social Security, more importantly it provides valuable social interaction and is FUN.

When I was younger a job was where I survived eight hours a day to feed the children and later myself. Age brings knowledge that I was the source of most of that discontent. I was much too concerned with what others thought of me. What I thought they thought of me is a more accurate statement.

Another thing I’ve learned is that I now have something important to say and I’m saying it in these occasional blogs. I’ve also learned there are times and places to keep my thoughts to myself. I allow my daughters to take care of me in little ways. They go to doctor appointments with me to take notes and ask questions that I forget. They advise me about this and that and check to be sure my refrigerator is full. Rather than considering that nosiness, I look at it as caring that I’m eating properly.

Who knows what this decade will bring? From this view point I see many more play dates with the great-grandchildren, continuing to work at a fun job and riding my bicycle around the neighborhood. I don’t have the strength and energy I used to have and I miss them. But their lack has been replaced by a life view that is a little more patient with my shortcomings – and those of others. What other people do is not so important anymore.

How I spend my days is much more important. Did I do something fun today? Did I feel grateful? Did I think kind thoughts of someone? Did I eat something just because it tastes good? Did I take a nap because I wanted to? Did I do something useful?

Spirit,

Thank you for seventy years of learning and more years to enjoy what I’ve learned. Thank you for being patient while I struggled to learn what is important. Thank you for a future to practice what has taken me so long to learn.

And, so it is.

*Hayes, Helen, from Treasury of Women’s Quotations by Carolyn Warner, Prentiss Hall

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 22, 2016

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Treat yourself

Thoughts to Ponder – February 10, 2016

“Every day, give yourself at least three really good treats.
One for every risk you take, and two because you’re you.
No exceptions. No excuses”

Martha Beck*

Oh boy! I can have three desserts every day. I’m heading for the grocery store to buy something yummy. My waistline is grateful that Beck was probably not referring to desserts, though an occasional dessert is good for our souls too. Beck is referring to things that make our souls feel happy.

There are so many ways we can treat ourselves. Treating ourselves regenerates our brains and bodies so we can work more efficiently. Perhaps we could tell ourselves, “Way to go! You did a good job!” We could do a happy dance. (Hopefully, the boss isn’t watching.) We could go for a walk and enjoy the sun warming our bodies. We could give ourselves a few minutes to play ONE game of Solitaire on our Kindles or work ONE crossword puzzle to get our minds off the project. Gratitude for ourselves also makes us aware of reasons to appreciate other people and the many wonderful ways they contribute to our happiness.

Regrettably, our society tends to consider treating ourselves as wasting time. Many of us were taught that to succeed we must “keep our noses to the grindstone.” Perhaps we were told that good grades and hard work are the stepping stones on the path to success. It is, but we owe it to ourselves to take a break, or three, every day. Otherwise, we are not on the path to success, but the road to a heart attack or mental collapse. Many employers offer their employees two 15 minute breaks and a lunch period. In the past I either worked through those breaks and ate at my desk or spent the time complaining about the boss, coworkers and the work load. Spending free time like that can add to the level of anger floating around the world.

Fortunately, my current employer believes in another axiom, “All work and no play make Jack/Jill a dull boy/girl.” For that reason they schedule several team events throughout the year. They may be just for fun, to showcase a new event or to support a good cause. These team events give employees time to relax and get to know their team mates personally. It also reminds them that their company appreciates their efforts and makes this a great place to work.

So take a few minutes to relax and show yourself some appreciation. You deserve it.

Spirit,

Thank you for this reminder to take a few moments several times a day to express gratitude for ourselves and our work. By being thankful for our own efforts we are thanking you for giving us life, love and even things we don’t like very much, but make us better people.

And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration, info@marthabeck.com, February 3, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 10, 2016

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Laughter is a gift

Thoughts to Ponder – February 5, 2016

“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep,
tinged through with seriousness … the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.”

Sean O’Casey*

We often look at life as a serious situation. We’re born, live a tough life, then we die. What is there to laugh at? Everything.

My father was filled with anger and sadness, as were most men of his generation. They grew up during the Great Depression and survived horrendous circumstances in World War II. What was there to laugh at? Yet, if you attended any of our family reunions you would find the men outside under a shade tree laughing so hard we could hear it from some distance away. What they found funny is a puzzle, because children were not privy to their conversations.

Sometimes we could talk them into going down to the creek with us to see what lurked under the water. While supposedly condescending to amuse the children, one of them would begin splashing us and we all ended up in a big water fight. When called for dinner we’d all slosh back up the hill and see our mothers standing on the porch laughing at us.

When asked how he was feeling, my dad would always respond, “With my fingers.” Dad used say that men didn’t like skinny women. They wanted one “with a little meat on their bones.” Invariably my mom would ask, “So why did you marry the skinniest woman in the county?” His response, “I fattened you up a bit, didn’t I?”

As a child I couldn’t understand why Dad was sometimes funny and sometimes angry. When I became an adult I saw many of the same traits in myself and assumed it was an inherited disposition. As life progressed I began to understand that on one level laughter was a coping mechanism. Dad was living that part of the quote, “tinged through with seriousness…”

As I grew older I began to learn about letting go of old pain. I found that the more pain I released the quality of my laughter changed. Instead of laughing to release pain, I now laugh from pure joy. What a gift to laugh just because my great-grandsons give me hugs or I see a friend. How joyous to laugh with delight because the sun is shining on my face and creating shadows under the trees. I’m so grateful that I’ve moved forward to “the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.” 

While O’Casey didn’t mention it, laughter is a great way to connect with others. Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone is working hard to protect his or her turf? You can feel that the people are disconnected from each other. Then someone tells a joke. As everyone laughs, the distance melts and the group begins to work as a team.

Spirit,

Thank you for the gift of laughter and learning that laughter can help us in so many ways. It can release pain. It is a way to connect with others. It is a way to express joy. We laugh with joy that we are alive while we laugh at the funny things humans do every day.

And, so it is.

* Originally John O’Casey (1880-1964), Irish playwright, Green Crows, “Saturday Night, 1956

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 5, 2016

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Thoughts to Ponder – January 23, 2016

“Hate is like acid. It can damage the vessel in which it is stored as well

as destroy the object on which it is poured.”*

Ann Landers

Once again our presidential election season is upon us. Is it just me, or does this campaign seem more vitriolic than usual? Every four years we, as a nation, go through this process and each time accusations and insults fly like feathers at a chicken fight.

During the years when news traveled by weekly newspapers and letters that could take months to arrive, the writer usually took time to evaluate the consequences of his or her words before putting pen to precious, expensive paper. Some of their letters were quite pointed. Volatile arguments have continued through our history.

Perhaps one difference is that now we have instant media and many more media outlets, so we are more aware of what the candidates and their supporters are saying. This allows those running for office, and the rest of us, to spout opinions without thinking about the potential effects of their/our communication.

We may want to take a few minutes to examine our thoughts before sending them out to the world. Have we studied what we heard or thought we heard? Have we considered if there might be another aspect to that story? Have we considered how the words we send into the ether may affect the candidates or other voters?

Is this good for our individual well-being?

We are destroying the best part of ourselves and our nation by pouring the acid of hate upon those with whom we disagree. I must admit that I also participate in this destruction. I classify candidates by how I think they should act and occasionally make a statement to that effect. I can feel what these thoughts are doing to my internal self and know that others must be feeling the same. I’m concerned that many people are placing the blame for their irritation on the various candidates rather than the acid they are pouring on themselves.

Spirit,

We ask that you guide us to evaluate our thoughts and words so we might not pour hate on anyone or anything, including ourselves. We know that guilt adds to the acid bath, so we ask you to show us how to be kind to ourselves as we become aware of our thoughts and actions as we debate the issues.

And, so it is.

* Warner, Carolyn, Treasury of Women’s Quotations, Prentice Hall, 1992, page 40

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 23, 2016

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Thoughts to Ponder – January 15, 2016

“When you heal yourself on the inside,

everything else around you no longer triggers old pain.”

A Window of Wisdom 1007*

 The last few weeks we’ve been talking about releasing old pain and experiencing a lighter, happier life. On December 17 we talked about the harm we cause ourselves by concealing our pain. On January 1 we discussed letting our negative feelings out. Today we’re continuing to think about ways to heal yourself on the inside.

The idea that has been floating around mental therapists and religious teachers for many years is forgiveness. An old saying tells us to “forgive and forget.” It’s easy to say I forgive this person for doing that to me or my loved one. But do we actually forgive? Forgiving means to release the pain and begin to feel kindly toward the person who has injured us. That’s a tough job. From my own experience I’ll say that it’s almost impossible to forget. We may forget what E=mc2 means but we never forget an insult or other situations that cause us pain.

Recently a friend told me about a better way to release old pain. That is to thank the person for the role he or she played in your life because it affected who you are today. That may not be possible or safe to pursue. An easier and safer way is to write that person a letter pouring out your feelings while acknowledging the way that person’s actions made you a better person. How is that possible? Perhaps a person telling you repeatedly that you were stupid made you determined to prove them wrong. Maybe it encouraged you to pursue higher education or get a job requiring excellent mental skills.

I can hear you saying, “I wouldn’t dare send a letter thanking ____ for what he/she did. That would put me in danger or at the least bring their ire raining down on me.” Only mail the letter if you feel 100% safe. You don’t have to mail the letter. Just writing out the facts and feelings is releasing the old “stuff.” You can burn the letter allowing the pain to float to the clouds with the smoke. You can tear the letter to bits and send it to the landfill with the rest of your trash or release it to a river to float out to the sea.

A quicker method my friend suggested is to picture the offending person in your mind and mentally or verbally thank them for making you the person you have become. Either method is incredibly freeing. If you do this choosing to be free of the old pain, you will be.

Spirit,

Thank you for teaching us that we don’t have to carry the weight of old and new pains. We can release ourselves from this burden by thanking the offender for the role they played in our lives. We know that you will transmute the pain to feelings of freedom. We know and trust that this is so for each of us, no matter our situation.

And, so it is.

* A Window of Wisdom 1007, January 6, 2016, https://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/window-1007-hidden-triggers/

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 15, 2016

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Thoughts to Ponder – January 4, 2016

“Let it go. Let it out. Let it all unravel. Let it free

and it can be a path on which to travel.”

Unknown*

 Recently we talked about feeling our feelings. Today let’s go a step further. Often we deal with hurts by burying them and stewing for the rest of our lives. That means we feel our feelings in a self-destructive manner. The quote suggests we “Let it go. Let it out.”

Some people think that letting it out means that we scream and yell at the person who hurt, insulted or challenged us. While there are a few occasions that method will work, most times emotional outbursts will make it worse. We can try to discuss the situation quietly and see what happens. If that doesn’t resolve the situation, we have other options for letting it out.

We can journal, talk to a friend, talk with a professional, and feel the feelings until they dissipate. Most situations that upset us to that extent need a combination of those options. We can journal and talk to a trusted friend. If that doesn’t work we may seek professional help. Along the way we need to feel the fear, pain, anger, sadness, abandonment, disappointment or other label that will name the problem.

Actually, naming what we’re feeling is the hardest part. We often tell people we are disappointed or concerned to be diplomatic. Those are appropriate labels when you confront someone or are talking to a supervisor. When you are naming your feelings either to yourself or to an appropriate third party you can, and probably should, use stronger language. You can say whatever you need to say to get the feelings out.

Once the feelings are out in the open, you can begin letting go. In Al-Anon and AA one of the most used phrases is “Let go and let God” meaning that we must let go before God can take it away. Another common phrase is “Anything an Al-Anon lets go of has claw marks all over it,” meaning they hold on until the pain simply slips off the ends of their fingers from its weight.

Do you want to go through life holding on until the pain eventually slides out of your grip? Or would you rather let go before the weight gets too heavy and begin healing before the wounds destroy your body and your mind? Would you prefer to walk a smoother path as the quote says?

My choice, after carrying hurt for many years, was to begin letting it go. What a gift that was. Life is so much easier and lighter, the path smoother without the weight of old pains. That’s not to say I’m perfectly adjusted now, just much better and getting even better yet.

Spirit,

Thank you for teaching us that we don’t have to carry the weight of old and new pains. We can release ourselves from this burden by letting it go. We know that you will transmute the pain to feelings of calm. We know and trust that this is so for each of us, no matter our situation.

And, so it is.

 

* Unknown author, quoted on December 22, 2015 post at pamela@pamelaharpercom, “Inspiration 12-23-15 “Loving all of you”

 

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 4, 2016

 

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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Commuter Scooter

While walking through Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg a few days ago, I realized that some habits never die. I’ve always been a stroller, ambling down the sidewalk at a leisurely speed, stopping to admire flower gardens or window shopping. But that day I noticed that I was ducking and dodging and maintaining a speed about four times that of the average visitor.

Why was I in such a hurry? Well, my shift was over and I was heading to the parking lot. Then the realization hit me like a smack, I was navigating the crowd like I used to do when I commuted from Northwest Indiana to my job in downtown Chicago (Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive for those of you who know the city). In the mornings I moved quickly but usually had a few minutes to grab a coffee on my way to work.

Evenings were something else. I had just a short time, as did almost everyone on the sidewalk, to reach the train back to Indiana, and, hopefully, nab a good seat. I learned how to duck and dodge with the best of the horde. If I hadn’t, I would have to wait an hour for the next train.

One day my 6’2” son came with me to spend the day roaming the downtown area. At the end of the day when we left my office, I told him to stay with me or he’d miss the train. Since his legs were significantly longer than mine he gave me that perpetually exasperated look teens wear and said, “Okay, Mom.” Away we went. Halfway to the station I realized he wasn’t with me and looked back. He was stuck in a crowd about a half block behind. I told him to hurry up or we wouldn’t make it. You should have seen him climbing over people to catch up to me.

Until that realization I had dismissed another recent incident. During the summer my supervisor asked me to deliver a package to the front of the park. When I returned he asked, “How did you get there so fast?” My supervisor stands about 6’8” so the question baffled me. I replied, “I don’t know. I just didn’t fool around.”

So what is the secret I’ve discovered? At 5’3” my vision hits about shoulder level to most commuters and park visitors. That allows me to see gaps in the crowd that are just big enough for me to scoot through. Taller people see heads in front of them and don’t know where the gaps are.

For the first time in my life, I’ve found a benefit to being short. Hurrah! All short people join in, Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! All power (and speed) to short people!

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 31, 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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.

Thoughts to Ponder – December 27, 2015

“Make your mind part of the world’s peace, instead of its fear, and I promise, life will get better and better.”

Martha Beck*

 We’re still wading through the winter holidays that continue through New Year’s Day. We try to focus on a season of peace and goodwill, but often get sidetracked and hit by the “winter blahs.” At home we may experience family dissention as we stand in the kitchen washing mounds of dishes, growling to ourselves, “This is the season of joy, dammit!” We may experience lack – of everything. Or we may be lucky enough to share our bounty with a family who cares.

As the holidays wind to an end, we stop celebrating long enough to watch the news and remember all the hate and violence that is occurring in our neighborhoods and around the world. We sigh and wonder if we are doomed to live this way forever.

I can say without doubt – NO. Just as Martha Beck says, if we set our minds on peace and act on that each day, our world will get better. I can hear you all saying, “Yeah, right.” However, it’s true. When we think peace and kindness, we act out our beliefs, often not even aware that we are doing it. Each act will affect another person.

Remember the old shampoo commercial. If you tell two people and they tell two people soon everyone will use this product. Just as telling others about shampoo will convince them to buy it, our actions will eventually create peace. World peace probably will not happen anytime soon, but at least we can make our own little corner of the world a friendlier place.

I can see you shaking your head in doubt. “You don’t know the jerks I have to deal with.” I, too, felt that way for many years. Then I became tired of feeling anger and stress in myself and those around me. I determined I would create calm for myself. Each day when I get up I state firmly, “I choose to be the best person I can be today.” As time passes I find that by making that choice, my actions become kinder. As a result I notice that people are kinder to me. That makes family life, friendships and the work place kinder. I want to be with those people, instead of feeling obligated to be there.

Spirit,

Thank you for this beautiful day. Even if it’s raining or snowing, the day is still beautiful. Thank you for knowing that if we become calm, life around us will become calm. Life can be wonderful, if we believe it to be so. We choose to act on that belief, knowing that all is happening for our highest good.

And, so it is.

* Daily Inspiration, Martha Beck, December 25, 2015 info@marthabeck.com

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 27, 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 “Twins! Oh no!,” 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.