“As my eyes go out of focus, I see clearer.”
Mark’s Musings #6
“I want less so that what I have I may appreciate more.”
Every day when I wake,
I take stock in what I have…
the strength from loved ones,
devotion from my family,
support from my friends,
affection from my pets,
my strong faith in God
Because of these simple things,
I take comfort in knowing
that I can take on…
face any dilemma,
make life changing judgements
without hesitation and total clarity
Because life is all about…
seeing what’s around us,
having an appreciation for all that we have,
a sense of gratitude for things we are given,
and the knowledge for making a difference,
not just in our lives
but in that of others
It is only then,
when we realize this
that we will truly feel
we’ve been bequeathed with
Feeling Thankful Haikus
To Live Another Day
As I sit here in front of my computer
and all its wondrous possibilities,
I can’t help but reminisce
about precious memories
and loved ones
To have such treasured moments
is truly priceless
Knowing that a point in time
created feelings of
and non-stop laughter,
puts a smile on my face
To go through something that can’t
But knowing that
the future presents opportunities
to experience similar feelings again
is what makes me
live for another day.
The Christmas Conundrum
Every day I marvel at the fact that I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. Yeah, we each have our faults, flaws and quirks AND we get on each other’s nerves, but at the end of the day that pales in comparison to the unwavering love and support we have for each other. Why am I bringing this up you may ask? At this time every year, I struggle to figure out what to get them for Christmas. I wrack my brain knowing that I have no clue on where to start.
So every year, I resort to doing what needs to be done. The whole process boils down to me being a covert spy. With a stoic expression, I nonchalantly ask them subtle questions about the things they look at in stores or online; narrowing down their top choices. Hours pass, days even before I press on. I ask them more questions without really tipping off my true intent; keenly watching their body language and gauging their emotions. I take into account every word spoken, making mental checklists about their likes and dislikes. And that’s usually enough for me to go on and buy their presents.
But there are also times when they don’t say much; even after asking prodding questions. So in this instance, I resort to using each family member as an asset into retrieving the necessary information I need. I endear them to my cause and then give them a set of questions to ask a family member. They can ask however they want as long as they don’t reveal my true intent. Surprisingly this tactic produces good results as well.
On rare instances when I end up with nothing, rather than buy them something that they won’t like, I’ll just sell out and give them money or gift cards. I don’t usually like to do this because there is no personal touch but it’s better to give something rather than nothing at all.
The reason why I go through so much trouble is because I feel like I need to get them something really special to show my appreciation for all that they’ve done for me. A simple hug or words of acknowledgement is usually the norm for most of the year, but at Christmas time, it’s the one time that I can really make them SMILE. Even though they always say “You don’t really have to get me anything, I’m fine”, I still want to show them my gratitude. Giving them something that they’ve always wanted really makes me feel good inside. If I can feel that, then mission accomplished.
Midlife Reflections #5
Looking back on everything I’ve done in my life, whether it be good or bad, there are definitely things that I would’ve done very differently. But I guess that’s how we all would feel if given the power of hindsight. Some would say that what we did was supposed to happen in order for us to learn a lesson or set us on the right path to where we’re going to end up.
For someone like me who’s a control freak, especially when it comes to my choice of jobs, it’s truly frustrating when you’ve made a bad choice. After making that critical decision, whether intentionally, hastily or ill-informed, it feels like an eternity trying to get my life back on track. Everything seems to be in overdrive just to get back to normalcy; but now every turn, every move I make I second guess myself.
“I shouldn’t have done this!”
“What the hell was I thinking?!”
“What have I gotten myself into?!”
“Am I going to get out of this jam? And when!?”
All these thoughts run a continuous loop in my head and I beat myself up over making that error in judgement. We’re all human, but I have high expectations of myself and feel like the whole world just came crashing down on me. I feel trapped with no option in sight.
We talk to our family and friends about our predicament to get their advice but it turns into a therapy session where we pour our hearts out in hopes of a quick and easy solution. We’ve all been there…and we’ll all go there again.
The one thing that keeps me afloat is the prospect of something better on the horizon. Yeah, I don’t know how long it’ll take to reach that destination but the idea of finding something better keeps that hope alive. AND I always hold out for hope! I always err on the side of positivity. Why? Because at my lowest point, that’s all I can do. It’s much better than the alternative; I can’t just give up. Throwing in the towel and being resigned to the fact that I failed somehow is not an option.
There is always a way out of every predicament I put myself in. Strength and faith is all I need to have to know that it’ll all work out in the end. Nothing’s impossible to overcome, I just have to be willing to take the first step forward…AND I just did.
A Spark Of Hope
Ever have one of those days when things just don’t seem to go your way or situations pop up that test your limits? We’re all faced with that time and time again; believe me, I’ve had my share ten times over and then some. There are other that have it even worse.
What I’m most curious about is how others cope with their personal struggles. How do they keep positive in light of all the bad things that are happening to them? What gives them the drive to face their dilemma head on and never give up?
When problems arise in my life, my “doom and gloom meter” starts to rise and my mind starts to go into overdrive about all the things I could’ve done to avoid this mess. My outlook starts to look depressingly hopeless and my daily routines are all out of whack.
I start to do normal things on auto-pilot all the while racking my brain on how to solve my problems or obstacles so that I can get back on track and live normally again.
When this happens, I start to get into a funk and feel like “Why does this always happen to me and when will it all end! Can’t I just get a break?!” Just when I see there is no solution to my turbulent mess, “a spark of hope” appears out of nowhere.
For me, that can come in the form of my dog greeting me at Mach speed with unconditional love and adoration. A big bear hug from my wife. It can even come from watching my kids simply do their homework or observing family members go about their daily routine. It’s amazing how something so small and mundane can make a difference.
Just the mere sight of them snaps me out of my much misaligned chaotic demeanor. It’s weird but seeing something like that, just soaking in those positive things gives me hope. Remembering all the good times and feeling so blessed to have a family like mine helps a lot; knowing that I overcame previous predicaments helps in the process. Maybe subconsciously I know that I have their undying love and support in my corner and I know I’m not facing my predicaments alone.
Can’t really explain it; I get a renewed sense of energy and endless possibilities about my life explode in my head…AND it’s all good. It feels as if nothing in the world can stop me from accomplishing anything and everything!
It’s funny how something so simple can become a beacon of unbridled optimism. Life doesn’t appear so bleak and I’m enthusiastically anticipating what’s in store for me in an hour, a day, a week or months from now. I begin to envision a more desirable and successful future for myself which might or might not happen. Who cares?!
My “spark of hope” is all that matters in driving my life forward. As long as I have that grain of reverie then everything is fine.
I can’t fathom how this process works but I’m just truly grateful that this “spark of hope” can do wonders for me. I just pray that this sparkle continues to light all of the dark and hard times that I’ll encounter in my life.