The Strength that Lies Beneath

At some point during the car trips of my childhood, my sister (the one who’s closest to me in age), would invariably stop to point out the creepiest, oldest, abandoned house on the side of the road and say,

 

There’s your dream house.

old barn_opt
I’d wrinkle my nose. We’d laugh. Then resume singing, You’re a Grand Old Flag or the oh so monotonous, Five Hundred Miles, until inevitably I’d poke her in the ribs and say,

Look! It’s your future home.

old barn 2_opt

It was a funny dig. A kinda two steps forward, two steps back exchange. The sisterly cha cha that we danced many times over the years we lived together.

Today, I still look for those houses. Still smile.

Sometimes I think it’s strange to smile at something so dilapidated.

So abandoned.

This week, after hearing how Robin Williams died, I found myself flipping through old journals, looking for the poem I wrote when I was 18. The one where I tried to understand why my sister had attempted suicide (the first time).

It’s an angry poem.

Why did you try to steal the time when we were little?

Now I’m almost embarrassed at my anger. Did I have any compassion? I hug you anyway.

I’m nervous talking/blogging about this subject. I feel it’s not my story to tell. My sister and I haven’t talked about this. Not now, not ever, that I remember. We (as a family) just didn’t. Even though all of us struggled with our own darkness.

On the other hand, I’ve made it a point to talk about depression and suicide with my children. I’ve even probably gone a bit overboard at times, carting my thirteen year old daughter off to a therapist when she dramatically screamed, I hate you, I want to die.

Hey she was my first teenager…and I didn’t want to take any chances.

Depression can be dangerous. It’s dark, often hidden. Oh and how it thrives in those secluded corners.

Depression I understand. That’s part of my story too. But it’s hard to talk about.

It’s a disease. There shouldn’t be shame attached to something that happens with our brain chemistry. Hey, did anyone shun me when I blew up the sulfur in chem lab my junior year? No, it was a mistake. Even the intimidating Sister Dolores didn’t yell at me.

It sucks to feel your lightness abandoning you. And it feels even worse when you think that because it’s in your thoughts, you ought to be responsible for pushing that darkness out.

Ask for help.

My sister and I may have joked about those dilapidated, abandoned houses. But maybe now I smile because I see them as hope. There’s a strength that lies beneath.

And they’re still standing.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

xo

.

Choosing Happy: Come Back to Me ~ My New YA Release

 

Big news…my debut YA book, Come Back to Me, is out NOW.

It went live on Amazon last Wednesday, a happy surprise. There I was gearing up for the you’ve-published-a-book-now-what marathon, when suddenly the starter pistol went off.

I think I was tying my shoes or something.

But I got moving. Thanks in BIG part to family, friends, and lots of super cool people like the WANA (we are not alone) writing community.

Although no one mentioned the adrenaline. I could’ve lifted a car.

Anyway, speaking of family, friends, and love…those are big themes in my YA contemporary story. Check it out:

Come Back To Me 200 320_opt

 

 

 Available for purchase at AMAZON or SMASHWORDS 

(paperback and other venues, coming soon)

 

Whitney Denison can’t wait to start over.

She thought she had everything under control, that her future would always include her best friend Katie… Until everything changed.

Now her life in Bloom is one big morning after hangover, filled with regret, grief, and tiny pinpricks of reminders that she was once happy.  A happy she ruined.  A happy she can’t fix.

So, she is counting down the days until she leaves home for Colson University, cramming her summer with busywork she didn’t finish her senior year, and taking on new hobbies that involve glue and glitter, and dodging anyone who reminds her of her old life.

When she runs into the stranger who drove her home on graduation night, after she’d passed out next to a ditch, she feels herself sinking again. The key to surviving the summer in Bloom is unraveling whatever good memories she can from that night.

But in searching for answers, she’ll have to ask for help and that means turning to Evan, the stranger, and Kyle, Katie’s ex-boyfriend. Suddenly, life flips again, and Whitney finds herself on not only the precipice of happy but love, too, causing her to question whether she can trust her feelings, or if she is falling into her old patterns of extremes.

As she uncovers the truth about her memories, Whitney sees that life isn’t all or nothing, and that happy isn’t something to wait for, that instead, happy might just be a choice.

 

So, it’s been an exciting week.

But wait! I’ve got one last, but very special thing to share.  You may have read a post I wrote about signs.  In that post, I mention how I equate ladybugs with hope, and to my brother (who passed away six years ago).

So, ladybugs found a way into Come Back to Me–and into my book’s acknowledgments, where I wrote, To my brother, Dan the Man, Thanks for the ladybugs.

Then, last Wednesday, in the middle of the awesome hullabaloo of seeing my book on Amazon, I ran up the stairs to grab my slippers (because it was a snow day–and cold!).

Halfway up the stairs I saw this:

ladybug2_opt

 Thanks for the ladybug, Dan.

 

Have an AMAZING, hopeful week!

Making Change a Sweet Transformation

 new things kettering quote_opt

Two years ago I signed up for weekly emails to train for a 5k.  At the time I was walking 5 miles a day and had just started adding jogging.  I thought it would be motivating, maybe even fun to collect 5k race t-shirts.

Of course, life had other plans and before I could even get a second 5k training email, I was at the doctor for neck pain.  I thought it was just a pinched nerve, but it wasn’t.  My doctor sent me for x-rays and physical therapy, but more symptoms arrived that landed me in a neurologist’s office.

Then came MRIs, a spinal tap and several other poking and prodding sorts of tests.  Life became a series of NEW things, including conversations about possible diseases you never think could be in your future, but were now a MAYBE.

All I wanted was a stupid 5k race t-shirt.

Forget the shirt, I just wanted my OLD things back.

The thing is, I really can’t go back.  I’ve gotten some answers.  One of which is something called small fiber neuropathy, aka the foot and hand terrorist that turns my nerves into zombies (they’re dead, but they can still wreak havoc).  Oh and it’s “idiopathic” which means of course, no one knows why I have it.  Not even Google knows (and we are very close, I’m expecting my internet medical degree in the mail any day now).

All this time I’ve been waiting for answers, but it was just this last week that I realized I’d been under the assumption that once I had the answer I would also have the solution.  But I don’t, not the kind that would make the nerve damage and whatever is causing it, to go away.

It was another reminder that we don’t always get the answers we want, or even answers at all in life.   So yea, it’s my new thing.  Maybe the old things were better.  Maybe.  But this is what I’m moving into my future with, so I have to deal.

And guess what?  I don’t think that 5k t-shirt is so stupid.  I still want it.  Yes, there is an inclination to just forget about it, even forget about the exercise I am still attempting to do (no matter how lame the old me might think it to be).

Except I’m still here and to me that means no giving up allowed.

So how does one go about moving forward after suck-tastic change?

Well, I’m all about baby steps.  You can still cover the distance that way.

And gratitude helps, but don’t beat yourself up by playing the Olympic pain games.  You know, the ones that make you feel like you can’t be mad or sad because someone else’s life sucks more than yours.

Above all, try to be kind to yourself!

Which brings me to the greeting family and friends have been giving each other the last couple of days:  “Have a SWEET new year.”  This week began the Jewish new year.  Like the new year in January, it is a time to take stock of the previous year.  It’s an opportunity for change, renewal and spiritual transformation.

 challah round _opt

The new year challah is round to symbolize the cycle of the year, the circle of life and the opportunity for spiritual transformation.

 

You see that honey in the background of the photo?  Apples and challah bits got a good dunking in the sweet stuff.  My daughter even doused her corn kugel (pudding) with honey.

A little sweet can go a long way.  Even just the idea of it offers up HOPE.

Like imagining a future post with me in a 5k t-shirt. 🙂

So be sweet to yourself.

Or focus on the new things that are awesome.  For me that’s thinking about publishing my first book or seeing the Grand Canyon with my husband and kids in a couple of months.

With dangling carrots like those it’s easier to maintain some forward motion.

So, whatever changes you are in the middle of, I wish you a sweet transformation!

How do you deal with change?  What are the dangling carrots that keep you going?

I love it when you comment!

Floating at the Lowest Place on Earth

Hi!

Well, I’m back.  Mostly.  Maybe not so much mentally (in fact I just asked my husband: What’s the word for when you are here physically but not ____?)  Yea, my head still feels a bit stuffed with the cottony bits of jet lag.

6,000 miles + 25 hours of travel time +  7 hour time difference = very little sleep.

Our trip had high points and low points.  It was both relaxing (no dinner making! the beach!) and exhausting (plane delays that added up to a 41 hour travel time to get to Israel, coupled with my insane flying jitters). But a bonus of coming back from vacation? (Other than my own, comfy bed.)  I am ready to get back to work.  I missed writing, reading blog posts and checking in on Twitter and Facebook.

And I hope to jump right back in as soon as possible.  That is once I get myself out from under the mail pile (virtual and actual).  It’s quite the shock going from thinking, Hmm, I wonder where we should go for dinner tonight? –to bill paying, grocery shopping, laundry and an upcoming wisdom tooth extraction (I’m playing the responsible adult to my son’s soon to be drugged state–here’s hoping I get a good night’s sleep–this is my child who once hallucinated after a dose of cough syrup).

Still I have some uplifting thoughts to pick from between the cottony spaces in my brain!

Because I saw some amazing, beautiful and historical sights from Masada, to the Dead Sea.

dead sea masada view_opt

 This is a view of the Dead Sea from atop Masada.

The Dead Sea is 1,388 feet below sea level and is the lowest place on Earth.  It is super salty–over 30% salinity.  While in the water, I touched my pinkie finger to my tongue–and it was so salty, it stung for a moment.  Note: You do not shave before taking a dip in the Dead Sea!!

dead sea mineral beach_opt

 Pretty, right?

 

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I kind of thought the Dead Sea would look more like a black lake, but as you can see, the color of the water looks more like a view of the Caribbean than some imagined Bubonic plague-like body of  water.

Although we all looked scary after applying the Dead Sea mud.

 dead sea mud_opt

It was messy and smelled a bit like sulfur, but applying the mud was a fun experience.  And apparently healing, due to the mineral content.

 

But by far the coolest part of the Dead Sea experience?

The floating!!  It is effortless.  Due to the high salt content, you cannot fully submerge in this water.  It is denser than my travel bogged mind.

 

 dead sea floating_opt

 And treading water is unnecessary–the water holds you upright, even when you wade deeper.

So you just kick back and relax, because even at the lowest point on Earth, YOU CANNOT SINK.

 

“You know when you’re floating on your back in the lake, the water rises and falls against your ears? So that for half a second you can hear everything around you and then for the other half a second everything’s muted? It almost feels like your suspended between two worlds.”

― Tricia Rayburn, Siren

 

And floating there, in the very warm waters of the Dead Sea, I realized the hopeful lesson in that experience (yes, I was blogging in my head–I couldn’t help it).  I thought, how encouraging is to feel that even at the lowest depths, we simply cannot stay at the bottom?

 

“Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled—to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world. ”

― Mary Oliver

 

Days, vacations, life, they do not always go as we planned.  But even when we find ourselves sinking to the lowest points, there are moments of hope to be found.

 

“When the tides of time turn against you,

And the storms of life sink your boat,

Don’t cry and scream and holler,

Just turn on your back and float.”

~Ed Norton

 

Here’s to everyone getting some floating time this week!!

Any travel high points or low points you can share?  Or jet lag fighting tips for me to file away?

I love it when you share 🙂  I missed chatting with you while I was gone!

 

Looking for Signs of Life vs. Road Kill Theory

 

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 
―Albert Einstein

Back in college I met a guy who I ended up talking to for hours on the subject of what happens after you die.  I have no idea how we got on the subject.  Sure I always enjoyed a good DMC (deep meaningful conversation), but I’m sure death and the afterlife were not typically on my rotating list of topics.

But he may have been cute, so there was that.

Anyway, his arguments got me curious.  He insisted that the end of life was akin to a flame blowing out, that once we die we no longer exist in any form.

And he believed that there was no use assigning any true meaning to signs (miracles) because in the end we were all “road kill.”

Whack. Game over.

I’m thinking he probably did not go on to make a career writing greeting cards.

Me?  I was adamant that there’s more to the afterlife then nothing.  Where was the hope?  It was just too depressing for me to think otherwise.

And roadkill?  On some level, I think animals must possess a spark of soul. Have you ever looked into the eyes of a cat? It’s like thousands of years of wisdom wrapped into a fur covered hipster attitude.

Cattitude Charlie the cat _opt

Meet my feline nephew Charlie.  He’s seen it all I’m sure.

 

But everything I knew at the point of that argument was from what I learned when I was a kid.  Heaven was firmly centered in a cloud filled land of angels and quite possibly a Willy Wonka factory (um, it was called everlasting Gobstopper, right?).

Part of those images in my head were drawn from Sunday school, but some I think I got from the movie The Blue Bird, with Shirley Temple.

heaven and signs of life

 In this movie, there was a “Before Life” scene where children danced bare footed while waiting to be born.

 

For a kid, eating candy and not having to wear shoes were an easy sell, but even as a teenager I wanted to believe in something positive, something to look forward to. Road kill theory did not work for me.

Instead when I was lost in school, my relationships and life in general, I relied on hope, faith and occasionally the Magic 8 ball. And I believed in the power of signs.

power of signs ireland _opt

 Signs guide us, point us in the right direction.

 

And signs took on a whole new meaning a few years ago when my brother died.  Mostly because I struggled with how he once fit in my life and how he still could.

And this is where faith and hope and signs came into play.  I’ve heard many stories of how people see signs that remind them that their loved ones still play a role in their life–dimes, feathers, music, animals.  But no matter what it is that gets us to remember, it’s the power behind it that puts hope back in our grasp.

Because sometimes in this shoe wearing place called Earth, we need a little something tangible.

For me that was the day of my brother’s funeral.  A few hours before the service, I was in a hotel room, on the third floor, with no windows that could open–and there was a ladybug in the room with me.

 

 ladybug sign_opt

One of my nephews with the ladybugs that like to follow us around.

 

I can’t remember if I thought too much about it at the time. Other than it was a little strange to see the ladybug there.

But since then, I’ve noticed more ladybugs. Sometimes I see them where they should be, and sometimes it feels far from coincidental. Like the time I went to visit one of my sisters and we were drinking coffee outside of a busy shopping center and a ladybug landed right between us, next to the brownie we were sharing.

Sure there may be other explanations for this. Maybe ladybugs love chocolate.  Maybe I see them because in some way I am looking for them.

Or maybe it’s more.  Like when the Elton John song Daniel comes on the radio, I feel like he is with me. Mostly it’s because that’s his name, but also because my sisters and I once joked with him that we were going to sing that song for him. It was a humorous threat—something he got very used to growing up with 3 sisters.

 

annoying sisters dan little brother_opt

 Annoying older sisters dressing their little brother like a doll.

So I like to hold onto the ladybug–and anything that reminds me of my brother–as a sign.  Even though I carry my memories of him with me, it feels like a reminder that on some level he is still here, that there is more to our existence.

More than just Wile E. Coyote flattened on the ground after an incident with an Acme Anvil, right?

Because there will be days when we question our work, our relationships–the overall meaning of our lives.  It might help to have a little sign.

 

 

“There are days when I think I don’t believe anymore. When I think I’ve grown too old for miracles. And that’s right when another seems to happen.”

~Dana Reinhardt, The Summer I Learned to Fly

 

And signs have the power to remind us to keep moving forward–and that we are not alone.

 

“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told:  “I am with you kid.  Let’s go.” 

~Maya Angelou

I am with you.  Let’s go.  

Maybe instead of the flame blowing out, it lights your way.

 

What signs have offered you hope?  

Looking for a Sign That He Loves You

 

Have you ever found yourself looking for a sign?

 

Sometimes we look for signs anywhere– horoscopes, the weather, dreams.  When I was younger I remember consulting the Magic 8 ball when it came to matters of boys great import.

Did you know that Google is also on that list?  I realized that last week when I looked at the list of search engine words that led internet surfers to my site.

High on that list was one of the great philosophical questions, Where’s Waldo? (because of this post), but a very close second was Liam Payne, member of the crazy popular British boy band One Direction.  Thanks to my YA reader friend Lydia, fans have been stopping by after Google searching for All Things Liam.

 

sign one direction

 

But by far the most interesting search phrase that landed one of those fans on my blog (and got me seeing Google as this generation’s Magic 8 ball), was this:

 

A sign that Liam Payne loves me.

 

Now I don’t believe I have any sort of psychic powers, BUT I do believe in the power of hope.

Hope got me through many crushes in high school.

Oh and believe me, I looked for signs that me and my crush were meant to be EVERYWHERE.

Like seeing his initials.

Or looking at the clock just when it showed his birthday.

Or turning on the car to hear his song on the radio.

My BF and I even hung out outside of Chrysler Hall simply because our boy band crush sang there once upon a time.  I think we thought we could still breathe some of his air there.

Hope had us open for any sort of sign.

So I get the massive internet searches.  And who knows?  Maybe landing here on my blog is all kinds of meant to be–and I don’t want to disappoint.

In fact I love to make people smile, so I went on a search of all the things Google listed that people were looking for here (but couldn’t find).

liam payne freckle

Is that Liam’s mole/freckle?

 

 

liam payne lips

Are these the lovely teeth you were looking for?

 

liam payne feet

 And the shoes only Liam could fill?

 

liam payne hat

Oh and is this the hat you were looking for???

 

 

Nowadays I might see signs of love a little differently (like bringing me a cup of tea or washing the dishes), but my favorite part of looking for a sign?

Being open to hope.

 

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.

~Maya Angelou

 

When it comes to love, have you ever looked for signs?

Waiting for the Answers

 

Last week I ran into the grocery store to pick up a few things.

Diced tomatoes.  Check.

Cereal.  Check.

Bread.  Check

BIZ.  Huh?

It was a mystery.  One I’d written down myself only twenty minutes earlier, and still I stood there in aisle nine staring helplessly at the baking powder and flours, as if they might offer me up some sort of clue as to what BIZ was supposed to be.

But I got nothing.  A brain fog—or my “duh cloud” as I’ve recently started calling it—had rolled in, only this time I found myself wondering:  What is wrong with me?  Am I just tired, or is this one more symptom to add to the list?

Because BIZ hasn’t been the only thing I’ve been wondering about.  For the last eighteen months I’ve been dealing with some weird health issues—going several rounds in a game I call Stump the Doctor.

The bonus of the game is learning other random things I didn’t know about myself, like that I was deficient in vitamin D, and that even though I think pizza is the perfect food–my body rejects its gluten and dairy essence.  Oh and that I am claustrophobic.

Well, I had my suspicions about that last one, but the two mri’s confirmed it.

Along with something odd showing up in my gray matter.

brain mri WALDO _opt

 There’s Waldo, off on a new adventure

So my doctor isn’t sure what Waldo (and his friends) are doing there in my otherwise healthy brain.  Or whether or not Waldo’s presence is actually the one causing my limbs to tingle like Bella on the day she met her sparkly Edward or for my right side to occasionally go numb in a way that makes me think I might do well cast as an extra on The Walking Dead.

Or the BIZ brain fog.  Surely there’s a chance that my blonde hair is weighing me down, but more likely I am letting the stress of waiting for answers muck up my short-term memory.

That’s kind of what unanswered questions do—they can make you a little crazy sometimes.

Will that boy ever love me?

Am I going to get into the college of my dreams?

What will agent 99 say about my novel? (And will I get the call on my shoe phone?)

And the big one:  Am I going to get an answer that I want to hear?

Waiting for those answers is kind of like trying to find Waldo.  Sometimes it’s quick and other times we get stuck staring at that page filled with a million characters in varying shades of red and white wondering when we’re going to see him.

coleen finds waldo _opt

If you can’t beat ’em join ’em?

 

Except turning the page is an option.  Waiting doesn’t always have to feel like sitting in Limbo’s plastic chair reading a People magazine from 1999 while time resumes its frenetic pace around us.

 

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

~Bradley Whitford

 

In the meantime, I’m gonna keep on keeping on.

First stop is the aisle where they sell the um, B 12.

Because apparently that’s the BIZ.

 

What do you do when you get stuck waiting on the unanswered questions?

 

 

 

 

Questioning the Power of Positivity

This weekend I watched a bit on a news program that questioned the power of positive thinking.

“If things don’t go well, if you get sick, or if you lose your job, or fall into poverty, it must be your fault because you weren’t sending the right thoughts out into the universe,” said Barbara Ehrenreich, a breast cancer survivor and the author of Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America.

According to Ehrenreich, Americans discount reality for “magical thinking,” and she puts her stock in realism, rather than the promotion of positive thinking when it comes to dealing with adversity.

But adversity is a gift, right?  We’ve all heard that, but then again some gifts suck.

Remember Ralphie wearing his gift from Aunt Clara in A Christmas Story?

It’s okay to not be okay with what arrives at our doorstep. It’s normal to feel angry, sad or confused. It’s okay to want to cry, even wallow. Our feelings are real, even if you feel like no one else feels the same way.

Ehrenreich mentioned feeling guilty for not feeling the can do positive spirit during her bout with cancer, and she said she was tired of feeling guilty.

And it’s easy to feel guilty if you think you’re supposed to smile over the pain, the depression and the fact that life as you knew it feels over. And even more guilt inducing if you complain only to hear: “I was complaining that I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet.” (Confucius)

No one should be made to feel guilty about their choice of focus. Your adversity, your choice.

But what is guilt? Could it be something wired in us to perhaps get us to rethink our direction? If we are struggling with our reaction to something, is it because we want to think differently?

There are plenty of people who disagree with Ehrenreich, in fact many say making a plan for hope actually aids in mental healing.

Because there is scientific proof that positivity is helpful. “I think there is a part of attitude that may play a role, and we’re still trying to understand that,” said Dr. Barry Boyd, oncologist and director of nutrition and cancer for the Yale Health System. “Working to build hope and build optimism may, in some individuals, change the biology of their cancer.”

Of course there are experts who disagree. “I think there’s a ton of pressure based on the belief that if they’re positive that they’ll live longer,” said Dr. James Coyne a University of Pennsylvania psychologist. “And then the downside of that is that if they deteriorate and they ultimately die of cancer, that they are somehow left being blamed: If only they had been more positive.”

But positivity is not about denial, but about interpretation. Your feelings are true and you can’t help what you feel, but you can help what you do about those feelings.

Crap happens and no one is immune, but how does staying in the crappy moment of that reality do any good?  What is wrong with hope?  Why does deciding to focus on the positive equal fantasy?

Positivity isn’t a Pollyanna view. It doesn’t mean ignoring realities or neglecting self-care for good thoughts. There’s a difference between Pollyanna and making a plan for how to live the rest of your life after facing adversity.

Just because you look toward the bright side, doesn’t mean you are blinded from the truth.

I don’t think the power of positive thinking is about living LONGER, it’s about living BETTER.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. in fact our response is the only thing we control.
In our response lies our growth and freedom.“
– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

But not everyone believes that, and that is their prerogative. Some find value in cynicism, in much the same way some enjoy their Pollyanna glasses.

“One man’s toxic sludge is another man’s potpourri.”   How the Grinch stole Christmas (2000)

In fact while looking at the reviews of several popular self-help books I saw plenty of negative ones that read, a lot of glass half full crap.

Cynical, right? But then again, that person not only read that self help book, but took the time to write a review.

Maybe they didn’t find what they were looking for, but still they were looking for something.

In the meantime, positive thinking is there for the taking.

What do you think about the power of positive thinking?

Hope Will Find You

 

 

All week I’ve been reading great flash fiction written by my fellow campaigners, most of which start with The door swung open and end with The door swung shut. So, it was interesting when I also read an inspiring memoir, Hope Will Find You, by Naomi Levy that offered a new take on the following saying:

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.–Alexander Graham Bell

It’s optimistic, but it also seems to require a faith or hope that we might be struggling for, depending on what is behind our closed door. If we’ve lost our faith or sense of hope, then we focus on the failure, the disappointment or the sadness.

Sometimes we stay there simply because we are waiting for improvement, good news, or The Hope.

In her book, Naomi suggests that we don’t wait. Instead, she says to turn around, face that new place and live. No matter what, keep moving forward, because that’s the space where hope will find you.

Like Dorrie from Finding Nemo said, “Just keep swimming.”

We might not have had any control over that door slamming, but we are in control of our attitude and focus. How we view our life is a matter of perception.

 

“Hope is about stepping inside life instead of waiting on the sidelines. It’s about welcoming what’s there. Because when you open yourself to it, hope is everywhere.”

What are you focusing on? Will you be ready when hope tracks you down?

*              *             *

In other news, thanks so much to Ruth Schiffman for giving me the Liebster Blog award. I will be posting my five nominations soon!

Also, I am hoping to track down all the blogs I started following with Google Friend Connect. I clicked it many, many times this past week and only one, lovely, blog is listed in my account (even after I click “manage blogs” as the help site suggested). Where did they all go? I don’t know, but now I am adding blogs manually to Google reader. I know I am missing a bunch, but I am sure I will come across them again as the campaign continues.

And thanks to everyone for the blog love, and to Deniz for letting me know my poem made the short list for stage two.   Have a great week!