Family, Life, Quotes, Today I will

National Day of Service 2021

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Steve and I wanted to do something today for #nationaldayofservice. It had to be Covid-19 aware and something important to us. The Covid Aware part was the biggest struggle. What can we do that is adequately socially distanced and we will not risk exposure? Today we chose to take the afternoon, enjoy being outdoors in the cool day sun, and pick up trash. We were not without subject matter to work with!  There are several local parks we like to visit. Some days there is a good bit of trash and it is terribly sad to see. 

There is a growing awareness that single-use plastic is detrimental to the planet. Do you know what’s worse?

Humans.

If we would make better decisions, pick up after ourselves, and work for the good of each other so many issues in life could improve.

I digress. This is not a post about how much humans can sometimes suck. Although, I’m sure as my husband hauled a giant lawn leaf bag full of trash around our favorite park the thought crossed his mind several times.

While there was plenty of trash to pick up, there was beauty worth working for. Nature always finds a way to make us smile. Deer and raccoon tracks were all over Pharr Mill park. Families were using the trails or playing by the water at Frank Liske. From trash to fungi to waterfalls our time outdoors today was wonderful. 

It is not uncommon for us to take trash bags with us when we walk the beach at our favorite Dauphin Island. I believe it will now be a regular part of our park excursions.  The parks that do not have on-site attendants fare poorly.  I expected to need the large trash bag, I did not expect to fill the large trash bag overcapacity.  

Our parks are not able to have their regular clean up events. They are understaffed as it is. Picking up is something that needs to be done, and we don’t mind doing it.  I believe this is a regular task to add to our 2021 goals and I want to find others.

Organizations that rely on volunteers are struggling. They are struggling to raise money for their organization. They are struggling with volunteers and health protocols.  I encourage you to find something you care about and discover how you can contribute. It doesn’t have to be for a specific day. Every day is a great day to work for the good of our community.

 

 

Life, Quotes, Rambles, Today I will

In with Both Feet

It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. - Leonardo da Vinci

#Truth

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is get started. It requires motivation, initiative, and sometimes optimism. Honestly, this should probably be my daily mantra and reminder. Get up. Start your day. Do not snooze that alarm. It is much easier to resist getting started in the morning.

I’ve also resisted getting started writing more.

Last year I decided my goal would be to learn my camera and use it for more than just point and shoot. I was successful. I now shoot in manual mode most of the time and I am editing RAW images.  Still learning, still taking pictures, and continuing that process. Actually, 2020 was the perfect time for that goal. Photography is a great activity for social distancing and trying to stay active.  This year, I have chosen a different activity and one that is not very active. I want to write more and improve my writing. I’ll still embrace my stream of consciousness preference, and I want to broaden my abilities. Years ago I wrote almost daily. I communicated with others across the world in a virtual space. I miss that. It was beneficial to read the perspective of others and be exposed to new ideas, new books, new places. So, for 2021, I’m going to get back to that. I want to improve communication, write more, and keep moving.

With this post, I’m refusing to resist. I’m getting started. One of my favorite authors is American historian James McPherson. I had the pleasure of interviewing him for a grad paper. What stuck the most was his comment that the hardest part of any book was to start writing. It stuck because I have such respect and admiration for his work. How could he struggle to get started? Because he’s human and sometimes that’s what we do.

Here I am, getting started and jumping in with both feet.

Life, Quotes, Rambles, Today I will

Today I Will…

Authors Eileen and Jerry Spinelli provide a wonderful work for daily reflection through the year with quotes, words of wisdom and thoughts for self.  Today I Will is not a work that you should complete in one sitting. It is a work where you complete a short reading each day and take time to marinate on the tidbits offered. I am about a week late starting this reflection, but will share a few thoughts from today.

From January 1

A year of time lies ahead of us. Who knows the countless things, big and small, that will happen?  Much will be out of our control. As for now, at the start of another lap around our star, let’s just drop all distinctions for the moment and simply wish the best for all of us, passengers together on this ship called Earth.

No truer words for me today.  Tomorrow a new adventure starts. I have walked away from the classroom and into the corporate world of learning and organizational development.  As I prepare for this transition I have to question, is this anything like jumping from the frying pan to the fire?  (Nice Southern Grannyism with that phrase, don’t ya think?) It is exciting, exhilarating, and anxiety inducing all at the same time.  All normal feelings with anything new.

I do not know what lies ahead. I do not know what will happen over the next 3, 6, 9 months…or even the next year. I do know that I chose this path.  There were two roads, and I chose the one less traveled. It would have been much easier to stay in my comfort zone and trudge along for the next 10-15 years and retire. However, I have never chosen to stick within the comfort zone. It is much more exciting, much more self satisfying to embark on a new journey, and choose the road less traveled.

So many stay with the same job, or same career, even when they are miserable.  Life is for living. You are not living if you are not receive joy out of what you are doing. You are simply existing. Tomorrow, I jump, not without a parachute. For the time being, I will hold on to my teaching license. If this does not work out, I can go back to the classroom.  But, I have wanted this for so long. I know there will be bumps in the road. I know that there will be frustrations. You cannot escape the frustrations of life.  I also know, that I will give my all and embrace the possibilities.

I will leave you with my favorite words from Robert Frost. Here’s to a new year and a new path.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

 

Live life. Give joy. Be at Peace.