Me in the Middle ~ Welcome 2019 (Our last ‘Normal’ Year!) Bring It On 2022 Challenges

New Year 2019

********************

Courage, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Tolerance, Joyfulness and Service.

So how did I do over this past year of 2018?  None of these virtues come to any of us that easily.  It takes a transcendent mindset to be able to rise above the very human struggles we all go through no matter what our age.

Courage ~It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
— Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Forgiveness ~ “It doesn’t mean that you’re excusing someone for past wrongs, but it does mean you’re no longer going to allow those wrongs to rule your life” ~ Sue Fitzmaurice

Gratitude ~”I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness–it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” ~ Brene Brown

Tolerance ~ “I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Joyfulness ~ “Joy is a door opening to the Divine, to God, to the Universe.  Joy is the flow of Spirit within us.  It is so powerful that it can heal our bodies and soften our hearts at the same time.  It is the manifestation of love and has the power the change the world.” ~ Sue Fitzmaurice

Service ~ “If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.”  Aung San Suu Kyi

New Year 2019 #5b

Image by MLQ

Me in the Middle ~ 9/11 Poem ~ 20th Anniversary

Photo by Thomas E. Franklin, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

 

I discovered a poem I wrote on September 22, 2001 so I thought I’d share it on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11:

*********************

~ THEY HAVE NOT DIED IN VAIN ~

If we see life a bit clearer and appreciate its beauty
and glory alongside its horror and sorrow ~
They have not died in vain.

If we’ve reached out to those we love and
opened our hearts a bit more in trust ~
They have not died in vain.

If we’ve learned beyond a doubt that politics and religion
can be dividers of people as well as reconcilers of people ~
They have not died in vain

If we now know that God’s grace and love resides in the
hearts of individuals regardless of race, creed or country ~
They have not died in vain.

Freedom or fear; Love or fear; Courage or fear ~
Everyday battles fought in everyday lives.

If we can believe that the way we live our lives;
The way we treat each other;
And the way we respond to hatred and evil
will bring about change in this world ~
Then they have not died in vain.

~ Mary Lou ~

(Dedicated to the Victims and Families of September 11, 2001)

********************

9/11 ~ Twenty Years Later

********************

The sense of national unity is not there today!

We squandered the global unity and sense of purpose that brought us together on 9/11.”

Garrett Graff (author of The Only Plane in the Sky ~ An oral history of 9/11)

“There’s actually a very direct line between the unity that we experienced after 9/11, the decisions that we made as a government, and our sense of partisanship and polarization that continues to this day now.”

Follow the link for interview with author:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/the-direct-line-between-national-unity-after-9-11-and-partisan-polarization-in-2021?fbclid=IwAR0dKnPrqfnjv2LlP0VQOYyT9w-TMFC2i6R02ts1EOjTNd1lglk9Fp-L2qE

Me in the Middle of Being Grateful 2020 during COVID-Times

November Grid

A Dozen Gratitudes for 2019

(This Dozen Gratitudes List was originally written for 2017. It still remains a very meaningful list for 2019. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! )

  1.  For the cup of hot coffee I’m holding in hand while I ponder about this year and how quickly it’s flown by.  Grateful for still being here!

  2. For the ability to distance myself from the noise and drama of this year’s political events.

  3. For the hope that still swells up in my heart with a belief in the goodness and kindness of most people.

  4. For a safe dwelling and a supportive community that recognizes the needs of those of us who are aging.  I’m grateful to those who have filled a need for me this past year. 

  5. For my ‘young-at-heart’ mind that continues to love being creative in my retirement years.  Here’s to more watercolor sketching and creative writing.

  6. For our ‘genius’ system of government which continues to weather through all sorts of abuses yet, hopefully, continues to survive and thrive.  “The presidency is bigger than one man.” ~ President G. W Bush

  7. For the knowledge that my life on this earth is drawing to a close and I’m leaving behind five children, and their families, who strive to make this a better world.

  8. For a stronger sense of resilience and knowledge that I have it within me to face anything that comes my way with strength and grace.  No one is going to rescue me.

  9. For lessons learned this past year about myself, about where some people deserve to be in my life and setting healthy boundaries.     

  10. For the present moment because it is truly a precious gift.  Be aware!  Know what works for you in keeping you grounded and seeking the middle ground.

  11. For the higher power, whatever each person sees that to be, that holds me in unconditional Love through it all.  “You’ve always had the power, my dear.” ~ Glinda (Wizard of Oz)

  12. For the courage I’ve found this year to hold on to my convictions and faith within a very complex culture and society.  Trust your intuition.  You’re the best friend you’ll ever have.

Watercolor sketch © Mary Lou

Me in the Middle of Lessons Learned ~ Letter Q (Reblog)

My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme ~ Lessons Learned.  I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.  

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

********************

DSCN3268

************

“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”

~ Thomas Jefferson ~ 

************ 

Find the Courage to Ask Questions and to Express What You Really Want

 ************

 

 

************

Questioning

*************

Rhetorical Question

************

~ Seriously? ~

***************

* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

****  This Alphabet Series is a recycle of the posts I created while participating in the A to Z Challenge in 2016 ***

Me in the Middle of Lessons Learned ~ Letter C (Reblog)

 

My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme ~ Lessons Learned.  I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.   

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

************

DSCN3239

************

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
— Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird.

The only way being Strong can truly be considered courageous  is when we come to that point where there’s no other choice.  Those times where we’re forced to act boldly, and when every part of us is resisting and wanting to run away.  Not always is the ‘warrior’ someone on the battlefield.  More often than not, it’s the person who is obscure and unrecognized.  It’s that determination not to ever give up and to persevere to the end.  After facing that choice enough times over our lives, we know that feeling of courage and we recognize it as a force that brought us through.  We know we can survive anything!

Courage

“I wish I had known from the beginning that I was born a strong woman.  What a difference it would have made!  I wish I’d known that I was born a courageous woman; I’ve spent so much of my life cowering.  How many conversations would I not only have started but finished if I had known I possessed a warrior’s heart?  I wish I’d known that I’d been born to take on the world; I wouldn’t have run from it for so long, but to it with open arms.”

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~  ♥

Courage

 

* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

****  This Alphabet Series is a recycle of the posts I created while participating in the A to Z Challenge in 2016 ***