As a life longer learner, I love experiencing and learning new things. I can’t say I always enjoy everything I attempt, but I am willing to give most things, within reason, a try. Disclaimer ……the older I get, the lower to the ground and less dangerous new challenges become…..haha.
My girlfriend and I had the opportunity to take an iPhonography camera class…..you heard right…..iPhone. The young people smirked or laughed when I confessed, and the rest I told, thought it was rather clever. My kids can both manipulate their phones quickly to edit photos within minutes, even seconds; I, on the other hand, know little about the editing options.
The camera class was about four and a half hours away by car, so we were able to plan a quick, girl’s get-away adventure. It not only provided us a chance to learn something new in a classroom setting, but gave us time to create fun new memories outside the classroom as well, basically a win/win situation.
We not only experienced a great class, but also learned other things as a direct result of our travels. We met several nice people along the way, and discovered just how small our world is, when it comes to human connection. When you extend a hand or offer a smile, people are genuinely pleased to strike up a conversation or volunteer a smile in return. While chatting about common topics, you learn just how similar life circumstances and experiences can be, between strangers.
If you haven’t recently thought about learning something new, I encourage you to keep your eyes, heart, and mind open. We can learn so much just by watching and listening. It doesn’t take signing up for a class, or even going four and a half hours away, but just the willingness of learning something new.
Recently I celebrated a birthday and was able to enjoy a special meal with my Dad, just like earlier years. Growing up, my Dad had a yearly birthday tradition with my sister, brothers and me. He would take the birthday girl or boy out to dinner. It has to be one of my favorite family tradition memories, ever.
My Dad would make a date, and clear it with my Mom, then would let us choose the restaurant. Sometimes it was known by the rest of the family where the two were headed, and other times it was a complete mystery. I am not sure if my siblings sometimes kept the chosen place secret, but my Dad and I did. When someone would ask about our night and the place we went……we would look at each other, and he would give me a wink and a smile, and we would talk like we went to another place……it was our secret to share.
On the way home from dinner, my Dad would stop at the nearest Fannie May or candy store and let us pick up a special treat for the kids left at home. Most times, I remember giving, as well as receiving, those giant brightly colored swirled lollipops…..that never get finished, because they are so big.
Family traditions connect us to our loved ones near and far, and can last for years and even generations. They build bonds and can cross miles and time zones. Traditions may come and go, but the memories remain in our hearts.
The recent rekindled tradition with my Dad meant so much to me; and brought back many happy memories. To this day, my favorite place has never been revealed to my family, and I am not even sure my Dad would remember, but to me it was special in every way, and unforgettable. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Maybe one day I will reveal our secret….for now, those memories are etched deep within my heart.
Every year for the last four years or so, my group of girlfriends come together at the beginning of the summer season to plant friendship pots. Everyone brings whatever flowers or plants they want to share. There are no rules or guidelines…..just bring a favorite; then we build our friendship pots from the beautiful assortment that shows up.
It’s both a mystery and a surprise on what our summer flower arrangements will look like. They are all uniquely different year after year, yet include most of the same flowers and folage. The selection of choices are varied, there are sturdy ones, fragile ones, tall ones, short ones, some that need lots of sun and others that require little, and some that depend on a mix of both sun and shade. A few flowers seem friendly like daisies, or sassy like snap dragons, others are delicate, and some that appear wispy. They all have different colors, personalities, quirks and traits that make them wonderfully special and unique.
Just like the friendships we bring to the table, we all bring something wonderfully unique and special to the relationship that blends together to build the imperfectly, perfect, circle of friends we’ve come to depend on.
The girls all look forward to this special day once a year to create the beautiful summer friendship pots. We are blessed to watch our creations bloom all summer long, but even more blessed to continue to witness our friendships in bloom. This makes for a fabulous year-round garden of friends. Love you crazy girls!!
Do you ever feel like you are in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight? Your goal is to get to the other side, but no matter how long you’ve been on your journey, you see nothing but overwhelm in the distance, and getting across seems almost impossible. If this sounds familiar, then you’re in good company.
Setting goals are necessary for growth. It doesn’t matter how big or small the goals are, they are all important. You set sail….knowing your objective is out there on the horizon. At first water is all you encounter, but you continue to push forward. Some days are more turbulent than others, switching between calm and rough seas. Just when you feel like giving up, you see a glimmer, just a glimpse of what it looks like on the other side. This sneak peek is what urges you to forge ahead. You begin to see more and more of what that end result could be.
Sailing your ship you learn new things, gaining both experience and confidence with every new step. Reaching land is the ultimate destination, and you rejoice in your victory. You have conquered the goal, but before you know it, you are back at the helm, ready for your next journey.
We strive to conquer a goal and once we achieve it, it’s time to stretch ourselves again by weathering the storm and sailing our ship to the next destination.