Magical Memories

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It’s that time of year again.  Yep, the holiday season is upon us.  And with all the stress of shopping and decorating and wrapping gifts – I LOVE IT!

Every time I open another box of decorations, it’s like I’ve discovered a new treasure.  I unwrap something I forgot I had, or even better, something that brings back a flood of sweet memories.

What is your favorite holiday memory???

One of my greatest is decorating the Christmas tree.  It seemed like every year we had a different style.  Let’s see – there was the silver aluminum tree with a round light that turned to shine four different colors on it.  Then there was the white flocked tree with huge orange ornaments and an orange light illuminating that one.  But my favorite was the live Christmas tree.  That’s the one we would decorate with tinsel.  My Mom would make us hang each strand of tinsel perfectly until they flowed over and around each branch.  It was beautiful – that is until our dog, Daisy, would crawl behind that tree and knock it over.  Yes, every single year you could count on it.  Everyone screamed as the tree crashed to the ground, ornaments shattering everywhere, and Daisy running to hide under the bed.  Looking back now, it was quite a hoot.

So this year, as I decorate my home, sans a dog, I can’t help but smile at the craziness and laughter that always surrounds this time of year.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

So please, take a moment and tell us about your favorite holiday memory.  I’d love to hear it.

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Listen to Their Stories

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I just read that November 23rd is the National Day of Listening.  This intrigued me so I turned to the almighty Google to learn more.

It appears that the Friday after Thanksgiving has been declared a day to listen – actually LISTEN to the people who surround you and hear their stories. It’s a time to record and/or video interviews with your family or friends or even stories about your community.  What a fabulous idea!

You know, it sometimes seems like the people we love will be with us forever, and there’s always tomorrow to listen to their stories, but as you get older you realize that life doesn’t always work that way. 

One of my greatest listening memories was with my Mom and helping her sort through hundreds of photos that she stored in shoe boxes.  Yes, that’s right, shoe boxes!  You see, this was a time before cell phones or computers, so we actually printed our photographs.  My Mom had three shoe boxes overflowing with photos.  Neither my brothers nor I had any idea who the people were smiling back at us in these photographs.  So, for several afternoons in a row, I sat with my Mom as, one by one, I held up a photo and said: “Mom, can you tell me who this is?”

Now, by this time, my Mom had developed dementia and couldn’t remember what she had for lunch, but she could remember with great detail what happened fifty years ago.  And so I listened to her stories.  I never thought of recording them, and to this day, that is one of my greatest regrets.  One thing I do have, though, are those wonderful memories, sitting on her patio with the warmth of the sun shining down on us, hearing the stories of her best friend, Ann, and the fights she had with her sister, and how she met my father.  Those moments we shared together are priceless and those memories will stay with me forever.

So now we come to today and this age of technology.  All we have to do is pull out our cell phone and hit the record button.  Young and old, we all have stories.  Here’s to capturing some of them.  I can’t go back and record my Mom’s voice, but I sure can start today and gather a lifetime of memories with the people who still surround me.

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Friendsgiving

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Friendsgiving – don’t you just love that word? 

Next week is Thanksgiving and for years my family celebrated this holiday with kids and grandkids and parents and everyone within our circle of relatives.  But as I grew older, I wasn’t always able to travel home and be with my family.  It was a lonely time and I did not look forward to spending the holiday alone.  And that’s where my friends came in.

At a time that could have been very empty for me, my friends would welcome me into their dorm room or apartment or house and invite me to join them in an evening of eating and drinking and laughing.  Some of my fondest Thanksgiving memories are with Mike and Christine and Destany and so many others.

So that’s why I love the word Friendsgiving.  It’s a time to be thankful to the many friends that have entered my life.  Some have stayed while others merely passed through, and all are a huge part of who I am today.  Because of them, I hope I welcome others into my life and make them feel welcomed, whether it’s a holiday or not.

So to everyone who is reading this post and to all the lives that you touch, I wish you a sincere Thanksgiving, a heartfelt Friendsgiving and a life filled with all the happiness your heart can hold.

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What’s On Your Bookshelf?

Professional Speaker-Personal Attitude-Positive Attitude

Have you ever read a book that was so compelling, so captivating that it took you deep into the night with your book light on because you just couldn’t put it down?  For me, it’s this book: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.    

I have to warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart.  It follows three women during WWII and how their paths cross, sometimes good and sometimes not so good.  Now, I’ve read other books and seen movies about the concentration camps during that time, and I’ve even visited a couple which was an extremely chilling experience, but nothing consumed me like this book did.  Maybe it’s because one of the characters is from Poland.  Since I’m 100% Polish, it made me wonder about my ancestry and how they were affected by these atrocities.  I never heard any stories from my family, but somehow, someway, someone from my family must have been directly affected.  It’s a terrifying thought. 

Now that I finished this book, I’m taking a little break.  I don’t plan on picking up a new book for a couple of weeks.  However, today, I am heading to the local library.  I just want to sort through the piles, touch a few books, thumb through the pages and see what jumps out at me.  Do you have any suggestions?  Anything I just HAVE to read?  Pretty soon I’ll be ready to take my next adventure through the power of reading.

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