Lucky To Be Alive


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I love life because what more is there?

~Anthony Hopkins

Life is the most amazing miracle ever! You and I are pretty lucky just to be alive. The odds of our parents even meeting were 1 in 20,000. The odds that they would stay together long enough to have children were 1 in 2000.

And that’s just your parents, the odds are so much smaller when you consider all the other variables!

We could spend our entire lifetimes just marveling about how our heart pumps blood through our vessels, how our lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, the way our body works to sustain and repair itself and keep us going without any conscious effort on our part.

If you think about it, it is really quite remarkable!

But life is so much more than that. Life is about learning how to love and respect ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbours, our beautiful planet, and all the abundant life that exists on its surface. Life provides us an opportunity to exercise compassion, practice sacrifice, overcome fear and grow in courage and humility.

I do not want to squander my time here. How about you?


The Odds Infographic

My Name


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My Name

Why don’t you ask me

How long I’ve been waiting

Set down on the road

With the gunshots exploding

I’m waiting for you

In the gloom and the blazing

I’m waiting for you

I sing like a slave I know

I should know better

I’ve learned all my lessons

Right down to the letter

And still I go on like this

Year after year

Waiting for miracles

And shaking with fear 

Why don’t you answer

Why don’t you come save me

Show me how to use

All these things

That you gave me

Turn me inside out

So my bones can save me

Turn me inside out 

You’ve come this close

You can come even closer

The gunshots get louder

And the world spins faster

And things just get further

And further apart

The head from the hands

And the hands from the heart 

One thing that’s true

Is the way that I love him

The earth down below

And the sky up above him

And still I go on like this

Day after day

Still I go on like this 

Now I’ve said this

I already feel stronger

I can’t keep waiting for you

Any longer

I need you now

Not someday

When I’m ready

Come down on the road

Come down on the road 

My name, my name

Nothing is the same

I won’t go back

The way I came  

~ Lhasa De Sela


Friday Pick 205 – Acknowledge the Elephant



I’ve been following Magnolia Beginnings for quite some time and was thrilled to be directed to Magnolia New Beginnings a few days ago where I read the post I’ve chosen for my Friday Pick this week. For almost two years now, I’ve been working at an organization that provides safe and sober homes to men and women who are in recovery from addictions and thought the post below was filled with great advice. But don’t take my word for it, go ahead and read Marybeth’s story for yourself!

Magnolia’s New Beginning’s mission:

Magnolia New Beginnings, Inc. is dedicated to advocating for those affected with a substance use disorder, creating educational opportunities to inform and raise awareness about substance abuse, and supporting those with this disease and their families in the process of seeking recovery, maintaining sobriety, and reaching their highest potential through a new beginning...

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Marybeth shares advice on how to support parents who have lost children to addiction…

Acknowledge the Elephant by Marybeth Cichocki on Magnolia New Beginnings


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

When Someone Loves You…


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When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.

Billy – age 4

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤  Love  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Some say…

Love is a feeling dependent on current circumstances. Love is a made up human construct. Love is finicky. Love is possessing. Love hurts. Love doesn’t last. Love is a nice word for lust. Love must be earned. I’ll only love you if you love me. Love means you would take the blame for me. Love means I own you. Love makes you weak. Love is irrational.

Others say…

Love your neighbor as yourself. Love is a verb. Love is forever. Love is unconditional. Love is the answer to every question. Love is selfless. Love is letting go. Love is an act of your will. Love nourishes. Love wants the best for you. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love makes you strong. Love makes you feel like you belong.

I have heard so much about love and what it means to people. But never have I heard such an eloquent way to describe love as stated by 4-year old Billy in the above quote.


What do you say?

Let’s Talk #BellLetsTalk

Please read this important post, written by friend Louise Gallagher about mental health #BellLetsTalk

Dare boldly

bell-lets-talkI am crazy about my mental health.

Crazy about being healthy of mind, strong of body, and spirit.

I am crazy about keeping my mind focused, sharp, capable of thinking great things, capable of guiding me through each day without pulling me off track into the darkness of darkness, the sadness of sadness that blankets every thought, every word, every thing when depression hits.

I am crazy in love with being free of thoughts that would drag me down into the swamp of believing the only way out of life is death. Death is part of life, but it is not the all of life. and that’s what depression would have me believe.

I am not depressed.

I do not suffer from depression.


I had a big encounter with it. Once.  I was in a relationship that was almost killing me. I wanted to die. I thought about ways…

View original post 319 more words

The One in the Arena


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There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities – all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier, save only the role of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Teddy Roosevelt


The Ring With The Blue Stone


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My parents in 1960 and the ring with the blue stone

My parents in 1960 and the ring with the blue stone

When you want to build something, you start with a good foundation. When you want to understand something, you start with the fundamental pillars of the subject. In other words, you learn the history, the mechanics of it, the whys and whats and wheres.

In the same way,  when you feel lost, it helps to go back to where you began so you can remember where you came from, what you have learned about this business of living, what you truly long for in life, and how you can get it and how you can share your gifts with the world. Sometimes you grab onto a symbol of the past and carry it with you like a talisman that you can look at, or touch when you need to be grounded.

Since Dad passed away, I’ve been in kind of a fog. I got the basics covered, you know…  I wake up, brush my teeth, shower, dress, exercise, go to work, eat, go to bed and start it all over again the next day. 

But I’ve lost a bit of my oomph.

A bit of my zest for life.

Dad was always my rock.

He had this way of making me feel secure and letting me know that he was there for me, no matter what.

My Plan B, if Plan A should fail.

Although I rarely resorted to Plan B, I knew I could if I had to, I knew it was there if I needed it.  

This past New Year’s Eve, as I was deciding which piece of jewelry to wear for an event I was attending, I came across the ring with the blue stone. The ring that cost forty dollars in 1960 and took Dad several weeks of saving so he could buy it for Mom to celebrate their first anniversary.

Dad was so upset when Mom gave me that ring almost thirty years later. But I’m so glad she did, so I could find it on the last day of 2016 and slip it on my finger. And with the wearing of it, remember the values he taught me and the traits he exemplified; like a good work ethic, empathy, diplomacy, loyalty and strength of character.  

What a gift!

What a great foundation from which to find my way again!


How To Set The World On Fire


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Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire.

St. Catherine of Siena

There was a time when it was considered good and sensible to accept one’s lot in life with grace and gratitude. A time when if your father was a servant, it would follow that you would be a servant, and your son would be a servant.

These days, we tell ourselves that we can be whoever we want to be. Some folks achieve their dreams, many don’t.

I wonder have we set ourselves up for failure and ultimately, a life of misery because of it?

Just as with any stream of contemporary thought in any given time in human history, when we examine our ideals over a long period of time, we discover that the pendulum has swung from one extreme to another.

So I find myself thinking it best that the pendulum rest somewhere in the middle.

That it doesn’t have to be completely this way or that.

That purpose can be found in this way AND that.

That any person using their unique gifts can set their world on fire; no matter their station in life.


Friday Pick 204 – Checklist for Happiness



It’s probably no surprise to anyone who has read my blog that I am drawn to optimists. And the writer of Destined for Greatness sure fits that bill. I hope you enjoy the post I’ve chosen for this week’s Friday Pick and perhaps, like me, you will decide to click her follow button once you read it. Enjoy!

In Destined for Greater Thing’s own words:

…I write based on my life as a highschool teacher (a career I absolutely love); my daily experiences; my own life’s challenges; and through the information that I have learned by reading articles, literature, and watching documentaries that explore self-growth.  I’m a positive thinker (train myself to be when I’m not) and my inquisitive mind about life has led me here.…

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Destined for Greater Things shares the good news that we have more say in our happiness than we might think… 

Checklist for Happiness by Destined for Greater Things


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

Dear President Obama


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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2016, for a state dinner. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2016, for a state dinner. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Just a quick note to thank you and Michelle for being great examples of what leadership should look like.

I want to thank you both for all you did, and tried to do to make the United States and the world a more tolerant and safe and inclusive place. For ensuring that more folks had access to health care, for bringing hope to whole communities that had no hope before, for making tough choices, and patiently with humility, building solid relationships on the world stage.  And most of all, for doing it with the poise, dignity, passion, integrity, compassion and sense of humour that should be the norm for any person who occupies a position of power.

No single person is perfect, or always gets everything right, but I believe that you did the best you could within the choices you had, and I for one, felt that I could breathe a little easier, even from way over here in Canada.

I wish you and Michelle all the very best and I know that you will continue to make a significant mark in whatever challenge you take on next.

Well done and thanks again,

Diana Schwenk, Alberta, Canada