Better than Unicorns

Excellence is a habit – 5 tips to be a better you.

I have this quote from Aristotle on my desktop at work to remind me that it takes practice and consistency to get better and achieve excellence. Getting better to me is making incremental improvements, either in health, talents, or habits. Small acts done consistently over time become big habits.

Excellence

Continue reading “Better than Unicorns”

Evoking Childhood Memories

While I know my great-grandmother’s garden is long-gone, I can only hope some of the golden poppies, purple daisies, or fuchsias still remain.

Do fragrances ever evoke memories for you? Our sense of smell is in close proximity to our memories in the brain. For me, certain floral perfume smells remind me of the beautiful and fragrant flowers growing in my Great-Grandmother’s garden when I was a kid. I am a “California girl living in Texas,” having moved to Texas over 20 years ago, and oh, how I miss my home state. If I could live anywhere, I would probably move back to California near the coast.

purple-daisy

My mother grew up in Pacific Grove. My grandmother taught at the elementary school for years. My great-grandmother had a little house there with a big garden. I think that is where my love of gardening and growing flowers and looking at things bloom and thrive comes from. It seemed like my great-grandmother could grow anything IN anything. I remember succulents growing in old shoes and frying pans! She grew succulents way before it became trendy and cool.

She was still tending her garden, even into her 90s, when she passed in 1974. And in the winter of 1975, an article was written in the San Jose Mercury News California Today section called “Moods in Haiku” by Peter DiVenere. He took several wonderful pictures of my great-grandmother’s garden and her tending to it, and wrote the following haiku:

ca-poppy

Gold long forgotten
Beauty and riches remain
California poppy

Flowers everywhere | In the garden a painting | California poppies

Wild upon the hills | As in days long gone today’s | Poppies embrace you

The garden path ends | She gathers blossoms with her smile | Autumn of the year

musk_thistle_01

Thorny thistles thrives | Old post reflects all past glory | Purple beacon shines

The tale of Genji | The charm of his disposition | Lady Murasaki

By the garden fence | Purple clusters feel the breeze | Safe from the mower

pink-fuschias

Pink blossoms aglow | Anticipating stories of | Far flown places

fuschias

Hanging from a branch | Fuchsias are doing nothing | On a summer day

Tiny little fuchsias | Dangling from tender branches | Just before the dawn

I would love to go back to Pacific Grove to see where my grandmother’s house was, to see if the old brick wall surrounding it still stands. And to go to my great-grandmother’s house to see if any of the flowers remain. While I know her garden is long-gone as the lot was sold to build another house on after she passed, I can only hope some of the golden poppies, purple daisies, or fuchsias that she tended to still remain.

In so many ways I am like my great grandmother. We were both only 5’4″ in a family of tall people. My mom now thinks her grandmother also suffered from fibromyalgia. It would be interesting to find some genetic link to this condition.

Oh, how I wish we had kept that property and still had my great grandmother’s beautiful garden…oh the memories that can be stirred up from a scent of a flower or of a perfume…

Picture of the original article I have had tucked away

Do perfumes or smells bring back memories for you?

Cheers!

Cynthia

via Daily Prompt: Perfume

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Choose Happiness

Today, March 20th, is the International Day of Happiness and it’s not too late to join the movement. Visit the link, sign the pledge, and help spread happiness. I believe happiness is a choice. I choose to live my life deliberately and intentionally. I choose happiness and joy. You can too!

“I will try to create more happiness in the world around me.”

There are ten key aspects to living a happy and fulfilled life, according to research. All ten of these things are within our control:

10keystohappiness

It’s a powerful thing to recognize that your happiness is controlled by you, and your actions and choices. Continue reading “Choose Happiness”

Pushing Through the Pain

For years I was one who tried to suffer in silence and push through the pain, rather than share my ailments with anyone who will listen. But I started blogging as an attempt to verbalize life with fibromyalgia and share those things that I find helpful or inspiring in my every day life. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been absent from here for a few months as I try to deal with a new pain in my neck. Literally.

technicaldifficulty

I had surgery five years ago to fuse a disc in my neck, and I am again suffering. Even though my neck surgery gave me immediate and lasting relief from the pain, headaches, spasms, etc., I haven’t been completely pain free. My doctor says that for every year post surgery your chances of degeneration on the discs adjacent increases about 5-fold. I recognize that I will have some level of chronic pain for the rest of my life between fibromyalgia, chronic lower back pain, and my neck. But the severity of the pain and side effects has become unbearable the last few months. Continue reading “Pushing Through the Pain”

I Can Do Something

I love to find inspiring words and share them with others and find ways to apply them to my life. After all, the fun in life is sharing, caring, loving, and giving. Yes, I truly believe that.

“I can’t do everything but I can do SOMETHING. I will not let the things I cannot do prevent me from doing the things I can.” ~ Helen Keller

It’s been a few months since my last blog post. My absence can be attributed to two things: First, with my daughter now away at college and my son working full time, I have found I have free time to find what I enjoy doing and am passionate about. That time has been spent volunteering and being active with my leadership alumni group of friends. The second more compelling reason for my absence has been related to a new/old health issue that has been causing me a tremendous amount of pain. Chronic pain is a real energy drain. So any spare time I have had lately has been spent resting, visiting doctors, researching the problem, and trying to feel better. (More on this in another blog…)

While chronic pain may limit the things I can do physically, I am able to share my other talents by volunteering. Giving back. Sometimes the selfless act of helping others can help us forget the pains we suffer. So I volunteer with Women in Technology at girls STEM events, and I joined the board of a local food pantry (who is so much more to the community) to try to help them make a difference. As the quote notes, I can’t do EVERYTHING, although Lord knows I have tried. But I can do SOMETHING.

Do you volunteer? I would love to hear the sorts of things you do.

Cheers!

Cynthia

Daily Prompt: Hopeful

via Daily Prompt: Hopeful

Most years have their ups and downs, but 2016 seemed particularly trying for me. I am eternally hopeful that 2017 starts out peaceful and remains healthy, happy, and prosperous for me and my family, friends, and all of you. Prosperity, success, and wealth have different meanings for everyone, so find what has significance for you.

Here’s a little quote that embodies today’s prompt for me:

“Know your own HAPPINESS. Want for nothing but PATIENCE – or give it a more fascinating name. Call it ‘HOPE‘.”

~ Jane Austen from Sense and Sensibility

Have a safe and Happy New Year! Tomorrow begins a new day, a new adventure, a new you!

Cheers!

Cynthia

kona
Sunset in Kona, Hawaii

 

 

Gratitude and Coffee

I am a wife. A mother. A daughter. A sister. An employee. A boss. A volunteer. A board member. A friend. A neighbor. A fibro-warrior. I am also tired. And I managed to survive yet another year and yet another holiday season, though this year has been quite trying and tiring for me personally and professionally. Tired isn’t just a state of mind for me, it’s a fact of life. Living with fibromyalgia I never know from day to day how I will feel. The last few weeks my social media and blogging presence have been waning, as I have been taking a bit of a self-imposed break. I have been trying to rest physically, mentally, and spiritually.

This morning I started my day writing in my gratitude journal and drinking my coffee, sitting in a quiet and peaceful house. I realized I hadn’t taken the time to properly thank several people, as I have been #blessed recently to have won a variety of prizes from various bloggers and businesses. (Up until recently, I considered myself one of those people who never won anything!)

It started early in November when I won the grand prize gift basket at a ladies holiday event given by a local Chamber of Commerce, with a variety of prizes from local retailers and restaurants. I used some of the restaurant gift cards to bless others with meals. That prize was the result of a charitable donation I made to a local non-profit. You know what they say about the riches you receive when you give… Continue reading “Gratitude and Coffee”