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.
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.
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 NewsCalifornia 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:
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
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 blossoms aglow | Anticipating stories of | Far flown places
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…
Do perfumes or smells bring back memories for you?
Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.
Lately putting together a blog post has been tough, as I have been incredibly busy while still pushing through my neck pain, which then flares my fibromyalgia. I feel like I have lost some of my zip. Work, volunteering on the board of a non-profit, and life in general keeps me busy and tired. But as this is National Volunteer Week, I thought I would share a collection of my favorite inspirational quotes bring the point of volunteering home. I wrote about this a few months back in a post called I Can Do Something, inspired by this quote:
“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
So why do I volunteer?
Giving back to small businesses or non-profit organizations helps society. There are organizations that just couldn’t do what they manage to accomplish without the help of volunteers, given their limited resources.
Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and the ability to contribute to a cause you care about while sharing your talents.
Volunteering helps you build relationships with others who are also passionate about your cause, and gives you a community to belong to.
Like these lofty trees, we sometimes set high goals for ourselves. Awesome goals that inspire us to push ourselves, and maybe try something new. Stretch goals that allow us to demonstrate to others what we are truly capable of achieving. Personally, if I don’t keep moving forward and inching the bar a little higher I really won’t know what I can achieve, will I? Setting lofty goals is good for one’s psyche and personal growth.
“Dreams are Goals with Deadlines.” So continue to Dream a little Bigger. Aim a little Higher. And pursue those lofty goals that may seem out of reach.
“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”
I have said for years that “Sugar is the root of all evil.” I woke up this morning after a decent night’s sleep in fibro flare mode. Pain all over that makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. The reason for this flare is most likely the sugar-crap-fest I had on leftover Halloween Candy and chocolate chip cookies after dinner last night. Shame on me. I know better.
Now sugar is not really the root of ALL evil. But it is pretty bad, nutritionally speaking. It can lead to tooth decay, weight gain, and a myriad of other health issues. It’s so addictive that studies show rats will choose sugar over cocaine. And people flock to coffee shops for their sugar-laden “milk shakes” disguised as coffee drinks. It’s added to a variety of food products. (Hint: Read your labels, people.) For me, I know if I eat crap, I feel like crap. And sugar and bread are my two crappy food weaknesses. So I avoid them, most of the time. Continue reading “Hyperbole: Sugar Is the Root of All Evil”
Picture taken at the Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada (October, 2015)
Challenge Accepted! As I just finished up the two week Blogging Fundamentals, I decided to explore some of the daily prompts. I posted this picture on one of my first blog posts, but figured it was worthy of a repeat for this prompt. Not the best quality picture, I will admit, but I love the fog and the rainbow effect coming off of the water. You see why it is called the RainbowBridge! This picture was taken from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls where I was visiting with my father last year, looking over at New York. It was quite remarkable to just stand and watch the falls in all their majesty. I was in awe! Looking at this brings back the memories of it. I highly recommend it if you ever get the opportunity.Continue reading “Rainbow Bridge”