Days of Each Life

I went for a regular doctor’s appointment this week, and before I scare you with the title or beginning by talking about a doctor’s visit, I’ll say upfront this isn’t a post saying I only have a few months to live or something. Fortunately, so far, knock on wood, I’m doing okay, so no worries there. 

I mention the visit to the doctor though because we had an interesting conversation. I am lucky to have a doctor who likes to chat a bit while doing the routine heart check. He has kids the same general age as mine so we talked awhile about my recent vacation and about my oldest son’s obsession with roller coasters. 

We also talked about aging (I turn the big 4-0 at the beginning of 2016, so it’s on my mind). He told me of a patient of his, who is on a weight loss & improved fitness journey, that told him he had calculated the number of days he had lived in his life so far compared with how many days he would have left if he lives to an average old age. We both agreed it seemed a bit morbid since the fellow had less days left than days he had already lived, but the guy used the breakdown of days as motivation to make each day count.

I do not want to count out the days lived so far or do the calculation of possible days left, but I liked the incentive to make the days count. We shouldn’t have to wait for a big health concern, for example, to crop up that reminds us our days won’t last forever. We could all do with a reminder to not take a day for granted.

If we stop to think of our days as not being unlimited and each day having such value, it can serve as a great motivator. What do I want to accomplish in my life? What is really important to me? I need to figure those things out, then find out how to make them happen. 

One of the most important things in my world is making sure my kids have the best opportunities and happiest lives possible. My days are filled with activities that I hope give them what they need and want. Tonight that meant going to Six Flags for a few hours, though it probably would have been way easier to stay home and chill. But I make myself go out there because my hope is that the kids will remember these good times. If I only have so many days left (nope, not counting!), I hope to each day make great memories with my guys. 

I have other goals as well, mostly having to do with my writing. If each day counts, then shouldn’t I be more dedicated to getting projects written and completed? Absolutely! It means a lot to look back and see the efforts I have put in and have something to show for it. 

What do you do to make your days count? What is important to you? What do you want to accomplish before you die? How can you make that happen? They are great questions to ask yourself. Feel free to tell me about it in the comments! 

Thanks for reading and have a great week! 

~CJS

Y is for…

 

My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.
 Edit  
I bet you will never guess where I took today’s quote? Ok I bet you will. Though there was a Yoko Ono quote in 365 Days of Wonder, I took this quote from The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said by Robert Byrne which was again very handy because Y can be almost as challenging as X in the A to Z. But tomorrow’s Z is by an author I actually thought of when brainstorming my A to Z, from a favorite book in college. Think you can guess it? Wait til tomorrow and see! πŸ˜€

I chose this one because it was humorous but also because I think there is a ton of potential for story ideas based on the complications of fame, including being misquoted or even reported to have said things you never said. 

Since I took this out of context, I don’t know if he was being funny or simply stating the facts, but my guess is that it’s a mix of both. But even if not famous, I think anyone can relate to having someone say you said something when you know you never did. Maybe someone credits you from being more clever than you actually are – great! Or maybe someone tells lies that are meant to harm. Uh oh, not so good. Maybe an accidental mid-quote leads to all sorts of problems. It’s an interesting start to a lot of story ideas. πŸ˜€

And by the way, I thought for half a second about finding a Yogi the Bear quote, but wasn’t sure what words of wisdom he would have to pass along. But I guess you never know. πŸ˜‰

Have a good Wednesday & I will see you around tomorrow for our last day of the A to Z! 

V is for…

 

  My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.


 

Of all the quotes I collected for this A to Z Challenge, this is one of my favorites. I found this one also in 365 Days of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.

We have all had some difficult moments in life, times when everything seemed dark as night, so the idea of stars being left as a result is beautiful and comforting. 

When I was growing up, my family moved around a lot. We weren’t a military family, but you may have thought so. I went to 4 different high schools, graduating from high school in a state far from the one I’d spent most of my life in. Every time we moved people would say, “Oh, it will give you character!” My siblings and I joked that if we got any more character we’d be a cartoon. πŸ˜€ But for all the drama that may have caused during an already dramatic time, I do believe I was forced to grow because of the challenges of being the new kid. My family became very close and learned quickly that friends come and go, but family will always be there. I know that even though sometimes those times felt like night, stars were definitely left. 

This quote seems a very fertile ground for a writing prompt. It makes me think of a good character development tool. What will the character get from this trial? Or what happened to give him/her this strength? I’ll definitely be holding onto this one. 

What do you think? Does this one speak to you? I know some nights may be darker than others, and I didn’t share the darkest nights for me, but can you see stars left from your dark nights? Feel free to share — or not is okay too. 

Best wishes for a great weekend! 

U is for …

 

 My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.

 I will admit I thought of the author and not the quote so I had to search for a quote to get my U post in, but what a lovely one to stumble upon! This quote comes from Eco’s book, The Name of The Rose.

Some may say love can make us crazy, or makes us do stupid things, or that it hurts. All may be true in some cases, but love also opens our hearts and minds in unbelievable ways. Love can show us a truth we might not otherwise see.

“Love is wiser than wisdom” is a more poetic way of saying what I’ve always believed – that sometimes you have to just listen to your heart. Your head can only know so much and get you so far. Your heart has to get you the rest of the way. 

If you aren’t trusting your heart sometimes, what’s the point? It’s all about love, baby. πŸ˜€ As the Beatles would say, it’s all you need. 

T is for…

 
  My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.


The line above from Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbevilles always really stood out to me, partially for the have/have not but mostly for the strength. 

One of my three sons said once, “Oh boys are way stronger than girls!” After pointing out that grown up ladies are not girls but women, I was quick to point out that women can be just as a strong as men – only in different ways. I told them women may not always be as muscle strong, though there are some mighty strong women who could lift more weights than big guys, but women have to be strong in lots of different ways. I then had to point out the obvious, “Women can grow and give birth to another human being – that’s pretty strong!” But we spent some time discussing ways girls are strong, too. 

There have definitely been times I haven’t felt very strong or even felt like giving up on being strong because it was just too hard. I love Hardy’s words as a reminder that the strength I do have shouldn’t be abandoned just because it’s hard. 

I’m far from perfect, but I know there are things I can look back on with pride for holding on and being strong. Times I could have thrown in the towel and given myself up to my weaker inclinations, but managed not to somehow. Times I can remember when I have doubts and can tell myself that I am indeed strong. 

What does this quote mean to you?  As a woman I think of being a strong woman but if you are a guy reading this, does it speak to you as well? It needn’t be just strong women throwing their strength away, but anyone. What do you say? Tell me in the comments if you’d like.

Thanks

~CJ

R is for…

 

 My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.
 

  

I found this great Roald Dahl quote in 365 Days of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. 

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. 

What magic is he talking about? Are we talking witches and wizards? Probably not, though after reading (and loving) Harry Potter, I would be okay with that if it was Rowling’s wizarding world. Have I mentioned I really wanna go to Hogwarts? Oh like 50 times? Oops, my bad! πŸ˜€ But, hey, I really do! πŸ˜‰

I think Dahl is probably speaking of a different kind of magic. Magic that can be found in all the beautiful details he tells us to be sure to keep our eyes open for as we explore this world. 

Haven’t you ever had the magic of a late summer afternoon sitting on a patio with friends laughing and relaxed and worry free for a time? No, I’m not just talking about the margarita you had on that patio, though the margarita could’ve been quite magical, too.πŸ˜€

What about the magic of a moment watching a child joyfully blowing bubbles at the park with friends? Does it get any better than bubbles for kids sometimes? Pure happiness right there. 

How about the magic of discovering a new place, or a new song, or a new book that sets your heart on fire? 

I’m sure Dahl had his many imaginative types of magic, but his argument that we must believe in some magic to be able to find it is a good reminder – a reminder to be open to the magic all around us. 

What is magic to you? 

L is for…

 

My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.

 

  

Beautiful! I just love this quote, which can be found on the Love Book app. So much greatness is packed into just a few lines. 

“Seize the moments of happiness.” Don’t just let them fly by, grab them! Not every moment will be filled with happiness, so take hold of the moments that are full of happiness. 

“Love and be loved!” Tolstoy doesn’t say Money and more money. He doesn’t call for power then still more power. He doesn’t advise to be famous or be nothing at all. No. Love and be loved! 

“That is the only reality in the world,” Love is what is what it’s all about. Love is all you need. 

“All else is folly.” 

Perfect.