Monday, July 21, 2014

Keep moving forward

Recently, I've been talking to a lot of folks that have me thinking about something. A lot of people I meet are interested in the way I live my life. I try to live life as best I can. I try to learn from everyone and every situation that comes my way. One of the most important things I do is I keep trying.

Sounds simple, right?

I think so, but for some reason, this concept sounds completely foreign to a lot of people. Let me tell you what I mean. More often than not, when people find out I am a writer, they will often tell me about an idea that they have for a story. They also tell me how they are impressed that I have two books out because they aren't sure they could write a book. I try to encourage everyone I meet, so I will usually ask, "Did you ever try?" You know what the most common response is: "No."

If you never try something, how will you ever know if you can do it or not? How about another example? A few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at skimboarding again, a water activity I have not done for over 20 years! Many people I meet on the beach, especially older guys, tell me how much they used to love skimboarding, but they just don't feel like they could do it again. My question for them is the same: How do you know, if you never tried?"

I worry that too many of us give up because we never try. I truly believe in living life to the fullest. We can't do that if we are too afraid to try. Maybe skydiving and extreme sports is too much for most people, but what about the simple things? If you have an idea for a book, you should try writing. I never thought I could write a book. That is the whole reason I did, and now I am about to finish my third book. I wasn't sure if I could skimboard again without seriously hurting myself, but I tried, and now I go all the time. I'm not sure why I ever stopped.

What is something in your life that you could do to make your life fuller, but you are too afraid to try? This week, at least give it another look. Maybe you want to travel, become a chef, write a book, or learn to swim. The possibilities are endless. Whatever you do, keep moving forward, keep trying. It's the advice we give children who are learning something new. I think it is still sound advice for many of us who are adults that are afraid to try.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Finding Christmas July

This past week a friend of mine told me she was watching Keepsake Week on the Hallmark Channel. "Christmas movies were going to be on all week," she said. Normally, the thought of Christmas, especially in July, would be more than enough to drive me insane. However, I've made it a point to learn what I can from every person and situation I come across, so I decided to grit my teeth and take a look. You know what, I actually learned something.

I've talked in previous posts about my dislike of Christmas. Up until a few years ago, I was the biggest Grinch on the planet. My children changed all that. I have been trying my best to provide the best Christmases possible for them. It isn't easy, so I am usually very happy when the season is over. You can imagine how thinking about Christmas in July isn't particularly appealing to me.

Now, back to this past week. What did I learn from watching Christmas movies in the Summer? As much as I dislike Christmas, I still enjoy watching Christmas movies. I did find that watching them in July still felt the same as watching them in December. It felt good to remember the joy of Christmas, even if it is Summer. I think I learned a valuable lesson: you can carry the Spirit of Christmas with you throughout the year.

At Christmastime, we often talk about how we should carry certain aspects of the season with us throughout life. We should always be giving. We should always carry joy with us. You know what I mean? We nod our heads in agreement, but as soon as the season is over, we completely forget. Watching these movies in July reminded me of all of this. Now, I'm not saying I will become one of these folks who tries to keep it Christmas year-round, but I do think we could all benefit from a little Christmas joy once in a while.

I think when it is Christmastime we all try to be a little nicer. We all try to be a little less selfish. We all try to spend time with family and/or friends. We all try to be little happier, even if it is for a short time. Why not try to be the better version of ourselves the whole year? I know, easier said than done. I'm a work in progress, too, but I do think it is worth the effort. Well, these are my thoughts this week. At the very least, it did feel nice to watch some feel-good holiday films for a week. Have a wonderful week, everybody!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fun parenting moment

This past weekend was my son's last one before the end of his break. He returns to school tomorrow, so no more late night movies, which are his favorite thing to do on the weekends. I let him choose all of his movies this past weekend, and I couldn't have been more happy with his selections! We ended up watching some old school movies that totally reminded me of my childhood. These were movies I loved, and I was very happy to have the chance to watch them with him. I was even more happy to hear how much he loves these movies, too!

The first movie we watched was "The Goonies." I wasn't much older than my son is now when I first saw this movie. Of all the films, this one probably holds the most nostalgia for me. I can remember watching it every day for months on end. Now that I have thought about it, I may have watched this movie more times than any other movie in my lifetime. Back then, I think every kid thought they could go on an adventure just like them - truth be told, I still kind of wish I could.

The second movie we watched was "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." I love this movie. I know all of the musical numbers, and who could forget the part of the factory that was edible? The movie is a lot of fun. When I was a kid, it was on television all the time. I'm not sure why, but I'm not complaining. I watched it a lot back then, and I still enjoy watching it now.

The last, of course, was "The Star Wars Trilogy." I have been a Star Wars fan for a very long time, so it was especially nice to hear my son say he liked the movies too. As a child, I had some of the toys, the lunch box, and blanket. I still have some movie items around my house. Those movies just never get old. I love them as much now as I did then. I'm also excited that they are going to make new ones pretty soon.

Honestly, I love every moment with my children. I'm a proud parent all the time, but there is something special about being able to share something with them from my childhood. It's also nice when they enjoy something from my childhood, too. I'm not sure how much of it is actually like it was back then, with editing, commercials, and humor from a totally different time, but it is still a fun experience - one of many that I cherish. So, that's my fun parenting moment. What are some of yours? What movies take you back? Which ones do you like to share with loved ones? Tell me about them. I'd love to hear from you.