Life is…

Life is a celebration…

As we end one year and prepare to begin another, it’s a great time to reflect.

What have I completed, and what will I begin?

How did I fail, and how will I succeed?

Who did I help, and who will I help?

What is my true mission?

I found this great reminder (as I often do) in a quote from Mother Teresa:

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.”

 To this list, I’d add:

Life is a journey, explore it.

Life is failure, learn from it.

Life is service, give it.

Life is a gift, share it.

Life is a celebration, enjoy it!

© 2014 Bob Dailey.  All rights reserved.

The Candy Store

Imagine you’re a candy lover…

Imagine you’re a candy lover.  You like all types of candy.  Actually, that’s not so hard to imagine for most of us.

Imagine you’re placed inside a candy store.  Every type of candy is there.  All of your favorites, and some that you’ve always wanted to try, are right there for you.  New flavors arrive all the time.

You get to have as much candy as you want.  No worries about calories, sugar content, cavities, or the inevitable sugar crash.  Just great candy, and it’s all yours.

Two rules:

  • you only get thirty minutes
  • you can’t take any of the candy with you

I’ve come to view life as that candy store…especially since I’ve been in here for at least fifteen of my minutes.

Here are seven things I’ve learned about the candy store, so far:

  1. It’s important to get the lay of the land before grabbing handfuls of candy.
  2. The best flavors are the most subtle, and often take time to enjoy.
  3. Some candy flavors mix well, others, not so much.
  4. I’ll never be able to taste all of the candy in the store, and that’s okay.
  5. There are just about as many sour candies as there are sweet.  The sour ones help me appreciate the sweet flavors even more.
  6. Most of the candy melts in your hand if you hold on to it for too long.
  7. The best candy, whether sweet or sour, is the candy that you share with those you love.

The Bargains We Make

I bargained with Life for a penny…

I came across this classic poem recently:

My Wage

I bargained with Life for a penny,

And Life would pay no more,

However I begged at evening

When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,

He gives you what you ask.

But once you have set the wages,

Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,

Only to learn dismayed,

That any wage I had asked of Life,

Life would have willingly paid.

–by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse (1869-1948)

My Question for You

What is your bargain with Life?

Are you working for a penny, or something more?

How about your end of the deal?

Are you even keeping score?

If we get out of Life,

Only what we ask,

I say go for the Moon,

And reach for the stars.

But, are you willing to bear the task?

Your Ten Best Days

What if you could choose the ten best days in your life and relive them as many times as you want?  You only get to choose ten.

How would you go about choosing your ten best? Here are some possibilities to kick-start your thought process (in no particular order):

  • The day you learned to ride a bike
  • The day you lost your first tooth
  • The day you hit your first homerun
  • The day you got your driver’s license
  • The day you graduated from high school
  • The day you graduated from college
  • The day you received your first paycheck
  • The day you bought your first car (which might have been the day after you got your first paycheck)
  • Your wedding day
  • The day you finished your first marathon
  • The days your children were born
  • The day you became the boss
  • The day your trained someone else to be the boss
  • The days your children graduated from high school…how about college?
  • The days your children were married
  • Your first visit to the Grand Canyon
  • The day you went to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • The day you and your family swam with dolphins
  • The day the doctor told you that you were cancer free
  • The day you watched your grandson being born (a definite front runner for me)
  • The days you visited your children’s first homes
  • That super hot day when you and your kids went to the Angel game and tried to keep cool with spray bottles
  • The day you zip-lined through a rainforest
  • The day you retired
  • The day you first had a Tommy’s Burger
  • The day you helped a complete stranger

The possibilities are infinite, and everyone’s list is different.  Have you chosen your ten best days yet?  What pictures flash in your mind as you try to decide?

Here’s some good news:  you don’t have to choose just ten.  And, you get to relive your best days any time you’d like.  All you have to do is picture them in your mind, like you just did.

Here’s one more piece of good news:  many of your best days are still in front of you, yet to be enjoyed.

A Spoon’s Perspective

You never know what you’ll find in my blog.  The first time I wrote for the fun of it (which is really what it’s all about), I looked up a website filled with writing prompts.  Just my luck, I randomly picked the prompt below:

Prompt:  Write a short story from the point of view of a spoon in a dishwasher

Here I stand, as always, in this dark place.  Sometimes I get to see the light, but I always seem to find my way back here.  It’s a bit crowded…what is it with this fork and knife?  Why must they always lean on me?

It wasn’t always like this.  I remember quite some time ago, long before arriving here, I used to lay under the lights.  I didn’t get to do much, but it was nice to be appreciated by so many people as they walked by.  Sometimes they would lift me up and turn me from side to side.  I can’t explain their compulsion to lift me from my comfort, but after a little bit of time, I’d always find myself back on the table just as I had been.

Then came the day when everything changed.  I was wrapped up in tissue paper and placed in a box with a whole bunch of other spoons, forks, and knives.  We were in there for quite some time.  I admit that I lost track of time in there.

Just when I had given up hope of ever seeing light again, the box opened and light shined in.  It was incredibly bright and it took me a few minutes to adjust.  A happy couple with a stack of other boxes sat, admiring all of us on their kitchen table.  They didn’t seem to have much furniture.  I remember seeing two lawn chairs in their living room.

And thus, my new life began…work in the morning, lay in the sink throughout the day, and then into this dark place for the night.

The water is coming in now!  I can feel the steam rising from below.  The jets will turn on soon and I won’t be able to think.  The hot water will crash into me with incredible force.  This infernal fork and knife leaning on me is sure getting old.  It is amazing that so much water can be unleashed on us all at once.  Here it comes!

Ahh…finally the first cycle is over.  The water is draining out.  There is always one more cycle.  I don’t understand why, but I feel so clean after the second cycle.  More water!  Hang on!

Another cycle complete, and this is my favorite part.  The orange glow is getting brighter.  The heat is rising.  Any soreness I have is melted away with the heat.  It is very dry.  My nose burns with each breath.  Gosh, it’s hot!  When will this end?  I remember watching a plastic bowl melt in this heat.  He was never the same after that fateful day.  In fact, I never saw him on the bottom rack after that.  I occasionally catch a glimpse of him in the upper rack.  So sad to see him disfigured that way.

I can feel the heat subsiding.  The orange is fading to black.  That should do it.  All I can do is wait until morning and re-emerge for another day.  I wonder if I’ll ever get to lay under the lights again…at least I can dream.

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