Self Growth: Are You Going Through Life or Are You Growing Through Life

Quotes and Thoughts about Expanding Your World

Zig Ziglar quote about growth

My mom had a spot in her home where she “marked” my daughter’s (her granddaughter’s) height.  She got such an enormous kick out of charting their growth.  After each “marking” she’d say something or another than usually included the words “leaps and bounds.”

I have to admit, it was pretty fascinating to see the distance between the marks in the wood.  Given the fact that we saw the girl’s everyday, the physical growth wasn’t really noticed. Not until it was time for new shoes or clothes, anyway.

Physical growth is something we don’t have to think about. Anyone who tries to keep kids in shoes or their hips in Levi’s understand that.  It most definitely happens, whether you will it to or not.

Other growth (mental, physical, emotional)? Not so much.  If we want to GROW in any of these areas, we have to get off of our backsides and work. Which would help with the Levi’s, but that’s another subject.  The point is: while physical growth comes easily, the others do not.

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. – Ronald E. Osborn

Very often we get into the habit of shunning new experiences and far too often we give a polite, “No thank you,” to invitations to step out of our comfort zone. The problem is, this is where REAL growth occurs. I’ll give an example, using my husband.

Like most young husbands and fathers, he worked a variety of jobs after the Air Force. With a wife and three little girls, he put in long hours at factories as well as other jobs.  They paid well and he seemed determined to out work his pay.  He had a great reputation for being a very hard, conscientious worker – with a work ethic second to none.  He even attained a managerial position in a plant – so he got to ride other people for their work ethic! The pay was outstanding, as were the benefits. However, he was seldom home.

If he’d kept up that pace, HE would have definitely noticed his daughter’s “leaps and bounds” growth, and never seen it coming.

An opportunity for a sales position came open. He was really excited about the prospect of a new career. Not only was it a personal challenge, he’d actually be able to see his wife, daughters, and cats!  I was nervous about him applying for a position in which he had zero experience, but I wasn’t about to dampen his enthusiasm.  Even though I knew he’d be up against men and women with years of experience, I bit my tongue and became cheerleader to his quarterback.  Rah, rah, go get ‘em champ!

He got the job.

His first, of many, stellar sales was himself.  While I was thrilled for him, half of me wanted to ask his new employers, “The boy’s never sold anything in his life. What makes you think he can make money for you?”

He wound up with the best sales the company ever saw and it wasn’t long before he found himself pretty much in a bidding war. Everyone wanted him on their team.  He grew into his career. By leaps and bounds.

All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. – Henry Miller

Expand Your World

In Speaker’s Sourcebook II, a wonderful analogy is given using fish:  A favorite fish of many hobbyists is the Japanese carp, commonly known as the koi.  The fascinating thing about the koi is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will only grow to be two or three inches long. Place the koi in a larger tank or small pond and it will reach six to ten inches.  Put it in a large pond and it may get as long as a foot and a half.  However, when placed in a huge lake where it can really stretch out, it has the potential to reach sizes up to three feet.

The analogy obvious: Like koi, our growth is determined by the size of our world.  More specifically, by the experiences we subject ourselves to.  If we watch the same type of shows, read the same type of books, and go to the same places – how can we expect to grow beyond what we already are?

We’ll grow when we expose ourselves to more experiences.  Don’t get locked into the same routines. Mix it up!

Do something every day that you don’t want to do. – Mark Twain

If you want more from life, ask for it. Demand it. Expand your world and you’ll open up new avenues for success in whichever direction you want to grow. No one really and truly limits our world as much as we do, ourselves. Break down these limits and see what lies beyond the horizon.

J.C. Penney (who I love for more reasons than his quote!) said it this way: No one need live a minute longer as his is, because the creator endowed us with the ability to change ourselves.

He who is silent is forgotten; he who does not advance falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed, out distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the condition of standing still is the beginning of the end. – Henri Frederic Amiel

What could you potentially be missing out on?! You know what you have to do.  Now get growing!

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. – Max De Pree

Why We Should Carefully Watch Our Words

Does the Word Boomerang Mean Anything to You?

Deliberate much before you say and do anything; for it will not be in your power to recall what is said or done. -Epictetus

  Be Careful What You Say Have you ever said something and instantly wished you could grab the words by the tail and eat them.  Or, better yet, go back in time and never let the words out in the first place?  Since we’re all human, we’ve all been there. It’s a downright sickening feeling when words come out of your mouth and you can’t do anything about it other than stand in the ruins.

Fortunately,  for me as well as those who have to listen to me, I’m one of those people who almost always lines my words up and quickly examines them before they come out of my mouth. This practice came about because of something I call “mommy speak.”  I was a “stay at home” mom to our three beautiful little girls (one of my daughters is pictured in this post). As you may know, I home-schooled each of our daughters all the way from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

That’s a lot of time spent with little people!

I quickly realized that the way I related with my girls might not be appropriate with an older crowd, so I got into the habit of examining my words before allowing them to make an appearance.

I lived in fear of telling a perfect stranger to brush her hair before someone thought she was a cave girl, or telling my husband to eat all of his vegetables if he expected any chocolate cake. While playing a board game with adults once, I was bumfuzzled when none of them knew who Snuffleupagus was.  I thought, Seriously, don’t these people watch tv? I instantly wished I’d used chocolate or an UPS truck to indicate brown – but to me, Big Bird’s buddy was synonymous with brown.

Mommy speak.

I’ve heard enough people (politicians excel at it) open their mouth, THEN examine their words.   Most people simply need to get into the practice of interrogating their words before allowing them out of the confines of their mouth.

Before inmates are released from prison, they have to face such an interrogation.  Given the fact that words can do as much damage as a convict who’s on top of his game, it’s obvious they need to face similar inspection.  A few things to ask yourself before the words come flying out:

  • Will this hurt someone’s feeling?  Some people seem to forget that people have feelings.  Just because the speaker may be hardened, doesn’t mean everyone else is.  No one deserves to have another person tear them down with words. It’s called bullying and it isn’t the least bit attractive. Even small children have feelings and unkind words can shatter them like glass.
  • Am I speaking out of anger? Speaking under the influence of anger is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.  Take deep breaths, calm down, then speak. It’s best for everyone, including yourself.
  • Are these words for ME or THEM? Most of the time, the things we say are self-serving.  A father will call his daughter’s boyfriend names to make himself feel good. He isn’t thinking of the young man, his daughter, or the rest of the family. He’s thinking of himself.  His words make everyone uneasy, but none of them truly matter. He’s only thinking of himself.
  • Will any good come from this? If nothing GOOD or positive will come from your words, why not just keep them to yourself?

It’s worth mentioning a special word to parents.  I never cease to be amazed by how much my daughters actually remember about their childhood. Sometimes one of them will be walking or having lunch, and they’ll come up with a memory from what seems like a lifetime ago!  Thanks be to God that they’re almost always positive, happy memories.  The point is, kids have excellent memories and the things you say to them (even in anger) STAY with them.  If you have children at home, make certain you’re giving them words you’ll want to revisit them time and time again.  Because they will.

Young parents go through A LOT of crazy things in life. Many times there are job changes, moves, family drama, and so on. Just remember, don’t take it out on your children. One day, they may be all you have.  Say words to them today that you’ll WANT them to repeat to you one day.  Even when disciplining them, do it with love and remain calm. As adults, they’ll respect that.

Whether it’s with children or other adults, watch your words because they’re very much like boomerangs.  They’ll come back to you and their sense of direction couldn’t be more accurate.

The Root of the Problem:

The reason people say things that’d be better left unsaid has more to do with their brain than their mouth or even their temper.  People who use words as bullets generally do so because their thoughts lead them to it.

No one’s good enough to suit them, no restaurant’s up to their standards, etc. If their thoughts were a tv station it’d be ONTH: Only Negative Thoughts Here!

Every word out of our mouth has a source of origin. This source is thought.

Guard your thoughts and, in turn, you’ll guard your words.

The Scary Diabetes Epidemic

Things We Can Do to Prevent Diabetes

Salad Eating healthy is a huge step in diabetes prevention.

According to the World Health Organization, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes. If you think that’s alarming (and it is), make sure you’re sitting down before you read this next line: The International Diabetes Federation predicts that at least one in 10 adults could have diabetes by 2030, an estimated 552 million people.

If you’ve ever seen diabetes up close and personal, you know that it’s one brutal disease. I know you’re as anxious as I am to keep this monster out of your closet. The good news is that there ARE things we can do to lessen our odds of getting diabetes. With the estimates we just talked about, I’d say the time to start doing all we can do  is NOW and the time to stop doing all that we can is NEVER.

The American Diabetes Association Recommends the following steps to prevent diabetes:

  • Get active and stay active. Add more activity to your daily routine. If you have a sedentary job, make it a point to frequently stand and take walks. Stretch, lift weights, or just walk in place. Another great way to make sure you’re getting enough activity is to wear a pedometer. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day. Being active doesn’t necessarily mean jogging or trips to the gym. It simply means getting that body moving – OFTEN!
  • Eat healthy foods.  Lay off the sugar and fried foods. Eat more (as in a lot more!) fruits and vegetables. If choosing healthy meals is a problem for you, you might want to register for MyFoodAdvisor. This freeonline resource provides you with new recipes, cooking tips, and a meal plan each month.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your current weight isn’t within a healthy range, move Heaven and earth to get it there.

One of the best weapons against diabetes is common sense.  We all know the foods that we should avoid and we know the foods we should eat more frequently. It’s time to stop messing around and get serious about this.

Before it’s too late.

More Dietary Guidelines for Eating Healthy:

  • Eat more meals at home.
  • Make fast food drive thrus a thing of the past.
  • Eat more salads – but lay off of the fattening dressings.
  • Make fruit your “go to” snack.
  • See Dr. Oz’s Anti-Diabetes Drink
  • Choose whole grains. Whole grains contain more fiber which not only help you feel fuller faster – they also keep blood sugar levels more stable. According to Bob Greene, “When you eat foods made with refined grain, like white bread or corn flake cereal, the glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly. On the other hand, whole grains take longer for the body to break down, so you get a much slower and less severe blood sugar spike. Start replacing your regular white bread and crackers with whole-grain versions, and trade in white rice for brown rice. Pasta is an exception; because of the way it’s made, even regular pasta promotes a relatively slow rise in blood sugar compared to other foods made with refined grains. Whole-wheat pasta is even easier on blood sugar. If you’re not a fan, try Barilla Whole Grain, which at 51 percent whole grain gives you some of the benefits but not the gritty taste, or Barilla PLUS, which has added fiber and protein. The meal plans in the book feature a number of tasty ways to incorporate more whole grains into your diet.

See The American Diabetes Association for more information about preventing diabetes.

 

Beautiful Quote about Life by Agatha Christie

No Mystery About It...

Bird in the Sky, Kentucky

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. – Agatha Christie

I love this Agatha Christie quote.  Not only did the lady write the greatest mysteries the world has ever known (as her #1 fan, I may be a bit biased), she also had a great handle on life. Life is beautiful, even on the worst of days. Some people say they feel more alive than ever when they’re in the middle of a battle, while others claim the period just after a battle is the sweetest.

Personally? I feel more alive when things are calm and normal.  When chaos ensues, I’m the proverbial chicken with its head cut off – running in circles, clucking, and looking a perfect fool. This girl wasn’t built for chaos.  I’ll give chaos this, however, it does make lazy, calm, beautiful days like today feel thisclose to Heaven.

Bare Naked at the Reality Dance!

The Book's as Good as the Title

I just finished reading Bare Naked at the Reality Dance by Suzanne Selby Grenager. When I was asked if I’d like to read this inspirational book, I took one look at the title and asked, “How soon can you send it to me?”

I’m a sucker for attention-grabbing titles and this one grabs you with both hands.

Book Description:

Do you want to wake up and fall in love with yourself? Do you want to make the difference you were born and are dying to make? That’s what Suzanne Grenager does—and will help you do—in this intimate, from-the-trenches transformational journal of a wife, mother, daughter, yogini, spiritual mentor and work-in-progress. Whether you are a novice or veteran on the spiritual path, Suzanne’s soul-thrumming real-time trek toward her Self will amuse, shock, inform, and, most of all, inspire you to see and be the wild and wonderful person you already are. In the Himalayas and in Nova Scotia, at the ashram where she is blasted by a Swami yoga master’s love, and down on the farm, Suzanne’s struggles, triumphs and insights will ignite you from deep inside out. Instead of telling her readers what to do, this natural born teacher offers the example of her hard-won self-love and trust, spurring us to a way that is utterly our own. In her warm, transparent and distinctly feminine voice, Suzanne empowers us to take who we are and run with it, into a world that can’t wait for our light.

Love is who we are when we let go of who we are not.

Now’s as good a time as any to address a question I’m occasionally asked.  No, I do not always agree with absolutely every viewpoint, idea, belief, or concept expressed by the authors of the books I read and/or recommend.  I don’t choose my books based upon the criteria of I must agree with every single word and the author and I must see eye to eye on absolutely everything.  Where would the fun be in that?!  If you never broaden your horizons or stretch the boundaries of your mind, you can forget about growth of any kind, shape, or form. Sure, you may not be familiar with the term yogini (when I first saw the word, I pictured someone doing yoga in a bikini), but here’s the thing, you don’t have to be! I’m convinced that we can learn something from everyone. Yes, even someone doing yoga in a bikini.

Truth be told, some of my favorite books are those where I find myself blissfully unaware of where the author is “coming from” in the beginning.  I happen to enjoy the heck out of watching the answer unveil before my eyes.

The author of Bare Naked at the Reality Dance , Suzanne Selby Grenager is a very spiritual author and her writing is nothing short of beautiful. You’ll find her story very inspiring, insightful, and informative. This is a book I would definitely recommend.

Feelings are the voice of the soul. 

Author Biography

Suzanne Selby Grenager is a seasoned writer and spiritual mentor with a well-honed gift for helping people see, appreciate and express their particular greatness. A former Philadelphia Inquirer and Spiritsite.com columnist, her work has appeared in Yoga Journal. Suzanne was an early Kripalu Yoga student, teacher and regional leader, and for 10 years, a transformational life coach. Certified in the holistic Rubenfeld Synergy Method, she has lived in India and Egypt and has a second home in Nova Scotia. She is married to Trond Grenager, a Norwegian architect, and has two grown children.

The more I treat myself that I am worth it, the more worthy I see that I am. 

When Should You Just Give Up?

A Small Cat and I Say N-E-V-E-R

Queen Fatima

Fatima, 2 days after her accident, deciding that food is a good thing.

I honestly don’t believe anyone, anywhere, anytime has ever been as happy to see March as I am. I’m always thrilled to see spring and, given the fact that I live, breath, and sleep St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball, moving closer to baseball is always a glorious thing.  However, this year I welcome March into my life the way I welcome coffee into my cup each morning.

I’m not just glad to see the new month, I’m tickled pink to see the old one pack up it’s bags. February didn’t have a very pleasant personality as far as I’m concerned.

First of all, I have to apologize to the super cool people who leave comments for not responding to you sooner. The past few weeks haven’t just been ugly, they’ve been horrifically ugly.  In fact all of February has been like a schoolyard bully. My washing machine broke, followed by a leaky, broken hot water heater. My white carpet loved that.

Personal injuries for this accident prone klutz included a hurt neck, a burned leg, and a knee I smashed into a concrete corner.  Not all in the same day, though that would have been a personal best.

February wasn’t through yet, though. As you know, I work from home as a web publisher. My family owns a great number of websites, which include a few for the company my husband works for. We also host quite a few other business sites on our server.  We normally never experience any problems, but apparently we outgrew our server and had to move to a new, bigger server.  All of our websites were down for nearly a week.  I was beside myself, not so much for my own sites (although I missed updating them greatly) but I hated for the business sites to be down that long.

Everything was out of my hands, though, so all I could do was ride it out. And keep checking… and checking… and checking.

Being the month that it was, even when everything was moved to the new server and everything was smooth, February had a new trick up its sleeve: Our internet provider ran into trouble. No internet at all for one day and slow progress for about a week.  No problem, all I needed to do was catch up for an entire week off, that’s all.

However, as bad and annoying as all of that was, the worst involved one of my beloved outside cats, Fatima.  I was outside one afternoon (the websites were still down and I was trying to find my sanity – I thought maybe I’d left it outside).  As I was petting another cat (Hannah), I saw poor tiny Fatima coming slowly up the driveway, pulling one of her back legs behind her. She was  staring me straight in the eyes, meowing loudly as she came to me – as though she thought I could do something to help her pain.

All I could do was pet her, cry, and curse February.

She had, somehow, broken her little hip.  She’s a very, very small cat, so this wouldn’t have taken much.  Personally I believe something fell on her.  We live way out, where there are no cars for her to come into contact with, and it’s hard to imagine a cat falling and NOT landing on her feet.  My little girl was in quite a bit of pain and discomfort and it killed me more than I can say.  I did a little research and found that moving a cat with a broken hip or back requires a lot of caution.  She was a feral kitten, so she’s not the sort of cat that we could possibly transport to the vet.  In fact, I’m the only person she’ll even allow to pet her.

All of the experts I sought out said that if the cat was able to eat and drink and “do her business“, they’d have a chance at survival.  I couldn’t get her to eat or drink at all that first day.  She just laid beside me while I rubbed her head. And cried. And prayed. And prayed. And prayed.

To see any animal in pain is more than I can take – but when it’s one I love, it’s indescribable. I admit that the thought of having her “put out of her misery” ran through my mind.  I knew that putting her into a carrier and transporting her to a vet would be excruciatingly painful and scary for her.  I, somehow, just knew that if she were going to die, she’d rather do it at home.  With each prayer for healing, I added a request to “just end her pain.”

Each time I went outside to find her (usually in the garage), I half-expected to find her dead.  Instead, each time I found her alive, awake, and looking at me, waiting for the love she knew was headed her way. We had a really warm, pretty day and four days after the accident happened, she sort of drug herself into the sun and stayed there all day.  I was relieved to see that she was able to “do her business.”

A storm blew through the other day and the weatherman said there was a tornado in the area.  Given the month we’d been having, I thought, “We’re all going to die.”

Obviously we did not.

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. – Harriet Beecher Stowe

Two days after the accident, Fatima regained her crazy mad love for food. She could barely even stand long enough to eat. I put her favorite food on the ground, as opposed to on a plate, civil like.  She’d stand for a few bites, then lie down a while. Then repeat the entire process.  I was just glad to see my normally food-crazed cat enjoying her favorite sport again.

Five days after Fatima first came up the driveway, broken and helpless, she SOMEHOW managed to walk toward me when I went outside to see her that morning. I nearly fell over, but there she came, staring me dead in the eye and clumsily walking.  Most people would say it wasn’t a very attractive walk but I”ll have you know it was the most beautiful walk I’ve seen since each of my daughters first walked.  Truth be told, it was about as shaky.

I sat down next to her and begged her to stop moving – she consented and we sat there enjoying the moment. She purred for the first time since “it” happened, whatever it was.

She continues to blow my mind with how fast she’s healing. Each time I see her, I think, “There’s my miracle baby.”  If you could have seen her coming up the driveway, you’d understand.

The moral… or at least the point… of this story is this: Never give up.  Don’t give up on yourself, don’t give up on God, don’t give up on others, and never, ever, ever give up on happy endings.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s LITERALLY a little gray head at my back door requesting dinner.  So, she’s climbing steps now….

You just can’t beat the person who never gives up. – Babe Ruth

14 Ways to Stay Young

Who Says We Have to Ever Grow Up?!

Quote about staying young

I firmly believe that each day we are either growing older or growing younger. Our direction is determined by our mindset, our habits, and our attitude. If you fear that you’re headed in the wrong direction, I hope you’ll let this be your wake-up call.  There are things you can do to stay young – physically and mentally. Below are 14 of my favorite age busters.

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.   – Douglas MacArthur

  1. First and foremost, realize that age is just a number. There are young 75 year olds and old 25 year olds. What’s more, they say today’s 50 is yesterday’s 40. Don’t get caught up in a number, get caught up in living.
  2. Never let a bad mood linger.  Everyone has bad days. It’s called life. Here’s the trick: Shake it off and move on. Bitterness and regret are huge agers. Huge.
  3. KEEP LEARNING. So important! You’re familiar with the saying, “A body in motion stays in motion,” right? Well the same is most definitely true about the brain.  Keep it active, keep it young.  See how many new things you can learn each day. Learn about the computer, birds, the Civil War, gardening, ancient China, baseball… anything and everything.  Bonus points if you choose a subject you, literally, know next to nothing about. Throw your brain a curve ball by serving up information about a particularly random subject. Your brain loves curve balls and it’ll reward you long term with youthful mental fitness.
  4. Laugh daily. In fact, laugh as often during the day as you possibly can! Laughing feels good, sounds good, and looks good.  What’s more, it keeps you young. It truly is the best medicine and one that should be taken, not just daily, but throughout the day.
  5. My family knows that I’m all about the phrase “Live, Love, Laugh.”  To me, that just about sums it all up. The living part may be obvious, and laughter was #4. But what about love?  Do you, honestly, look for as many things and people to love as you possibly can? Or do you tend to look for people to judge and things to criticize? If this is the case, you’re on a slippery slope to becoming a old curmudgeon! That’s sad, in and of itself, but it’s doubly sad when you realize this: People avoid grouches and laugh about them behind their back.  What part of that sounds appealing? Be kind, friendly, and as positive as often as you possibly can.  While you should tell the people you love that you love them as often as possible, you should show them even more frequently.
  6. Fill your life and fill your home with things that make you smile.  Birds and squirrels make me smile – my yard (thanks to many squirrel and bird feeders) is filled with them.  Each glance out a window is a smile waiting to happen. Smiles are good. Smiles will keep you young.
  7. Your health is a gift. Eat right, exercise, and have regular checkups. This goes for optometrists and dentists, as well as  family doctors. If you’re capable of using a computer, you’re certainly capable of knowing what foods and activities are healthy and which ones are not. Get rid of the bad habits once and for all. Eating right and getting plenty of activity make you feel better, give you more energy.
  8. Ladies, paint those nails whether you’re 18 or 81. Go bright, go bold.
  9. Stop being so hard on yourself and stop stressing over little things. So you go to bed with dishes in the sink. Big deal!
  10. Believe.  I’d rather spend my life with someone who believes in just about everything than to spend one hour with someone who doesn’t believe in anything.  The believer is always looking forward with expectation and excitement. The believer has hope and a positive force that surrounds them – so much so that you can feel it.  The doubter lives in hopelessness, surrounded by a negative force that you, unfortunately, can also feel.
  11. Don’t focus on the negative. Focusing our attention on anything gives it more power. Have you ever watched Dual Survival?  On just about every show, the guys use a piece of glass to “focus” the sun’s rays on something flammable.  The “focal point” is so intense that, more times than not, sparks appear and a fire grows.  There’s a great deal of power in focusing, so doesn’t it make sense to focus on things that are positive and constructive? When you look in the mirror, do you focus on the negative or the positive? When you pull up in your driveway, do you see the bad or the good when you look at your home?  As glass affects flammable material, the way we view the world affects our lives.  I’m sure you have seen this play out in the lives of people around you. Don’t positive people seem to be healthier, more youthful, and happier while their negative (sometimes to the point of being excessively bitter) counterparts seem older, sickly and miserable?
  12. Instead of judging or ridiculing kids, enjoy them! Pick up on their youthful vibes and let them see that you’re one very cool adult. I get a huge kick out of young people and hope I never, ever get so old that I don’t enjoy their company.
  13. Loneliness is a cruel ager. If you feel lonely a great deal of time, do something about it.  As we harped on in #11, whatever you do, don’t dwell on it. That’s just opening the door and inviting bitterness and misery to come in and stay. If loneliness is a real problem for you, please make today the day you find your solution. If you have family and friends near, invite them over for dinner. Even if it’s just dessert, bait your hook with chocolate and extend the invitation. Just DO NOT go on and on to them about how lonely you are. People avoid guilt trips even more than they avoid grouches. Be upbeat and positive – the sort of person others are drawn to.  If the people in your life are seemingly just too busy to “be there for you,” PLEASE go to your local shelter and adopt a dog or cat. Trust me, they’ll never be too busy for you! What’s more, your loneliness will hightail it out of town.  A lot of pet stores actually get their dogs and cats from local shelters, so you can check them as well.  My daughter got a beautiful little black kitten from PetSmart in Owensboro – she was a shelter baby.  Today, she’s someone’s baby.
  14. They say you’re only as young as you feel. I believe that 100 percent. I also believe that you’re only as old as you keep telling yourself.  Stop using the words “old” or “getting old” – don’t use them in with yourself and don’t use them with your spouse.  I heard a man tell his wife the other day, “You’re getting old.” I thought (first of all), “You’re at least her age, buddy boy.”  Then, I thought, “Keep telling her that and you’ll hasten her trip.”  Throw the word out of your vocabulary and out of your life.

In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber.  So long as it receives a message of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage – so long are you young.  When the wires are all down and our heart is covered with the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old. – Douglas MacArthur