Mo Everlasting?

I have spent many hours with my students, asking thought provoking questions and allowing them to ask me a similar question in return.  They often asked what I would change about my life or what event or time period would I like to do over?  Many asked what I would do if I knew it was the last day of my life.  The other day I was asked how I would live my life if I knew I would NEVER die?

Wow!  As someone entering “midlife”, I often think to myself I better hurry up and do those things I want to be sure to accomplish.  But if I live FOREVER??  Well now, that’s a game changer!  So at first I started to toss back questions like, “Will I still age or am I stuck in a specific time?”  “Is everyone around me living life as we know it now or are they also living forever?” And on and on I kept tossing questions out to the one who asked me.  She was quick to smile and answer back, what I ALWAYS say to them when I give them a question to ponder . . . .”Interpret it as you will.”

So I did.  And I chose to stay in my 30  –  mid-40 range.  I told them I was staying at that point in my life because as I know my life now, it is the age span I have learned the most about myself and the world around me and that I can say I have truly come to like myself.  Now, what would I do and how would I live at this magical age for the rest of time?

That is SO.  HARD. to fathom!

I will start with my health.  In the age range I chose, I had just overcome some major hurdles in my life in my early thirties and presently, I am facing some new hurdles.  But in between those hurdles, I can say those years were the healthiest years of my life.  They were not without worry or struggle, but they were the healthiest I have known.  And they were also a few of the unhealthiest I have known.  I am so grateful for both ends of that spectrum.  They taught me resilience and perseverance, and they taught me gratitude and humility.  I have learned a TON about my body and the human spirit, obtaining a pretty good balance between when to put myself first and when to put others first.  If I am going to live forever, I think I would probably eat well enough to keep my body healthy and functioning well, but not worry so much about aging and how my food choices will effect me in later years.  In other words, Rita’s water ice, chocolate, and donuts will still have a place in my heart and my stomach!  🙂

If I live forever, what will my job be?  I would imagine that would change over the years, and maybe more frequently, now that I have all the time there is.  I have always loved what I have chosen as far as my career option.  I knew at a very early age I wanted to teach and I enjoyed working with my students every single year I was a teacher.  But now, it is time to move on to my next adventure in life and I am loving every single bit of what I am doing now as well.  I would like to think that would always be the case.  I can’t imagine waking every morning and dreading the day ahead.  I think if I were to live forever, my interests and goals would change over time, due to things I learn along the way or people I meet who inspire me to move in a certain direction.  I would like to think I will always put myself in a position to help others.

What about my free time?  Now that I’m getting the hang of this idea of being around forever, I would travel so much more than I have to date.  Perhaps I would work really hard for five years or so at a time and save more than I do currently and take a year at a time to vacation and see different parts of the world.  If I have forever to work, then I certainly will make it a priority to take part of that forever time and cater to hobbies I enjoy also!  The top three destinations on my bucket list right now . . . get myself back to Ireland, then Australia and Africa.  That’s just for starters . . . my bucket list goes on forever, just like my life is apparently 😉 .  And because I wouldn’t have to rush around and see everything in a given period of time, I would take the time to really immerse myself in the community in which I am visiting at any given time and come to understand their culture and customs.

And as these ideas and more went swirling around my head, I had to realize that I just can’t fathom what it would be like to live forever . . .because why wouldn’t I do all those things I mentioned above, right now anyway??  Why not always follow my passion with my career choices?  Why not save as best I can and travel to those places?  Why not eat healthy but enjoy in moderation those treats I love so much?  Why not . . .

How about YOU? If you knew you would live forever, what would your life look like?

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Traaa – ditionnn! Tradition!

Anyone out there remember the Sears Toy Catalog?  Oh my goodness, I would wait by the window for our mailman each day and practically pounce on him before he could even reach into his bag for our goods.  I would snuggle under our festively lit Christmas tree and mark all the pages with the toys I hoped Santa would deliver.  It was so hard to choose which doll I wanted each year.  There were the ones that came with bottles and strollers; crying babies; drinking and wetting babies; long – haired babies who were begging for me to braid their golden locks right from the page . . .

How about the decorations you had in your childhood home?  Did you have any favorites?  I loved my mom’s nativity scene.  She inherited it from her mom. I loved setting it up  each year and holding the little Baby Jesus in my hands.  I also loved our stockings.  My mom hand knit all of them.  Five children, two daughters-in-law, five grandchildren, and two great children later, she is still knitting everyone’s stocking.  They are treasures for sure!

Do you have any family traditions at the holidays?  My Grandmom always came to our house for dinner and sometimes we had a few neighbors who didn’t have family nearby.  With four siblings, it was always a good time playing with our new toys, wearing a new outfit, and eating our homemade cookies.  Bedtime was usually met with a new pair of pajamas and a stuffed animal to cuddle.

For New Year’s Day, a few relatives from my dad’s side of the family would come to our house and my mom always had “fancy snacks” out to celebrate with them.  My dad was an amazing piano / organ player . . .he could play any tune requested by ear and we would all sing along.  When my brother and I got older and we were each playing an instrument, we used to play along with him.  We called ourselves Family VonSullivan 🙂 .  Not nearly as talented as the VonTrapps, but we had fun!

I love thinking about all the ways my family made the holidays special when I was little.  We didn’t have any grandiose traditions, but what we had worked for us and made us happy.  My mom, especially, worked really hard to make this time of year magical for all of her children.  It wasn’t about the huge piles of toys under our tree, but much more about the gathering of family, the welcoming of anyone who needed a warm and friendly place to celebrate, and most importantly, the remembering of the real reason for the season.

Whatever it is you do; whoever it is you celebrate with; however it is you build memories , please find the time to remember the true meaning of this joyful season.  Please cherish the excitement of the young people around you.  Please find a way to make this season special for someone who is struggling.  Please make memories that will last a lifetime and make family members smile years from now, remembering how much fun it was just to be together.

(Visit #SullysJingleBellRAK on twitter.) 

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100 and Counting . . .

Today I am thinking about the role the number 100 plays in my life.  In my younger days, I worked really hard to see that number plastered at the top of my papers and tests and quizzes.  As a senior in high school, I anxiously looked forward to our “100 Days Celebration” as the countdown to graduation began. My first home was actually priced at just about $100, 000!  What a bargain!!  And so forth and so on .. . I have many instances that surround themselves with that number.  One hundred often seems like the mark of perfection.  Depending on what it is we are doing, it is a nice round number, maybe not too big or too small, and just plain easy to remember.

So today, right here, right now, this is my 100th post!  Although this space was originally set up back in 2010, I really started writing on a fairly regular basis in March 2016.  Now, nine months later, reaching that marker of 100 posts has me thinking about my goals for this space I have created . . .what were (or are) my goals for this space?  Have I met them so far?  Have they changed since that fist post?  What are my future plans?  Have I enjoyed being in this space?  What have I learned? . . . .

My original goal for this blog was to help prepare me for writing a book.  I thought I would gather little bits and pieces I wanted to include in my book and maybe give myself a solid foundation for writing one eventually.  Although I didn’t immediately throw out my idea for writing a book, I began to switch my goals a bit to just wanting to share some personal experiences that might help my readers to cope or to think a bit deeper or to change something for the better in their own lives.  I can only hope that desire has been true, but I do know writing this blog has served ME in that sense.  I definitely think deeper about many things that would have otherwise passed me by on a regular basis.  I think one of my favorite posts is Family Ties, because it has caused me to think much more deeply about the connections we have with others, even if we don’t know them personally.  It helps me remember that people come and go in our lives; some stay, some don’t, some for an extended time, some for a fleeting moment . . . ALL with purpose.

According to the stats I have accumulated, the post that got the most attention was The Letter.  That was another of my favorites, so I am happy that my readers enjoyed it as well.  I think it is important to reflect . . .not to regret, but to make ourselves aware and then gain the MO-mentum to move forward so we become better than before.

My least favorite posts have been the few that have brought attention to some negative aspect of my life.  They are difficult to write because I know how blessed I am and I wish to focus on my blessings, rather than the struggles that are likely to come into my life.  I wrote them with the purpose of keeping this space somewhat relatable.  Noone has a perfect life and I think it is important to reflect on the difficult situations so that we can learn from them as well.

So today, on this 100th “post-iversary”, I thank you so much for coming along on the journey with me.  Some amazing conversations and connections have been made from this space and I am so grateful for all of them!  Please continue to come along with me as we do our best to live our best lives!

(Visit #SullysJingleBellRAK on twitter.) 

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The Act of Simple

A friend sent me this video and it really resonated with me as I am working very hard during this season of hustle and bustle to be more intentional and present in the moment.  To slow down and really connect with the individual(s) in front of me.  I want to witness the twinkle in the eyes of the young people I encounter.  I want to make the burdens of an elderly friend a bit lighter.  I want everyone I meet to experience a touch of joy, regardless of their beliefs or their life style or their challenges.  Everyone deserves a chance to laugh or to smile or to hear kind words spoken.

Will you join me in this endeavor?  It really is simple.  And it doesn’t cost a penny.  It doesn’t require anyone to stand in a long line or to push someone else aside so you can get “there” before they do. It leaves everyone feeling better about themselves and the world around them.  It’s a win – win for everyone involved!!

Today at my church, we were instructed to turn and introduce ourselves to the people around us before the service got started.  It was so nice to know the name of the person sitting behind me when it was time, later in the service, to turn and shake her hand and offer her a bit of peace. Such a simple act made such a positive difference.  And I imagine for those who were visitors or new to our church, it was a most welcoming gesture.

Let’s make time for the simple this season.  For a few years I had a bulletin board in my classroom that read, “Your presence is the greatest gift of all.”  There is so much truth to that statement and in a world that so much is handled by means of a screen, imagine what your actual presence to others can mean to them.

(Visit #SullysJingleBellRAK on twitter.) 

jingle-smiley-small

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#SullysJingleBellRAK

 

jingle-smiley-smallHappy December, Everyone!  I have been on the hunt for a way to keep myself grounded at this crazy time of year.  The baking and card writing and shopping and wrapping and so many other tasks can really weigh me down.  And then before I can blink, it is all over and the world moves on and I think, personally, the reason for the season was missed.

This year I hope to bring about a positive change for myself . . .and others!  I hope you will join me!  #SullysJingleBellRAK is something I just created in my head yesterday, so I am not sure how successful it will be as far as getting others involved, but for this year, I will be happy to reach the goal of the event myself and to have even just a few others join me.

The idea is to offer a simple act of kindness to someone each day in December.  It is completely up to you how simple or how involved your act of service is for others.  The main goal is to just bring some light to another person during this season of lights and love.  If you wish to share what you do each day or just one particular day, use the #SullysJingleBellRAK on Twitter or Facebook or leave a comment here on my blog.  Sharing your goodness can help motivate others to do the same and offer them ideas that can help them to help others.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving 🙂  !!  Not to mention it is FREE with NO SHIPPING necessary!!

You can find me at @DoseofMo on Twitter.  Feel free to retweet the hashtag and let’s all work together to make this a season of love for as many as we can!

 

(picture creds) http://www.123rf.com/photo_16215400_emoticon-with-santa-hat-ringing-christmas-bell.html

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Gratefully Yours #30!!!

Goals made and met!!  That is exactly what I am grateful for as I write this post today!  I have always been a goal oriented person.  I think of an idea.  Get a vison of what I want to see happen in my head and set the goal(s) that need to be met.  Fortunately, I have been mostly successful with those goals I have set.  This one, of writing every single day for thirty days straight, weekends and holidays included, was a bit of a challenge.

First of all, writing every single day proved to be daunting for me . . . .I think because I just hadn’t made it part of my daily routine since I started this blog.  Also because although I am so very grateful for so many things, some are personal and I didn’t have the desire to share them on the internet so it was a bit of a challenge some days to think of something I could write here.

Second, I was hoping when I started this challenge, to improve my writing.  Quite honestly, I don’t think that was achieved.  I take a good amount of time to think through the posts I write and get my thoughts just right and edit them and do everything I can do to make it a good experience for all, from start to finish.  There were plenty of days I found myself more panicked about meeting the midnight deadline than writing a quality post.

One of the things I do feel successful at accomplishing is attaining more readers and followers.  I have met some really great people out there in the blogging world!  Some have a great sense of humor in their writing, some share the same outlook on life as me, and many give me multiple things to think about as I move forward in this world.  Thank you to all!

So my first #NaBloPoMo has come to an end.  My primary goal of taking on this challenge was met.  Some of the smaller hopes I had for myself, not so much,  but overall, this whole experience was a win in my books!  And today, I am most grateful for the ability to set goals for myself and to meet them, both here and in other aspects of my life.

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Gratefully Yours #29

As I round the corner toward the end of my Gratefully Yours series, I think today I want to express my gratitude for YOU, my readers.  I started this blog back in March and I am quickly approaching my 100th post.  Some of you have been with me since the very first day and some of you I have been blessed to meet through this #NaBloPoMo challenge.  I am so glad you have come here to see what my dribble of the day offers.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and your kind words of support. Thank you for passing along my website to others you thought might enjoy the content.  Thank you for sharing ideas and starting conversations that have taught me so much. I cannot promise I am going to continue this everyday posting I have done for the last month, but I do hope you will return often and we will continue to support each other in whatever way possible.

I will be writing my last entry for this November challenge tomorrow.  I am especially grateful for your following as there were days that it was a struggle for me to write.  Not because I wasn’t feeling grateful, but because time moves quickly and other things need to be tended to and writing wasn’t always at the top of my to do list.  Knowing that you would be stopping by to read my entry each day gave me just the right amount of incentive to keep going and I thank you for your subtle push 🙂 !

So today my gratitude shout out goes to each and every one of you!  Thanks for coming over to my corner of the internet . . .come back soon and often . . . I’ll leave the light on (and the comments open).

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