Free and Clear

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I am determined to do the things that I’ve put on my “to do one day” list. On June 2, 2010, I went to the ER, believing that I had a slight case of pnuemonia, and came out five days later with a diagnosis of bilateral pulmonary emboli. My “to do” list is now my “today” list and learning photography is on it. I am not going for professional photographer status, in the end, I am only striving to leave my “to do one day” list, free and clear. Blessings, peace, and love to you, lydia marie

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Hello World

Welcome to my very first WordPress post, my inaugural debut, you might say.  My name is Lydia Marie and I am pleased to meet you–a little stage fright maybe but glad to be here. Although I have another blog, I am a novice at the blogosphere and blog set up. Please give me some time to figure out what I am doing. In my next post, I promise to tell you a bit about myself and why I am here. Until then, Blessings and TTFN, lydia

Gratitude: In Action Not Words

Gratitude , The Tall Ships' Races, Szczecin 2007Image via Wikipedia

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy 

We are one week into November and you know what that means–Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching.  Before the day is upon us and we are lost in the hub-bub of travel, family, overeating, etc., I wanted to take this time to remind you that many in this country are truly blessed. 

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is a holiday to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships. As I’ve gotten older and older, and holidays have become more and more commercialized, I know how easy it is for us to lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays (holy days) that we celebrate. I hope that this post serves two purposes, (1) forces you to consider all of your blessings, and (2) that you give some thought to how you can pay it forward and do whatever you can to express your gratitude to loved ones, friends and most importantly, strangers alike.

Even in the face of numerous health challenges, I have much to be grateful. Yet, when compared to the majority of this earth’s population, I am further humbled. The facts are troubling; “almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.” More chilling, 22,000 children around the world die every day. This is akin to 1 of our children dying every 4 seconds. Sadly, the biggest culprits leading to their deaths are poverty and hunger. I offer these facts because until recently, I just didn’t know the depth of the problem. Did you? 

In our unbelievably full, frantic, hectic, hurry up lives, the last thing that we need is one more thing to do. Perhaps, you are already doing your part to give thanks for the blessings that you’ve received. If so, thank you. For those who weren’t aware of the problem, you have an opportunity to make a difference–even a small one.  Remember, we believed that our one vote didn’t count, but hopefully, given the recent past, we’ve been disabused of that notion. Similarly, a small contribution may seem equally useless, but that’s where you are so wrong. Alone, that small contribution may seem a pittance, but all those small contributions in tandem, they feed families, build homes, educate children and so much more. 

Giving money is not the only way to help. There are countless ways that each one of us might chose to express his or her gratitude and thanks, and I prefer to leave that decision to you. What matters is that you act, however you choose. With thanks and gratitude, lydia marie 

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What Ifs

Question Mark Graffiti

Question Mark Graffiti (Photo credit: Bilal Kamoon)

It is cold, rainy and wintry, by Central Texas standards, and the absence of sun seems ripe for contemplation. Although I try not to let it happen, today turned into a “what if” day. Don’t you hate those days. What if, I done this differently? What if, I done that differently? What if, I’d stayed in New Orleans all those long years ago, instead of moving to Texas? What would my life be like? What if, I listened to all those people who told me that my life was over when I made the foolish mistake of becoming a teen aged mother? What if, I believed that I was destined to be yet another statistic and on the public dole with no education or skills to take care of myself or my children?  I’ve concluded that engaging in these “what ifs” comes down to questioning ourselves and our past choices, a yearning for ‘the road not taken.’ 
Recently, I was reading bits and pieces of my twitter stream and someone referred to the phrase “the road less travelled,” which is often used in reference to Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” As I recall, I read the poem for the first time in an high school English class. At the time, the wannabe rebel in me, wanting to set her own path and follow no one, assumed that, Frost was advising that, when faced with two forks in the road, one trodden by the masses and the other, not so, to take the road less traveled. I was wrong because in both stanzas two and three Frost asserts little difference between the roads.
He writes,
“Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
… And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black”

I think that it is the final paragraph that informs us of the true meaning of the poem:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Frost’s use of the words “I shall be telling this with a sigh” indicates a sense of regret and wonder about the choice he made so long ago. In hindsight, even he wonders how his life would differ had he chosen to trod the other road. Although even amongst scholars, the poem’s interpretation is in dispute, I believe the poem is about choice in general, hindsight and especially, regret wrought by a choice between those equally appealing options.  
Our life is but a series of blind choices. This applies to every decision in our lives–one choice, means the exclusion of another choice. Mom was right, you really can’t have it both ways. We make our choices based on blind faith and without fore knowledge of where the choice will lead us. In most cases, the choices are easy. In others, when we are forced to chose between equally compelling options, the choice is far from clear. Instead of resorting to “what ifs,” after determining the pros and cons of each choice, and the information at hand, we choose; then we pray for the best or release it to our God/Spirit/Source, for that is the most that we can do. In choosing, we necessarily reject options that only the fates know where they would lead and minimize the “what ifs” that will lead you no where. We chose, we live and time will tell.