For a Limited Time

We’re surrounded on a daily basis with advertisements that say “Act Now,” only available “For a Limited Time.” The goal is to make the consumer believe they can’t live without the product or that your life will be enhanced if you have this product RIGHT NOW.
All of that got to me thinking about our life here on earth. Most of the time we walk around with the attitude that we have plenty of time (at least I do). Even after two bouts with cancer, I still feel like I have a long life in front of me. And maybe I do. Only God knows how long I have here.

But most of us also know of someone we lost way too soon, whether it be to cancer, an accident or any other cause. Thinking about a life gone too soon makes all of us not want to take our own lives for granted or throw away the time we have to spend.

We are all on this earth “for a limited time.” So, what are you doing with your limited time?

There are days when I feel like I’m wasting time, throwing away those precious days. If we truly believe we are here for a limited time, then what’s stopping us from achieving our goals? Calling a friend? Telling a family member that you love them?

Our life is precious — let’s make it count, for our limited time.

The Tough Days

We all have tough days.  The difficult moments where we’re so frustrated at our jobs or reaching our goals that we can do nothing but sit down and cry.

I had one of these days recently, where I felt so overwhelmed all I could do was cry, pray, and then push through it.  And guess what?  I got through it.  In fact, it felt great to accomplish all I did on that very difficult day.

In talking with my writing buddies, they understand those days and have them as well.  Days when the cursor is blinking on a blank screen and there’s no creative muse to be found. Or times when your critique partners dislike the chapter you thought was brilliant.

I imagine it’s this way for professional athletes or Olympians.  They train so hard, yet there have to be days where they wonder why they’re even doing this.  Even on a show like Dancing With the Stars, where the celebrity is trying to learn something new and their feet just won’t cooperate.

So, why do we do this?  Is it worth it?

I’m learning that anything worth while is worth it.  When the celebrities dance the great dance on DWTS, when the publishing contract arrives for my writer friends, or the review from a reader that talks about how much their words spoke to them — somehow that makes it all worth it.

Even the frustrating day at my daily job — pushing through that and achieving the feeling of a job-well-done makes it worth it.

I can’t imagine any goal you want to achieve in life as being easy. The tough days WILL come.

So, how do you get through the tough times?  Is the frustration worth the end result?



Bloom Where You’re Planted

In watching the Winter Olympics over the past few weeks, it struck me that many of these athletes more than likely became athletes because of where they were born or living at the time they became passionate about their sport.

I know that’s not always true — examples like the Jamaican bobsled team, the lone athlete from the Philippines, who was a figure skater, and even a skier or snowboarder who was from Indiana. Hmmm…. I don’t recall many mountains in Indiana.

But how much does geographic location influence our life choices?  I’m a military brat, so we moved frequently.  In elementary school, we lived in Virginia.

I loved Virginia! The beaches were great. I loved learning about colonial history.  I loved the field trips to Jamestown and visiting Williamsburg. I could see myself attending the College of William and Mary and hanging out in Williamsburg or at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. for the rest of my days.

Alas, the military moved us again — to New Mexico.  New Mexico couldn’t have been much different from Virginia!  As our location shifted, so did my dreams. Throughout middle school and the beginning of high school, I knew I was going to California.  I was going to attend UCLA and work in the entertainment industry. That was my plan. I was going to make it big in Hollywood.

But plans change. In the middle of high school, we were transferred again. This time to Austin, Texas.  Yep, it’s true. Texas is like a whole other country.  And Austin had a great university right there, so I ended up close to home, going to the University of Texas (Hook ‘Em Horns). My entertainment dreams were still around, because I studied studied Radio, Television and Film.

Geography did have an influence on my life. I haven’t been to Virginia since I was a little girl.  I have never lived in California.  Now, I did work for 15 years in Radio and Television — in New Mexico, so that dream never died. It just moved with me to where I was living at the time.

Six and a half years ago, my husband got a job in the Dallas area.  Dallas?  No, if I was living in Texas, it should be Austin or San Antonio.  Dallas wasn’t even on my radar.

But guess what?  We love it here.  Like any good military brat, I know how to make wherever I’m living be “home.”  And this truly does feel like home to me.

While there are some who will leave home to pursue their dreams — the Olympic athletes who go to where the best training facilities are, who learn the love of their sport from growing up surrounded by that sport — most of us will bloom where we’re planted.  It may be a different place than our childhood home or it may be the place where we’re born and raised and “everybody knows your name.”

In all my dreams of Williamsburg and Hollywood, even Austin, I never thought about Dallas. It’s a good thing God knows best.

I believe that God has me right where he wants me — and I need to bloom right here.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

What Drives You?

I need some help and advice, friends.  I’m pondering a question or two these days.  I want to know what drives you?  Or to put it another way, how do you know what your passion is?

And has your passion changed?  What if you strived for something for years, and then found yourself wondering if that’s really what you’re supposed to do?

I guess I’m directing this more to those of you in the arts: writing, music, dancing, acting, etc.  But it could be applicable to any vocation.

It’s always challenging to go for your dreams.  It’s a lot of hard work.  But when do you know when it’s time to try something else?  Are you afraid of giving up too soon?  Or do you know when to face the realization that maybe you’re supposed to be doing something else with your life?

For example, if you’re an actor  — you have a passion for acting.  But how long do you go along doing Shakespeare before you discover that you’re a better comedic actor?  Or that you might be a better director or writer than actor?

I know we should pray about it.  I know we will just have a gut feeling.  But sometimes that gut feeling isn’t as specific as we’d like.  Or God hasn’t provided that neon billboard that says “Go this direction” instead.

So, I’m full of questions today. How do you know if you’ve found your passion?  What drives you to work so hard?  Even on the tough days or the discouraging days, are you anxious to get back to work to follow your dreams?  How do you know?

Questions, questions, questions!  Is this what happens after you turn 50 years old?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, advice or comments.