Blooming Where You’re Planted

I caught the end of the movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus” recently. The movie released in 1995 and remains one of my top favorites of all time. The ending of the movie never fails to move me.

Mr. Holland, played by Richard Dreyfuss, is a frustrated composer who finds fulfillment as a music teacher. Mr. Holland spends 30 years as a teacher, something he never wanted to be. But when the school system cuts the music program and he’s out of a job, he realizes that teaching is the thing he loves to do the most.

I could write several blogs about how life takes us in different directions than we dreamed, but that’s for another time. Today, my focus is the end of the movie.

(SPOILER ALERT) Mr. Holland is packing up his classroom, getting ready to leave the school for good. He believes that no one will miss him and that the last 30 years have been a waste. As he’s leaving his classroom, walking through the empty halls, he hears clapping and music coming from the school auditorium. As he enters the auditorium, it is filled to capacity with current and former students, and it turns out that they are all there for a farewell celebration for Mr. Holland.

The governor of the state was one of his former students, and she arrives to give a speech about how Mr. Holland may feel like most of his life as been misspent, but in reality, he has touched the lives of every person in that room.

Besides the wonderful tribute to teachers, this movie can teach a lesson for all of us. We never know what impact we’re making on other people. A lot of us yearn for something greater than our daily routine. However, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of what’s happening right where we are.

In the way we conduct ourselves everyday, working honestly and ethically, showing integrity and character can make a bigger impact than we realize. Just smiling and talking with the person ringing up your groceries in the checkout line can impact their day. Showing kindness wherever you go can make a difference.

Whenever we think we’re stuck in a dead end job or frustrated with the mundane of day-to-day life, we need to understand what influence we may be having on others. I hope it’s always a positive influence. Your attitude makes a big difference there.

With an attitude of gratitude and always showing kindness, you may influence and impact someone else’s life far beyond what you can ever imagine.

Be grateful for wherever you are. Remember to always “bloom where you’re planted.” You never know the impact you will make.

 

Five Minute Friday

I’ve recently joined a group called Five Minute Friday (@5minutefriday), where we’re sent a one word writing prompt.The idea is to write for 5 minutes — little editing. It makes us write (and I definitely need that!). Today the prompt is “loved”. So, here’s my  unedited, stream-of-conciousness writing about “loved.” Thanks for indulging me!Loved

This is an interesting topic. I believe it’s human nature that we all desire to be loved, cared for, and cherished. So many words go along with “loved.” It’s the basic of human emotion.

It’s a lonely world if we aren’t loved. The world can be gritty, painful, and just plain tough. People hurt us, intentionally or not, they will hurt us. That’s when we need to remember that we are ALWAYS loved, by the one who saved us, Jesus Christ.

When we’re alone, we’re not really alone. He is there.

When we’re sad, He cries with us.

When we hurt, He soothes us.

When we’re happy, He shares our joy.

To be truly loved is to love unconditionally. It’s something that we sometimes struggle to do. However, God never fails us with HIS love. We continue to be loved no matter what because we are HIS. And guess what? That is enough. It’s all we need. To be loved by Him.

The Daily Decision

You know those times when you’re reading a blog post or a meme and something just jumps out at you and smacks you in the face. It’s happened to me a couple of times. (Hmmm… I need to put all of those sayings together so I can remember what smacked me in the face).decisions-by

Anyway, I had words smack me again today. I was reading a blog about being a writer and the challenges that can be faced with choosing a writing career. (Check out the post on Seekerville by Debby Giusti).

Debby said that you have to make a decision to write. Talk about words leaping off the page: you have to choose. You have to make the decision. Such a simple thing, but somehow it smacked me. I have a really made the decision to pursue writing? If so, then it’s a choice DAILY to sit down and write.

I think that’s true with most things in life. You have to choose.

If I really want to pursue a career in writing, I have to make the decision every day to put words on a page.

If I want to blog regularly (ahem!), then I have to choose to think of topics and again, put the words on the page.

If I want to get healthy and lose weight, then I have to choose to exercise or go to the gym. I have to make the decision to eat healthier.

Don’t get me wrong, I know things can happen that can totally derail your daily choices. I’ve had cancer twice, so I get that. I’ve been derailed! But when events happen that change your path, then you still make a choice of how you’re going to handle interruptions to your regular schedule. What will be your next decision?

To accomplish most things in life, you have to make the decision to do it. And do it. It’s a daily decision and a daily choice.

When you get Stung…

Last month, I posted about falling in the grocery store. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if I should just quit shopping. Or if I need to go to a different store.

Last week, while I wasn’t at the same store, I was at the same chain of that particular store. It was a quick stop as I only needed a few items.

I’m inside the store, towards the back, and feel something on my neck. Usually, it’s my hair flying around everywhere. But as I felt my neck to move my hair away, I realized something was moving on my neck and it wasn’t my hair. I swatted at my neck, trying not to freak out in the middle of the grocery store. As I swiped at my neck, a bee fell and while it disappeared quickly behind some shelves, I felt the pain at my neck. Crap, that bee stung me! OUCH.
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Once again, I’m in a grocery store, faced with indecision – do I grab my last few items and check out or drop everything and run home?

It’s amazing how a little sting (okay, not so little) can throw you off you groove and have your mind reeling a thousand different directions.

I continued with my shopping (again, only a handful of items), and had the presence of mind to run to the pharmacy area and pick up a bee sting remedy. I went through the self-checkout line and left as quickly as I could. I didn’t want to talk with anybody, didn’t want to attract attention, so I proceeded with business as usual.

Thankfully, my husband was home, having taken a half day off work. He got the stinger out, doctored me up and told me to take a break. Yep, adrenaline was spiking and I knew I would crash eventually. Adrenalin is a weird thing!

So, is there a point to this blog? Some deep, hidden meaning? Or am I just a klutz going splat one time, and unlucky this time by getting stung?

Should I just give up grocery shopping?

Weird things are going to happen in life. But what do you do? You do the only thing you can: Keep going, keep fighting, get up the next day and be determined. I’m determined to go back to that grocery store, just to prove I can.

What do you think? Are you determined when life gets funky?

Weird things may happen – but I’ll keep going.

However, maybe it’s time to start shopping somewhere else.

Music

Yotreble-clef-535777_640u’ve heard of the saying – I can’t remember where I put my keys, but I remember every word from a song from the 80s. Music resonates for most of us.

A lot of my writer friends write to movie soundtracks or specific period music to get them in the right frame of mind for their story.

Can you imagine movies without music? When the shark attacks in “Jaws” or when Norman Bates stabs Marion Crane in the infamous shower scene in “Psycho” – how different those scenes would be without music!

Where would a good love story be without the soaring violins and sweeping sounds to make us all feel like we’re on cloud 9?

When I’m having a bad day, I turn on worship and praise music. It’s amazing how quickly my mood lifts and how my day can turn around.

Music can take us to another place, or it can ground us in joy right where we are. It can express the anger of a hurtful break-up, make us laugh, or even fall in love.

Music can take us back to a certain place and time. When a song becomes special or memorable. The first time I slow danced with my future husband in high school was to “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. My hubby and I got married on a boat, so naturally, our first dance on our wedding day was to “Sailing.”

Songs can be the soundtrack of our lives. Fill us with emotions, memories and more. It can soothe us like a lullaby. It can even bring us to tears – hopefully cleansing tears. It can make us get up and dance, or praise the savior.

What’s the sound track of your life? Do you have favorite songs you put on when you need a lift? If you’re a writer, do you write to music?

woman-977020_640Music can be comforting. As a two-time cancer survivor, I have to have an annual MRI. Thankfully, they let me bring in my own CD and every time it’s been Top of my Lungs by Phillips, Craig and Dean. Now every time I hear a song from that album, I have comfort and peace.

When I think of my father, I think of Nat King Cole and “Unforgettable.” That’s his song. My Mom’s song is probably “Wind Beneath my Wings.”

What about you? Do you have songs that remind you of certain people in your life?