2018 Challenge

The ball has dropped, we have drank the champagne and toasted  to a New Year, The fireworks have been silenced and the gloomy, cold days of January have settled in. Days and days of 2018 are staring  at us. Do we stare back with question marks in our eyes or do we look at them as days and days of opportunities?

Opportunities,  not to make resolutions that may be broken before the month is over, but deliberate plans to get the most out of this wonderful gift of life.

In December, I had not given much thought to 2018. I was holidaying it with friends and family. Out of the blue my daughter said “Mom, I know what your word should be for 2018.” 

“Really?” I said.” Seems she had thought more about it than I had. “Inspire”, she said.  She went on to explain why this would be a good word because of something I do on a regular basis to speak into the lives of others. (blush blush).

 Umm inspire. Inspire Indeed.

I tucked that away in my thoughts and found it coming to the forefront of my thinking when I least expected it. 

How many of us do things daily without thinking if it’s inspiring or not? I do!  After the conversation with my daughter, I have become more aware and more purposeful of my deeds and actions. She also gave me a Hallmark Hummingbird ornament 2017 named  “inspire”.

A few days later, I got this as a gift from someone else

A hummingbird feeder? Coincidence? I think not!

Hummingbirds are fascinating and fun to watch. While I have not had the pleasure of having them in my yard (no hummingbird feeder) I have watched them hover around the feeders my sister puts out  in her yard every year.

So now, what am I suppose to learn from hummingbirds and what does that have to do with “inspire?”

Thanks to the internet …. my research showed

…………Hummingbirds INSPIRED the design of drones. Maybe you knew this.  I did not.     Hummingbirds…Did you know?

It has something to do with the construction of their wings and the way they’re able to hover.

The hummingbird generally symbolizes joy and playfulness, as well as adaptability. Additional symbolic meanings are:
……Lightness of being, enjoyment of life
……Being more present
……Bringing playfulness and joy in your life
……Lifting up negativity
……Swiftness, ability to respond quickly
……Resiliency, being able to travel great distances tirelessly.

Inspiring Indeed!

What would my list of inspiring qualities look like? What do I want them to look like?

Hummingbirds come into the world with instincts to do what hummingbirds do.

Its seems there are those who are just being themselves and in the course of being themselves, they inspire others  such as Mother Teresa.

I think it is possible to decide that you want to be an inspiring person and act on it..

The opportunities are limitless.


Every encounter is an opportunity to inspire or be inspired. And there’s blogs, face book, twitter, pinterest etc.

What if we would be the one who nurtures and builds.. Be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart…

The one who looks for the best in people and be the one who leaves people better than when we found them.

Hug the hurt…kiss the broken….befriend the lost…..love the lonely.

You can’t be inspiring without a positive out look on life.

I believe our ability to be a positive influence starts with  cutting down on the negativity in our surroundings..

If we are on websites, social media or TV programs(news) that are mostly negative in nature, a positive outlook on life is not likely to happen.

When we limit our time doing that, we free up time to do and be something positive.

I’m not suggesting putting our heads in the sand. But really, do we need non stop depressing news?   

Our country is so divided.  Participating and arguing with those who have opposing  views does nothing to bring us closer together. It only widens the gap and allows hatred and bitterness to thrive.

I’ve complied a short list mapping the journey as we take on the challenge to being an inspiration.

These are some things inspiring people have in common

…..they have created  a positive environment to have positive thinking

…..fearlessness. They may feel fear, but they approach a project with purpose to see it through.  It’s that important. 

…..focus. We live in a distracting world. It’s easy to goof off  on the internet for a few minutes that turns into hours. The clock is ticking. Time doesn’t wait. A book you want to write, a song waiting to be written, a painting to create, a meal to be taken to someone in need or a phone call to encourage someone. Where should your focus be? Your heart will tell you.

…..drive, willingness and determination. Working through the discomfort, stepping outside the comfort zone. Challenging yourself and  stretching yourself even when you may not see results right away.


  Inspire others by expecting the most from them. Most people rise to the expectations of the people who believe in them. Encourage them and let them know you have faith that they will achieve what they set out to do.

The challenge for 2018… To be inspired and be inspiring.  

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. Start there.

Welcome 2018 and welcome opportunities waiting on us to be the best you and me we  can be.



Looking back Part 2

After finding the cute little cottage in June, a couple of months will go by before we could actually move in.

Paperwork, paperwork, …..sigh…..paperwork.

An inspection resulted in a lengthy repair list.  We decided some items we could let slid but, others were a deal breaker.

They would have to be done or we would keep looking. 

In  July, while the house repairs were being scheduled and paper work was continuing to go back and forth, we took a break for a mini vacation.

Beautiful Cadiz, Kentucky was a nice get away over the 4th of July weekend. 

Lodging nearby at Lake Barkley State Park Resort, we explored the beauty of the area.

An added bonus…..we got to spend time with close family that we don’t get to see often enough.

 August was busy…….. moving ahead with the move from the townhouse to the cottage.

How did we accumulate so much to move……. in six months.

While repairs continued at the cottage, boxes were packed and ready to be moved to their new home.

Finally…… moving day!!! Yay

Just 2 weeks before a “planned months ago vacation” to Aruba scheduled the first week in September.

No time to start the projects…….the first project….PAINTING.

Any and everything…. Every room….living room, dining room, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, laundry room, and 3 bedrooms…

one bedroom to be used as a TV room. And thrift store furniture in need of a little paint.


After Aruba, life settled in to…… day in and day out painting…. walls, furniture and on and on.

 Finished painting in time for fall decorating, my favorite.

December decorating…… FUN, and more FUN. Two houses, each in my style, but each different.

The cottage

And this.


2016 farewell memories.

A year of adventures…………………….. some planned and others not. And that’s the way life rolls for all of us.

Happy 2017!


What’s the word?



Before I reveal the word I have chosen to guide and keep me focused in 2015, I am thinking of the word I chose at the beginning of 2014.

Last year, I chose the word………



A new year ahead and thoughts of having a fresh start were in this head of mine.

Wanting and needing fresh thoughts, fresh ideas and the results that follow, I chose the word and hoped I wouldn’t have egg on my face at the end of the year.


Would the year end with me thinking, “what was so fresh about 2014?



It’s not like I had a goal oriented plan in hand as I faced the year.  My only goal was to start the new year with a word in my head and a willing heart to follow where it took me.

And where did it take me?

This word challenged me time and again as I would fall back into my “safe” way of thinking; which was not new to me at all.. From experience, I know my old way of thinking would lead to to my old way of feeling and living..


The safe road, the road I seemed to be most comfortable with, would not lead me to the destination I had in mind.

As in the words of Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference


I might add it’s the one less traveled by me. It was the unknown road I took to live out my word of the year.

This road took me to a different town, a new location and into a new, fresh home. I have a fresh outlook, new experiences, and new memories to make.


While it may not be a big deal to those who don’t wait 2 decades to move,  it was a gigantic undertaking to sort through 23 years of “stuff” and let go of things and memories that were clouding my view of life.

Each day brings me a chance to make new plans and see with fresh eyes.


Looking back, I never thought the end of the year would be vastly different from the beginning

and some may think it’s a coincidence.  Not me.

We change our destiny with our thoughts and our thoughts are made of the words we tell ourselves.


I will leave you with these words from Proverbs 23 :7

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.


My word for 2015?  I’ll tell you later. I’m such a tease aren’t I?