Onward & Upward

Is everyone still speaking to me? So sorry to have been MIA for so long. It's been a crazy few weeks. Of course, that's not really fair. I'm sure everyone has had their share of crazy.

There's a book I'm looking forward to reading. My friend just bought it...it's "Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist" by Michael J. Fox. And I don't want to read it just because I was a big Alex P. Keaton fan when I was a kid.
I'm amazed that his story--his book--can be called "Always Looking Up", when he's living with a debilitating, life-ending disease.

Our family's cross seems to always be health problems. Someone in one of our families seems to always be burdened with the worry of health problems. My grandma and my father-in-law both had strokes/spells in this last two weeks.

And I've seen what chronic pain and health problems can do. It can make it just a little harder to smile every morning. Slower to laugh. Sometimes you just feel washed out. Other times completely flattened and defeated. It's hard to see the future clearly. To be buoyed by hope. So I admire Mike for doing the unthinkable, and being positive, and even grateful, even at the stage of his life.

I was also intrigued by the title of this book. I've always considered myself a positive person, a perpetual optimist. But as I get older I'm realizing that that's not completely true. It's not like I can pride myself on making a choice of seeing the positive in every situation. Because I don't always do that. But what I do is cling to the positive like a lifeline. I've learned that I can't function if I'm focused in what's going wrong. I'm motivated the positive, and when I'm buried in the bad times, it's only by holding on to the bits of good around me, that I can pull out of the mire. So I'm interested to read Mike's views on "incurable optimism." Hope it's good...I'm going to steal it from Dawn as soon as she finishes it. :)

Here are a few quotes from Mike:

"If you were to rush into this room right now and announce that you had struck a deal - with God, Allah, Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Bill Gates, whomever - in which the ten years since my diagnosis could be magically taken away, traded in for ten more years as the person I was before - I would, without a moment's hesitation, tell you to take a hike."
— Michael J. Fox, from "Lucky Man"

""Happiness is a decision.""
Michael J. Fox

""When prescribing one of the drugs I take, my doctor warned me of a common side effect: exaggerated, intensely vivid dreams. To be honest, I've never really noticed the difference. I've always dreamt big.""
Michael J. Fox


Spring Sunshine

Today I was good to the environment, but hard on my aching bones. I planted eight, yes, eight, trees today. All fruit trees...our own little orchard! This was one of those perfect Spring days--sunny and inviting, but with one of those rare gentle Spring breezes. (So much more pleasant than the gales we see much of the year out here.) I spent most of the day outdoors.

I hauled the trees and dirt around with the lawn mower (it pulls a small trailer). It reminded me so much of my Grandpa. Papa was more like a Dad to me, and we lost him a few years ago to cancer. Almost every day summer day in my childhood Papa would be working in the backyard. I'd hop in the little trailer behind the mower and he would drive me all over the pasture. He would tell me to get my "workies" on (overalls), and I'd go out and "help" him gather wood, or pick watermelons, or collect acorns. I feel like we're creating something here that he would have loved.

As we gear up for a new work week, here are a few quotes as food for thought. I LOVE this Emerson quote...it puts things in perspective.

"Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a "creative" job, so I'm always on the look out for inspiration. That's what drew me to this silly little Suess quote...

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"
Dr. Seuss