SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2016 “THE BIG TIP”

The day after I announced my NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION for 2017, my daughter gave me John Maxwell’s book, Intentional Living: Choosing a Life that Matters, to read. SO I DID!!! Of course I loved it…..just finished it. The book gave me lots of things to think about. The book is about living a life that is significant because it has been lived intentionally. For me this year, I hadn’t really thought about doing things for the sake of significance, I just wanted to do things I have never done before. However, Mr. Maxwell did get me thinking! I know I am sharing my journey so that I will be held accountable (to myself!), but maybe it is also meant to inspire others along the way to join me in experiencing life in some ordinary ways.

I guess deep down, perhaps there is a more significant reason for me to publish my journey of experiences on this blog. The reality is that we have no guarantee that tomorrow will be there for any of us, never mind next week or next year, so the business of living should be kind of intentional and it should be lived to the fullest! If nothing else, I do truly pray that I have passed the message of taking advantage of each day to accomplish something new along to my children, at a minimum, and maybe in a broader sense I have helped to inspire others to do something new along the journey of their own lives.

In Intentional Living, on page 226, Mr. Maxwell writes about “possessing an abundance mindset” as opposed to a “scarcity mindset”. He claims there are people who live a life afraid that what they may need might not come along again so they tend to hold back and are reluctant to give freely to make a significant impact on others or for themselves. Those people would have a “scarcity mindset”. He makes the statement that they need to keep a piece of the pie because there might not be another pie. However, the “abundance mindset” is a completely opposite way of living. This mindset allows you to simply rely on the fact that the universe will “bake you another pie” and you will ultimately have what you need. The Universe is a constant resource to you. I liked this part of the book. It rang true to me. As I thought about it, I do believe that “the Universe” has always known what I needed. It may not have always been what I thought I needed, but when I looked back on the chain of events that got me to a certain destination or to a certain point along the way or to a new opportunity, I realize that a person, an event, or a previous opportunity suddenly made sense, even though I may have cried a few tears along the way. It often isn’t until the “looking back” part that it became “ABUNDANTLY CLEAR” to me that there was a path or a door that needed to be cleared for me to walk through. And the Universe gave me the resources to see the path or the door.

So 2017 will begin tomorrow! And, this thought of Abundance has been hanging around in my head. I decided that I will start today to pass along the “abundance” I have to someone I don’t really know in hopes that the receiver will live a life with an “abundance mindset”. Hopefully, my actions will open a door or clear a path of some kind for him or her.

This morning, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, on the morning of the day before the new year, I went out to breakfast with Kali and Barb to a diner we often go to. For 20 years we have taken life’s journey together and have stopped to “catch up over breakfast” a couple of times per year! This morning I decided today would be a little bit different. This was the morning my New Year’s Resolution would begin!

I decided to leave a much bigger tip than normal…something I have never done! I decided that if I truly blessed someone with a little taste of “abundance”, the Universe will continue to bless me (and hopefully that person) with a year full of “abundance”.

After laughing and eating for about an hour we had caught up on each other’s lives and the lives of the people we have known throughout the year. All was good. I asked them if they had seen my New Year’s Resolution (They have lived through my “street walking days”, my Winery Tour, my Church Tour, and so many others!). Of course they saw my blog! SO…I told them what my first NEW THING would be and the fact that they were on my journey with me!!

Immediately after our bill of $34.00 had been placed on our table, I pulled out a note wrapped around a $100 tip for our waitress! The note read “MAY YOU BE BLESSED ABUNDANTLY THIS YEAR! HAPPY 2017! Kali and Barb LOVED the idea!

The big debate came as to whether we leave it on the table and walk away or hand it to our waitress on the way out the door. We decided to hand it to her and we left. I wish we could have stayed to see her face, but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to have faith in the abundance we gave her as a blessing as she rings in the New Year of 2017!

What a fun way to start off 2017!

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READY TO KICK OFF MY 2017 New Year’s Resolution……LIVING INTENTIONALLY!!!

IN 2014 I began to blog about my BODY AND SOUL Church Tour! I visited all 85 churches in the Bridgeport Diocese and blogged about it! It was an amazing journey for me! I also learned a lot about myself….and tried to capture that journey in my reflections.

2015 and 2016 came and went….YES, I did many things…but I realize life kind of has a way of coming and going….and often many moments are not intentionally sought out, but rather just appear and then are gone.

This past October, I had Columbus Day off for the first time ever! A very dear local family held their annual fundraiser at the local golf course. For the first time I was able to head over there in the morning and be there for the whole day, not just show up at 3pm when the school day was over. I decided to walk there. On that hour long walk I had time to clear my mind of the many events that floated through my head….this past year I became a grandmother, retired, began a new job, had my youngest child graduate and move into a new career. All of my children were “settled” and beginning new journeys in life. In addition other family members experienced life’s ups and downs that affected me as various emotions flew in all different directions sometimes. There were some good, bad, and neutral moments and we all lived them together as they came and went. Overall, there were so many incredible moments.

It was on that chilly October walk that I realized something. I was 53 years old and had NEVER been ON A GOLF COURSE even though I had spent my whole life within a 7 mile radius of one!! Yes, I had driven a golf cart, but never on a golf course! NO…I did not want to play golf. I actually have no interest in it, but I did wonder how many other things I have NOT done in my life. I have devoted my life to “trying everything”, “challenging myself” at every possible moment, and creating “opportunities for new experiences”!! Yet, I had never been on a golf course! Such a trivial thing, but a missed experience!

So….I have been thinking about this and then yesterday Vinnie showed me a video on Facebook where the man is talking about “Dying without ever really living”. I took that as my sign and have made the commitment to LIVE INTENTIONALLY…..Every week I will actively seek out something new to experience…something I have never done before….and blog about it! By 2018 I will have experienced a minimum of 53 new moments in time that will help me to live intentionally!

I will do these things alone or with friends and family. I will look for those opportunities that are all around me, to experience them, to capture them and reflect on them. Perhaps my colleagues, or book club, or yoga group, my children, siblings, and/or strangers will experience the moments with me!

I encourage you to do it with me….find your own experiences that the world offers to us everyday!

Here are a few of my thoughts of what things I just might do!
“Camp out” in my front yard
Sleep on a boat under the stars
Drive or ride in an 18 wheeler
Shoot a gun
Tie a stranger’s shoe
Or better yet….give my own shoes to a stranger!
Drop off cookies to a Fire Station to thank them!
Crash a party…where I know no one
Buy a one-way ticket
Go to a new carnival or festival – spur of the moment!
Spend an entire day in bed…just watching movies

The list is truly endless! I have no idea if I will do these things or other things, but I will actively search for new opportunities that will help me to LIVE INTENTIONALLY!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2017….I am looking forward to LIVING INTENTIONALLY!