Tag Archives: choices

Understanding My Epiphany

I was reading a book a couple of days ago when suddenly, in a clear flash of understanding; I became aware of what propels me most in making choices and decisions. I found that especially shocking since I’m seventy-five years old. One would imagine, by that age, one wouldn’t be surprised at all by anything they might choose or decide. Yet, I was blown away.

The book’s passage had to do with how different people relate to life. Some people are practical and stoic and are led by natural laws following virtue alone, or through reason, fear, boredom, led or indifferent to other’s opinions, passions or emotions. I’ve always considered myself a rather practical person, most of the time, weighing pros and cons to make good logical choices. So I thought.

Instead of reading on in this book, I found myself dwelling on the dialog of one character to the other when he said to her that she was the kind of person who had to have passion when she picked her friends, selected favorite music, decided what to eat, even when decorating her abode. Those choices were what made her, her. But, she thought, if she believed hard enough, could she choose to follow convention or settle for security and not incorporate her passion?

What suddenly hit me was, the choices and decisions that have made me the happiest and most satisfied in my life have been the ones made with passion first, and not necessarily with thoughts of security or convention or so-called common sense. And I’d never really thoroughly thought this out before.

Not long ago, I attended my 55th high school reunion and our former class president asked several of us to each tell the group what we were passionate about now. One classmate said he wasn’t passionate about anything in particular. He was the only one of us who had not retired and when asked about that, he wasn’t sure what he would do when he did retire.

I remember feeling immensely sad for him when he said that. Here was a well-educated man, nice looking, healthy, very comfortable financially, with potentially lots of years left to him. The former class president asked him what he liked to do and the answer was, sail. Later I found out he’d bought a sailboat and I was so happy for him until I learned he was in the process of selling it. Too much trouble keeping it up was his reason why. He was divorced and didn’t have anyone to care about except two grown children. I kept in touch for a while, but the last time I spoke with him on the phone, he told me he wouldn’t want to live if something ever happened to his kids. Gosh!

I have a son, daughter-in-law, grandson and a sister and her family and I look forward to talking on the phone with them and visiting whenever possible. I don’t think about negative things that might happen to them or me. I just enjoy them and look forward to sharing my life with them and vice versa, now and in the future. There still are so many things I want to do, experience and share.

Although I’ve tried to be sensible, passion has made my life more rewarding and fulfilling. My mother taught me to be a “Save for a rainy day, but also enjoy each and every day to the fullest” kind of gal. But, for me, the special ingredient of passion has made “fullest even fuller.”

How about you, have you ever analyzed what drives you in life? I’d love to hear.


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under life, musings

Taking “C” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Since today is the third day of my latest surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “C” things.

I am especially grateful for:

Dad and meCaring. We are frequently told and so believe that ours in an uncaring society, but the truth is, most of us care. We care about others, we care for them, we take care of them. We care about this world and we care about the creatures that share it with us. There’s a whole lot of caring going on! Today I will be care-full not to take all that caring for granted, but will take it with gratitude.

Cash. In this world of credit and debit, we still have the ability to make simple and anonymous purchases with cash. We can count it without complicated computations, we can tuck it away for an emergency, or we can put it in an envelope and hand it to someone we care about. Although we are headed for a cashless society, I am grateful that we still have a choice.

Choice. So often, it seems as if life tosses us about, and that we don’t have much choice about what we do, who we are, and what happens to us, but there are always choices. To a great extent, we can choose what to eat and when and where. If our job doesn’t suit (or we were laid off) we have the choice of searching for a better job. Even when things don’t work out for us, such as not being able to find a job, we still have the choice of how to deal with the trauma. Having choices is something I choose to be grateful for.

Comfort. In a choice between fashion or comfort, I always choose comfort. No high heels or constricting clothes for me! (Clothes — another “C” to be grateful for!) So, today I will be grateful for all the comforts of home — comfortable clothing, comfortable furniture, comfortable food, comfortable temperatures.

Comforters. Quilts and other comforters make sleeping a pleasure. Friends and other comforters — those who listen to our woes and give us a shoulder to cry on — make life a pleasure.  Thank you to all those who have offered comfort during these past years. I never took you for granted, but appreciated your every word.

So, what “C” things are you taking for gratitude today?


See also:
Taking “A” Things With Gratitude, Taking “B” Things With Gratitude

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.



Filed under life, Pat Bertram

Perpetual Motion by J J Dare

The perpetual motion of life is an interesting state of being. Even when we’re inert, such as in couch potato mode, life doesn’t stop revolving around us. Here’s how my life has twirled lately:

At home after the parade: The Boy & his Mardi Gras loot

The baby’s first Mardi Gras parade was last night. It was a small parade, kind of like a starter parade for him until he’s older and graduates to the wild and woolly ones in New Orleans. He hated it. The bands made him cry and the lights scared him. The father of a two-year old standing next to us said it takes awhile. The two-year old looked slightly bored. Regardless, it’s something The Boy will get used to – it’s in our blood to celebrate Mardi Gras loud and proud.

White Devil: caught!

The White Devil amused us for awhile when he jumped into a narrow box and couldn’t figure how to get out. Even though he’s so mean to the other animals in the house, I couldn’t let him suffer for long; how could I resist those eyes? After a few minutes I tipped the box over and let him crawl out with his kitty pride intact.

Soft lights of the city late at night

Late the other night, I was driving out of town and the mist on my windshield made the streetlights and stoplights soft and fuzzy. It served a dual purpose by making the song “Sister Christian” stick in my mind and reminding me I need to up the prescription in my glasses.

Other events:

A friend is divorcing her husband of ten years and was trying to figure the best way to tell her two young children that everything will be okay. She was emotionally bombed more by having to explain that Mommy and Daddy are divorcing than by the divorce itself. I gave her the only thing I can in situations like this: a sounding board. When my friend and her children’s father explained what was going on, her oldest child said, “Okay,” and went back to a game he was playing and the youngest asked if this meant he would get two deserts, one from each parent, after supper every night. Kids.

Another friend told me of a mutual friend’s recent accident. He was on the interstate and a board flew out of the truck ahead of him. He veered to the right to avoid it and ran into the car in the lane beside him. Had he veered to the left, he would have driven along the shoulder and not suffered a broken body that will take a long time and many operations to repair. But, he is alive and will heal and the other driver suffered only bruises. The jerk in the truck sped away. My friend and I talked about the split second choices we make so often during the course of a normal day and how these choices could easily turn a normal day into a devastating one. During my own life, I’ve tried to follow my own intuition – instead of ignoring the nagging in my head (go left – not right; turn on the next street – not this one; back up your files now – nah, don’t worry about it ‘cause your laptop won’t completely quit).

My laptop is still dead. Oh, woe is me. Although there are three computers in the house, I was incredibly lazy with a laptop. I could take it anywhere, including the couch in front of the television, and I could multitask. Of course, this was not always good when I was trying to write. I’m easily distracted at times. Now, I have to use a desktop in a dedicated area with no television and a door that shuts everyone out. Yay is me. I found a plus side to a laptop death.

I’m cycling through the writing phase again. I feel something creeping up and scratching at my creativity door. “Tell the story,” the insidious muse is whispering through a crack in the wood. “I’m too busy,” I reply. “You have time to do everything else. Let me in.” Since my own muse terrifies me at times, I think I’ll get back to some of my WIPs.

The world is perpetual chaos. Well, at least in my world. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. Sometimes the chaos is happy chaos (weddings, births, frozen yogurt runs); sometimes it’s not so good. We’re not wired to live in a perfect state. Perfection, like absinthe, should be handled in small sips.

From my kids at Christmas. My family keeps me grounded in life

The bedlam in the lives of my characters mirrors my own life far too often, but, the chaos of perpetual motion is my drug of choice. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now, it’s off to my next line of mischief. My grandson sounds like a raptor when he yells (and he yells when his diaper’s wet or his belly’s empty). We tell him his raptor buddies aren’t coming to save him but I think it’s time for him to learn something new. Since I taught my granddaughter a short bit from “Superstar,” I’ll teach my grandson the head bob from “Night at the Roxbury.” It’s never too early to learn classic cult movie scenes and who knows? Maybe his first words will be, “What is Love?”



J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and triple digit works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

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Filed under life, writing