About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Golden Days. . .Leaden Days

(Our host for this week's Fun Monday Robin the Pensieve One invites us to share our favorite quotes and words that inspire us. I looked back over past year calendars and journals and found that there was a definite theme in the words/quotes that inspired me enough to write them down and, therefore, remember. The theme is that our life moves in cycles and learning to understand and accept this certainty helps us to deal with the changes and challenges that come our way.)

". . .cycling through circumstances, golden days and leaden ones." The day last August when I saw this wonderful painting was a golden one. The plan was for a carload of good friends to head out to the country for a picnic after they got off work at noon. Since I'm the retiree of the group with time on my hands, I was in charge of ordering up a catered--notice I didn't say cooking--lunch, including benedictine sandwiches and brownies. For the non-southern readers, benedictine filling is a delicious concoction of cream cheese and grated cucumber, tinted the palest green and spread on whole wheat bread. Our destination was the Smith Berry Winery and Amyx Art Gallery about a 45 minute drive out of Louisville.

When we arrived at the winery we set up our picnic under this grapevine covered pergola. We had the place all to ourselves except for Rose (appropriately name for the resident winery dog) who was willing to share our benedictine sandwiches. After lunch we went through a special exhibit of all dog paintings by the artist Betsy Hall. Each of us "picked" the one that we'd take home (for me that would have been Night Sky Border Collie) if money were no object. We closed out the golden day with some wine sampling and purchases and made the return drive over beautiful country roads, laughing and talking over each other all the way.

Unfortunately, all days can't be golden. Things happen to us, or to those that we love, that are really bad. Sometimes we're on top of the world and at other times the world is on top of us--or so it seems. In order to get through these good and bad times without losing equilibrium, I take the advice of life coach Victoria Moran when she suggests: "Just about everything that happens on earth comes to pass and not to stay. Circumstances do not deserve to have a hold on you, because they're already headed out of town and you're not going anywhere." Moran further cautions that it's easy for us to lose sight of the cyclic way of things, that we've been through hard times and survived, sometimes even triumphed. She says that when we hit a roadblock we just need to remember: "This isn't the end of the story. It's just a twist in the plot."

Rena Pederson, editor of the Dallas Morning News, sums up this challenge in her book, What's Next? Women Redefining Their Dreams in the Prime of Life: "Life is about reinventing and revising. You have to decide how to spend your days, because in the end that is how you will have spent your life." In other words, the real power comes from being able live out the golden and leaden days, knowing that we need both for a rich and enjoyable life.

Now head on over to Robin for some other Fun Monday participants' words to live by.

31 comments:

Celeste said...

Very true. We all are on a journey of life, without knowing the destination. The road isn't always smooth, but it is how we navigate those twists and turns that ultimately take us to the final resting place (I'm really into road/journey when thinking about life).

Alison said...

those are wonderful..I especially like the "twist in the plot" one..that is my life.

SongBird said...

Lovely post! I like the 'twist in the plot' quote, too.

IamwhoIam said...

Rings true, and what a twisted plot we live.

Thanks for sharing

Lane said...

What inspirational quotes and the painting is wonderful.

Quite fancy a benedictine sandwich too:-)

Jo Beaufoix said...

I like these, and I love that painting. I'd have picked that one too.

Hootin' Anni said...

This is really good, isn't it?

Life is about reinventing and revising.

Excellent choice

Joy T. said...

Rena Pederson is my new hero and I've written this down. Loved it!!

ellen b. said...

I love how you shared these quotes within this great context. I especially like "this isn't the end of the story. It's just a twist in the plot"
Blessings...

kitten said...

Wonderfully put!

Jenn And The City said...

Love the painting. And the part about redefining is so true. Everything that happens is an opportunity to redefine. I really liked your ABCs from last Monday as well. Very, very true.

My Husband Calls Me Weird said...

Very lovely quotes!

nikki

SwampAngel65 said...

...a twist in the plot. Yeah, I like that one alot. That's a good one to remember when life is handing you lemons.

jientje said...

Very well said!
Oh and thx for your lovely comment on my post!

jientje said...

Very well said!
Oh and thx for your lovely comment on my post!

Sayre said...

I may use that as my epitaph: This isn't the end of the story - it's just a twist in the plot!

hulagirlatheart said...

A twist in the plot...I love that.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

"A twist in the plot"...I think I need to remember that one.

jennifer said...

Oh my gosh, how I spend my days is how I will spend my life. Every where I have gone today, there is a quote hitting me right between the eyes!!!

Thank you for the inspiration.

Jennifer

mjd said...

Very wise words, Faye. Although I have not pondered this before, these words are certainly true. "Life is about reinventing and revising. You have to decide how to spend your days, because in the end that is how you will have spent your life."

Sauntering Soul said...

Great selection of quotes.

I have one question though. Are benedictine sandwiches a Kentucky southern thing? I've lived in Georgia my entire life and I've never heard of them. They sound yummy though (and I'm not even a big fan of cucumber).

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Hi Faye, what great words of wisdom and inspiring quotes you have posted today..thanks for sharing with us...

Robin said...

As I was reading this, I thought about the passage in Ecclesiastes many people have included today (the first 8 verses of chapter 3); it speaks to the cyclical nature of life.

Lovely how you incorporated your quotes into a type of narrative. Conflict is essential to a good story...I guess that's what makes a good life (eventually).

Thanks for joining in this week! I so enjoyed your post :).

Robin @ PENSIEVE

bermudabluez said...

Love the painting! Happy Fun Monday!! And yes...the twist in the plot one is my favorite too...

Pamela said...

One of my friends mother used to say "This too, shall pass"

I think I'd like to sit and talk about it with you over benedictine sandwiches!

ChrisB said...

These are very wise words that I really must remember...'you have to decide how you spend your days' and 'twist in the plot'. I don't always deal with change as well as I might!

KAREN said...

I LOVE that painting :o)

The quotes are good too - expecially the 'twist in the plot.' Very true!

Debs said...

I love the painting.

I agree with what you say and when something ghastly happens, I do remember that this too will pass. Unfortunately I worry in the good times that they will pass by also, such a misery sometimes.

My aunt once told me (when I was bemoaning a difficult time) that we have to experience the lousy times to appreciate the good ones and stop us getting complacent. I think she is mostly right, but not entirely.

Karina said...

Very true! I really like that last quote...because that is how we will have spent our life...isn't it?

lisa marie said...

You should see all the twists there've been in my plot then. :) My life probably looks like a pretzel.

Jettie said...

Yes how true I loved your qoutes all of them!!!!!!!!!!!!