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Saturday, March 29, 2014

How Green Grew

On the weekend of March 22 and 23, I had the privilege of being involved with the BIL Conference. I met some really great people and one of the, David J. Hiebert, is contributing to today's entry.

David is the author of Gratefully Green, a children's book that explains the benefit of living a green lifestyle.

I haven't always been green. I’m still not “perfectly” green. Why wasn't my life “green”? There was a problem with the roots.

After years of marriage, I divorced. I jumped into a series of relationships. Common law, an affair with a married woman, a marriage that ended when I cheated. I stopped. I lived alone. I took stock of my life. I saw that what my life had grown into was very weedy,confusing and not very attractive. During this ”gardening” I was clinically diagnosed as having ADHD. I received treatment, benefited from an adult ADHD support group and started to weed, prune and cultivate my life.

Then an “inner voice” asked me if I would be willing to be an apprentice for sixty years to work for one? That was not such a strange question considering that I had just had my second blood transfusion. I had had ALL the tests. Cancer? No. A virus? No. Finally there were no more tests to take. Then followed years of monitored maintenance. More blood transfusions. Weekly and bi-weekly Iron infusions. My doctor said she was glad that she had saved my life.

I decided to live my life more honourably by being Creative, Compassionate and Humble. It was during this time of deconstructing and rebuilding my life that a concept came to me. The concept was that each letter of the word GREEN had a meaning to explain what “Going Green” might mean. It started with, “G is for Grateful”, “R is for Respectful” etc. Each “explanation” became wordy and plodding. These ramblings morphed into snappy poems. I drew the illustrations.

And so the concept grew. The leaves became pages that turned into a book. The process to an ISBN numbered children’s book called Gratefully Going GREEN took five years.

I have read Gratefully Going GREEN at a school, it’s in a local book store and I’ve presented it at the recent BIL conference. Where will the book go next? I don’t really know. It’s still growing. .

Thank you. David (J. Hiebert)

Thank you David for an entertaining, and enlightening, article.

The photos are from me and Morgue File.

See ya next time.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

When Did You Grow Up?

Today's entry is from Brian Randleas. Take it away Brian.
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? Most of us went through a list of possible dream professions. When we learned that there were not many openings for real cowboys, who rode the range, fought Indians and outlaws, and drank rye whiskey from a dirty glass, we moved on. We discovered that to be a princess you needed to have more than a tiara and a pink evening gown with frilly edges. Your parents had to be royalty. We judge from mom's old housecoat, and dad's comfortable but worn out shirt and boxers, this was not happening. Gradually we worked our way through a world of possibilities, until as we grew taller our list grew shorter and more practical.

For instance. To be an astronaut one is required to learn things. Things like math and algebra. To be a famous athlete one must be borne with amazing talent, or resign themselves to work each and every day to make the cut.

That being said. If you didn't like math, or the idea of spending hours a day doing actual exercise didn't make you giddy then chances are your list was pretty short.
What about those of us who never got that dream job or our face was never on the cover of a Wheaties box? How did we know we had grown up? Well first I suppose we must try to define a measure of what it means to be grown up.

Would being old enough to vote count as being grown up? Society after all and even our own government have decided that at the age of 18 we are grown up, and responsible enough to be able to vote. What about our first real job where we were not required to ask, “Would you like fries with that?”, or “May I super size that for you?” Perhaps it was having our own car, apartment, or even kids of our very own. Along with each of these choices came responsibilities as well as bills of our very own.

I must confess. With each of these new milestones I still had no sense of being grown up. Although I did have a new sense of responsibility, a grown up to me was someone like my parents. That was definitely not me.
Then one day it happened. There had been no warning. No one sent out a memo. Nothing was marked on the calendar to prepare me. One of my children wanted to go somewhere, or do something. My mind raced ahead to all of the dangers, and things that could or would go wrong, and end with my child endangering themselves or another. Of course I said no. At this point dad had done his duty as a parent and been responsible. Of course my child asked me the question all young and foolish young children are want to ask. “Why not?”

Now if you were reading earlier you know and I know that I genuinely did have reasons. My list of reasons was way to long to make for anything other, than a long and drawn out answer, which would of no doubt surpassed the attention span time limit of a youngster. I also thought better of suggesting things to an impressionable young mind that had not occurred to them before. So of course I gave the old standard adult answer.

I immediately flashed back to my childhood as I heard my father’s voice escaping from my own lips, and saying those four words. “Because I said so.” I wanted to take it back, to not believe it was so, but it was too late. I had said it. Unfortunately everyone knows that once said, words cannot be taken back. They are out there.

I sat down sighing in my comfortable worn out shirt and boxers, and feeling very much like a grown up.

Thank you Brian for that story. Quite interesting and I am sure that many parents can relate.

If you want to connect with Brian Randleas, you can cruise over to his blog and check out his Facebook page.

Thanks to Morgue File for the photos.

See ya next time.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bouncing Back

Recently, I had an event on Facebook. It didn't turn out to be the roaring success I had hoped it would be and I was understandably disappointed. Heck, I was ticked off! My co-host and I, along with numerous other kind people, put a lot of time and effort into getting this event arranged.

It is so frustrating when I run promotions, which other writers have had great success on, and I see very little. It is heartbreaking to hear about the great successes of other authors and not seeing them myself. Especially if I am doing basically the same thing. Is it a problem with my presentation? Is my product not that good? Will I ever get to the level of success I want to? What is wrong with me? These are the questions that keep me up at night.

To be honest, those questions don't disturb my slumber. Because when I get discouraged or down about this, I start making plans. I have a list of promotions and ways to increase my sales. I know that some will work better than others. 

That's the only way to be, I think. Lick your wounds, do something totally different for a little while (I watched Fast and Furious 6 and drooled over the men)  then get back to the task at hand later. We can't let the disappointments that happen in life discourage us from going on. Just think how life would be if everyone gave up after a few disappointments? We wouldn't have the technology we do. We would still be living in caves!

I am embarking on a new career - author/speaker/life coach - and am billing myself as a Positive Energy Mentor. But I am human and there are times when I will have difficulty being positive and happy. I may snap at people, I may hurt their feelings. I don't mean to, I regret it and am trying to be more careful. However, it will happen. Because I am human and I am not perfect.

But I am not giving up. I will continue to keep working towards my goals and trying to find the way that works for me. I will keep bouncing back.

Photos from Morguefile Free photos.

See ya next time!