Everyone has a time in their life when they come to a crossroad. The hardest decision is choosing whether to stay or walk away.
Maggie never appeared to worry when she made a choice to walk away from a guest in our home or go to a quiet room when a summer party got too loud. She always knew lamb chops were a good choice for dinner, and whatever was cooking on the barbecue was worth the wait to stand by the cook and stare with her ‘puppy eyes’ to get a treat.
Life sometimes places obstacles in our path and we have to decide what choice is best for us. We can ask family, friends, mentors for advice- but in the end, the final decision has to come from you. The results of your decision will affect you, and only you. Sure, walking or staying may impact the people close to you, but it is you who has to live with the choice- so choose wisely.
Maggie always knew if she was staying or walking away. Maybe the secret is knowing when you come to a crossroad in life and decide to walk away…it is toward something that makes you happy.
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The arrival of spring means cleaning windows, putting away bulky coats & snow shovels, and preparing our yards for barbecues & picnics. I find spring is also a good time for reflecting & evaluating the direction of your life journey.
Maggie always appeared to be thinking. She would sit on the lawn or in her bed and have a look of deep contemplation. Her ears would perk up for a passing hawk or rabbit, but then she resumed her pose. I’ll never know what she was thinking, but I admired her ability to just sit, observe and think.
As adults, our life is consumed with distractions. Maybe it would be nice to have a holiday declared just for thinking and reflecting all day. I created that day for myself when spring arrives. I take one day to think about my accomplishments for the year, things I could have done better, and the direction I want to move for the coming year. This activity seems to make sense with a season that begins the start of plants blossoming, animals coming out of hibernation, and humans making summer plans with family & friends.
Maggie was a happy dog. I like to think it had something to do with her wisdom to know the importance of everyone taking the time to sit and reflect on becoming their best self… I think the world would be a little kinder too.
Paws & Reflect: A Journal of Inspiration and Reflection
We all have those times when our life is flooded with interruptions. The secret to surviving these interruptions is reminding ourselves that nothing effects our destiny.
Maggie liked to live on a schedule. She knew when her morning walk would be, breakfast was served, and how long her afternoon nap would be before it was time to go outside and terrorize the squirrels. Sometimes, her schedule changed and we would have company, or an appointment that kept us on the road a bit longer than expected. Maggie would often give little nudges to me when she wanted to express it was time to go home. However, she knew no matter the wait, I would always bring her home and our daily schedule would be back in place.
The world tends to get a bit more complicated from childhood to our years as young adults and middle aged tax payers. As we enter the senior years of our life, we began to realize life is about interruptions and learning how to continue to live & grow during these interruptions. Our destiny is not determined by the interruptions in our life, but how we control these interruptions to keep our mind & spirit focused on our destiny.
Maggie never let life’s interruptions make her forget what her daily life should include for her. As humans, we should not expect anything less either.
‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.’ Thoreau
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As the world changes and new inventions come along to make our lives easier, one thing will always remain unchanged- the desire for people to say what they do. Honesty…is this too much to ask?
Maggie was a faithful buddy, and obedient most of the time. On occasion, she would get into a little mischief. The temptation to chase the lawn mower, or chew on my sneakers, was hard to resist. However, whenever Maggie was confronted, her head would bow down and she knew she had done something wrong. She didn’t run away, or try to give licks & kisses, she was honest with her actions.
It is human nature to make mistakes. The best way to learn from a mistake is to admit the mistake. This process requires honesty, and honesty seems to be in short supply these days. It appears many people would rather keep spreading lies or denying their actions, instead of just saying what they have done.
The quality most people state they look for in others is honesty. I wonder why it is so difficult for people to say what they do, when it is a quality they desire from others?
I’ve heard the secret to living your destiny is to stop asking other people for directions. Everyone has an answer when helping another find the ‘right’ path in life.
Maggie was a wanderer. She loved to go hiking, and venture off the marked paths. Her tail would wag with delight, while her legs moved swiftly to keep up with a scent she was following. During these detours from the path, I often found the best landscapes to photograph. Maggie never hesitated to walk the unknown, and she always enjoyed the journey.
Our world seems to be filled with people that follow a traditional path, or those that want to pave their own way. From my experiences, people following the untraditional path get asked a lot more questions. Maybe our world can also be divided by people who fear the unknown, and people who crave the excitement of the unknown. The times in my life when I didn’t know my destination, resulted in the most memorable experiences & life changing opportunities.
Everyone is unique. Follow your own path. It just may lead to your destiny.
An afternoon drive along Route 44 heading northeast in Connecticut will take you to a town called Putnam; located in the quiet corner of the state.
Putnam was incorporated in 1855 and was a mill town. It was named after Civil War General Israel Putnam. General Putnam was well-known for providing much needed clothes & supplies to the Civil War soldiers. The town was a prosperous community until the devastation that struck in 1955. Hurricane Connie visited Putnam on August 13, 1955 and left 4-6 inches of rain. Then, five days later, Hurricane Diane stayed for two days and provided another 14 inches of rain. The town mills, stores, and railroad were destroyed.
By the end of the twentieth century, a reincarnation of Putnam appeared within the empty storefronts and mills. Antique stores and independent restaurants started to line the streets. People began to view downtown Putnam as a destination for antique seekers and enjoying a good meal with friends, while listening to the music of local musicians.
As an avid antique shopper, my visit to Putnam did not disappoint. The collection of antiques vary from old military uniforms, toys, jewelry, furniture, and even a few washboards. The store owners are as friendly as talking to your long lost friend, and more than willing to help you find the item on your list- even if it’s in another store.
While having dinner outside and listening to the music, I watched the cars from New York, New Jersey, and Virginia drive into the parking lot. I wondered what it was like after those awful Hurricanes destroyed the town, and what the people of Putnam must have thought. Could they have ever imagined their mill town would one day be a bustling & thriving community?
I guess sometimes we do need a little rain to get us to that rainbow.