A Year to Review, Revise and Remember

Life can be funny sometimes. It throws you curve balls, takes you on paths that you’d never think you would take and life always comes full circle.   Each person has their own personal and unique life’s journey and along with it the interesting turns and twists that are unique.

One thing I learned this year is that life happens whether you want it happen or not. Being that I am a social media guru and I am online for about 60 hours a week, I get to see people’s lives evolve .  I also get to see people’s struggles, complaints, life-moments, and everything in between.  And from that I can tell you that life is short, really short.  Every single moment in your life counts.  Every decision you make will have an effect on your life in one way or another.  What people don’t realize is that they have an opportunity to make a difference in the world and in themselves each and every day.  That can be simply by saying hello, holding a door open for someone, supporting a friend, paying for someone’s coffee, etc.

Another thing that most people don’t realize is that we should never stop learning and growing.  Traditions and rules were made to be broken.  The concept of giving of one’s self to another, often is abused.  People take advantage of good-hearted people,  I should know. They aren’t appreciative of the fact that you gave of yourself, they now expect it. People who are more appreciative are those who aren’t expecting your kindness.  Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t be compassionate, open, and understanding, I am just saying to be wary of those with whom who are open to sharing your exceptional kindness with. … some don’t deserve it.  But that doesn’t mean that you stop respecting them.

That’s another thing I came across this year. Social media has made too many people comfortable with being able to disrespect others without getting punched in the mouth for it.  That then carries over to their “actual” lives and we have become more judgemental, angry, selfish, and greedy.   If you live your life as if everything is about you, you will be left with just that; just you. Relationships aren’t designed for selfish individuals.  But I have learned this year that being angry at people who don’t have the capacity to change is a waste of my energy and my time.

Speaking of relationships, I have learned this past year that some are not worth it, while some are worthwhile.  The most important relationship that you will ever have is the relationship you have with yourself. Going into 2019, the best decision you can ever make, is putting yourself first. If you are still single, capitalize on it. Never settle. Know your worth. You deserve to be happy.  Don’t end up with someone just because you need to be with someone.  Never love when you are lonely. And if you can’t love who you are, how do you expect someone else to love you?

There is no right age to settle down but there is a right time.  There’s a difference. Learn it in 2019.

Follow your own path. Don’t copy someone else’s life, live your own. You weren’t made to be a carbon copy of someone else, you were made to stand out and be an original. Be proud of who you are, how far you have come, and where you are going.  Find people who support your goals,  are happy for your success, and who are there to comfort you when you fail.  Be authentic in real life and online. Stop trying to please others- when you are the one who at the end of the day, lives with the decisions YOU make, not anyone else.

Here’s to 2019! Go for your dreams, seek what makes you satisfied in your life , and make it happen.

Do You Believe In Magic?

First off, I want to wish a Merry Christmas to all my readers and fans.

When we are little, Christmas is all about the anticipation of the “big day!” We all write letters to Santa Claus, we decorate the tree, make Christmas cookies and also make our parents a homemade gift.

As we get older we tend to move away from these traditions and sometimes that special magic of the season fades. It’s so easy to get consumed by the commercial side of the season, which can take away some of the joy and magic. Not only that, but as an adult we also get stressed at this time of year. We have to deal with our adult lives, (work, paying bills, taking care of our family, etc) and also getting ready for the holiday. This is when we just try and “get through” another holiday.

Why do some adults lose that love, that magic of Christmas?

As I explained this to some folks this past week. Christmas isn’t just about finding out that Santa isn’t the one who buys you those gifts your find under the tree. The truth is that I still believe in Santa. I believe in the magic of the holiday, that miracles can happen, that the unexpected can take place, and that happiness surrounds us if we just take the time to look and feel it. Santa doesn’t necessarily have to be a person. Santa can be a feeling. He’s the hope we hold in our hearts that good things are possible if we only believe.

The magic of the season is all about giving of yourself to make someone else’s life a little better, a little happier, and a little sweeter. See, Christmas in itself is real magic. It’s not the magic of wizards and wands you read in books. The Christmas spirit is ageless, timeless and giving. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is meant to bring a message of peace and hope in times when we think that peace is never a possibility. Christ was born with a pure heart and humbled himself by lying in a manger. Poor or rich it doesn’t matter, what matters is what comes from within.

Christmas is so much more than getting presents. It is truly the holiday of giving and love. The greatest gifts are not those wrapped under the tree or dressed in colorful bows. They are those given with an open heart, one wrapped in the ribbons of faith, hope, and love.

The Meaning Of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. It’s a time to “give thanks” for all we have and for each other. Thanksgiving is also filled with traditions. Every family has a tradition. Some like to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Others like to have a family game of a flag football while others run Turkey Trots. I probably could name a few other traditions, but I would like to talk about mine.

Growing up my family went to my grandmothers house in Yonkers. We did it every year until she passed away. We did go to Florida one year, to celebrate with my aunt and uncle, but that too was short-lived. We did try to get together with the ENTIRE family, but being that there are around forty of us, it was a little tight. Then we started having Thanksgiving at our house. My other grandmother and my great aunt came over to my house, as did my aunt from Florida. Sadly, my other grandmother and my aunt passed away years ago, but my great-aunt just turned 103! My family does play a football game in the morning and some of us did do the Turkey Trot for a few years, but the best part of my family now is that it is growing, so the Turkey Trot was happily voided, for now. We may go back to doing it in the future.

Each year I would donate food to the food cupboard for my church which takes care of over one hundred families during this time of year. But I never thought that was enough. Thanksgiving always meant to ‘give” for me. And that is when something awesome happened. I met this fun and amazing woman on Twitter, then we became Facebook friends. I actually have some really close friends that I met on Twitter and Facebook in the beginning stages of when social media started.

So, we had awesome conversations online and then, being that she is a Mets fan, I met her at the game, (even though I am a Yankees Fan.) It was great to meet in person and we then started to meet up in the City from time to time.

Then one week before Thanksgiving, she posted on Facebook that she had no where to go for Thanksgiving. I was so sad seeing that post, so I invited her and her brother to my house for Thanksgiving. Now, ten years later, the tradition is still in full effect, but of course we are growing at the table with her boyfriend and my nephew and niece. But it is always the best time!

So, in closing, Thanksgiving means more than just food, football and family. It means giving back. It means sharing your family with those who don’t necessarily have a place to go and making your home, their home. Thanksgiving Day isn’t about shopping for sales. (That’s what Black Friday is for!) Thanksgiving Day should give you hope in humanity. Thanksgiving Day should be about acknowledging our gratitude together. Thanksgiving is a good reminder that amidst of all the disasters and stresses in life, joy is easy to find. We should be able to realize what we can do and be more open to trying to serve. The way to go beyond being thankful is to have the commitment of giving.