Making Room for More

T’is the time of year for adding more to our living spaces.

No, I’m not referring to building an addition onto your house or finally asking dear Auntie to go home (after all, she’s been visiting for over a month now!).

It’s time for gift-receiving!  Everyone talks about gift-giving, but little is said about the “getting” end if it.  Where will you put all those gifts you cannot eat, use, or re-gift? Take them to the office?  What if you work from home or are lucky enough to be a full-time retiree?  Will those unwanted presents just add to your mess distress?

If your home is already mired in chaos and disorder, perhaps it is time to quit that drug cold turkey!

The drug I am referring to is CLUTTER.  If a jumble of hodgepodge items defines you, makes you feel good, or keeps you feeling bad about yourself, then it needs to be dealt with.

We all have clutter to some extent; some just seem to accumulate more than their fair share.  Think of that clutter as a drug you want to rid yourself of.  As you handle each item of the excess mess, use the acronym D.R.U.G. for guidance.

D = donate it

R = recycle it

U = use it

G = get rid of it (garbage)

Those 4 actions will take care of anything that adds to the clutter surrounding you.  You will be making room for more; not more clutter, but more good feelings, more free time, more space for gift-getting!

May you always make room for more – love in your heart, that is!

Alice

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My Camera’s Eye

When you’re on vacation, do you take lots of pictures?  I do!

When you come home and look at them, do they take you right back to that moment in time when you took them?   Mine do!

Do the photos truly capture the wonder and beauty of what you actually saw?   No? Neither do mine!

I started writing this entry thinking I would share one of the amazing pictures I took on one of my recent adventures.  When what to my surprise, I realized that only I  (and perhaps a kind family member) would know or be able to guess where I was looking when I pointed the camera!

Here’s how the picture sharing might go…

“This is St. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney, Ireland.  It is amazing: the gray stone, the stained glass windows, the lush green grounds around it, the mere size of it.  Oh, yeah…it also has a huge steeple with a cross on the top.  Honest, it does; I saw it plain as day –  with my own eyes.  I guess the camera’s eye missed it!”

IMG_1289

A family member of mine is a professional photographer who must cringe when I share my pics with her.  Thank goodness she is lovely person and not prone to hurting feelings.

To my credit, however, I also take acceptable photos like the one below.  This one was taken in Zimbabwe, Africa – quite near Victoria Falls.  I can still imagine the sound of the falls when I see it!  And isn’t that the purpose of the photo-snapping after all?

761Perhaps I will stick to writing about my adventures rather than depending on my photography skills.

Or maybe I just need a new camera that can read my mind!

Wishing you a beautiful view ~

Alice

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Who Makes Your Decisions?

Invitation to Take Control of Your Life

Invitation to Take Control of Your Life

Can a person actually be in control of his or her life?

At a recent book-signing, that question was posed to me.  (What a great opportunity to let those in attendance peek into the mind of this author!)

The short answer to the question is NO.  We cannot control what happens to us, for us, or around us.  Having said that, I will qualify the answer by adding:  what we can control is our reaction to what happens to us, for us, and around us.

We can be victims or survivors.  We can look backward and regret or look forward and plan. We can be passive and let life whiz by us or we can be assertive and stand up for our beliefs.  Whatever we decide to do or not do, it is our choice.

Life obstacles can and will happen.  Where we go, what we do, how we handle situations…it is our choice.  By making no decision, by passing up an opportunity, by neglecting to answer, by refusing to take part…all are legitimate choices that we make for ourselves.

Are there times when we might say, “I had no choice.  I did what I had to do.”? You bet!  We have all probably felt that way at one time or another.  By saying we had no choice  ~ what we really mean is “I had no choice but to do it that way because if I made any other choice, I did not want to face the consequences of my decision.”

If that last sentence made you think, hopefully next time you will give pause before letting someone else dictate your decision.  If it made you squirm, chances are you knew exactly what you were doing.

I have a request of you:  Please read my book and decide for yourself just who is in charge of your life!

Wishing you excellent choices for a fulfilling life,

Alice

To obtain your copy of R.S.V.P. ~ An Invitation to Take Control of Your Life, please visit www.rsvptoyourlife.com.  You can also email me directly with your order.  Group discounts apply when ordering 5 or more copies.

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SceneSounds

Can you hear them?

Can you hear it?

What are your favorite sounds?

Perhaps you have a favorite song or melody that runs through your mind when everything is going your way.

Maybe you like the sound of rain dancing on a roof.  Do you love the sound of a thunderstorm?

Children’s laughter, a new puppy’s tiny bark, or the memory of the sound of an approaching neighborhood ice cream truck may be on your personal list of most pleasant sounds.

The photo above is a visual capture of one of my all-time favorites: the sound of ocean waves meeting the sandy shore before heading out to sea again for a journey to who-knows-where.  That thunderous, breaking sound can drown out (no pun intended) enough other noise to let me enjoy mind-clearing sounds of silence!

By looking at this picture I took recently, I can recall the sound of sea gulls flying overhead before swooping down for a landing on the beach in search of a tiny morsel.  It also brings to mind the sound of my youngest granddaughter’s laughter as she enjoyed the sights still so new to her at 2 1/2.  And I re-imagine the faint, frustrated sigh from my older granddaughter as she and the wind played tug-of-war when it was time to fold up the beach towels.

Our memories of favorite sounds are like hearing them again upon demand.  It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.   I also believe that a picture can evoke sounds in our minds that make us smile on a gloomy day in memory of hearing a more perfect tune.

Try a SceneSound of your own.  And smile as you look at it and listen to it!

Wishing you sounds of wonder and amazement for the summer~

Alice

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An Invitation to Take Control

What would you do if…

  • you had the time
  • money was no object
  • space would be available
  • family approval was guaranteed
  • the weather cooperated
  • someone reliable watched the kids
  • you didn’t have to work
  • you had no excuses!

Get the picture?  Conjuring up reasons to not follow a dream becomes an art form when we put our minds to it.  Think of how much we could accomplish if even half the energy we devote to excuses were devoted instead to reaching our goals.

What if we never get around to setting goals?  Then we never get around to seeing our dreams become reality.   A dream is just a wish without a plan.  I’ve read or heard that expression so many times; perhaps you have, too.

What does that mean? 

It means taking the time now to write down or somehow record (pencil and paper or electronic device – your choice) just what it is you want and the steps you will take to achieve it.  If you cannot take the time to do that, how will you ever take the time to accomplish your dream?

It means figuring out the SMART way to see your wish become a reality.

It means deciding what you want, when you want it, how you will finance it, and how you will know when you have achieved it.  How will you know when the dream has come true?

If this all sounds overwhelming, it can be.  One way to figure it out is to read and enjoy the short book I wrote about that very subject.  It is entitled

R.S.V.P. ~ An Invitation to Take Control of Your Life.

The book itself fits in a briefcase or other personal item you carry with you.  It can be read is short spurts as you wait for an appointment, ride the bus, or on the plane.  Wherever you decide to enjoy it, I know you will benefit from the tips I offer.

To obtain your copy, please contact me at ajmaxin@gmail.com.  It will be available after February 10, 2013.

Wishing you pleasant, helpful tips ~

Alice

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Absolutely Brilliant

Those were the exact words my editor used when she read my draft manuscript! 

To say I was astounded would be an understatement.  I thought I did a good job; but to read the compliment from one who professionally writes and edits for a living was quite the confidence booster. 

The next hurdle came in the form of (drum roll) professional proofreaders.  Again I passed with flying colors.  And before I came down from Cloud 9, a typeset manuscript arrived via email for my approval. 

Now a second phase of work for me has begun and it is huge – not so much time wise, but pressure-wise.  I, the mere author, have the final okay on not only how the book looks, but also on every period, comma, and bullet!  If my name is going to be on the cover, then I want it to be perfect.  After all, I am a first-born child and that’s in our DNA.

Am I excited?  You bet! 

Is this something I never planned on, but always dreamed of?  You bet! 

Do I hope you, my readers, are looking forward to owning your own copy?  You bet!

Stay tuned for more “absolutely brilliant” news regarding Alice’s Book Adventures.

Wishing you exciting news of your own ~

Alice

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Out the Door

What happens when you mix a bright, sunny fall day with a To Do list that was started who-knows-when?   If you said, the To Do list remains on the desk and the composer of the list is out the door, you are right! 

What is it about a beautiful day that causes us to abandon our good intentions in favor of a brief outing that will soon be a memory? 

Let’s compare the 2 choices.

1. A wonderous, perfect weather day that does not happen all that often  VS  a To Do list that will be there until I tackle it.

2. A walk outside with a chance of seeing the 14 turkeys again that were in the field this morning VS a dust rag inside with a chance of moving dust mites to a new location

3. Breathing in the fresh air on a crisp morning VS smelling the window cleaner as I look outside while I clean

4. Hearing the crunch of newly fallen leaves as I kick a path through their ground cover VS listening to the morning news as I do the dishes

5. Testing out my new walking shoes VS running around the house in my scrubby clothes

Perhaps I should add “Take a walk outside” to my To Do list.   I could check it off and know that I accomplished something when I return from my outside adventure.

I can still hear the turkeys in the field.  My new shoes feel just right.  I’ll grab a light jacket on my way out the door.   And my To Do list will be right where I left it when I come back.

Leaving now for a breath of fresh air ~

Alice

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