Pauline Reneaux

D is for Dream

Sunday, January 13, 2019

2019 is now upon us in all her glory. The topic for this piece actually came to me about a month ago so I used the last days of 2018 to really look into my topic in great depth. Normally, people make their New Year’s resolutions and pack the gym, but often these well-meaning goals are very short lived. So, then the idea came to me as I looked at my own life, what if we make what we set out to accomplish on January 1st something we can stick to and achieve!! What if we identify a dream we have and then make a plan as to how we can achieve that dream in 2019? Make your dream something that is doable, but something that will put a spring in your step when we reach December and realize, hey, I really did it!! It doesn’t matter how big or small, if it’s something you have always wanted to do, write it down. For me, approaching 2019 in this fashion takes the pressure off and instead of “resolution” being a 4 letter word, so to speak, the 5 letter word “dream” turns into a 4 letter word that I can embrace, that word being LOVE!!

For me, I want to see my first novel published. I used November and December to lay the foundation so that I can turn this dream into a reality this year. I have all the pieces of the puzzle, and now 2019 is my time to make this dream come true. I use a little stuffed elephant to remind me of the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This is for those times when working toward my dream becomes overwhelming or life has me slowing down. I have items around my house to remind me to believe in my dream. I would encourage you to do the same. The roses in my photo are to remind me that it is time to stop and smell the roses, because life goes by so quickly. They also remind me that sometimes the most beautiful things take time to bloom.
So what would you LOVE to do in 2019? What dream or dreams do you want to see fulfilled? Maybe make a vision board or a board on Pinterest that can represent your dream for 2019. I will work on my own vision board and will share that with you next month. I would love to hear from you. Our community has incredible creatives who love to help others discover their potential and I have always found great joy in bringing people together.
Until next month…
Blessings, Pauline

C is for Cultivating Cheer

     The holiday season is in the air, but in all honesty retail establishments had snowmen next to pumpkins before the first frost hit the ground. We have traded our pumpkin spice in for peppermint mocha lattes. We are of good cheer…or are we?

     I decided to name this piece Cultivating Cheer because it is not uncommon for this time of year to be challenging for people; some have lost love ones, some are alone, some have financial burdens, or any number of other obstacles. So how do we do this? Depending on where you are in life at this moment, it would be very easy to just enjoy the lights on the homes in our neighborhoods and skip the holidays all together, so that is why approaching the holidays this way intrigued me.
Merriam-Webster defines cultivating as to foster the growth of. My family knows that we are facing some very challenging days ahead in 2019, so Cultivating Cheer…well it has been a challenge. So how am I personally Cultivating Cheer this holiday season? I have always been a firm believer in the idea that when life tosses me lemons I can either make lemonade and buy lemon flavored desserts to share with others or have a sour attitude. 

     This past week I watched the movie Christmas in Mississippi. Cenla’s own Faith Ford plays the part of a widow who is decorating for Christmas. When her grown daughter comes home she tells her mom she does not have to go to such extremes to decorate. Faith’s character explains she is decorating for herself simply because she likes to. Last month I wrote about finding balance in my life, and I am doing this in a way that I have never known before. I am not creating and organizing to impress others. I am creating and organizing so that my little empty nest is a nest I want to come home to. Faith Ford’s movie really reiterated for me the idea that creating and decorating for the holidays is not about doing this for anyone else, it is about doing it for our own enjoyment.
In my own quest to cultivate cheer this holiday season I will decorate because I love all things Hallmark and white twinkly lights. 

     For me personally, I have always found that the best way to cultivate cheer is by creating things for others. Sometimes people know they are from me, sometimes they do not. Sometimes they are received graciously and sometimes I never know how they are received. When I do things for people, whether it is to cook a meal, make a gift, or simply send them a God Wink book, I do not ever do these things expecting anything in return. My mom use to say that everyone deserves a happy every now and then and I find great joy in doing this. I have found that cultivating kindness, even if the recipient does not know who we are, cultivates cheer in our hearts and souls.

     To cultivate cheer this holiday season what if we send an anonymous gift to a friend that finds the holidays painful? What if we write a note to a colleague, friend, or neighbor and tell them how much they mean to us or what an impact they may have had on our lives? What if we set up our little tree with the white lights and listen to festive music, and not think of the things we have lost or the trying days ahead?

     When we cultivate things we are helping them grow. When we smile, studies have shown that it helps lift the spirits of others. So I challenge you all to work on Cultivating Cheer this holiday season. You never know, it may help make this season bright for a multitude of people.

Until next year….


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