My Garden – the back

My View

I moved into my home 12 years ago – and it feels like it was just yesterday.  Time flies by so quickly!  My house is small – only 1350 sq ft – but it suits me just fine – very open floor plan – great south facing windows in the living room (great room) that allow the sun to fill my first floor open floor plan with warmth and light!

As you can see from this photograph, the windows across the back of the house are large and fill most of the back wall which gives the inside an openness to the outside – allowing light to filter through.  I love it!

The view is my back yard and for years I have wanted to make that yard beautiful and lush with green trees and colourful flowers.  It needed the bones – and I finally – after many years of dreaming – invested  in laying the ground work – the bones of the garden.  I wanted something that I could build on over the years.  Of course it had to have some of my favourite flowers- like hydrangea.  I wanted a water feature – I love  the sound of a water fountain  –  it provides calm to my spirit – and I am not disappointed with the outcome.

This is the beginnings of my back yard garden!  I hope you like it!  I know I do!!

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A Room With a View

I love a room with a view!  I love bright open spaces with lots of windows that allow the sunlight to pour in and flood the space with warm and light!  And even better – I love the view on the other side of the full windows to be  beautiful and inspiring  – and I especially love a view of water or the mountains!  There is just something about a living space that is open to the outside – a space where the walls provide shelter, but also open up the living space to the natural light and beauty of nature.

I love a room with a view!  Beautiful!!

Failure?

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

Abraham Lincoln

I work with someone who always says “failure is not an option”.  I do know what he is saying although I don’t agree with stating it quite that way  – failure is inevitable – especially if you are a risk taker and willing to try new ideas – new ways of doing things.  To be fair to my colleague I believe what he is saying is that no matter what – we will succeed.  However I believe there may be many failures on the journey to success.

The definition of failure is quite simply “lack of success”.  We all fail as we attempt to succeed – in fact as much as we might not like failure – if we are persistent and don’t give up – and learn from our failures – it is really a step toward success.  Seth Godin says that successful people fail often and successful people learn from their failures.

Let me give you an example of someone who failed many times:

At 9, his mother died.
At 22, he tried to start a business but it failed.
At 23, he thought he would try politics. He ran for state legislature – lost. Then, he lost his job. He applied to law school but couldn’t get in.
At 24, he started another business but by the end of the year he was bankrupt.
At 26, he got engaged to be married but his fiancée died just before the wedding.
At 27, he had a total nervous breakdown and spent six months in bed.
At 29, he went back to politics and tried to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
At 31, he ran for public office again and was defeated.
At 34, he ran for Congress – lost.
At 37, he ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
At 39, he ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
At 40, he sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
At 45, he ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
At 47, he sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – lost again.
At 49, he ran for U.S. Senate again – and he lost, again.
At 51, he had the audacity to run for president of the United States – and… he won.

This is the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.  Would you call him a failure?  I don’t think so –  but he sure failed many many times – but his successes were monumental.

The secret – don’t let failure paralyze you – keep at it – keep going – try again – and know that failure is a path to success.  Successful people fail many times – because not only are they are willing to keep trying – they are willing to take risks and try things they never imagined they could succeed at – and they are willing to try with audacity – and they are willing to learn – adapt – and pick themselves up – dust themselves off and start all over again!

“Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 

Winston Churchill

My Garden ….in pots

My Garden is growing!  And I wanted to share it with you.  I am the queen of pot planting.  For years that is all I have done I think it works beautifully!  This year the plants are just starting to fill out – by the end of the summer they will be spilling over the sides!  I thought I would give you the early July preview!

I was going to title this post My Pot Garden – but I thought that might leave the wrong impression!  (smile)  This is part of the garden – the part that is in pots – not a pot garden!

Milestones

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday  – she would have been 82 years old.  She passed away just over three years ago and it goes without saying, although I will say it here  – I miss her very much – we all miss her very much.  She was a strong pillar in our family.  I think of her on her birthday every year just as i did when she was alive, and I think of her on the date of her death as well – two very important dates in her life.

We all have a birth date and and will have a death date – it is just a simple fact – and it is all of the days in between that form the richness of our  life.  What a wonderful and sobering thought.  Every day in between – we don’t often think of the ending – and perhaps that is good in many ways – however I think it is important to remember that the passing of each day takes us closer to that end – and therefore each day counts – each day matters.

As I write this I think perhaps I am painting a picture of futility and negativity – not my intent at all.  It is only my intent to shout loudly –  live each day with purpose, intent, enthusiasm and joy – even if your intent is to relax and do nothing – live it fully and be present in the moment!  Life is a gift and I say celebrate the richness of each day!  I know that some days are not rich at all – or maybe they are rich with pain and suffering – which makes them poor is so many ways as well – but there is a richness in poverty – for it is only when we lose that we find – only when we are weak that we are strong – and only when we are blind that maybe we can finally see.

My sister Carol celebrated her 50th birthday a week ago and although I beat her to this milestone – only by a small margin – it still gives me pause to ponder on how quickly life passes by – especially as you get older.  I remember when I reached the age of 40 I felt as though life was just beginning – I had gained confidence and had enough experience under my belt to feel as though I had something to say – something to offer – but there was still so much of life ahead.  It was a magical age.  And then came 50 – I still feel the same – the difference being that there is less ahead then there is behind – and I am keenly aware that each day matters – and each decision matters – and so I want to make the moments significant.

What does it mean to live each day with significance – I’m not sure I have all the answers to that question – but I can say that it leaves little time for wasteful thoughts – wasteful tasks – and wasteful feelings.  I am working on developing a life plan with a simple tool developed by Michael Hyatt  (you can find this tool on his website michaelhyatt.com).  The plan although simple causes you to stop and think about what your priorities are – and what your intent is.  Stephen Covey coins the phrase “begin with the end in mind” ….. how you want to end is important ……but it requires that you live in such a way now so that you reach your end goals…..in all areas of priority – not just work  – but spiritual maturity – self improvement and preservation – relationship  strength – financial stability – and whatever else might be a priority on your list.

Live actively – not passively – be aware – be present – and see the beauty around.  The flowers in this post are from the bouquet that was presented to Carol on her birthday – so very beautiful – so very celebratory!   In our family we have a tradition of having a special family dinner at a fine restaurant of the recipients choice and we have a special gift and always celebrate with flowers – because we believe that these milestone birthdays are significant – a cause to pause – and celebrate life.

And so I encourage you to celebrate each day in a significant way – for each day is a gift – and is a leg of the journey of  our own individual life – a life that is meant to have purpose and impact.  Knowing each day is a piece of the whole that creates a rich life causes me to stop and ponder the importance of each day – each activity – each relationship – each thought – each action – for they form the legacy of our individual life!  That is a beautiful thought!