Life’s Don’ts

When you stop chasing these Life’s Don’ts, you give the right things in life a chance.

Don’t run from your problems.
There’s no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. Face your problems head on. Learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

Don’t lie to yourself.
You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. The most difficult chance we take is to be honest with ourselves.

Don’t be scared to make a mistake.
Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every failure leads towards success. You’ll end up regretting the things you did NOT do, more than the things you did.

gorillaDon’t berate yourself for old mistakes. 
Mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. You have the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Don’t complain and feel sorry for yourself.
Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. Reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday.

Don’t try to make things perfect.
The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists; it rewards people who get things done.

Don’t be ungrateful.
Wake up each day thankful for your life. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Don’t try to buy happiness.
The things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter, and working on our passions.

Don’t blame others for your troubles.
The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you give them power over that part of your life.

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Thanks for reading Life’s Don’ts,

Connie Taxdal

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The Definition of Love

Definition of Love according to the dictionaryhand heart

1. A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters.

2. Especially, devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for, one of the opposite sex.

3. Courtship; — chiefly in the phrase to make love, i. e., to court, to woo, to solicit union in marriage.

4. Affection; kind feeling; friendship; strong liking or desire; fondness; good will; — opposed to hate; often with of and an object.

5. Due gratitude and reverence to God.

6. The object of affection; — often employed in endearing address.

7. Cupid, the god of love; sometimes, Venus.

8. A thin silk stuff.

9. A climbing species of Clematis (C. Vitalba).

10. Nothing; no points scored on one side; — used in counting score at tennis, etc.

11. To have a feeling of love for; to regard with affection or good will; as, to love one’s children and friends; to love one’s country; to love one’s God.

12. To regard with passionate and devoted affection, as that of one sex for the other.

13. To take delight or pleasure in; to have a strong liking or desire for, or interest in; to be pleased with; to like; as, to love books; to love adventures.

14. To have the feeling of love; to be in love.

Please leave a comment on how you define love.

Connie Taxdal

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Love is a Flickering Flame.

cats getting marriedLove is a flickering flame.
Marriage is a flickering TV.

It doesn’t take years of marriage to discover that boredom has set in. For many, that indescribable thrill a person initially felt can vanish within even the first year of tying the knot. Life with their mate has become dull or boring with no pizzazz or spark.

In the words of B.B. King’s song—the “thrill is gone.” But, it does not have to be “gone away for good” as the Hawkins and Darnell song lyrics suggest. The thrill can be sustained, and even improved upon, if you recognize the key component is flirtation.

First, get your head in the right frame of mind—where it once was during the courting stage of your relationship. If couples went the extra mile to treat their spouses with the same “I-will-work-to-make-you-mine,” mentality, he or she would keep the ennui from creeping into the relationship.

Be clever and creative in order keep the flirtation wheel turning, which ultimately keeps the flame burning. The following are some suggestions Try one or all of the following tips:

1. Leave a small flirty note. Communicate a fun, romantic or sexy message to your spouse via text, e-mail, voice message or, if you’re “old school,” put a sticky note on the fridge, on his/her side of the bathroom vanity, or the dashboard of the car. The message can be simple and to the point like, “Hey, what are you doing later?”

2. Give the special look. The next time you’re in a crowded room sitting around the dinner table with friends and family, don’t say a word. At the right moment, make eye contact with your spouse and give him/her that special look, that cheeky smile or a mischievous wink. He or she will get your drift.

3. Give the subtle touch. Reach out and touch your spouse in a very gentle way at a time when they least expects it. It can be a soft touch or a flirtatious one. Putting your hand over theirs during a parent-teacher conference, gently stroking the back of your partner’s neck while watching a movie, or slipping off your shoe momentarily under a restaurant booth and running your toes against your spouse’s ankle is a great way to set off a spark.

4. Offer the unexpected comment. Say the most flirtatious and out-of-the-blue thing at the most unlikely time. Instead of “I’m glad I married you” over dinner on your anniversary, try “Will you marry me, again?” while you’re heading down the grocery or hardware store aisle. It is those unexpected comments at the most unusual times and places that can be so pleasantly provocative.

5. Let lose the devil in your voice. Summon up that special tone of voice you used when you were first dating your spouse. For instance, instead of saying, “Where do you want to go on vacation this year?” in a matter-of-fact tone, try to attach another attitude to that same question, the one you used to use—the one that had a little devilish subtext beneath it.

6. Resurrect the pet names. Don’t forget that pet name you once called your spouse. In the early stages of your relationship you no doubt had a special way of addressing your spouse. It may have stuck with you for a time and then you may have forgotten to use it. Bring it back.

7. Deliver the unexpected gesture. Surprise your mate with your romantic actions which might include sending a greeting card for no apparent reason whatsoever, summoning your spouse into the master bath after the kids are fast asleep where you have a waiting candlelight bubble bath for the two of you; or carving you and your spouse’s initials into your favorite backyard tree or a newly poured slab of concrete like my husband did this year.

8. Go ahead, be the flirty stranger. Next time you’re with a crowd of others in an elevator sneak a quick kiss or, better yet, come on to your spouse with a quick one-liner like you’re just meeting them for the first time. You’ll please the onlookers, or even if it’s just the two of you, it is a great way to flirt. Such a “role-playing” moment might portend of what is to follow later.

9. Arrive home with intention. When you come home from work, bolt through the door with force and head right for your spouse. Grab him or her and begin to shower your spouse with hugs and kisses like it’s been weeks since you saw him/her. Seize that moment by saying all the things you used to say when you two first began to date. Talk about turning up the heat!

10. Give ’em your best line. Do a little homework and make a list of fun come-on lines that you can spew at your spouse at the most unexpected moments or when you sense he/she is getting bored with you. If you get stuck, watch some really well done romantic comedies and jot down a few classic lines like, “You had me at hello,” (Jerry McGuire), “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” (Casablanca), or “Do you love me because I’m beautiful or am I beautiful because you love me?” (Cinderella). A wonderful homework task is to research some ideal movie lines that resonate with you.

11. Pour on the humor. Use humor in communicating with your spouse whenever you can. There is something both charming and endearing about plying humor on your spouse. Many say that there is something uniquely sexy about the tie-in between romance and humor.

If you’re like many married couples, you may have been out of the flirting game for some time and are not sure your attempts are working. The best way to measure your success is by your spouse’s reactions to your efforts. If he or she blushes or giggles at your attempts, you know you have hit the mark!

Connie Taxdal

A Day in a Donkey’s life

Farmer's DonkeyThere are several versions of this story going around. Here’s my donkey tale.

One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided to share his problem with his neighbors.

They all gathered around the well and stared at the poor, braying  donkey. One-by-one, the neighbors offered solutions –  some good, some bad –  for getting the animal out. The farmer listened to their ideas, and then choose the one he thought would work the best.

He and his friends formed a water bucket brigade. With each bucket of water they poured into the well, the donkey floated upward until he was able to step out.

The farmer thanked his neighbors and they left with a feeling of good cheer that they had helped save the animal.

MORAL:

Sometimes our troubles seem so deeply buried in a well that we can’t see a solution, but help is within our reach if we just ask.

  • Don’t hide your problems and let them go from bad to worse.
  • Seek help from those around you.
  • Listen to their ideas with an open mind.
  • Decide what’s best for your situation, and then work diligently on the  solution.
  • Let others feel good for offering their advice.

What do you do when life dumps you in a hole? Please leave a comment.

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Thank you,

Connie Taxdal

Stop Life’s Merry-go-round

merry-to-roundI read this post and loved it! I don’t often share the work of others on the blog but this post was definitely “share-worthy”.

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back. Is there one of these that you do often? Are there several? Let’s let the good things catch up.

Stop spending time with the wrong people.
Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. Remember, it’s not the people who stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness.
If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.
Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons.
Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work.
In life you’ll realize there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
Stop trying to compete against everyone else.
Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
Stop being jealous of others.
Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
Stop letting others bring you down to their level.
Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others.
Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change their world. So narrow your focus.
Stop holding grudges.
Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You’ll end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

Connie Taxdal

How do you stop the merry-go-round in your life?

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Originally posted on September 3, 2013 by lesleycarter – Bucket List Publications  – Written by marcandangel

Strengthen Your Marriage

Since I write Romantic Suspense novels, I called ten couples I know and asked them a few simple questions about their marriages. The people’s ages were from twenty-four to eighty-three. Some were newlyweds, some have been married to one another for over fifty years, and two couples have had more than one spouse.

One of the survey questions was how do they keep their marriage strong. Here are a few of the answers I received.

  • “Not a day goes by that we don’t kiss good morning and good night.”
  • “Laughter. We laugh at each other’s funny comments or together at a wacky movie. Laughter binds our souls.”
  •  “We hold hands, hug, and kiss in public. You don’t have to be over-the-top with a public show of affection, but it’s nice to not hide your love.” penguins in love
  • “When one of us is taking a shower, the other will sneak in and then we lather each other with soap.”
  • “Sometimes our connection is no more than a look in the eye, but that look can create a spark that burns hot.”
  • “Whether we need to ask for forgiveness or give thanks, saying it out loud holds a lot of power.”
  • “It’s nice to know your spouse is thinking of you when they call or text to ask how your day is going.”
  • “We have cuddle time. That’s when I cuddle up in the crook of Gary’s shoulder. We talk or quietly hold one another. It’s very soothing and comforting.”
  • “You’re not joined at the hip. Pursue your own hobbies and interests.”
  • “We pray together. When you’re praying for each other, not yourself, you’re speaking from the heart.”

Connie Taxdal

What are some ways you strengthen your marriage? Please leave a comment below.

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Focus Your Relationship

direction signsIs your romance pulled in all directions?

A wise teacher once gave his young protégé a riddle to solve: “You possess a very powerful tool — one that is always with you. You can use this tool at any time to make decisions   more efficiently, to make interactions with others more rewarding and to find more joy in life.”

What is this amazing tool?

Focus – Paying focused attention to one — and only one — thing at a time can yield rich rewards, including decreased anxiety, more deeply satisfying personal interactions, and more joy in life.

You might think you’re saving time by planning what to make for dinner or catching up on news events while your partner talks to you about his or her day, but you’re robbing yourself, and your partner, of an opportunity for deeper connection and intimacy.

Paying focused attention takes practice, but it is a worthwhile skill, and one that is rewarding to hone.

My husband and I have been married since 1971. As newlyweds, we focused on each other, but when our careers advanced, our responsibilities increased, and our daughter’s activities grew, we lost that focus.

We realized midway in our marriage that we missed one another’s undivided attention. From that day on, every evening (a good time for parents is just after the kids go to bed) we stop what we’re doing and tune out all the distractions.

While cuddling in bed, we talk about whatever’s on our mind. We use this time for bonding – not arguing – that’s a rule. Sometimes it takes only five minutes, other times we talk longer.

When you focus on your partner, even for a short period each day, you’ll be amazed how much it will strengthen your relationship.

Please comment below on how you and your partner strengthen your relationship.

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