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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Unrealistic Ways to Enhance Sex

How many times have you read an article on how to enhance sex, only to stop after a few paragraphs because its suggestions were unrealistic?

• Set the mood for romance with scented candles.candle-animated
It was lovely for about five minutes, then my husband’s nose clogged up and I started coughing.

• Ditch that old T-shirt and slip into silk and lace lingerie at bedtime.
Yeah, right. Who can afford a hundred and twenty dollars for a scrap of material?

• Slather your partner with whipped cream and honey and lick it off.
Somehow the plastic I put between us and the mattress, in case we got sloppy, took away from the sexiness.

• Role-play a fantasy. Pretend he’s the bad cop and you’re the call girl.
I suggested this once to my husband.
“Do you know how a call girl acts?” he asked.
“No. Do you?”
When got through arguing, neither of us wanted to have sex.

• Stock a bedside drawer with toys to enjoy.
This idea had potential. My husband was excited the first couple of times we used a toy. After that, he decided to let it do the work.

I don’t know about you, but just give me good, old, down-and-dirty sex.

Connie H. Taxdal

What’s your experience with these methods or others you’ve tried? Please comment below.

Sandblasted

“Someday they’ll find our bleached bones,” Tim said.

My younger sister, Debbie, who was ten at the time, started bawling.

Mom pulled Deb onto her lap from the back seat. “Timothy, don’t say things like that,” Mom scolded my older brother, and then turned to Dad. “David just pay attention to the road and keep driving.”

“I can’t see a thing,” Dad shouted above the roaring wind.

We were on Route 66 in the middle of the Mojave Desert when a fierce sandstorm suddenly swooped over us. The Mojave is known for its summer heat and high winds, often above 50 miles per hour, that occur frequently along the western end.

West End Rt 66 West end of Route 66.

Every summer, Dad packed the station wagon with luggage, coolers, and games for a three-week tour of the United States, and off we’d go. Since he was a minister, our destinations always coincided with the cities hosting the Southern Baptist Convention. Invariably, a number of mishaps occurred on each trip.

It was 1962. Our course was set from Oklahoma, west to California, north to the World’s Fair in Seattle, back east through Yellowstone National Park and the Black Foot Hills of North Dakota, and then southward to home. The “Grand Tour” Mom called it. Daddy call it several other things by the time the trip was finished. I called it one big square and thousands of miles cooped up with Debbie, “Mommy’s Little Angel” and my obnoxious fourteen year old brother.

Dad stopped the car in the middle of the road, but kept the motor running. We hadn’t seen another vehicle in either direction for over an hour so I guess he figured it was safer to stop than to run off the road into a gully. The car rocked as it was buffeted by the wind.

For once in twelve years, I agreed with Tim that we might end this trip as a pile of dry, brittle bones. I put my hands over my ears and thrust my head between my knees. Stories of pioneers dying in the desert swirled in my mind as furiously as the sand whipped across the land.

“I’m too young to die,” I chanted to the floorboard. Tears threatened to spill from my eyes, but I sniffed them back. I didn’t want to be a cry baby like Deb who still cowered on Mom’s lap. If big brother wasn’t scared, then I wasn’t either.

I stole a peek at Tim. His face looked chalky-white and a sheen of sweat dampened his forehead. His lips formed a tight, thin line. Ha. He was as frightened as I. That made me feel better. I sneered at him just for good measure. He stuck his tongue out at me and then turned away.

The sandstorm barreled past as quickly as it had appeared. Dad got out of the car to check the extent of damage. The paint was pitted down to bare metal in spots and the windshield looked frosted like it had been sandblasted. Imagine that!

The last vision in my mind that day was of Dad driving to the nearest town with his head sticking out the window and muttering that at least we were lucky the windshield hadn’t been blown to pieces.

The experience was typical of our family vacations.

Connie Taxdal

Do you have a memorable family vacation to share? Please comment below.

Detroit River

Tim had a choke hold on my wrist and a smirk on his face. “You’re in big trouble.”

My family was on another summer vacation. Dad was a minister and our trips revolved around whatever city hosted the Southern Baptist Convention. This particular year the location was Detroit, Michigan.

The first evening of the conference turned into a disaster. At fifteen years of age, I wasn’t interested in sitting on a hard, folding chair, listening to a boring speaker. Debbie, my younger sister, sat quietly and dutifully between Mom and Dad. My older brother, Tim, read a book, and I squirmed. I tugged Dad’s suit coat sleeve, and when he bent his head, told him I had to use the bathroom. He nodded and I was out of there.

Exploring the building, I wound up on the roof’s observation deck among a group of kids who seemed as bored as I. It didn’t take long for my budding sex glands to pick out the cutest teenage boy and strike up a conversation–and steal a few kisses in the dim shadows.

Just as things got interesting, my brother jerked me out of Jason’s arms. “We’ve been looking all over for you. Mom is about ready to call the police thinking you were kidnapped.”

“I wish. Then I wouldn’t have to put up with you,” I said as I struggled to wrench from his grasp.

He dragged me across the rooftop to the door as I waved goodbye to Jason. When we met the rest of the family, Mom gave me the riot act. Dad pursed his lips and shook his head as he led the way to the car.

We left the Convention Center and headed to our hotel on the Canadian side of the Detroit river.  Riding through the city streets, my brain whirled to think of something to ease the tension that was as thick as the Niagara Falls mist. I had to get my parents’ minds off of my “terrible, inconsiderate” deed.

“Which way does the river run?” I blurted from the back seat of the car as we started over the bridge.

Ambassador_bridge_evening The Ambassador Bridge from the Canadian side of the Detroit River.

Dad pointed West and Mom pointed East, their fingertips almost collided. “That way,” they declared confidently at the same time.

Our car rocked with laughter. Ah, the world was back on its axle, at least until…

Connie Taxdal

Do you think family vacations are important in this day and age? Please leave your comment below.

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