Chapter 40: Gratitude Changes Everything (Still Standing)

Can I be honest with you? Do I have your permission to be vulnerable and transparent? Is it OK if I share something with you?

adult, blur, businesswoman

A few short weeks ago I came across a post on Facebook that one of my acquaintances posted which solicited participation from his followers and friends. The post asked that you post your age as the Chapter of your Life, (EX: 40) followed by the title of your chapter, (EX: Over the Hill). I thought to myself wow, this is going to be fun. However, after I typed in the number 40 and attempted to add a title- nothing came to mind. A deer in a headlight moment. Then a few single-word statements came to mind. None of which could be appropriated to my chapter 40, as it pertained to what I wanted it to say.

design, desk, display

I was finding it difficult to do something that I thought should be so easy for me since I have all this “self-awareness” about myself. The fact that I could not come up with a title as fast as I thought I should was nerve-racking grounds for a more solemn discussion to take precedent over the fun, Facebook activity before I could proceed. Now, I could have been over-thinking this moment and maybe I was, but it made me earnestly ponder the question of why I at a loss for words? I thought I had already reached the point of Self-Actualization, so what was the problem? Wasn’t this just an exercise that simply called for a reflection of the following questions: Where are you? Or, where are you going? And, where do you want to go? How will you resume and finish this story? I mean, seriously, this is how you write any book, right? Talk about a humbling moment!

Person Wearing Gray Long-sleeved Mini Dress in Front of Green Leaf Plant

I toggled a few more titles but still, none worthy enough to adequately described or depict what my title should be in CHAPTER 40 of my life.

I couldn’t summarize it in a Chapter title, so I bargained for answers with this approach: Niedria, do you even know where you are and what you want? What do you intend on doing at this point in life? That would be your chapter title.

I had to break it down: I began to focus in on the perfect title that would describe where I am as it related to where I have been and then consider what I want and where I want to go. (Side note: Sometimes we are so caught up in where we are trying to go and what we want, that we forget that we must acknowledge where we are first because that’s our starting point or our point of continuation) So having a complete, sound, embracive and merciful understanding of where I was, was important. Being transparent, forgiving and truthful with ourselves will open the avenue for this understanding to flow.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you want to go or what you want, but you must know where you are first.

I arrived at a title by telling myself to instead, first come up with a title that would speak to where I am at this moment which would address the question. In doing that, I would clarify some things for myself first. And so, I decided to use a statement to describe what I have learned, which I believe is helping me to live my best life in this present moment at 40, which provided dual-purpose in moving forward: Chapter 40: Gratitude Changes Everything (Still Standing) From where I am, all I can say is that I am grateful that I am still standing.

Woman in Blue Jeans Standing on Clear Glass

I came up with the title only because I considered where I was at 20, at 25, at 30 and at 35. (Being through a lot, but having done a lot of things) Just like any book, you want the next chapter to be an extension of the last chapter, expounding more on the story. So, you must know where you are in your book. I had to scan back over my life so that I would know for myself where I was. I am still standing. That’s where I am.

Since we are in a current and constant state of living, we know that life is an “on-GROW-ing” thing until we make our final departure. All we can do to make it better, is to make sure that we are “living” out our best life. Chapter 40 is not about one thing. It’s a culmination of things that I have learned and how I am applying gratitude, to make it my best life today in order to have fulfillment in the rest of my life.

With consideration given to where I am going, what I want and what I intend on doing; I must apply gratitude. What I have learned about gratitude and how it has and is changing things is that when we recognize the lessons and value the experiences we’ve had and are able to see the good in it all and be grateful that we were chosen for those assignments which made us stronger, better and wiser-it manipulates life by altering our mindset. This new set of lenses changes our lives as we are then able to elevate to a higher state of conscious awareness, acquiring the ability to then utilize everything we have learned and apply it to the next steps of life.

My life went from “You don’t know My Story” to “Let me tell you my story” to “This is my Story” to “I didn’t choose this story; this story chose me.” It’s only fair now that I’ve told my story, that you know that I am grateful for my story. That’s precisely what it is all about. So, I am grateful for the lessons, experiences, journeys, friends, family –and most of all, the good and bad of it all. I am grateful for those who told me no and those who said I couldn’t. I am grateful for those who supported me and were equally happy to see me prevail. That gratefulness and gratitude for those things is what enables me to eradicate mendacities spoken about me. That gratitude is what authorizes me to write the next chapter.

Woman Drinking Water Beside Mountain

Switching Gears: With that, this is what I think living your best life is: It is knowing where you stand today. Deciding where you want to go from here and what it will take. Deciding what you want, no matter if it is to live more of a healthy lifestyle, pursue a more lucrative career, go back to a more simpler life, embark on a new journey or pursuit and all around doing what makes you happy despite what anyone else thinks of it. It is taking your given set of circumstance and making the absolute best of it as you continue in life and expound into new territories IE: New Chapters. You must make sure it’s the best that you can do though. Have you done the best you can with what you are working with?

On a much broader note: Living your best life works best when you concern yourself with yourself. Be selfless when it comes to helping others but selfish when it comes to taking care of yourself. Focus on what you want, stay in your lane and take care of your business. You may not be exactly where you know and feel that you need and want to be. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong. You don’t have to settle in who you are today, but you can accept who you are now and still be determined to have more in your life and live more abundantly.

Sometimes we get tossed around in the wreckage of life (divorce, break-ups, lay-offs, illness etc.) where we get lost or set back. Other times, we get caught up in the wonders of the world while living the fab life (leisurely travel, marriage, children, promotions, new homes, business ventures etc.) Whatever life we were living, it’s quite possible to forget where we are at times. The need for awareness that life is still happening when those joys or heartbreaks become things of the past is a reality that we face one day when we are trying to determine where to next. To avoid feelings of displacement, a Full assessment and inventory of our life is required. If you remember that life is on-GROW-ing, you can make changes along the way that will be conducive to the lifestyle that you want.

Everything you have done and have been through (good and bad) in your life has prepared you for this moment.

Yesterday is a chapter of the past but even if it is still a part of your story, you can turn the page into something new and improved because now it’s time for the story to go on. What would be your title?

Article originally posted on SheSavvy.com and was recently selected First Place for the “Best Life” writing contest.

Advertisements

Fair Lady

“Fair Lady”

“We met at the centermost of a metaphor. Right at the end of his dictum…face to face. …You have lovely pearls, he said. I could look into them all night- could I interest you in allowing me to extol your winsomeness?

You had me at my eyes, I said…walking anent my personal space, propitiously invading my comfort zone, carrying on with your encomium. I am obliged. Hello, I said.

..equidistant dialect ..Eyes lite, body twitch, direction propulsive, slow pace. colloquy ensued before our faces crossed, sketched a portrait of a poem. Energized at finger tips, aromas from a fleet of words- undressed. Vigilant to the wind but atmosphere already filled-the breeze strong armed, too late. The connection was made. Bodies attempted to pass-hands got caught on the hooks of his rhyme. Snatched back to sync.

– downloaded and uploaded, hard drive driving, centrally processing, heartbeat colliding, instincts thriving… install complete- wrote me right off my feet, spoke me right back to my seat- who needs faded pictures or a broken glass? What makes you nervous my dame, He asked.

Seduced my hands with his face. Tasted my flesh a my waist- took us both to space- placed my legs on the base… Of his shoulders…all things before were erased- forgotten, misplaced or displaced… Index finger on card catalog, turning pages from books on bookcase- found my story we raced through chapter by chapter, the before and after- wrist vertically communicating with elbows, follow me to the back of my head, they said…. Neck bone in hand sending ….signals to knees, too weak- back collapsed- and radiated through feet. Electrifying… Sparks after spark, transitions in and out of discussions, Segway’s through subjects without touching

And so he’s typing on the small my back, shift buttons shift gears- I think he likes it like that. I’m listening, keep talking, I hear what you saying I’m anticipating and waiting- why are you playing…

Tongue crawling in my breastplate, Strength tilts my head- not fighting to escape- body calling, armor falling…..guards down… Look what you found~ the heart of A lady..”

A passage from my book Compilation of Contemplation copyright published 2015.

Niedria Kenny, Author

AKA

~FreelySpeaking

🌹💋 Find it on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Niedria-Kenny/e/B00JION5EC

FAIR LADY

0b58527b-648d-4bd9-a4f4-f53e4fa4785a-5440-0000032869f3d196

We met at the center-most of a metaphor. Right at the end of his dictum…face to face. …You have lovely pearls, he said. I could look into them all night- could I interest you in allowing me to extol your winsomeness?

You had me at my eyes, I said…walking anent my personal space, propitiously invading my comfort zone, carrying on with your encomium. I am obliged. Hello, I said.

…equidistant dialect …Eyes lite, body twitch, direction propulsive, slow pace. colloquy ensued before our faces crossed, sketched a portrait of a poem. Energized at finger tips, aromas from a fleet of words- undressed. Vigilant to the wind but atmosphere already filled-the breeze strong armed, too late. The connection was made. Bodies attempted to pass-hands got caught on the hooks of his rhyme. Snatched back to sync.

– downloaded and uploaded, hard drive driving, centrally processing, heartbeat colliding, instincts thriving… install complete- wrote me right off my feet, spoke me right back to my seat- who needs faded pictures or a broken glass? What makes you nervous my dame, He asked.

Seduced my hands with his face. Tasted my flesh at my waist- took us both to space- placed my legs on the base… Of his shoulders…all things before were erased- forgotten, misplaced or displaced… Index finger on card catalog, turning pages from books on bookcase- found my story we raced through chapter by chapter, the before and after- wrist vertically communicating with elbows, follow me to the back of my head, they said…. Neck bone in hand sending …signals to knees, too weak- back collapsed- and radiated through feet. Electrifying… Sparks after spark, transitions in and out of discussions, Segway’s through subjects without touching

And so he’s typing on the small my back, shift buttons shift gears- I think he likes it like that. I’m listening, keep talking, I hear what you saying I’m anticipating and waiting- why are you playing…

Tongue crawling in my breastplate, Strength tilts my head- not fighting to escape- body calling, armor falling…guards down… Look what you found~ the heart of A lady… Sincerely, Central Processing …

Niedria D. Kenny AKA ~FreelySpeaking

img_9104

6 Things A Writer Is More Than Likely To Have With Them At All Times

Note Pad / Journal and Pen: As a writer, I can attest to the fact that sometimes thoughts will hit you while standing in the crowded line at the neighborhood grocery store, while purchasing Broccoli for the evening, to cook along with fried corn and steak. Your inspiration can come from anything as small as seeing a toddler crying in the store, a customer dispute with the store manager, to the smell and aroma that’s chasing you down from the deli, all the way to the car that almost hit you, as you were leaving the store. People always ask me, where does my inspiration and ideas come from.

It’s really this simple: I am already inspired to write, I remain in a constant state of being inspired to write, because I love the art of expression. The only way that I know how to do that, is through writing. My ideas come from anywhere and from anything. Every day, there’s a story to be written. I keep my note pad ready for those moments. I jot down ideas as they come and even if they don’t make the final cut, I don’t throw them away. I save them, and often find myself back on that page, building from that thought when and if have a momentary block. I have been known to pull off the road, just to write an idea down or to complete notes and bullet points I want to cover once I begin to write about it.

Camera: They say pictures are worth a thousand words. I think they meant to say, photos can be worth a million bucks. Because sometimes that “money shot” is real! Aside from being in the right place at the right time and having the once or twice in a lifetime opportunity to be the author behind that money shot, having a camera allows you to capture moments that you will never be able to reproduce. That may be your child swinging on the swing, taking a leap into mid-air and landing on his feet. It could be your child taking on the monkey bars, backwards or making rocks jump across the lake. It could be spare of the moment, candid photos that will last a lifetime, in which you can share with readers, who are then able to see the event that you attended, as something worth attending for themselves next year.

It may be at an outing, where you’re having the time of your life and you want to share it the next day, but words could never describe the fabulous time that you had, whereas a photo, nails it. Candid photos also make great talking points and writing prompts. You can present a photo and ask readers to give you their rendition or version of events of what transpired that evening. In this, comes inspiration, because everyone’s answer may be different, and it may spark an entirely different article or blog post for you. Plus, it increases engagement.

A Snack: Because we all like a little protein snack while we are on the go. Truth is, while we are fed very well at events, sometimes we find ourselves talking the entire time and forget to eat. Between events, especially when you get to the point that you schedule yourself for 2-3 different appearances or editorial assignment, which are happening back to back, you don’t have time to stop for food. The lines are too long at the drive thru’, the traffic is too thick to get off the freeway and chance being late or even a no show, so you need to have something in your purse that will carry you from point A to point B.

Plus, it’s an excellent idea anyway to have an extra pick me up to rejuvenate yourself, refresh and hit the reset button before arriving at the next event. As a writer, you may end up at the park a little longer than planned because you found something inspiring to write about, after meeting a mommy of 6, who’s recently widowed or divorced, who just made a move to the city. And because you don’t want to interrupt that stream of thought, behind your belly rumbling, you will tank yourself that you had something right there to snack on. People always ask about writer’s block, and while I have only experienced it once or twice in the last 10 years, I can say that the reason I don’t deal with it now is because I never stop writing. My thoughts lead me. If something says write, right now, I don’t put it off.

Calendar/ Planner: Keeping a calendar and planner keeps you on point. It prevents you from double booking yourself at an event, or for any programs, tours, conferences or workshops that you have a desire to attend and take part in. If you have reached out to tourism bureaus and PR companies about events, it’s an innovative idea to write it down immediately, upon approval to attend, so that; Number 1. You don’t forget, and number 2. You don’t end up somewhere else, when you should have been at the event you obligated yourself to. A calendar and planner keeps you organized and if writing/ blogging is what you want to do, organization is a must when it comes to attending events or taking on press trips and Editorial assignments.

Plus, it puts things into perspective to where you’re able to see deadlines, to make good on your promise to companies to provide them with reviews and or ratings of their product and or services. It helps you plan accordingly, not to take on too much. You do not want to tarnish your rep, by forgetting or not delivering in a timely or promise, because the competition is thick. There are other writers out there waiting in the wing for an opportunity like that. Don’t mess it up, by not having logged it from the jump. Forgetting does not send the message that you take their brand serious or that you’re responsible enough to handle an assignment.

Cell Phone /Recorder: This is because sometimes it is not as convenient to pull off the road and jot things down. You may also be in a position where it’s better to record your own thoughts and ideas, versus writing them down for later review and consideration of a topic to write about. You can use a recorder as a sounding board Listening to yourself helps to break even with what deserves a title and what goes on the back-burner for a later date.

As a writer, there’s also many opportunities that may arise where you have either planned to interview someone or the impromptu opportunity arises, and you always want to be prepared! Cell phones also offer the option of easy posting. If you have something that is worth sharing in the moment, whether it’s in conclusive with an all-out article / post or the picture that’s worth a thousand words to let your audience to #StayTuned, A cell phone with wi-fi capabilities will help you achieve this.

Tablet/Laptop: There comes a time when you spend countless hours at your local coffee shop or lounge, conveniently located at the entrance of your subdivision; where all the notes that you’ve kept on your recorder or the notes that you’ve jotted down all week, in your journal will need to be transferred or transcribed into a post.

Everything you have done all week to accumulate thoughts and ideas, will not be front and center, ready for a place on your writing list. Is it a book, a chapter a book, an outline, a post, a blog, an article, a thought that will inspire an outline for a story? Whatever it is, you now are face to face with your tablet or laptop and it’s time to get to writing. What are you waiting for?

Why Moving Out Of My Home Was Bitter Sweet and Why My New Situation Is Sweet As Pie

I moved into my home, in the Sienna Plantation Subdivision of Sugarland, Texas; in April of 2012. I had every intention of making it home for at least the following 5 years. I wanted a place for my son to grow, to call his own and to run around with all the freedom a One-Year old could want. I wanted a community, where extra-curricular activities, in a family-oriented environment and a family-friendly neighborhood; were in plethora. I wanted the security of knowing that my son was in a safe neighborhood (as safe as it could be anyway – little to no crime) and in a home where he had a large backyard, to run wild in the grass. I thought of that land that our home sat on when I was in grade school, and how we could go outside in the backyard and have the time of our life, without being in harm’s way. I wanted this for my child.

I accomplished that when I picked out the house, April of that year. Even though the move was a sudden and quick move, only looking at two other homes before deciding on this one, I was completely satisfied. I found the house on a Friday and I had moved in within a week. When I looked at this house, I saw myself in the kitchen being able to see the entire backyard, as my child was playing outside.

As I walked through the downstairs, admiring the open kitchen and bar area, the entertainment living room, which had floor to ceiling windows that stretched over 16 feet, allowing natural light to illuminate the entire downstairs area; I settled at the fireplace. I gazed over the backyard, from corner to corner, while standing indoors, at the fireplace. The whole back of the home, was wide-open. I envisioned a flat screen TV above the fireplace, accompanied by fancy art, which would anchor both sides for symmetrical purpose. I am a person who often seek balance, and it penetrates each part of my life. The living room was just one. I fancied the idea of raw paintings, that would adorn the collar bones of the home.

The walls had yet to be painted. Just the way I like it… A blank canvas. I knew that I wouldn’t paint them either, because there’s something about the look of clean, white walls, throughout a wide-open home. I took noticed the multiple options that I had, for placement of family portraits and moments, which would be captured between my son and me, for the duration of our stay.

I moved beyond the living room, into the downstairs Master Bedroom, which had a window seat and another large, open window area. It was just the right size, just what I was used to. The Master-Bath was to my liking, as well as the walk-in closet that would support alllll the clothes, shoes and purses that I would be bringing. From there, I moved throughout the breakfast area and dining room, just before heading upstairs. Once upstairs, on the catwalk, I had a choice to go left or right to decide which room would suit my son. But I took a pause, for that breath-taking moment, as I looked down, over the living area. The tall windows allowed me to see beyond the fence in the backyard, into the bayou. The privacy was just what I needed.

I took the right… Headed right to the room that I knew would be perfect for the little one. It was just off the open play area, where if I were downstairs in the living room, I could look up and see him always. The other side of the house, seated two additional bedrooms and a full-sized bath. So, there I was. 4 bedrooms, large walk-in closets, plenty of room, open kitchen, entertainment living-room, dining area, breakfast area, large laundry, open floor plan with lots of natural light, large, fenced-in backward, 2 car garages and the home was located at the end of the street, last house in the circle… on Story Book Trail. I was good. I was home.

Fast forward 5 years later, after I had hung my coat, and settled in over the years, making this home my resting place; I wondered through some old photos. It reminded me of the first day that I moved in. I sat in that timeless moment of nostalgia. I cried, I laughed, I danced. I thought about the reality of it being March 2017, and how the close of my custody trial had also brought a close to my story, on Story Book Trail. I would be moving out of the home in a week. I needed to get away. I thought about some not so great moments that happened in the home, which caused me to view to home a little differently, 1-year into being there. I loved the home, but shortly after I moved in and only after I revealed my address, some random acts of vandalism began to occur. At that moment, I wanted out of the house, but I had to make the best of the unpleasant situation and remain put, until the time was right to leave.

I was getting so much negative energy about being able to live in such a lovely home, (how could she afford it, that’s not her home, who’s paying for her home, it must be a rental or did she purchase it, she doesn’t have a job, she needs to get a job). (And the best one of all, “she’s using child support money to pay for it” ALTHOUGH, I wasn’t getting child support, I was paying child support) and all of this was creating a ball of hate, which was beginning to grow legs, arms, eyes and vicious teeth. It was hovering over my life unwarranted. It was crawling through my home, disturbing my peace. It was killing the spirit of joy throughout the walls of my home. Every time I looked around, something else was occurring.

It was almost like watching an apple decay. A beautiful apple, turning from red to black. From plump, to a soft and fetal position. A series of events were tarnishing my home. From break ins while I was out of town, to tampering with my phone lines and security systems, to people showing up disguised as delivery services and phone company representatives, who only wanted to get inside my home to plant wires… to the home being rummaged through while I was away. Even installing a security system didn’t work, because through the phone lines and my computer, my space had been invaded, violated and my privacy was destroyed.

But then I thought to myself, this is the 5th year, and all that I had planned for. Everything that was pushing me away from that home, was pushing me into the direction of something so much greater. I did not understand while it was happening. But I understand it now. I understood it while I was packing up and getting ready for greater. I had my last dance with the home, entertaining my son and his friends as they ran about outside, playing in water wars and washing the cars. I had my last rendezvous with the home the last night over a bottle of wine. I had my last affair with the home as I sat in the soaker. I walked the home corner to corner, as I had done when I moved in, taking in all the precious moments that were spent there- from room to room. I sat in each room and prayed. I walked upstairs and downstairs closing all the doors, as you would, a book once finished. I turned off all the lights, disconnected all services, closed all the blinds and locked the door for the last time. I was smiling and I never looked back, as I drove away.

Had I moved, prior to the season for me to move, I would be in a repeat situation. I am convinced, that it was by purpose, that I remained in that house until all the court hoopla came to a head, where I was then able to move at my leisure, unbothered and unfollowed. GOD is still good.

“There is always a sign that Precedes the move of GOD” That was the sound of those doors locking, one last time. That was the sound of me driving away from Story Book Trail, as that story was over.

Walking out of the house, I could hear only “One Sound.” That was the sound of “The Anthem” featuring Gospel Singer, William Murphy and the Full Baptist Church. Halleluiah, you have won the victory. You have won it all for me. Death could not hold you down, you are the risen king, seated in majesty, you are the risen King! I am grateful that GOD kept me in the valley, hid me from the rain… forever, he will reign.

Add A Comment

My Personal Lifetime Bucket List of 4 realistic Places to Visit in the near and 3 in the distant future.

My Personal Lifetime Bucket List of 4 realistic Places to Visit in the near and 3 in the distant future. Below are the places that I hope to visit in the near future and more of where I look forward to visiting in the distant future. As a blogger, I have had the opportunity to take media trips all over. However, below are the places and things that I have yet to experience. I anticipate writing about the following:

Dubai – Just for a visit. Well, a sabbatical. Dubai is considered the fifth safest city in the world. I would love to stay for 30 whole days, so that I can take my time uncovering the beauties in this place. I would love to pace myself in discovering the culture, experiencing the architecture and to visit all the landmarks and trademarked palaces of Dubai. Such as: Emirates Towers, Burj Al Arab – The Tower of Arabs, Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, Al Sahra Desert Resort Palm Islands and the Dubai Fountain which is set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, and is the world’s largest dancing fountain. It can shoot up to 150 metres (492 feet) in the air!

Dubai is one of the most popular weekend destinations, even exceeding Paris, and is probably why it’s Number 1 on my comprehensive list of things to do before I am carried away in the wagon. I may not get to Dubai before I do some of the other things on this list. Nonetheless, it is still the single most important thing for me to do at some point.

Cruise – A cruise really doesn’t deserve to be on my list, because as I blogged before, it’s not something that is out of reach. It’s something that I have passed on before because I either did not want to go with the person/people who invited me, or I did not want to take one of those singles cruises. Also, as the opportunity to go, has been in plethora – It seems like something I would enjoy more with a person or people who I know I love, trust and adore. It’s like a big step for me.

So yes, I am a virgin to cruises, for this reason and it would take someone special to take me on one. I would like to take a 14- night Caribbean Cruise, on the Caribbean Princess. I can see myself now indulging in the buffets that I always hear about and swinging out to the sweet sounds of a live band, before enjoying a night cap with the perfect Knight, while gazing at the open sea. Ok. Let me not get carried away. There will be a time and place for all of that, because this one, just might be getting marked off the bucket list real soon. *Hint *Hint.

Skiing in Colorado – When I was a child I said that when I grew up, I was going to live in either California, New York or Colorado. I have visited New York on Multiple occasions. I would not like to live there, full time. It’s way too busy and congested for me, and I absolutely cannot deal with the subway. I am not one for taxies and I cannot stand the cold. I found that out after living in Minnesota. I mean, I can deal with it, but not for as long as it last in those Northern States. I also visited areas of California and decided that this was where I am going to live.

The weather is great, the people are Gnarley and the food is indescribable, the things to do are endless. So, this is how Colorado end up being on the list. I know I cannot live there because of the Winters, but I do know that I want to Ski. Colorado is known for their snow-capped mountains and luxurious Ski Resorts, so why not! I could mark this off the list and never look back.

Croatia – Who doesn’t want to go to Croatia? My hands are down, because I will jump on the first ride that’s headed that way, when I get a chance to. Croatia wasn’t always on my Bucket List. As I market down things that were, I also added more and Croatia was one. I guess it’s true, you never stop living until you are dead. So, you end up maintaining a bucket list of things to do and places to go. I hear that it’s easy to reach, as some Greek islands take four hours to reach by plane. The Canaries? More like four-and-a-half. Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula are all just two-and-a-half hours away or less.

I hear that the beaches are impeccable! That was enough to nominate Croatia as a must see for me. I love the water, I live for the beach, and I swear I must have been a sea animal in a before life, because when I am in the ocean I always lose sight of the shore. I become one with the water and everything else around me is just a blur. I am in my happiest state when I am swimming in the ocean.

Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu, China – The rainbow formation is the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down for over 24 million years, according to the Telegraph. ″Zhangye National Geopark″ is located in Sunan and Linze counties within the prefecture-level city of Zhangye. It covers an area of 322 square kilometres (124 sq mi). The site became a quasi-national geopark on April 23, 2012 (provisional name: Gansu Zhangye Danxia Geopark). It was formally designated as ″Gansu Zhangye National Geopark″ by the Ministry of Land and Resources on June 16, 2016 after it has passed the on-site acceptance test. Known for its colorful rock formations, it has been voted by Chinese media outlets as one of the most beautiful landforms in China.

In 2005, Zhangye Danxia was voted by a panel of reporters from 34 major media outlets as one of the most beautiful Danxia landform areas in China. In 2009, Chinese National Geography magazine chose Zhangye Danxia as one of the “six most beautiful landforms” in China. The area has become a top tourist attraction for Zhangye. A series of boardwalks and access roads have been built to help visitors to explore the rock formations. In 2014, 100 million yuan was invested to improve the facilities in the Binggou area. Source: (Wikipedia Media & Tourism)

Swing at The End of The World – Ecuador) Deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness is a seismic monitoring station in a tree known as Casa del Arbol. Its purpose is observing Mt. Tungurahua, the nearby active volcano, from its precarious perch. While the treehouse itself is a sight to behold, the real attraction is the crude swing hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches.

With no harness, net, or any other safety feature the swing (nothing more than a plank suspended by two ropes) arcs riders out into the air over the canyon. It is unclear where the swing came from – perhaps it was set up by a whimsical seismologist.

Adventurous swingers of all ages are welcome to take a ride at the end of the world, but at their own discretion. Source: (http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/swing-at-the-end-of-the-world)

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives – Alas! This is a must, before I take my final bow. It is the most surreal place of all. I would exhale in Maldives. The most beautiful thing I have ever seen and read about in places to go. The photos are breathtaking.

What may appear as a mirror image of the stars above, the bioluminescence in the water is due to marine microbes called phytoplankton. The effect it has on the shore is breathtaking. (Buzzfeed)

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Play Sudoku – Don’t sleep on Sudoku puzzles. It has become one of the games that I play, which makes the time go by fast. It really is a fun game, but I must warn you, you will get hooked.

Sudoku is one of the most popular puzzle games of all time. The goal of Sudoku is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers so that each row, column and 3×3 section contain all the digits between 1 and 9. As a logic puzzle, Sudoku is also an excellent brain game. If you play Sudoku daily, you will soon start to see improvements in your concentration and overall brain power

The popular Japanese puzzle game Sudoku is based on the logical placement of numbers. An online game of logic, Sudoku doesn’t require any calculation nor special math skills; all that is needed are brains and concentration.

If you have an iPhone, there are three games I would recommend when sitting in hospital waiting areas or hair and nail salons, waiting for your number to be called. 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Anagrams and Word Hunt. For the same reason of jump starting and getting that blood to flow, word hunt and anagram is great.

8-Ball is real entertaining, if you do not really know how to play pool. It’s an uncomplicated way to learn, as its electronic and allows you to line up your cue and bank any shot. Well, with a few misses of course, but after a few games, you’ll get the hang of it.

Send a Post Gram – Who doesn’t love a greeting card, just because. You can download the Postgram App  for convenience, and after creating and customizing a post card to send to family, friends, and/or business associates, to remind them that you are still in business, Post Grams by Sincerely Inc. sends to U.S. Canada and Europe.

I worked as a Realtor for 10 years in Texas. During this time and even today, post cards were the number one seller at the marketing company I worked for. That is because Realtors realized the importance of maintaining contact with prospects, future home buyers and even those whom they have sold a home to before. Postcards remind people of what you do. “I sell houses” “I am an Estate Manager” “I am a Loan Officer” “I am a Chef” “I am a Landscaper” “I’m an Interior Decorator” ETC., Except be creative in how you remind them: “Wanted to wish you a Happy Tuesday, from your local Real Estate Agent” …” Greetings, hope you enjoy the Spring ahead. Don’t forget to Spring forward” …” A little reminder from your local Bake Shop” …

Even if it is not a business that you are running, you can always send a greeting card to people for no reason at all, just to say hello. Postgram is something that you can do right from the comfort of your home, on your cell phone. You never have leave the house. It’s not an email greeting card. It’s an actual plastic post card that will be delivered by mail to the recipient. It takes 5 minutes or less.

Organize and Clean – I used to manage a retail store called Just for Feet, way back when they were opened of course. This was in the late 90’s. I remember overhearing my District Manager tell one of the associates that if there is time to lean, there is time to clean. That stuck with me over the years, and so I made use of all my idle time, just by thinking of him saying that.

If you are home, or work, bored with nothing to do (and you don’t need rest) waiminute, when don’t we need rest as mothers? Ok… anyway, when and if a time comes where you do not need another second of rest, and you need to do something; tackle that junk drawer in the kitchen. We all have one.

Organize the kitchen pantry so that you will stop buying things you already have but just couldn’t find it. Clean out the refrigerator, there’s no use for that 10-day old lasagna that you said you were going to eat, 9 days ago.

Tackle and declutter that closet that you have been telling yourself that you don’t have time to do. You’d be amazed how much you can get done and surprised at the fact that you got it done, once you get started and just take your time. Section it off so that it is not so overwhelming. Focus on one part at a time. It’s not a marathon, so if you get tired just take a break. Pop on some music to get you excited about completing a task around the house.

Fold those clothes that are in the wash room sitting in that basket. You’ve already taken them out of the dryer. Why are they still in the basket?

Wash your car – may be a little hot at hi-noon to do this one. However, if it is in the evening that you find yourself bored, this would be something to do. Even if you’re used to taking it to the car wash, or having the kids do it… try doing it yourself one that when you have nothing to do. If the kids are home, help them with it. It saves you the money of having to drive it to a hand wash and detail center. It’s really a fun thing to do in the summer time with the kids anyway. If you are a single mom, and there isn’t a man around, you’d really enjoy this with the kids. It’s a great bonding moment. My son loves to wash my car, even though he’s just 6- years old. When I help him, it becomes a game to him. We find ourselves in a water war and it has one of your most memorable moments for the scrapbook.

Learn something new – A moment to learn, is time well spent. If you want boredom to take a hike, get back to teaching yourself to be productive in the process. Utilize every moment to get back to yourself. If it is Law that you are interested in, or Baking, or Design, or even learning how to use social media for marketing your brand or product; use this time to get online to find all the answers to your questions. Maybe you have a relative that is facing some health issues. You can get online to research that and become informed on how to deal with it, or find ways of helping them deal with it. Knowledge never plays out.