Cell Phone Blues

My ongoing quest to reduce living expenses, especially for items that I consider basic tools for living (AKA needs), has now impacted my choice of phone plans and the phone itself.

About two and one-half years ago my husband and I migrated from one major cell phone provided to another. This change, plus our “senior” age category, allowed us to go from $149 per month to $79 per month for two phones (unlimited talk and text, and sharing about 3GB of data per month). It meant we also had to buy new phones for the new provider system at a cost of about $600 per phone. We use Android phones.

Due to what I often refer to as “planned obsolescence,” my cell phone started dropping calls a few weeks ago – a phone less than three years old! I did make the trip to the cell phone store to see if they could resolve the issue; it worked for one phone call.

While this is extremely annoying, I had fortunately purchased a “burner” phone ($60) from a big box store several months prior on a pay-as-you-go plan (no contract, $25/month for unlimited talk, text and 3GB data PLUS Wi-Fi ready). I reactivated the plan when I started having issues with my primary phone. Thus, if I was on a call and it dropped, I would simply call them back on my burner phone. Even this became annoying.

The time had come to replace the dysfunctional phone, but I didn’t want to change my number. I’ve had it for years. It’s tied to all my rewards and accounts. I like it.

I “chatted” with a customer service rep (more than one, actually, just to verify) from the no-contract company about buying one of their more expensive phones ($149-$249) and transferring my number to it, and then being on the basic phone plan. After that, I could just cancel the burner phone plan, but keep the phone. They confirmed that this was possible and offered FREE delivery via Federal Express to “order online today.”

While that was a much more reasonable price, and moving from our current discounted “senior” plan is possible without affecting my husband’s line (which is also his business phone), it won’t really save us any money on a monthly basis now. However, it will be easier to track his business phone expenses separately from mine… AND… I will be the test case with this “simple” provider prior to his eventual retirement and transition to a less expensive plan, too. I told the “chat” rep I wanted to think about it overnight.

I also wanted time to transfer (back-up) all my photos to my cloud account and be sure I was ready to shut down this pricey paperweight.

I woke up with a new idea! What if I transferred my long-time phone number to the burner phone I already had in my possession? Just deactivate that existing number and replace it with my own? Then I wouldn’t have to buy a phone at all right now. I liked that idea a LOT! So I got back on “chat” with another rep, presented my questions, and YES, it was possible. (NOTE: I had asked staff at the big box store about doing this and they said it could not be done. Glad I kept asking.) The chat rep finally gave me their customer service phone number to contact them directly and for someone to guide me through the process.

I’ve come to believe that making changes to phones and phone plans is like buying a car. It takes hours to go through the process, and is sometimes frustrating with the slowness of how it’s done and all the details you have to have available and the voice permissions from the other account holder to leave the account and on and on and on. Finally, after nearly THREE hours on and off the calls, my favorite number was transferred to the $60 phone I’ve been using as backup. The text, talk, and internet tests succeeded, too.

The “new” phone pretty much has all the features of my former, expensive phone. It’s perfect for the way most of our family communicates anyway (via text). Some of the maneuvering buttons are in a different screen position, but no big deal. I had to reinstall some of my favorite apps and review the notification permissions, but I have limited them considerably to what I allowed before. The phone is lighter weight and slightly smaller in size. I can always upgrade to one of their more expensive phones – but still FAR cheaper than what we’ve been paying.

The next day I went through their automated phone service to re-establish my auto-payment account (to lock-in that $25/month plan), since the payment details on the account I had got wiped out when they deactivated the burner number. For some reason, I can’t seem to reactivate the online (internet) account like I had before. Perhaps I need to wait a few days for the system to catch up with my plans.

Meanwhile, I’m content with the transition to this new phone and provider and I look forward to reconnecting with family and friends.

 

The Rememberer

I am the rememberer.

The collector of stories and pain.

The recorder of wisdom and healing.

I am the bringer of light and carrier of peace.

The observer of love and conflict.

The knower of truth and the compassion in consequence.

I am the encourager through struggle.

The author of life and director of purpose.

The listener of the soul’s whispers.

I am a guide to the traveler and shelter for the weary.

The echo of footsteps and the meaning for smiles.

The calmer of fears and encourager of faith.

I am the place of eternal rest.

I am the energy of life in all.

I am the rememberer.

I am complete.

I am you.

(poem written by Carla Ryan 7/11/2020 during labyrinth meditations)

Gardening Experiment – Day 16

In the 10 days since my last post, the garden has really progressed. In fact, it’s in!

I thought the radishes grew fast. O.M.G. Did they ever! However, the garden project accelerated when next to the radishes the corn seeds started piercing the dirt – 22 baby corn stalks made their appearance within a week!

And then the green beans started popping up, too. The first and tallest one (so far) was growing an inch each day!  I don’t remember a plant ever  doing that. It wasn’t long before other bean sprouts began busting loose from their pod seeds.

Since we had a bit of a cold spell for a couple of days, I wouldn’t put the tender, little plants outside. They stayed on the counter in front of a north-facing window. That didn’t seem to slow down their growth. It was fun to turn the plantings around every hour or so and see how the bean stalk turned back toward the window’s light. The corn stalks were slower-growing, but within a few days they were a couple of inches above the dirt.

All this growing made me realize we needed to get the raised garden beds installed as quickly as we could. I did some online research and found kits made of pre-cut cedar boards with dowels inserted at the corners to secure the boards into the rectangle shape. I ordered two garden beds and they arrived in less than a week… just as the weather started warming up.

As the weekend approached, we prepared the ground. We removed some of the grass in a sunny (but dead) spot away from the house (a change from the original plan), filled in low spots with old soil from miscellaneous plant pots scattered around the property, and pinned down weed-block cloth over the selected area. We bought bags of dirt and PVC pipe to construct the simple, arched frame for the netting. Then we tackled the assembly of the raised garden bed kits.

I just want to say that I’m grateful for my husband’s brute strength and his give-me-the-hammer construction method. The dowel holes barely matched up with the ones in the side boards. Each corner had to be muscled together with hammer and screwdriver and even a bit of re-drilling. Once the corners were together, the rest was easy. We poured in the bags of dirt,  constructed the PVC frame, and attached the netting.

Today I put the baby plants in the ground. All of them. I added a couple of tomato plants, purchased shortly before the install. I added new soil to a few empty pots and planted even more seeds. I figure if nine-year-old seeds can grow, so can seeds from 2020. Now it’s hoping the weather forecast is accurate and these plants have a good start before summer arrives.

More updates are sure to come. Stay tuned.

Gardening Experiment: Day 6 – It’s Getting Real!

Day 6… and I’m starting to panic. The radishes are growing so much faster than I anticipated. I thought I might have at least a couple of weeks before they grew to this height and thickness. When I look back at all the gardens I’ve planted in the past, I doubt I EVER actually counted days until seedlings appeared.

When you compare the photos from yesterday to today, it’s like these seedlings are in a growth race. I’m stunned! They certainly like the amounts of water and sunshine they’re now getting on a daily basis. Time to plan the raised garden bed.

We went outside to look at the yard and what direction the spring sun hits it. Since we have a couple of spots where the dead grass is an eyesore, it makes sense to position the raised garden beds over those spots… but not block the sprinkler heads. We’re trying to find the sprinkler heads now. The grass is really thick.

Since I’ve built raised garden beds before, I quickly drew a sketch, but at half the size of my previous construction. Next, I’ll go online to order the materials.  We can do a drive-thru pickup at the local lumber/hardware/garden store. I’ll have to go back later for manure, soil, and bird  barrier netting. Also to keep out the dogs.

We’ll likely build one garden bed for the seeds and plants I’ve already planted. We can do another later for the herbs. The far end of the yard (garden) has a bit of dappled shade, which will be better for more delicate plantings.

Looks like I’ve got work to do.

Moving… finale…

UPDATE (6/10/19):  The home inspection did not go as planned and we canceled the contract on this property. We have decided to pursue alternative ideas toward our financial goal of being mortgage-free and to stay in this home for as long as we can.

        Today we started packing. Filling boxes. We’re moving again. This will be our fifth move in five years. Insane, I know. Especially considering how “mature” in years we are. We pray it’s the last… again.

        I jokingly, at times, claim to have gypsy blood. Today I have no doubt. Why else would this seem like a normal thing to do? What’s the bottom line? Why would we be willing to do this again in our mid-to-late 60’s?

        We – my husband (Mike) and I – want to be mortgage-free. No debts, especially the house loan. The sale of our current home will allow us to achieve the long-held goal for us to NOT “have to” work. It greatly reduces the self-imposed mental and financial stress. We can do other things with our time and money… travel, develop hobbies, build a spiritual community, visit grandkids… the possibilities are unlimited!

        The other key reason is this. We’ve had many discussions about what we would do with this large, beautiful home (where we now live) when one of us dies. It’s going to happen. We may as well talk about it. BOTH of us have stated – we’re in agreement – that whoever is the survivor would sell the house and move into something smaller, more manageable. So, we figured, why not do that now? Do it together, get settled, and then when that grieving time comes, the remaining spouse would NOT have to do it or make such decisions during such a sad time. And after running all the numbers, it just makes good financial sense.

        For some folks our age, this mortgage-free goal has already been accomplished. Not for us. We attribute the delay to having multiple marriages (both of us) and having to “start over” to some degree after each divorce. Not recommended, but it’s in our pasts. Also, we don’t remember having good financial role models.

        It also took us awhile to learn good money management skills. Budgets. Emergency savings. Retirement funds. Sharing. Allowances. And healing the wounds around money issues from childhood into adulthood and through the present. The scabs of those wounds get lifted on occasion, but mostly they’re quickly put back into place where they belong… the past. We’ve looked at our beliefs and (mis)trust issues around money and abundance MANY times and often. There have been arguments, blow-outs, tears, and recovery. Not so much anymore. Thank goodness.

        One thing we’ve done correctly over the past five to eight years is make better decisions about what we do with the funds after the sale of a home. Those decisions have brought us to our beautiful resort-like home, which will soon be put on the market. We’ve lived here two years. We could continue to live here. We can afford the payments. We just don’t want to do it anymore. So we’ve decided to downsize, once again, but in a different direction and with more experience behind us. We’re aware of how much of a downsize we can handle.

        The previous moves included going from large homes (3,300 to 4,500 square feet) to smaller ones (1,600 square feet) with large lots. The house was either too small or the property too much to take care of. We learned what we could or wanted to maintain. We learned how much space we needed for a home so we could live together and still like each other. This time we’ve selected a manufactured home (think double-wide) of 1,800 square feet on a rented lot that we can maintain or hire out.

        We call it #18 (part of the address). We’ve had “919” and “22” and currently we’re in “474.” It’s a thing we do when we remember the different places we’ve lived. In Australia it was simply “Margaret Avenue” or the “Turramurra” house. In childhood (for me) it was “Swan Creek” or “Gratiot Road.” We like the numbers better. And, yes, we read the house numerology descriptions along the journey.

        Thankfully, this time, the downsize process won’t require us to get rid of too much of what we’ve accumulated in furniture. We did most of that two moves ago. What we don’t really need will go into a storage unit for now until we get the rest all sorted out and in-place. Whatever is extra can be given away or sold.

        We can keep our books for “the library” room. I have room for my sewing machine and craft supplies and keyboard. We’ll both have offices. And we have approval to keep our new hot tub. Whew! However, the covenants, as we discovered, allows for only one dog. We have two.

        Our little Zoey will be carefully re-homed to someone who will care for her as well or better than we have. She’s a likeable and sassy miss that is more adoptable than our Casper. It’s taken a long time to get him to trust us and heal from his wounded past. Both dogs were rescues over three years ago, but Casper had a much more dramatic past to overcome. Zoey has been his teacher. He’s come a long way, but has further to go to be the wholly, healed dog I see him to be. Zoey’s got it covered. She knows who she is and lets you know it! She’s already a love-bug (when she allows it). Casper is still overly cautious about who is allowed to come near him (or us). Perhaps being an only dog will give Casper the extra attention and space he needs to discover himself.

        There you have it. The “why” and a bit of the “how” of it all.

        We’ve selected a comfortable home in a beautiful, treed setting just a few miles from where we are. A small town and all its shops are within walking distance. A bike trail and river are just a few minutes’ walk from our neighborhood. We’ll be surrounded by vineyards, orchards, and parks. We’re still a short drive to friends and restaurants and other activities. We’re planning to do a few upgrades and changes before we move in. Things we’ve done at other homes.

        And what helps us KNOW we’ve made the right decision is how quickly and precisely EVERYTHING has “fallen into place” in the time since we made the decision. Even our ego-voices have nothing to say at this point. This has totally been a God-thing.

The process began just a week ago. The price of the next home came down. The initial mortgage was approved; preliminary papers have been signed. The inspection is scheduled. The realtor for our current home is on-board and ready to list it early next month. The packing is underway to stage our home for sale… and there’s not a lot to do in the way of repairs. Just decluttering and cleaning. This house will sell quickly. It only takes one… and what if it’s easy… is our frame of mind (mantra) and our experience.

        And it’s all happened easily and effortlessly around the plans and projects we already had scheduled. Everyone involved has been helpful and friendly. We’ve received TONS of support and validation about our decision from friends and family. The timing is perfect!

        I’m looking forward to enjoying our new lifestyle after all the boxes have disappeared and the paperwork is filed. We’ve both worked a long time to get to this point, even with all the life detours we made along the way. I like (and love) my husband. I pray we enjoy this new place together for at least 20 years. The last owner of #18 lived to be 102 years old! Maybe we will, too. It’ll be fun to discover who we are in this different mode of living.

        Thank you, Spirit! I love this creative Life!!

RULE #6: Take Care of What You Have

It had finally gotten so bad that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to clean out my large truck/SUV (it’s a Suburban).

For over a year I had been looking in the rear-view mirror at my grandson’s toddler fingerprints spread generously across the back window. He and his sister and their parents had moved to another state several months earlier and I’d kept the window unwashed as a reminder of their presence in my heart, always with me. Now, finally, I took pictures of one handprint silhouetted by the sun before the glass cleaner wiped it away. And then the cleaning began in earnest.

By the time I finished the interior, exterior, wheels and floors and glass, I was in love with my truck again. Yes, it’s 10 years old. And, yes, I still have a few more payments on it before it’s finally, really mine. But the process of its rejuvenation brought me closer to its attributes and reminded me why I bought it in the first place: the roominess of three rows of seats plus space for the dog…the sturdiness of it…the secure and safe feeling I get while riding in it or driving with my family…the leather interior…the built-in DVD player in the backseat (wish I had that when I was a kid)…the wonderful stereo system for listening to children’s rhyming songs…the way the gray color never shows the dirt… seat heaters…air conditioning…low miles…dependability.

The clean results reminded me that, as long as I take care of this vehicle, inside and outside, this might actually be the last one I ever need to buy. I found comfort in that idea. And it led me to others like it.

  • As long as I take care of my home, it will likely stand longer than I do and the improvements will bring new comfort, generous memories, and improved value.
  • As long as I pay attention to my friendships and family relationships, they can go on and on for as long as one remains.
  • As long as I maintain my gardens with the proper nourishment of soil and fertilizer, the seasons will take the plants from seed to harvest to compost; the growth and beauty will last and expand year after year.
  • As long as I continue to hone my skills and creative talents, my work – whatever it is – will continue to evolve until I my interests change and I choose another direction. Yet my creative nature will always be a part of who I am.
  • As long as I take care of what I have, it will be part of my life.

And by taking care of what I have, I’m sending a message to Universal Intelligence that I’m worthy of more Good. Since I can be trusted to take care of what I already have …whether it’s a personal attribute or a material possession …I believe that other opportunities and wealth of various sorts will come my way …that the richness of life is attracted to what I already possess like metal to a magnet.

It’s said “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” (Matt. 13:12) This finally made sense to me.

Besides, why would we NOT want to take care of what we already have or possess? Financial wisdom dictates that we would want to make last what we have, what we’re using, for as long as we can so that our resources can go further for other purposes. Also I want the people around me to feel welcome and loved, to experience community and interaction. I choose to grow and expand in consciousness of all kinds, in skills of all kinds and levels, and in a variety of interests.

Rule #6: Take care of what you have …brings with it a feeling of gratitude …for all the Good already in your life and what more is sure to come along.

Taking care of this big old truck is like taking care of the precious memories that filled its seats with the laughter and love of my grandchildren. It holds the possibility that one day they will again ride in the back seat, watch one of their old movies, and hear stories about the handprints on the window. Maybe they’ll even remember. I’d welcome that kind of Good – and more – any day!

RULE #5: Contentment is Completion

Do you recall the feeling you experienced the last time you FINALLY finished something? Maybe you made that phone call… or you wrote that paper… or you finished up a chore that’s been staring you in the face for days or weeks. Whatever step of the project or however long it had been weighing on your mind, the moment, the very second it’s done, there’s a breath that escapes the body. It’s a physical indication that says, “Whew! That’s done!”

There’s contentment in that moment of awareness when you complete some portion of interest in your life. Think about it.

You might plan to do a bit of yard work, just a small task in the overall scheme of things. Until you do it, you carry that project around in your mind, and maybe your muscles, until you finally go outside and get it done. Your whole body relaxes with the knowing that it’s “off your list.” You look around at how nice it looks. You might even start fantasizing about what you’re going to do next. Maybe.

Or you say you’re going to call your mom or dad or distant child, but keep putting it off until you get one more thing done, when the moment is right…except, you can’t really concentrate on those other tasks or might not even feel good about doing them, because of the nagging voice in your head, reminding you of the one really important call to make. And you know how happy you are when you finally make that call? Even if all you can do is to leave a voice mail message? Yeah…that’s the feeling of contentment.

Whether the plans before you are to go watch a special movie, read a book, go for a walk, practice the piano, take a class…or…involves more long-term goals like finish your degree, start a business, write a book, go on vacation, plan a wedding, or build a house… the level of contentment can vary and often mirrors the magnitude of the endeavor.

Frankly, I’ve become so enamored by the feeling of contentment (call it an addiction, if you will) that it now motivates me to complete whatever I can each day and then pause for a moment of recognition… not only to celebrate all that’s been released from my consciousness, but also to check-in with whatever weight I might still be carrying around, and to address it right then and there. Additional release might involve scheduling the task on my calendar or to dismiss it from my mind’s ownership altogether.

I’m making progress. I’m getting my things done. And I’m minding my own business about what I think others are supposed to be doing. I’m connecting with loved ones and art and nature more often. My life has become fuller, healthier, and less stressful. My self-esteem is stronger; I’m more confident. The nagging critical voice in my head is quieter. My energy is going in a positive direction and the results are, well, amazing! Contentment IS completion.

Give it a try. Pick something on the “I’ve got to get this done list” in your head and finish it! Then, stop for a moment… and notice how your body’s tension on that matter disappears, how the ego voice fades into the distance, and how your soul just beams with satisfaction. My guess is it won’t be long before you to want to repeat that feeling of happy contentment and complete something else. Go ahead. What a great way to live life!

RULE #4: Watch Your Feet

Rule #4 is about setting boundaries and moving forward… thus it’s important to watch your feet, to know where to place them metaphorically, what your personal limits are, or where you would “draw the line in the sand” in any given situation. We all have limits. We are in charge of choosing our direction, too. It just depends what the situation is or who is involved as to what each of those might be.

Years ago I had the opportunity to dabble in the sport of rock climbing, mostly bouldering. The highest cliff I faced was only 30 to 40 feet high. Put a few of those on top of each other and you have a good-sized mountain.

However, my goal was not to climb Mt. Everest. I simply wanted to get over my fear of heights and this seemed like a logical way to do it. Through the guidance of a qualified instructor and lots of practice, I learned the importance of where to place my hands and feet… one hand, one foot at a time.

Each foot placement was important no matter how high off the ground I was. Each solid step onto the side of the rock meant that I could move up, down or sideways in the direction of my choosing. I then could reach out with my hand and grab hold of even the smallest protrusion to give myself balance and additional stability while each foot, in turn, found the next foundation of support. There was a very good chance that, if my foot slipped, my hand or fingers may not hold my body’s weight and I could fall. The rope was the backup plan, not something to swing from or rely upon.

I faced my fear. Through repeated movements (and instruction and rope/harness gear) I gained the confidence that allowed me to move from bouldering two feet off the ground to climbing a 40-foot cliff. I became strong in body and spirit. I discovered my physical limits and mental boundaries. I was humbled by the rock and empowered by the experience. I grew in self-assurance and faith and moved forward in other life challenges.

We have limits all around us. There are financial limits… how much money you choose to spend on something; what you’re willing to loan to a family member. There are relationship limits… what you’re willing to contribute emotionally to a partner; how long you tolerate a certain unacceptable behavior of a spouse or child. There are many opportunities that prompt a person to stand up to a situation and say “Enough is enough!”

But do you have limits to how much Good you’re willing to let into your life? Do you put a cap on a great idea because of fear? Are there things that would really help you or improve your life but you’re not willing to accept them for yourself? Where do you “stand” in your core values and beliefs?

Setting boundaries or limits can do two things: 1) keep something away that could harm us; or 2) keep us away from our own Good. It’s important to recognize the difference and to know when to change the situation as needed for our highest and best experience.

For most of us…Feet are the body’s instrument upon which we stand. Feet are strong enough to hold up our bodies for hours every day. Feet are the tools that help us drive our cars – accelerator or brake – go forward or stop. Feet are the means that allow us to move in the world, to get from one place to another and to change course at will. Feet move us in many directions and can traverse all types of terrain. Feet provide us with the awareness of a solid foundation, balance, and stability.

Watch your feet. Give yourself the best foundation you’re able. Know your boundaries and move forward in life with confidence and faith.

RULE #3: Maintain Order

If you look around in the world of Mother Nature (the Universe), you will find a natural order to life. One season follows another. A seed comes before the mature plant and before the blossom or fruit. Day and night may happen simultaneously, but only on opposite sides of the planet. A baby learns to roll over or crawl before it can walk. We learn simple math or grammar skills before moving on to more complex concepts. The point is there is a natural order to life.

The same can be said for the way we grow spiritually. We must have some type of awareness or yearning, something that beckons our attention about God before we open our minds to more expansive investigation of the spiritual or religious realm. There is an order to the way we deepen our understanding. There is an order, a process, in the development of our beliefs …in the way we pray and the depth to which we go …in how we connect with Divine Intelligence.

What I have discovered for myself and from what other spiritual seekers have shared is that whatever idea of God was learned in childhood was eventually put under the microscope of doubt …at least for awhile.

Whether it was in the inquisitive teenage years when everything that our parents taught was tossed aside and relearned later …or whether we just forgot about it until those middle-age years when the idea of mortality becomes more of a reality of living.

There’s an order, a progression, a process of learning and exploring and understanding that builds upon itself in a step-by-step fashion of testing, acceptance, and trust.

We don’t (usually) become suddenly enlightened about the entire spiritual realm all at once. We journey into that head and heart and soul space one tentative step at a time. Each bit of information that can be tested, is. Each book or lecture or teacher than can be challenged, is. We do this until we’re sure it’s time to take the next step. Rarely do we run with complete abandon head-on towards God until the path has first been tested.

Perhaps the order we’re compelled to test and then maintain is really to offset the chaotic questioning provided by the doubting ego. In its attempt to remain in control of our fears and thinking patterns, it tosses dust storms of doubt in front of us and obscures our vision to see ourselves as more than just a trembling human body in this world of challenge and triumph. In an effort to break free of the chaos and the distorted view, to discover something bigger than ourselves, we begin to accept an invisible and powerful nature that lives in us and in everyone else. The Power back of all things.

Through a greater awareness and a trust in the Divine, we open ourselves to greater potentiality and find we can create a life of unlimited possibilities, one step at a time. We maintain order. We discover peace in the confusion and purpose in the fragments of our focus. The puzzle of our life is put together and we embrace the loving truth within our own beautiful soul.

Spirit is always there, waiting for our willingness to connect and explore. It is the order of things, now …and yet to come.

Rule #2: There are NO “do-overs” in Life

Have you ever heard the lesson about how each time you step into a stream, it’s a different stream? This lesson speaks to the fact that the water in the stream is different, the rocks on the bottom may have moved, the temperature can vary, the way you walk may be unusual, and even your perspective of how you view the stream can be different from the first time it happened.

With this idea in mind, it occurred to me that Life is like that, too. We may repeat habits or patterns, think similar ideas, have on-going behaviors or relationships that don’t change for years…or so we lead ourselves to believe. The fact is, we change from minute to minute. We become wiser, more experienced, more aware.

A first-time endeavor is only a “first-time” once. Your first day of work happens only once, no matter how long you’re there or how many different jobs you have. A first kiss can happen just one time.

You can certainly repeat the experience with different people or places of employment, thereby experiencing the “newness” of that particular incident with other variables, but you cannot go back to that first time of anything or go back in time to repeat a specific act because time keeps passing on. Once something has been done, you cannot go back in time and do it over. The next time you repeat a behavior or experience is brand new and in a new moment.

As chronological time passes, this new, NOW moment is really all we have to work with. We may gain much experience and wisdom about how to do things, how the world works, and hopefully who we are as a person. However, there is absolutely no way to go back and do anything over again without having the memory, wisdom or experience of having done that something before.

Life has no do-overs. Not really. What you DO have is the ability to do things better the second or third or fourth time around. You may get lots of practice in certain endeavors, yet each is happening in a brand new moment with a greater (albeit familiar) sense of understanding about that activity. Each new moment, each new experience, comes with the opportunity to create anew!

You don’t have to do things the same way time after time. Life…Creation…God…certainly does not. We’re told that EVERY snowflake is of a unique design. So is EVERY human being on earth. Trees and animals may share a species name, and even look quite identical, but I would venture to say that even those creations are unique in their existence.

There are no do-overs in Life. No matter what has happened yesterday…no matter what messes or amends you may have to clean up…each moment of living is another opportunity to start over, to start fresh. What a gift that is! We’re not stuck in a rut unless we put ourselves there…with old thought patterns and ways of being. Who would really want to have everything be the same forever anyway!

The first thing we can change is our perspective, our way of viewing Life. Begin there. Change your thinking and see how it impacts the moments you’re living…one by one…each as bright with possibilities as the sunrise. Step into the light. Clear away old, stuffy ways of creating and being and doing. Build from them, remember what still provides direction and is valuable to you. Step into the stream of Life and surrender to the Now!