I have always loved the following quote:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
How do you encourage others to live their best life? How do you continue to fuel your own dreams? Can you do both at the same time?
Life feels stark to me when I’m not pursuing my dreams. It’s usually a slow slide. Life gets “busy”. I get caught up in the minutia of the mundane, but the necessary, and sometimes find a week or even a month has slipped by and I’ve failed to do anything in the pursuit of my own dreams. Something feels lacking as I simply cross things off my to-do lists. Can you relate?
A little over ten years ago, an acquaintance called me with an opportunity to join a network marketing company. Now … I can see some of you rolling your eyes, but I challenge you to keep an open mind. The call came a few weeks before my 40th birthday. It came at a time when I was hungry for … something … different. Suddenly, I was exposed to a group of excited, committed individuals, intent on building a business that offered both financial and time freedom. Self-development was a focal point. A whole new world opened up for me and I was all-in.
Calling people and offering them the same opportunity was a completely foreign and terrifying experience. My initial excitement fueled my focus for a couple of years. I attended conferences around the US. If you’ve never attended a gathering like this, where thousands of people bring their energy and enthusiasm, you’re missing out. Once, I earned the opportunity for a nearly front row seat when country superstar Tim McGraw was brought in to close out one of these events. What an amazing experience! I also earned a trip to an all-inclusive trip to a Caribbean resort, another brand new experience for us.
To be successful over the long-term in network marketing, you need to continuously build and maintain a strong team. While I found it easy to motivate myself to work hard to build my business, I struggled to understand why others lacked the same passion. Eventually, my passion waned. No one seemed to want to work as hard as I did. Maybe, if I would have kept working at it, I would have found others of a similar mindset, but I’m not convinced. I learned many valuable lessons and I don’t regret the experience, but it wasn’t the right path for me.
I still yearn for that “something” that will allow me to work hard, set goals, and build a lifestyle where I have more control over both my own time and my earning potential. I believe I have found that in writing.
The world is full of nay-sayers. Yes, it is incredibly difficult to make a decent income writing books and it can take a long time to find any measure of success. Is that reason enough not to try? Not in my “book”.
Writing opens up a new avenue for me to use to encourage others. I’m a self-proclaimed introvert. Making small talk with people I don’t know drains me. But give me a computer and time to gather my thoughts, and I enjoy encouraging others. Life is so very short. I want to encourage as many people as possible to pursue their own dreams, whatever those might be.
Take a step back out of the daily drama of your life. I challenge you to quit using the tired excuse that you’re too busy. Make the time to think about those things you will regret missing out on when you get to the end of your life. Have you always wanted to travel? Teach? Act?
Now, figure out a way to incorporate some of that into your daily life. Start small if you have to, but start. You will find exciting new avenues to pursue that add color to your days. You will meet people with similar interests. You may decide your initial dream isn’t really what you want after all, but you will likely find new dreams, if you decide to reach out beyond the busy and do that which gives you joy.
Dream big and take a step today to pursue that dream. Find a way to encourage someone else to pursue their dreams. It will brighten your day!
In your corner, Kim
p.s. Drop a quick note in the comments below and let us encourage you in finding your path!
November can be a joyful riot of the senses, if we take a moment to appreciate all this month has to offer.
In the section of the United States where I live, the landscape looks bleak now. Mother Nature has washed the color away, leaving a neutral canvas, a pause before the inevitable brilliant white of winter followed by the fresh green of spring. The intricacies of naked tree branches stand in stark contrast to the sky. Killing frosts have zapped the vibrancy of flowers, their stems now limp and broken. Fields have been stripped of their crops. Scanning the horizon is restful to the eyes, until the jarring surprise of a brilliant spot of color breaks up the monotony. Bright orange pumpkins grace front steps. When skies are clear, coral pink sunrises and burgundy sunsets grace the start and end of the day.
Cooler weather and the approaching holidays gives life more texture. Soft, warm sweaters and cozy blankets chase the chill away. Frozen toes warm inside scratchy wool socks. My fingers sting from sharp pricks as I string Christmas lights on the bushes out front and then from the heat of a mug of tea I treat myself to when the outside decorating is done.
November has its own sounds. Football blares from the television, mixed with conversations and cheers. Friends and family catch up over the dinner table and games of cards. Logs crackle in the fireplace, bathing the room in a soft glow of light and heat. Quiet prevails outdoors, the calls of birds now absent.
Smells waft throughout the house. The unmistakable aroma of Thanksgiving turkey cooking in the oven coupled with the sweet smell of an apple-cinnamon candle burning on the counter whet appetites. A trip to the mail box is made special by the scent of burning leaves. My car trunk smells like a Christmas tree, a bag of pine scented potpourri purchased for Christmas decorating temporarily forgotten there.
As we gather as a family to celebrate Thanksgiving, amazing varieties of food become the focal point. Old favorites usually prevail over new recipes. We are creatures of habit. Which is better, the actual Thanksgiving meal or the leftovers? How should the stuffing be prepared? Most of us prefer the stuffing we each grew up eating - some prefer sage, some dislike it. Our meal wouldn’t be complete without the cranberry ice, a frozen, tart treat. It’s the perfect complement to our turkey dinner and a family tradition. There never seems to be enough lefse, lathered in butter and sugar. As kids, we kept track of who ate more black olives based on the pile of our olive pits. Now the olives are pitted, the contest fizzled. Dinner is capped off with creamy pumpkin or decadent chocolate pies. Yum.
Too often, November is a lost month. People skip from the beauty of an October fall straight to December celebrations. What a shame. November is a beautiful month.
May you focus on both thanks and giving this week. Kim
What does “home” mean to you? Is it the dwelling you live in now? Is it the place where you grew up? Is it where you spend the majority of your time?
For me, it is all of those things and more. What “home” means to me is also evolving. Even though I moved away from my hometown when I left for college a long time ago, I still consider that town and my parent’s house to be “home”. Of course, the house we have raised our own kids in is also “home”. We still have one child at home with us yet, but our middle child is away at college and our oldest son graduated from college and has been in his own apartment for a few years now. It took me a long time to get comfortable with him calling his apartment “home”. My house is supposed to be his “home”. I sometimes have to take a step back and remind myself this is exactly how it should be.
We spend years raising our kids with the hope they will grow into responsible, kind adults. So why is it so hard when you suddenly realize you accomplished what you set out to do? They are renting apartments, paying their own bills and decorating their new “homes” in their own styles. Bravo! I am learning to bite my tongue when I start to correct my son when he says he is going “home”.
As a parent, when I was caught up in the everyday “busyness” of life, running three kids around to all of their activities and fighting a sometimes losing battle to keep our house clean, the concept of an empty nest was distant. I know some people look forward to the time when their kids are grown and gone. Personally, I have always dreaded their leaving. If you still have kids underfoot, enjoy it! Don’t worry if the house is messy or there are piles of laundry to be washed. Do enough to keep your home safe and comfortable, but know you will remember playing outside on a sunny afternoon or sledding with them in the winter. So will they. Neither of you will remember the afternoons spent doing all the things you usually feel you “should” be doing. Tolerate a bit of guilt over a less than immaculate house if instead you get to spend your time creating priceless memories with your family. It is often the little things we all remember, the spontaneous moments of fun and joy.
So this is where the evolving part comes in. I have known for decades there are a few special places on this earth I consider “home”. I can’t be selfish. Our kids should get to experience this now too. It is their turn to create their new “homes”. It may be a first dorm room or a first apartment. If they choose to establish new homes far from me, I will need to find a way to accept that as well but it won’t be easy.
Ten years ago, I didn’t want to think about the day my kids wouldn’t all be sleeping under the roof of our home every night. Now it’s our reality. And it is alright. My folks hated it at first too, but they adjusted and thrived. As my grandmother wisely shared with my mom, and my mom shared with me, enjoy every phase of life with your kids. It’s all good.
Enjoy the gift of home, whatever “home” might mean to you.
All my best to you, Kim
Welcome to my new blog!
As a fiction writer, I love creating intricate, inspiring stories. It took me four years to write and publish my first novel, "Whispering Pines". It took much longer than I would have liked, mainly because of my steep learning curve. I had no idea how to go from a roughly edited manuscript to a published book. Eventually, I found wonderful people and resources to help me figure it out. My book, the first in my "Celia's Gifts" series, was self-published in September 2017. I am hard at work on the second book and am confident I will be able to get this book to "published" in a matter of months vs. years.
As I worked on launching "Whispering Pines", I found I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with readers through emails and Facebook posts. I decided I wanted to build a forum I could use to continue to connect with others. A blog will be a fun way to do just that. Please bear with me as I learn the ins and outs of publishing blog content on a regular basis. This, too, is a new process for me. I will learn as I go. An important lesson learned over the past year is to just start. Don't wait until you have it all figured out because, until you jump in and start "doing" something, it is almost impossible to figure it all out and you run the risk of remaining stuck at the starting line.
Once I decided I wanted to blog, the next step was to decide what I wanted to blog about. I didn't have to go far for the answer. In my book "Whispering Pines", each chapter name begins with "Gift of ..." My whole series is based off of a "gift" theme. Who doesn't like gifts? Material gifts are great, but when I speak of gifts, I also mean the gifts we can glean from life's lessons, both big and small, both positive and negative.
Please consider joining me on this new journey into blogging that will run parallel to my book writing. My goal is to write a blog post each week for a year, using the chapter names from my first novel as the writing prompt. I am excited to see where we can go with this.
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!