Too Busy? Monday, Mar 4 2013 


Many years ago at the beginning of a class I was taking, the instructor asked each student to give their name and tell a little about themselves. Everyone told about their work and activities. Finally, one woman stood up, said her name, and announced in a sweet, Southern drawl, “What do I do? I sit – on the veranda. I sip – iced tea.”

At first we all laughed. Then we laughed at ourselves. What is wrong with sitting back and relaxing? Why do we have to be in constant motion?

I tend to make things more challenging than they need be. I can’t serve a simple meal. Everything has to be homemade. I send handwritten notes and make my own window treatments. My house is immaculately clean, books on shelves are categorized, and I maintain detailed, up-to-date records on everything imaginable.

I can’t just watch TV or listen to music. I have to also read, write, clean, pay bills, or work on the computer. We also have a large circle of family and friends we see often. And along with everyone else, I live in a world that is technologically complicated and over-crowded with people, goods, and activity.

Sometimes I long for a simpler life. There is something to be said about residing in a small, uncluttered home in an area with little to do, no one to see, and nowhere to go. Days would be calm and predictable. From a smaller wardrobe to fewer choices of restaurants, stores, and events to attend, life would be less stressful.

Quite honestly, though, I have to admit, I enjoy all the little things I do. They are ways in which I express myself. I’ve had opportunities to vacation in secluded areas and enjoyed it very much – for the time – but I have to admit that I don’t think I can let go and relax completely and indefinitely. Keeping busy makes me feel alive.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

Now You See It. Now You Don’t. Tuesday, Aug 14 2012 

Magic is easy, once you know the secret. At least that is what my husband, Marshall Brodien, always says. And life is like that too. If you know the secrets of life, it is so much easier.

In fact, there are several principles of magic that can be applied to life. Here are a few life-lessons I’ve learned from magic:

  1. What appears to be very mysterious often is quite simple.
  2. There are a whole lot of things going on around you that you don’t see.
  3. Some people intentionally misdirect your attention from what’s important.
  4. Every industry has a personality and magicians are no different. Actually, they are very different.
  5. You don’t need to know how everything works. Sometimes it’s best to relax and enjoy the show.
  6. Some careers are more fun than work.
  7. You don’t have to accept the “cards” forced upon you.
  8. Even when the magic doesn’t go as planned, you must keep moving on with the show.
  9. No matter how talented or industrious you are, your audience may not applaud you.
  10. Your presentation is more important than your ability.

©Mary K. Doyle

(Photo by Stephanie Maury. Used with permission.)

Sharks or Dolphins Wednesday, Mar 28 2012 

Several years ago, my husband, son, and I were on a boat on the Atlantic Ocean. We were enjoying the day until suddenly we were surrounded by sharks. As we brainstormed our options, our fears mounted.

Then we recognized that the sharks actually were dolphins. Our concerns quickly changed to joy.

Reflecting back I realize the only things that changed were our perceptions and emotions. The “sharks” hadn’t hurt us in any way. Nor were we ever in danger.

Most of the sharks in our lives do indeed turn out to be dolphins. We waste a lot of time worrying about terrible things that might happen, yet never do.

I now am making a conscious effort to remain in the moment and worry less about the unknowns that I cannot control. There is no value in imagining sharks surrounding me. Life is so much easier this way and a lot less taxing on my health.

©Mary K. Doyle

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