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We are off to a start this first month of 2024...

The grounds at Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, Michigan

This photo was taken in October, 2023, celebrating the forthcoming birth of our granddaughter, Reese, who arrived 6 weeks early (D day was mid December and she showed up on the 4th of November). So grateful we chose to celebrate on a day early enough to get caught up in the joy and excitement. One never knows what is coming around the corner...even the good stuff!!!

Hello and welcome to the first blog post of this new year 2024. How have you been? And how did you fare throughout the festivities in the busiest season of last year, most notably and assumed Thanksgiving to Christmas holidays, ending the year 2023? Two weeks on and into 2024 has been pretty calm and nondescript so far for us and those around us. Even so, there is no assumption that it is an indication to the year going forward. Oh no, quite the contrary. Life has a way of turning corners and blindsiding us to a new reality...or a new normal, at any given moment. Relaxation maybe, but never a state of mind that tries to trick the mind that all is well and life is bliss. This is not to say that then it's better to be in a state of tension/anxiety, never letting the guard down or letting oneself get too comfortable. Worse yet is living or settling into a mindset of fear or negativity. Either extreme leaves one too exposed to being jolted from their slumber (so to speak) to being overly cautious and on edge. Neither is healthy and really ends up leaving one very vulnerable to being ill equipped to handle a significant change in circumstances. So what to do? Perhaps and easily said, maybe a healthy way to look at things is to approach life with a sense of joy and peace in head and heart on any given day, independent of circumstances and sudden changes in life. Or, even more, starting the day in neutral until you have to "check in" to that which causes you to put your mind and body in high gear. So, it would be like this: wake up with a heart inclined in gratefulness, just for the gift of another day. It's good to wake up on this side of the dirt, as they say. Would you agree? Then take a few minutes to allow yourself to consider a few good things in your life; even if you are in a pit of sorts. Then position your mind to dwell in ready mode to deal with a possible change of plans that may be on your horizon. After that, consider how might you walk in or through the possibility(s), (whatever you have in mind at that moment). For this writer giving thanks every day to the Father that gave me this next 24 hours puts me in a position of being grateful and thankful for the gift. Then there is always someone or some thing/event that deems a little prayer on behalf of said person/thing. Rising up to do the day is always one foot in front of the other. To make plans, create new things, invite friends for coffee, intentional community with those I share common ground and a bit of outreach to let someone know they are thought of seems to allow for a joyful existence. But, there is always a little engine in mind that runs in neutral standing ready to an alert or unexpected need that arises. To remain calm under a bit of stress or at the onset of and induced/heightened emergency situation happens when that neutral part of the brain is idling, yet, ready to pivot into first gear. This has happened several times and no doubt you have a few stories of your own, most assuredly. Floating through the day sounds lofty and lovely but it isn't very many days one can do that; especially if you are connected and/or involved with other human beings. Am I right to say that? This is not meant to be a kill joy to you but, rather a reality check to stay engaged in your life and to the real life in the lives of those around you. It makes living with a purpose meaningful and available to those outside yourself. Is this getting too deep? Well, this seems enough for today's post in any case. Remember, these are meant to offer encouragement or perhaps a bit of refreshment for just a few minutes.

Have a great week and hopefully new beginnings to this new year!

Good on you!, Jeanine


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