Simple Ways to Enrich Your Life

Today couldn’t get any better!

I can’t wait for what tomorrow brings!

Why isn’t today enough? Why does it seem we are always looking for something better–something bigger and brighter elsewhere.

Why don’t we just marvel at the life we have today? Don’t let a second pass without taking a deep breath and appreciate what you have.

No one has ever found that pot of gold at the other end of the rainbow. The simplest way to enrich your life is by looking within yourself.

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Cautiously Optimistic

“Cautiously optimistic is one way of looking at life, or the future. The ‘optimistic’ side tells us we’re confident that things will work out as planned, while the ’cautiously’ side tells us to prepare for the unexpected, because things don’t always go as planned.

If what you seek isn’t as lucid as you had hoped it to be, reach back through your mental Rolodex and try and remember what advice your Mother might have given you. She helped to get you this far, right?” ~ Jason Landry

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Heidi Kirkpatrick, Mother, 2001 — German/English Vest Pocket Dictionary

These Are My People

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Frank Armstrong, Alpine, AR, 1991

People enter our lives in a variety of ways.

Some people we refer to as family––both blood relatives and those that are like family without the genetic makeup. You might be closer to some than others. This isn’t your fault or theirs––life just happens.

Then there are friends––some stay, and some go. Your taste in friends changes as you grow older and begin to see who you are as a person. Your priorities change and that’s when you realize you want to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who have similar life goals and dreams.

We also have teachers, mentors and advisors. Some of these people are hand-picked and some find us––we have no idea how they arrived on the scene, and frankly, we don’t care. We like them around. Some stick around even after their jobs are done. Some become friends.

And let’s not forget our loves and lovers. We are attracted to them for one thing or another. Remember that the beauty on the outside is just a facade to their inner-most beauty. It’s important to look beyond the shell because one’s inner beauty never changes. Love radiates from the inside out.

We the people. . .
People are people. . .
People are strange . . .
These are my people.

Who are the people in your life who have helped enabled you to do great things? You don’t need to have a large family, or a wide circle of friends to figure this out. It’s not about the number of people in your life that count. Leave numbers for bankers, accountants, and mathematicians to deal with. It’s the quality of those people that matters most. Make sure to thank them once in a while.

A Game of Baseball

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Red Sox montage by Stephen Sheffield

It’s a full count––three balls, two strikes. You try to remember everything your father told you: “Keep your eyes on the ball. Check your stance. Set your feet. Bend your knees. Get the bat off of your shoulder.” This stuff wasn’t too hard to remember since my dad regularly umpired my Little League games.

The bat was now cocked and ready to connect. It’s a fastball. You swing with all your might. At the crack of the bat, a deep fly ball goes to left field and over the fence. Home run!

That’s how it always happened in my dreams anyway. I never got to hit a home run in real life. If life were like a game of baseball, you would hope for a home run scenario every time. But in reality, there are some curveballs, knuckleballs, change-ups and quite possibly some spitballs thrown into the mix to make things more challenging. But challenges are part of the game, regardless of whether you’re playing t-ball, Little League, or the Majors. Challenges can also take you off-course, but don’t let them. They’re usually building blocks for something greater––something too fast to see when they’re coming at you at ninety miles an hour.

A Game of Baseball, from the book,
Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography by Jason Landry.