Comfort Zone


Comfort Zone
By Bernadette A. Moyer


We all have one! We all have a comfort zone where things come easily to us and where we are most comfortable. However, it has been said that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch

Most of us would agree that real growth happens when we do step out of our norm and that which is known to us and when we try something new. It could be a new job or a new relationship or travel to a foreign country and learning a new language.

As soon as we try something new, we begin to learn again. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I entered into a 5k walk/run for a local charity. I am not a runner! I never had any intention of running but I did want the experience and to support the cause. My goal was a fast paced walk and to complete the course and do so in under an hour. I met all my goals. Not only did I meet the goal I had set but I also took at least three photos along the way, stopped to tie my sneakers and grabbed a complimentary sip of a drink. Point is that if I was really serious about my time I wouldn’t have hesitated for photos, shoes and a drink. Next year the goal will be to beat my own time!

Entering in a race is completely out of my comfort zone and considering I was tasked with cooking a complete traditional Thanksgiving dinner later that day I could have easily opted out. But the race was my idea and I had engaged my husband and our son too. We were all thrilled to do it and it was a great weather day and a perfect early morning start to our Thanksgiving holiday. It looks like we may have created a new family tradition.

I felt so good after and yet this was completely out of my comfort zone … age 56 and yet another experience I can now add to my life!
Setting goals and trying new things is what life and living is all about. It renews our spirits when we challenge ourselves and when we leave our comfort zone to do so.

“The real value of setting goals is not the recognition or reward; it’s the person we become by finding the discipline, courage and commitment to achieve them.”

So here it to living a life that includes brand new experiences, meeting new goals and accepting new challenges as we take a step outside of our own self-created comfort zone …

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One Different Decision


One Different Decision
By Bernadette A. Moyer


When I think about all the decisions we make in a day in a year and in a lifetime my head just wants to spin right off my shoulders! So many decisions and so many choices and some will be good ones and others maybe not so much.

There are studies out there that say an average person has remotely conscious decisions in a day that equals about 35,000 whereas a young person makes about 3,000, clearly we are making many decisions each and every single day.

My husband likes to sleep in late and I am an early riser, I could get so much accomplished by 10:00 and by 3:00 in the afternoon I have generally accomplished what it takes most people a few days to do.

Last week we were supposed to spend a day together at our favorite beach location and do some Christmas shopping when I was up and running and hubs was snug in bed with our two furry friends. I said, “That’s okay why don’t you just get your rest I will just go alone” and he agreed. Later he confessed he really wanted to go, the problem was I didn’t feel like waiting, rousing him and then putting up with his well … early morning personality!

It was a lovely and peace-filled day where I was able to move about at my leisure. I went to the beach and I shopped and I had lunch and I was all alone but it felt great. I arrived home refreshed and ready to go again. It turned out to be a good decision.

During this trip and my alone time I also thought about life and how one different decision could have easily put us in a different place. We make decisions about education and about career choices and our decisions about marriage and divorce and to have children or not and where to live are all huge decisions.

A different town and different friends affords us a different life, the decision to have one child or many children all create another lifestyle and reality for us. Some decisions are huge and others are as simple as what to eat for dinner or to have that second cup of coffee.

Each one of us is faced with numerous decisions in a day, a week, a month and a lifetime. Some decisions will bring us joy and others may bring us grief but having free will allows us to have the capacity to choose how we live our lives by the decisions that we make.

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” Paul Coelho, The Alchemist

Regardless of what decisions we have made in our past and if we want to live our lives in a better way and in a healthier way and in a peace-filled way we are just one different decision away from achieving those goals … so here is to better and happier decision making and making our most loving best decisions ever …

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If You Could Be Santa Claus


fc_santa_claus_rovaniemiIf You Could Be Santa Claus
By Bernadette A. Moyer

If you could be Santa Claus what would you give to people? If price was not an object would it come from a store or something more?

Recently I read an article that stated it wasn’t money that made people happy but rather the experiences that money affords primarily travel. And although it is the destination that makes people happy it is also the anticipation of that destination.

Anticipated trips and travel give people something to look forward to and something to get excited about, sharing that anticipation of what is yet to come.

Kids light up with that special toy, it could be a train set or a special doll or maybe a game or gaming system but what would Santa give to most adults? Perhaps the greatest gift is peace and to be surrounded by love and our loved ones.

We give gifts as tokens of our love and appreciation of another person. How are we as the receiver of a gift? Do we appreciate it or critique it? Are we happy with the gesture and the thought that went into it?

Giving is for the giver, there is no greater high than to be in a position to give a gift. It could be a store bought gift or a homemade gift or a gift of service. When we give we show our heart and our spirit and our generosity.

Some people are easy to please and no matter what you gift them they respond with joy and appreciation. Others take more to wow them but if you were lacking good health, peace of mind or unable to have your basic needs met, just imagine the gift of health or of peace of mind or of not having to worry about where your next meal will come from or warm clothing or a soft and safe comfy place to sleep.

If I was Santa Claus, I would give gifts that opened people’s heart and allowed them to let go in love and to understand that forgiveness is the gift that you give to yourself. I would give gifts that changed people’s lives for the better.

As I waited for my rings to be cleaned at a local jewelry store I browsed around looking at all the pretty watches, bracelets, necklaces and rings and I didn’t want for anything … I had what I like and what means something to me, most of my jewelry has sentimental value.

Imagine gifting a new puppy to a dog lover or a high end car or an expensive this or that, it really comes down to who gave it to us as much as what the gift actually is?

If I was Santa Claus I would give the most to the children that had the least and I would give adults who appreciated what they received more than to those that are never satisfied or happy.

If a gift could make someone happy I would give it … if it could change someone’s world and their life for the better I would be all in … every single one of us can be just a little bit like Santa Claus.

As Santa what would you give and to whom would you give your gifts? Giving truly is for the giver … we could all become someone’s, anyone’s Santa …

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For the Love of Pie


For the Love of Pie
By Bernadette A Moyer


Who doesn’t like pie? Sweet banana cream pie, classic apple pie, peace crumb pie and savory chicken pot pie just to name a few. I am known for my mile high apple pie and classic pumpkin pie.

Recently after a trip to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York where they are known for their grapes and wineries I had to try the local grape pie. It was made from concord grapes with a crumb topping and pretty good! Of course my husband was like I’m not trying “grape jelly pie.” His loss.

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” David Mamet

When I was just a little kid we lived on a farm that was once an orchard and we had apple trees, peach trees and a cherry tree. Mom would hand us that classic old fashioned wire fold up basket to go pick our own fruits and she would make us individual pies.

It may seem decadent today but life on the farm was simple and fruit trees grew fruit in abundance. Pie was just one answer to all that fruit so was canning and making homemade jelly and jams. We loved our fruit trees but Mom and her pie was always a welcome treat.

As an adult I often celebrated George Washington’s birthday by baking my own cherry pies, harvest season meant many pumpkin and apple pies and in the summer I love making peach pies and blueberry pie. To me there are two important components to a truly great pie. You need a nice flaky crust and a wonderful filling. I love fresh fruit pies.

The Amish are known for their pies and for their Shoofly pie. Traditionally they come in either wet or dry bottom. Since I am the only family member that enjoys them I do buy a slice when I visit Lancaster, PA and my choice is the wet bottom version.

As a teenager I worked in a restaurant/diner where when you walked through the front door you were greeted by a revolving glass pie case. They had onsite baking and made wonderful pies. One of the most popular was a fresh strawberry pie.

My husband is known for saying, “in business, do one thing and do it really well.” We had this experience at Monica’s pies in Naples, New York just a few days ago. That is all they do really great pies, all the fruit pies and chicken pot pie. Monica’s pies are well known and she was once featured on the food network however, they no longer ship their pies. You can stop in and buy their pie or enjoy a slice at the many area eateries who serve them. I do recommend the concord grape pie if for no other reason that eat local when you visit!

In the summer season with so many wonderful fruits and the fall with apples I do go into pie making mode. I could see myself like Monica with a little pie shop and a sign on the door that reads, “ring bell for service” Monica appears in full apron as she is making pie until it is time to sell her assorted pies.

I left her shop inspired to try to make my first ever concord grape pie and a chicken pot pie. I also plan to make many more pies. Who doesn’t like pie? There is virtually a variety for every taste. So here is to lots more pie making, pie eating and pie enjoying.

Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie all are favorites for the Thanksgiving holiday. So go ahead and make a homemade pie or buy a pie and support a pie maker!

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Our Stained Souls


Our Stained Souls
By Bernadette A. Moyer


Our shared humanity and yet so many of us have a stained soul, I read posts on social media and my head just spins. I see and hear things on the news about “the enemy” that took a pilot and put him in a cage and lit him on fire to watch him burn?

The person they claimed is the “mastermind” behind the attacks in France is on video and states that “dragging humans” behind his vehicle is more fun than the feeling of skiing or driving snow? And I can’t begin to imagine the female who is seconds away from self-exploding and calls out “help me help me” so she can take other innocent people with her.

These people are without a soul …

Then I read social media posts that state you can’t be a Christian and a Republican at the same time? Or that we should take or shouldn’t take Syrian refugees … the argument as to why we should and why we shouldn’t? Yet I see homeless people here in our country and veterans who served our country who don’t have a job, or a place to live or food to eat?

We want “blood” we want people to pay for their crimes in an almost inhuman way … that somehow a “prison sentence” will make all of Jared Fogle’s victims new again? It won’t, it won’t take their pain away it won’t restore them. I have zero sympathy for what he did and know all too well the many ills and the numerous challenges that the sexually abused will suffer. He is sick and needs treatment.

What happens to the cities that become flooded with illegal immigrants? Who will house them, feed them and employ them? Who will pay for them to be here? We have numerous soup kitchens in our city that literally have lines of people; men women and children waiting to receive their only hot meal of the day. They come needing food and needing clothes and needing care.

I watched “Black Lives Matter” and it would never have occurred to me otherwise? Except that I know for a fact that the large majority of the homicides currently taking place in Baltimore city are black people killing other black people?

And I am sorry but this college thing … if you are paying for a school you pick one that is in keeping with your values? We vote with our dollar, don’t we decide where to send our kids and where we will go for an education?

So when I see Towson University “sign a pledge” that came from the black student population, I think weren’t you already including all people? Was there discrimination going on there?

Our President went to other countries and bad mouthed almost half of the population here in the United States? Doesn’t he realize how bad that makes him look? He is the leader of this country and takes a crack at the opposing party of the country where he presides while on foreign ground?

There is so much anger in the world today, people are frustrated and dismissive and so quick to take a side? We are fighting mad but unsure what to do with our frustrations and anger?

There is a large sect of people that want “free” healthcare and “free” education, we ALL know it is NOT “free” who is supposed to pay? Pick up the tab? Even the insurance providers can’t make it work and they are the most motivated because it is their business, and yes people health care is a business.

Where is our value system? Do we hold the same value for what was given to us compared to what we ourselves worked for? When I was a kid the 10-speed bicycle that was given to me at Christmas was stolen while I was playing tennis with a friend. I threw it down and never locked it up when I returned for it, it was gone. The next bike my parents made me save for it and pay for it myself, it wasn’t near as nice but I took much better care of it because I was the one who paid for it.

Today’s young person seems foreign to me; they have demands and expectations that don’t jive with real life? They want FREE everything and even “safe zones” and to govern words that can’t be used because they are hurt by them?

I can only share what I learned in my lifetime, to the youth of today with your never ending “list of demands” toughen up! Life is not easy, you will be challenged, you will see and hear things that you don’t like or approve of … that’s life.

Get a soul, your strength comes from within you and not outside your body, getting along with other people means that you just may see things and hear things that aren’t “safe” and words only hurt you if you allow them to hurt you!

When your soul knows who you are and what you are all about … and when you are developed and matured you will easily brush off words that you don’t like and you will create your own “safe zone” in life. You can’t expect other people to give you everything without your willingness to work hard. The things you work for you will appreciate more.

If you want “free” work hard so you are in a position to be the giving one … I’ve known many successful people and I know them all to be generous and to be givers. And most don’t need to be asked or told to be generous.

If you are unhappy in the ways of the world, rather than “demand” change, how about being the change that you wish to see in this world? It starts with you. It starts with a soul, a soul that refuses to become stained by those that wish to breed more hatred; violence and discrimination … become the soul that you want to see in others …

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Effective leaders know that you model the behaviors that you wish you see in others … it always starts from within … change your thinking and change the world.

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We Are Getting Older

We Are Getting Older
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Yep! It is a fact of life we are all getting older. I first noticed this “age thing” when I looked at new drivers and was like “so they let 12-year olds drive now?” They just looked so young to me.

Then I noticed it with my lines in my face, tougher skin and less smooth hair. I was showing signs of aging.

You know all that crap about your parents how they looked, how they aged and acted and now it’s our turn, ugh!  I find I have more patience but less tolerance, if that makes any sense? I know what I want and I am willing to wait for it and I know what I won’t tolerate and will just as quickly dismiss it.

My new “decision basing lens” now goes like this, “I am going to die one day and so I am doing it, or getting it or going there.” If I want it I go after it, I am getting older. People have died my age. My parents died age 76 and age 78 so it looks like 77 could be my number?

Regardless I learned a long time ago, “life is for the living, live it!” One day I will be gone from here and a memory to some and nonexistent to others. So all this self-induced and self-created drama I am not playing. I wasn’t into it when I was younger and I sure as hell won’t be tolerating it now … I’m getting older!

I still have my little girl laugh though and I still have my faith, aging has not touched these areas of my life.

Because I am getting older, I turn more things off and more people are tuned out. If the news is all bad, I don’t allow it to sap my natural high and energy and just like people that bring zero-net gain to the table. Sorry, life is short and my choice is to be with people that make me think and make me dream and make me want to get closer to them.

I still have that natural curiosity; I want to know everything about the people I care about. I think I might have become my grandmother on this one, she would sit you down across from her and usually her opening line was about “your people” and “where did they come from?’ Oh no I used to find that invasive and now I am getting older and aging and I do it?

Where I may have an open heart like a child I have the wisdom that comes with aging … I know who I am and I know what I like, what I am willing to accept and what exactly needs to be discarded.

Earlier today I heard from a reader who read one of my most popular blogs, I didn’t write it for the sake of popularity I wrote it because it was my experience and it was what I learned. I wrote about my faith and this guy tried to challenge it.

The younger Bernadette would have “walked right in” to that argument, discussion and debate, but the older Bernadette was like “who cares?” You have your opinion and I have mine. It isn’t my job or my desire to recruit you to my thinking and/or to try and change your mind.

I suspect someone pointed out my blog to him and he felt “guilt” his words not mine. Lately I write many political blogs for a particular site and I get pretty beaten up there, years ago it would have bothered me, today I am like; well I am getting read and generating a response, good enough. You see I am getting older, we are all getting older!

I no longer care who agrees with me, the far worse outcome would be 1) not being read at all and 2) no feedback or comments. I mean even a negative comment is better than no response at all, I got him to feel something, as I age that is good and good enough.

Selfies, we are living in a time when taking “selfies” is the norm, I am just as guilty as the next but the truth is that it isn’t that I think I am good looking, it is because I am changing, I am getting older and it shows. Lines on my face, eyes that aren’t as open, face that seems to be puffier and I could go on and on … I am getting older … we are all getting older … those photos document now before later arrives. And “aging” arrives all too soon, I ‘ve learned …

“Oh mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?” from “Landslide” by Stevie Knicks

I still want to be wowed though, I still want to get excited, do new things, and see new people and new places, so maybe I am really not that “old” after all?

What I know for sure is that I am going to die one day and right here and right now … I want to live and I want to learn and I’ll take this “aging thing” over the alternative …

We are all getting older, maybe not such a bad thing after all …

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Health Care … In My World


Health Care … In My World
By Bernadette A. Moyer

“America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system>” Walter Cronkite

We have done absolutely nothing to address the real problem with health care; it is the costs, period! There is no reason on the face of this earth that an aspirin administered in a hospital should be billed for a few hundred dollars? And this is routinely done.

That ambulance ride that drives less than 3 miles is costly at over one thousand and two hundred dollars and it is because of all the risks associated with transporting and administering care. These costs are not just about the salaries of the trained staff but they are about the need to pay medical malpractice insurance premiums.

It doesn’t matter if it is Obamacare or any other type of medical insurance; we have failed to address the root of the problem, the high cost of health care. Much of the costs are driven up by lawyers and their lawsuits and by insurance on the hospitals and all the doctors, nurses and such.

Catholic hospitals always accepted patients and it was not about their ability to pay, if someone, anyone showed up at a Catholic hospital and needed care it was administered because that was what they believed was the right thing to do and for them, what God would have wanted them to do.

Insurance companies continue to get rich, medical coverage is lessened and medical insurance costs are increased and we are still buying it!

In my world everyone would have access to health care even the homeless and those without an ability to pay. I would build free clinics and create services and jobs and this would be afforded the same way that most nonprofits are run. The money would come from donors, appeals, grants and fundraisers.

“If you build it, they will come.” President Theodore Roosevelt

The VA has clinics but sadly like much of our government run programs it is not run effectively because the people in charge are not of a business mindset. Today the most successful nonprofits have learned to embrace some of the principles of running a successful business.

I do not believe the current insurance providers for medical care in our country the United States of America have the best interest of its people at heart. It is the insurance companies that are winning and getting richer and the people being charged outrageous premiums for even lesser coverage that are losing … and continuing to pay these high costs for healthcare has literally done NOTHING to address the real problem.

When an insurance company decides what is covered and needed over the doctors who are medically trained, we have already lost …

And what about “dental insurance” that caps out at $1,000 or $1,500 a year, how much work can you get for that minimal cost? Very little and many people according to my dentist have opted out of dental insurance and would rather just pay their dentist directly.

So many people are confused by the current medical insurance options we are all facing and few people really understand it, so what got better for us? When politicians decided they were the “gate keepers” for our medical insurance needs? And decided what we needed and helped to increase the costs also deciding that their insurance was different from the majority of people?

If the insurance plans being offered are not good enough for our President and our politicians they shouldn’t be good enough for the rest of us either.

Having said that no one in this country should ever have to go about without their medical needs being met … and in my world all people would have medical care. There is another way … there is always a better way and another way …

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To Know Someone’s Heart


To Know Someone’s Heart
By Bernadette A Moyer

“If you want to know someone’s heart, you have to know what breaks it.” President George H. Bush

During a recent television interview with the elder President Bush part of the discussion was about a child they had that passed away as a toddler. I can’t imagine the pain that is associated with having a baby and seeing that child suffer and then ultimately die as a young toddler. It almost seems too cruel to even imagine.

When asked about this loss and the heartache the former President replied with the above quote. For days now I have reflected upon that statement as we do learn so much about another person by what breaks their heart. We all have something and/or someone in our lives that with their loss could literally break our hearts. It could be our mother or our father or a dear friend; it could be a spouse or even a child.

Losing a child is probably the most unnatural loss of all as a child truly represents the future, and comes far too soon for anyone to truly conceive.

In the last day I have received two lengthy e-mails from people that only know me through my writings. It is a common occurrence for me to receive these kinds of messages. They write to me because of the loss and heart break they are experiencing because of an estranged child.

This is where their heart lives as the parent of a child that they loved and raised and who has ultimately decided to delete mom and dad from their lives. To parent any child is to know the depth of your own heart.

“Making a decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

I don’t believe we truly understand the depth of our ability to love until we birth a child. There is absolutely nothing else like it!

Then there are other loves that also show our hearts. A very dear friend is mourning this week just a year ago her longtime friend of over 4-decades died of cancer. She was just mid-50 with a husband and two sons and grandchildren. I see my friend who is brokenhearted and I see her heart. She has the capacity for love.

Losing a love does reveal many things about us; it reveals how we carry on and how we face what comes next. With any heartbreak we grieve the loss. Our broken heart humbles us and it opens us up in our vulnerability.

One of the greatest gifts that we share with others is when we share our loves. To truly know another we must know where their heart lives and for most of us that includes our family and our friends. It includes the people that matter most to us.

When someone passes on or leaves us it does not mean that we still can’t enjoy and feel the love that we shared. When I see a clock and the time is 3:33 I think of my old friend and mentor Ed who died many years ago, I smile and I say a prayer. He liked those numbers and played them often in the lottery.

And when I catch a clock at 2:41 the time of day that my daughter was born I instantly say, “God Bless her wherever she is and whatever she is doing!”

Today my heart lives most closely with my husband and our son who is still at home with us and our two precious pooches. Like most people I also share my heart with a close knit group of friends and my writing is where my heart lives.

I no longer allow my heart to live in the past as I have learned that love is a living thing, it is okay to reflect fondly on past loves but to stay there is to be stuck and to cease moving forward. To seek more love and new love we must be willing to take the steps that are ahead of us while letting go of what was behind us. Easy to say and often difficult to do.

We all know that to love is to risk loss and yet without love we cease to live. To really know someone and to really know ourselves we do in fact need to not only know about our hearts and their capacity for love but also what breaks our hearts …

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When Your Holiday Season is Shaping Up to be Less Than Norman Rockwell Like


When Your Holiday Season is Shaping Up to be Less Than Norman Rockwell Like
By Bernadette A. Moyer

“Tis the season!” For some people and some families the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are wonderful and a time for cheer and for celebrations!

And for other people it may be a time of dread. Recently I read a social media post that stated “wish I could just fast forward to January” they knew they would struggle with the holidays and with their fractured family.

Sometimes the dread comes from a job loss or an illness or a death in the family. Many adults with children feel extra pressure to provide a “magical holiday” experience for young children on a very tight budget. We see images on television and in our stores of abundance and an expectation that we can and will all afford these celebrations.

Truth is some people just can’t do it, they can’t keep up because of their finances or because of their grief.

What we need to remember is that although the holiday season is often dubbed as “the most magical time of the year” this isn’t necessarily the case for every single person.
Some people actually suffer from the “holiday blues” and for them this could be the saddest time of the year. Even in families where it appears to be “Norman Rockwell” like, it isn’t always perfect!

I’ve had absolutely great holidays and I have had a few where I just wanted to pull the covers over my head, go to sleep and wake up when it was all over. One year I had no family, no money and was starting all over in my career and at this time I had a little girl that was counting on me to make it special.

Another year just months earlier we experienced a child estrange and this could have potentially thrown us all into a holiday funk, but it didn’t.

The first sad Christmas I ever had I vowed it would never happen again and that year I made food, we went to the first screening of a newly released film playing in a local historic theater. So by 9:00 in the evening we were snug in our beds. The next day I woke up refreshed and stronger for the experience. That year was the bench mark for what I never wanted to happen again.

The years of the recent estrangement we changed all traditional holiday plans and headed to Key West. According to our son it was “the best Christmas ever!” Christmas day we were sitting on Smathers beach taking in the hot sunny weather. Not at all traditional for a gal born and raised in the Northeast but still a happy holiday!

You can and you will get through the holidays and I am convinced that the sad ones are designed to make us appreciate all the happy ones. I also believe the sad ones serve as a shake-up that it just may be time to try something new and different for the holiday season.

Remember not every person out there is happy and having an easy time of it. Holidays bring about past memories with family and friends. Some for happy memories and some may drive home for us our lost loved ones.

Tips for Handling the Holidays Alone

1) Don’t pressure yourself, go with your own flow!
2) Take in the FREE sites, shopping malls and heavily decorated areas may make you feel better.
3) Grab a coffee or a meal out, learn to be alone and to be okay with it.
4) Churches have all kinds of Bazaars and cookie sells, support them and take home a few treats.
5) Volunteer at a hospital, or food kitchen or pet rescue center.
6) Go to the public library and stock up on must reads and films to view.
7) Write! Write letters, cards, poetry, notes, express yourself!
8) Contribute a toy for Toys for Tots or other meaningful charity.
9) Go see a new movie, a new play or a live concert.
10) Gather with friends and family and people that love you!
11) Make new traditions and travel.
12) Don’t want to be in the public? Pamper yourself.
13) Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
14) Take long hot bubble baths.
15) Get your music, books and movies stacked up and ready to that when the holidays arrive you have your entertainment at your fingertips.
16) Sleep! Often when we are sad and depressed we are lacking proper rest. Give yourself permission to sleep it off.
17) Paint a room or engage in a mini home improvement project.
18) Do something productive, the end result will make you feel better.
19) Make cookies, make food.
20) Can’t afford to travel? There are amazing television shows and archived libraries that have travel destinations recorded for viewing, imagine yourself there!

No matter what is going on in your life and what circumstances you find yourself in this holiday season, just know that this too shall pass. Sometimes a down year is just what we need to inspire us for the next year. Not every holiday season is going to be “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Count your blessings, find gratitude in what you have, focus on what you have now and not on what has been lost and you are sure to find the holidays as peaceful as they can be. And if this is the holiday season that grief prevails, remember that grief can be a gift.

You can and you will make it through the holidays …

Grief teaches us many life lessons and tears are the shedding so that the old can be let go and the new may be embraced. After the rain, the sun always returns and so often shines even brighter!

The holidays are coming, so what is your favorite holiday movie? Or your favorite holiday music?

For me, I love the movies; The Holiday and The Family Stone and for the classic movies; Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. And for Christmas music I enjoy Aaron Neville’s version of Such a Night and when Bing Crosby teamed up with David Bowie for Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Remember 2016 is a new year and a chance for all that is good and wonderful, believe!

Feel free to share your story by writing me at and “like” my page at

This article is Included in my new book titled; Along The Way at Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Pen to Paper


Pen to Paper
By Bernadette A. Moyer


What motivates us to write to actually sit and put pen to paper? What motivates us to get in front of our computer and use our words to express ourselves?

How often are we motivated by a feeling? We write that angry letter when a business we trusted fails us or that glowing letter of recommendation when we are looking to help someone get ahead in life. We write about what we know and about what we love. We write our story and we share our experiences and our struggles and our joy.

Many times as an author I have been asked to speak. In 1998 when my first book came out I was immediately interviewed by our local television station. That same year I was asked to be a part of an author event. I was mortified.

The author line up was impressive with a local celebrity who was a television sports anchor, a well-respected Christian author, a couple of others and me. I asked to go first since I had such anxiety and the least amount of experience of anyone on the list.

I will never forget my opening line as it was a huge hit and I have used it over and over again. “I write so I don’t have to speak and yet here I stand.” I said. And the group went wild with laughter.

Recently I had two new books come out and now I am booking events. At some of these events I will actually have to speak to a crowd. To do a reading or to talk about why I write and what inspires me to put the pen to paper.

My son the artist told me that for him and his artwork “it starts with a pencil; it always starts with a pencil.” And then when he is satisfied after erasing and changing he uses ink to outline and it becomes pen to paper for him as well.

When I first started writing I always wrote with a pen and paper, it was a personal experience and writing on the computer initially felt less personal. Today I still use pen to paper often, but not all of the time. I have several “writers” programs that make the computer so much more efficient.

I have been around many songwriters through the years and they are all about “pen to paper” jotting down their words and sometimes the notes. It is so personal when we use our hands and bring our words together to bring our thoughts to life.

Personal cards and notes are always more special than mass produced cards and notes. It is kind of like a homemade cookie versus a store bought one. The store bought cookie might be great but there is something special and organic and more personal when it is made by hand and with love.

Our words are our signature, how we express ourselves and even our style of writing comes across in a much more personal way when it is actually our hand using a pen and bringing it to paper. One of my favorite authors is SARK and all her books are handwritten with colored pencils and printed by hand and not with cursive writing. Part of her appeal is that unique look that she has created for herself that is undeniably SARK. It is her own personal style.

My first instinct is always to jot it down to bring that pen to paper … for this writer that is what makes it so real and so personal and made with heart and soul and with love. So here is to all those who create and bring that pen to paper …

Bernadette on Facebook at
Two NEW BOOKS! Along The Way and Another Way On Amazon and Barnes and Noble