Memory Lane


Memory Lane
By Bernadette A. Moyer


We all have them, our memories; we have memories of our childhood, our teenage years, our young adult years and more. We can think about them and sometimes we can visit the people and the places from another time.

Going home will always be Allentown, Pennsylvania for me. It is where I spent a large portion of my childhood and my teenage years as well as my young adult years. As a kid, I walked to school and to church, to many friends’ homes, to the library, the YMCA, to my guitar lessons downtown. I learned to drive there went to first concerts there and even married and had my only birthed child there.

The memories are powerful and numerous. My friend of over 40 years from our days as camp counselors still lives there. My father lived and died there. Again, the memories are many and they run the entire spectrum of happiness, joy, pain and losses. They run the entire spectrum of life.

When I go home to visit, I visit many significant landmarks, the place where I married, the church where my daughter was baptized, my first apartment, my favorite market, and favorite eateries and more.

It is always a fun trip down “memory lane” and yet there is also something so profound about where we started in life and where we end up. There is that distance between our beginnings and where we are today. And of course all the people, the places and the experiences we had along the way. Some remain and many do not stay.

I remember fun times of laughter with my sisters. Fun times with childhood friends. I remember my Confirmation in our neighborhood church. I remember the hospital where I was a volunteer candy striper and several years later, that same hospital where my daughter would come into this world. I remember so many things.

My parents were together there, and then they were not as a divorce would end their union. Just like life when people are so profound and significant in our lives and then they just are not at all present in our lives. We learn to adjust and to adapt; we learn to take our memories with us as we move away and as we move along.

I look back and I see so clearly the riches of the many experiences I have had, truly it has been like a buffet of choices of options of likes and dislikes. Overall, though, I know that it has all contributed to who I became and who I am today. I love my life, I love myself, and I love my journey, warts and all. It truly has been rich and long and wide. I am happy and I am grateful.

A trip down memory lane is always well worth the trip … I highly recommend the trip!

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Ice Cream for Breakfast


Ice Cream for Breakfast
By Bernadette A. Moyer


Open up the windows in January and build a fire in June, eat ice cream and pizza for breakfast, why not? Sometimes doing things against our “norms” is a good thing and a healthy thing too.

Break all the rules! We are bound by our own code to live by and by our belief system. What part of our lives or anyone else’s will be harmed or somehow less than by letting fresh air in our homes in January or by enjoying the warmth and excitement of a fire during the summer. How about that cold leftover pizza for breakfast?

It becomes easy to live our lives by routine and mindlessly going about our day, and by doing what we have always done.

One of my least favorite lines in response to change is; but that that is how we have always done it! And when you have set new goals that excuse is not good and not good enough. If you want growth and you want development you must embrace change and a new way of doing things.

Change your thinking and change your world …

Try new things, set new goals, visit different people and new places … eat ice cream for breakfast … try something new and different and exciting …

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24 Things I Learned in 24 Years


24 Things I Learned in 24 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer


It was 24 years ago today that my husband and I bought our house where we raised three children. I can’t believe that either one of us ever thought we would still be here today and embracing our start to our 25th year together, here in the house we purchased together in 1992.

All I can think about is what did I learn? What did it take 24 years for me to learn? Where I was then and where am I today? Most of us can’t/won’t think ahead to the next 24 years but we can look back and see where we are and where we have come to. We write our own story not in just how we live it but also by how we choose to remember it.

“Joy comes to us in the ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” – Brene’ Brown

So what did I learn in 24 years?

1) Most things in life are not life and death, what you are feeling today probably won’t even matter to you next week or next year or perhaps even the next day.

2) Everything changes. Everything. Be open and willing to embrace all that comes to you for nothing is all good or all bad. Enjoy the process.

3) My stable home of 24 years would allow me to take risks. By having a strong foundation I could try this and try that and have the experience without the full throttle commitment.

4) Stability is cool it is not boring. I used to think that EVERYTHING had to change for life to be exciting. I learned I could grow and change and do so from the same house.

5) A house is not a home. In our home are all the love and the joy and all the variety of experiences. It is the family and it is the memories. It is the sharing of space.

6) In 24 years I learned that I could love and raise twin children, a son and a daughter, who I loved as any mother would and yet they were not my biological children.

7) I learned that deep down inside I have an inner strength and peace that withstands all outside noise.

8) I learned I don’t need to be out there or the center of attention, I can shine right here, right now and all on my own. Shine.

9) I learned to be a good neighbor and say “hi” and chat but keep a respectable distance. This is where I live we don’t have to be best friends but we do need to have mutual respect.

10) That an older house and one lived in for 24 years will require repair and updates just like I do and so do my relationships. Everything needs care and to be taken care of or it falters and dies.

11) I learned that I could fight with my husband a real knock down drag out fight but at the end of the day we have each other’s backs. Period. We are in this together.

12) “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” That was something my grandmother used to say meaning there is value in staying put and growing roots.

13) Stability shows strength and it also shows character.

14) That there truly is a time and a season for everything under the heavens.

15) Focus and priorities change. Kids enter our lives and kids leave our lives.

16) That my career choices were all meaningful but I am so much more than any one job or career choice.

17) To build on what we have and to appreciate all that we already have in our home and in our hearts.

18) There is nothing material that is worth my integrity and my peace of mind. I don’t have to have the “latest and greatest.”

19) Be careful who you trust. Today’s friend could very well be tomorrow’s enemy. Trust yourself!

20) If you don’t love it, get rid of it. Don’t weigh yourself down with things, objects, people, relationships that don’t enhance your life. Take the garbage out.

21) No one knows for sure. None of us knows what tomorrow brings and even if there will be a tomorrow, so do your best. Always do your best.

22) If you can’t fix it, it is probably not yours to fix.

23) Be happy! Choose happiness and joy because it is a choice.

24) If the direction you are headed toward is no longer working be brave and turn yourself around. There is no prize for continuing down the wrong path.  Always be willing to learn.

Today I celebrate the many things I learned while living in my same home with my same husband for all these 24 years. The overriding feeling I have is joy and gratitude … what more could I ask …

(And as I clicked that last letter in writing this the sun shines in through my office windows … blessed)

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This Too Shall Pass


This Too Shall Pass
By Bernadette A. Moyer


The beauty of life is that nothing lasts forever, and when you have some life experience you begin to understand that no matter what is going on, it won’t last. This too shall pass. Good things and bad things, they pass. Nothing stays the same, everything changes and no one thing or person lasts forever.

So what would I tell young people and my younger self? Hang on because as challenging as life can be at times, it will change, things do shift and in time everything passes. Take the lessons and the life  experience and let the rest go …

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now, rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but see will last forever.”

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The Only Answer is Self-Love


The Only Answer is Self-Love
By Bernadette A. Moyer


I’ve come to the conclusion that if more people had self-love, the world would be a happier and a healthier place. People that have a healthy love and have confidence in themselves tend to do better in life. They are able to shrug off the negativity of others and they are well aware of who they are even in the most challenging times.

With age comes a certain degree of wisdom and self- acceptance and self- love. I see all the turmoil that our country is currently facing and the battle seems to stem from a serious lack of self-love. If you can’t love and accept yourself then you aren’t in a frame of mind to love and accept others.

Recently I watched some of the protests and what stood out for me were not the peaceful protesters but rather the ones that were trying to ignite others and instigate confrontations. I watched the police stand the line and protesters mock them dance in front of them and do everything and anything possible to show disrespect and try and get the police to respond. It didn’t make me think less of the police but when I watched the instigators all I could think was you don’t have any self-respect or self-love because if you did you would act in a different manner.

We can all show our anger we can all respond out of a lack of love but what that says is so much more about what comes from within and not what is transpiring outside ourselves. One of my favorite quotes is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi

If you want more peace be peaceful if you want more love be loving if you want to be accepted be more accepting. It begins and ends with us.

There is a lot of talk in our culture about “narcissism” and that is not what I am suggesting here, I am suggesting that until or unless we are able to love ourselves we will never be able to love any others.

When we take care of ourselves our minds, our bodies and our souls we are better able to handle all that life throws our way. The Boy Scouts have a Scout Oath and in part it reads; “To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” It is about taking ownership of ourselves.

The most dangerous people are the ones who don’t have self-love and self- respect and self-care. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves fit and strong and it begins and it ends with self-love. Taking the time to nurture our hearts and our soul matters and creates an environment for self-love. When we invest in our health and in our education and make learning and growing a priority we fill our own cup up and lead with love rather the an empty void.

More self-love = a better world full of more loving people that are better able to give and receive love.

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On Bended Knees


On Bended Knees
By Bernadette A. Moyer


As I was driving back home from the gym today I noticed a car with Texas tags, and living in Maryland I know just how far that Texas is and how many miles to drive from there to here. I had a rush of memories about the year that I lived in Beaumont, Texas with my first husband and our daughter who was just one year old.

I thought about how I came to Maryland to start a new life and to flee an abusive relationship. When I arrived in Maryland more than 35 years ago, I prayed I cried and I reminded myself of how I had to save myself and our daughter. This man that I married had a history of abuse from his previous relationships forward and I was warned about him. But just like any young girl/woman at just 19 years of age I had to make my own decisions.

If I had any doubts about leaving him our final day together soon took care of that as his parting “shot” literally was to punch me in the middle of my face. I skidded across the kitchen floor and ended up in a corner when he picked me up by my shirt and went at me again. That next morning I set out on an over 1,600 road trip home to my mother in Maryland. I wanted better for myself and for our daughter.

Less than a year later he died while taking a shower and had a seizure in the shower, he drowned to death. I had my share of guilt as he was alone at the time. As a society we don’t speak ill of the dead and since our child was so young I put the best spin I could on our marriage and our relationship. Just before her 18th birthday I told her the truth about him and it didn’t sit very well.

Victims live in shame and have all kinds of reasons for denying themselves and others the truth. It doesn’t change though, it is what it is and was what it was, an abusive relationship. Today I know better and am more than blessed. I don’t think he was a bad guy, I believe he was a troubled guy. Troubled from what he experienced in his first family and troubled from 6-years in the Navy during Viet Nam. His service experience left him an alcoholic (by his own admission) and with a seizure disorder.

He was a charming man and good looking too. Both his daughter and his first born grandson look just like him. I still celebrate our union on bended knees at least once a year at his gravesite. I thank God for all that I learned during our marriage and all the many lessons learned from his early death.

Thinking about Texas and that period in my life also reminded me of how important it is to pray and to bow down on bended knees. We don’t have all the answers but prayers and hope and forward marching have always saved me.

During tough times we find out what we are made out of. We can shrivel up and cry or we can turn it around and become stronger. Our hurt our anger and our disappointments can be used as the fuel that helps to propel us forward.

When I came to Maryland I arrived in an old late model Mercury that had a bad engine and probably took as much oil as it did gasoline. I lived with my mother for a few months until I could afford my own place. I was lucky to get a really good waitress job in a high end restaurant. I worked really hard and chuckle at the uniform of high heels, brown skirt and white dress shirts that we wore. I made great money and made wonderful friendships.

I became friends with many young people that were my age and made me feel new and young again. I was making it on hope and a prayer that first year. When my husband died we were still legally married and I was so fortunate to receive help from the Veterans. Things changed for the better. I changed for the better. I was resolved. I made my share of mistakes that’s what young people do but I always ended up back on my feet after so many prayers on bended knees.

Today I can look back with peace and with love and most importantly with gratitude. Every experience, the good and the bad contribute to who and what we are and above all else, I am a survivor.

My husband today keeps talking about our 25 years together and that next summer we will celebrate 20 years of marriage. We already have a trip planned. I am so happy but I never ever forget what my knees are for as I continue in prayer for all that I have and all that I have experienced.

Everything in life is either a blessing or a curse and for me with the power of my prayers and the strength of my knees I’ve known many more blessings!

You never know what will trigger a memory, today it was something as simple as Texas tags that took me back to another time, a time when I grew and matured and learned what it would take to care for both myself and for my child. It wasn’t easy but it was definitely meaningful.

Life is rich … and so much richer when after the struggles we find enlightenment. So many times it literally starts with the power of our prayers. Peace and prayers!

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Adjust and Adapt


Adjust and Adapt
By Bernadette A. Moyer



We must learn to adjust and to adapt as life is ever changing. To stay stuck in yesterday’s news is like living from behind. Most people hate change. It is like it throws their equilibrium out of tune. I have always embraced change. I love new things and I love to learn. We are all evolving.

History is great but that is exactly what it is, history, the past. Every aspect in our lives depends on how we adjust and adapt to change. Life changes when we leave home, when we get married, take on a new career job, purchase a home and have children. It changes when we embrace new relationships and when we let go of old ones.

We adjust to that new baby or new work place environment. We have to figure it out and to learn again. Many people will suffer a sort of “norms crisis” with their new environment. That new baby cries and disrupts our previous peaceful past. We work with new people that we instantly gel with and others that we may barely tolerate. But we learn from all of them.

I’ve always been the “change charger” in our family and my husband the “slow and steady one.” Together we make a great couple as a result. A guy that has worked for the same organization for 34 years and lived in the same house for 24 years is not a guy who easily embraces change.

When our kids started leaving home, I had the hardest time. The number one job that meant the most to me was in being a mother. I soon learned to take my career and my writing more seriously. These things are what makes me, me. Being a mother was only a part of me not my total being.

Adjusting and adapting to letting my kids go wasn’t easy but now that I have I love my freedom. Less responsibility after decades of being responsible for so many others feels great. Life is easier with less people to please.

I never thought I would be so happy with less people in our home and I am. I think you get to an age where all you really crave is peace. It is so easy to fill our lives up with everyone else’s drama and issues but often at what cost? Perhaps the cost is in denying ourselves and our own needs and wants.

My husband is newly retired and I don’t think I have seen him smile so much! At the end of his career he had reached the highest level that he had wanted for himself, as a General Superintendent. At that level the demands were great and time was a commodity that he often didn’t have. You could physically see what that job was taking out of him. Meetings and meeting and always on24 hour call back for the past 6-years, every waking moment checking his communication devices. He was needed and worked hard to fill the needs.

But the truth is that if we drop dead today, life goes on, not one of us is irreplaceable. So he gave it is all then one day he declared, “I am done, I am not going back. It hasn’t been fun for a long time.” Today we have raised our kids and worked our careers. With two pensions between us, no mortgage and adult children we are free from decades of responsibilities and it feels so new and so good too.

Together we are adjusting to living with less by choice and in spending our time together and doing the things that we love to do. What a blessing! Who knew that during all those grinding it out years that this day would arrive and we would still be young enough to enjoy it.

What is next in retirement? Sleep, sun and some fun! It is time for travel and some classes at our local college, things like Chinese cooking, meditation and ball room dance. All those year we grabbed at responsibility and embraced it and yet today for the first time we are both being very selective about what and who we want to be responsible for, having kids, a home, a career is all about being responsible. We have been there and done that.

We are embracing our future and looking forward to making all the necessary adjustments and adapting to the newness of what comes next.

Adjusting and adapting, that is both the beauty and the secret of life. Adjust and adapt … it makes everything and all of life’s many changes just so much easier.

Updated May of 2016
Once again more adjusting and adapting as my husband has accepted a new position with local government. So it is bye bye early retirement and hello to new challenges … here we go again as life is good and all about learning and growing and doing …

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