Simple Pleasures

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Simple Pleasures
By Bernadette A. Moyer

peaches

Simple pleasures, what are yours?

Just a few of mine include:

• That bowl of fresh peaches sitting on the kitchen counter
• My first cup of coffee in the morning
• Snuggling with my two pooches
• Watching my husband drive up after a long work day
• The look and smells of a freshly cut lawn
• Driving top down on a quiet country road with the music blaring
• Sunsets
• Sunrise
• The innocence of small children
• A clean house
• A clean desk
• Quiet time at home
• Lunch with a friend
• Writing a new blog
• The subtle seasonal changes
• Sitting on the beach
• Praying to God
• Good friends
• Happy people
• My roses opening and in full bloom
• A new book or magazine waiting to be read
• Rabbits running through the yard
• A road trip
• A live concert
• A baseball game
• Long meaningful conversations
• Fresh new paper and stationary
• Birthdays
• Holidays
• Cooking dinner
• Baking treats
• The smell of fresh laundry
• Long lazy weekends
• A tall glass of ice water

And I seriously could go on and on …

What are your simple pleasures? Gratitude is an attitude!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Take Out The Trash

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Take Out The Trash
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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One of the best feelings after a vacation is that feeling of rejuvenation. The desire to go again and to start anew is exactly what any great getaway can accomplish. This happens if we are willing to allow it.

Sometimes we get there to a newer and healthier place simply by cleaning up, clearing out and removing the trash.

After a very relaxing and loving anniversary trip, I returned home ready to go again. That first day I cleaned out my house, restocked our pantry, did laundry, brought our pool back to life, bathed the dogs, caught upon all our correspondence, made a home cooked dinner and went out for a sweet treat with my husband. I spent time brushing the dogs, walking them, talking to them, feeding them and just handing out with them.

It was a rewarding and full day and I exceeded my step count by more than 30% without ever going to the gym. Cleaning and clearing away is always good therapy. I’ve heard it stated that “cleaning house is a great therapeutic way to regain peace and order” and I truly believe it.

Sometimes we hang on to things, items, thoughts, ideas, people and more that really would be best if we discarded them and literally “took out the trash.”

With each day and with each week and with each month and year we are afforded the opportunity to clean up, clear out and begin again. But we can only start fresh and start new when we are willing to discard that which no longer contributes to our health, growth, wellness and happiness.

Cleaning is great therapy! Got clothes that are still good but you don’t wear? Donate them to someone who can use them. How about household items that are taking up space and never to be used again? Donate them or trash them.

Need a new interior design? Start by cleaning what you have and move the furniture around before buying new. If there is value in what you have use it if and if not it may be time to discard it. Take out the trash and make room for what is yet to come.

Never feel bad about leaving people that just don’t do anything to make your life healthy and happy. Some people truly can and will drain the life out of you, but only if you allow it. Take out the trash and make room for the goodness that awaits you.

Life is so precious! And life is far too precious to be surrounded by anything or anyone that hates you, hurts you, disrespects you, denigrates you, and steals your joy or your peace and happiness.

If you want to change your life, if you want to be happier and healthier, it starts with the desire to identify that which no longer works and discard it. Forget your past, forgive yourself and begin again. The easiest and best way to have a fresh start and begin again simply starts with the willingness to take out the trash.

Merriam-Webster defines “trash” as things that are no longer useful or wanted. Synonyms are garbage, refuse, waste, junk and debris.

We can let hate, animosity, anger eat away at us or we can let it go and begin again. It starts with our desire to be better and feel better.

Take out the trash!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Appreciation Doesn’t Coexist With Depression

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Appreciation Doesn’t Coexist With Depression
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Our adult son is battling “severe depression” after his place of employment closed their doors, and he lost his job. One thing that stands out is how much his thinking has changed. Not that long ago he was happy and so appreciative. He appreciated everything. If you gave him a gift, even clothing he was thrilled with it. If you treated him to the movies or out to eat, he was happy and he was appreciative.

He respected and he appreciated his job too. It made him happy to have a place to go, to have connections to other people and of course to be earning his own money. He often worked 10-12 hour days in retail, he worked full time and he greeted customers and waited on them. He was very social there. When you watched him in motion you would see his joy. He was also doing this while being on the autism spectrum and no medications. He was active, always walking and going out to the gym to workout.

What stands out today is his lack of appreciation. And not just lacking it but his deep sense of entitlement. He is now like a walking encyclopedia on all the free programs that the government provides for people with disabilities even though he has been told by his doctor that he is “not disabled.” With the help of social workers he knows more about food stamps, rent vouchers, social security benefits, SSI, SSDI, form 500 and much more.

He says he wants to live “independently” when in reality he wants to live dependent on the government. Well intentioned social workers have put all kinds of ideas into his head. They did not know him when he was happy and productive and truly independent. They did not know him when he was appreciative and grateful.

The more he is handed the less he seems to appreciate and the more “depressed” he has become. The more he thinks he can get, the less he is interested in doing for himself. Today and with the team of his doctors and social service workers he is taking 9-different medications and 27 pills in a single day. He has gained more than 50 pounds in less than two months and while being hospitalized.

On so many levels it is so hard to witness such decline in someone who is so young. This entire experience that we have witnessed has made us see the connection between appreciation and gratitude and how they do not coexist with depression. Someone that is depressed is unable to appreciate what they have, they spend their time thinking about all the things they lost and all the things they don’t have. It also drives home for us the importance of how we think, how we all think.

If we can find things to appreciate and to be grateful for we can fight off depression. We can fight depression naturally with a gratitude journal or diary. We can fight depression with a gratitude jar. We can focus on all the things we already have rather than on what we don’t have.

There is no pill that will cure depression! There are many people that find relief in medication but pills won’t make a depressed person happy and they don’t take depression away. We can all be depressed if we want and yes I am aware that we are all wired differently. Some people are pre-disposed to depression. Sometimes it runs in the family genetic make-up. Sometimes changing how we think actually changes our brain chemistry. Like a car that isn’t wired properly and won’t start and run, a person who isn’t properly wired won’t start and run either.

We always knew our son was on the autism spectrum, and we take great pride in knowing that we parented an autistic child that made national honor roll and achieved Eagle Scout. He worked hard and so did we in our support of him. He made it into the United States Navy and he held down a full time job for over three and a half years all the while that we supported him and encouraged him and rooted for his success. He was so grateful. He was so creative and he was interested in other people and less self-absorbed.

When we love someone, anyone it is hard to witness them being on the decline, destructive and making poor choices. It is hard to watch someone, anyone with so much life ahead of them spiral so far downward when all you want to do is pick them up and help them and yet you know there is really nothing that you can do. You have done all that you can do. This is his journey and not ours.

The biggest takeaway for us is that with appreciation and with gratitude, depression is far less likely to take root and stick around. A happy person is a productive person and a thankful person.

Today and every day we pray for people with mental illness and that they may find the strength, and the desire to pull themselves up and find gratitude for all that they do have rather than focusing on what they may have lost …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

24 Things I Learned in 24 Years

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

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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)

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Estranged … Now what?

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Estranged … Now what?
By Bernadette A Moyer

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Knowing what I know now and after my own experience and hearing from thousands of mothers and fathers who are estranged from their adult children, I would do things differently!

I should not have wasted my time, my heart and my tears over someone who was already so far gone from me. Today I would say that yes you will be hurt and yes you might be shocked but what you really need to do is get over it and get over it as quickly as possible.

It is okay to love the child that you had and to reflect fondly on them but it is also necessary to let them go in peace and in love. When it is over, it is over. Some situations will allow for a reboot and another chance, some never will.

Today I believe that adult kids that estrange enjoy the satisfaction they receive in knowing how much they hurt their parents and their families. It is all about control. It is all about being selfish and all about them. It is the choice that they alone have made.

And the stories they will tell is that they were the victims. Think about it? A nice son or a nice daughter wouldn’t cut mom and dad out of their life. They will need to justify their actions and that means making mom and dad out to be the bad guys. And the more they can paint themselves as a victim, the more they can manipulate others and command support for their cause and position.

Don’t play along and don’t play their games. Find things to do that will occupy your time and utilize your talents. Go to a therapist or go to the gym but keep moving. Life is all about forward movement. You can think, hope and pray that they return, but whatever you do, do not compromise the quality of your own life in the process. Remember if they do return you will have grown and changed and taken better care of yourself. And if they never return you will be healthier, stronger and better able to manage and enjoy your life.

Because if you compromise your life away you will eventually regret it and you won’t get those lost years back. Our response should be one that says I hold myself up in the highest. I will not allow you or any other to destroy me or my joy. My life with you or without you, matters. I am important and I deserve to be happy.

Back then so much of my life wasn’t even mine. Maybe that was a huge part of the problem? I had given so much of myself away in being a wife and a mother, a career woman and a friend. The last person who received my time and attention was me.

Learn to retreat in healthy ways. It is okay to be alone with yourself. It is okay to grieve and to process. It is okay to feel the loss and the pain. But don’t stay there and don’t get stuck there. Being a victim is never attractive no matter how it comes about. Fight for yourself. You are worth the very best!

There will always be up and down days. Some days you will have stronger and better coping skills. Some days will be tough. It takes time. It takes time to acknowledge this, to accept this and then to learn how to live with it. In our disbelief and in our shock we tend to want to fight it. Very little is resolved in hanging on to that which has already left us.

Where it may seem so unnatural and so unkind, remember it is happening in record numbers and in families around the world. You are not alone. This month marks 18 years since the trauma of estrangement entered my life like an uninvited guest. I have been through all the stages from denial, anger, hurts and trying everything and anything and to finally arriving at pure total acceptance. My life is so great right now and I don’t think I could be happier or be surrounded by more love. I am so lucky to have survived it.

I thank everyone that reached out to me and shared their stories and supported me through all my writings. I would not have made it through without the love and support of so many people.

My best advice is to try and build an even better life. All those things that you wanted to do but never took the time to do; make the time and do them. Life goes on. Life is lived by looking forward and not from behind. You are worth so much more than to have the child or children that you gave your life for and invested so heavily in, discard you.

Remember it isn’t about you. It is all about them and their choices …

In God’s peace and love … Bernadette

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A Moyer available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

An Easter Blessing

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An Easter Blessing
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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And He will raise you up on Eagle’s Wings Psalm 91:4
The Lord has risen
May you find peace and an abundance of love and light
In the spirit of the season
With bright pink tulips
Cherry blossoms abound
Vibrant yellow forsythia
New rich green grass
Lit with bright and shiny endless blue skies
There are miracles in every moment
A fullness and newness in the air
Hope lives eternal
May you know the richness and exuberance of every single day
The belief that every moment in every life truly matters
And that life is so much bigger than any single soul
Because I live, you also shall live John 14:19
Rejoice in the resurrection of the Lord
May He fill your heart with happiness and joy this Easter season!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble