Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Take a moment to let that sink in.
If you were going to make a list of those five people who would they be?
Once you figure that out, now think about what they bring to the table. Seriously, think about a table with six chairs around it. You're sitting in one of the chairs and you are surrounded with the five people you spend the most time with.
Does this excite you or scare you?
If you're excited, it means you are hanging with people who are positive, motivated, and push you to do your best. They are your biggest supporters but aren't afraid to offer you some constructive criticism if it's what you need to keep moving forward. They aren't going to hold you back from chasing your dreams, and they will be there to catch you when you fall. They influence you in a way that makes you want to do better and you don't just think but act because you don't want to be the weak link sitting at this figurative table.
If the thought of the five people you're with scares you, then YIKES! Get away from the table as fast as you can. Figure out why you're at the table with these people who are negative, bring you down, and are kings and queens of drama. They tell you not to do things, because they don't want you to outgrow them. They talk behind other people's backs and you fall into doing it with them. But beware, because when you're not with them then they are more than likely talking behind yours.
It's important to take stock of who you spend the most time with and how they influence you. Maybe it's time to let some of them go in favor of adding others who will add to your life rather than take away from it.
Sometimes you need to let those who are taking up space at the table that it's time for them to go. Dinner is over.
As I celebrated a half century of life last week, I thought about what I could do to slow down and take in all that life has to offer. The first 50 years have been a blur in some ways.
So, I've decided to post one black and white photo a day on Twitter (@gettoit11) and Instagram (shedenk11) for the next year. These pictures will not be of people but rather items of importance, scenery, and experiences. Feel free to follow me if you would like to see the daily photo.
When I look at color photos, I just glance over them. But when I look at a black and white photo...well, it's just a completely different perspective. I see details more clearly. I take the time to really see what is there.
Each week I will choose one photo as a focal point for a blog post. My S'well bottle gets the first honor. This bottle represents the only water bottle I own. I used to have several of them, but this has been my staple for well over a year. I got rid of the rest of them. It also serves a dual purpose. Not only does it keep my water cold but it also keeps my coffee hot. I use it as a thermos in the morning and when I'm done with my coffee I switch over to water.
In addition to being functional, I love the design. It represents the mountains, and when I think about mountains I think about Colorado. I love to visit whenever I can, because it is the epitome of peace for me.
Even though you can't see the bottom of the bottle, if you could you would see the writing is pretty much worn off and it has several dings in it. That's how you know it gets used over and over and over again.
This bottle also represents my journey toward minimalism. How many bottles do I need when this one takes care of both hot and cold beverages on my travels? If you guessed one, you're right.
What it means to me today
I started a countdown to my 50th birthday on October 1, and now I’m down to five days.
While I’m not particularly freaked out about turning 50, it feels weird to my ears to say it out loud.
I posted a picture from the 10 day mark, and one of my dearest and certainly oldest friend (46 years to be exact) told me I’m embracing 50 a lot better than she thinks she will.
Right now the only apprehension I have is how well my 50s will measure up to my 40s. I’m not really into making comparisons, but my 40s rocked in so many ways:
I wonder what my thoughts will be tomorrow when I’m at four days. Stay tuned!
**This blog post originally appeared in the publication Hopes and Dreams for Our Future on Medium.com.
I would like to say I volunteer at my local public library for a bunch of noble reasons.
But I would be lying.
I live in a village of 1,200 people, and our library doesn’t buzz. It’s quaint but needs updates. I can usually count on one hand the number of patrons who walk through the door during the three hours the library is open…on a Saturday.
So, why do I do it?
I like being surrounded by books.I’m a book junkie and whenever I come in, I like to see what new books have arrived. Our library doesn’t have a personal development section, so my focus is to peruse the new fiction titles and young adult books.
It’s free, and who doesn’t like the idea of reading a new title and not paying for it? Pick me!
The quiet solitude of music.I often play calm piano music on my laptop when I volunteer. It sets the mood for a warm, welcoming environment. I don’t know if patrons notice it when they come in, but that’s okay. It beats the overwhelming silence.
I can explore writing ideas.When I’m out of my regular writing environment at home, I gain new perspective. That’s what happens when I’m at the library. Fresh writing ideas pop into my mind.
I recently read Andrew Merle’s article, Why Grit Isn’t Enough. He invites the reader to explore ideas in unexpected places. Take time out to do something different or new.
This is what happens when I’m at the library. I get to explore. I get to ponder. I start clicking away on the keyboard to see what happens.
And this morning this piece is what happened.
**This article first appeared in the publication, Hopes and Dreams for Our Future on Medium.com.
Can you feel it?
The air is finally getting cooler as we head deeper into autumn. I love it, because it means we are getting closer to winter (but that's for another blog post).
What matters right now is leggings and yoga pants!!
And there's even more to enjoy at this point:
1. The bugs are thinning out, finally!
2. My garden is finished and cleaned out. I enjoy having a garden, but I always hit a point where I'm just over it.
3. I don't care what you say, pumpkin spice everything is amazing (that should have been #1).
4. I don't watch a lot of TV, but I'm excited that the new seasons have started.
5. Speaking of new seasons, can we say hockey?! I think a 3-peat for the Pens sounds really amazing.
6. Oh, and while we're still on the subject of hockey, I'm excited for another season of the UNO Mavs. I even got to shake head coach Mike Gabinet's hand when we picked up our season tickets. I'm never washing my hand again. Not really. I already did, but it was a thrill nonetheless.
7. There's enough of a chill that I can snuggle under my covers without the fear of getting hot during the night.
8. MLB playoffs are exciting even though I couldn't tell you who's playing outside the Astros later this week. I take that back, I know the Twins and Yankees are playing right now, and you can definitely tell it's a wild card game. So much energy in the air!
9. The beautiful fall foliage. You can't beat the colors at this time of the year.
10. Wearing more sweaters and believe it or not, boots. And I feel no shame for either one.
What are you loving about autumn?
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.