Look Above the Rail


View Above the Rail

” Where you set your focus is where you will go.” ~ Linda Apple

There are so many little irritations in life. They are like tiny mice nibbling away at something precious, doing a lot of damage. That is what happened to me while vacationing in Gatlinburg.

There I was surrounded by the kind of beauty where my mouth dropped open but the words just wouldn’t come. But when we walked into our room at the Hampton Inn and found the balcony wasn’t overlooking the beautiful creek that ran beside the hotel, it almost ruined my day.

This may seem like a small thing to most people, but my favorite room anywhere is a patio or balcony. I’m an outdoors kinda gal. So instead of gazing at a bubbling brook, I had this lovely view of a trashy parking garage and lot. 

My husband encouraged me to join him on the balcony that evening. Reluctantly, I sat beside him and glared at the ugly view below. Then he pointed to the sky and said, “Look up there instead. I lifted my gaze above the top rail and the beauty   mesmerized me.

Every evening we sat on our little balcony and I fixed my gaze above the rail. While            enjoying glories above me, I thought about how often I focus on the life’s little irritations instead on all the things I have to be grateful for. Too often I let the little mice of vexation nibble away at my joy.

How about you? Are you letting small annoyances nibble away at your joy? For instance, those irritating political posters on Facebook? Funny how they are not so irksome if you agree. Or how about how the slow wait staff  at the restaurant or the internet that crawls like a dying man across the desert? And my favorite, the inconsiderate driver. Children! We get irritated at them for getting their clothes dirty, being too loud, or spilling their drink in public. Then there is the spouse who loses keys, puts the toilet paper roll on backwards, makes you late, leaves the lid up. I’ll stop here. You know what I’m saying, right?

Do any of these resonate with you? If so, I encourage you to LOOK ABOVE THE RAIL. Don’t let irritations nibble away at your day.


Dream Seeds

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense” ~ Winston Churchill

I’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics this year, especially the girl’s gymnastics. Besides being insanely talented, all of the competitors are so young and hopeful. As they waited for their turn, I could feel their tension and nerves building. I held my breath and gripped the arms of my recliner as they whirled, jumped, and flew through the air.

And then just a slip, a misstep, a fall, ends their medal dreams. All the hours upon hours of practicing, of denying themselves a normal life, of sore muscles and bruising come to nothing. Or so it probably feels at the time.

Some came so close. You could see by their expression them replaying their routine over and over, seeing the mistake that took them out of the running to wear their flag and hear their national anthem played. I could almost hear the “if only.”

However, from the interviews I listened to, no one said, “I quit.” Rather, they said they would take a few weeks off and then start practicing for the next summer Olympics in 2016. Once again they are choosing sore muscles, bruises, and giving up a normal life.

We should all have this attitude. Life gives us plenty of setbacks. Plenty of reasons to quit. But what then?

There is a saying that goes something like this, “We can count the seeds in an apple, but only God knows how many apples are in a seed.”

That said, there are no apples in a seed unless it is planted. Oh, the potential is there, but will never come into fruition if it is tossed in the trash.

If you have had setbacks, don’t quit. After you’ve had your “replay” time, fix your gaze on the future. Get back to your dream.

Don’t quit.