Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! When I was a child Memorial Day was a big event. Growing up in a small town, there was always a Memorial Day parade followed by a community picnic in the park, and it was a wonderful time for the younger generation to hear stories about those who came before them.

As I got older, I either rode or drove my white Appaloosa mare, Snoqualmie, in the parade and we always had a great time. She seemed to think the people who were lined up on the sides of the street were there just to see her and she had a great time prancing slowly and respectfully for all her admirers.

Today, this day of national celebration seems either to be an excuse to not go to work, or, for some, another routine workday. I wonder how many people today know that memorial days began in ancient Greece more than 2,500 years ago when graves of local heroes were decorated with flowers. Some native cultures had similar days of remembrance long before that. Then, during the American Civil War, memorial days were celebrated in towns on both sides of the conflict. While the last Monday in May was first chosen as Memorial Day in 1868, it wasn't until 1971 that it officially became a national holiday to honor those who have died in our nation's service.

If you missed taking time with your family this Memorial Day to talk about friends and family who died serving our country, you don't have to wait until next year. Instead, do as the ancient Greeks did and choose a day, any day, when you can gather to talk and remember. Both you and the younger members of your family might just find something worth keeping.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Finding Your Passion

I'm often asked how I can find enough words to write a book. The thought of writing 70,000+ words is intimidating to many but for me it is as easy as breathing (well, almost). I speak regularly at writer's conferences and find so many "writers" agonize through the entire process. They are miserable. My thought here is if writing is so difficult, why do it? Maybe there is a better way to express yourself.

I understand the need to create, the compulsion to express, the fact that you have something to say. But this does not have to involve words. The creative process should be fun. It should refresh your heart and soul. It should be energizing. And there are so many ways other than writing to be expressive and creative. There is quilting, scrapbooking, music, art, crafting, dance, acting, speaking and a host of other activities that could be better suited to you than writing.

I love horses and I love to write about them and horse people. I especially enjoy being around books and writers, but if the writing process is not enjoyable for you, consider another activity. Life is short, but a creative effort can last forever--especially if it was created with happiness and love.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bad Blogger

Okay, I admit it. I'm a bad blogger. First I had a computer crash and couldn't find my login info on my backup. Then I was traveling and then I had family commitments and then I was on deadline with two projects. Long story short, there's always a reason, but never a valid one. The real issue here is scheduling the time to do things that are important.

So many of the people I see at my equestrian and leadership clinics and seminars have the same problem. One tries to fit too much into the day and another has no plan at all. Neither accomplish everything they hoped to do.

The lack of blogging time made me reevaluate my time commitments and as busy as I am, I found a lot of things I didn't really have to do, and I found tasks that could be delegated to someone else. I also found more efficient ways of doing what I had to do. Not that I have a lot more time, but I do have a little. And sometimes a little is more than enough.