THERE IS HOPE

Today is the first day of spring. It is perhaps my favorite time of the year. I am really not of fan of winter and having Seasonal Affective Disorder does not help matters anyway. What I really enjoy about spring is the general sense of renewal and hope it brings. Seeing the first song bird that has returned from its winter migration, watching as the piles of snow begin to shrink and disappear and seeing those first few flowers pop up through the brown grass fill us with hope and a sense of what is to come.

In the past 8 years, my posts have centered around that theme. Today, as I write this the world is a different place. It is a world not filled with hope, but one filled with fear. Much like the seasons, this too will change. I have heard everything from warmer weather helping to make the virus less likely to spread, and medicines and vaccines being worked on to be ready as soon as they can be.

All of these things are like the flower coming up through the once barren ground. It may not transform the landscape, but it is a sign of good things to come. Just like spring often toys with our emotions going from warm sunny days to ones with cold and snow before returning to warm up once again, so will this worldly situation. Just as the weather may seem to go up and down, eventually, we know the warm up is coming. As we fight to get a handle on this terrible virus, things may get worse before they get better. In the end, however, we all know spring will come and we know this disease will be controlled.

Both the exact time the weather will warm up for good and we can go back to living our normal lives remain a mystery. We know with certainty, both will eventually come. In the meantime I encourage all of us to do with this virus what I do to make it through the last of winter. Yes, there will be plenty of barren brown ground to look at. News of continued spread of the virus. Death tolls and how they keep getting bigger. If you think about it, they really couldn’t get smaller. This is like staring at what remains of winter. Instead, do something that will give you a feeling of hope. Spend time each day looking for those flowers, look at the melting piles of snow. That may be the news they have successfully isolated and grown copies of the virus in Canada which will help develop treatments, vaccines and tests. Instead of focusing on how you can no longer visit your favorite watering hole (or coffee shop) for a beverage, focus on the quality time you can spend at home.

There is one more very important thing you can do. When you find those things that give you hope. When you see that rare article of good news, be sure to share it with others. Spread hope in a time of despair. Be the light in a moment of darkness. Let us fill the world with as much light for those who are struggling as we can. If you cannot find the light, be the light. Thank a worker stocking the shelves at the grocery store, as my beautiful Margie did. Call to check on an elderly relative. Donate or help out at a local homeless shelter. Be the one to share a story of joy and encouragement. We are all in this together, and that is the way we will get out of it – together.

CHASE YOUR DREAMS!

Today is the first day of spring. This happens to be one of my favorite days of the year. Although meteorologically this does not often mean much in the fine state of Wisconsin, it officially marks the end of winter. We have trees budding, flowers blooming and birds singing to look forward to.
It is with this sense of renewal and rebirth, I want to bring another rebirth to your attention – YOUR DREAMS. Even if you are not as bad as I am during winter, the lack of sun and cooler temperature can dampen enthusiasm for even the noblest of causes. Perhaps your ‘winter’ has lasted several years. Perhaps you view that dream as having died. Just like the plants that seem to have ceased living, your dream may very well just be waiting to bloom again. I urge you to take a new look at dreams you may have thought have passed you by.
Perhaps you are thinking time and these dreams have passed you by? There are countless stories of people in their later years going on to create dreams. Colonel Sanders is a fine example. Born in 1890 Harland David Sanders held many jobs. He cleaned ash pans on the railway before becoming a railway firefighter. Was that his dream job? No. At night he studied law at La Salle University. He became a lawyer until a courtroom brawl with his own client ended that. Did he think his dreams died then? No. He even was involved in a shootout with his competition in the service station industry. A man lost his life and Sander’s competition was sent to jail. He opened up a factory selling acetylene lamps. Shortly after Delco introduced an electric lamp and he was forced out of business.
It was not until 1952 that Colonel Sanders franchised the first Kentucky Fried Chicken. If you are keeping score at home that would make him 62 at the time. At the age of 72 he sold KFC for $2 million dollars and served as an icon until his death in 1980. Proof dreams can take a lot of challenging situations, and a lot of years to come to light.
Whatever your dream is, just get started today. Breath life into that dream no matter how ridiculous it may seem. Maybe your dream is to be the next great publishing tycoon? Start a local newsletter. Maybe you want to bring joy and positivity to all you meet? Start a motivational blog. Whether your dream is to be a giant of industry or the world’s greatest parent, chase that dream today. What the world desperately needs is people chasing and living their dreams. If you come across someone who is on the verge, or maybe already has given up on their dream, encourage them. Use your candle to light theirs.
HAPPY SPRING TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. MAY ALL OF YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!