Use The Talents You Were Given!

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.” – Erma Bombeck

 

When I read the quote by Erma Bombeck I thought, “Wow, that would be amazing to be able to say that you used all the talent you were given.”   As of right this moment I cannot say that is true for me.  I have not lived long enough yet and not in a way that uses all the talent I have been given.

 On that note if I were to direct my life to be able to utilize all my talents then I have some major changes that need to take place.  I will definitely need more time to write, to draw and paint, to play music, to dance, to do needlework, cook and that’s just a start.  There are a lot of talents I don’t possess, and just as many I haven’t tried yet.

 There are many talents that I have put on the shelf through the years, knowing that I would not have time to devote to developing them or to enjoy them as I took care of children then later parents.  It is amazing what you forget while you are busy watching the little one’s take their first steps and grow to make their way in the world. 

 Then one day you find you have teenagers instead of small children and more time available than you had before.  You find yourself doing some soul searching, even going back to those shelves in the back of your mind to see what talents can be dusted off and used again.

 I haven’t utilized many of my talents for years.  I dare say that even before my children came along, I didn’t use some of them on a regular basis.  Yet, talents are given to us for a reason and some, if not used over time, can be lost.

Perhaps it is time to go back and dust off some old interests, memories, and talents to see where they fit in this journey going forward.  Life should be enjoyed and shared with others often.  What fun to go back and remember who we were, then discover who we can become as we continue to grow and develop the talents we were given. 

 Cherry Coley ©

 

Making Your Mark

What are you doing?  It’s a simple question really and one most people answer by telling what they are doing at the moment, so let me ask it another way..

 Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel and left us sculptures that are with us still.  Leonardo DaVinci was a great inventor, wild dreamer, and painter of many works of art that are both held in private collections and shared with the world in museums.  The Wright Brothers taught us to see, then live their dream of flight.  Benjamin Franklin made the world interesting and easier with electricity, while Thomas Edison turned the lights on for us.

 So, what are you doing to contribute and leave your mark on the world?  I think we all think about it, sometimes early in the morning when we contemplate the day, or late at night when we wonder if what we do matters at all.  The answer is, yes, it all matters.  You writing a thank you note, or sending that encouraging card to a friend who’s been a bit down really does matter.   We each choose daily whether we will contribute and help society or merely exist.

 Yet, there is more isn’t there?  Don’t we all dream at some point of leaving our mark, wonder how we will be remembered, or leave something behind that will last for centuries? 

 You don’t have to be a sculptor, or a master artist, though it doesn’t hurt.  There are so many ways to create a legacy, and it can be as small or as grand a scheme as your imagination will allow.  There are those of us who write and long to write things that can make you feel, laugh, cry, become scared or joyful.  There are artists who create waves of emotion with their work.  There are photographers that can make us see what they see and contemplate the world from a perspective we might not usually take.

 Some people put their whole lives and creativity into working with children and watch them bloom and grow into thriving adults.  Still others work in the medical community and their creativity leads to new cures or better ways of doing things. 

 Then there are the architects and engineers who design buildings, bridges, and monuments for the world to enjoy.  I also love the old houses that have been around for centuries.  Let’s not forget the wonderful works of Brahms, Beethoven and Bach among many others.

 Whatever your gift, your talent, the world needs you, we need you.  You have a voice and a perspective uniquely your own.  Don’t be afraid to share your gifts with the world, or even just your family.  It’s your choice, but life truly is a gift, take the time to enjoy it, learn and share, it is what we were meant to do.

 Cherry Coley ©

Your Legacy, Have You Thought About It?

 

 

Have you ever thought of what kind of legacy you’re leaving? 

Definition of LEGACY

1: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest 2: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past the legacy of the ancient philosophers. Miriam Webster

 

It’s just my personal opinion, but I think there is so much more to leaving a legacy. 

 The time you spend with your loved ones each and every day, the dreams you share, the life lessons that you have experienced along the way, are just part of the legacy you will leave to your children, your family, and friends.

So many times in this modern world we rush through life from job, to home, to errands and family activities.  There are so many distractions available and we run through life at a speed that doesn’t leave much time for personal reflection, meditation or growth unless we make a point of deliberately creating the space for these things in our lives.  Learning to balance work and home life is a struggle that has been in existence ever since jobs have been in existence. 

Everyday there is a constant barrage of commercials, ads, and every kind of media that assaults us from the moment we open our eyes and ears in the morning, to the moment we close them at night.  It’s important to make sure that when we are spending time with the people that matter to us, we turn off the cell phones, put aside the distractions and be present so everyone will enjoy and remember the moments that are being created on this journey.  How sad for some that the memories will be filled with someone texting at the table, or watching the television while another was trying to express something important to them.

My father passed away in September of this year, and I can’t help but realize how very short life is and how limited the time we have to spend with each other may be.  If I have any regrets it’s that while I did spend many hours as a child sitting beside my dad and listening to his stories of growing up, fighting in WWII, and working, I did not spent as much time as I could have catching up on different things going on in his life.  I still look for him at times, expect to hear his voice, or to see him sitting on the couch at mom’s house. 

My grandmother used to speak in rhyme and verse all the time.  She also told many wonderful stories using nature to teach important life lessons.  I loved to follow her around her house and listen to her.  She seemed to have an answer for everything, or at least a funny saying or poem on the subject.

Legacies are really so much more than money or things.  I have decided to write and illustrate many of the stories my grandmother and dad shared with me growing up.  Those stories were their legacy to me and I can’t think of a better way to honor them than to recreate them and share them with others. 

Take a moment today to think about what kind of legacy you are in the process of creating, because whether you intend to or not, you are creating one.  Then take a moment to decide what kind of legacy you would like to create, to leave for your family, friends and perhaps even share with others.  We all leave our mark on this world, some of us live very quietly and pass through without making deep impressions, or so we think.  Realize that each and every person has people in their lives that they touch each day.  Just as you are affected by the people that surround you, so too do you affect them.  Much like the ripples on the water, starting from a tiny point of contact, all it takes is a small touch, and the ripples grow and spread out reaching further than we realize.

Cherry Coley ©