Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Newsletter - 6/1/11

Hello Dear Friends!

I've realized that I have missed a lot of life by not focusing on the moment.  Today ... the present.  Too often we live life in the past or future and totally miss today.  When I decided to find 60 new adventures in my 60th year, I never thought I could find 60 things in a year that I'd never experienced before.  That was a high number ... 5 per month if you want to calculate it.  But there was no pressure, so why not?  My real motivation was to get my mind off of turning 60 and that it did.

Me at Brookgreen Gardens - Peace Fountain
What I didn't realize was how much it helped me to focus on today.  I began to train myself to look for something new in each day and ask God to bring me something He wanted me to see or experience that would be new for me.

At first I was overwhelmed by how many new species were coming my way that I'd never seen before.  Then I found myself scheduling things that I was "going to do some day" in the near future.  Too often we put off our own dreams for the hum-drum ordinary stuff of each day.  There's time for both.

It did take a lot of focusing and thinking about today to be able to gather up the unscheduled adventures, and sometimes I slipped as Randal reminded me, "Hey, that's a new adventure for you."

Each one brought a bit of excitement to my day ... and to my life.  I used to be a workaholic and perfectionist and I sure do realize how much of my life those traits stole from me.  Working hard is a good character quality ... but if we don't play hard, we do not have balance in our lives.

Jesus always took time to get away.  You'll read "He withdrew from the crowds" and went off alone many times in the Bible.  Sometimes he scheduled a time to get away with His disciples.  With such a short span of time for His mission in life, He still found time to "play."  I remember growing up hearing, "All work and no play makes Jack a very dull man."

If you're looking for vacation ideas, visit the Travel Gallery to see albums of places we've visited in various states.  I'll warn you many of them are natural areas.  We find the most joy in the simpler places.  No matter where we travel we always schedule stops along the way to visit a new park or nature center.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Female First Year Common
Yellowthroat Warbler - First One Sighted in Our Yard
I've often heard it mentioned that we attract what we focus on.  Maybe that's why this happened:

While we were at Brookgreen Gardens in March in South Carolina, I took a photo of a bird that I later learned was an Adult Male Common Yellowthroat Warbler.

A new experience for me since I had never seen one.  When we visited the Great Dismal Swamp in April in Virginia, we saw another Male Common Yellowthroat Warbler.  

On May 10 here at home, I saw a first year Female Common Yellowthroat Warbler (see photo above).  First year means it's not quite an adult yet so the coloring is sometimes different for various species of birds.  The little missy was right outside the breakfast area window seemingly just waiting for me to see her.

How could I be taking photos of wildlife all these years and not ever see one of these birds ... and then in the space of three months see three of them?  Focus?  Living in the moment?  Coincidence?  Luck?  I hope it's because I'm getting more tuned into today and seeing the beauty of life around me at the present moment.  

Summer is soon here!  Schedule plenty of outdoor time for your children (or grandchildren) this year.  It really makes a different on their physical and emotional health. And it'll make a difference in yours too!

Love and Hugs,

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2011 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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