Words of Wisdom No. 20

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There is something wonderful about experiencing new challenges and hitting the curve-balls life throws at you.  Like all trying experiences there is a time at the end when you can look back and learn from each experience.  Perhaps you have a better understanding of how you could have handled situations differently or perhaps you can look back and realise the decisions you made were for the very best.  It is during these emotionally-tough and oftentimes, mentally-challenging times that I have found you always learn who your true friends are.

Sometimes, its during these challenging times that you realize just how lucky you are to have such a good, strong supporting group around you or may even be a timely reminder that you need to spread your wings and enlarge your group of assoicates to include individuals who possess a more positive outlook on life.

Not only is this a timely reminder of the importance of who you surround yourself with but also of the friendship you share with others.  Admist our busy schedules do we set aside regular time to catch-up and relax with those who we love?  Do we offer support and strength when we see a friend struggling?  Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a warm embrace or a spontanious ‘I love you!’

 

There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.
– Unknown

A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else.
– Unknown

Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest… It’s about who came, and never left your side…
– Unknown

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True friendship is not about being inseperable.  Its about being separated and knowing nothing will change.
– Unknown

You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.
– Betty Ford
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
– Elizabeth Foley

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Photography Credits: 12

Send a Little Love this Christmas

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Can you believe its only 15 days until Christmas?  For me, there is so much to look forward about the Christmas season.   Be it cosy evenings with family and friends, an over-abundance of delicious food, the much-loved tradition of gift-giving and last but definatly not least, relaxation in the truest sense of the word.

Christmas is all about the things that are closest to us, especially our friends and family.  During the break from work and the normal routine of life we can find solace and comfort in the company of our friends and family.  Christmas is about connection.  And one of the most delightful traditions our family has experienced since I was a child was sending and receiving Christmas notes and cards during the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.  I hold many fond memories of our family opening piles of cards from loved ones and finding places for them around the mantlepiece of our brick fireplace.

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”
― Charles M. Schulz

 

Sending Christmas cards to family and loved ones is a tradition that I have continued when creating my own home.  Despite the cultural incline towards more modern and convenient forms of communication there is nothing quite like carefully unsealing a well-traveled envelope to delight in writers correspondence.  Our modern forms of communication are possibly more of a incentive to follow the snail-mail of contact for just one time each year!

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Organisation
Remember… I love lists, right?  Yes, you’ve guessed it!  The easiest and most efficient way of sending all your lovely Christmas notes out in a timely fashion is to compose a list of who they are going to.

I create mine in Excel, sorted alphabetically by Christian name, and then first name.  The next column holds the address details.  Don’t forget to check who’s moved and update the address!  If you have friends and family that reside overseas I’d put them on the top of the list and then work your way down.  That way you can ensure an on-time arrival.

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
― Bob Hope

Purchasing
Work out the total of cards you need to send and purchase the stamps in advance.  This makes the mailing process much smoother and efficient.  Don’t forget the postage for overseas items.  Purchase next years Christmas cards during the discounts after the Christmas season is over to get a better deal.  Preferably buy in packs of 10 or 20 to save on costs.  Not only will you save but you’ll also be prepared early for next year!

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So, go ahead!  Be ‘old fashioned’ for this special season –  put pen to paper and share the joy!

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The Incredible Value of a True Friend

Recently I was gifted with two little books filled with inspirational quotations on friendship, love and life. My thoughts turned to ponder just how blessed I was to have such wonderful, caring friends in my life and also gave me inspiration to be a better friend to those that I care for.

I often see young women let jealousy, greed and immaturity creep in and steal their friendships. Even friendships they have treasured for a lifetime.  Without notice something small and seemingly insignificant tares their love and divides their friendship!

“There are many faces of love.
Love many things,
for therein lies the true strength,
and whosoever loves much
performs much, and can
accomplish much, and what is
done in love is done well.”

One of the most treasured values of a good friend is loyalty.  Loyalty is a rare commodity in today’s world, but it’s an absolute requirement in true and abiding friendships.  Recently I had the honor of being asked to be my best friend’s Maid of Honor at her wedding.  I was ecstatic and incredibly thrilled to say the least!  As we started creating the wedding plans I took a few moments to reflect on our friendship over the past few years.  It brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the times we have shared together facing some incredibly tough challenges and of course reveling in the fun, happy times.  It’s actually ironic how sometimes the hardest, toughest challenge can actually bring someone closer to you than if life was just smooth sailing?

 Don’t give up on someone just because their human.  Don’t give up on someone just because they make mistakes.  Believe it or not – you do the same things.  Maybe not in the same way but we all can offend, we all can let our tongue slip, give that unneeded look or let jealously take over from the real problem.

Be humble and confess.  Share you thoughts, problems, and feelings.  That is what friendship is really made of.  If someone has confessed to you – reach out and touch them.  Let them see your love and appreciate their vulnerability.  It takes an awful amount of strength and courage to apoligise.  Recognise this and respond in appropriately.

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness,
a tender look
which becomes a habit.”
-Peter Ustinov

These thoughts provoked me to strive to be a better friend even though miles, countries and even continents may separate you and a loved one that doesn’t mean your love needs to be separated too.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our post on the
10 Commandments of Friendship!

Ten Commandments of Friendship

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We all want friendships that will last for eternity, don’t we? Follow these pointers and you’ll be blessed times over…

1. Speak to people — there is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.

2. Smile at people – it takes seventy-two muscles to frown and only fourteen to smile!

3. Call anyone by their name – the sweetest music to anyone’s ear is the sound of their own name.

4. Be friendly and helpful – if you would have friends, be friendly.

5. Be cordial – speak and act as if everything you do is a real pleasure.

6. Be genuinely interested in people – you can like everyone if you try.

7. Be generous with praise – cautious with criticism.

8. Be considerate of the feelings of others – it will be appreciated.

9. Be thoughtful of the options of others.

10. Be alert to give service – what counts most in life is what we do for others!

Taken from The Speaker’s Quote Book – Roy B. Zuck