Do you have a list?

Toby Keith sings a country song called “My List” that talks
about a man making a list of the things he needs to do. The list begins with
the typical household chores we all have to get done, and then the list turns
into recreational time and family time and having fun. The last line of the
chorus is “Start livin’, that’s the next thing on my list.” Isn’t it terrible
that we have to add “living” to our to-do list?


The first day of summer was June 21 – the longest day of the
year. From there, the daylight hours slowly begin to shorten little by little
until Fall, and finally Winter, so now is the time to slow things down a bit,
to make time for “living.” I’m not talking about just a vacation. I’m talking
about changing the rhythm and pace of things in order to take notice of what’s
going on around you.


I took notice of some things around me. If you happen to drive through Troutville, VA on Lee Highway over
the weekend, take a glance at the Thriftway store in downtown. Every Sunday, there is a
quote or Bible verse or words of wisdom out on a billboard sign in front of
that store that is truly inspirational. I’ve noticed now that I look forward to
seeing what will be written there every weekend.


Travelers through Buchanan, VA might notice a man riding around
the streets on a mechanical wheelchair. He has a large reflective street sign
attached to the back of his chair. He lives near me, and every time I see him
drive that chair down to Main
Street, I get terrified for him. I worry that he
always seems to be alone. I worry about the traffic on the road around him. I
worry he might have needs that compel him to drive that chair on the road. Mostly
though, I feel in awe that someone has such a spirit that they will not be
confined. I wonder about that man, and I wonder how many people actually stop
to notice him. I try to smile and wave whenever he and I pass each other. I
hope he smiles in return. I hope if he needs something, I have the time to


He isn’t the only neighbor around me that I don’t know and
I’m not really sure why. I think I like all my neighbors, but still, there is a
quote by Abraham Lincoln that might best describe why we must stop and take a
look around. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”


point is pretty clear. I don’t usually want to get to know people I don’t like.
Obviously, I haven’t even taken the time to get to know many of the people I
think I do like, but I wonder sometimes about what might happen if I did get to
know someone I don’t like better. Would my opinion of that person change? Maybe
we all need to take the time to get to know someone better.


Fourth of July is just around the corner. Don’t miss seeing
the fireworks this year.

Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

In Honor of Father’s Day (Repost)

In honor of Father’s Day, here are a couple of jokes. One
evening, while sitting around the dinner table, a little girl looked up and
asked her father, “Daddy, you’re the boss, right?” Her father was very pleased
by this and replied, “Yes.” Then, the little girl continued, “That’s because
mommy put you in charge, right?”


“Daddy, daddy, can I have another glass of water?” a child
asked. “But I’ve already given you ten!” said a father. “I know, but the
bedroom is still on fire!” (These jokes are copyrights of


I grew up watching Bill Cosby, one of the greatest dads on
TV in my opinion. Laughing at sitcoms was one of the ways my dad and I
connected to one another, maybe even the most important way. After all, what
scenario didn’t come up on the Cosby show?


The television bonding must have worked because somewhere in
my teen years, right smack dab in that awkward and independent stage where
parents know nothing, my dad did something that won my respect. I still
remember the event clearly to this day.


It was during one of the Fourth of July parades. The
carnival was in town. The traffic on Main
Street in Buchanan was bumper to bumper in both
directions. With a typical teenage attitude, I sat slumped, arms crossed,
staring out the truck window, not paying much attention, annoyed that we were
stuck in traffic, moving along at a snail’s pace. Suddenly, my dad stopped the
truck in the middle of the road. His driver’s door stood wide open as he
blocked both lanes of traffic to walk up to an elderly lady standing on the
sidewalk. She was trying to cross to the opposite side of the street. My dad
took her elbow and guided her across the road.


I was shocked – not that he helped a senior, but that I
hadn’t even noticed the woman and I wasn’t sure I would have thought to help
her if I had noticed. I was a teen and I thought I knew everything, yet here
was an epiphany that – oh my gosh – I was self-absorbed.


My father’s actions that day filled me with pride and love.
Maybe my dad still had a few things he could teach me. More surprising, maybe I
wanted to learn though I never admitted as much, nor did I admit how he
affected me that day. I wouldn’t dare, not as a teenager!


Happy Father’s Day! Share a laugh.

Published in: on June 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Being a mom isn’t easy

I overheard a conversation between a mother and daughter
that really upset me. I was in a restroom stall of all places. I never saw the
parent and child that I heard talking. And no, I don’t usually go around
listening to people talk, but when you’re sitting on the toilet there just
isn’t much else to do. Besides, this particular discussion I mention got loud.


Keeping in mind I only heard a piece of a whole, I overheard
things like, “Why are you doing that? Why are you always so stupid?” The mother
spoke loudly and angrily to the child. I felt embarrassment and pity on the
child’s behalf.


As a parent myself, I am far from perfect, far from an
expert, and far from the most experienced, and yet I can’t control the
compulsion I feel to deliver a message I feel very strongly about. Parents,
myself included, please remember to be very careful how we talk to our
children. Please remember not to yell, not to name call and not to degrade no
matter how angry and frustrated we get. The consequences are too great for us
to slip.


I know how hard it gets. As a parent, we never get a break, never. Even the most saintly and patient
parents occasionally feel like losing control. After all, we’re human, but
please, when things get to the breaking point, find a release that doesn’t
involve the little one right in your face arguing, whining or nagging at you –
the child.


Long term yelling or name calling can cause poor self esteem
at the very least. What we do and don’t do changes the person these kids will
become. As parents, we can actually mold children into adults with certain
characteristics, good and bad, which is actually a terrifying responsibility to


I’m not sure it’s in any parenting manual on the market, but
I often tell my son to go to his room until he can find his smile. It’s
definitely a line he’s growing very tired of hearing, but I’m okay with that. I
want him to know right from the start that it is his choice to have a good
attitude. I want to teach him all the things I had to learn.


Parents, let’s pull together and make the next generation
better than we are. Let’s teach them to empower themselves with a positive
attitude, with a bright smile. If my child grows into a happy man of great
integrity, I will consider my job complete.


By the way, if anyone has a manual that describes
exactly how to handle a boy with my son’s exact DNA, could you send it to me?

Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Feelings Come and Go

I’ve started a new lesson with my son. Just because he feels a certain way, doesn’t mean he has to act a certain way. If he’s angry, may he throw a temper tantrum? No. If he’s bored, may he ignore his teacher? Absolutely not.

He can choose to do what is right even if he doesn’t feel like it.

This is a lesson I need to hear as well. Raising my son has made me want to be the best kind of person I can be. To do that, I have to be in control of my emotions, right?

That doesn’t mean I’ll stop having them. What I think it means is that I won’t let them control me. I want to do the right thing. Feelings come and go. Decisions, on the other hand, can have consequences that last forever. Do I want to make choices based on a flighty feeling? I think not.

Let’s choose how we want to act based on truths and facts, not feelings. Let’s choose to do what is right. Let’s make that choice every single day.

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Raise your hand if…

Raise your hand if…

You’ve given up on all your New Year’s Resolutions that you just started a couple of weeks ago.

You tell yourself that you will always have bad luck and nothing will ever improve for you.

You hate your life.

You really don’t think that there’s a bigger plan for your life.

You feel angry or sad or depressed most of the time.

You’re alone and you think you always will be.

I could go on and on with that list. If any of those scenarios ring true with you, take comfort in the fact that most everyone has been there at one point or another. Most of us will return to those points at different times in our lives. Take comfort in the fact that things can and will get better. It’s pretty much a guarantee. Life keeps moving. Change is a sure thing.

Now, here’s my point. Don’t make a resolution this year to lose weight and give up by the fourth day. Instead, make a vow to really change your life in a positive way. Be your own hero. Resolve to make some momentum in your life. This time, YOU choose the direction. Don’t go downhill just because it’s easy. The view is only visible from the top.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reader’s Friday – An Embarrassing Moment

Dear Destiny,

I went to the hardware store to buy a plunger. At the checkout line, I sat the plunger on the floor while I pulled out my money. When I went to pick it back up, it was stuck. I yanked and pulled, made a huge grunting scene as I stood over top of it and pulled with all of my might, but it would not move. The store manager had to come out, go get a piece of cardboard to work between the plunger and floor so I could get it loose. It was so embarrassing. I paid and left as fast as I could. I guess the next time I go back to that store, I’ll have to wear a disguise.


Mary in Wisconsin


Thank you so much for writing in. That story is so funny! Thank you for sharing.


If you have a story you want to share, send it to

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

From the Readers – Dear Destiny

Dear Destiny,

I really enjoy reading your blog. May I ask you how you stay so positive all the time?

From: Alice

Hello Alice!

I’m so glad that you read my blog. Thank you so much for the support!

So…how do I stay positive? Hmmmm… The truth is that sometimes I don’t. It’s really something I work at every day. I wish there was some sort of true happy pill out there, but there’s not, not as far as I know anyway.

Someone gave me some great advice many years ago. She said if you find yourself having a negative thought, say a positive one out loud to change the direction of your thoughts. It’s been great advice for me.

Thanks so much for the email, Alice.

Have a wonderful weekend!


**For anyone that would like to write to me, send me an email at**

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

My dog needs advice

I have a doberman that’s six years old. Her name is Princess and she’s very beautiful, energetic, well-mannered (most of the time) and the cuddliest member of our family. But…she has severe separation anxiety and I’m helpless to do anything for her.

We got her when she was about 8 months old and it started right away. Every year I keep thinking it will get better, but it doesn’t. Whenever we leave, she shakes, whines, paces the floor, chews stuff up, gets in the trash, barks and just really shows many different signs of stress and anxiety. I’ve done everything the veterinarian has suggested for her. I need some more creative ideas.

Whenever we leave, I dog-proof the house first. Then I make sure she’s gone to the bathroom. I give her plenty of food and water. I keep some of her toys out to keep her occupied. I even leave the TV on as background noise so she won’t feel alone. None of it is working. She really needs a doggie therapist.

After we return home, it takes her a solid thirty minutes to calm down. She just gets so upset.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Anyone else have this problem?


Published in: on December 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m Sorry, or not

I’m sorry the house wasn’t as clean as it needed to be


I’m sorry that I was late for my son’s appointment.


I’m sorry I got frustrated over something so small.


I’m sorry I didn’t get everything done I planned to do.


I’m sorry I burned dinner.


Most of all, I’m sorry to myself for taking the weight of
the world on my shoulders and feeling such guilt over every little thing that I
don’t do perfectly. I’m sorry to myself for punishing myself by thinking over
and over again about everything I do wrong. I’m human. It’s okay if I’m not
Superwoman. It’s okay that I make mistakes.


I forgive myself. I’m going to let all the tiny things go. I
just want peace and happiness. The funny thing is that I’ll be better for it.
Maybe the secret behind Superwoman has nothing to do with how few things she
does wrong, but rather how many things she does right.


I don’t think I’m going to spend so much time being sorry
anymore. Sorry if that isn’t the right thing to do…or maybe I’m not.

Published in: on December 11, 2009 at 1:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

I am in awe of good speakers

While cooking dinner yesterday, I was listening to Oprah. She was doing a show about heroes that had me wiping away tears about every ten minutes. It was a truly beautiful show.

What I noticed, listening to the show was how well some of the stories were told by the survivors. Then, I realized that I felt envious. I love to hear a well spoken person talk. I just wish that it was I that could do it!

One particular guy on the show expressed heart felt gratitude to his hero in a way that was so eloquent and beautiful, yet it didn’t sound rehearsed at all. He spoke in front of Oprah’s audience and in front of a camera with a calmness that I just didn’t understand. How did he do that?

When I write, I don’t think about it. I guess it’s the same way with people that have the gift of speech. For me, when I get in front of people to talk, I sound like a blubbering idiot. Almost always, like nine times out of ten, I just won’t be able to form any sentence structure beyond that of a nine year old. It can get embarrassing.

So, as I’m thinking how jealous I am of this beautiful talker on the Oprah show, I immediately realize how stupid I’m being. I don’t want to be the kind of person that always wants what someone else has. I want to be the kind of person that appreciates the strengths of others and honors others for their accomplishments without any negativity at all.

I think I can do that. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the gifts that I have. I’m going to make it a point to be especially thankful for the gifts and blessings of those around me, too.

Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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