Heart Choices: 2019-09-08 -->

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What I Learned This Summer 2019

At the end of each season, I like to take some time to reflect. Was there something new I learned and would like to share with others? Did something not work for me? There's always good and not so good. I made the choice years ago to be a life long learner.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." 

George Santayana, writer, and philosopher

1. It is much too hot in Phoenix during the summer. 
Yes, I realize we have a dry heat, but triple-digit temps are hot regardless. Since working as a teacher, I love that I get to take summers off. Greg and I took a few short trips to escape the heat. 

Greer, AZ is about a four and a half-hour drive from Phoenix.  There are only two restaurants in this small town. We stayed at Greer Lodge and each cabin is equipped with a full kitchen. Internet access isn't the best but it turned out to be a good thing. I think I needed a break from social media, even if it was only for a few days.

Our cabin
We also took a short trip to Dana Point, California to visit Greg's sister. The condo was walking distance to the ocean and there were cool breezes. We got lots of exercise and the views were simply amazing.

The beach

Although I love Phoenix for most of the year, my hope is to be able to get away every summer to escape the heat.

2. Be thankful for each day as we never know how long we will live.
My dad turned 90 years old in February. Thirty years ago, he had his first major heart attack and was placed on life support. I remember flying to Florida not knowing if he would make it through the night. How thankful I am to still have him in my life and that he is independent and living on his own. Who would have guessed?
My dad
Dad likes to tell me that God isn't finished with him yet. And I believe that's true. In the meantime, I enjoy my twice-daily phone calls and visits to Florida as often as I can.

3. Accomplishing a goal takes time and discipline. 
I'm determined to complete my parent book called "Kids Say the Funniest Things in Preschool". This summer I was able to send the pdf copy to a few friends and parents to get some feedback. I found this very helpful and made a few changes. Since I'm self-publishing, it's been a tedious task that includes formatting. My husband has been very patient and helpful as we go through this process. Many hours have been spent pouring over every detail. I hope to receive a test book this week in the mail. I'm excited but also a little nervous. I know it takes work to promote and market a book.

4. I never knew what went into writing a hit song.
I discovered a new TV show this summer called Songland. Each week, one recording artist appears on the show as unknown songwriters pitch their song. Some of the artists I've seen include Leona Lewis, Kelsea Ballerini, Charlie Puth and the Jonas Brothers. Three songs are chosen by the artist and then the real work begins. One of the seasoned songwriters Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, and Ryan Tedder work with each of the three unknowns to shape their song into a possible hit. I find it fascinating to watch them at work creatively. The final product is often much different from what they started out with and it's always better.

Talent and creativity may be gifts given from God but much work still goes into the process. Sometimes, I get lazy and wish I could magically create something unique and not have to work so hard. Even writing songs takes time and effort.

5. I'm getting to learn more about Instagram.
I've had an account with IG for some time but rarely visited this site until this summer. Part of the problem was that I take most of my photos using my Nikon camera. Occasionally, I use my cell phone camera but not as often. But it is quick and easy to post things on the spur of the moment. I've located friends who don't use Facebook. So, that's been a pleasant surprise.

6. 1969 was a very unique year.
I was in high school in 1969. My brother graduated that year and he is 18 months older than me. This was the year when astronauts walked on the moon. The Manson family went on a horrible killing spree that shocked the world. A music festival in upstate New York called Woodstock drew an audience of more than 350,000 rock and roll fans. I was working in the record department (music) of a local Long Island, NY store at this time. I remember a co-worker telling me that he was going to the festival. Little did I know how big it would be! Richard Nixon became the 37th President of the United States. The Chappaquiddick scandal became headline news for Ted Kennedy the same weekend as the moon landing. I watched a docuseries on ABC called 1969 this summer. I hadn't realized how many events actually occurred that year.

What did you learn this summer? May I suggest you take some time to look back and share. I'd love to hear your stories in the comments. If you're a blogger, you might consider linking up with us at Emily P Freeman as we share what we learned this summer.

Blessings and love,

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