It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times – 2011

2011 was the best of times and was the worst of times for the Riley family.

Sharing some of my deepest thoughts, I am letting you know, dear reader, I was so happy to go to bed in 2011 and wake up to a new day and a new year and a new way of thinking! I have seen many posts on facebook and google+ with similar feelings and I am excited to try and get to a higher altitude with you in 2012.

Controlling  thoughts and emotions can be a challenge throughout life and this is the year…. 2012  where things are going to boil (212 degrees). 

Pondering the concept of turning up the heat made me think of separating the silver and gold from the dross.  Things have to get heated up to purify and refine the silver and gold to get to the pure substance. The dross or the imperfect materials have to be purged to get to the gold.  Another thought about heat comes from running a steam engine.  The heat has to be up to the 212 to make it run!  So turning up the heat in 2012 to refine the gold and run the engine is going to be exciting. 

As members of the human race we are all connected in one way or another. It is my humble opinion we are all one, through the creator.   We are in charge of our thoughts and have complete control of where they go.  Life is about demonstrating the skill in exercising what we will and won't think and accept in our thoughts.  We can dwell on the positive or we can submerse ourselves in the negative.  We do manifest what we believe. 

Our cup can be half empty or it can be half full.  When you think about it… whether the cup is half full or half empty with liquid, it is ALWAYS overflowing with air.  You see your cup runs over no matter what, you just have to decide to accept that fact or not.  You are in charge!  Self talk helps us be victorious over those disturbing thoughts that take our peace away.   This year I am going to try each day to only listen to positive messages and know that my cup is running over being grateful for what I have and my ability to read, think and reason through any cow pie out there.  I look forward to sharing with you on our 2012 journey. 

A journey around the world was on our "Goddard List"  (aka bucket list) and we saw the world for the best of times.  We started to think global and act local. 

A near death experience with a young family member made it the worst of times. I won't go into the details at this point  but we all learned from it and continue to appreciate new sides of all situations and gratitude for everything.  

Learning from the past, our family has been through financial difficulties where we even sold our furniture to eat so I know the pain of having no money and not knowing where the next meal was coming from.  We were basically on numb getting through each day one moment at a time.  Getting over the embarrassment and humiliation of this difficult financial life experience in 1992 helped me relate to others in similar situations. I can look anyone in the eye and say "I KNOW how you feel and this is what we did." I am happy to report we worked through the financial meltdown one step at a time never declaring bankruptcy and paying back every dime we owed through Consumer Credit Counseling.  Experiences are trials that help us grow and make us stronger and gives us the ability to help others through similar situations.  

On the voyage around the world I took lessons from the universe and completely listened as we embarked on foreign ground.  A new book from the Cosmic Cow Pie series is emerging with the global lessons which should be launched in 2012 "Connecting The Dots Around The World."  It will inculcate lessons from major land marks we visited.  The book will have pictures from sites like India and Brazil that have been photographed by thousands and I will share a message to help trigger a change of thought when experiencing a stress situation.  The book will take global icons and the message should help the reader think about new "coping skills" to navigate the cow pies of life that continue to be in the way no matter what year it is.  Life really is about how we put our boots on and get through those piles.  SSDD  Same Stuff Different Day applies as nothing is constant but change. 

One of my favorite quotes applies to everything happening today in a most timely manner,  "You can't change the wind you can only adjust your sails."

As the winds of change blow they bring new challenges and new ways of thinking.  When trying to modify thoughts to stay with the positive, build a bridge, walk on over it and never look back. 

Taking control of your thoughts requires forgiveness. If you are trying to think only positive and good thoughts in 2012 so you can get that steam engine running you can't have negative energy coming in taking away from your ability to go forward.  Whatever was in the past needs to be in the past and you need to forget it.  Throw it over that bridge and don't think about it again.  Forgiveness means that you forget it ever happened.  If you keep bringing up the past you can't live in the present. 

The present is here and now and will reflect the way you think. 

Don't be thinking about old issues.  If you can resolve a conflict just DO IT.  If you can't, simply build that bridge and walk on over it. 

Let's make 2012 the best of times together. 

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About Carra Riley

Fun loving classic writer who is a life long learner. Helping people connect the dots as a consultant for small business and real estate along with custom workshops and seminars.


  1. Couldn't agree more! I have a tough time with real forgiveness. I plan on making that my 2012 goal. Stay positive, forget the negative, move forward-no matter what.

    • Elsle ~ Forgiveness is a constant challenge for many. Seems like a mental warfare going on so being alert like you said, staying positive WILL move us forward! Thanks for stopping by!