Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"By Invitation Only" February Edition

International Blog Party

I am so pleased to present our newest member,
 referred by Tish Jett, one of our founding members:


I believe you will find her wit a surefire entertainment &
today marks her 1st post with the group.
So please welcome her by hopping over to her blog.

  the topic of today's post is one to which we can all relate:

"What is Your Biggest Challenge?"

via the world in my mind on tumblr

& while we recognized that all of us in blogland lived perfect lives, 
therefore, this topic was fraught with invisible snares.

are we really supposed to ADMIT right here that we have challenges?

Yep, that's what we are supposed to do.

& beginning with me, I can tell you this is difficult.

via UK Vogue 1983
"The Quality of Lithe"
Model: Bonnie Berman
Photographer: Patrick Demarchelier
Stylist: Grace Coddington

I'm the lady who always over-commits, whose friends can count on when the chips are down,
who will pick other people's kids up from school,
who will stay up all night setting the table for a dinner party.
who will go to the hospital with a girlfriend when the husband sleeps in,
who makes the impossible look easy, and who trys everything she knows to
be an excellent hostess, throws the best parties ever, and even loves NFL football (that is, until
this past Sunday's Super Bowl).

suddenly something's happened to me,
as now my mind feels exactly like this

62. dazzle.

perhaps, I'm having the proverbial breakdown?

I find I don't have time for the things which are most meaningful to me,
like my little grandchildren or my dogs, or cooking, or gardening, or just flopping down to
watch a wonderful movie.

in the past I would have said "I'll do that tomorrow."
but I can't say that any longer.

&, therefore, I'm admitting to you that my biggest challenge 
has been to make a commitment to myself.

a commitment to myself.

a vow, a promise, a trust
to do the things which are good for me.

some of those things may be to leave out certain pleasures from my life (like pasta),
to spend time nurturing myself in order to gain a more whole self,
a self I can be confident with, and one of which I can be proud.
I'll be proud of the accomplishment to keep the commitment to myself.

women, as a whole, all have this problem, I think.

but it's suddenly knocked me down.

it's going to be a difficult change,
 and sometimes I'll turn down invitations I would have normally enjoyed
so I can keep the promises to myself.

tomorrow is too late.

the commitment began last Friday. 
 I can feel the strength I've gained already.
it's called "Soul Food."
& I like it.

& because I know you are interested I will write a small report of
the trophy hunting probrem around the world, as I discussed with you a few weeks ago.
some good news, in fact.

the clickable icon list is below.

sending love to all of you, my faithful friends who I cherish more than you know.



  1. Marsha ….. being the woman that you are, you will rise to your challenge and conquer it !!
    You fill your time with so much that you put me to shame !! Much love. XXXX

    1. Jacqueline, I am so happy I've finally made this commitment. I didn't even know I needed to do it until, suddenly last week, it slapped me in the face. Now, I feel so much better. xx's

  2. I know exactly what you mean Marsha... your thoughts aren't dissimilar to mine today... :) xv

    1. Amazingly, we talked about similar challenges, albeit you did it so much more eloquently. I believe I would really like your husband !!

  3. Ooh, this "challenge" was a challenge! But I feel reassured by your honesty...we are all in this together! I certianly believe in you...

    1. It is difficult to actually admit to having a challenge, isn't it?
      Each of us should count our blessings right before we admit to challenges, this way we are not overwhelmed.

  4. Go Marsha! this is the best thing you could be doing for yourself. I think we are all similar and all on the same road, some of us make is there faster than others and some just don't make it. I believe we create our own reality, I just have to remember it more throughout the week. Life just sometimes takes over, and, so we create our own challenges. As I just said to Vicki, this will be a year of tough changes, saying no... and staying true to thy self. Here we go, this was a great subject for all of us to work on together, I look forward to seeing what everyone writes. xxx Coty

    1. I am making my way around to everyone too. It's wonderful to have this connection, isn't it?

  5. Marsha loved this post and honestly felt you were writing it about me, I feel the same way!!! no wonder I like you:) I also think the more people think we can "do it all: the more we need to rise to the occasion. i have stopped saying yes about a year ago and limit myself MUCH MORE than ever and am proud that I have done this, it is liberating to not have that pressure as used to..you were smart to listen to your instincts, they are right on and you will be so happy you did! Wonderful......

    1. Yes, we are so alike in so many ways.
      Thank you, Tina

  6. Saying "no' is one of the most difficult thing for me to do. At times, I am not even aware that I should say "no".The implications of saying no - it's enough! can be hugely complicated. I am going through that perilious process,.. one baby step at a time.

    1. Your innate elegance will make this an easier process than it will be for my straight-forward ways.

  7. I am totally there with you...and I wrote a similar post today on focus. Your post is so well written and so you. Have a great day. XO, Mona

  8. My husband always tells me one must learn to say 'no", gracefully but firmly. I must admit I have a very difficult time with it so he bought me book on how to not feel guilty when I say no-LOL ! Be kind to yourself you only have one you so allow yourself not to be perfect sometimes..its refreshing!Though we all think you are perfect just the way you are!!

    1. Karolyn, I think I've read all the books. Now is the time to put those processes to work.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Marsha, I loved your post. Very honest and very thoughtful. Well done.

  11. Karen, thank you for stopping in to view our series.

  12. Hello Marsha,
    Came to your blog via Lost In Arles blog, Heather's. So true especially I feel for women...have you read A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson? A mentor of mine really. With her kind permission I am offering trips and retreats, consultations and coaching for women from S. France, in France and Italy! We moved to France last year following three decades of visiting la belle France. I studied there previously. A dream come true for us. Wishing you and your readers the joy and peace that come from setting good boundaries (very difficult for all of us) and taking care of oneself! Bravo.

    1. Lovely to meet you, Sandy. I do hope your new adventures and ventures are brilliantly rewarding.
      Thank you so much for visiting!!

  13. Oh Marsha. You speak of the proverbial "no" in order to say yes... to taking care of ourselves, to focusing on what feels essential, and both are so difficult when there are many who depend on us and also, when we have the good fortune to be passionate about many things!

    But this commitment to take care of you is so important. Please set that example for us to follow. We need it. So many of us need it.


    D. A.

  14. Well you speak for so many of us I think, Marsha….and it's not even an age thing either…it's more about an age of time thing, I think…it's our current propensity to fill life up with far too much, too much busy…because it seems that young people (i.e. teenagers and people in their 20s) feel exactly the same way as us Golden Oldies do. So I absolutely applaud your resolve, and shall become a vigorous cheerer-on from the sidelines…and shall hopefully also learn a thing or two from the sidelines…!!

  15. I love your words "Soul Food" Two simple words that hold so much meaning. Wishing you a smooth path and courage along the way

    Helen xx

    1. Ahhh, Helen, it's an old Southern saying that I translate to life's events.

  16. Marsha, I think what you've described is so true for many of us. Sometimes listening to that inner voice and taking care of ourselves is the hardest challenge. I wish you much success in slowing down and enjoying the little moments.

  17. Hi marsha , what a great thing you did for us month, forcing us to face up to our challenges! Loved all the entries and comments

  18. Oh, Marsha I can relate to this...we really have to listen to ourselves sometimes and do what is best for us and that is usually what is right for everybody else in the long run too...a brilliant post, as always, sorry I was unable to join the group this month; I'm off to pop across to the other posts and of course welcome our new member :)
    Have a happy week xx

  19. This is an incredibly well written post and topic Marsha! I wish I would have had someone like you taking me to the hospital when needed, oh can I relate to that one. I'm wish you about that dreadful Super Bowl, not so super for me. I'm a very slow learner when it comes to commitments to myself. You've helped me today & I thank YOU for that!

  20. Marsha,my dearest friend!

    It took me a few days to read all the posts and komentaars of all members of these group ( with my english unfortunately I've need little bit more time....:-)))

    Yes,you are so right when do you say about challenges: This is difficult! And HOW diffilcult too.................!!!
    We are often not decisive enaugh,for ALL daily things. This feeling is so familiar now to me.
    It's very honestly to say that, then go something do with it.

    Just a very special expression: ''SOUL FOOD''. Like them extremely much,because there is all of significance!
    Put some things aside and do what you really need without doubt! - This is my biggest evildoer.....:-(((
    When I road all posts of the members, I thought: we are in a large part so similar.

    I want to say,Marsha:
    Thankyou so,so,so much for this big topic:)))*

    And I know, if you have already made a decision, then it also happen!

    LOVE you,

  21. Hi Marsha, It's best to nourish our souls and heart first, the rest will follow.
    Only look within... not around at others, it doesn't matter.
    I wish you the very best each day.

  22. Dearest Marsha … good for you my dear! I believe we must first invest in ourselves so we are filled up … and thus we can nourish others! Thank you for the reminder … and all the best to you on your journey!



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