01/09/2014 11:34 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Beginning in 2014, You Can 'Take It With You'


Thankfully, 2013 is behind us and 2014 has enveloped us right smack into the middle of the here and now. May I indulge all of you for a few moments who are glad to see 2013 fading quickly from sight in the rear view mirror? Last year kind of wrecked havoc on many of us, so for those of us in the throes, this year needs to be exceedingly, if not exceptionally, better.

If you please, find a quiet place before you continue this read. Now, go get a blank sheet of paper and lay it down in front of you. Now read it. What does it say? Nothing, absolutely nothing. And that's a good thing. No, that's a great thing, because now we can cast off what is behind and begin anew at this moment, uncluttered.

All the triumphs, as well as, all the failures that we experienced last year are behind us. Before us is a clean slate called 2014, whereby we have the opportunity to write down the positive events we create today, today and write the positive events of tomorrow, if there is to be a tomorrow, tomorrow.

The first thing we must do today is be genuinely thankful for that which makes us who we are. No matter where we are in our life journey, a spirit of thankfulness will make all the difference going forward into 2014. Join me in writing down all the things you are thankful for. Your health, I sure hope so, your family, me too, your friends, absolutely, and finally your stuff, of course. Just remember in the end, it's just stuff.

Second, write down some things you'd like to change in yourself this forthcoming year. Be kinder to others, excellent, be more patient and understanding, good choice, be more forgiving, that's the spirit, learn to be more appreciative, awesome, learn to give away whatever you need the most of, "Oops, where did that come from, I'm in it, to win it all, not to give it away."

Third, now that I've got your utmost attention, write down all the great stuff you've accumulated through the years that you plan taking with you when you're gone. Gotcha again. Silly me, you can't take stuff with you when you are taking your last curtain call, or can you? Many have tried I suppose from as far back as King Tut. Needless to say, all the beautiful, wonderful things that were included in his tomb, never made it beyond the door.

The good news is there are some things you can take it with you. I read a recent article about a slew of hospice patients reflecting on the good things throughout their lives. What created the greatest joy and evoked the warmest smiles was not all the stuff they accumulated over the years, but the fond memories of those whose lives they touched and the memories of those whose lives touched theirs.

By giving we receive, by getting we receive, priceless memories that we can take with us. Lifelong memories that, in turn, can be left with those most precious in our midst, long after the stuff has decayed and gone away. Memories created by giving and receiving whatever we need the most of. If you need love, give love unconditionally. If you need time, give time without constraint. If you need money, give all you can and then give some more. If someone gives you something, accept it graciously and joyfully. Otherwise, you will rob them of the joy, I'm asking you to join me in creating this year.

No matter our lot, be it content or in need, 2014 is our year to make it our best ever. Before us, today is the paper, our life the pen. Let us choose how we write it, in this moment, in this never before experienced time in our lives. I can't guarantee everything will be perfect, but I can guarantee that by giving whatever you need the most of, your life will be full and running over throughout the year. And by receiving with a grateful heart, any of that which we lack, will be little indeed.

Let's commit to building memories in 2014 that we can take with us into the years to come. Life is far too short, to contemplate otherwise.

The pace never falters, temptingly enticing the reader from one climax to another. The ending is as unexpected to the reader as it must have been to the story's main character. It is satisfying, but leaves the reader lusting for more.

Join us in paying it forward. $1.00 donated to Second Harvest Food Bank can be turned into four meals. What an awesome opportunity to be a part of something this amazing in 2014. Just imagine, forgoing 1 night a month eating out and giving the money to Second Harvest will provide up to 160 meals.

Read an except of our latest novel, Ride to Redemption, here.
In this groundbreaking first novel, the author has crafted a plot that is sufficiently complex to hold our attention, yet straightforward enough to make for effortless reading. Elements of danger, intrigue, mystery, doubt, regret, hope and passion are interwoven into a fine and rich literary fabric.