10/26/15, Bloom Where You Are Planted

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve had a good week, with lots of good things happening, or at the very least a peaceful one. I’ve had another crazy busy week, but am hoping for some quiet time this week to do some writing. My writing times are always a quiet refuge for me, and often a great escape from the headaches of ‘real life’, while I focus on the story I’m writing. But this was a go go go week for me, with a lot to do, and a lot of real life to deal with. Not unpleasant, just Busy!!! I had a friend come to visit for 4 days, which was a lot of fun. We had dinner with friends every night, to introduce her to new people, went to an art fair, visited a fascinating new building which was a wonder of architecture, and did some shopping (a girl can never have enough shoes, which is nearly impossible to explain to a man, “But you already have black shoes”—–yeah, whatever. Don’t even try to explain it to them). I did some Christmas shopping, which I always try to do early, to avoid the crush of shoppers in December. I had a wonderful visit with my God children, and tried to keep up with my work. And to add some spice (and worry) to my week, one of my children was on a business trip to Mexico this week, just when the hurricane was heading there, and I was seriously worried about her. She was just far enough away from the worst of it to be safe, but I watched the weather reports with great concern. (One of my daughters lost her home and almost everything she owned in Hurricane Sandy in New York 3 years ago, so the word ‘hurricane’ terrifies me).

The friend who came to visit did so on the way home from visiting her only child, who lives six thousand miles from her, is firmly established in his home there, with a wife, a life he enjoys, soon a family, and a job he likes. He studied in Europe for a year, fell in love with a wonderful woman, and adopted her country and culture, rather than returning to his own. Although lives and plans can change in an instant, for now at least, it doesn’t look like he’ll be living close to home again. And with three of my own children who live far from home, and aren’t likely to return, I know how hard that can be. It’s exciting for them, but really hard for us as parents. I miss mine terribly, there are always tears when we leave each other, and a heavy heart knowing that I will never again have the ease and joy of spending an afternoon with them, having them drop in, or come for dinner spontaneously. Our time together has to be planned, they have full lives and demanding jobs, and my visits to them aren’t always convenient for them. They come home for brief visits 3 times a year, for only a few days, and I miss them enormously. And I’m very grateful that I’m able to visit them, but it’s not the same as living in the same city. And with only one child, I know how hard it is for my friend to live so far away from her son. She is valiant about it, and happy that he has a good life, but I know how hard it is for her. So it was especially nice to keep her busy, and see to it that she had some fun on the lonely trip home.

It brought to mind a saying that I’ve shared with you before, “Bloom where you are planted”. The first time I heard it, I thought it was inspired. What a great idea, and a good thing to think about and try to live up to. I talk a lot about gratitude, which I think is an essential ingredient to one’s happiness. To be grateful for the good in our lives, and not focus on what we don’t have. It changes one’s perspective, and can make the good in our life more powerful than what we lack. And blooming where we are planted—-thriving, not just surviving, is an active effort to make the best of our circumstances. We ALL face challenges that can make everyday life difficult: a job we REALLY don’t like, but a change isn’t practical for the moment. A really nasty boss, or difficult co workers (there is always one sour apple in the barrel, who can poison our work life, and make every work day a misery). An apartment we don’t like, but we can’t afford a better one. A difficult family situation we just can’t do anything about right now. A tough relationship which, for a multitude of reasons, we are staying in for the moment, hoping for improvement, or afraid to leave, or financially unable to. We’ve all been there, or at least I have. No one is exempt from these problems. And if our children move away for the right reasons for them (a better job, a better life, a valid marriage), it’s not right for us to stand in their way, but it can represent a real loss to us. We can either let these problems weigh us down and make life seem pretty gloomy, or we can try to bloom where we are planted. And believe me, I know what a challenge that can be. All of it. Nasty bosses, bitchy co workers who have their own problems and take them out on us or are jealous, friends who disappoint or betray us or an apartment or relationship we just can’t leave for now, or are afraid to. I’m always impressed and somewhat in awe of people who make the best of their circumstances, take classes, help others, do the best they can to cheer up an ugly home, learn a new language, take a trip they save up for to give them new perspective, sometimes you can really turn circumstances around, but even when you can’t, especially when you can’t, it’s amazing the improvements you can make in a life that seems bleak at the moment. It won’t bring back the spouse or partner who left you, or convince your kids to move back home, it won’t turn your nasty boss into a sweetheart, or make your co-worker more adorable. But it will actually make your life more livable, and maybe even fun. Go to the movies (even if you go alone), instead of sitting home feeling bad. See old friends whom you’ve let slip away, or make new ones, go to a gym, or take a class where you’ll meet new people, go to Ikea and for very little money add some fresh touches to your home which seems dreary to you now. Learn something new, go back to doing something you used to love doing. I took up ice skating again several years ago, and loved it. Discover something, learn something, change something. Get a dog to keep you company, or a pet of some kind. (Nothing makes me happier than my dogs). Volunteer to work with kids or old people, or people in far worse circumstances than you. It won’t catapult you into a new apartment, and possibly won’t restore your marriage, but it really will change your perspective on life. Effecting that kind of change isn’t what I do best, and isn’t always easy. But life changes anyway, you may find a new job when you least expect it, the co worker you hate may quit and move on, or a new apartment you can afford and like better will turn up, and you may meet a new partner. It’s easy to say that it won’t make a difference—-when my son Nick died my first response was that whatever I did wouldn’t change it and bring him back. True, but my work with the homeless after he died changed my life, and gave new meaning to my life. My two little Chihuahuas didn’t bring romance into my life, but they have brought immeasurable joy and happiness. I still have sad days, we all do, but blooming where you are planted, in exactly the circumstances you’re in now, will change something, and add something important to your life, something new and fresh. You don’t have to make a huge change, but a few or a bunch of small ones will make a difference to help you bloom where you are planted right now, with the same job, same home, same man, same challenging circumstances. Just a little shift will help. It’s something I remind myself of often…..it’s a good plan, and could make your life a whole lot happier. It seems worth a try to me, and the results may amaze you. It’s worth a shot.

Have a GREAT week!!

love, Danielle

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12 Comments so far
  1. Keyla Marques October 26, 2015 10:35 am

    “We ALL face challenges that can make everyday life difficult;”
    I try to keep that in mind everyday. And life can’t always be “easy” otherwise we won’t enjoy and be grateful for it.

    have a great week
    ps: today im going to a doctor’s appointment and gonna receive a treatment for an illness. wish me luck.

  2. Janine Hewitt October 26, 2015 1:18 pm

    Hi Danielle. Yes, I totally agree with the fact that little incremental changes and focusing on the good in your life truly help leaps and bounds in bringing joy into one”s life. When my daughter moved to Japan to teach for one year and I knew we couldn”t afford to visit and that she may very well decide to make it a longer stay, I literally fell into a scary depression. I thought I may never see her again. But the spirit in me made me desperately long for a puppy or any dog! And it really helped my sadness. I truly feel for your friend. I totally understand. Having many friends, having pet animals in your life, plus a strong faith is a balm for the soul. When I felt sad I’d shop for “color”, like decorative pillows, cheap jewellery or a surprise little something for someone special. Make your own joy!!!

  3. Elaine October 27, 2015 4:50 am

    Dear Danielle,

    Thank you! I needed to hear this today.

    Regards, Elaine

  4. Pat. October 27, 2015 7:26 am

    Danielle !

    This letter is a pure wonder, it is as a greediness which one enjoy slowly to perceive the major taste and so that it lasts even longer, not, it is better still because one can read again it as many times as one wants!
    Only incovénient, more one reads again it, more the list of the answers which it causes lengthens!
    Therefore, to try anything to forget, I will read again it until the increase in list asymptotically tightens towards almost zero! An answer in two stages thus is essential …
    With very soon!


  5. Marilyn October 27, 2015 1:45 pm

    Dear Danielle, I have read all your books through so many years and have loved each and every one. I just finished Friends Forever and I could not put it down. So many tears were shed with all the trauma that unfolded . I really did not know if Izzie and Sean would EVER find true happiness and be together forever. You really are the greatest story teller ever. Thanks for all your books and will look forward to the next one. Sincerely, Marilyn

  6. Rob Scott October 27, 2015 6:48 pm

    Thank you for this!

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity,to ALL Mankind.

    Rob Scott
    Chicago, IL

  7. Marty Stuart October 28, 2015 4:59 am

    Excellent message Danielle, again you have brought a new thought process to me. With one daughter making her distance from me for personal reasons, I too will need to search for filling the gap that may come upon me since she is holding my only granddaughter at bay during this time. Blessing in the works with my other daughter expecting my second grandchild in early 2016. May God give me strength and walk me down the right road for a relationship with my first granddaughter soon.

    thank you!
    Marty Stuart

  8. Jean October 28, 2015 8:18 am

    You have such wonderful talent and appreciate your sharing it with us on a weekly basis. This article is worth many reads. Please don’t ever stop sharing with us. Enjoy each of your books and look forward to the next one.

  9. Jay Parfan October 29, 2015 5:15 am

    Hi, Miss Danielle!! Thank you so much for writing this wonderful piece of advice and wisdom, the one that somehow reminds me of something I’ve read somewhere. I wonder who wrote it, but it says, “My crown is in my heart, not in my head. My crown is called content.” Well, I think being content is good, but so is experiencing some adventures in the process of putting some improvements into effect. Reminds me of someone who seemed to have the makings of a bully, who caused a hell of troubles, yet one who had just chosen to call it quits out of the blue and left the job once the bully’s victim,despite being visibly shaken, probably because of doing it for the first time ever, took a brave stand once and for all, in efforts to defend himself, and therefore vocally refused the bully’s mean treatment- the yelling, the cursing, the lying and all. Reminds me as well of the son who wrote a poem that caused tears of thanks to his daddy who advised his son to always make it a point to have some fun even while coping from their longings for each other, as well as of someone who had giveaway clothes in his youth- and how he pitied himself at that- yet one who found himself in tears of gladness and deep gratitude one day at the sight of a young employee of his, who wore one of his favorite shirts and a pair of slippers that he had happened to give away in the long run as well. Thanks again for such an inspiring blog post. God bless you and your loved ones. 🙂

  10. J-C November 2, 2015 1:56 am

    One day of spring, a gardener realized that a beautiful tree that it had planted, of which it knew him very, started to lose its sheets.
    To thousands of miles from there, a very pretty small flower lived alone. The gardener also knew it very well because it had planted it and dealt with it since always.The gardener had the power to travel very far instantaneously.
    He says to the wind: “breath of the petals and the marvellous odors of this very pretty flower in the direction of the tree which suffers and lights it well so that it has happiness to look at it”. The tree started to live again then took again force and strength. He gave him the means of communicating with it.
    He called to the sun and the wind, heats your rays the very pretty small flower, wraps softness there, of tenderness and of joy, deposits at its sides the projected shade of the tree so that she can rest against him and made hear the quivering of its sheets to him.

  11. Pat. November 3, 2015 2:09 am

    The loneliness of your friend, her project should be to rebuild a couple and thus to find happiness to live to two.
    Among the new people that you made him meet, a man perhaps will change his life (it was also your “nonknown as day”, is not that?!!).
    The distance to his/her son would weigh to him much less, they could both go to see it and its new life would release certainly the conscience of his son.
    It could, like you, to have the surprise to discover that there exist still men able to understand that the women like to buy shoes or clothes, even if they are the n+1 èmes! Why? Because they need change, of gifts, to be even more beautiful for them and the others, to trust more them! I know of them even one which seeks the occasions to give pleasure and takes part in shopping for assistances to decisions! (Sometimes that lasts of the hours!!!)

    Are you interested in the contemporary architecture!? Ah! St. Ex.…!

    With its tests, sufferings, survivals and challenges, the true life tends to make us lose sight of the fact our vital objective, “live to two happiness to like and be liked”. These challenges are not (for me) only stages which contribute certainly to our personal enrichment (Pythagore) and are necessary but it is not the key objective of the life. One tends too much to be good reasons, by taking up certain challenges, while managing to manage his loneliness for example (!), to be satisfied with our successes but time passes…! I believe that it is at the head necessary to have plans, to be carrying out and to make efforts without slackening of them so that they succeed. It is in the action, the inevitable taking risk, the simultaneous construction of the present and the future which one really exists and which one fills well his life. It should be done for its personal balance and reasons moreover when one is conscious of the chance that one has and that the others do not have. For some, it is a moral duty to honour this chance, if not they would break all the mirrors…

    How not to be sensitive to your kindness, your generosity and your delicacy. You transmit extremely well how you managed the daily life and you are rebuilt.

    Danielle in “funny woopie cushion”, at it in its intimacy, natural, really very pretty, giving the clown while laughing, merry present, large a thank you to both for this photograph on Facebook!


  12. Lynne Battipaglia November 4, 2015 3:54 am


    I love your books. The last one I read was “Second Chance”. It made me cry at the happy ending. (I hardly ever cry).

    I read before that “Once in a Lifetime” which also brought ‘triumphant’ tears of a great ending.

    I admire your writing, and am such a fan.

    The next book I’ll start is Honor Yourself’.

    The element that I admire a lot with your books, is that you set a high standard for your readers…it challenges me to be a better human being.

    With utmost awe,