I like this question. 

I'll tell you what it used to be. It used to be "there are no wrong choices - only learning choices." Wow.  That was not a good quote to live by, that's for sure. And when I took a hard look at my choices and the results, it was pretty clear: there are definitely wrong choices. I made a bunch of them. So do most people. Yes, we can - and do! - learn from those choices. But that doesn't mean they weren't wrong.

These days, I don't use quotes from other strugglers like myself to guide my choices or, as the challenge says, "live by". But there are a few that resonate with me. 

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." (Helen Keller). I really like this one. I do believe we should approach each new day as an adventure, willing to risk and push and drink it in, even those mundane days where nothing seems extraordinary. Because life is extraordinary, isn't it? 

"900 years of time and space, and I've never met anyone who wasn't important." (Doctor Who). Man, I love this one. Yes, he's a fictional character, but the line itself - and the sentiment behind it - reminds me that all these fellow humans are each unique and special. Each person matters. And the way I treat others - all others - should reflect this truth. It doesn't always - I'm human too, and I fail sometimes - but I try. 

"Love God, love others" (Luke 10:27, which actually reads "He answered,"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind', and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" ). This is again a reminder of what I am here for - to love God and to love others.  And yes, as I mentioned above, I often fail. But I'm thankful God is merciful and graceful when I mess up. And I keep trying. 

So, there they are: my favourite quotes for living: Life is an adventure and people matter, so love them (and God too).  

I would like to live in the highlands of Scotland! (Says I, who knows nothing about it except it’s so pretty! And Duncan Mcleod was from there, wasn’t he. I mean, yeah, he was fictional, but still… so pretty…) 

And preferably in a castle. I do like castles.
This is a tough one. I don’t know if I could find the earliest. I remember a lot from when I was five, but before that… One of my earliest, maybe, was the Christmas I got a giant teddy bear that reminded me of banana bread. So I named him… Banana Bread. He was huge and soft and I still love him. It’s crazy how real and how comforting teddy bears can feel. I must have had at least twenty in my bed as a kid - and as a teen, too. If I had my way, my bed would still be full of them teddy bears. But after I got married, the husband kicked them out. :) 

My bed is full of my children now instead. Which is much better.
Okay, so this is a little late… but I’m starting the 10 day writing challenge that I  mentioned back in March… today. 

Writing Challenge Day One: Five Problems With Social Media
This is funny, because I very much have a love/hate relationship with social media. Looking at my life, one would assume Social Media and I are seriously tight. I mean, you’ll rarely catch me without my phone at my fingertips. I check notifications from Facebook and Twitter within a few minutes. I usually know what’s going on in the public lives of my friends within moments of them posting. I use it to communicate with friends, promote my writing, find out what’s new in the world. And I actually don’t think all things about social media are bad.

Yeah, some people say it encourages shallow friendships and phoniness, and in many cases, sure - true enough. But it also allows you to stay in close and frequent contact with friends who are at a distance and with friends who, due to the busyness of life, you may have otherwise lost touch with. It allows you to send quick messages of support, of prayer, of warmth. It allows you to engage in interesting conversations on topics you may have not had an opportunity to otherwise discuss. These can all be good things. But, of course, as with most things in life, what can be a positive thing can also have limitations and drawbacks. Social media is no exception. Here are my top five.

5) Can be an addictive time waster
With so much social media, it’s easy to get caught up in scrolling through - news, updates from friends, drama - all of it can be interesting and entertaining and… completely mind numbing. Hours can seriously slip by while caught in the web of updates… Sometimes I’ll find myself on Facebook and have no idea how I got there.

4) A potential platform for unsupported opinions and misinformation
This is a pet peeve of mine. People will post and repost the most ridiculous and inflammatory stuff - usually in the form of some unsupported article. From politics to health to childcare… the eye-rolling, head shaking, and painfully stupid stuff out there is never ending. And if one makes the foolish mistake to comment on it… well, then an ugly, silly debate ensues. Ugh.

3) Sometimes encourages narcissism and voyeurism
Look at me! Look at me! LOOK AT ME!!!! Look how much personal growth and introspection I have. Look at my awesome family. Look at how fit I am. Look at how comfortable in my own skin I am. Look at my perfect, fun,  life. Look at me. Look at me! LOOK AT ME!!!!


2) Oversharing
Listen, it’s okay not to post EVERY SINGLE THING that pops into your head. It may not feel like it at the time, but there are some things your 750 “friends” don’t need to...probably shouldn’t...know.

1) Distracts one from being present
I think the very worst thing about social media is that it can distract me from being present with the people in my life. It feels terrible to look up from my phone and realize one of the kids was trying to talk to me and I just...didn’t hear them. That is not okay. And it’s one of the reasons I am striving to create more distance from my phone and spend less time on social media.

Because being present matters. It really does. And when social media gets in the way of that, I think that’s the biggest problem of all.