Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Photo-Heart Connection ~ June 2012

Have you ever stopped to notice how many words surround us everyday? I’m not necessarily talking about the computer screen, the newspaper, or  the book your reading. I’m talking about small words that are randomly found, yet make us stop and think; little messages that we discover.

I don’t know how many times I’ve taken pictures of the rusty nails and holes in our old tin barn. I have a fascination with rust, it’s texture and it’s unexpected color. Here I was again at the barn taking pictures of the rusty hinges and lock when I noticed a word stamped into the shank…hardened. I know this is a good thing for a lock, but what if it referred to me. The word hardened is an adjective that means “having become or been made hard or harder: as in hardened steel."  That’s something that I don’t want to happen to me. I don’t want my heart to become hard as steel, unfeeling, and unsympathetic or callous. I don’t want to be known as the grouchy old lady next door or that cantankerous old woman. I know you’ve heard the elderly being characterized as crabby, cross, gripey, surly or bad-tempered. I can see how it would be so easy to let the hardships, heartbreak, and everyday struggles cause me to become bitter and hardened.

How can I stop that from happening to me? Will it help that I’m just aware of the possibility? I don’t think so. I think I need to begin right now and work each day to keep my heart open and responsive to others. There are things I can do beginning now…today!

  • I can approach each day with a grateful heart. I may need to set aside a few minutes each morning to list maybe just three things that I’m grateful for.
  • When I’m faced with a situation that makes me angry or stressed, I can force myself to get outside, go for a walk and notice something beautiful. It might just be a simple flower or the song of a bird or the color of the sky. Nature can give me a peaceful feeling.
  • I can’t control what happens around me, but I can control my own emotions. When things seem tough, I can reach for something inspirational to read or listen to. My number one book for inspirational reading is, of course, the Bible, but there are many other sources where I can reach for help. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a few lines of encouragement.

Maybe this is on my mind because I turn 59 this week. I’m not elderly, but I am getting older. It would be so easy to slip into a negative attitude. I’ll let this little word I discovered remind me to be positive, to keep on smiling, to be filled with gratitude, and not let my heart be hardened.

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, won or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."    ~ Denis Waitley

kat eye view
I'm linking my post today with Kat Eye Studio's Photo-Heart Connection. Maybe  you'd like to click on the button above and join us or to read other Photo-Heart stories.


  1. Well, happy birthday, Cathy! I don't think you need to worry about getting hardened -- you have a wonderful attitude toward life. I agee that gratitude really helps us stay positive and open. Lovely post for photo- heart connection.

  2. I echo that Happy Birthday, too!

    Isn't it amazing how life lessons come to us from the most unusual places? I love how you wrote about your experience and what you have learned from it. The photo, as usual, is just perfect.

  3. Beautiful post & interesting thoughts on avoiding the grumpy old woman tag. So true, I think that it's important to think about these things.

  4. The photo was so interesting. You thoughts were very timely because I go real upset this afternoon. Not worth wasting my time on being upset. Life is to short. I will make a real effort to stay postive as I grow older.

  5. happy happy birthday week cathy! such an interesting find and definintely food for thought. i think you are on the right tract though with staying open and positive! :)

  6. So much food for though here Cathy... I do think that your frame of mind makes all the difference between staying flexible and getting set in your ways. The ways you've chosen to remain open sound perfect. I can't imagine that you would ever become a grumpy old lady! Happy birthday and thanks for joining in with the Photo-Heart Connection. We are lucky to have you!

  7. Love the rusty, hardened lock -- just the kind of photo I also take, and the same kinds of thoughts about the word 'hardened'... Happy birthday! (And age is only one indicator, and not a very precise many other 'more real' things make up who we are.)

    Bo Mackison

  8. I hardly think that if you take the time to notice the things you do and care about them as passionately as you do that you will ever become hardened. It is, by the way, an absolutely fabulous picture - and also Happy Birthday!

  9. What a wonderful post; you've given me (another 59er) much to think about. Happy birthday to you! When I see photos of you, you look so happy and serene. I definitely don't see a cranky old lady!

  10. Hi Cathy! I must have missed this entry - or maybe it was a late one and I haven't checked in lately!
    I liked what you wrote and may I wish you a belated birthday greeting!
    As for not becoming grumpy or bitter as one gets older, I do think that being aware of this is the first step of noticing how we are reacting to things around us!
    I love the quotation by Denis Waitley!

  11. What a beautiful post and image . . . I love texture. Great message too.

  12. Birthday Girl!! Hope your day is fabulous. Remember, this is the 30th anniversay of your 29th birthday. That way you can stay 29 for a long time in heart and mind. Maybe not so much the knees.
    Words are everywhere-and I love to find them in images. I don't ponder them enough as you have here. For what it's worth, you never seem hardened to me-but just the opposite, warm, gentle, a positive way.
    And yes-love the texture and your image.

  13. what rich understanding you have gleaned from this photo. it does take some intent not to harden as the years pass. i am sure that with your creative bent and introspective nature you will stay supple and open. have a lovely weekend.

  14. Oh I seem very late to comment here - Happy birthday! I love your image - gorgeous colours and textures - and your thoughts too. I worry about my heart hardening as I get older too but I can honestly say that if your blog is anything to go by you really don't have anything to worry about! I love your ideas - I recently started a gratitude journal - I list five things every day that I'm grateful for - and it does make me realise how lucky I am, even on the most ordinary of days. I think photography is good for keeping an open mind and heart too. :)

  15. Happy birthday, love your wisdom, to the positive view. And I love your photo heart connection.
    Let there be no hard shell around your heart, but a soft. I think the way you currently have in life that already exists. You see what might happen, so you do not let it happen. You must see.
    Your way of pictures already shows that you're not a hard woman.;-))

  16. I'm sorry to be so late to get here, but I'll wish you a happy birthday anyway. I hope it's the beginning of a fabulous year. Cathy, I can't imagine that you will ever be a hardened, bitter old lady. You have a gentle sweetness of spirit that shines through your images and words, and I think that age will only magnify those qualities. And I do love your photo - the contrast of shiny steel and rusty latch is gorgeous.


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