Today’s Quote on Pursuing Dreams

Today’s Quote on Pursuing Dreams

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Today’s Quote by Paulo Coelho

Today’s Quote by Paulo Coelho on life’s dreams.

No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.

Paulo Coelho

All My Life – A Poem by Pen Anthony

All my life

by Pen Anthony

I’ve creeped out of sorrows
I’ve crawled out of dissapointments
I’ve held on to broken dreams
I’ve lay on an empty belly, having chewed on
water just to save my teeth from turning
Yet i’ve learnt not to curse a dawn as it brings
me life
I’ve learnt that every new day is a gift, as it
presents me a fate i have to unravel
best i’ve learnt to smile through all this
I’ve lived on hope of a hope
of a change in fortune
my good friend sowed hope in me
she said, ‘friend where there is hope there is

Quote for Today – December 30, 2017

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us. ~ Wilma Rudolph

I Was Like That Once

Chapter 12
Nick’s dad heard the doorbell. He moved his favorite Christmas tree ornament, a figure of a New England Patriots football player, from behind the tree to a prominent place near the top, by the angel. Nick’s dad knew as soon as Nick’s mom, Anna, saw it, she would take it down and put it behind the tree. It was game they played every year. It was two in the afternoon. It was his his wife, Anna’s brother, Tony. Nick’s dad opened the door, put his arms out wide and said, “buon Natale, Tony, the Italian greeting for merry Christmas.
Tony laughed and said, “Buon Natale, Tony.” The two men were best friends and liked to joke around with their golfing buddies by both answering to the name Tony whenever anyone used the name, Tony. Their friends decided to call Nick’s dad Tony 1 because he was a year older and two inches taller than Anna’s brother Tony who became Tony 2.
Nick’s dad took Tony’s coat, and hung it in the hallway closet.
Tony 2 said, “I’m heading for the kitchen. I want to sneak a couple of meatballs, don’t tell Anna.”
Tony 1 laughed. Nick will be home around 5. Morelli is closing at 4 for Christmas Eve. It usually takes Nick an hour to clean up. He’s only got one more week with that job, then I want him to quit and concentrate on his studies and running the 800 meters this spring.”
“Nick really wants to go to college out of state. How do you and Anna feel about that? Asked Tony 2.
“We talked about it. We both want him to stay home. But we understand it’s his life and if the right opportunity comes, we want him to take it. It’s hard on him because he needs a full scholarship. That’s everything, tuition, room and board, books. I don’t think it’s in the cards for him,” said Tony 1.
“You never know. You know what I always say, never quit. You keep trying and trying. Maybe God’s going to smile on him this Christmas,” said Tony 2.
“I wish,” said Tony 1.
The next voice was Anna’s. “You come in the house and you don’t wish me merry Christmas first thing. I’m going to hide the meatballs. Buon Natale, Tony,” laughed Anna. She and Tony met each other halfway and hugged.
Anna stepped back and held onto Tony’s arms, “I know what you need,” she said.
Tony 1 answered, “I need two meatballs with extra sauce, some Italian bread, and a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. I don’t much care about the drink as long as I have one.
“You’ll never change,” laughed Anna. She turned to head to the kitchen, stopped and then paused and turned back toward Tony 2. I didn’t ask if you had a girlfriend. Seeing anyone?”
Nick’s dad rolled his eyes, he knew Anna’s games and she was playing matchmaker.
“Nobody special. I like taking care of myself,” said Tony 2.
“You need a good woman in your life. Keep your eyes open, you never know when she’ll walk through the door,” said Anna who turned and walked into the kitchen.
“What was that about?” Said Tony 2.
“You know your sister, Tony. She’s always worried about you. Let’s watch some football, the Pats game starts in fifteen minutes,” said Tony 1.
The friends sat down in the living room. Tony 1 turned on the TV. He muted the sound. Anna was playing Christmas carols in the kitchen and had the sound turned up. She knew every word of every song and sang along with each song. At the moment she was singing White Christmas.
“If I could meet a woman like Anna, I might think about getting married. I don’t think they make them like here anymore,” said Tony 2.
The friends watched the game. At quarter to five, Nick walked in. He announced, “I’m home.”
“Hey, Nick, come over here and give your Uncle Tony a hug,” said Tony 2, setting his beer down and standing up. The uncle and his nephew hugged each and kissed each other on the cheek.
“Merry Christmas, Uncle,” said Nick.
“What’s with this merry Christmas. You got to say, buon Natale. I’m only kidding,” laughed Tony 2.
Nick looked at his dad and said, “Tino told me to go home at 4:30. He’s really a great guy, dad. I know I didn’t want to work there at first. But, I’m thinking of working there for the rest of the school year. I’ll have to give up running track.”
“I don’t want you to do that. You’re an exceptional runner. You never know, you may have a breakthrough season and get the scholarship you deserve,” said his dad.
“You really mean that, dad? You don’t need the money? I can concentrate on running?” Asked Nick.
“You helped out when we were in trouble. I’ll be working next week. You know what your Uncle Tony says, right?”
Nick grinned, “He and Johnny always said the same thing, never quit.”
“That’s right, Nick. You keep giving it your best. You do and you never know what can happen. I seen it happen before,” said Tony 2.
“Thanks. I’m going to shower and change, excuse me,” said Nick.
“What’s his rush?” Asked Tony 2.
“He’s got a new girl, Mary Genovese. She and her mother Louise are joining us at six for the evening.”
“I was like that once,” said Tony 2.
“You never know, you might be like that again,” said Anna bringing in a tray of food for the two men to enjoy.

Tomorrow – The conclusion of the Christmas story.

It’s All About Family

Chapter 9

For the next two days, Nick left school and made his way to the alley. Each day, Johnny Balboni waited for him, sitting on cardboard, eating an apple, and offering one to Nick. Johnny worked with Nick on his calculus. Nick left Johnny feeling more and more confident about how he might score on the SATs.  Nick took the SATs on Thursday.

On the night before Nick took the SATs, Nick’s dad told the family he got a call from the Recreation Department and he didn’t get the job. They told him, he was their second choice, but they chose someone who had more experience in that kind of work.

Nick’s spirits dropped. He hoped with his dad getting the job, he could quit working at Martini’s Deli and concentrate on school and running track in the spring. Both seemed nearly impossible to him. He was quiet during the meal. After dinner, he helped clear the table and returned to his bedroom to study for the SATs. After an hour, his dad knocked on his door. When his dad came into the room, he told Nick not to let his bad news bother him. His dad said he was sure something good would turn up. Nick smiled and half heartedly told his dad he believed him. Between his dad’s bad news and his anxiety about the test, Nick didn’t fall to sleep until nearly 3 in morning. His mom woke him up at six. By seven-thirty he had his backpack and was off to school. The SATs were at nine.

Nick felt pretty good after taking the SATs, but he knew it would take time to receive his scores, between two and three weeks. He worked on the weekends at Martini’s. He was now putting in more hours. He worked from four in the afternoon until ten at night on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays. Nick spent the rest of his free time studying.

It was Monday, Christmas was a week away. Nick walked down the alley as he did every day after school. He hoped to see Johnny. Nick hadn’t seen Johnny Balboni in two weeks. He missed him. But it was Johnny’s way to drift to different parts of the town. Nick wanted to thank him for helping him. Nick walked into his house. His mom was baking Christmas cookies, there were two plates filled with cookies, cooling on the table.

Nick said, “Hi mom.” Then he grabbed a cookie.

His mom, whose back was turned toward Nick, was peeking in the oven, said, “Hi Nick, only one cookie, don’t spoil your appetite.”

“Maybe I took two,” said Nick.

“No, it was only one. How was school?” His mom asked.

“It was okay.”

“Any news on the SATs?” Asked his mom.

“Not yet. They’ll send me an email when I can go online and look at my scores. Where’s dad, said Nick.

“He’s out. He’ll be back for dinner,” said his mom said.

Nick went into his room, he put his backpack on his bed, pulled out his laptop and took it to his desk. He opened his laptop, typed in his password that was the name of his favorite music group plus his birth year. He saw the number 4 on his email icon. He opened his email app and scanned through the unopened emails. There was the email from the College Board informing him his SAT scores were available online. There was a link to take Nick to the SAT site where he could find his scores.

Nick’s heart raced. He knew the lowest score was 400 and a perfect score on the combined exams was 1600. He also knew if he scored 1500 or higher, he was home free. He’d get a scholarship to any university in the country. He clicked on the link, filled in the identification information on the website, and saw his scores. His score for evidenced based reading and writing was 590. His math score was 701. He had a combined total of 1291. He knew this was well above the average scores of around a 1000, he wasn’t sure it was good enough to get him a full scholarship to college. His parents were adamant, he was not to take any loans to go to college and have a big bill when he finished.

Nick closed the computer and stared at the ceiling. He fell asleep. He only woke when his dad shook him, “Nick? Nick? Wake up.”

Nick opened his eyes, “I must have been exhausted. Thanks, dad.” Nick rubbed his eyes and sat up,

“Dinners ready. Freshen up. I’ll see you at the table,” said his dad giving Nick’s hair a tussle.

Laura said grace. Nick’s mom made a large lasagna. A picture of her lasagna covered with her homemade sauce and mozzarella cheese was worth a thousand words. She served Nick’s dad first with a generous piece. Then she went by age, Nick, followed by Laura, and then Stella. Nicks mom served herself last. No one ate until everyone was served.

Nick took a bite and said, “I got my SAT scores. They were terrible.”

“Terrible? What’s terrible? What’d you get?” Asked his dad.

“On the evidenced based reading and writing I got a 590 and on math I got a 701,” said Nick dejectedly.

“You’re kidding me, right? Eight hundred is perfect and you got a 701 in math? That’s awesome. Your total score was right near 1300, right?” Said his dad.

“I guess it’s good, but not good enough to be sure I’d get a free ride to any college,” said Nick.

“Don’t quit. Isn’t that what Johnny Balboni told you?” Said his dad.

“Yah. I guess. If I run track in the spring, maybe I’ll run good enough in the 800 meters to earn a track scholarship,” said Nick taking another bit of his lasagna.

Nick’s dad ignored Nick’s little pity party and said, “I have some news. I got the job at the Recreation Department. The person they wanted, turned it down. I’m okay with being their second choice. I’ll prove to them, I should have been their first choice. I start right after Christmas.”

Nick and his sister shouted and got up and went to their dad and hugged him. Nick’s mom, made the sign of the cross, thanked God, and cried.

When they sat back down, Nick’s dad said, “You don’t mind working for a few more weeks until I start getting paid, do you Nick?”

Nick said, “We’re family dad. Of course not.”

Will Nick get a scholarship to college? Will he have a chance to thank Johnny Balboni for helping him with his math?

What Takes Your Attention?

What we seek, we usually find. Psychologists tell us where we place our attention becomes our reality. If you and I could focus our attention on our dreams and block out as many distractions as possible, we have a chance of catching our dream. The power of attention is within us. We have to decide what is important in our lives and measure it against the distractions. Are we giving our distractions power over our dreams? Perhaps it is time to take control of our attention. Enjoy the following entertaining YouTube video on attention.