How long will you live?

Have you ever read anything that inspires or motivates you?  Sure you have.  And have you ever noticed that a lot of motivational speakers inspire people because they lived through a tragedy that brought them close to death?  Since they had such an experience and because of that experience, they talk about enjoying each moment of each day.

How many days do you have left on this earth?  We don’t know and that’s a concerning question that sets us back a bit.  What if you knew the end would happen this Saturday?  Would you live those remaining days differently? Well I’m sure the answer would be an astounding yes!

We’ve all heard people say “I’ll really be happy when I reach 16,” or “I’ll really be happy when I get married, or divorced, when I retire, or win the lottery.”  The list goes on and on.  We tend to put off happiness and joy until tomorrow when we should be relishing each moment of today! 

Today is the day you dreamt about yesterday, in fact it’s always today!  If it’s always today then shouldn’t we live life to the fullest today?

My own father was an example of procrastinating joy and happiness.  He owned his own business in the Midwest and didn’t take a vacation the last 15 years of his life.  His promise was that he’d find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when he retired.  He said that he and my mother would move to Sun City, Arizona, enjoy the sunshine, make new friends, buy a motor home, travel, and “be happy.”

Well, that’s exactly what he did.  He sold the business, and retired on his 65th birthday.  They moved to Sun City.  The first Saturday after settling in their new house, they went out to dinner to celebrate their new life, and after returning home he died suddenly of a heart attack.

Only one week of sunshine, no new friends, no motor home, no traveling, no joy of retiring that he promised himself and others for the past 15 years.

Take time today to count your blessings and be grateful for what you have.  The more gratitude you have the more joy you will experience!

Research has shown that most lotto winners end up in bankruptcy and today are leading a miserable life.  The happiest people on this planet are the ones with a passion for what they do and live life daily with a positive attitude!

Take a few minutes right now and write down things that make you happy.  Be grateful for the things that you have and things that make you smile, and tell someone in your life today that you love them.


I love you Arizona……..

I love Arizona….everything about it.  The desert, the lakes, streams, canyons, mountains, and the pine trees in the high country.  As a photographer our diverse and beautiful State offers vistas that my camera simply falls in love with!

A visit to Page, Arizona offers the breathtaking experience of the Antelope Slot Canyons and Horseshoe Bend.  Arizona is world renowned for the majesty of the Grand Canyon.  Then there’s Hoover Dam, Glen Canyon Dam, Roosevelt Dam, just to name a few, in fact the list is long!

Upper AntelopeHorseshoe Bend

Moran Point

Hoover Dam

Ninety minutes North of Phoenix is another must visit; the splendor of Sedona.  This secluded community is nestled in red rock formations and is quite an experience at every turn of the road.  Sites to see are Schnebly Hill, The Chapel of the Holy Cross, view from the airport, Red Rock State Park, shopping and dining in downtown and Tlaquepaque. The ride up 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff is simply magnificent!

Chapel SedonaRed Rock Crossing
Southern Arizona also has its charms including the sites and sounds of Tucson, Tombstone, Bisbee, and the Kartchner Caverns.

Super Bowl 49 Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the hub of activities and entertainment!  Sports?  We have them all: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, & Golf.  During a ten day period, the first part of this year, Phoenix was on the world map with the Barrett-Jackson Auto Show, The Phoenix Open Golf Tournament, The Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl.  I can’t think of any city in the world that had this much excitement all essentially in two weeks!

We are the winter home for many baseball teams including our own Diamondbacks, the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and the Texas Rangers!

DougArizona has a new leader, Governor Doug Ducey, former State Treasurer and founder of Coldstone Ice Cream. Governor Ducey promises to improve education and advertise the State as the “place to be for small business!” Apple recently announced a two billion dollar data center to be located in Mesa.

Sheriff JoeAnother strong Arizona leader is long time Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  He rules Maricopa County with a strong arm and is known as “America’s toughest Sheriff.”  He was first elected in 1993 and at the age of 82 will run again this year. Joe says “If you don’t want to eat bologna sandwiches and wear pink underwear, then don’t come to my jail!”

You gotta love a place that has 333 days of sunshine a year and the world’s most beautiful sunsets!

Sunset 11-12-14

And now you know a few reasons why “I love Arizona!”

All photos by Gary Stanley and you may click on them for a larger view.