“I Have Had This”…

Dear Reader:

Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. in her book Embracing Uncertainty has a ‘time-out’ for all of us to do when we get those feelings (that come out of nowhere) that the days are slipping through our fingers faster and faster…and yet have we done enough, experienced enough, been enough for this precious gift of life we were given?

The name of the ‘exercise’ is called  “ I Have Had This.”

One of man’s greatest fears of dying comes not from the actual experience itself but the prospect of it. Who wants to die before they have lived? The fear of the prospect of death can be diminished by appreciating life’s simplest little joys.

What this means is ” Life is not passing me by when I remember that  I have enjoyed this. I have experienced life when “I Have done This.

Here are some examples Jeffers gives readers from her book:

When taking a walk on a magnificent day, I stop for a moment while enjoying the view and say to myself, “I have had this.”

When enjoying a meal with family or friends, I say to myself “I have had this.”

When taking in the delicious warmth of the fire in my fireplace, I say to myself, “I have had this.”

When spending a day with my loving family, I say to myself, “I have had this.”


If we start collecting these “I have had this” experiences (can put slips of paper in a Joy Jar or keep a log of the amazing experiences we have enjoyed)…we begin to feel ourselves filling up with the joys of a life well lived. Our fear of death is greatly diminished by the thought, “If I die tomorrow, I have had all these wonderful experiences.”

I have only to go back to Friday’s blog and look at all the new. secret paths and beautiful flowers I discovered on the back roads of my own neighborhood. It was a day filled with wonderful experiences.

If I get out a map…I can point to all the places I have lived and traveled to…five major countries in Europe, as well as, the Scandinavian country of Denmark and the Caribbean. I have visited almost half of the states and exciting cities within them.

I have had three wonderful children, soon to be five beautiful grandchildren, a wonderful teaching career, along with my passion of storytelling, my share of accolades and honors…I have been blessed beyond measure.

And don’t get me started with friends…God has provided me with so many amazing people around me in my life…whom I gladly and proudly call my friends.

By simply counting my blessings…I know my life has been amazing and every day I live is simply ice cream on the cake, ice cream on the pie…or just plain ice cream!

*If I ever write a book I think I shall call it: “Life Alamode.” That pretty well sums up my feelings about the gift of time and life I have been given.

*Today is a special day to remember about counting days… because I remember counting the days until my first-born arrived…rather impatiently. Today is Mandy’s birthday!

Her due date was August 28 but she didn’t come until September 3 and I was very anxious. I finally got to the point that I wouldn’t pick up the phone because I remember in those last few days I knew they were calls from well-meaning family and friends asking “The baby STILL hasn’t come?” Somehow it made me feel like a failure.

But then SHE did arrive and it was and has been well worth the wait ever since!


Happy Birthday Mandy!!!

So until tomorrow: Father… guide me along my life’s right paths and let me gather in all that it has to offer.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Who knew I would get a God Wink at McDonalds yesterday?

I went to Publix to pick up a few items for the Birthday Weekend Saturday morning and decided to get a breakfast biscuit at the McDonalds right beside the Publix in Knightsville.

It was typically crowded, especially since it was a weekend morning. I ordered my biscuit and I was in the outside lane placing my order. As I went to make the circle to get in the pick-up line another car from the inside lane had just finished placing her order.

I motioned for her to go ahead and pull in front of me. She smiled and waved. (The nicest thing about retirement is that I am rarely in a hurry these days…such a luxury!)

A few minutes later I got to the payment window and the cashier told me that my breakfast had already been paid for…by the lady in front of me. As the young clerk was handing me my bag…she was smiling from ear to ear…she had heard of customers doing this kind of nice gesture but had not witnessed one until yesterday.

I told her this was the second time in my life I had ever received a free breakfast and the other incident took place at McDonalds too from a wonderful friend, Rene Harris. I think the motto is right: “I’m loving it.”

Can hardly wait to pay it forward on my next breakfast pick-up at McDonalds!


Rutledge is playing soccer for the first time this year…he met his coach yesterday and got his outfit…he is so happy it looks like “Flash” his super hero’s outfit and dad is happy he has the number 4 on his back…Deshaun Watson’s number and Rutledge’s age!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to “I Have Had This”…

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Happy Birthday to Mandy! You are so amazing! I am very happy you were the reciprient of a nice jesture! You have done this so many times for others-so nice to see it return to you. Have a beautiful day. 53 this morning -Fall is on the way! 😍


    • Becky Dingle says:

      53 degrees! Wow! Hard to believe…Fall has already hit the mountains…i know you are in heaven…just sit back and watch God’s canvas unfold.


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Happy birthday to Mandy…wow we need to catch up…I want to hear about your travels abroad…I knew you went to Germany and Ireland but I want to hear about the rest.

    All of my years being a media specialist I woukd take the opportunity to invite parents and anyone else who was born or had lived in another country to come speak during Book Week or to go along with a unit being taught at a certain grade level…WWII…major religions or cultures…or simply “oh the places you will go through books…it was important to me to let the students hear about places they would never go…

    Well in the process over a 30.year career I began to realize that I was like the librarian in the children’s book who thought SHE would travel the world but didn’t but she got to through books. ..it is the most powerful part of what I did in my career for the children. ..the speakers. ..and me!

    On Sep 3, 2017 6:00 AM, “Chapel of Hope Stories” wrote:

    Becky Dingle posted: ” Dear Reader: Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. in her book Embracing Uncertainty has a ‘time-out’ for all of us to do when we get those feelings (that come out of nowhere) that the days are slipping through our fingers faster and faster…and yet have we done e”


    • Becky Dingle says:

      There are so many different ways to travel, isn’t it? And there is a lot to be said about traveling through books…no passports, no long check-in lines, no security searches necessary or needed…simply turn the pages of the book. Traveling vicariously definitely has its benefits too.


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