To be happy do the realities of our life have to mesh with the expectations we have?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Happiness depends on ourselves. Aristotle

I’ve been listening to Tony Robbins, and he tells us he knows what makes us unhappy and what makes us happy. He tells us we are unhappy when the life story (blueprint) we have for ourselves doesn’t mesh with the reality of our lives. When our life is far different from what we expected it to be, we are not happy.

We have two choices, we can change our expectations, or we can change our life. Sometimes we have to make huge adjustments in our life and change our expectations because the reality is the dream we had for ourselves is never going to happen.

We may look at people who have huge accomplishments but still aren’t happy, and we see people with seemingly small achievements that are very happy. One strategy to find happiness is to continually improve and to see progress in our lives. He tells us we may need post-traumatic growth. We need to grow through adversity, and when we do we will realize we are stronger than we thought we were. We can deal with more than we thought we could and we know we can deal with what lies ahead.

How easy is it to manage our expectations? One of the problems we have is our expectations of other people, but we don’t have any control over other people. The person we get to change is ourselves but often we want to change others. If they would just… then we would be happy. If other people have to change for us to be happy, chances are we will never be happy. We have to accept others as they are, but we don’t have to let them have control of our lives, we can give up our expectations for them to be different than what they are, and accept them as they are, just as they need to accept us as we are.

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama

It all sounds so easy when we are listening to someone talk about some of the biggest challenges in life. What if people are really not doing what they should be doing? That is still their business and not ours. What if they are living in our house? We can live with them and love it, we can live with them and hate it, we can leave, or they can leave, but what we can’t do is make them change to be what we think they should be.

If we expect less of others and more of ourselves it seems better than the reverse. We can change the way we look at things, we can change the practices in our lives, and we can change the groups we belong to. We may find when we leave people be, to make their own decisions and lead their own lives they figure things out.

We may be unhappy that we haven’t reached our goals, but maybe that goal isn’t part of our destiny. Maybe adversity is part of what we have to go through to become who we are to become. We might not like the adversity, but we might like knowing we could get through the hard parts of life, and know we can meet the challenges in the future.

Is it true when we change the way we look at things the things we look at change?

For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever. Lev Grossman

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt

One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness: simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. George Sand

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the purchase price through the Amazon affiliate program.

The truth will set us free, but first, we must figure out what is truth, my truth, your truth, or the truth.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Honesty is often very hard. The truth is often painful. But the freedom it can bring is worth the trying. Fred Rogers

Life is about growth, which means as long as we are living we are continuing to grow. Not all growth is good, cancer is growing. I’m wondering as I write this if ideas are sometimes good like normal growth and sometimes bad like cancer. We don’t all agree on what are good ideas and what ideas we might consider cancer.

I was listening to Joyce Meyer and she looked at her audience and said, “There’s two of us.” Then went on to explain the two sides of ourselves constantly fighting for supremacy. One is selfish, short-sighted, mean-spirited, and out for ourselves. The other is kind, generous, open-hearted, and good.

Where does self-interest come into this? What if we put someone else’s self-interest first to the detriment of our own, is that still good? What if we are trying to make amends for the past by putting someone else’s children’s interests ahead of our own children? What if we build up resentment in our children by trying to atone for sins they never committed? Are we still building a better society?

Fair seems to be a double-edged sword, because what is fair? How do we make it fair for people who never had the advantages other people have had? Is this even something we should try and do? People have risen from very humble beginnings and others have fallen from great heights. When we set up competitions we can try and make them as fair as possible but we can never make up for the advantages or disadvantages people got at birth, and sometimes people turn what looked like a disadvantage into an advantage, and what looks like advantages sometimes don’t end up to be advantageous at all.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde

When I look at my beautiful grandson I envision a future for him, but I don’t know what that future will be. I have to be careful I don’t look only at the negative or only at the positive of what can be. What would make our society better for our children than what we have built? Are we so sure we know how to make it better?

We do have to take steps into the unknown as we deal with the challenges we face. We should try and make the world better but let’s not think that isn’t what our ancestors were trying to do, and what they built is an accomplishment, even if it isn’t perfect. No one will look back on our time and think we were perfect either. Most people are doing the best they know how to do, when they know better they will do better. Getting better at anything is a forward-and-back struggle that will look like a stock market chart over time, moving ever upward but with deep downturns in its midst.

Unintended consequences come out of our good intentions and good sometimes comes out of what was meant for evil. Mom repeats James Truslow Adams’ quote often, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us.”

It is easy to say but not easy to live. How can others not see what we see, it’s so obvious, and they are looking at us thinking the same thing, how are we not seeing what they are seeing? We can fight almost to the death to make our point and still never see the other person’s point of view. How do we see someone else’s point of view when ours is so right?

I say to my husband all the time, “The truth is the truth, but his truth and my truth aren’t the same.” I think we have some inconvenient truths we have to deal with, but others think that is only your opinion, and your opinion is not better than my opinion. Even truths that seem incontrovertible to some are up for dispute. We live in interesting times, and I sometimes wonder what historians will make of this.

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Unknown

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe. Andy Rooney

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate link.

Words have power, how we use them is a big responsibility.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our words have creative power. With our words, we can speak blessings over our future or we can speak negative things over our future. Joel Osteen

Does our tongue get us into trouble, not just with other people but with ourselves as well? Do we tell ourselves we’ll never be able to accomplish this, overcome that, or rise above circumstances beyond our control?

We might not be able to stop the thoughts that come into our mind but what if verbalizing them is the problem? What if they are without form and substance until we speak them? What would our speech look like if we only talked about the things we want to come to pass? If we get what we focus on and what we focus on is what we speak about, then maybe talking about being fit instead of fat might make a difference.

We know encouraging words work better than discouraging words with our children. In Toastmasters we give twice as much positive feedback as negative, it is not good to only tell people how great they are, we also want to give them feedback to help them improve so they can develop into better speakers.

We may have to work on how to encourage people to better themselves. If we are willing to work on it for others, are we also willing to work on it for ourselves? If we give life to things by speaking them, we must be careful about what we say. Joel Osteen tells us in, “The Power of I Am” we must not just think good thoughts, but we must declare them. If we think we are strong and healthy it is one thing, but to say it gives it power.

Don’t ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs. Unknown

We don’t have to declare things to others, but it sounds like we must be willing to speak about what we want, and what we expect. It might make a big difference in our lives if we are saying, “Now that I’m getting older, aches and pains are coming.” Not every older person gets aches and pains. What if when we get one we can think this isn’t right, what is causing it, and work to eliminate the cause instead of saying oh well what can I expect at sixty-five, seventy, or eighty-five?

I think one of the secrets to Mom’s health is she hasn’t talked much about aches and pains, and when she’s had them she’s worked to eliminate the cause, not accepted it as something that comes with age. We will die, but what if we can die young at a ripe old age? What if youthful thinking and acting are more important than a number, and our thinking, speaking, and actions can make it so?

What if we are all more powerful than we think we are? Like everything, there is a downside to this. We might in our hubris think of someone unfortunate in whatever circumstances, that if they thought better thoughts, and said better words it would be better for them. Perhaps this is where judge not, lest ye be judged comes into play.

We are often disappointed when we have expectations of others and even ourselves. If we hold ourselves to a standard we can’t meet we will deal with disappointment and if we hold others to standards they can’t meet they will disappoint us as well. We are our own control board we can watch the words we speak, but not the words others speak. We can control our own actions but not the actions of others.  

What if for today I only speak about what I want to happen in my life, the lives of others, and the world? What if thinking before I speak is one of the best changes I can make in my life?

Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well. Robin Sharma

Your words have the power to hurt, to heal, open minds, open hearts and change the world. Never forget the responsibility you have over the words you speak. Steven Aitchison

Words have a magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the greatest despair. Sigmund Freud

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back again and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Friends are jewels in the crown of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. Muhammad Ali

Dinner out with friends the other night was a lot of fun. We need to keep our friendships even when we are almost too busy for friends. Friends are good for our health; they prevent isolation and loneliness and increase our self-confidence and self-worth. They help us through times of trauma.

We can’t choose our family, but we can choose our friends. We might meet friends at classes we take, or groups we belong to. We might remain close with childhood friends or people we’ve worked with. If we can make new friends throughout our lives we will enjoy a better life.

People come and go in our lives and we have to be okay with that. We may see people a couple of times a year or even less, but these interactions even if infrequent are making deposits into our emotional bank account. When we are kind and grateful we make deposits into our emotional bank account. If we are critical and negative we are making withdrawals. Too many withdrawals without many deposits can leave us emotionally overdrawn and may leave us eventually emotionally bankrupt.

To have a good friend we must be good friends. We need to be good listeners and we need to accept people how they are, and where they are, even if we are encouraging them in the changes they want to make in their lives. We have different levels of closeness with friends than acquaintances, but acquaintances can become close friends. Being a part of friendly inclusive groups adds to our well-being even if we don’t see the members outside of the group.

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. Elisabeth Foley

We can make new friends and reconnect with old friends throughout our lives. It does take effort to maintain and build friendships, but the more comfortable we get meeting new people the easier it becomes. One of the places I meet new people is through Toastmasters. The gym is also a place to meet people but only if I take the classes. Lifting weights and using the cardio machines doesn’t lead to any interactions, but the classes lead to chats at the beginning and end of classes, and meeting every week can lead to friendships.

When we join a faith community we can make friends or we can interact with very few people depending on whether we get involved in special activities and events. If we keep to ourselves people will leave us alone, but if we seem friendly they will reciprocate. We have to be approachable and we need to approach others to build friendships.

Even if we have a wide circle of friends we have different degrees of friendship with each of them. As we go through life our circumstances change and so will some of our friendships. Some friendships are short and some might last a lifetime but all are important and bring something special to our lives.

Are we treasuring our friendships, nurturing, maintaining them, and building new friendships as we go through life?

Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation. Oscar Wilde

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend time with them, and it will change your life. Amy Poehler

True friends aren’t the ones who make your problems disappear. They are the ones who won’t disappear when you’re facing problems. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Changing our minds is the power within us to change our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Change your thoughts and you change your world. Norman Vincent Peale

How long do we need to wait until we see results? When do we see the results of what we are doing? When do we see the results of what we are planting? It is taking so long to realize our dreams, or did we quit dreaming a long time ago? Are we not reaching goals because we haven’t set them? My husband and I have set a goal to go to England in 2024.

We sometimes want to do things and that is our goal, “wanting to do things, not doing things.” I wonder if this is what I have done with the trip to Europe I’ve been thinking about since High School. I still think of it as a trip to Europe, not a specific country, or a group of countries, that starts at one point and ends at another.

How many of us have done this with our lives? We want success but it is hazy and off into the future, with no definition. If we haven’t defined what success would be in our lives how can we get it? If we are honest with ourselves haven’t we gotten what we’ve aimed at, what we specifically wanted and went after? Sometimes when we’ve gotten what we thought we wanted, we found we didn’t want it after all. We divorced people we at one time said we couldn’t live without. We leave professions we worked hard to get into. We sell our dream home.

The power to change your life lies in the simplest of steps. Steve Maraboli

When we were young we thought if we made the kind of money we are making now, we’d be rich. Many of us are rich; we don’t recognize it as rich, because to be rich, we have to have more than anyone else. Because of the society, we have built we can go anywhere we want to if we can pay the fare. We don’t need to own our own boat, plane, or even automobile. We go to the grocery store and food from around the world is at our fingertips. We didn’t have to plant it, tend it, or harvest it and yet we can put it in our basket and take it home.

Growing up we heated our house with wood and cooked with wood. How easy it is to turn the burner on and have instant heat. To make a cup of coffee in the morning was a big deal growing up. Mom had to start the fire before she could boil the water to make the coffee. Mom and Dad had to milk the cows before we had cream. They had to raise and kill the pig before curing the bacon, raise the chickens, gather the eggs, grow the wheat, harvest it, and bake the bread before a bacon and eggs breakfast could be made.  

There was a degree of self-sufficiency most of us don’t have anymore, but there was also a great deal of work. My post gets out to you with very little effort on my part. I put it out into the world and how it finds its way to those who read it is a miracle of technology and innovation. There is no way I could do it by myself.

How often do we hear someone lament, or lament ourselves we’re just a cog in a wheel? We can look at that negatively or positively a wheel with just one cog broken is a broken wheel. The regular person has never had a life so good with everything we have at our fingertips. Most of us are not locked into specific jobs or professions except by our own choosing.

How much better could our life be if we made a conscious choice to make it better? If we treated people the way we want to be treated what would that look like? Do we need to treat ourselves better? We make sure our dog doesn’t get a grape or chocolate because it isn’t good for her and yet don’t we sometimes fill ourselves up on things we know aren’t good for us?

What if the thoughts we think are where we hurt ourselves the most? Could it be that if we think better thoughts we have a better life even if nothing on the outside changes?

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein

Change your thinking. Change your life! Your thoughts create your reality. Practice positive thinking. Act the way you want to be, and soon you will be the way you act. Les Brown

Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that buys and reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Building character, building our lives and making things better where we are inside our circle of influence.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The place to begin building any relationship is inside ourselves, inside our circle of influence, our own character. Stephen Covey

How much time do we spend worrying about things we can’t change or will never happen? For sure we need to be able to deal with things when they happen and some of the things we have to deal with are what we’ve never worried about. Because we’ve never worried about them we don’t know what they are until they come upon us and we deal with them the best we can.

Some of us worry about the things we don’t need to worry about so much we ruin the good things we have in our life. Are we making the most of the present – the gift that is given to us each day? With a seven-month-old grandson, we are more aware of each day because watching him grow and change is a daily experience. It is more noticeable when he is seven months old but the present is a gift every day of our lives.

Some day we won’t be able to have coffee with the person we’ll share a coffee with today because circumstances change and things we take for granted are no longer there to be enjoyed, or taken for granted. One day my daughter, her husband, and their son will move and we won’t see them every day. If we are lucky and they don’t move too far away visits will be often. We don’t know how things will unfold and need to enjoy these golden moments while they are here.

I’m not sure I realized the magnitude of my decision to leave home at seventeen. If I had, maybe I wouldn’t have had the courage to go. Maybe I would have stayed in the same province or a closer one. My life would be completely different. We need to make the best of where we are. People are mostly the same wherever we go; how we treat them impacts how they treat us.

In order to live a fulfilled life, do not focus on the size of your audience; focus instead on leaving an impact on the circle of influence God has given you. Rosalie Mugidde Wamambe

I say this not because I am widely traveled or because my circle is so large, but because I believe we all want the same things in life. We want to love and be loved, we want to be appreciated, we want to contribute, and we want to live in peace and plenty.

I am guilty of feeling the government isn’t making the right decisions when I have no idea what the right decision would be. The people who have to make the tough decisions can go from hero to zero and back again. We can spend our time nitpicking about everything, or we can focus on the big picture, but most of what we should focus on is what we can do where we are, within our little or big circle of influence.

If we can’t figure out how to have peace in our families, how do we think we can figure out how to have peace in the world? If we can’t figure out the economy of our family’s budget how do we think we could figure out how to run the budget of a city, province, or country?

It isn’t easy to stay in our circle of influence. The more questions I ask the fewer answers I have.

No matter how old we become, we can acquire knowledge and use it. We can gather wisdom and profit from it. We can grow and progress and improve and, in the process, strengthen the lives of those within our circle of influence. Gordon B. Hinckley

The Genius Pattern = Thy will be done with my talents with my circles of influence with the opportunities that are laid out in front of me to bless the world. Robert G. Allen

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. T. Scott Fitzgerald

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those that read my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

What is the correct perspective when looking at life?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the door of perception. Aldous Huxley

In art, in order to draw something correctly we have to have the right perspective. In life, we also need the right perspective but life does not come with a set of guides like the perspective in art does. If you place your lines on a perspective grid your drawing will be in perspective.

What is the perspective grid we can use for life? Inflation is rearing its ugly head, everyone wants higher wages, and public unions are striking, what is the answer?

We are worried about the environment, and people are the ones causing the damage but we want more people to keep our economy going, what is the correct answer?

By worrying about the things I can’t change I am not focusing on what I can change. I’m going back to the gym, which I can do for my health and well-being. I’m working on my fourth book, my second children’s book and this is where perspective comes in as I figure out the proper perspective for this current painting.

Our Grandson is seven months old and we don’t have control of the world he’ll grow to inherit but we have some control over helping him develop into a fine young man with the strength to deal with the time he lives in.

I have a birthday coming and there was a time when I liked seeing the numbers go up but not so much anymore. This is my one go-around as it is for each of us. We have to make the best of what we have, our relationships, our opportunities, our finances, and our health. As times get more challenging, and we are all hoping they won’t, one way to make things harder for ourselves is when our relationships break down. If life is hard now as a family, won’t it be harder if we let the strain from outside break us?

Is there anything more beautiful than watching families get through things together, and anything more wretched than seeing people wreck their lives as they ruin their relationships? Sometimes it seems when we need others the most we find a way to cause strife, we want to lash out, but we still have to live lives we watch crash and burn.

Reject your sense of injury and injury itself disappears. Marcus Aurelius

We may be in for belt-tightening, but studies tell us that populations sometimes get healthier during times of belt-tightening. I could have left the ice cream and chips at the store yesterday, I could even have managed without the chicken that was on sale, and I could have made the chili without the meat.

The world isn’t fair, it’s never been fair. As my daughter holds her beautiful boy she hears about friends who have health concerns about their unborn baby. If we can make the best of what we have, in the time we are in, and leave the world in a good state for coming generations we should do it.

We all have a small part to play in that, we can’t do what we can’t do, and worrying about what we can’t do isn’t helpful. But, what can we do? When we look around our circle of influence how can we build up our family without tearing someone else’s down? What can we do to keep society moving forward in a good way for coming generations? What can we do to help foster trust in institutions so our society works?

What virtues and values can we teach our children and grandchildren to help them take their place in the world? One of the worst ideas we can believe is that we are near the end of society, the world, or civilization; because when we take that view we give up and think we no longer have to take the long view. If I get to almost one hundred like Mom, I want the next decades to be good. They can only be good for me if they are good for everyone else.

If our grandson lives in good times so will other people’s children and grandchildren. If he has opportunities so will other children. We need to do the best we can for the coming generations. We need a sustainable world. We don’t agree on what that will look like. Farmers have always known the land had to be looked after in order to grow crops year after year, and the same land couldn’t be used for the same crop every year.

I don’t know what it will take to have a sustainable world. Some of the greatest minds are working on this and we won’t always go in the right direction or make the right decision because we are human. But human ingenuity is a great thing, it has brought us to where we are and if each of us tries to make things better in our own sphere of influence we can accomplish great things. We can also choose to make things worse and how bad they can get we don’t know.

Perfection is the enemy of the good. We sometimes get disillusioned because things aren’t better than they are. What is our yardstick? Better than what, at least what we have is better than the chaos we could have. Maybe we can’t make things much better but we need to be careful we don’t make them worse. Do we even know what decisions will make something better, and what will make something worse?

Do we have the right perspective? It seems we only can see how things work out looking back and we make our decisions going forward. Hindsight is twenty-twenty but can we continue to develop foresight? Hasn’t much of the progress of the world been forward-looking?

You will always define events in a manner which will validate your agreement with reality. Steve Marboli

To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions. Stephen R. Covey

What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events affect us. Rabin Alameddine

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thanks to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate link.

It takes perseverance, guts, and determination to get through the hard things in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It always seems impossible until it is done. Nelson Mandela

Last night at the gym I listened to an audible book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. He founded businesses in the Dot Com era, a tough time for new startups – when confidence was low and money was tight. It isn’t a book only for those who want to start their own business. Starting and running a business isn’t easy even if it is only a small business, nor is building a family an easy enterprise, and family is more fragile than business.

We watched Julia Roberts and George Cluny in their latest movie the other night. She keeps talking about the big mistake in her life that George Cluny takes as marrying him, and her daughter sometimes takes as having her. Finally, in one scene Julia Roberts admits her big mistake was giving up on her marriage because she thought she was losing herself and would never accomplish her goals if she stayed in the marriage. Now with a grown daughter, that has just graduated from university, and a career in the art world that may or may not be as satisfying as she thought it would be, she realizes she gave up on what would have been the best part of her life, her marriage.

Ben Horowitz in, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” knows he isn’t always putting his family first and he also knows that it is the most important thing to him. His father said to him one day, “Do you know what is cheap? Flowers. Do you know what is expensive? Divorce.”

A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn. Helen Keller

We can’t always keep from failing at business, marriage, and life, but we can be the one that does our best until the end. We can say we won’t be the one that gives up on… We will have to accept someone else’s choice but we don’t have to let giving up be our choice. Many men are bitter because their wives gave up on their marriage and asked for a divorce. The men, I think, feel they were so busy fighting to keep the wolf from the door, to build a life for their wives and children that maybe their wives felt neglected. But, couldn’t she see what they were doing they were doing for the family? How would any of us feel if we’ve given our lives in the service of those we love, not philandering, not gambling the life savings, drinking or using drugs, but in the trenches working often at hard and difficult jobs to provide for our families? We would likely feel unappreciated and bitter.

It is never good to let ourselves get bitter, it is understandable how some succumb to this, but if we can get better and not bitter isn’t this winning at the game of life? There will always be hard things to face in life. Hard things don’t seem to be distributed evenly; some people face harder things in life than others. Whatever is ours to face we must face, and if we can do it with as much courage as we can muster, and persevere through hard times as we get to better times, we will likely feel good about the life we’ve lived. It might not be a particularly happy life, but there is something to be said for living an honorable life. If we can look at ourselves in the mirror and know even though we’ve had missteps and failures, and not always made the best choices, we did the best we could with what we had, and when we knew better, we did better. Isn’t that the definition of a good life worthy of the effort to persevere?

It’s always too soon to quit. Norman Vincent Peale

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich

Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end. Roy T. Bennett

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day, filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Thank you to those that read my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

New experiences, old celebrations. Seeing things through the eyes of a child helps us see old things as if they are new again.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Look at everything as though you are seeing it for the first time, with eyes of a child, fresh with wonder. Joseph Cornell

Today is Halloween and at Toastmasters last Thursday I learned for some new immigrants that came to Canada as children, Halloween was the celebration they felt they could fit in with everyone else. They too could have a costume and trick or treat without differences being front and center.

One of the things we most want in life is to belong. We celebrate differently and have different celebrations but these sometimes divide us instead of bringing us together. When our sports teams are doing well we rally around them all hoping for victory and feeling oneness as we are joined in supporting our team.

On Friday, my husband and I attended a cross-cultural, cross-religion wedding/nikah. It was a wonderful celebration for a couple starting their journey as a married couple. One of the beautiful ceremonies was the bride’s father placed a green belt around the bride’s waist signifying she must prepare for her new life.

One of the reasons we have celebrations around life transitions is to help us prepare for the change in our life. Weddings, births, and deaths are significant transitions where life will never be the same again. We are happy to share our joy and need to share our sorrow to get through the transitions of life.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tonight my daughter and I will take her son out for his first Halloween. We won’t get candy (what does a six-month-old need candy for), but we will be out in the hustle and bustle enjoying the fun. I was the one that took the kids out trick or treating and it was the end of a happy tradition when they were past trick-and-treating age. Often my daughter’s friends came with us; one year some of the friends thought it would be more fun on their own, so off they went, soon returning when they realized they had more fun in our little group.  

Now it is time for new traditions as our grandson experiences each new celebration. We will take out our Cock-a-poo, Lulu, this evening. We used to be out trick or treating accompanied by our Scottie, Krypto. Life changes and we have to change with it. It won’t be long before our grandson won’t still be trick and treating, or he won’t live close enough to us to see him at Halloween, especially when it is on a weeknight. He’ll be dressed as a lion cub tonight, the first of many costumes he’ll wear over the years. This is the year of firsts, and we are enjoying each new thing as he experiences them. We can’t see things as he sees them, but watching him helps us to see things a little differently, and enjoy the small things in life we take for granted.

Having children obviously changes your priorities, but when you start to see life through these innocent eyes and seeing everything for the first time, you appreciate the small things. Nick Cannon

Things are revealed through the memories we have of them. Remembering a thing means seeing it only then for the first time. Cesare Pavese

Sometimes all it takes is a little hand reaching for yours to remind you that these are, without a doubt, the best years of your life. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Other people’s business may seem more interesting than our own, but we are still better off minding our own.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

My mom taught me a lot. A lot about minding your own business and leaving other people’s business alone. And let them think what they want. Ray Charles

Are we meddlers, do we just need to get in there and fix things that aren’t our business, and yet we leave things that are our business unfixed? I hate to admit it but I fall into this category. I just want to make sure everything works out for everyone, but people can and should make their own plans, and make sure their schedules don’t clash. What am I doing in the middle?

If this person shows up at this place at the same time as another person, there will be a clash, and we don’t want that to happen. But, if we aren’t part of the proceedings maybe we should stay out of it. We tell ourselves that, but it is hard to stay out of other people’s business. We think a little advice here, a point of interest there. I found a cute little quote. “Hey, I found your nose. It was in my business again.”

Do we have our business in such order that we can mind someone else’s business? Wouldn’t that energy be better looking after our own business? How far does letting people look after their own business go? Where does helping those who need help, sometimes when they don’t want our help come into play?

What is the point where our business stops and someone else’s begins as a family, society, country, and world? What would my life look like if I really minded my own business in the extreme sense?

When we try to help the homeless aren’t we minding their business? When we try to help addicts? When we get into abortion debates, isn’t that someone else’s business? What if we took extreme ownership of our own lives and left others to take extreme ownership of theirs? Would our society be better, or worse?

This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been. Glendon Doyle

Another cute little quote, “Don’t worry about what I’m doing. Worry about why you’re worried about what I’m doing.” It’s a good question, why are we so worried about what other people are doing? Are we complicating what should be a simple life by getting into other people’s business?

Are we doing our best to live the best life we can with dignity, honesty, truth, and gratitude for what we have and not envying others for what they have? If we are keeping our relationships as free from drama as we can, making sure we can look after our own affairs as long as possible, isn’t that a worthy goal? We can’t fix other people’s problems and often our help is not wanted, appreciated, or accepted. If we look after our life and deal with our problems when they are as small as possible we may impact other people’s lives in a good way because at least our problems don’t get inflicted on them.

Mom has done well to stay out of everyone’s business. She offers advice if asked and listens when we want to talk, and has minded her own business so she is not a burden on anyone. I try, but I don’t think I mind my business and stay out of other people’s business as well as Mom and Dad did.

Taking extreme ownership of their lives was what earlier generations had to do. If they didn’t make something happen in their lives no one else was going to do it. We can learn a lot from earlier generations, from reading books of wisdom and taking a long view of where our decisions are taking us.

Do we find other people’s business more interesting than our own?

One never gets a second chance to make a first impression, but remember first impression is not the last chance to make a good impression. Unknown

The biggest fool is the one who minds the business of others rather than minding his very own. Unknown

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business. Eric Hoffer

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more, have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Good Reads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.