Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Happiness is a direction, not a place. Sydney J. Harris
Another season is officially here. Whether we had an eventful or uneventful season it is just a memory. Another season presents itself for us to make the most of, enjoy, make memories, and experience life. I have to make plans to get out and enjoy nature with those I love.
As I bring my current project to a close my husband looks at me, “Then what?”
“I start another one,” I cheerfully reply. I do need to understand my immersion in my projects may seem like I am excluding others. I’ve missed a few lunches to get more painting in. When I set my goals a couple of weeks ago I cut down what I thought I could accomplish because in the midst of writing and art there are other aspects of life to enjoy, relationships to nurture, and experiences to be had.
All work and no play make us dull girls. We have to watch once we have an accomplishment that makes us feel good under our belt, we don’t just chase after that feeling again to the detriment of other parts of our lives.
How much time spent doing our own thing is too much? How much is too little? Sometimes I think I’m a slow learner and maybe this comes from being self-taught through books. I have so many books on art that tell me to paint a series. I’ve always struggled with what a series would be about, now I have a subject, a dog, and his family to paint over and over again, as new adventures arise.
The same goes with “Showing and not telling” in my writing. I received an email from Jerry Jenkins, yes, that Jerry Jenkins, the author of the “Left Behind” series. I signed up for his newsletter and he sends me emails with my name at the top. I know the same email goes to thousands if not hundreds of thousands or even more writers but still my name is at the top and he gives good advice. He’s offering a course. I don’t have time right now, or is that an excuse. Regardless, I’m passing up the opportunity to take his course because I have to get my own writing out.
Through the internet, we can have mentors we will never meet, who give us advice. We can read books from people long dead. We can read the books of wisdom from every culture and religion. We don’t have time to read everything. The opportunities to create a life we love have never been easier. Relationships with real people have never been harder. It is as easy to get into the negative side of the internet as the positive. The negative side may suck us in as we start to think about the negativity, the wrongs that have been done, the greed, the ignorance, and how badly people have treated other people throughout the world and in our own countries.
Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them. Steve Marboli
I don’t think we should wear the wrongs done by our group or the injustices done to our group as if they are our own. We can’t atone for what was done; we can’t make right what was wrong. We all need to build a life where we are, with what we have, and make the best of it. We need to love those close to us and realize they are not perfect, we are not perfect, but we are here.
We sometimes think life would be so much better when… When we find someone to love, when we have a baby, when we start a business, when we retire, when we win millions… No matter what happens in our life, in about six months that is now our reality we take for granted, and we will be no happier than we were before, the author of “Stumbling on Happiness” tells us.
That’s a sobering thought. If everything we can dream of won’t make us happier than we are now, then don’t we need to be happy where we are and if we get what we want, be happy then as well?
Mom always tells me, “There’s no point worrying.” What will be, will be. Can we live with the realities of life making the best of where we are? Can we live by the motto “Don’t worry and be happy?”
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo
Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur every day than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom. Benjamin Franklin
A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness. Bernard de Fontenelle
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