The compound effect is working in your life. Is it working for you or against you?

The compound effect is working in our life. Is it working against us or for us?

Small, smart choices + consistency + time = radical difference. Darren Hardy

Tonight our Toastmasters Theme is “Looking Forward” where do we see ourselves in five years. It’s a good question and as I am the one introducing the speakers I had to give an answer to be used in my introduction.

In five years I would like to be a Grandma, have more novels published, and have a line of children’s books written, illustrated, and published. I’m beginning to make audacious goals, for too many years I wasn’t willing to commit to any goals at all. What I’ve finally started doing is tracking my progress. In “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, he says decisions shape our destiny and the effects of our decisions compound.

We’ve all heard if we set aside a little money in our youth and watch it grow through compound interest it will outgrow larger savings at an older age. Our habits compound, if we eat 100 calories more than we burn off every day of our life it will compound into something we aren’t likely to be happy with. If we instead do a little exercise every day of our life that will compound to something we will be happy with.

It seems in life there is no standing still. Although I have a plant in my house that looks like it defies that principle. It has been with me for over thirty years and somehow it never seems to grow. It is growing just enough to keep living and because of its slow growth, it hasn’t outgrown my house.

Since going the route of an Indie Author I’m not waiting for a publisher to tell me if I will be published, or the sales weren’t good enough on my first book so they won’t publish my subsequent books. All I need to do is produce the work, make it as good as I can, and put it out into the world. Where it goes once it is in the world isn’t up to me, at least not entirely.

It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds of thousands or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. Darren Hardy

This blog has been going for over two years and its reach has grown but not to anything huge. But, I’ve never had one day where no one read anything on my blog, and to me, that’s quite a big thing. The biggest fear starting out was will anyone read this? I’ve noticed the compounding effect of views over the two years. My monthly views are higher over time. Often we want to see results quicker and slow and steady isn’t good enough. Slow and steady will take us places we can’t imagine if we keep it up.

Remember the experiment with the glass of water where we keep doubling the amount of water and the glass is only half full when the next time it doubles it is full to overflowing. This is one of the reasons we get disheartened when we are watching the small imperceptible growth of one drop becoming two drops, and two drops becoming four until eventually, one half becomes full. Often we give up before we started seeing results thinking it will never become anything at this rate, but because we quit we don’t know what it could have become.

Most bloggers I am told quit at around nine months and after nine months for most people, it hasn’t grown into that much. If we are trying to make a quick buck blogging or writing it is not the way to do it. Most people would make more money working part-time at Wal-Mart than they will from writing their first book. If they keep at it the magic starts to happen and they may end up with something that working at Wal-Mart part-time could never achieve.

Too often we sabotage ourselves by not getting what we want to do, done. We talk ourselves out of it because it’s easier not to do it and we don’t have to risk failure. But, we can’t risk success if we aren’t willing to face failure. Those who do well in life often get the attitude to fail bigger, fail better.

Life is funny and now that I am here at this stage in my life I am realizing I am a late bloomer. It is very satisfying to be here. My children are grown and taking their place so my writing does not take away time and attention from them. I think having an interest is good for my marriage. It’s certainly good for me.

We can rest assured the compound effect is working in our lives. Is it working in a way we are happy with?

The complete formula for getting lucky: Preparation (personal growth) + attitude (belief mindset) + opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + action (doing something about it) = luck. Darren Hardy

A daily routine built on good habits and discipline separates the most successful among us from everyone else. A routine is exceptionally powerful. Darren Hardy

The real cost of a four-dollar-a-day coffee habit over 20 years is $51,833.79. That’s the power of The Compound Effect. Darren Hardy

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The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success Hardcover – Sept. 15 2020

by Darren Hardy (Author)4.7 out of 5 stars 1,135 ratings

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Change is always coming. We need to adapt, regroup, and know if we need to hold on or let go.

We need to adapt, regroup, and know if we need to hold on or let go. Change is always coming.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change. Unknown

Waiting for change can be painful an advertisement says, as a violin is played very badly. The change can be music to your ears it says, as a beautiful violin piece is then played.

Many times in our lives we are waiting for better and we don’t know how we will handle getting from here to there. How many of us had awful nausea in pregnancy – that got better and produced our children which will produce our grandchildren.

How many awful jobs got better or were replaced and a better life was built, sometimes because we said we are never doing that again. We will not live like that. A horrible early life is jet-fuel for some people as they make sure they aren’t living the life they grew up in and nor will their children.

Sometimes we are going through tough parts of our life that we need to get through and we don’t know how things will look on the other side. We might not even know if there is another side, or if our life will have to be completely transformed. My mother always tells me, “There’s no use worrying about it.” She’s right, what does worrying today about what we’ll have to face tomorrow do except ruin today. Tomorrow, whatever it is will be there tomorrow and we will have to face it.

Today is all we have and if today is good we should enjoy it. Today is the day we can laugh with our children, if they are young we can read them a story or sing them a song, take them to a park, roll in the leaves, laugh and be joyful. If they aren’t young we can sit around a table and eat dinner and talk, go for a walk and talk, or call them on the phone and talk. Talking is a big part of connecting with people but not all people are talkers. Some people connect with the shoulder to shoulder connection of doing something together.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Henry Ellis

Building loving families is one of the things we can do regardless of what is going on in the wider world. We don’t need good circumstances to build loving families and good communities.  We don’t need to live through easy times. When we go through the tough times in life we may pull together more and make more of an effort to make sure there is something for everyone, and that everyone is included.

Robert Schuller always said, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” We need to be tough people and we need to let other people be tough people. They need to make their own decisions and carve their own path. It is not wrong for people to look after their own interests, in fact, it is required and if we don’t look after our own interests we can’t have a good life. It is not right to think anyone else will or should put our interests first.

When we have a family and we think of the family first it is usually good for everyone in the family. We can’t control our families we need to let them grow and develop and take their place in the world. We need to grow and develop so we are not left empty when they are ready to go out into the world.

Do we know when to hold on and when to let go?

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t. Steve Maraboli

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it. Alyson Noel

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Denis Waitley

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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Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching, and Life Paperback – Jan. 11 2016

by Marilee Adams Ph.D. (Author), Marshall Goldsmith (Foreword)4.5 out of 5 stars 260 ratings

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Duplessis Orphans a story everyone should know. Money was the root of this evil.

Money was the root of this evil. Duplessis Orphans a story everyone should know.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

God see’s all, so we don’t have to be the ones to judge. Sister Augustine

I finished reading the book club pick early this month. What a choice, “The Home for Unwanted Girls” by Joanna Goodman. This is a story about a little known dark part of Canadian history. In 1955 when it was more profitable to look after children with mental challenges, orphanages had a “Change of Vocation” and became mental institutions.

Truth is stranger than fiction and fiction is the lie that tells a truth. I have found out disturbing truths about what has gone on in the world through fiction that I didn’t glean out of history books, newspapers, and magazine articles.

I found a magazine article by Conrad Black written for The National Post on June 30, 2016, about this dark period. “The chief characteristic of this era has been the same personnel teaching the same curriculum and caring for the hospitalized in the same edifices at 10 and then 20 times the cost to the taxpayers.”

Forgiveness is not easy. By design, it’s not meant to be easy. If it were, it would have little meaning. Yet, it’s one of the greatest gifts in this world that we can give to one another, and ourselves. Sister Augustine

Everything he says in that excerpt is true from what I can ascertain, but just like fiction is the lie that tells a truth, sometimes it seems we can use the truth to tell a lie. It isn’t even a lie of omission. It minimizes it to only a financial misdemeanor. This is how history is whitewashed so we don’t know what, “The same personnel teaching the same curriculum and caring for the hospitalized” means. It is such an innocuous sentence that doesn’t tell the story at all how children cared for as orphans on March 17, 1955, were cared for as idiots, mentally deficient, and retarded children on March 18, 1955. Mental patients were moved into what were formally orphanages, and orphans were moved into mental institutions. The biggest thing it doesn’t say is that they didn’t teach orphans and look after mental patients in the same facility. Everyone was now a mental patient.

How many innocuous sentences do we read in history books that don’t tell the whole story? To be fair it is not possible to tell the whole story, every person’s side of the story, and have everyone happy with what was said. This story however from what I can glean is so horrific it was easier to believe they were just taking extra money to care for orphans, but the orphans were still cared for, educated, and given the best life afforded by the circumstances, and the reason for it was because the Federal Government paid more for the care of mentally challenged children in asylums than orphans in orphanages.

The horror comes when we realize they deliberately misdiagnosed normal children as profoundly mentally deficient to do this.

If we were put in a mental facility and our medical diagnosis said we needed to be there, how could we prove we didn’t?

Man’s inhumanity to man is not the last word. The truth lies deeper. It is economic slavery, the savage struggle for a crumb, that has converted mankind into wolves and sheep. Alexander Berkman

Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn? Robert Burns

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Albert Einstein

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The Home for Unwanted Girls: The heart-wrenching, gripping story of a mother-daughter bond that could not be broken – inspired by true events Paperback – April 17 2018

by Joanna Goodman (Author)4.7 out of 5 stars 714 ratings

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Facing death enriching life. Facing our fears means we can trust the process of life.

Facing our fears means we can trust the process of life. Facing death enriching life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It is not length of life, but depth of life. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are we okay with facing death, and through that acceptance enriching our lives? In the past, some people kept a skull on their desks to remind them that they too, will die. Is this the most horrible thought or one, if we kept at the forefront of our life would help us live it differently?

We are told in the bible 1 Corinthians, “Death, where art thou sting? Aleteia, a Nun in her blog says she got a little ceramic skull she keeps on her desk as a memento mori, the Latin phrase for “Remember you will die.” She says it is changing her life. For her, the skull reminds her that her life will end, and her goal is heaven.

We may not like to think about it, but it is the end for all of us. I met someone a few years ago whose grandmother had cancer and wasn’t expected to have long to live. Every night she cleaned her house so if she died in the night her house would be clean. She lived for six years, and said, “It takes a long time to die.” Did she live those six years more fully, or was she just waiting to die? I wasn’t wise enough to ask that important question.

We don’t know how long we have on earth. We know we have today, and we should make it count. Are we healing rifts in our families? Are we encouraging people in their lives?

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. Leonardo do Vinci

There are hard truths in life and if we accept them and build our life with them it will make it a better life.

Life is hard, not always but sometimes. We need to be grateful for everything in our lives. Life is fleeting, beauty is fleeting, and relationships are fleeting.

Each one of us is not that important.

We are not in control. Suffering is the fear we are not in control. If we accept we are not in control it means we can learn how to trust the process of life.

We are going to die. If we don’t embrace death then we fear it and that fear stops us from living our life. We will die but we have today and however more tomorrows we have. If we embrace death maybe we will live a better life?

Where would we go?

Who would we forgive?

What would we create?

In the 15th and 16th centuries, ivory skulls were all the rage. Some believe this was not so much a response to the fragility of life, but rather the comforts that people were feeling, and a way of saying, “Don’t get too caught up in the ways in which your life is better than what your grandparents experienced.” They might have been getting distracted from faith and moral duties by luxury goods and treasures instead of remembering the fragility of life.

The more life changes the more it stays the same. Is that where we are now? Are we getting caught up in luxury goods? A skull is also a symbol we are all equal. The rich skull doesn’t look different from a poor skull, and we will all become skulls in the end.

Underneath everything, we are naked and afraid. We clothe our nakedness to give us confidence and we wear luxury goods to make ourselves feel important and to make other people feel we are important. Underneath we are all the same, and we are all ending up in the same place.

We will all be equally dead. We have choices to make while we are alive, what will they be?

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. Kahlil Gibran

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. Marcus Aurelius

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. Marie Curie

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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Jordan B. Peterson (Author, Narrator), Norman Doidge MD – foreword (Author), Random House Canada (Publisher)

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

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Becoming better not bitter. Rolling with the punches life throws at us.

Rolling with the punches life throws at us. Becoming better not bitter.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is about change, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Caroline Manzo

Picking the tomatoes feels like the beginning of settling in for winter. Winter is one of the forces that shape our lives. If we like squirrels gather enough to get through and have seeds to plant the next year we like the squirrels are successful.

Is this going to be the winter of our discontent? We don’t know what the future holds but as I listened to a sermon from Church of the Rock out of Winnipeg the Pastor told us we must live life for the long haul. We don’t know when we will be free of mask-wearing and what if it is required for longer than we think. We must figure out how to go about our business so we still have businesses. We must live our lives. So many couples have postponed weddings this year, but is it really prudent to wait until…

Too many things in our lives can wait until… Until they never happen. We’ve all thought of doing things we didn’t do. Some of the things we didn’t do might be good, but we see other people doing what we thought of, but never implemented.

We always have to make the best of our situation even if we would like it to be different. When I look over my Mother’s life I think what a time to have lived through. Her parents would have gotten married just after the Spanish Flue of 1919, then came the crash of 1929, the dirty thirties, and the Second World War. It was a rough start for that generation but they built their lives. My generation has lived in relative ease, peace, and plenty.

We may be going through the defining moments of our time. We need to do what we can to help others but what we most need to do is help ourselves to live good lives. We don’t know if we are at the beginning, the end, or the end of the beginning. What we do know is even though we have some problems in our society, it is a good society. It is easier to tear things down than it is to build them up. This is true of our health, businesses, communities, cities, and countries.

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. Elizabeth Edwards

We have a lot to be thankful for. Not giving up is how the greatest generation and their parents lived from 1914 to 1945. For anyone living through that time, it had to seem like one thing after another. None of us know what is in our future, but we have to do our best with what we have.

Last night on Sixty Minutes, an Architect became blind after an operation to remove a brain tumor. What is a blind Architect to do? The Social Worker came in 24 hours after it was confirmed his loss of sight was total and permanent to talk about career options.

He has found a way to work as a blind Architect. He found a printing company that could emboss the plans so he can feel the lines. He uses a crayon that leaves a raised line to make changes. He says he can feel the spaces he used to see. He is working to help design buildings that are assessable to the blind. Blind people are totally dependent on public transportation and they need to be able to navigate through the maze we sighted people get confused in. He has worked on projects like these. He sees the possibilities in his life he didn’t see before. He said, “If his sight was restored he doesn’t think it would actually make his life better now.”

Maybe that is the question. What does make life better? Maybe learning to roll with the punches that life throws at us and turn them into something good is what makes life better. Learning and growing through challenges whatever they are might be what makes life better. What if we embrace challenges as opportunities for growth?

What if everything we are going through now makes us better as a people, society, country, and world?

When something goes wrong in your life, just yell, “Plot Twist!” and move on. Unknown

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. Lou Holtz

Always believe something wonderful is going to happen. Even with all the ups and downs, never take a day for granted. Smile, cherish the little things and don’t forget to hug the ones you love. Brigitte Nicole

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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Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Paperback – Illustrated, Dec 26 2007

by Carol S. Dweck (Author)

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition


Choices and commitment. Are we committed to our choices?

Are we committed to our choices? Choices and commitment.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

He who has a  why to live for can bear almost any how. Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes in life one thing happens and another thing happens and we feel like what we are trying to do will never become reality. This is where commitment comes in. If we are committed to our goal, path, dream, family, career, we play whack-a-mole when we have to. We change things but we keep moving forward. This is what commitment is, if we are derailed too easily then maybe it was a wish and a hope but not something we were committed too.

When we plunk our money down to buy a house or property we are usually committed to getting through whatever challenges it takes for the house or property to finally be ours. We will jump through the hoops to make sure the financing goes through. We will get another lawyer; find the insurance company that will ensure the house or property, we will search for the documents or get documents that prove income. Whatever is asked of us we will do because we are committed and the prize at the end is worth all the trouble it took getting there.

We will not be equally committed to everything in our lives. We need a hierarchy of commitments. Everything in our life is not equal and if we want to know what is on our hierarchy list we need to look at what we are spending our time doing?

We always have to make choices in our lives and when we look back on our lives it is colored by the choices we were committed to. Some people become rich because they were committed to the choices and decisions that led them to a wealthy life. Some people are fit because their choices led them there. Some people have a balanced life where they seem to have enough of everything.

Do we choose what kind of life we want to build?. At certain times in our lives, we feel we have no choices to make, we have to live with the choices already made. That is why when we face big choices like who to marry, what type of business, career, or job to pursue, and where to live we need to make good choices.

We always have choices to make. What we choose for dinner impacts our health. What we choose to listen to impacts our frame of mind. Who we spend time with impacts many things. Do we make our choices based on long term goals or short term goals? We might make a terrible choice in a moment that impacts ourselves and others, forever.

We sometimes make choices that impact our lives innocently believing it was just another Sunday, but it was the Sunday that changed our life. We have many of those kinds of days if we look back. The day we met our husband or wife was usually ordinary in many ways but it changed the course of our life. Did we choose to stay where we grew up or leave? Did we choose to buy a home or property and which home and what property impacted our lives? We don’t know where different choices would have taken us.

Commitment is a choice to give up other choices. Scott Stanley

There is no going back, even if we try and move back to our home town.  We aren’t going back to how it was before we left; it is a new choice going forward. We make choices that impact our lives every day. If we think about them too hard we may feel we should not make any choices. We get stuck. We need to have faith in ourselves, faith in those around us, and faith in our ability to deal with obstacles that get in our way. Sometimes we can only choose between two bad choices or two good choices and we have to make the best choice and live with the consequences. We have to have a commitment to the choice and make the best of it. Other times we can choose again.

We can be too committed to the wrong choice, and not committed enough to a good choice. We don’t always know which is which. Life is about making choices and then making the best of those choices. As Kenny Rogers said, “We need to know when to hold em, when to fold em, and when to run.” Knowing this can be one of the hardest things in life.

We won’t always make the best choice. We won’t always be committed to the right things. We won’t always give up on the wrong things when we should. Life will unfold how it does and some of it seems inevitable, like no matter which choice we make it will be the wrong one, or a bad one. Sometimes we can’t look too far ahead because it will frighten us too much. Sometimes we have to take the next small step and then the next one and eventually we can look forward, and we can look back to see how far we’ve come.

Choices and commitment will color our lives. In the end, our lives will be the sum total of what we have chosen and committed to. When we make our choices are we committed to them?

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Steve Jobs

Some say that our lives are defined by the sum of our choices. But, it isn’t really our choices that distinguish who we are. It’s our commitment to them. Emily Thorne

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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The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results Hardcover – Illustrated, April 1 2013

by Gary Keller (Author), Jay Papasan (Author)4.7 out of 5 stars 4,643 ratings


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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)

Being ready for winter, in our lives and relationships means open conversations about money, if we don’t want money to destroy our families.

Being ready for winter, means open conversations about money in our lives and relationships, if we don't want money to destroy our families.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Most stress is caused by three things: family, money, and family with no money.

Another beautiful week spreads before us. The leaves are turning. Nature in all her splendor is here to be enjoyed before the trees are bare. Unripe tomatoes are still on the vine. How much longer can I leave them there? The squirrels are busy getting ready for winter. There is always winter coming and we must prepare for it. Winter comes not just as a yearly season, but also comes in our lives, hearts, and relationships.

Will we be ready when winter comes should always be top of mind. Does anyone escape winter in their lives even if they escape it in their climate? When you grow up on a farm winter is a bigger thing than it is in the city. Winter in the city is annoying with icy roads but we go to the grocery store and almost the same array of vegetables and fruits are there for the buying. The farmer has to be ready for winter not just for the family, but for all the animals that live on the farm. An unprepared farmer will wreak havoc on the livestock and most might not make it to spring.

They say you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. This is true, we are who we are and where we grew up plays a huge role in that. Some of us may hate that our origins follow us, some of us love it. We are who we are and we need to embrace it, all of it. Whatever trials and tribulations we endured have colored our lives. Some of us have had relatively few trials and tribulations but our life is what it is.  It is ours to make the best of, to grow into the best people we can be. Can we live our lives as a blessing to ourselves and others?

You never suffer from a money problem, you always suffer from an idea problem. Robert H. Schuller

We are all contributing to the tapestry of life and we have choices going forward, we can’t change what is behind us. If we are proud of our past or not, it cannot be changed. There is dignity in going forward a better person regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past. There is dignity in being innocent of things we’ve been accused of. There is dignity in addressing wrongs we’ve done, making amends, and going forward better. There is no dignity in being guilty of doing wrong even if we are thought innocent.

We hear stories of people who were power of attorney for someone whose money seems to have disappeared. Upon closer inspection, it may be shown that the power of attorney did not squander the money or use it in any nefarious ways. It might have been invested at a lower rate than it was being spent at and the money was spent on who it should be spent on. If the books are opened the power of attorney may be exonerated, or maybe not.

Money causes a lot of problems in families. Dishonesty causes more. We can be dishonest in many ways. We can be dishonest by not dealing with the finances realistically and expecting they will outlast the person whose finances they are. Many of us put on a good show but if we revealed our finances to each other we might not be as proud of the cold hard facts. As parents age, these cold hard facts have to be faced. If one sibling thinks there is lots of money and another knows there is not, fingers might be unfairly pointed.

It might be best when a power of attorney has to be appointed to look after a parent’s affairs that everyone knows exactly what the situation is at that time. If we are open about the situation there will be fewer problems in the future. Inheritance, the expectation of an inheritance, and being disinherited cause real problems in families. Open, honest discussions and disclosure about money before someone dies sounds like the best way forward. Since we never know when we or anyone else will die we should be open about our finances with those who will be impacted. We should look after what needs to be looked after. We should be, but are we ready for winter?

Money is a tool. Used properly it makes something beautiful; used wrong, it makes a mess. Bradley Vinson

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Denis Waitley

A man can’t make a place for himself in the sun if he keeps taking refuge under the family tree. Helen Keller

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Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money by [Kevin O'Leary]

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Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money Kindle Edition

by Kevin O’Leary (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars    53 ratings

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition


Choosing how we spend our days is choosing how we spend our lives.

Choosing how we spend our lives is choosing how we spend our days.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. Annie Dillard

We always have to make choices about how we spend our time. It seems to me something has to be left undone or never started. We can, we are told organize our lives in such a way that we can get it all done. If we get up early enough, are organized enough we can read the books we should read, exercise to be fit and healthy, cook healthy meals, keep our homes spotless, spend quality time with our spouse and children, stay on top of current events and make ourselves look like supermodels every day.

Whew, I’m tired already. I gave up all that, a long time ago and settled for what I think is “Good enough.”  Perfection is the enemy of the good and we need to cut ourselves some slack. Some slack, but not too much slack, or our lives can fall into disarray. How do we walk the fine balance?

In the early years of raising kids, I had no time for reading except children’s books. Fortunately, some of the best books are children’s books. Who can forget “The Little Engine that Could?” How many of us when we hit a tough spot have found the words, “I think I can, I think I can” going through our mind? Who can read “I’ll Love You Forever” without tearing up? Didn’t we all relate to “The Velveteen Rabbit” as well-loved stuffed animals became embarrassingly threadbare and discolored?

We get through our children’s early years and then we are into dance lessons, hockey, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, karate, music lessons, and other activities that leave us with no time. Finally, our children grow up and we have a little breathing room for activities of our own. If we have something we want to do, now is the time to do it. We will still have to put things off to have time for things that seem more important. We will still have to choose how we spend our time. We will only make time to join a band, write a book, take a class, paint, go to the gym, or whatever we have dreamed of doing when we finally have time to do it if we carve out time for it. This is my time for…  and we stick to it.

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about. W.H. Auden

Many people tell me they want to write a book. They have a story to tell but they don’t want to hurt any feelings. I wonder if any of us can tell the “True” story. The “True” story has many sides and ours is only one of them. I believe in “The Lie that Tells a Truth” fictionalize your story and tell the truth but combine many stories into one for two reasons. If we don’t have to worry about getting the facts straight but instead can get to the heart of the story so people will understand what went on and how it impacted others we can tell the story by getting into the minds of the characters and showing their feelings and reactions. As we do this we may come away understanding the motivations or think we understand the motivations of those who may have hurt us intentionally or unintentionally. Many people, who hurt others, are hurt people themselves. In a novel, we can explore what made people into who they are and what changed them. We can redeem unredeemable characters; we can do the thing we wish we’d done.

The trickiest book to write would be an autobiography, where we are writing about our own life, and the second trickiest would be a biography where we are writing about someone else’s. Can we ever know anyone completely? Do we even know ourselves completely? Do we know the motivations that led to success or failure? What we leave out and what we include will color a story? How can someone’s niece, even a trained psychologist understand all the events that impacted someone? Would it have been better to have written a work of fiction where more could be said to understand someone? Something like, “Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham or Ayn Rand books.

If we have a story to tell, when are we going to start telling it?

There are thirty-two ways to write a story, and I’ve used every one, but there is only one plot – things are not as they seem. Jim Thompson

I believe in not quite knowing. A writer needs to be doubtful, questioning. I write out of curiosity and bewilderment… I’ve learned a lot I could not have if I were not a writer. William Trevor

We want to know more about people who fail. We care about people who are scared, who act foolishly, who are tricked by their vanity and trapped by their desires…. Flawed characters are the unforgettable ones. Susan Shaughnessy

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Lie That Tells a Truth Paperback – Aug. 10 2004

by John Dufresne (Author)4.3 out of 5 stars 38 ratings


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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)


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Variety is the spice of life. Are we working, playing, living life abundantly, and having fun?

Are we working, playing, living life abundantly and having fun? Variety is the spice of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Variety’s the very spice of life that gives it all its flavor. William Cowper

On Friday I had the pleasure of getting a call from a friend who read my book and said she liked it. She made my day and weekend. Mom received her copy and will read it again. I’m not sure how many drafts I’ve sent her but at least two. Finally, she is holding the finished product in her hand. It is a long way from a concept of anything to a finished product but if we keep going, working toward our goal we eventually get there.

I am amazed when I see some author’s body of work. They’ve been busy. I wonder how quickly I can build up my body of work. Sometimes I berate myself thinking why did it take me so long to get something finished. It takes as long as it takes. Some things are as much a testament to perseverance as anything else.

Part of life is showing up and doing the one thing that is important to us. We may think if we had nothing else to do we could pound on the keyboard and pump out a novel a month. Maybe we could, but living life while creating something is not without its blessings. Writing is a solitary endeavor and might take us from family and friends. Other work may bring us closer to family and friends.

My husband and I work together and we have had people in our office say, “How do you do it. I could never work with my wife.” I grew up in a family that worked together. Farming is all about working together.

It is nice to be able to get up from my writing desk and move to the office and do something completely different. It is good to have variety in our lives. When we have variety in our lives we see things from different angles. We put on a different hat and we have a new perspective. We are told variety is the spice of life, change is as good as a rest, and we know it is true. It may still be work when we go out to the garden but it refreshes us just the same.

Play energized us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities. Stuart Brown

We can have more than one project on the go and especially if they are different we love moving from one to the other. Some of the things we do seem more like play than work. This is how I think of painting and drawing. I love playing with color, shapes, light, and shadows.

We may think we don’t have time to play. Playing is childish but we give up playing at our peril. Do the happiest people have a playful quality about them?

Do we spend enough time playing, laughing, and having fun?

Playing allows us to develop alternatives to violence and despair; it helps us learn perseverance and gain optimism. Stuart Brown

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. Plato

In every real man, a child is hidden that wants to play. Friedrich Nietzsche

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)


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Books change us. They change us when we read them and they change us when we write them.

They change us when we read them and they change us when we write them. Books help us grow.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. Groucho Marx

Yesterday when I got in from lunch I listened to my messages and there was one from Mom saying she got my book. When I called her she said, “You forgot to sign it.” I thought about that but I had to have it delivered to me and then ship it to her so opted instead to ship directly to her. We cannot get the author’s copies right now in Canada. Normally we would buy the author’s copies, sign them, and then send them to people. Any copies we buy right now in Canada are full price from Amazon but with Amazon prime, it’s a good deal and we can have them shipped directly to who we want to receive them.

I am very grateful to be able to publish on Amazon. I am holding my book in my hand and Mom is holding it in her hand. It has been great getting feedback from Mom, she was my first reader, and as she looks at the book now thinks she wouldn’t recognize it.  Part of that is because I had five or so scenes per chapter but a famous author, James Patterson, uses very short chapters and I decided to try it myself. I like the result. My oldest brother read an early version and I can’t wait for feedback when he reads this one.

I’ve spent the last couple of days reading “Of Human Bondage” by W. Somerset Maugham and it is definitely worth the read. It was supposed to be completed by Tuesday which was our book club meeting held in a member’s back yard. We kept our distance in the fresh night air and had a lovely meeting but only one member completed the book. We discussed it anyway as the themes are universal and we gave ourselves an extra month to get through it. Two of us had watched a video of a review on YouTube and the impact it had on the reviewer’s life.

We’re all in the end-of-our-life book club, whether we acknowledge it or not; each book we read may well be the last, each conversation the final one. Will Schwalbe

One of the big themes is money and the importance it plays in our lives, not being rich but about how poverty crushes the spirit, and being a poor artist is not likely to seem worth it in the end. In the book, a nurse mentions that suicide is more often because of the reversal of fortune than anything else.

I laughed with Mom as I told her a bit about “Of Human Bondage” and how I am happy to be publishing my book now. I can write and if it makes money great, but if it doesn’t oh well, it’s not the end of the world. We’ve built a life, we’ve raised our kids and we will be okay if writing is a pastime and hobby instead of a gainful enterprise. It is freeing to know I can write what I want and people can read it or not, instead of trying to write for a market. Most writers probably can’t and shouldn’t give up their day job. Even authors we think are quite well known might not make enough to live off from year to year.

I’m with W. Somerset Maugham on the importance of money in our lives. It was never attractive to me to be a starving artist. This book stands the test of time and seems just as relevant now. This is the testament to a great book. He addresses themes that are part of the human condition for all time. It seems he wrote about his struggle to understand the meaning of life, how to make a living and building a life, love, relationships, passion and purpose, God, and living a moral life.

In the video “Of Human Bondage”, Larry Elder tells us that W. Somerset Maugham said he wasn’t that creative because he took from real life more than his imagination. He said we should never make little of our achievements because this was later used against him in reviews.

Today I hope to be able to go on Good reads and mark this book as read. Soon I will get an email telling me what our next book club pick is. Each book is a new experience and meeting with the Bookclub to discuss it is the icing on the cake.

If you’ve ever wondered if you should join a book club, I highly recommend it. Over the last twenty years of being in this book club it has added to my life in ways I can’t even count. We have discussed the importance of the book club in our lives. We all agree we get something from the book club we get nowhere else.

Are you ready to join a book club or start your own with a few people?

Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. Jim Rohn

In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you. Mortimer J. Adler

Of course, anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper. David Quammen

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

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Of Human Bondage Paperback – March 2 1999

by W. Somerset Maugham (Author), Gore Vidal (Introduction)4.3 out of 5 stars 539 ratings


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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)


 See all formats and editions