Time waits for no one. Is there something we need to do; is there a better time to start than now?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Make the most of yourself, for that, is all there is of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday evening five of us went to see Abba Revisited. It was a fun evening listening to songs that have been part of the soundtrack of our lives. Before the show, we were shopping for outfits to wear and we were talking to the sales lady in one of the stores about seeing Abba Revisited, she was adamant she wouldn’t want to see a tribute band, only the real Abba. As a “real” Abba fan she would probably have enjoyed the concert immensely.

It was a fun evening and one of our group informed us he doesn’t pass up invitations anymore. He’s realized that now is all we have and he’s making the most of it by fitting as much into life as he can.

No matter what we do in the next five years those five years will be gone whether we did anything with it or not. It’s one of the gifts of getting older, we realize we don’t have that much time, we never did, but now we realize it. That trip to Europe, the pyramids, the wonders of the world, we should plan it now, because we don’t know what the future has in store.

Hurricane Hazel McCallion, Mississauga’s Mayor until her nineties died at 101. She was a force to be reckoned with and even if not everyone agreed with her vision at least she had one for Mississauga. We need leadership that isn’t afraid to lead, and that was Mayor McCallion.

Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Saint Francis of Assisi

Life is about growth, in our lives, our families, our communities, and the world. I came to Mississauga in 1976, two years after Mississauga became a city, and have seen it grow and develop into Canada’s sixth-largest city.

It’s hard to believe all this time has passed but when we look at our children, grandchild, and the mirror we know it has. The torch is being passed, sometimes to us, but often to our children. We are becoming the older generation, it happened so fast, but we still have time to do some of the things we’ve always wanted to do if we start now.

We can think what if we did… twenty years ago, but if we didn’t what if in twenty years we can say, wow I’m so glad I started twenty years ago. We can’t go back and change things, but we can look back and think about what we’d change if we could, and if it’s still possible to change it now.

Maybe we can heal a breach that like a festering wound hasn’t healed. Is there a long-lost dream we could bring to life? A talent we want to develop, a skill we want to learn, something we want to build? We won’t know what something can be if we don’t try.

This blog turns five in July. It’s a small thing that brings me joy, something I almost didn’t bother doing, because what would I say, finding something to say has never been a problem. It is like I stumbled upon something I was meant to do, and by being willing to do it, my horizons have widened, and a bigger view of life is before me. We have to grow into a bigger life; we have to become who we want to be, by taking risks and figuring out each step along the way.

Five years ago I wouldn’t have thought my fourth book would be close to being self-published. I could have looked for a publisher but decided instead to take things into my own hands and do what I could to put my work out into the world. Maybe a publisher will find my work one day and want to bring it to a larger audience. Who knows what the future holds, what is in my control is my output, and that is what I focus on.

We have a limited amount of energy, and a limited amount of time to do what we are to do. We may wonder why bother, who cares? We care; we need to develop ourselves so we know who we can be by making the most of ourselves. It isn’t about fame or fortune although that could come, if we don’t do what is in us to do we will never know what could have been.

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life. Jean Shinoda Bolen

Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else. Judy Garland

It is so important to take time for yourself and find clarity. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Diane von Furstenberg

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.

Embrace the little things, things are always changing, and gains and losses are part of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later. Bob Golf

Our first big snowfall of the season came yesterday and my husband and I shoveled the snow. He keeps asking if we should get a snow blower and I keep wondering if we really need one. It will be one more thing to navigate around in the garage. We don’t get that many snowfalls in a season, and they are expensive.

Some people have heart attacks shoveling snow, which is a point to consider. Right now I get out and shovel too, but if we get a snow blower does it become a one-person job and resentment build because it’s all on them and not a shared responsibility anymore?

I enjoy shoveling snow, a little bit. I hurt my knee last year shoveling snow so last night I was careful, and today I’m grateful my knee feels great. When it’s a nice night and everything is covered in new snow it’s peaceful to be outside bonding over shoveling if it isn’t overwhelming, and the plows don’t come and fill up the driveway when we are almost finished. They did come by last night but they didn’t fill in the entry to the driveway we’d just cleared.

When we have someone to share our burdens with even if it is only something like shoveling the driveway it is much nicer than if we have no one to share it with. Many people are shoveling their driveway alone this year, or perhaps they had to move and no longer have a driveway to shovel.

The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings. Kakuzo Okakura

Someday we will no longer shovel our driveway, but while we have a driveway and can share in the shoveling I am grateful. A child was enjoying the snow, and we could hear shrieks of delight. Soon our grandson will be out there enjoying the snow.  He’s growing up so fast and beginning to get into things, the wires hanging from my computer fascinate him but he has to learn to leave them alone, and we have to be vigilant that he does.

Watching him develop is so much fun, but we have to become aware of hidden dangers. There is so much for a curious boy to get into, and he is getting busier and busier. We thought we were busy before our grandson came into our life but what a welcome bundle of energy. Watching him experience new things is a joy, and he doesn’t pretend he likes things he doesn’t like.

He’s almost ten months old and what a time this has been. Life will never be the same again and who would want it to be? We can never go back, only forward. Sometimes forward is something we are looking forward to, and sometimes it is something we aren’t looking forward to but we have to face whatever is in our future. The more we can embrace change the better our life will unfold.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou

Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous in the end. Robin Sharma

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. Gail Sheehy

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.

Don’t worry, be happy. Worry only steals our joy it doesn’t change anything.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Worry is a prayer for something you don’t want. Sharon Gannon

Don’t worry, be happy! When we worry we don’t change any of the things we worry about, we just steal the joy we have about what is going right in our lives. When something happens is it time enough to deal with what is going on?

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look after things in our life, because if we look after them maybe we won’t worry about them. Perhaps the antidote to worry is preparation if we are prepared we don’t need to worry and if we aren’t prepared worry doesn’t do any good, the only good worry does is to nudge us to look after something that needs looking after.

If we are worrying about something we need to do, change, address, adjust, or in some way look after then worrying isn’t the problem, it’s our inaction to deal with what must be done that is the problem. But, if we’ve looked after everything and done the best we can what is the point of worrying about what we can’t change? The storm that might be coming, the power that might go out, the economic downturn, inflation, deflation, the bear market, the bull market, or the price of gold.

Are we in sync with the seasons, planting in the spring and reaping in the fall? Are we in sync with our season of life? Have we made peace with the fact that our life will come to an end? We may as well, it is, and worrying about it won’t change a thing, but enjoying our life and making the best of it is what we can do.

If our sister is in the hospital will worrying do anything? No, but a phone call might help, or maybe a prayer. When something happens in the family it is time to gather around, even if we are far away to offer support, to be with them in spirit if not in person.

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. Charles Spurgeon

Loss and change are part of life, sometimes we get a wake-up call, and sometimes we just get a call that things have changed forever. Whatever is happening in our lives if we deal with what is, instead of worrying about what might be, because there will be time to deal with whatever if it happens. If we worry about what might happen we will miss the blessings of the day.

I read a little story the other night, a wife worries and frets that a burglar will break into her house and one night her husband hears a noise, and when he checks, there is a burglar in their house. He says, “Please come up and meet my wife she’s been expecting you for ten years.”

It’s a silly little story but do we get the things we worry about we do not want? Would we rather be right than happy? When the bad things come we’ve worried about do we somehow feel vindicated? See, I knew it all along.

We can harness our worries if they are about things we can control. We can become more diligent about looking after areas of our life we’ve neglected so we no longer need to worry about them. Instead of worrying we may be prodded to take productive action. What if we are living one of the prayers we used to pray, whether a negative or a positive one?

Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change. Prayer is a conversation you have with God about things he can change.

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present. Lao Tzu

You are currently living at least one of the prayers you used to pray. Aaron Will

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.

Facing our fears, gaining courage and confidence to face what needs to be faced.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear we’ve all felt it, and our fears have probably held us back. If we let it, fear will steal our destiny. Is it reasonable or unreasonable to have fears? It makes sense to fear what we don’t understand, to approach with caution, but to let it keep us from our goals, or keep us from making goals, does that make sense?

I think there is healthy fear and unhealthy fear. Healthy fear might keep us safe but if taken too far it becomes unhealthy fear. Every unreasonable fear probably has its roots in reasonable fear.

We are controlled because of fear, and we control others with fear. Do we sometimes want to teach people to respect things but instead we teach them to fear them? Franklin Roosevelt said, “The one thing we must fear is fear itself, for indeed if we allow it to, it will control us. If we confront it, we will master it.”

It has been said, “A wise bird knows that a scarecrow is simply an advertisement. It announces that some very juicy and delicious fruits are to be had for the picking. There are scarecrows in all the best gardens.” If we are wise perhaps we will treat scarecrows as if they are an invitation. If something makes us feel too small to achieve something – that is a scarecrow – letting us know beyond our fear is something we want, and worth going after.

We may have rational fears or irrational fears. If we all have a fear we call it rational, but if it is a strange fear we don’t share, we laugh at it.

Here are some strange fears: Chaetophobia is the fear of hairy people. Levophobia is the fear of objects on the left side of the body, dextrophobia is the fear of objects on the right side of the body, and auroraphobia is the fear of the northern lights.

I’ve never thought it would take courage to look at the northern lights. Some people who’ve never seen a stage they didn’t like will wonder about one of many people’s biggest fears, public speaking.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear. Franklin D. Roosevelt

We are all different and we might all have unique fears that hold us back. What if we looked our fear in the face and said, “You’re not going to control me, I will do what I have to do.” Courage isn’t not feeling fear; courage is facing our fears and going forward anyway.

Sometimes one of our biggest fears is facing what is in front of us. This might be why we get cold feet before we do something we really want to do. We hear about people being left at the altar. It happened on the day of my husband’s and my wedding.

Two couples were getting married earlier the same day, in the same church, in a double ceremony, and one of the grooms didn’t show up. The bride whose fiancé didn’t show up was still a witness for the couple that did get married. The minister was very glad to see me when I arrived.

I’ve often wondered about the groom that didn’t show up, did he make the best, or worst decision of his life that day? Was it fear or something else, if it was something else couldn’t he have let the bride know ahead of time?

We let fear control us in many ways. We don’t decide what we want for fear we might make a mistake. We dawdle along so we don’t have to take the next step. We don’t face up to situations how they really are, we don’t step on the scale, we don’t go see the doctor, and we don’t take a close look at our finances.

We don’t confront the problem that most needs confronted in our lives. If we do finally confront that problem we often find we can manage it, if we will face it and take the steps needed. Then we may wonder why it took us so long, it isn’t as hard as we thought it would be, and life is so much better when we get our fears in perspective.

Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier. Eleanor Roosevelt

All daring and courage, all iron endurance of misfortune make for a finer, nobler type of manhood. Theodore Roosevelt

Every time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing. Theodore Roosevelt

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.

Reach out and touch someone. Encourage someone, by helping others we might help ourselves.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

Today is Blue Monday, the third Monday after New Year’s. We might be looking in the mirror and we still don’t look like we want to look. What if we never look like the fantasy we have in our minds? What if we need to learn to love ourselves, warts and all? That doesn’t mean we can’t improve, but the closer we hold the magnifying glass to ourselves the more imperfections we will see. Do we need to stand further from the mirror and magnifying glass? What if we are healthy and attractive for our age and stage in life, we can do what we want, we can be a blessing to our family, and we can live a good, long, and healthy life?

What if we work as hard as we can, we get some success, but it is never the fame and fortune we dreamed of? We can retire comfortably, live wherever we want, take vacations with our family, and see the sights of the world. We don’t have to be rich to do these things, we may have to manage our money well which is of course what we should have done all of our lives, and how some people have become rich.

Most of us live pretty rich lives if we think about it. We can afford to buy some of the finest mattresses so we too can sleep like millionaires and even billionaires. We can afford transportation that takes us where we want to go, perhaps our transportation is not as lavish, but it gets us there. If we stand on the same beach or mountain top, in the end, does it matter if one trip was first class and the other economy? Sometimes more fun is had at the family/economy resort than at the more expensive resort.

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson

Does fun come with a price tag? We can put one on it and say – that’s not for us. Being part of a group is fun but we often think I can’t join a group, it’s only for serious… We should join groups because we meet like-minded people who also struggle to call themselves… When we have hobbies, interests, or aspirations we can feel alone in our pursuit of them. Being part of a group helps us to realize everyone struggles, it is part of growth, but we are no longer alone in our struggle.

I gave a test speech for a Toastmaster’s contest yesterday, which means the contestants had to evaluate a speech and I gave the speech they evaluated. My daughter said, “On a Sunday, I would have said no.” On Saturday I went to my writer’s group, and my family said, “Why is it always on Saturday, I wouldn’t go.”

If everything we want to do needs to be convenient we will never do it. Life isn’t about convenience, it’s about getting involved, being a part of something greater than ourselves, being encouraged, and encouraging others.

If today is Blue Monday for any of us, maybe we need to look at our life, see what’s missing, and see how we could add something to our life. Joining a group or volunteering with like-minded people might be an excellent place to start. An animal shelter might need a dog walker, food banks might need volunteers, or other organizations might be looking for members or volunteers. Sometimes when we want something we need to find a way to give. Give a compliment to someone, encourage someone, or call someone we haven’t spoken to in a while. If we reach out and touch someone, and make a difference to someone, we might find we make a difference to ourselves.

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. Vince Lombardy

Working together, tiny stars light the universe. That’s the power of teamwork. Unknown

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming. Goethe

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.

Finding our purpose, saying yes to life, and finding some way to make things better.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to make things better. Robert F. Kennedy

Henry Ward Beecher learned early in life not to listen to the word no. He was reciting his work when the teacher said, “No.” He continued on a couple of times but finally sat down. When another child did the same thing but finished reciting his work the teacher said, “Very good.”

Henry went to the teacher and said, “I recited just as he did.” The teacher replied, “It is not enough to know your lesson, you must be sure. When you allowed me to stop you, it meant that you were uncertain. If the entire world says, “No” it is your business to say “Yes” and prove it.”

We hear “No” a lot.

“You’re too young.”

“You’re too old.”

“You don’t have the education.”

“You don’t have the experience.”

“You’ll never make money doing that.”

If everyone stopped at the first “No” we wouldn’t have the life we have, the society we have, or the opportunities we have. There is lots of advice out there and some of it we should listen to, some of it we should ignore, and we have to figure out which is which. Is it better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all? Sometimes we will have to figure out what is success and what is a failure. Is it a failure if we can’t live off the sales of our books, or is it a success if we have written books?

If we want to do something different, we will have to be okay with being different. We might end up seeming odd as we listen to the beat of our own drum. We can’t be all things to all people if we are going to be true to ourselves. Everyone will not approve of us, what we believe, or what we do, and we will have to be okay with this.

Anything and everything you have experienced has been purposeful; it has brought you to where you are now. Iyanla Vanzant

The most important person we need to be okay with is us. The next thing we have to be okay with is the price we must pay to get what we want, and there is always a price. If we want to accomplish something often we do it outside of the hours when we do the work that keeps body and soul together. We might have to give up watching TV while we work on our passion. Maybe we give up socializing with friends, and sleeping late, but something in our life will have to give if we are to make room for something else.

Any of us that are parents know that children take up room in our lives, but they grow up fast, we get that time back, and it is our choice what we do with it. Many of the most productive years of our lives might be the years when many are retired. I’m reading Joyce Meyer’s, “The Confident Woman,” when she wrote it she was 62 and not planning on retirement. Now she is turning eighty and still going strong. What an example of not listening to the “No’s” she got in life.

What if we asked the question, “What could we do if we put everything we had into it and didn’t quit?” When Joyce Meyer started her ministry she didn’t know where it would go. She was faithful to the task she felt was before her.

If we have something we think we should do, then we should do it. We don’t know where it will take us, but we’ll never know if we don’t try. What if each of us can do some small thing to make our society and the world better? What if we have an inkling of what that is, and just have to follow our heart, intuition, or the calling of a higher power?

Each of us is born for a purpose, and we want our lives to matter. I don’t think it’s unique to only some of us; it’s a longing of every human being. Garrett Gravesen

We all want deep, purposeful, and meaningful relationships. We all want love, joy, bliss, and fulfillment… The miracle is that we can all have it! All we need to do is overcome our fears and dare to seek our goals. Jack Canfield

Dig deep enough in every heart and you’ll find it: a longing for meaning, a quest for purpose. As surely as a child breathes, he will someday wonder, what is the purpose of my life? Max Lucado

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, 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.

Gratitude for our imperfect lives, and finding the good in every situation will nurture our souls.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears. Tony Robbins

Be grateful for our imperfect marriage. I read this the other day in an article by Laura Doyle. What, why do I want to be grateful for an imperfect marriage? Because that is the only kind we will ever have. Everything in our life will be more imperfect than perfect. We might be able to take a photograph that makes life look perfect but behind that photograph is the messy reality of life.

We can’t cook a meal without making a mess in the kitchen. Life is messy, routine, and punctuated by bits of excitement. If we live too exciting of a life, it is chaotic and dangerous.

When we have an imperfect marriage we have someone to talk to in the morning, go for coffee or sit across the table at dinner. How many people wish they could share a meal with their imperfect spouse once they are gone? So if we still have our spouse we should hold them tight and be grateful they are part of our life even if they are sometimes curmudgeonly.

When we can be grateful for our messy, disorganized, and sometimes chaotic lives we can make changes to make them better. Gratitude will help us feel better, relish our experiences, improve our health, deal with challenges, and build strong relationships.

We may think admitting we have an imperfect life, relationship, or children is bad, but what does pretending we can’t improve anything get us, and can we really improve on perfection? No, we can’t improve on perfection, and most of us want life to be better in some way.

Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is. Mandy Hale

Even if we grew a good garden last year we have plans to grow a better one this year. Most of us plan to improve something in our lives, even in small or big ways.

If we can appreciate every good thing in our lives will it help us lead fuller and better lives? If we are thankful for the small things will we be grateful for the bigger things that come our way in life?

What if gratitude is actually choosing to be happier because when we choose to be grateful we also choose to look on the bright side of life? This might be what Wayne Dyer meant when he said, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

If it is true when we choose gratitude we choose happiness, does it mean when we choose ingratitude we are choosing unhappiness? Is this why happiness is a choice?

True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” Oprah Winfrey

Instead of thinking, “I will be happy when, try thinking, I will be happy now.” Unknown

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. Harold Kushner

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 program.

Living the good life. What does success look like?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. Napoleon Hill

What does a successful life look like to us? Do we think public success is more important than private success?

When an opportunity comes our way are we saying yes, or are we hanging back thinking we are not ready? Do we feel we have to be shameless self-promoters or someone that hides our light under a bushel? Is there a part of us that wants to be pushed into the limelight without appearing to seek it ourselves? I am not talking about the myriad of people who what to sell us something, although their courses might help us they also might not. I feel if someone has a course to offer me on how to write a best-selling book if they really knew how to do it they’d be writing the best-selling book instead of trying to teach me how to do it.

We don’t know what will happen in our lives, what we will have to face, and what opportunities will present themselves. What we do have control of is the books we read, the thoughts we think, and the actions we take. It may take a lot of time to create a masterpiece, but time will go by whether we create it or not. The biggest masterpiece should be the life we build, the relationships we have, and the legacy we leave behind. The legacy includes our children and what we have done to make the world better for future generations.

I’ve always wondered about people who poked fun at one-hit wonders like getting one big hit is easy or something to make fun of, and the people poking fun have no hits. We often think who do we think we are to think we could do… Who do we think we are to hide our gifts, waste our gifts, or never bother to use our gifts? Years ago many people built their lives using what they had, their works of art were useful, furniture, quilts, clothing, houses, gardens, and fields of grain.

Now when we think of creativity we often think of writing, art, singing, and playing an instrument. The art of living and creating is everywhere, when I went to school we had Industrial Arts, and Home Economics because those were arts needed to build a good life and added value to people’s lives and to society.

The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself. Gilbert K. Chesterton

It seems to me we don’t appreciate the arts of living well, we encourage everyone to have higher education so they can work eighty hours a week, and make good money, but what is left to build a good life with? If our identity gets too wrapped up in a job, and something happens to the job where does that leave us? If there are too many people competing for good jobs and we can’t get one we deem good enough, where does that leave us? If looking after and raising our own children is not a worthwhile endeavor where does that leave us?

Creating a happy home is worthwhile, providing nutritious food and raising healthy children is worthwhile, and building a safe society is worthwhile. Writing a book in the evenings instead of reading to our children might not be the best use of our time. We only get a few short years when reading to our children is important, taking them to the park, and getting them involved in sports. Those years pass quickly and the relationship we built with our children lasts a lifetime.

Being a creative mother and father is creating a life for our children and raising them to be the best people they can be. When that is accomplished we have time for personal creative pursuits, and nothing we do in life is as important as raising the next generation.

We need to find balance in our lives and part of a great life is creating something for the next generation. If we are lucky we will live longer than our working days and what do we have when we quit working if that has always been the priority in our lives?

The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family. Lee Iacocca

Any success you achieve at the expense of your family is not real success. Dave Willis

True wealth, success, and happiness can only be achieved by balancing our business life and the duty we have to our self and to our family. Joseph C. Kunz Jr.

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 everyone that leaves 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.

Happy New Year! What will we write in the book of 2023?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2023! What will this year be like we might be asking? It will be like every other year good for some; happy for some, there will be ups and downs, heartbreak and disappointment, breakthroughs and discoveries. But, we want to know what it will be like for us. We will meet some goals and miss some goals, we will plant in the spring and if we tend what we plant we will reap in the fall. Spring will follow winter, and fall will follow summer and we’ll be back to winter again.

But, what will happen in the world? There will be wars, and rumors of wars, life will be easy for some and hard for some, some will be born and some will die. If we just had our last best year would we really want to know that? If we knew for sure something we enjoyed was truly behind us and we would never experience it again would we want to know that? Is it better to not know so we can dream, plan, and set goals even if we never reach them?

Isn’t it nice to think this could be the year… the year a breach is healed, the year our health or the health of someone we love gets better? The year milestones are reached, the year we make memories that will warm our hearts forever. A year of family closeness, a year of personal growth, and a year of choosing what is important to us.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Steve Jobs

A beautiful new year spreads before us and it will be what it will be, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of input into how it unfolds for us, but we aren’t in control of everything we need to ride the waves of life. There will always be some lemons so keep the lemon squeezer handy, but also be ready to celebrate the big and little moments coming.

Now is an excellent time to think about what we want more of in our lives, what changes should we make, and what adventures should we bring into our lives. Do we wish we were on a beach at the start of this New Year or some other exotic locale? How could we make that happen for the next New Year?

Do we wish we could say we’ve read some great books? How could we make it so we can say that this time next year? A few pages a day will get us through any book in a year? Is this the year we want to master something, face a fear, or pursue a dream? Is this the year we need to stick to what we started and continue keeping on? Is this the year we have to face the hardest thing we will ever have to face and be strong for those also facing it?

This is our year what do we need to do to make the most of it?

When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends. Barbara Bush

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. Aristotle

Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 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.

Happy New Year and may an attitude of gratitude accompany us throughout the year.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. Henry Ward Beecher

This is my last post for 2022. It is time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. Last year I chose a word for the year and I chose grateful. It has been a wonderful year with our circle enlarging, our grandson joining our family, our son getting married, and we have continued to live in health amongst peace and plenty.

I added to my list of self-published books, and I look forward to publishing more in 2023. It is time to make goals but many things we want in life we aren’t in control of. Everything has its season and if our goal is something that is not yet in its season then we might feel let down by life.

If we are grateful for what we have, grateful things aren’t worse when things don’t go our way, and grateful for the good in other people’s lives then we may find joy and contentment. The word I am choosing to focus on in 2023 will be gratitude.

What is the difference between grateful and gratitude? Some say gratitude is to joy what grateful is to happiness. Joy is a state of being, a choosing to “be” regardless of circumstances; whereas happiness and being grateful can come and go based on situations and circumstances. If this is the difference then last year by choosing grateful I chose happiness which can be fleeting, and this year by choosing gratitude I choose joy, a state of being.

Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life. Jack Canfield

Being grateful is followed by a “thank you” while gratitude is a constant state of being. Gratitude and gratefulness are reflections of each other that create ripples of happiness when embraced. I found this on a website by Official Miss Val.

We must consistently choose the right thinking, right words, and right actions. It is not what we choose to do one time that will make a big difference in our lives. It is consistently making the right choice that pays dividends. If we can embrace the attitude that we will never tire of doing what is right, this will also mean we must forgive ourselves and others when we slip up, which we will because we are human.

We may struggle to be grateful, and think we should be more grateful than we are. We know we have a lot to be grateful for but … Maybe we need to ask for help to cultivate our attitude of gratitude. The Bible in James 4:2 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask.”

Gratitude creates the most wonderful feeling. It can resolve disputes. It can strengthen friendships. And it makes us better men and women. Gordon B. Hinckley

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. William Arthur Ward

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 who read my books and a special thank you to those who 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.