The challenges of life can make us better or bitter, is patience bitter, but its fruit is sweet?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Either your troubles make you better, or they make you bitter. We must always examine what’s going on in our hearts. T. D. Jakes

I’m looking at my garden and the squirrels are eating the beans. My neighbor’s beans look untouched from my vantage point. A duck has set up her nest in our backyard. We’d never seen a duck in our backyard until Saturday when she stood on the fence for a long time, yesterday the dog chased her, and then my husband noticed a nest. Our daughter is thinking how cute ducklings will be, and we are wondering how big of a headache is this going to be.

Nature in all its glory is around us and as we take over animal’s habitats they learn to live among us, to our delight and dread depending on the animal. Even in small gardens, we find surprises, a nest of bunnies, or a plant we bought that never bloomed, and when it does it is spectacular.

A red peony blooms in my garden. Years ago I bought peonies on sale and they didn’t do anything but stay alive. One that was struggling I moved and it is finally thriving and blooming huge red blooms. Our garden can disappoint us when we don’t get the expected blooms and delight us with the unexpected.

Our gardens teem with life and my grandson was excited to see earthworms. He loves the rabbits, birds, and squirrels. Watching him I think how much fun it was growing up on the farm, and how much he would have loved it. Is it my age or is it the personality he has that reminds me of a little farm boy with a shovel, rake or watering can in his hand?

He is quick to say, “I do it, I help you, and it’s your turn.”

We can worry about the things we cannot change, and listening to the news makes us wonder what kind of future a wonderful little boy or girl has. If we look back over the years there has always been something looming in the distance, some things materialized and some didn’t, but we have moved on as a society.

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. Aristotle

If we can continue to think life will be good for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren it is better than if we get disillusioned with the future. The future is coming and if we can face it with hope and optimism we will be better off than if we get disillusioned.

We don’t know what hard times we might face in our lives, we might not even know how hard they were until they are over and we look back and wonder how we managed. Our job is to deal with what is, keep life in perspective, and give our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the strength to know they can deal with what comes.

Life is a garden our thoughts are the seeds, we can plant flowers or we can plant weeds. Just like weeds will choke out what we want in our garden, negative thoughts can choke out what is good in our lives. When does negative thinking meet realism and realism meet optimism, and how do we keep a balance? Where we make a mistake in my opinion is when we focus on what we have no control over, and we don’t take control of what we can. 

When I listened to Mom talk about the hard times, some people made the best of what there was, and some made things worse than they had to be. Can we make what we control better, or do we let the things we can’t control make us bitter? It’s our choice, and no one gets to control everything in their lives, but we can control our attitude, and that is what will make the difference in whether we become bitter or better. Is it anger without action that makes us bitter?

Events in life will make you bitter or better. That one letter difference is up to you. A. Dodd

Bitterness is a result of clinging to negative experiences. It serves you no good and closes the door to your future. Leon Brown

You either get bitter or you get better. You either take what’s been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you. Josh Shipp

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If we think we can’t, we can’t, if we want to do anything we must move in the direction of our dreams.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. Gail Devers

Yesterday, I went to Value Village and looked through the books – if you buy four you get the fifth one free, and I had six books. As I looked through the books wondering which one to put back, I looked at the smallest book costing $1.79, so I thought, I’ll just take it too.

As I was cashing out the attendant took an interest in the books I was buying, but when he came to the smallest book, “The Ten Secrets of Abundant Wealth,” by Adam Jackson he said, “I wouldn’t read that.”

It seemed like an odd reaction to the little book, that might have something in it that would help a young man build a life. When I got home I took a good look at the book, wondering if he found something offensive in it as he perused the chapters. The chapters: The Power of Subconscious Belief, The Power of a Burning Desire, The Power of Definite Purpose, The Power of an Organized Plan of Action, The Power of Specialized Knowledge, The Power of Persistence, The Power of Controlled Expenditure, The Power of Integrity, The Power of Faith, and The Power of Charity.

It is written as a parable, a young man is walking in the early morning bemoaning his fate of never having enough when he meets an old man who starts talking to him and tells him, “If you don’t believe something is possible it is unlikely it will ever come true.”

They walk a bit and the old man continues, “In my country we believe that every problem brings with it a gift, every adversity contains within it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”

“Hmmmf!” says the young man.

“It applies to everything… even money problems,” said the old man. “Money problems open the path to abundant wealth – riches beyond your dreams.”

There is a lot of work between an idea and bringing that idea to fruition, but doesn’t it all start with an idea? How many people have started a business because of disappointment where they work, or disappointment because they couldn’t do something for their family and they decided I’m not living like this anymore, something has to change?

Be miserable, or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. Wayne Dyer

The old man also tells him that he lives in abundance that people in the past weren’t privileged to live, and many people in the world don’t get to live like this now.

It takes a lot of hard work, determination, and perseverance, to get ahead in life, but it is the adventure before us and is what will give our life meaning and purpose and pride in what we accomplish.

I was talking yesterday to a lady who lost everything in late midlife, but she has a great attitude and is pouring her passion into writing. She has written her memoir about marrying a professor when she was sixteen and living on four continents before ending up in Canada, “The Other I” by Zohra Zoberi.

The choices we make determine our life, and when we think we can’t do something our life goes in a different direction than when we say, “I think I can, I think I can.” The more we do the more we find we are capable of.

How many of us have thought of something we wanted to do and only when we see someone else has done it do we realize we could have done it too. If it wasn’t beyond them, why do we think it is beyond us?

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives. Tony Robbins

In faith, there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. Blaise Pascal

There is no man living that cannot do more than he thinks he can. Henry Ford

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Is gratitude the greatest of all virtues and the parent of all others?

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you. Knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. Brian Tracy

Is the good life within reach of all of us? The Super Bowl was played last night, and on display were many people we are sure are living the good life. Lives of extraordinary wealth and advantage were on display. Wouldn’t we love to be a fly on a wall in some of the homes of the rich and famous and find out what it’s really like? We’ve gotten more information than we ever wanted about some famous families, and how many of us think we’d like to exchange our lives for theirs?

Would it surprise us to know everyone has problems or surprise us if some families don’t have problems? Living the good life is not about never having problems, never facing adversity, or never having problems become public. Living the good life, in my mind, is dealing with what is ahead of us and what is behind us. Jim Rohn tells us not to ask for easy but to ask to be better. Better able to withstand the storms of life and know what we must do and to do it.

Jordan Peterson tells us to be the strongest person at our parent’s funeral and this means if we are lucky enough to have siblings we will each have someone to lean on. Having faith to lean on gets many through the hard parts of life and many find faith in the hardest parts of life.

Finding meaning in a rapidly changing world, disintegrating families, and social upheaval is to grab onto what is good and true and carve out a little space for ourselves and those we love. Inside our little space, we build our little world and although we venture out to the wider world we need to keep our little space wholly our own, and though we treasure our family and friends, they are not ours to keep forever, and whether they are with us for a long time or a short time we need to treasure what we had and go on without them.

Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart. Roy T. Bennett

Only those who can go forward after loss can lead a good life because we will always have to go forward after loss until the end of our lives. There is always loss, loss of a dream, loss of a loved one, loss of things the way they were, the way we were comfortable with them. Change is the only constant and the better we are at riding the roller coaster of life the better our lives will be.

When we listen to other people’s stories, what they’ve overcome, and what dangers they’ve faced, we are sometimes in awe of what we hear. What gets some to the end of their life facing hardships without becoming bitter, and others who didn’t appear to face such hardships become warped and bitter and difficult to be around?

Can we afford to be bitter and hard to be around when we are old and dependent on others? A pleasant personality in old age would help a great deal in dealing with that difficult time of life. An attitude of gratitude if we cultivate it early will we still have it in the end? I think it’s possible, I’ve seen it in others, and it makes me hope I can cultivate it in myself. Does gratitude sweeten even the smallest moments and lead to a life of joy?

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, of giving and forgiving. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. Doris Day

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

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Make a choice; make a change, the compound effect works in our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Marion Wright Edelman

The other day, I listened to Mel Robbins talking about rating how we think we are doing in different areas of our lives and then figuring out what we could do to raise our rating a point or two.

Where do we think our health and fitness rates on a scale of one to ten? Are we averagely healthy and fit for our age? That puts us at a five, so what could we do to raise it to a six or a seven? What action could we do every day or week that would add to our health and fitness and start to move our rating by a point or two? If we went for a walk once a week, that’s fifty-two walks a year, and most of us wouldn’t have to change our lives drastically to do it.

We might think we need to join a gym to get in shape, but what if we started doing morning or evening exercises? Gym memberships are expensive, and if we haven’t figured out how to fit exercise into our already busy lives, fitting the gym in might be difficult. What if we started smaller than a gym membership? What if we started with a yoga mat, stretches, pushups, and plank?

If we want to bring creativity into our lives, could we do something creative once a week? Would we like to write, paint, draw, dance, knit, crochet, sew, quilt, or build something? Could we integrate creativity into our lives once a week?

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Unknown

Would joining a group like Toastmasters elevate our lives? Becoming a better public speaker gives us confidence that will flow into other areas of our lives and might become the catalyst for the change we seek. Most Toastmasters groups meet once a week with a low yearly fee, and we can check out various groups by attending three meetings for free.

Are we reading books, and would we like to read more? Is there a book we would like to be able to say, I’ve read that? Maybe it is the bible or other religious books full of wisdom. There are many templates for reading the bible in a year. What if we decided to read a great book in a year, but it took us two or even five years to get through it from end to end? Would that be a failure, or would it elevate our lives?

Small changes create results if we build on those changes over time. Saving small amounts of money and investing will eventually lead to the compound effect, and small changes in our lives do as well.

Small daily decisions shape our destiny, and those decisions lead us to a better life or a worse one. The compound effect is working in our lives, and small changes throughout our lives can change the trajectory we are heading for. A little exercise every day or every week will pay dividends. Reading every day or every week will pay dividends. Bringing creativity into our lives will pay dividends. What if we make a small positive change in our relationships, and what if we hug those we love more often, smile at them, thank them for doing something for us, or do something for them?

Small changes over time will lead to results. What if we implement small changes in every area of our lives and create the life of our dreams? What if this is our little experiment to see how great we can make the life we have, our relationships, health, wealth, and personal growth?

It’s never the big things… it’s all the little changes you can make in your life that make the difference. Dean Graziosi

Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes will add up to big transformation. Don’t give up! Unknown

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. John Maxwell

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What change can we make that will pay dividends for the rest of our lives?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction. Germany Kent

How are we doing so far on the changes we want to make? Have we asked ourselves what we want to stop doing, start, or keep doing this year? Sometimes we think we need radical change but small tweaks here and there can lead to big changes over time.

What if one of the reasons we don’t get the results we want is we want to change too much when our life can only handle small changes? Small changes lead to big changes over time. Maybe trying to change too many things at once is overwhelming; do we need to keep doing what we are doing because we’ve already made changes that put us in the direction of our dreams?

Is it time to enjoy more, relax more, and sleep more, instead of trying to do more? Is this a year of smelling the roses we’ve planted? Enjoying our families, getting together with friends, laughing, and enjoying life more? Is this a year of starting a business, starting a family, and bringing more into our lives, or a year of less business, and more reflection on what is good in our lives? We are all somewhere on the road of life, and at different times our life calls out for different things, and a good life is when we heed the call.

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

Some people are having a dry January, passing on alcohol for the month. Getting back into a fitness routine or starting one might be our goal. Whatever change we want to make January is a good time to start. We might be thinking New Year, New Me, but will we still be thinking that in March, or by then will we be back to old ways, kicking ourselves for our lack of willpower?

How can we set ourselves up for success to make and keep making the change we want in our lives? Can we go to the gym on our way to or from work? When we do something can that be the trigger for the new thing we want to do in our lives? Do we want to change too many things and we need to pick one, and implement that into our lives before trying to change something else? Is there a change we can make that will pay dividends for the rest of our lives? If we know what it is can we start doing it? If we don’t know what that change is, maybe that is the question we must ask ourselves.

If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse. Jen Sincero

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

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

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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.

Time is moving on, change is coming whether we are ready for it or not.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates

This weekend I harvested my potatoes, picked the last tomatoes, and lifted my Dahlia tubers. Last year the Dahlia tubers looked great and the next time I looked at them they were withered, I planted them without much hope they’d grow, and they didn’t. I purchased new tubers and the blooms were lovely, still not planted in the best spot but next year I’ll find a better spot for them and pick up a couple more varieties.

Creating a beautiful garden is still one of my dreams. The garden has moments but needs much more tender loving care than it gets. This was a bare lot but now the trees have gotten big, and there is a lot more shade than there used to be. We love sitting out in the backyard enveloped by the trees we planted years ago.

Gardens don’t stay the same and our lives don’t stay the same either. We need to edit our lives and edit our gardens as time goes by. We think we’ve planted the perfect tree in the perfect spot, and we love the beautiful blooms but perhaps not the mess from falling leaves and crabapples the rest of the year. What was once a blooming garden below is now in too much shade, and plants that used to come up every year no longer do, it’s time to redesign and replant.

Next year will be better we tell ourselves but of course only if we do the work to make it better. No one is going to force me to do the work to have a beautiful garden, it is up to me.

There are three constants in life… change, choice, and principles. Stephen Covey

No one will force us to read the books, plan the trips, or go to the gym. When we are in the grocery store no one tells us that’s too much ice cream, or are you sure you need those cookies? In the grocery cart yesterday I put in pumpkin spice pecan butter tarts and then took them out, no one else would eat them and do I need eight butter tarts? Here I am the next morning still thinking about them. They might make their way into my cart yet. Baked from scratch the package says, will they taste better in my mind than if I try them?

How much of what we think about is better in our mind than the reality? Is that just an excuse not to do things, to take the chance, to have an experience? They say we regret what we don’t do more than what we do. I’m getting ready to visit Mom before her ninety-ninth birthday. I am fortunate to have the time and opportunity to spend this time with her.

The time we spend with people we love is special. The ordinary moments of our lives we often don’t appreciate until they are gone. Our lives continue on their ordinary path until they don’t, something changes and we long for the ordinariness we had. We will never be ready for some of the changes coming into our lives, even when they are welcome like a new baby, our life changes in ways we didn’t see coming.

Our job is to adapt to the changes and make the best of what comes. Our lives change, the seasons change, and there is beauty in every season if we look for it. Are we looking forward to what is possible in our lives, how we can make our here and now as good as it can be, and planning for the future? We are here, we might have a lot of choices or few, but if we make the best of the choices we have, can we make the best of what is?

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. Harrison Ford

Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret. Zig Ziglar

Life is about trusting your feelings, taking chances, finding happiness, learning from the past, and realizing everything changes. Unknown

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Thank you for reading my books and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon link.

Choices, chances, and changes, we must make a choice to take a chance or our life will never change.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us. Anne Frank

Don’t talk; act, don’t say; show, don’t promise; prove, these words are written on the cover of a journal I purchased. It is easy to talk and not so easy to do. Showing, not telling, is the best way to live our lives.

How much are we willing to put ourselves out for someone else? How do we make others feel by our actions because words not followed up with action are empty?

We meant it when we said until death do us part, or did we? We meant it when we looked at our newborn baby and said, “I will always love you,” but children don’t always do what we want them to do, become what we want them to be, and are we still there for them regardless of their choices in life?

Would we have kids on the street if parents didn’t give up on them, or are some of the kids on the street because they’ve given up on themselves and their parents are still there for them?

When are we enabling with our support or being unsupportive when we expect more from people? In every relationship, is the dynamic such that it can be very good or bad? Do we live somewhere on the continuum of being our best or worst, and we are a choice away from either extreme?

What if, when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change, and our perception colors our life more than we acknowledge? How often have we felt trapped when we look at things one way, but if we look at them from a different perspective opportunities open up?

Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future. Catherine Pulsifer

We might be looking at our cup, basket, or life as half empty, but what if we looked at it differently? What if we looked at every challenge as an opportunity, what if we saw the silver lining in every adversity, and what if we realize we are enough, and if we do the most with what we have it will be enough?

As we look toward retirement we are told we haven’t saved enough, we can’t possibly live on less than… Depending on where the information is coming from often we are told we need millions to retire, and yet many people are retiring and living quite well and they don’t have millions in the bank.

One of the things I like about YouTube is real people telling real stories about how they manage to live healthy lives, become adventurers, travel the world or their country, and build a secure retirement with reasonable amounts of money. As I write this I am thinking of Henry Mah, and his books and podcasts on maximizing the TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account).

Information is available on any subject; we have to find it, digest it, and act on it to see the dividends it might pay in our lives. Life has always been about choices, some of our choices we regret, some we are proud of, and some we still have to make. We can’t do anything about the choices we regret, they are what they are, what we can do something about is the choices we have to make in the days, weeks, and years ahead.

Our lives will be the sum of the choices we make, we might think our choices are all behind us, we didn’t start soon enough, and it is true we can’t have what we would have had if we made some choices years ago, but we can have what a good choice will bring us now.

We would be fitter if we started exercising earlier, but what people achieve even when they start fitness programs later in life is amazing. Too often we talk ourselves out of doing something we could do. It will take effort, courage, and faith to embark on a new path, but isn’t that what we are here for, to have the adventure of our lives?

Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision. Tony Robbins

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. Eleanor Roosevelt

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. Nelson Mandela

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Thank you for reading 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.

Small changes lead to big changes, be willing to start small, and be willing to persevere.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Marian Wright Edelman

Tonight I’m reflecting on my path at Toastmasters. It’s taken me 37 years but I am close to achieving my Distinguished Toastmasters designation. Someone said, “If you get everything out of Toastmasters you can get out of Toastmasters, you will never get out of Toastmasters.” I was out of Toastmasters for 27 years while my husband and I raised a family and built a business.

We can only juggle so many balls at once and Toastmasters was the ball I could put down and pick back up. We have to be careful when juggling the balls of life we know which balls are the important balls. The balls we must guard and protect, the balls which if they fall we will not be able to pick back up, or even be able to put the pieces back together again.

Life can be forgiving and not forgiving when we make mistakes, and some people will seem to get away with more mistakes than others, but Jordan Peterson tells us we never get away with anything. We always have to pay a price. I think this is true, then we must decide what price we are willing to pay. There are prices for opportunity and lost opportunity. There is a price for speaking up and a price for not speaking up about things that are important and even those that aren’t so important.

If we are asked what we want for breakfast, perhaps we could have eggs, sausages, and a delicious omelet with a side of toast and apricot jam (not bought but homemade). If we shrug our shoulders and say, “whatever” a bowl of porridge may be put in front of us, or a piece of burnt dry toast.

I think in life I’ve been a bit of a “Whatever” person and perhaps that works in marriage when the husband leads and the wife follows. Life is built on shared goals and values, and the workload is divided.

I’m becoming less of a “Whatever” person as I get older. Being a parent is such a heavy and wonderful load that it takes over our life and we don’t have a lot of time for pursuits of our own. When the heavy lifting is over we have time but often have no idea what we want to pursue with the time that is unfolding before us. We need to be careful especially as retirement nears we don’t just accept the idea that we are old and life is over, or almost over so why bother learning new things, or setting new goals? We think a drink on a beach sounds like paradise, and it probably is for a week. But then what?

Men trip not on mountains, they stumble on stones. Proverbs

There comes a time in our life when there will be few choices left to make and we might not like any we get to choose from. But if we are not at that point yet, we should think long and hard about how we want to spend our time before we get there.

We have many opportunities to do many things, learn, develop, grow, and make the best of the life ahead of us. The more decisions we make for ourselves the fewer will be made for us. Sometimes it is okay to say, “Whatever you’re having.” It might be better to develop our choosing muscles and design our days for maximum satisfaction.

I like to start my day by writing with a cup of coffee beside me and my little dog keeping me company. How do you like to start yours? There are days when the alarm rings and I turn it off and go back to sleep. I still get a bit of writing in but not the long uninterrupted time I need to get into it. On blog days I’m up at five, it’s the rest of the week I need to work on.

How we spend our days is how we spend our life, we can make better decisions to have a better life. No one will do for us the things we must do for ourselves and some of the little things we can change will make the biggest difference because it is the things we do daily that have a huge impact on our lives.

Is there a little thing we can change that will pay huge dividends in our lives?

Small changes can produce big results – but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious. Peter Serge

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily, the secret of your success is found in your daily routine. John C. Maxwell

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Confucius

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Thank you to everyone who reads 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.

We don’t know what we don’t know; life should be a learning experience.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger. Confucius

Visiting an art store gives us an array of items to experiment with, but there is usually a learning curve, and we have to be willing to be a novice before we master the skill we set out to learn.

This week I bought dip pens and ink. I’ve bought fine-tipped paintbrushes over the years but they never do what I want them to do, and I think I know why. A paintbrush is not the tool I’ve been looking for, the tool I’ve been looking for and didn’t know it is a dip pen that will give a sharp line. There is a huge variety of dip pens available for drawing and writing. I have purchased a few nibs and can’t wait to see how they work with acrylic paint.

We don’t know what we don’t know. It’s hard to believe it took me this long to figure this out. I have a book on painting with pen and ink, it has sat on my bookshelf for years.

Note about inserting nibs into nib holders. There are helpful videos explaining how to insert nibs into the holder. I mangled my first nib holder because I wasn’t inserting the nib into the correct place.

When I got my Speedball Sketching Pen Set home I found a broken nib, yesterday I replaced the broken nib and purchased a Calligraphy Pen set which includes what some reviewers suggest is one of the best writing nibs. These dip pens are going to make creating an Illustrated Journal more fun and creative, and I’m looking forward to enhancing my illustrations.

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. Zig Ziglar

We all make mistakes and one of the biggest ones we make is trying to do something without the right tools. When we look at what someone else can do and think they just have more talent than us, sometimes they have better tools, and they know how to use them. If we can get those tools and learn how to use them our work will improve.

But often we think we are lacking and we don’t explore what is out there that would help us improve. We are our greatest critic; we are the one that holds ourselves back the most. We compare our worst to someone else’s best and find ourselves lacking. We think if we don’t have the proper credentials we can’t do something we want to do. There are many self-taught people that do great things.

One of the best attitudes in life is to be a willing student and learn from everyone we meet. If we accept we will never know everything and are willing to learn, it is amazing where we might pick up insights that improve our lives.

We may think, if we’d learned this earlier it would be better, but we’ve learned it now, and we can do with it what we can. There are early bloomers, late bloomers, and repeat bloomers in life. It isn’t true that it’s never too late, there comes a time when it is too late, life has run its course, but until that time comes, we can learn and do more things.

We have never had so much access to information; we need to pick and choose from what is out there. I’ve always thought I wasn’t interested in marriage advice from someone who wasn’t married, child-rearing advice from someone who doesn’t have children, or life advice from someone not living a good life. Sorting what is good from what is not good is a feat in itself. But, we’ve always been told, “You’ll know them by their fruit.” If we focus on the good and the beautiful, those who want to build instead of the ones who want to tear down and destroy, we can sort through the maze of those who want to instruct and inform.

Life is what we make it, is there something new we would like to learn how to do, change, or experience?

It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning. Claude Bernard

A man who asks is a fool for five minutes. A man who never asks is a fool for life. Chinese Proverb

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. Antisthenes

Thank you for reading this post, Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

In times of crisis do we see who we really are?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The secret of crisis management is not good versus bad; it’s preventing the bad from getting worse. Andy Gilman

For those of us that woke up in our bed, in our own house, we are blessed. Those that had to evacuate because of fires are blessed too because we have the resources to help people to get out of danger. Hopefully when the danger is past people will be able to go back to a home and community that is still standing, and if not they can rebuild.

As my sister who lives in Yellowknife said, “We’ll deal with what we have to.” Is there anything else we can do but deal with what we have to? We may think we shouldn’t have to deal with forest fires, but if we have forests, we’ll have forest fires. We may think things should be different than they are, maybe they should be, and maybe, we can do things a little differently so they are, and sometimes I wonder if we are trying to bend nature to our will instead of learning to live with it.

 For every action, there is a reaction. One of the things we tell ourselves is, “It will be different this time.” But perhaps the question we need to ask ourselves is why would it be different, whatever “It” is? We build houses on flood plains and are surprised when they flood. We bring more people into Canada than we have housing for and wonder why we have a housing crisis and house prices are out of reach for most people.

We need houses, and we need farmland, but do we need to build homes on farmland? We have planners for these things, but what forces come to bear on how decisions are made? Chances are no matter what decisions get made, everyone will not be happy. That is pretty much a given no matter what the decision is about, or where the decision is being made.

I don’t envy the people that have to make the big decisions, but I get to criticize them fairly or unfairly. We need a country that works, and for the most part, even though we grumble, we have a country that works, and we see how well it works when we see action taken in emergencies. During emergencies, we see what can be done, how we can work together, how we can look after immediate needs, how we can take care of everyone and meet the needs of displaced people and help them to get through a terrible ordeal.

Courage is not having the strength to go on; it’s going on when you don’t have the strength. Theodore Roosevelt

Do we need a crisis to see the best in people? Not everyone acts the best in a crisis, we hear of looters, and arsonists taking advantage of situations but for the most part, people work together in a crisis and do the best they can for the greatest amount of good.

We think our housing crisis is a big deal, but it will be nothing like a food crisis if we build on the farmland of Canada and end up not being a country that is food sufficient. Counties that can’t feed themselves are OK until someone else needs what they want or they don’t have the resources to purchase the food, or their inhabitants can’t afford the cost of food brought into the country. Some people believe we can get more production per acre but how much, and at what cost?

Am I having these thoughts because I am getting older? Am I thinking growth is not sustainable because I have no vision?

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates

You never let a serious crisis to go waste. And what I mean by that; it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before. Rahm Emanuel

The best people know that there are two phases in every crisis: the one where you manage it and the other where you learn from it. To succeed you have to do both. Mark McCormack

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

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