What is the correct perspective when looking at life?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There will be bends in the road, and how we navigate them will determine our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. Euripides

We are at the beginning the middle or maybe getting toward the end of a journey. We can feel like we can’t go on, the road is too hard, the reward is too little, or something has changed along the way. If this is a shared journey we may be letting someone else down.

How many people are looking at each other across the table one thinking they need to continue to press on and the other thinking they need to close the business, end the marriage, or make some other drastic change they don’t agree on?  It is hard to continue through life and finish what we start as individuals, we start a course of study we later learn we hate, we start a fitness program we have a hard time fitting into our schedule, or we get part way through something and wonder if it’s worth it.

In life, we need to know when to hold em, when to fold em, and when to quit. In real life, it isn’t always easy to know. We are also told it is always darkest before dawn. We’ve been holding on for so long, in a job, a business, a marriage and it wouldn’t take much to quit, or maybe we would like to continue but our partner is done. Our dream may end because of someone else’s decision. How are we to handle this?

In a partnership, it’s over when one of us says it’s over. That is the inherent weakness in partnerships, but what two people or a group of people can accomplish often can’t be accomplished on our own. In a partnership, we are not only counting on ourselves to have fortitude and forbearance but on our partner as well. How do we deal with the loss, with the betrayal in failing to live up to until death do us part?

Even if our own partnership seems strong, watching another one disintegrate can be hard on our relationship. We look at what is going on in another relationship and wonder about ours. Especially when someone we respected and thought we knew does something that seems out of character, this can shake us to our core. If we didn’t know them as well as we thought we did, do we know ourselves as well as we think we do, or our partner?

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start. Nido Qubein

Navigating life isn’t always easy but it gets especially perilous when foundations we’ve built our life on that we thought were rock solid are shaken. Thinking anything in life is rock solid may be our downfall. We hear about people falling from grace all the time. Companies we’ve known all our lives go out of business. Couples we’ve looked up to get divorced.

What do we hold onto when nothing about us seems solid? This is the time for faith in something bigger than ourselves. It isn’t always easy to find faith in our time of need. But when I read about those who have overcome the truly great challenges in life faith often plays a role. When we read their stories often they could only take life one step at a time and with gratitude that they were still on their journey, and faith that they would get through it, they came out the other side stronger.

We may think I have faith and gratitude, but how do I help my partner have it? This is tough, we have to let people have their own journey, and they might make mistakes that affect us, but that too is part of the journey. We can’t control others no matter how much we want to, or how much better we think we could make their life if they would just listen to us and do what we suggest.

Haven’t we had times in our lives when we could have saved ourselves a lot of pain if we listened to those wiser than ourselves, but we wouldn’t have learned what we learned? We don’t live our lives singularly, we affect others on our journey, and they affect us on ours. Sometimes we are going hand in hand toward the same goal, sometimes we are not, but we have to be able to deal with what comes and realize we won’t always do the right thing, or make the right decision, and nor will others. Life can be a wild ride, we need to fasten our seatbelts, and sometimes all we can do is hope we have the strength to continue in truth, dignity, gratitude, and faith.

If a bend is coming up the road how will we navigate it?

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. Walter Elliot

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

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

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

Todayism versus long-termism. We build the future by the thoughts we think and the actions we take.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The best way to predict the future is to create it. Peter Drucker

Todayism versus Long-termism. I watched a You-tube video with Ari Wallach he is the author of Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs. Now that is a mission statement! We will become the ancestors of the future, whether we are good ancestors, ones the future is proud to look back on because we left them in a better place, or they wonder how we could make such a mess for them to clean up is yet to be determined.

We have visionaries in our midst, and those that believe the end is near. Thinking the end is near gives us a get-out-of-free card in our own minds, what can we do? Believing we are on the cusp of change, indeed our history is about being on the cusp of change and making things better.

Things have not always gotten better for all people at all times. One of the things we do not have is a common belief in what is to be done, but this is not necessarily a weakness. What if it is a strength and that as we question ideas, question hypotheses, question what will make things better and what will make things worse we will go forward haltingly, slowly, and we will fix what we can fix and learn to live with self-imposed limits to make life sustainable?

What if we harness the ideas of people on different sides of issues? What if we try different ideas to see what works? What is the minimum lifestyle we could live and be happy? What is the maximum lifestyle that could be offered to everyone? What is sustainable not for the next fifty or one hundred years but for the next thousand and ten thousand years?

What if each one of us set out to be the best person we can be and set the next generation up for success? We want the next generation to turn the taps on and get clean water. We want the next generation to be able to live in dignity, freedom from want, and safety. We want the next generation to have wild places to go, and forests to walk in. We want them to be born healthy and live long healthy lives. We want them to breathe fresh air and be able to raise a family in peace and plenty.

We don’t all agree on what it would take for a better future for our children. I do think most people are trying to make things better. Most people have not given up. Some of us have lived such lives of abundance that wanting more for our children might be part of the problem. We grew up with the best of the best. When I grew up being middle class or even less than the middle class was a very comfortable place to be.

The future depends on what we do in the present. Mahatma Gandhi

It isn’t as comfortable even in Canada to be middle class. We will have to find ways to address this because when the largest amount of the populace decides they are getting too small of a piece of the pie bad things happen. We have lots of people stoking the fires of discontent, and others are sounding the horn of the apocalypse. Too many movies focus on the end is near. We are told that our mind can’t tell the difference between visualization and physically doing things. All those movies we watch, aren’t they like visualizing the future?

Life is a relay race, and we were handed a baton we must pass to the next generation. The better we run our race, the stronger the position we leave for the generation we pass the baton to. One of the things we can all do is not think we know what is in other people’s minds, what they are thinking, especially when we think it is something bad. The more grace we give to other people, the more grace we will get back. We all want a better world, or at least we should believe we all want a better world and see how that works for us. One of the things we do when we think the worst of other people is give ourselves a pass for not acting better. We need to hold ourselves to the highest standard we can, we need to expect less of others and more of ourselves and believe if we all do our best, the future is bright.

The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it. Thomas S. Monson

Every thought we think is creating our future. Louise L. Hay

You can’t live in history. You’ve got to build for the future. Ruud Gullit

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

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

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

Making the best of bad choices. Sometimes we have to choose between the best of two evils.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Hard times are sometimes blessings in disguise. We do have to suffer but in the end it makes us strong, better and wise. Anurag Prakash Ray

The abortion issue in the U.S. rears its head again, or has it never stopped rearing its head? Abortion, although a simple medical procedure, is not just a simple medical procedure. There is nothing simple about the angst one must feel to even have to consider needing the procedure done.

There is also the angst felt by those who feel abortion is absolutely under all circumstances wrong. They believe any support for abortion taints their lives. All people should live their lives by their moral code, but does that mean they should force that moral code on everyone else?

Some people believe if Roe Versus Wade is struck down and it looks like it will be that an abortion law can’t be brought in. People are worried about losing what they have even though a better way forward for abortion in the U.S. could be found. Indeed it may have to be found.

Abortion may indeed be evil, but how much more evil happens when it is made illegal? A good society has to balance the harm done by making things legal, and the harm caused when making things illegal. Does a good society choose the option that does the least harm?

This gets to be a tricky question, what causes the most harm? We have places where harm reduction regarding drugs is making parts of cities almost unlivable. The death rate caused by drugs has gone up because the harm reduction appears to increase drug use.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared by scars. Khalil Gibran

Many of us, probably most of us want our societal problems pushed away so we are not confronted by them. I ask myself often what makes a good society. What makes a not-so-good society become a better society, and what causes a once good society to not be so good anymore? I also ask myself where we are on this scale.

It takes courage to deal with problems in our own lives and in society. One of the things we need is the courage to face what has to be faced and not pretend it doesn’t have to be faced. The more courage we have in our own lives to face our challenges and see what we do that is likely to present challenges, the better our life will be.

Abortion laws have been changed before, and they may be changed again. We have to deal with these tricky issues because life is messy. Even here in Canada where I think how we handle abortion at this time is reasonable and rationale. It is still an issue that divides us and perhaps it always will.

I do think more women probably regret their abortion than regret the baby in the end. You can’t think about the baby that would have been at ten, twenty, thirty, or forty, and not think about what they would have done in life, who they would have been, and how the world would have benefitted from their contribution. That doesn’t mean, I think someone making that desperate choice should have to have a back alley or self-induced abortion when that is the choice they feel compelled to make.

We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us. William J. Brennan

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice. Bob Marley

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

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

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

Thank you for reading my books. 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.

When Can We Get A Puppy by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Sorrow by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Silence by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Starting a new chapter doesn’t have to be drastic, we may only want to add, not subtract from our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The life in front of you is more important than the life behind you. Joel Osteen

Milestones are not millstones around our necks. What we’ve accomplished and where we are in life is not indicative of what can and will be. The future is going to be what we make it. We may wish the times were different. We may wish the season in life we are in is a different season. But it is now, and as Jim Rohn says, “This is all we have.”

One of the most difficult things we face in life is when we ask ourselves questions. What do I do now? How do I find my new purpose? What really matters to me? I saw a book in Indigo and bought it for a friend. “Design Your Next Chapter” by Debbie Travis.

Some chapters in our life are long, and some are short but no matter what if we are alive we need to create our next chapter. A new chapter for me is coming as my daughter prepares to become a mother and I will become a grandma. How great this chapter will be and my son gets married a month later.

My life has always seemed to be flowing along and then a bunch of things happens at once. Becoming a grandma is going to be lovely and one of the biggest blessings in my life. With my son getting married I expect we’ll have a little brood of grandchildren in short order.

At this point in life, we still have energy, ambition, and we often have some resources. We are at a cross-road and get to decide what the next chapter will look like.  Some people are getting drastic chucking the old husband or wife and looking for a new romance as a way of kick-starting their life.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis

I think we should build our lives and the excitement we need with the spouse we have in most cases. This next chapter can be a bonus round for the two of us. What did we want to do we haven’t done yet? Where would we like to go, what would we like to experience, jointly and separately? Expecting our spouse to only want what we want is not reasonable. Can we figure out over the next little while what would make both our hearts sing, even if they sing at different times?

Writing and art are solitary pursuits that feed my soul and my husband is one hundred percent behind me, but I don’t expect them to make his heart sing. One of his great loves is music. We need to have space in our lives for everyone’s dreams, some shared, and some not shared.

Where do we go from here is both scary and exhilarating.

Every new chapter in your life will require a new version of yourself. Unknown

Life’s not about expecting, hoping, and wishing: it’s about doing, being, and becoming. Mike Dooley

When you make loving others the story of your life, there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. You lend your light to one person, and he or she shines it on another and another and another. Oprah Winfrey

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.

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

Limiting ourselves. We need to get out of our comfort zone to make our dreams come true.

We need to get out of our comfort zone to make our dreams come true. Limiting ourselves.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Don’t limit yourself to someone else’s opinion of your capabilities. Be you. Dream, plan, execute. Dr. Steve Maraboli

I couldn’t get into my WordPress account the other day. I was going to write about invisible fences and it seems I’ve come up against one myself. Somehow life makes us feel who are we to think we can do that? We’ve pigeon-holed ourselves into believing limitations about ourselves we often don’t have. It might not be easy to accomplish what we want to accomplish, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

We never give a child crayons, paint, and paper and they tell us they can’t create a picture. If we give that to adults they often will not attempt to make anything. We become afraid of looking like a beginner and if we ever want to start something new, we have to be a beginner.

We have to be willing to develop skills, look awkward, and unsure of ourselves in the beginning. If we only ever do what we are already good at we will live a very small life. If we aren’t willing to grow and develop we won’t know what we are missing, what areas of our life might bring us joy, how we could improve our relationships, how much better we could feel through exercise, how eating better might improve everything. What dimension might learning something new bring into our lives?

If we knew we couldn’t fail what would we do? What adventures did we want to go on we haven’t gone on yet? One of the adventures I wanted to go on was a trip to Europe. I wanted to back-pack through Europe as some people were doing, but I didn’t go. I didn’t have anyone to go with, at least that is one excuse I used. Then when I met my husband at twenty-one I put aside things I wanted to do and started thinking about the life we wanted to build.

That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. When we get into relationships we do go from me to we, and if we didn’t it would not be a relationship that worked. That trip to Europe is still something I want to do and if I’m going to make it happen I have to plan for it.

Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve. Mary Kay Ash

We will be the same person we are today except for the books we read, the thoughts we think, and the things we do. If we want to see a change in any part of our life we have to make it happen.

I hurt my knee shoveling snow three weeks ago. It’s getting better but slowly. I’m thinking of doing something drastic like giving up all dairy.  I read an article and a woman stated her rheumatoid arthritis pain disappeared after going on The Starch Solution by Dr. McDougall, but if she eats dairy within 2-6 hours she starts feeling pain. A few years ago I went plant-based but I have loosened up my eating, probably too much. I hope a few days of being strict will have me moving around like my regular self. Nothing can take the place of good health and the feeling of ease in our bodies.

My husband bought me a cheese croissant and I had to leave it for someone else or give up my experiment of no dairy. Today is the morning of the third day of strict no dairy and my leg feels better, not back to normal yet, but it was three weeks on Monday that I hurt it so I was beginning to get worried it wasn’t getting better. I need to be able to wear heels to my son’s wedding in May.

We don’t know what we can do until we do it. If we try we can surprise ourselves. The writing challenge group met on zoom. The challenge is to publish a book by October 25, 2022. When we set a goal we give ourselves a job to complete it. I am hoping a small group of like-minded people will give us all a push as we make our goals a reality. Is there a group you could join that would help you move toward your goals and dreams? There are groups for everything, writers groups, quilting groups, art groups, choirs, real estate investing groups, financial planning groups, parenting groups, sports groups. If you can’t find your group maybe you need to create it.

Stop limiting yourself. Change your mindset from: I can’t. To: How can I? Unknown

When you mark where your self-doubt is, then you can begin to conquer it. Stephen Richards

What you believe your future holds for you impacts your attitude, decisions, and success. Maddy Malhotra

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

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

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

Managing our communication? What do we say with our non-verbal communication?

What do we say with our non-verbal communication? Managing our communication.

Painting by Belynda Wilson thomas

Every day is a chance to change your life. Unknown

Do we say what we mean and mean what we say, or do we say what we think we should say but our body language gives the real message? Haven’t we all seen a blank look, a dismissive shrug, an averted gaze, or a roll of the eyes, and felt the impact of unspoken communication.? We give them as well and we hear experts talk about body language. Our nonverbal gestures can make or break our relationships.

I take my dog out for a walk and most of the time she walks along with no fuss, meeting and greeting dogs, or we let them pass, but every now and then there is snarling and barking. I never know what brought that on. Until they get to the snarling and barking it’s all non-verbal. We are the same; we aren’t warm and fuzzy with everyone.

How we make people feel brings out the best or the worst in them. When our smile brightens when we see someone we make them feel good, we feel good seeing them, and they feel good being seen. How are we to react to the people who are just there, we aren’t particularly glad to see them, or they us, they never offer much in the way of fun or laughs, we don’t connect on any level. It can be awkward if we connect with someone and have a warm relationship with one person and a cool one with another, what if we are the boss, the in-law, parent, or someone in authority that can make things happen?

How does it affect our families, workplaces, and schools when we have in-groups and out-groups? I’m reading a book called, “Micro Messaging,” by Stephen Young Why Great Leadership is Beyond Words. We know great leadership is beyond words, we’ve all watched families and wondered how they stay close and connected, their children feel loved and encouraged, and work hard to build lives they and their parents are proud of.

We see sports teams turn around with a new coach. We know they didn’t bring new skills; they brought a new attitude to the team. We pay a lot of money to people who bring out the best in others and turn companies around. We are looking for political leaders that give confidence to the country at large. We make judgments by what they say, how they say it, and who they surround themselves with, what looks come across their face when others speak. We want people to be congruent, that what they say is what they mean.

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

Are we congruent, do we say what we mean and mean what we say? In this book, a woman got help from someone and at the end of an email, it said. “You owe me big girl.” Being a woman larger than she liked she didn’t know how to take it. She thought they had an okay relationship but here it was in the plain text telling her she was fat or was it? She asked the woman who sent it, “If you were putting a comma in this sentence where would you put it?” The woman put the comma in, “You owe me big, girl.” When you put the comma there it says something different than how she originally took it.

Can we be misinterpreting and taking offense when none is meant? Are we offending others when we don’t mean to? I’ve been guilty of that. I am guilty of not looking at people who ask for money. I think it is a failing of mine, instead of acknowledging them and not giving them money, I don’t acknowledge them which wouldn’t cost me anything. Even if I do give money I think I often don’t look them in the eye. Am I pretending there isn’t a problem if I don’t acknowledge it?

We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, and we only have the power to change ourselves. What if the power to drive change lies in the small things and not the big things? What if ants drive more change than elephants?

In Micro Messaging Stephen Young gives us ten tips to turn around problem relationships.

Actively solicit opinions.

Connect on a personal level.

Constantly ask questions.

Attribute/credit ideas.

Monitor your facial expressions.

Actively listen to all.

Draw in participation.

Monitor personal greetings.

Respond constructively to disagreements – one way is to ask a question.

Limit interruptions.

We can do this with any relationship without violating values or misrepresenting our opinions of others. Can we by using these tips unlock participation, creativity,  innovation, and make things better?

Be careful of your thoughts, they become words. Be careful of your words, they become actions. Be careful of your actions, they become habits. Be careful of your habits, they become character. Be careful of your character, it becomes your destiny. Unknown

One pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world. Malala Yousafzai

True life is lived when tiny changes occur. Leo Tolstoy

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.

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

It’s a wonderful life, rich with possibilities. Are we trusting in the process of life?

Are we trusting in the process of life? It's a wonderful life, rich with possibilities.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is no wealth but life. John Ruskin

Does it seem like we are locked in Groundhog Day? An old Johnny Mercer – Harold Arlen song tells us to ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch onto the affirmative, don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.’

Doesn’t it seem like Mr. In-Between is where we spend a lot of our life? Is this really a bad thing, isn’t this where real life is lived? Some people are either super happy or super sad and they don’t have in-between.

Is one of the problems we have in life finding balance? Balance can seem boring to those who embrace extremes and we have many people embracing the extreme. In our media-driven society, it is easy to compare our lives to someone else’s and find it wanting. We watch people put on a show and think their real life is so much more exciting, important, worthwhile, and impactful than our own.

As I write this I am listening to the radio talk about the number of young people not planning to have children. They prefer the life they can have without kids. I can see the appeal in that as they look at the drudgery, expense, and challenges parenthood entails. Most of what we accomplish in life even if we make it big at anything is the flavor of the day.

Some women work so hard to make good husbands that they never manage to make good wives. Anonymous

How many Presidents and Prime Ministers, even Kings, Queens, inventors, and authors do we know. They had their time in the spotlight, and time moves on. Family is what lasts; family is the contribution that impacts generations. How many of us may be prouder of our grandchildren than we are of ourselves? It seems to me as I wait to be a grandma that this is going to be a wonderful stage in my life made much more wonderful by the presence of grandchildren, and if I am lucky great-grandchildren.

Children are our tie to coming generations. If we don’t have children perhaps we are close enough to someone in the next generation as aunts, uncles, godparents, mentors, or friends.

When we can surround ourselves with loved ones our hearts are full and our lives are filled with laughter, funny stories are told, and escapades are recounted. This year we will have a small Christmas dinner as the kids will be spending time with the spouse and soon-to-be spouse’s families. We will all be together in the morning. Once our children get coupled up, there is another side pulling on them that gets consideration. We don’t have them all to ourselves anymore.

It is a great joy watching our children take their place, celebrate their milestones, and build their lives. As the sun sets on our generation it rises on another and round and round we go. The hopes and dreams of every generation are that life is better for the next. We have lived in such bounty and excess we may wonder how life could be better. We need to remember that during the dark ages they thought everything that could be known was known.

We don’t know what we don’t know, the exciting things ahead we may not be part of, or what we may glimpse before we go. Do many of us have a trust and control problem? If we trust others and give up control by trusting in the process of life, does life work out better?

Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times. G. Michael Hopf

When no one around you seems to measure up, its time to check your yardstick. Bill Lemley

There is no security in life, there is only opportunity. Anonymous

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

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Thank you to everyone that reads my books. 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 link.

Forgiveness and acceptance. Life is how it is, not how we want it to be. We can change the future, but not the past.

Life is how it is, not how we want it to be. We can change the future, but not the past. Forgiveness and acceptance.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I learned that true forgiveness includes total acceptance. Catherine Marshall

On Saturday night, I was in my studio painting, frustrated, because my painting wasn’t tuning out how I wanted it to. As I got ready for bed I thought of a painter whose work evokes love, hope, home, and family, Thomas Kinkade. The art world didn’t recognize him as a great painter but the public loved his work. On Sunday morning I was searching for articles, on Thomas Kinkade’s painting techniques. I found out he died in 2012 at age 54.

In his book Lightposts for Living, it seemed he had an idyllic life, he’d found God, and said, God was his art agent. That appeared to work well for him, but there is no idyllic life, no matter how it is portrayed in a book, Tik Tok, Facebook, etc. We all have problems, challenges, lapses of faith in ourselves, others, and even God.

It is easy to think other people have things figured out we haven’t yet figured out. When we see them we think they still have magic in their relationship. We hear about their children and they always seem to be doing well. Often there is another side to the story. Even if it isn’t a bad side, reality, and perception aren’t the same thing. If someone spends all their time building an empire their family may feel like they aren’t a priority.

If someone spends all their time building a family they may feel the empire is lacking. The wild single life may seem more exciting than being married and raising a family. Raising a family may feel more joy-filled than being single. We have to watch what we think we see in other people’s lives. We have to watch our expectations.

Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons. Jessica Lange

My oldest sister always said if we put our troubles on the line when we had to choose someone else’s troubles we would take our own back. It’s a good way to look at things. She’s been married fifty years. It is funny her husband and mine have the same birth date but are seventeen years apart.

One of the things that make marriages last is perseverance. If we take the attitude that there will be challenges in relationships, and it isn’t only dependant on the person, then perhaps we’ll think sticking it out with our first choice is better than picking a second and third choice. As they say, “Time” is the secret to a long marriage. Stick-to-it-ive-ness is getting through the thick and thin in life. Knowing spring follows winter but winter also follows fall. No one gets only good times and no one gets only bad.

Change is coming. No matter how much we loved periods in our life. We move on to new stages, new highs, new lows, different gains, and losses. We may have loved being an active parent but adult children need us to stay out of their lives, not insert ourselves in. If we are lucky we become grandparents and a new cycle begins.

When we are in a period where it seems there is nothing to look forward to we need to look forward with hope, a new spring is coming. Sometimes we need to grow and change our expectations because if we can only be happy if certain things happen, and they never happen, that’s a sad way to live a life. We may feel hurt by something and it colors our life, no one can change what happened, not even the person that caused the hurt. We can forgive and go forward or carry that hurt the rest of our lives. Our life might look blessed to others but we can’t see it because we can’t get over the past.

If we forgive ourselves, and others we can deal with today instead of carrying the burden of yesterday on our back. We did the best we could, or we didn’t. We have to go forward because no one gets to go back. Learning to be okay with what is, maybe what we most have to learn in life.  

Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Mel Robbins

The best way to escape from the past is not to avoid or forget it, but to accept and forgive it. Unknown

The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person. Louise Hay

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, or see categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those who read my books. 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.

Does creativity lead to happiness? Are we as happy as we choose to be?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Happiness is not by chance, but by choice. Unknown

Creativity feeds our souls. We have to continue to feed our souls throughout our lives. Our best garden will need to be replaced by our next one. When we look at some people’s body of work we wonder how they are so prolific, it is because they keep creating.

There is something about the process of creativity that enlivens us. We expect elation at the completion of our projects but completing that project leaves us with emptiness in our life we aren’t sure what to do with. We were consumed with the project. We let other things slide in our life while we worked on it. We had dreams and nightmares about it. My mind is percolating but not at full speed like it was the last couple of months of the project when I was busy completing it.

Is this why we sometimes don’t complete things? If it is never complete we will never feel the emptiness. We also won’t feel the sense of accomplishment, we made a bargain with ourselves and we kept it. This emptiness can only be replaced by something else.

We always need to have another mountain to climb, another painting to paint, a song to sing. If I wasn’t working on a series I think the emptiness I feel after putting out When Can We Get A Puppy would be greater. I had planned to visit Mom after the book was published but visiting her in August worked out beautifully for everyone and didn’t impact my writing as much as I thought taking a break would.

We often don’t expect the feeling we get after something is completed, or we thought it would feel differently. We thought satisfaction upon completion would be as great as the joy of doing, and it isn’t. The joy is in the creation.

It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project. Napoleon HIll

This is where we get things wrong. We think getting acclaim for our accomplishments is worth more than it is. We think famous artists get more out of their art than people who paint in their basement. We think we will be happier when we publish our work than when we are creating it. We think it matters if someone likes our work.

It matters if someone likes our work if we are reliant upon the income from that work. This is why in the book “Of Human Bondage” the character was told by his art instructor if he wasn’t of independent-means he should find another way to make a living.

That sounds like harsh advice but struggling to make a living is not something we should set ourselves up for if we have other choices. As artists, we can make a living and still do art. We may think we would enjoy life more being in a successful band, or if we were a successful author, but there are always prices to pay.

In the book “Stumbling On Happiness” we are told no matter what happens to us, good or bad, we will be about as happy in six months as we are now. Win a million dollars or get into a terrible accident the happiness level in six months is the same. How can this be? Happiness is an inside job. Situations outside of ourselves have less impact than we think. Wow, that means our attitude is all up to us. That’s a scary thought; this means if I get lots and lots of sales or few sales it won’t mean much to my state of happiness. Can this be true?

Once our needs are met for housing, food, and security extra doesn’t add that much to our life. Yet, we spend our lives waiting for the next thing we acquire or the next rung on the ladder we reach to make us happy. It is the doing that makes us happy not the end result of the doing. There is satisfaction upon completing something, acquiring something, or accomplishing something but it opens the way for our next acquisition, accomplishment, or project.

Perhaps what we need to be doing as we are nearing the completion of something is to be planning what we will do next. Instead of waiting until we are finished and left with a hole where our project or our work used to be, we have the beginnings of something else in mind. This is why we are told to prepare for retirement.

True success is not a project but a journey. Myles Munroe

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. John Barrymore

I don’t expect to retire. Every man must work, that’s his natural destiny. Henry Ford

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, or see archives 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 who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the Amazon link below and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.