Spring is coming. Have we ever been more grateful for Spring?

Have we ever been more grateful for spring. Spring is coming.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland

Yesterday a friend and I went for a walk. We set our walking time at 2:30 but when I looked out my window at 1:30 it was raining. At 2:30 we set out with my little dog hoping our walk wouldn’t be cut short by rain. We had a destination but we didn’t end up there. We took a detour into a neighborhood we know but have never walked through. We walked up and down the streets admiring the houses. We even found one for sale. I took a picture of it to send to her later.

The sun didn’t shine but nor did it rain. Spring is in the air we kept saying as birds chirped around us. We had a lovely afternoon of walking, talking, and laughing. She’s going to be a grandma soon. What a lovely event to be looking forward to.

My son and his fiancé were cooking dinner. Without dinner to worry about the rest of the afternoon was mine. My dog was covered in mud so the first thing I did is give her a bath. My husband, daughter, and I had tea while we talked and laughed as I held Lulu my shivering dog in a towel. I put on a warm sweater. I didn’t feel cold on the walk but back in the house, I was shivering as much as Lulu.

Before dinner, I had a chance to go into my art room and play with color schemes. One of my favorite art stores opened up for in-store purchases and I picked up art supplies I badly needed on Friday. Some of the shelves of paint were bare. Art has been one of the ways to pass the time. An art book on finding inspiration for paintings was on sale. I added it to my cart. I was tempted by a book on color but resisted.

It doesn’t matter how we express ourselves but it is important to find artistic outlets. We can pour our emotions into a painting that if we wrote them down on paper would be embarrassing. In a painting they are safe, and once expressed we feel better.

How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year? Unknown

We may be embarrassed because our art is not technically perfect. Sometimes technically perfect art doesn’t move us at all because it isn’t technical perfection that moves us. We react to what the artist is expressing. It happens with books, songs, music, and dance.

It’s my friend’s book club pick. She has a book she’s thinking of choosing. She’s afraid the subject might be too heavy. We want everyone to think the books we choose are worth the time, money, and create a great discussion. It’s great having everyone on the hunt for the next great read. We read books we wouldn’t read if left on our own.

We can’t wait until we can get together and discuss our books. Our last in-person book club meeting was in October. We met in one of our member’s back yards, wore coats, wrapped ourselves in shawls, discussed books, life, and laughed the night away.

Being part of groups feeds our soul. I love every group I am a part of. Separate interests are important but so are shared ones. We need to find balance. Soon my husband and I will be able to go to outdoor cafes, walk to get an ice cream cone or pick up a tea.

Spring is coming to our lives in more ways than just the weather. Have we ever been more grateful for spring? We have so much to look forward to. We just have to get through this last bit of winter. This winter of covid, shutdowns, despair, and inactivity.

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet

You think winter will never end, and then, when you don’t expect it, when you have almost forgotten it, warmth comes and a different light. Wendell Berry

Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius. Pietro Aretino

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Take the step the bridge will be there. Say yes to life.

Say yes to life. Take the step the bridge will be there.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. Robert F. Kennedy

We want to do something but we tell ourselves it will be too hard, it won’t work, or what if we fail. Often if we will take that step to make a change in our life the bridge will be there and by crossing that bridge we may find it easier to make decisions and trust things will work out in the future.

Does it also work the other way? The more things we don’t do, tell ourselves can’t work and didn’t push forward on the less we feel prepared to take the step ahead of us?

What if there aren’t really many things in life that are good or bad, but our thinking makes it so? We can bemoan the opportunities that eluded us or we can grab hold of what is in front of us. Not everyone we meet sees greatness, encourages us, helps us, or even likes us. How much growth in our life would we have if it was so easy we had no challenges to overcome, no growth, and no perseverance. We would also not have achievement. If we need to struggle to grow then we should be happy when things don’t work out as planned. I know, this is a stretch.

In Grace Cirocco’s book “Take the Step the Bridge Will Be There” she gives us the “The Self-Defeating Cycle.”

Fear becomes a lack of self-love which becomes a lack of courage, turning into a lack of faith, resulting in no action, turns into depression, which becomes regret, ending in sadness. We had a choice we didn’t take and we end up sad with less self-confidence.

She also gives us the “Braveheart Cycle.”

We face fear and feel uncomfortable feelings, we take action facing risk, we grow and develop self-confidence, and we end up feeling courageous.

We may think these cycles are only relevant in the big areas of our lives. Don’t they happen all the time? We wish we said something and because we didn’t we live with regret. We wish we’d changed something years ago, but we hesitate to do it now because it’s been so long, and we continue to live with regret.

We are always here in this moment and it is in this moment we have the power to decide to do something, feel courageous, or not do something and live with sadness and regret.

You can have anything you want if you want it passionately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world. Sheila Graham

Sometimes we regret in the short term and are happy in the long term we didn’t make that decision and take that action. It isn’t always wrong to hold back, and it isn’t always right to forge ahead. When we make the right decision we call it good judgment. We teach our children to have good judgment and not to follow the crowd. Somewhere we need to find a balance between being a risk-taker and being careful about the risks we take. Putting the mortgage money on red is brave, stupid, foolhardy, and not likely to end up well.

Have you seen the movie “Yes Man” starring Jim Carey, he takes few chances and lives a lonely unsatisfied life? He is pushed into joining a movement where the only answer is “Yes” to whatever is asked. He starts saying “Yes” to everything and his life changes in a big way.

Sometimes we have to jump in, sometimes we have to wade in slowly, and sometimes we need a push to get going. It isn’t important how we do it, it’s important that we do it. How do birds know they can fly? Is there a step you want to take, a change you want to make, something new you want to bring into your life? Take the step, the bridge will be there.

“Come to the edge,” he said. They said, “We are afraid.” “Come to the edge,” he said. They came. He pushed them… and they flew. Guillauwe Apollinaires

You know that if you get in the water and have nothing to hold on to, but try to behave as you would on dry land, you will drown. But if, on the other hand, you trust yourself to the water and let go, you will float. And that is exactly the situation with faith. Alan Watts

Passion lops off the length of weariness. Passion is the elixir that renews… Oh, don’t sigh heavily from fatigue: seek passion, seek passion, seek passion. Rumi

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Be a Doer. Make something happen. Be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Make something happen. Be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Be a doer.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers. But above all. The world needs dreamers who do. Sarah Ban Breathnach

January has a reputation for not being our favorite month. After we’ve popped the champagne and brought in the New Year we look at ourselves and shrug our shoulders, “Now what?” This year we may be thinking it even more so. One of the things we can do to give ourselves and our life a lift is to declutter and energize our space.

My husband and I have been putting off a big project. We wallpapered our kitchen about twenty-six years ago and loved it. But, twenty-six-year-old wallpaper is well, as my daughter says, “So passé. It’s time for a refresh and you should paint the cabinets too because they are so out of date.”

If you have never taken off wallpaper it is not for the faint of heart. A week ago on Sunday, I said to my husband, “Are you sure, because once I tear that first strip, we are committed.” I only wish it came off in strips but it comes off in bits. It is a meditative process, and it isn’t the worst way I’ve spent parts of a January. Seeing the wallpaper give way to the white beneath and what will eventually be a lovely fresh yellow kitchen feels like progress.

I’ve even made up my mind to tackle the powder room wallpaper next and the hall wallpaper after that. This is a project professionals would do better but right now that presents a few problems. The satisfaction of doing it ourselves is going to be worth it. My fingernails are taking a real beating as they are my best tool for prying off the wallpaper along with a sponge and Dif solution.

Thinkers think and doers do. But until the thinkers do and doers think, progress will be just another word in the already overburdened vocabulary by sense. Francois de La Rocheloucauld

It takes a lot to start but as they say, starting is half done. Once we are in the middle of a project it is easier to keep going than it is thinking about what it entails before we start. Once the house is in this much of a mess over one room why stop until we’ve looked after all the areas we want to? There is nothing like a new coat of paint to refresh our surroundings. When I saw what one of my friends did with her kitchen I made up my mind to do the same. When my husband saw her kitchen he was sold on the idea too. It has taken us quite a while to actually get ready to do it, but here we are in the midst of it.

What is it that brings us to the point of taking the next step? We can know we need to do something, and even want to do it but something holds us back. One thing that works is setting a date. We said we would do it in January and then the date was upon us and we started. It’s one of the reasons dieters start a new diet on Monday. The problem with that strategy is if we have to diet. We need to adopt a lifestyle to get and keep in shape, to be at the weight our body is comfortable at, which might not be the one we prefer.

If we are going to make anything happen in our life we have to be one of the “Doers.” Nothing happens until someone does something. If that someone isn’t us then we are waiting for other people to tell us what is going to happen in our lives. There is little security in life, but the security there is, comes from the ability we have to shape our lives, roll with the punches, and be in a position to say yes or no to opportunities or circumstances.

Is there something in your life you’d like to tackle? What is holding you back?

A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. Nolan Bushnell

A non-doer is very often a critic, that is someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It’s easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change. Wayne Dyer

Be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. Homer

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30 Days – Change your habits, Change your life: A couple of simple steps every day to create the life you want Paperback – Oct. 15 2014

by Marc Reklau  (Author)4.3 out of 5 stars 736 ratingsBook 1 of 8 

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

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

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

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

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Carol S. Dweck (Author)

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

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

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Are we stuck? Moving forward and helping others by paying it forward.

Moving forward and helping other by paying it forward. Are we stuck?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When you learn, teach. When you get, give. Maya Angelou

My son used an analogy yesterday; I don’t know who he got it from. We can’t steer a parked car and a lot of us are like parked cars. We sit there moving gears, blinking lights, pushing on the gas and brakes but nothing happens, we aren’t going anywhere. If we start the car even if we start moving in the wrong direction we can turn around and make adjustments along the way.

We can’t turn our lives around when we remain parked and maybe we remain parked because we feel safe. An ostrich sticks its head in the sand to feel safe. Is trying to be safe the worst thing we can do? When we don’t know what to do maybe we feel safer doing nothing but that is probably not what we should be doing. No matter what our circumstances in life isn’t there something we can do to make things better, move things along, or make a difference?

We think people become successful because they are lucky or they were at the right time or place. In reality, we build our lives toward failure or success with our daily habits. We build our marriages, our families, our health, our fitness, and our finances by what we do daily.

We may do the best we can and still not have things work out for us the way we hoped.  There is no guarantee but if we move towards our goals and dreams by making the habits in our lives work for us. The chance of getting what we want will increase.

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill

What if one of the things we need to do is help someone else achieve their dreams before we will achieve our own. What if that will pay dividends into the future we can’t imagine. I was listening to Joel Olsteen yesterday and he was saying his father went by a church under construction years ago and he noticed that nothing was happening. He found out they had run out of money. In his own church, he took up a collection to help the neighboring church complete its construction.

He was able to complete the construction projects on his own church over the years with cash. Did helping the other church pay dividends to his church? What if doing a good deed for someone is the best way to bring good fortune into everyone’s lives including our own?

Are we stuck feeling like nothing is moving forward in our lives? What actions do we need to take, what habits do we need to change, and what do we need to do to move forward? Do we need to help someone else move forward first?

Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. Sarah Bernhardt

One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. Ronald Reagan

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Do It Scared: Charge Forward With Confidence, Conquer Resistance, and Break Through Your Limitations (Break Your Fear Series Book 1) by [Scott Allan]

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Do It Scared: Charge Forward With Confidence, Conquer Resistance, and Break Through Your Limitations (Break Your Fear Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

by Scott Allan (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

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Confidence in our resilience. Does that which does not kill us make us stronger?

Does that which does not kill us make us stronger? Confidence in our resilience.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient. Steve Maraboli

Last night my cousin called to tell me a tornado ripped the roof off her house and she and her husband were in it when it started to happen. They ran to a building with cement walls they thought would be safer. How terrifying would that be?

Last night sheet lightning lit up the sky and thunder rolled. When I got up this morning only one plant on the patio was overturned. The hanging basket was still hanging and the plant pots on the front step were still standing. The weather sounded ferocious but did no damage that we know of. We have had shingles blown off our roof a few times but to have the roof of your house taken off while you are inside it. I  can’t imagine what that would be like.

The good news is my cousin and her husband are both safe. The insurance company has put tarps over the top of the house. I should have gotten more details. My son asked me was it only their roof or were neighbors properties damaged as well. I didn’t think to ask. We had a long conversation but lots of questions that should have been asked didn’t get asked. She liked the quote I gave her, “My barn is gone, now I can see the moon.” She is one who has taken lemons and made lemonade.

She is resilient. She makes the best of things. This is how we need to be in life. We don’t always know what the best is. There are unintended consequences of going for what we think is the best which can turn into the worst. The wheel of fortune works in our life. Things we think will work out good sometimes don’t, and some of the things we think will work out bad work out for good.

The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived. Robert Jordan

Through all that, my cousin has dealt with in her life she has never become bitter. I admire her a lot. She said, “I’m giving myself today to feel bad, but tomorrow I’m going to wake up happy.” When I look at people who go through things they seem to be about as happy after something happens as they were before. We might do some crazy things to make ourselves happier, but it doesn’t seem to work. She told me about someone close to her who has done something drastic to feel better. When asked, “You did this to feel happy. Why aren’t you happy?” There is no answer because it isn’t outside things that make us happy.

We may perfect something on our outer physical body that bothers us, but even if we love the result. We will find something else that bothers us that also needs fixing and we can be on an endless cycle of repairing ourselves and still never feel good enough.

If we aren’t happy wherever we are, we are unlikely to be happy even if we get what we think we want. A cold drink on a hot day should be enough to make us happy. Coming into a warm house after being out in the cold should feel like entering heaven. Opening the door to the smell of dinner is a fabulous experience every time. Looking at our children whatever their age is heart-warming. Holding our spouse’s hand while walking should bring us close and grateful to have a hand to hold.

My cousin says happiness is a choice. I believe her and many times she chose to be happy when she could have made another choice and no one would have faulted her. She carried on when many would have given up.

My own life has been one of relative ease and that might be to the detriment of my character. When we don’t go through hard things we don’t develop the resilience that others have had to develop. None of us want to face hard things but we must know in our innermost being that we can deal with whatever comes.

Do we have confidence in our resilience?

Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good. Elizabeth Edwards

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself and be lenient with everybody else. Henry Ward Beecher

A good half of the art of living is resilience. Alain de Botton

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The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to  Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life's Hurdles by [Karen Reivich, Andrew Shatte]

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by Karen Reivich (Author), Andrew Shatte (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

Living without regrets. Making the best of the situations we are in and the opportunities that present themselves

Making the best of the situations we are in and the opportunities that present themselves. Living without regrets.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Discipline is doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, when we don’t want to do it. Unknown

Yesterday I listened to Mel Robbins on The School of Greatness podcast talk about the five-second rule. She believes as I do that our habits create our life and it is the action we take that will build our life. The five-second rule helps us do what we need to do.

She says we have a small moment in time when we decide to do what we need to do or not. It is that short amount of time when we decide to get up when our alarm rings. We decide to exercise, or we decide to eat something we shouldn’t. We decide we are going to take the action that propels our life forward. We will make the sales call, have a difficult conversation, tell someone we love them, or reach out to them in some way.

She suggests we count backward from five. Five, four, three, two, one blast off and we do what we need to do. As we take the actions that build the life we want we will be more confident because our actions prove we can take control of the moment. We can propel our life forward. Confidence is built through action.

We can wait our entire lives to be motivated, or we can count backward from five and do it. She says we can’t control how we feel. What we can control is what we think and how we behave.

Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great. George Bernard Shaw

We can think and behave ourselves into the people we want to be and the lives we want to live. Haven’t we all heard “Just do it.” This is a tool to use to make ourselves do what needs to be done. We know if we don’t get up early enough to exercise, read, and write in our journal. That exercise will never get done, that book will never get read, and that journal will never get written.

We only ever have the moment we are in to change things. If we don’t seize the moment, the opportunity is gone. Sometimes we have that opportunity present itself again every morning. Other times opportunities only present themselves once and we seized them or we did not.

Sometimes we see people doing things we planned on doing, living lives we planned on living. Why didn’t we do them? What didn’t we do, what choice didn’t we make? Every day we have choices to make. We will not always make the right choice, but the more opportunities we seize the more confidence we will develop.

Do we learn by doing? We will never feel competent at anything unless we are courageous enough to do it when we don’t know how to do it well. We will get better with practice. The more output we have the better some of that output will be.

Count backward from five and then do what needs to be done. If we do this how much more productive could our lives be? How many times might we count down and not say something better left unsaid? How many times would we make the best of a moment that may never come again?

Could a life without regrets be as easy as counting backward five, four, three, two, one, and doing what needs to be done? Saying what needs to be said, or holding our tongue from lashing out?

Courage, after all, is not being unafraid, but doing what needs to be done in spite of fear. James L. Farmer

I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work. Pearl S. Buck

Work hard to get what you like, otherwise, you’ll be forced to just like what you get. Unknown

The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

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The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Mel Robbins (Author, Narrator), Mel Robbins Productions Inc. (Publisher)4.4 out of 5 stars 1,826 ratings


Embracing the risks and rewards of life. There is no safe life.

There is no safe life. Embracing the risks and rewards of life .

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… but about learning to dance in the rain. Unknown

Yesterday I was supposed to attend a bridal shower. It was a beautiful day perfect for a bridal shower. Instead, I worked in the garden. The wedding has been rescheduled for next year. How many people’s lives are being put on hold? My son’s girlfriend tells me a wedding planner she knows has eight weddings that have been rescheduled.

As things start to open up we will see how this unfolds. Some people believe at the end of this the toll will be the same whether over a shorter or longer time frame. We can be careful, we can be diligent, we can protect ourselves the best we can, and we can do our best to protect others but we cannot make things safe for everyone, ever. We don’t know what we don’t know, and we have to do the best we can, and we will have to accept that others have done their best, even if the worst happens.

One of the things we will have to be careful about is not blaming someone if they inadvertently pass this onto someone. We know if we are the one to pass it on we didn’t do it deliberately, we will have to think the best of others as well.

Part of living is accepting risk. We take risks with everything we do. Haven’t we all heard stories of soldiers who came home safely but fell to their death off a roof?

The garden centers are open but how will curbside pick-up work? I don’t know what I want until I get in and see the array of colors and something says take me home, give me a try in your garden.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Serenity Prayer

Going out for coffee is such a simple pleasure and it’s not the same when we pull into a drive-through and sit in our truck and drink it. One of the things about working from home is the need to get out. Cabin fever is a thing although to call this real cabin fever is to diminish cabin fever. We can go on walks and putter outside in our yard.

What about those who recently downsized from their house to a condo? Are they feeling claustrophobic and wishing they had one more spring to dig their fingers into the dirt? How weird would it be to be in an elevator at a time like this? We have to be careful we don’t worry too much about what could happen and not do any of the things that should happen. Don’t we still need to live our lives and there are cautionary tales about people who become too germ-phobic to continue living a reasonable life.

We will all take risks, and we need to be okay with the risks that others take, not just the ones we do. This will be a case for “Judge not lest ye be judged.” We may think we needed that bottle of wine to celebrate something but not think they did. We need to get out but why did they put someone we love at risk. We need to do what we need to do to pay the bills, and so does everyone else. We will have to take a certain amount of risk. How will we know what is too much risk? What is too little risk? As always we must try and find the balance in life and we will have to be okay with how things unfold.

Our faith as we go forward may be tried.  We may question our faith in God, our faith in ourselves, others, and our faith in our leaders. Our faith in the process of life may be questioned, but we have to go forward. We will not do everything perfectly and we have to be okay with that.

There is no safe way to live, life is not safe, it has never been safe, and it will never be safe. Isn’t part of the adventure of living that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring? Are we embracing all life has to offer with its risks and rewards?

Change it can be risky. It can be difficult. It can also be beautiful, and it will always show you more of yourself. Unknown

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T.S. Eliot

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. Unknown

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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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Brené Brown (Author, Narrator), Random House Audio (Publisher)4.6 out of 5 stars 1,573 ratings#1 Best Seller in Social Sciences Research

Challenged to change ourselves in challenging times. Will we end up bitter or better?

Will we end up bitter or better? Challenged to change ourselves in challenging times.

Photo of quilt Mom made

When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself, and that changes everything. Unknown

Yesterday my dog barked as a parcel was dropped off at our door. When my daughter brought it to the kitchen I realized it was the quilt Mom made me, my sister finished it with her quilting machine and sent it on to me. It’s beautiful and the picture on this blog.

I looked at all three of the quilts Mom has made me. The second one, a star quilt she gave me in 2016 and my sister who also lives in Ontario was going to bring it back with her because she drove and I flew. We don’t live close so I would pick it up when I went up there or she would bring it down to my place. Somehow, she couldn’t find it and was sure I’d already received it, but one day she found it, and last May I picked it up.

Yesterday I listened to the Church of the Rock and the pastor was telling us about twin brothers whose father owned a hardware store. They took over the hardware store and worked together in harmony until one day one brother made a sale and he left the dollar from the sale on the counter and went into the back room. When he got back the dollar was gone and he accused his brother of taking it. His brother said he didn’t take it, but the brother who put it there said, “there are only two of us in the store you had to be the one who took the dollar.” They quit talking to each other and divided the store down the center, put in two cash registers, and operated two separate businesses in the hardware store without talking to each other for twenty years.

One day a man came into the store and put a dollar on the counter. He said, “twenty years ago I was down and out and as I walked by your store I saw a dollar on the counter and no one was in the store so I took the dollar. I’ve come to return it.

Twenty wasted years because of a dollar. How many of us have relationships that are strained, broken, or ruined over something as small as a dollar? No matter how contrite those two brothers may feel they wasted twenty years.

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. Viktor E. Frankl

We may be upset over how things turned out. We may think people should have acted differently, be more considerate, understanding, loving, or honest. Maybe they should have been but they weren’t, they were exactly who they were, and they did what they did, things are what they are. Is not talking a good way to go forward?

We have a situation now where some people will not be careful enough and that is how viruses are spread. Maybe we can’t be careful enough and if it is us, we will expect others to understand but if it isn’t us, will we understand?

As we begin to move into the next phase of this we will go more places, we will come into contact with more people. We will relax and begin to feel comfortable again. We won’t know it’s over until it’s over and we don’t know what we don’t know. The easiest thing in the world is to blame someone else if we get it or someone we love gets it.

We all have to live with the aftermath of this and hopefully, in times of hardship, challenge, sickness, or even death, families come together.  It is also in these times that breaches become wider, hurts become more bitter, and hearts become harder.

Will going through this make us better, bring us closer, heal breaches, bring reconciliation, or will we be more bitter, hurt, and disappointed? We cannot choose what happens to us only our reaction to it. What will be our reaction? We are challenged to change, will we meet the challenge?

It is not events that disturb people; it is their judgments concerning them. Marcus Aurelius

Between stimulus and response is the freedom to choose. Viktor Frankl

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. Epictetus

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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Glad to Be Human: Adventures in Optimism by [Irene O’Garden, Kristine Carlson]

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Glad to Be Human: Adventures in Optimism Kindle Edition

by Irene O’Garden (Author), Kristine Carlson (Foreword)  Format: Kindle Edition


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