Gratitude and happiness. Thanks to those that do the heavy lifting in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When gratitude becomes an essential foundation in our lives, miracles start to appear everywhere. Emmanuel Dagher

It is good to be grateful for all the good we have in our lives and the people who provide what we need and want to live a good life. Thanks to those that provide the food we eat each day, those that keep the lights on, the sewer system working, and the energy that heats our homes, and powers our world.

We women in our hubris sometimes talk like we don’t need men in our lives but the world doesn’t work very well without them. It is a personal choice if we don’t want to share our lives with a man, but we all benefit from their work. We should never think building a society that works with all the interdependence we have would be easy to replicate.

Our society was built with men doing the work for society and women doing their work for the family. It might have been a little patronizing to be told “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.” But, it was also comforting. When there is a power outage men go out and fix it. When there is any type of disaster men are there to do what they can to protect life.

The fact that women can take care of their children without a man is a testament to the society that has been built to make it possible. If women lived in groups and men were roaming around doing what they pleased, and taking what they wanted, women and children would be in a pretty bad way.

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

Most of us don’t want to go back to how things used to be, and even if we think we’d like to, we’d pick and choose what we want to keep, and what we want to change. This is the sign of a good society, we have choices. Life isn’t necessarily easier when we have choices, but we love choice, even when we don’t know out of our myriad of choices what choices we should make.

Positive psychology has been criticized for its failure to acknowledge the value of negative emotions. Barbara Held from Bowdoin College in Maine, says “Positive psychology has been too negative about negativity and too positive about positivity.”

Life is about suffering, setbacks, disappointments, frustrations, and change. One of the choices we sometimes make is to put ourselves in danger and mostly we get away with it. Just because most people do not take advantage of us if we are drunk, does not mean that someone won’t. Our society can’t protect us from bad choices, but we can learn from them.

If we are grateful for all the lessons we learn in life, for everyone that contributes to our lives, for the opportunities that present themselves, and give thanks for all we have we can live in a state of gratitude.

Does an attitude of gratitude make a difference in our lives?

Living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace. Arianna Huffington

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. Maya Angelou

Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude. Deepak Chopra

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.

Is resilience what makes us capable of facing what we have to face and finding the strength to keep going?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

This weekend was a fun weekend of going to a friend’s place and enjoying a jazz festival and then yesterday, popping in to see family in the afternoon. It is lovely to be able to do these fun things again. We were happy to see bands perform we’ve seen at previous jazz festivals.

It is a testament to the resilience of people being able to bounce back from difficult situations that festivals are going on.

Resilience is the ability to manage the emotional impact of stresses, difficulties, and traumas in our lives. Are we born with an inherent resilience that protects us, informs how we discover and explore the world, how we learn, and take risks, or do we develop resilience?

Being resilient doesn’t mean we don’t experience stress, it is how we deal with it that makes us resilient. We are resilient when we work through our pain, our losses, and our setbacks. We are told we can grow our capacity for resilience and hasn’t these last couple of years been a testament to that. We haven’t equally faced difficulties, traumas, and setbacks. Some of us have been fortunate to sail through these last few years without much impact and others have seen the fabric of their lives ripped apart.

Flexibility and adaptability to go with the flow of life, and perseverance to not give up when things get hard help us to be resilient. When we believe things can get better and that we have the resources, strengths, and skills to overcome the challenges and work through our setbacks we will have the strength to carry on.

If we have gratitude for what we have, compassion for ourselves and others, acceptance of what is, and believe there is meaning and purpose to life. If we can forgive ourselves and others for our shortcomings we have the building blocks for a resilient life.

Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going. Yasmin Mogahed

This doesn’t mean we won’t have moments of being overwhelmed by trauma, adversity, and hardship, but we will utilize our resources, strengths, and skills to overcome and accept the challenges and realities of our lives. Being resilient does not mean we never need help, it means we will acknowledge our situation, seek help and adapt to situations and move forward. Resilience is the core strength we use to carry our load in life.

If we can develop a resilient mindset we will do better in life. It will help us weather the ups and downs. If we are grateful for what we have, and where we are and know even if it seems bad it could be worse, and that we are stronger than we think we are and there is a joy to be found even in the midst of adversity. The more joy we glean from small things in our life the better our lives will be. Resilience is taking the lemons in life and making lemonade. It is people going through hardship to give their families a better life. It is believing tomorrow will be better and enjoying whatever joys today brings.

None of this is new, every generation faces adversity and has to dig deep to find things to be grateful for and the strength to persevere. We admire those who have had the courage to persevere, and who have faced adversity with courage, optimism, and humor. It is people who have faced the greatest obstacles that have the best stories.

We don’t know what life has in store for us. We don’t know how we will react to the circumstances ahead, but we can hope we will be resilient, grateful, resourceful, and persevere through whatever lies before us.

It may sound strange, but many champions are made champions by setbacks. Bob Richards

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how you life’s story will develop. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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

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

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

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

Our attitude shapes our life, we must guard against developing a critical spirit.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is a garden our thoughts are the seeds, we can plant flowers or we can plant weeds. Unknown

My husband tells me he heard a woman say, “I love a lazy Sunday doing nothing, but I sure hate it when I see my husband doing nothing.” How many of us in our hearts think the same. It might not be the same situation but often we are looking at things in someone else’s life they should fix when if we put our attention on what we should fix in our own lives we can make things better for ourselves.

One of the worst things we develop in life is a critical spirit. A critical spirit is a negative attitude of the heart that seeks to condemn, tear down, and destroy with words. In contrast, constructive criticism involves opinions that are meant to build up. A critical spirit creates blind spots in our hearts and minds causing us to believe we are being constructive when we are condemning, tearing down, and destroying with words.

There are four different ways we can be critical spirits, we can be gossipers, slanderers, judgmental, and complainers. Why do we develop critical spirits? We may be jealous, envious, angry, or hold grudges. We may be full of fear and develop a critical spirit as a way of self-protection. We may feel we are not in control of situations and we use manipulation and shaming in order to gain control.

The only true disability in life is a bad attitude. Scott Hamilton

How can we get rid of this problem that colors everything in our life and can ruin all the good things we have in our lives? It may be horrible to live with someone who is critical but if that someone is us how do we get rid of a critical spirit?

We can focus on what we control in our own lives, we can be grateful for what we have, we can make an effort to build others up, and we can look on the bright side of life.

This is what we can do. We can’t make other people act better, think better, or be better. We can only make ourselves act better, think better, and be better.

It seems to me there is a lot to complain about, but most of what we are hearing being complained about is not anything we have any control over. What if we put our energy into our lives, our families, and what we have direct influence over?

We can notice the small blessings in our lives and be grateful for what we have instead of what we feel is missing. We should think about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. This doesn’t mean we should ignore falsehood, injustice, ugliness, or imperfection. But, we should not dwell on the negative.

How do we deal with the realities in life without becoming bitter and critical?

Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world. Annie Lennox

Respect a man, and he will do all the more. John Wooden

Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself. Richard M. Nixon

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

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

Thank you to those who read my books. 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.

Envy is one of the deadly sins. How does envy play out in our lives?

Photo by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. William Penn

Is envy at the root of many of the ills of our society? Was it envy that made Cain kill Abel?

There is a big difference between jealousy and envy. We are jealous if we think a girl is after our guy or worse yet he is showing some interest in her. In our mind our husband is ours and we feel threatened that we might lose something we have.

Envy is a reaction to something we think we lack. We may be envious of someone and their husband, their career, new car, fame, fortune, or opportunity. Envy harms us in a negative way if it takes up our time, consumes our thoughts, ruins our professional or personal relationships, warps our personality, and creates negativity in our lives.

Can it be a good thing if it spurs us to take action to better our lives and if it makes us move past the fear of failure by taking action to prove we can do it too?

God told Cain it was up to him what happened with his envy. If he changes, he will be able to control his anger and not sin. If on the other hand he does not, his anger will overcome him and he will commit a terrible crime. Cain slew Able because he didn’t control his anger.

Is this same scenario being acted out in our society over and over again by people who cannot control their envy and become bitter and resentful? What we also have going on is the media attention this garners which might make some people feel powerful for the moment, “Ignore this,” as they spray bullets.

Gratitude for what we have is one of the antidotes to envy. We can stop judging ourselves and comparing ourselves to others. We need to forgive ourselves for not being or having what we envy. We may need to forgive the person we envy for making us envious because of their good fortune, hard work, or genetic lottery. We can turn our envy into an appreciation of others’ good fortune. We can use our envy to generate goals for ourselves.

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own. Harold Coffin

If we can live by our own definition of success, and realize no matter what we see in someone else’s life we don’t know the whole story. We need to remember that other people’s success doesn’t impact our own; we need to do what we need to do to feel successful in our own lives. Can we quit comparing ourselves to other people and focus on our talents, assets, and goals? Can we be thankful for the people in our lives? Can we accept the things we can’t change, and change the things we can to create our best life?

There may be things we can’t change that are the cause of our envy. We will need to come to a place of acceptance before our envy turns into a negative force. We may need to look for a group of positive and grateful people. People who are nonjudgmental, generous, and kind may help us begin to feel that way too.

Maybe we can start a gratitude journal, focus on one positive thing per day, stay away from negative input, remind ourselves of what we can control, and give other people compliments. Research tells us that complimenting people we envy can help us overcome our feelings of resentment. Can we find a way to help others and will this help us see how much good we have going for us, in our own life?

Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. When it shows up in our lives we need to find ways to deal with it positively because if we don’t it may overcome us.

What role does envy play in our life?

Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate. William Arthur Ward

A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned. Xun Kuang

Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbor to have them through envy. Aristotle

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

Enjoy the little things. One day we will realize they were the big things.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius

My friend and I went for a walk yesterday. What a lovely day, cool enough to need a jacket, with the sun shining and pockets of early spring flowers blooming. We saw two open houses and popped in for a look. The first house was a bungalow with potential; the second was a bungalow with its potential realized by the current owners. It was gorgeous, with an addition and renovation completed about ten years ago, in the backyard was a pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen with grill and pizza oven, a change room, and a bathroom. This is the house for people who love to entertain.

As we walked through the first house my friend said, “You need to have a vision of what it can become to buy a house like this, and the pocketbook to make it happen.” The second house was an example of someone with a vision, the pocketbook, and making it happen.

In the morning my new grandson’s other grandma and his aunt came over. They brought breakfast and we talked and laughed, while they admired and held the new addition acknowledging the changes since the last time they saw him.

As we talked and laughed I started dinner so it would be finished when my friend and I finished our walk. She is a first-time grandma herself but last year with the restrictions during this pandemic did not get to hold her grandson when he was brand new. She stayed for dinner and held my grandson marveling at how small he is compared to her one-year-old grandson.

The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most of every day. Unknown

My son tells his fiancé that when he sees me holding my grandson it looks like I’m on crack. “My mom has this perpetual smile on her face.” It’s true, being a grandma is wonderful and I am enjoying every moment of it knowing he won’t stay little for long. My friend goes through her picture gallery showing me pictures of her grandson. I’ve already done the same with people.

We don’t know what a day will bring. Yesterday was wonderful, filled with laughter, joy, friendship, and exploring our neighborhood. My husband and I are planning to go on day trips this summer, explore different areas, and see the sites near us. We can be tourists in our own locale.

Wherever we are in life, whatever our age, there are joys to be had. Some things we have to plan, some are spontaneous, some are even serendipitous, but if we are open to living in the moment and going with the flow we can enjoy these moments. They are especially sweet because they are fleeting.

We need to grab onto the moments of joy the day brings, and suck out all the sweetness in life. We never get to live the same day twice, we have to make the most of each one as it comes.  

Make each day a masterpiece. Don’t think your best days are out there somewhere. Why not today? Why can’t today be a great day? It can be if you believe it will. John Wooden

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Attention is the key to life. Whatever you really give your attention to, you become. Whatever you really concentrate upon will come into your life. We grow into the thing that fills our thoughts as inevitably as the stream merges into the ocean at last. Emmet Fox

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.

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

Are we grateful for the little things? The little things we take for granted are the big things.

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. Cynthis Ozick

Things can change in an instant. Everything is going along even if not merrily, it is rolling along. Then we get the phone call, someone is in the hospital or didn’t even make it to the hospital. Whatever it is, it catches us off guard.

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

I sit here today as a grateful grandma. Have a happy Easter. As we gather together this Easter we will feel even a little more blessed to share time with each and every person at our table.

Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out. John Wooden

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Brault

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. Gilbert K. Chesterton

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 that 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.

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

Life is a gift, not an obligation. We are blessed to get to do things.

We are blessed to get to do things. Life is a gift, not an obligation.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. Earl Nightingale

Last night I was looking at a post on Linked In and it said when we look at things we “get to” do instead of what we “have to” do we get an attitude change. How many people wish they could still do what we get to do, how many people have never gotten to do some of the things we take for granted?

When we say we “get to” instead of we “have to” we are stating we have choice and opportunity. If we get to go to work today how lucky we are. If we get to drive a vehicle to work, go to the store today, make dinner, and get to eat it with family how lucky are we?

How many people wish mundane things they took for granted were still theirs to do, and enjoy? When we change the way we look at things, do the things we look at change? The Stoics believe we should spend some time looking at what we could lose in our lives as a way of appreciating what we have.

When we acknowledge that we get to do something we acknowledge if circumstances were different we might not, that we have something to be grateful for. We get to say good morning to our spouse this morning. I get to call Mom today and what a blessing that is.

I watched part of a fallen police officer’s wife’s speech over the weekend. How blessed she would feel if she could say good morning to her husband. A simple pleasure like that is gone from her life. It can be gone from our life as well and we need to enjoy these pleasures while we have them.

If there is a conversation we need to have with someone we need to have it now. One of the ways to live a life of few regrets is to enjoy as much of our lives as we can instead of sleepwalking through life thinking of it as the same old, same old. Some day we may wish we had some of the things that bother us about someone because they would still be with us.

Mondays are a great day to focus on what we “get to” do instead of what we “have to” do. Life is a gift, not an obligation. Jon Gordon

I’ve been working hard on getting my second novel out. What a privilege it is to be able to write that. I said to my husband, “I’ll be glad when it’s done when this is over.” He said, “You won’t be done.” He’s right, I’m not done writing I’m just done with this project.

I love the journey of writing, painting, and living. I love who I am when I am engaged in creativity. I love being part of a family with all that entails. I love sharing my life with a dog. Can we enjoy the pleasures in life, knowing they are fleeting and a new stage is coming?

I feel aimless at the end of a project and so I’ve quit ending everything at once. I have new projects already on the go as I finish the one I am working on. No matter what stage in life we are at we may face the end of things. We may need to find new things to occupy our time that was taken up by work or family.

Some of the things we got to do may be over. Our children don’t need us as much as they did. This is an opportunity to develop ourselves in new ways, find new ways to live a creative life, develop other aspects of ourselves we didn’t have time for. We get to make choices about how we will spend our time. If we raised a family there were years when we had no time for ourselves. It was all about work and kids, and we may look back fondly at those as the best years of our lives.

We are blessed we get to do so many things. Will it make a difference as we say we “get to” do, instead of what we “have to” do?

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

You’ll have to be grateful for what we can do instead of angry about what we can’t. Eric Walters

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. J.R.R. Tolkien

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 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.

Appreciate the moments; they are the building blocks of our life. Are we collecting moments, not things?

Are we collecting moments, not things? Appreciate the moments; they are the building blocks of our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether we take things for granted or take them with gratitude. Gilbert K. Chesterton

One of the keys to the good life, I am reading, is negative visualization. Really, thinking how bad things can be will make them better, or make me feel better about them? But, when we think about the impermanence of life, and embrace there is a time when we will kiss someone for the last time. We will go for brunch at that restaurant for the last time. We will talk to a friend for the last time. We’ll write our last letter, read our last book, dance our last dance, paint our last picture, ride our last horse, or pet our dog for the last time.

If we are cognitive of that, perhaps we will enjoy the meal at that restaurant a little more. Enjoy the visit with a family member, a little more. We will wring more out of the moments in our life because they are fleeting whether we acknowledge it or not.

I’ve had conversations with a friend whose family also lived far away. We can have a long-distance relationship that is close in every way but being near them. There may be an added benefit in that our conversations are deeper, we talk about things we might not have if we could stop in for tea whenever.

We can take our families for granted and not make time for important conversations because they could happen anytime, so they sometimes don’t happen at all.

I read a story in the book “God’s Two-Minute Warning” by John Hagee. He tells a story about a young man taking a class. In the class, the teacher tells them to tell someone in their life they love them. The young man is driving home and thinks of his father who he is on the outs. He drives to his father’s house and when his father opens the door, he said, “Dad, I love you.” The father says, “I love you too, son.” Two days later his father has a heart attack. It was almost too late for him to heal the breach, but going forward without his father will be easier because he did heal it.

Let us not take for granted that life exists more fully in what is commonly thought big than in what is commonly thought small. Virginia Woolf

One of the things Dad always said after I left home was, “You never know if you’ll see me again, or if I’ll see you again.” It sounded so morbid, but it was the truth. It was also a reminder not to leave things unsaid, undone, and unfinished. The last hug was one time truly the last hug, and it will be for all of us.

In “A Guide To The Good Life” by William B. Irvine he talks of two fathers each with a daughter. One contemplates what life would be like if his daughter were to be gone from his life. The second father is oblivious to this. The author tells us the first father will enjoy his daughter a little more. He will know this could be the last soccer game of hers he watches. The last time he takes her to a theme park. The last time he takes her for ice cream, or the last time they go out to their favorite restaurant. By savoring what he knows is not permanent or guaranteed he enjoys the moments with his daughter more. The second father may hardly notice his daughter as he goes about his busy life. Until all those moments he didn’t savor are gone.

I’m not saying we should say to our husband over breakfast. “I was just thinking what it would be like without you.” He could take it the wrong way. “Or, he could say, “I think about what life would be like without you all the time.” But, sometimes these are conversations that need to be had. “Dad said to Mom, “I don’t want to leave you, but I know I am going to.” Death will come to all of us but if we acknowledge it, perhaps we savor the moments in our life a little more.

We need to enjoy what we can enjoy today because we can’t take things for granted, and not taking things for granted may be the best way to live the good life.

We can’t recover the moment after it’s missed, the word after it’s said, and the time after it’s wasted, but we can make the best of what we have, where we are.

The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. Unknown

When life is good do not take it for granted as it will pass. Be mindful, be compassionate and nurture the circumstances that find you in this good time so it will last longer. When life falls apart always remember that this too will pass. Life will have its unexpected turns. Ajahn Brahm

It’s amazing how many times in life I’ve said, “I want to do that someday,” not thinking that someday might never come. I will never again take someday for granted again. Lisa De Jong

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. I hope you enjoy them. 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 from the Amazon affiliate program.

Getting better not bitter. Do we declare we are blessed, talented, healthy, and strong?

Do we declare we are blessed, talented, healthy, and strong? Getting better not bitter.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Be happy for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience. Roy T. Bennett

How do some people get old and bitter and some get old and better? Some are wonderful to be around. They have the best stories, make us laugh, and are encouraging, uplifting, and kind. We love to spend time around them. When we call them we are willing to talk to them as long as they will talk to us.

Other people are like storm clouds, raining down criticism, complaints, and ready to erupt into thunder and lightning at the slightest prompt. I feel blessed that Mom and Dad were of the former, not the latter. Although as my sister and I chatted on the weekend we talked about how Dad could erupt and we were shaking and walking on eggshells when he was back to smiley and happy.

Everyone can and maybe even should lose their temper on occasion. There are circumstances that call for reactions that are more than raising eyebrows. What we don’t want to be is in a constant state of discontent.

What did we think our life would be like at our stage in life? Some people appear to get more out of life at every stage. They don’t seem surprised when winter comes, they prepared for it, and when spring comes they are prepared for that.

I have enjoyed Joel Osteen’s book “The Power of I Am.” Is there anything new in this book, of course not? It seems to me we find new ways to destroy our lives but not new ways to build good, happy, productive ones. That is old knowledge, widely available to all who will listen, search, and read. People might not think they have the choice to be sweet or curmudgeonly, but I think it’s a choice. I hope I’m making the right one.

Dad lost most of his right hand in a farm accident. He could have been bitter, but I believe he was grateful knowing he could have died. When we live with gratitude we look at things differently than when we live without gratitude. If nothing is ever good enough, no one is honest enough, or does the right thing then as Jim Rohn says, “That’s all you’ve got.” I don’t think we should overlook when things are going in the wrong direction but complaining about them doesn’t do anything.

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

We need to know what we can do, who we can influence, and then we have to get out of the way and let them do it.

There are periods in history that would have been horrible to live through. There must still have been people who lived with a cheerful heart, and a grateful spirit. Our choice to take charge of our life with our thoughts, behavior, and attitude is what we can do.

Sometimes the only thing we have power over is how we react to things. We may have to be okay with not seeing things the same as other people. Can we be content where we are even if it isn’t where we thought we would be? We may have to be content with the person we married, not the fantasy of who we thought they were, or who they would become. We have to be content with ourselves, our faults, weakness, and foibles.

If we live with a curmudgeon, it is a challenge, and if we are the curmudgeon we are a challenge for them. They are one of our challenges in life, and we are theirs. What if living with a grateful heart and a good attitude is how we pass the tests of life? What if every dream we have were to come true, and it affected our happiness quotient by zero? More money, fame, children, grandchildren, and our party getting in power wouldn’t change how happy we are? That’s a sobering thought. If nothing changes our degree of happiness except ourselves then we could choose to be happy any time in any situation. We have to deal with what we have to deal with but does worrying do anything but steal our joy.

How much joy do we have in our life? Are we taking every opportunity to bring joy and wonder into our lives? Do we see every sunrise, sunset, shooting star, rainbow, and the Northern Lights, as opportunities to be inspired?

When we look in the faces of those we love, do we realize how lucky we are to have them in our life? Does our fear we could lose them spoil that? We don’t all have the same blessings in our lives. Maybe we all have the capacity to feel blessed regardless of what those blessings are. What if that is what is important?

Do we look at our lives and see what is right, or what is wrong with it? When I draw and it doesn’t look right I have to adjust my perspective, when I get the perspective right the picture comes together. Our attitude is our perspective. The only person that can adjust our attitude is ourselves. What if the words we put after I Am can change our life? Are we getting better or bitter?

The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are. The more present you become. Robert Holden

The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. Oprah

Let a series of happy thoughts run through your mind. They will show on your face. Norman Vincent Peale

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

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Contentment and happiness. Are we content where we are, or are we waiting for something to make us happy?

Are we content where we are, or are we waiting for something to make us happy? Contentment and happiness.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Forget yesterday – it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow – you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift – today. Steve Maraboli

A wise person does not grieve for what they don’t have but rejoices in those things they do have. Today is a wonderful day, we’ve never seen this one before.

Are we content where we are, with the season and circumstances we are in? Are we waiting for something to happen so we’ll be happy? We’ll be happy when we get married, after the baby comes, after the baby goes to school, when the baby finishes school, university, gets married, and makes us a grandparent, etc. We can wait away our life for the when we thought would make us happy. There is no moment when everything will be perfect. If we are waiting to exhale, we are focusing on the wrong things.

Today is our day, with all its problems, potential, joys, and sorrows. This is it, and when tomorrow comes it will be today. We only get to enjoy today, hope for tomorrow, and look back on yesterday. When we realize we should have enjoyed yesterday it’s in the past not to be relived. Hopefully, we enjoyed it when it was today.

On Monday I found out one of my aunts died at age one-hundred. Her husband was born on October 16th, he died on October 16th sixty-four years ago, and she died on October 16th. She spent a few years as a married woman but most of her life she was a widow and had to finish raising their sons alone. We don’t know how life will work out which is why we need to be happy in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

Today is the day we have to enjoy, love, celebrate, and be grateful for the beauty and bounty in our lives. We don’t know how long we have or what circumstances we will be in. We don’t know if tomorrow will be better than today so enjoy today, be happy today.

Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

Remember the song, “I’d trade all of my tomorrows, for a single yesterday.” Did they enjoy yesterday when it was theirs to enjoy or only in retrospect? Life always comes with challenges. Being single had its challenges and being married has its. Working for someone has challenges, having our own business has challenges, and being retired has its own challenges. Living in the country has challenges, and living in the city also has challenges.

We might be asking “Are we there yet?” Where is there, and what are we expecting it to be when it comes? Often there is no there. Because what we think of as there is a new set of challenges we weren’t expecting. Life is a journey of ups and downs, springs, summers, falls, and winters. We may feel we are always playing catch-up. Just when we think we’ll have enough, it isn’t enough anymore. Is the secret, knowing that what we have is enough no matter what that is?

If we are alive obviously we have enough to keep on living. Can we be content in the circumstances we find ourselves in?

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. G. K. Chesterton

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Brault

If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. Frank A. Clark

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 and 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.