Getting enough sleep. Could this be the best habit to keep or create? Don’t we all want to be healthier, happier, wealthier, and wiser?

Don't we all want to be healthier, happier, wealthier, and wiser? Could getting enough sleep be the best habit it keep or create?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. Irish Proberb

The air is cooler as I walk this morning, but not quite cool enough to run back and get a sweater. Since I started getting up at 5:00 I think I’m sleeping better. If I get to bed at 10:00 sleep comes easily. When I get to bed a little later it seems harder to go to sleep.

Everywhere we go it seems people are complaining about not being able to sleep. Melatonin is the answer some say, others try it and say it doesn’t do much for them. I now find I am tired right around 10:00. If I stay up later I get a second wind and then it is harder to go to sleep.

Could part of the problem be that we don’t take the time to figure out our own bodies rhythm and work with it? Many of us choose bedtimes and wake up times based on our professional, family, and social lives. They tell us we have individual variations when it comes to what our best sleep hours are.  Can we figure out what our individual circadian rhythm is and work with it?

The optimal bedtime for most people is between 8:00 pm and 12:00 am.  We are told to keep our bedtime and wake time consistent. I find this difficult as it means not much social life on the weekend if I have to be in bed by 10:00. Being too rigid makes it more likely to just give up establishing a routine at all. It is the same with our eating and exercising routines. Life has to fit, and our routines have to be elastic enough to accommodate life, and routine enough to give our bodies what they need. Finding balance is what we need to focus on.

Sleep in an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow. Tom Roth

Not getting enough sleep affects all areas of our health. A lack of sleep can lead to memory lapses, accidents, injuries, behavioral and mood problems. Inflammation is one of the problems lack of sleep exacerbates. Inflammation is linked to many of the most serious health conditions.

Getting enough sleep is not a small problem, nor one we should take lightly. It may not be possible for couples to keep the same bedtimes and rise times. My husband doesn’t appear to need near the amount of sleep I need.

Studies have shown that people who slept less didn’t wake up with high inflammation, but they had greater inflammation responses to conflict. According to the study if both partners got less than seven hours of sleep they were more likely to argue or become hostile. Lack of sleep and marital conflict appear to go hand in hand. Canada is listed as the third most sleep-deprived country and the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation found that 33 percent of men aged 30-49 were only getting four to six hours of sleep per night. Twenty percent of Canadians get between six and seven hours of sleep every night, and six percent consistently get less than six hours of sleep per night.

Is getting more sleep the best thing we can do for our marriage?

What we’ve only come to realize recently is that the brain is pretty far from resting during sleep… the brain is actively cleaning synapses and reinforcing important ones. So not getting enough sleep means you’re not doing your housekeeping. 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.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See this image

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time Paperback – Apr 4 2017

by Arianna Huffington (Author) 3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews


 See all 14 formats and editions


Habits and attitudes shape our lives. Isn’t it good news if we can change our habits and attitudes?

Isn't it good news if we can change our habits and attitudes? Habits and attitudes shape our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Suppose you are wrong? How would you know? How would you test for that possibility? Thomas Sowell

Having a year of blogging behind me means I can look at a year ago and see what I was writing about. Last year I was writing about mother love is the greatest love of all. I don’t mean mother’s love their children more than father’s do, but in the wild no one says don’t get between a father and his cub.

Today I am reading that the facts don’t really matter if we repeat them often enough, we believe them. There is a glitch in the human psyche that equates repetition with truth.

“Repetition makes things seem more plausible,” says Lynn Hasher, a psychologist at the University of Toronto whose research team recognized this effect in the 1970s. Is this where the idea of affirmations came from? Telling ourselves, we are beautiful, powerful, successful, over and over again hoping one day to believe we are who we want to be. Or the reverse, telling ourselves, and being told by others we will never get a break, never be successful, no matter how hard we try, so maybe it’s better not to try at all?

We have to be careful about what we listen to, swallow, and believe. We have to be careful what we tell ourselves, and what we tell our children. My son was telling me last night about Thomas Sowell an American black economist who served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He said Thomas Sowell was speaking somewhere and young black men came up to him saying they would love to be pilots but they wouldn’t be accepted if they tried to join the air force. He was dumbfounded by the ideas these young men had been brainwashed with, that they shouldn’t even try, shouldn’t even apply.

It seems hard to believe it is true people think they shouldn’t even try.  What happened to, “It is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all?”

Is it more important than ever to try to ferret out the truth of all the propaganda, misinformation, and fake news we hear? What are the questions we should be asking? What is fairness? What is equality? What is justice? What does equal opportunity look like?

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good. Thomas Sowell

Do we want the truth, or do we want someone to tell us things we know can’t possibly be true?  If we don’t accept and embrace the truth then we will be fed lies, because lies are what we want to hear, and the person with the best lies is who we vote for.

Are we at a place in history where we need to look at things as they really are? Not how we wish they could be. If it is true that differences in habits and attitudes are the differences that result in the differences in economic outcomes, don’t we need to recognize this, and not pretend it isn’t true? If it is true, then everyone can change their habits and attitudes. Isn’t that good news?

The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them; it is also a reflection on us. When people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy. Thomas Sowell

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, truth, and love.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See this image

Discrimination and Disparities Hardcover – Mar 20 2018

by Thomas Sowell (Author) 4.7 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Distribution & Warehouse Management


 See all 6 formats and editions

Family and community. They don’t just happen we have to build them.

Family and community don't just happen, we have to build them.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. Anthony J. D’Angelo

On Saturday we went to a friend’s house close to the Toronto Jazz Festival and walked up and down the street enjoying the music. A night spent with friends, music, and laughter. We spent part of the evening in a backyard created for entertaining right out of a Better Homes and Gardens design book. When it rained we huddled together in the covered bar.

The rain dampened the evening and everyone left early except four of us and our hosts who sat at the kitchen table and laughed till our sides hurt. Today I will pay the parking ticket we received. I guess that’s the price of admission.

People must spend enormous amounts of time on their front gardens. Our friend’s garden was as beautiful as everyone else’s. If you aren’t a gardener you must not fit in very well. A profusion of blooms and mature trees line the streets. What a beautiful area to live in. A walk to the beach is as easy as a walk to the coffee shop up the street. Quaint shops and restaurants are all within easy walking distance. The fitness level is probably higher because of such a walkable area.

The building block of every community is family. Paul Singer

How do we create that sense of community? Why does it exist in some areas and not in others? Is it because the garages are in the back creating a more inviting path to the front door? Whatever it is, it’s something and a wonderful community has been created. Maybe part of it is being quaint, and old, every house has character. Maybe part of it is money. Maybe part of it is everyone taking pride in their community, and everyone doing their part to keep up their little space resulting in a cohesive whole that shows us what a community can be.

It makes me realize we need to get out more, walk around in various communities and appreciate the special flavor of individual communities. It also shows me I need to get out in the garden and pull the weeds. It takes time to tend to our gardens but without tending we can’t have a beautiful garden. It takes time to build character, gardens, and to grow mature trees.

It is like being around someone’s family that is warm, welcoming, and close. That warmth and closeness didn’t just happen. We have to build our communities and our families. We can’t pick our flowers in someone else’s garden. If we want flowers to pick we’ll have to grow and tend our own garden. If we want a happy family, we have to grow and tend to that too.

Is it finding the best place to live, or is it creating the best place where we are? A happy home filled with love, laughter, belonging, acceptance, and joy is our choice. We can bloom where we are planted. We can plant flowers or weeds. We can tend our gardens, marriages, and relationships or we can let them fall into disrepair and wonder what happened. We happened; we make our choices every day to make things better or to make things worse.  

Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love. Marvin J. Ashton

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. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 4 images

Love Makes a Family Board book – Dec 24 2018

by Sophie Beer (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews


 See all 2 formats and editions


Living through the depths of despair and moving on. Do we get stronger in the broken places?

Do we get stronger in the broken places? Living through the depths of despair and moving on.

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. Meister Eckhart

Last night my husband and I went out to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was good and gives us things to talk about. One of the things I want from a movie is things to talk about.

As we sat in our seats an old friend came up to us. She’d seen us walk in but I hadn’t seen her. It’s almost ten years ago that the worst happened in her life. Her husband died when he had a heart attack on a family outing.

She and I and other girlfriends went out to dinner when she’d been widowed about a year and a half. She was doing well, the kids were doing well. Ten years later she’s happily remarried; her new husband of three and a half years has two children. It is as if her kids gained siblings she says.

We think that once the worst has happened our life will never get back on its moorings again. My mother had a fifty-year marriage and five children after she was widowed with three children. Life goes on; we don’t know how it will unfold.

We may not like the turn our life has taken. It may seem unfair that this has happened to us. It has happened and we must go forward. I have never had to deal with this heartache myself, but because my mother did I feel I can talk about it.

At some point. you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening. Unknown

We often talk about life as if it’s a choice, often we only get to react to what happens in our lives. Whatever has happened in our lives is always there. Perhaps it is like a not blank canvas, we can paint on it what we want, and what was on that canvas adds depth to our lives that wouldn’t be there without everything we’ve experienced.

I love happy endings, to think things will work out in the end. If someone hasn’t found their new someone then it is still in the future. Adventure awaits. Life isn’t over till it’s over and there are new highs and lows coming for all of us.

Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting. It means you choose happiness over hurt. 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, hope, and love.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate link.

See all 2 images

Mending of a Broken Heart Paperback – Sep 1 2016

by James Michael Castleton (Author)4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews from Amazon.com | Be the first to review this item


 See all 3 formats and editions

Self-care, how can we take care of anyone if we don’t take care of ourselves?

How can we take care of anyone if we don't take care of ourselves?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Treat yourself as someone you are responsible for helping.” Jordan Peterson

I haven’t seen a glorious sunrise since Monday. Not seeing one every day makes me more appreciative when I see one that takes my breath away.

Last night was another great night at Toastmasters. We had nine guests and that they came out on a beautiful summer’s eve says something. We had three speakers of which I was one. There is so much to learn from listening and watching others speak. We are all individuals with our own style, our own strengths, weaknesses, personality, and presentation styles.

How do we become effortlessly witty, sarcastic, funny and comfortable in front of the group? Some of us are entertaining, informative, and funny. Speaking in public is a skill that as we develop we create our own style. In the beginning, we may emulate someone but as we continue on our journey our style becomes our own.

I’ve said it before that developing as a public speaker does more for us than we can imagine. As one of our members said in her thought for the day, it is a form of self-care. We are doing something for ourselves that improves our lives, our communication, and when we improve our communication we can improve our relationships.

Often we don’t say everything we had prepared in our speech. Sometimes they flow better than what we practiced, sometimes they don’t. Usually, even though we may be aware of the mistakes we made, or thoughts we left out, our audience is not. Every speech is a chance to stretch ourselves. We stretch ourselves by finding a topic, we stretch ourselves by accepting the challenge, and we stretch ourselves by not feeling totally prepared but giving our speech anyway.

Sometimes we’ll find that feeling underprepared gives us a little edge, we are in the danger zone and that is where magic can happen. We don’t know our material so well that it is memorized, but we know it well enough to take it where it wants to go. There is something that happens when we are giving a speech that we can never prepare for. This is audience interaction. We can say something that resonates with the audience that encourages us to expand upon that thought, and at that moment our speech can transcend what it was when we wrote it.

Jordan Peterson questions for a good life:

What might my life look like if I were caring for myself properly?

What should I be doing when I have some freedom, to improve my health, expand my knowledge, and strengthen my body?

What career would challenge me and render me productive and helpful, so that I should shoulder my share of the load, and enjoy the consequences?

Some people are comfortable never knowing exactly what they will say. The more comfortable we get with the idea that if we know our material and general organization we will know what to say next. We will interact with the audience, they will interact with us. This is what can get us hooked on public speaking.

For whatever reason, I get emotional when I give my speeches. Even when I think I’ve got this, I often find emotion creeping into my speech. I was watching a Joe Rogan podcast on Youtube with Jordan Peterson. A seasoned speaker like Jordan Peterson was overcome with emotion as he talked about how we should try and be the strongest person at our father’s funeral. If it happens and we continue with our speech, it is what it is.

One of the things we should be okay with is giving a bad speech. The win is getting up and giving the speech at all. We learn more by taking the risk and giving a bad not quite prepared speech than if we wait for the perfect time to prepare. Boldness is rewarded; if we are willing to be a fool in public we can accomplish great things. Do it badly, but do it.

As we give speeches we have to look deep within ourselves to find things to say. We may face some of our shortcomings, fears, challenges, and unrealized dreams. C.S. Lewis says, “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end, if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin and in the end, despair.

I’m sure there are some negative stories people have about Toastmasters. That is probably mostly about personalities and conflict within groups of people, not the growth that is required to be an active Toastmaster. We grow by getting out of our comfort zone, again, and again.

It isn’t how fast we progress, but that we progress that counts. We are all on a journey, if we work to make progress we will enjoy it more, and make more of a difference in our own and other’s lives.

Live properly as an individual. Because you’re more powerful than you think. Jordan Peterson

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, self-care, and love.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 2 images

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Hardcover – Jan 23 2018

by Jordan B. Peterson (Author, Contributor) 4.7 out of 5 stars 1,157 customer reviewsAmazon Charts #2 this week


 See all 11 formats and editions

Focus on the family. The pillar of our communities, the hope of the world.

The pillar of our communities, the hope of the world. Focus on the family.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

As I walked with my dog this morning I contemplated what to write about. The importance of family popped into my mind. We were having a conversation about family and the importance of it, and how a people who can be manipulated by the Government need weak family units. How a fundamental principle of communism is the abolition of the family unit. This would leave the state in charge of the children. Children brought up by “the system” leads to such good outcomes surely we should embrace it.

My son mentioned how the term toxic masculinity is being thrown around, but that “toxic masculinity” has created a society where women are very free to conduct our affairs in safety.  We don’t live in a society where we can’t be out in the evening. I cringe at the term toxic masculinity.

I don’t believe pitting women against men is helpful; it gives power to groups that want to destroy the cohesiveness we have through the family. By expecting families to always be perfect, are our expectations destroying families that may be struggling? Isn’t a struggling family better for most children than no family?

By creating a society where only perfection is okay, we will create chaos. No one is perfect all the time, says the right things, acts the right way or is always in 100% control of their thoughts and feelings. Expecting mothers and fathers to never get flustered or at their wit’s end when they are dealing with children is not reasonable.

Over vigilance is not better than under vigilance. Making people living good lives, if not perfect ones, feel persecuted does not do anything for our society. Calling reasonable men who only want to create a family and raise their children toxic masculine men is not helpful. Making it seem that throughout history the average man was the rich and powerful man is not correct.

We have always had a few powerful men who were tyrants but their tyranny was visited on both the men and women in their control. We have had women who wielded that power as well. Men and women need to build a society. We don’t have good strong families when only one parent is present. That does not mean single parents don’t do a good job of raising their children. It is not considered optimum, and it is not what most people dream of, and hope for.

Family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong. Unknown

The family is the first essential cell of human society. Pope John XXIII

We have a lot of people fighting in the margins for beliefs that don’t line up with history. Militant feminism is in this camp I believe. We want to feel we have had it bad, and we have, but a lot of it was not because we were treated so badly in our families. Our families were trying to protect us and create the best possible future for us, and make sure we didn’t ruin our lives by poor choices. They were not trying to keep us down. Even if they were misguided they did it out of love, concern, and because of societal norms.

Biology has not been women’s friend. Our monthly cycles, needing protection during pregnancy, rape used as a tactic of war, all of this contributed to how our society was created to protect us. Being protected does not allow the freedom that the protectors enjoy. We were not expected to fight and die for our country. Men fought for the freedom and safety of women and children and still do to this day. Some women throughout history have also fought, but it was not their duty, it was their choice.

It is with gratitude I think of the strong men in my life, my father, husband, son and all the other men that make this a good society. If we really lived in a toxic masculine world, women would be prey all the time. We would have a cat and mouse society not the equal, egalitarian, and working together society we have created.

It is a very good time to be a woman. We probably have as much freedom as we’ve ever had. We need to not just enjoy the freedoms; we also have to take on the responsibilities to build a good society.

The breakdown of the family puts many children in precarious situations and makes them vulnerable to being targeted by nefarious groups and individuals who want to use them, manipulate, and exploit them.

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

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, family, and love.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

Unmet expectations the root of heartache. Does lowering our expectations feel like we are giving up?

Does lowering our expectations feel like we are giving up? Unmet expectations the root of heartache.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. Donald Miller

Managing expectations seems to be a recurring theme. Shakespeare said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” I think he is right. Why do some situations cause some people to be ecstatic and others to be unhappy? It seems it’s all because of expectations, our loved one can be in the hospital and we are happy because we thought they were killed in a car crash. In the hospital mending is a better outcome than we expected. If we thought they walked away unhurt then we are devastated because of our unmet expectation.

Some parents are happy they have B students; others are beside themselves if their children are “only” B students. The difference is of course expectations. Some people are happy in marriage and others are disappointed in marriages that seem enviable, this too is because of expectations. If we have too high of expectations of others we will often be disappointed.

Could the secret be that we should have low expectations of others, but high expectations of ourselves? Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.” This seems like good advice to me, we can work on ourselves, we can create better habits, and we can strive to move forward. We need to accept others as they are.

We need to work to become the best we can be. We need to let other people live their lives, make their own decisions, and set their own goals.

How we see life, and our place in society is colored by the cultures we grew up in. We come from cultures where certain things were done, certain things were expected, and certain things were acceptable. Whose expectations get met when culture, religion, male and female expectations get in the mix?  

I am reading there are two notable differences in parenting: The individual versus the collective.

Individualistic cultures emphasize self-sufficiency, while collectivist ones emphasize the dependence of the individuals on the group which they are a part of. Parents generally raise their children with the goal of molding them into effective adults. But the definition of an effective, productive member of society differs from culture to culture.

If people from differing cultures get together to raise children it is easy to see how much difficulty they will likely have seeing eye to eye on parenting.

Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack. Brandon Sanderson

North American society has been heavily predicated on the individual as sovereign.

Jordan Peterson says, “You can’t keep kids safe. The best thing you can do is make them able and courageous. It’s absolutely crucial.” He also tells us, “Life is tragic, and we are all capable of turning into monsters.” By this, I think he means we should be grateful when life is not tragic, and we should also realize that when other people fail us because they don’t meet our expectations, we are capable of that kind of failure and worse.

Controlling ourselves is such a big job, we should do our best to navigate the world and be productive. We need to expect others to do their best and navigate the world, but not try to control, manipulate, or bully them.

Can we manage our expectations by improving our reality by lowering our expectations? Is it possible to accept without reservation and give without expectation? Going forward can we expect the unexpected with a positive attitude toward life?

We need to manage our expectations as we navigate through life. Do we expect less and find ourselves surprised and elated, or expect more than life or other people can possibly deliver and be disappointed?

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. Bruce Lee

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, acceptance, and love.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

Expectation Hangover: Free Yourself from Your Past, Change Your Present and Get What You Really Want by [Hassler, Christine]
Kindle App Ad

Expectation Hangover: Free Yourself from Your Past, Change Your Present and Get What You Really Want Kindle Edition

by Christine Hassler (Author), Rankin MD, Lissa (Foreword)

5.0 out of 5 stars    4 customer reviews

 See all 10 formats and editions

There is so much to be grateful for. There are so many cogs in the wheel making our life work. Is self-reliance a myth?

Is self-reliance a myth? There are so many cogs in the wheel making our life work. There is so much to be grateful for.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing. W. Edwards Deming

This morning the sunrise is glorious peaking through the houses. If I could have had a clear view I’d have posted the picture this morning. Seeing the sunrise starts the day off right. This day will never come again. This particular day with it’s set of challenges, wins, moments of grace and wonder is ours to enjoy today.

Sometimes we don’t realize what a great day it was until we look back. Sometimes we think I will enjoy every moment, I will remember every moment, but often we can’t. We may try but the moments blur into one another as do the days, weeks, months, and years.

These happy golden moments are ours to cherish. Someday we may walk down memory lane and think of all that’s past. We may smile at who we were what we thought we would do, accomplish, see, explore, and experience. We did some of it but many of us had dreams and fantasies that if something came true something else could not. We’ve picked our way through life, choosing this, choosing that. Hopefully, we are looking back at a life well-lived. Maybe we’ve lived many places or few.

Maybe we’d change things, maybe we wouldn’t. Does it depend on what day we are thinking about it? A path we may wish we’d taken seems clear and uncomplicated now, but it didn’t look like that when we were choosing the path. The clear choice is often only clear in hindsight. We often say we wish we’d bought X stock back when it was cheap. No one knew then it would become what it has. It was in the middle of all the other stocks that might become something.

At the moment of choosing nothing is clear. We choose our partner out of the array on offer. Then we build our life making our choices as the twists and turns and forked paths present themselves. What if there is no right path, no right partner, only choices to make the best of. We can go to work or play golf, but we can’t do both. Most days we go to work.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Edison

We may long for a life of leisure but they tell us it isn’t as great as we think it will be. Many people who could live a life of leisure fill their lives up with busyness of some sort or another.

My sister says if we all put our troubles on the line and we could take our own troubles or someone else’s we’d take our own troubles back. Maybe it would be the same for our choices.

We’ve built a life and there is much to be grateful for. This morning I thought as I made coffee and heard the shower running. How much we take for granted being able to shower in the morning. Not that many years ago, a bath, not a shower would have been all we could manage and not without a lot of preparation.

I have so much to be grateful for, my cup runneth over. We are so blessed to live with peace and plenty. We turn our stove on and voila we can instantly cook. We don’t have to gather branches to make a fire; we don’t have to kill something before we can eat it. We don’t have to pick something from the garden although it’s lovely if we can.

We may think the prices are outrageous when we go to the supermarket. My son was telling me of someone who decided to see if he could make his own bacon and tomato sandwich and how much it would cost. The cost was pegged at about fifteen hundred dollars. It would also take a lot of preparation.

He had to get the pig and raise it, grow the tomatoes, and wheat for the bread. He had to get started on this sandwich months in advance. It took him about six months to create his sandwich and all the ingredients from scratch.

If one was to be completely self-reliant we would have to create our own fire, our own implements which would make that sandwich harder, more expensive, time-consuming, and challenging to make.

Do we believe the myth and sometimes dream of being self-reliant? It is almost impossible and probably not very desirable to be reliant only on our self.

This is what our supply chain and working together gets us. Food and other products at reasonable prices, available where we live, and whenever we want them. We are told we’ve never had life so good; or appreciated it less. Sometimes it seems we are focused on what is not so good, instead of what is good. Perhaps this is how we got where we are. Had we focused on what we already had, what progress would have been made? Is it looking at what is and thinking why couldn’t it be better, or different that moves us forward?

All progress it is said is created by the unreasonable man. The reasonable person is happy and grateful, thankful for peace, plenty, bounty, and opportunity. The unreasonable person thinks couldn’t we make it better, couldn’t we do it another way, couldn’t we…

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw

Thank you for reading his 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. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the Amazaon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate link.

See all 2 images

Self Reliance: and Other Essays Paperback – Mar 29 2016

by Ralph Waldo Emerson (Author) 3.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews


 See all 176 formats and editions

Mentoring: sometimes someone else has to see the potential inside us before we see it in ourselves. What a gift if we can do that for someone. What a blessing if someone did it for us.

Mentoring: what a gift if we can do it for someone else, what a blessing if someone did it for us. Sometimes someone else has to see the potential inside us, before we see it in ourselves.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. Oprah Winfrey

Yesterday the writer’s group did readings at an Indigo store. The store was close to me and I decided to join them. I took my little book of readings with me, just in case they had an opening. It is good practice to get used to reading in public.

One of the people who came out I hadn’t met before. She hasn’t been to any meetings since I joined the writer’s group, she’s teaching parents parenting-skills on Saturday mornings. She’s written and published three books and as a retired nurse is giving back to the community by volunteering with troubled youth, and teaching parents how to more effectively parent.  She speaks at schools and seems to have a heart the size of Canada. Working as a nurse in the Youth Justice system she realized none of the kids there, needed to be there if their problems had been addressed in a positive manner. They only really needed one or two good mentors in their life to help them.

She realizes how we are failing our children. She is doing something about it, and she has written a book to help the rest of us. Young Lives on the Line: You Can Make a Difference by Norma Nicholson.

Meeting people who are making a difference is inspiring. How many of us have benefitted from someone taking an interest in us, encouraging us, and believing in us? We hear stories all the time, but what of those that no one bothered with, they were left on their own, sometimes their attitude makes us believe they don’t want help. I believe that “Don’t give a damn attitude” we see is the sign of a hurting soul. They ache to belong, to be part of something, to make something of themselves, but since no one seems to care, they pretend not to as well.  

This Thursday my speech at Toastmasters is on mentoring. I haven’t written it yet, but the lady I met yesterday is an example of a great mentor.

Many of the things we read about mentoring are about career development. We benefit from mentors, teachers, and coaches long before we get into the workforce.

The greatest good you do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. Benjamin Disraeli

We are told if we want a mentor we need to find someone we want to emulate.

We need to understand the person, their strengths and weaknesses. We need to set our expectations realistically.

At some point, if we want them to be our mentor we will have to make a move. Some organizations do this for us. Other times it is all up to us.

After a meeting with the potential mentor, we need to evaluate what we think the potential benefits are. Does this mentee relationship seem like a good fit? Is there a connection?

We will need to follow up.

The relationship will evolve over time.

If our mentor challenges us we need to not check out. If we want to grow, we will need to step up, not out when we are challenged. We won’t always do our best and our mentor should call us on it when they see it. This is what we wanted a mentor for, to help us grow.

Our mentee/mentor relationship will grow. If a mentor does not become a friend then this is probably not a real mentor relationship.

We will need to ask our mentor for feedback. It may feel weird asking for feedback but eventually, it will become second nature. A good mentor will be sensitive and caring.

Many mentorships last years, not months.

I have a mentee and a mentor at Toastmasters. It is a growth opportunity to be a mentee and a mentor. We can look for people we would like to emulate, we can initiate a relationship, and we can take the chance of asking them if they would mentor us?

Many people reach more goals by having a mentor. Many of these relationships last years, many of them fizzle out, and some never take off at all. As I sit here I am thinking of a mentee/mentor relationship I think might be a good one.

Joining organizations like Toastmasters is a good place to find potential mentors. As I see the people who move on to become “Distinguished Toastmasters” they’ve often found mentors who helped, and encouraged them along the way. The mentorships can be formal or informal. We may find mentors and coaches for the different areas we want to grow. Coaches are usually much shorter-term relationships than mentors.

I’m an Area Director with Toastmaster because of the encouragement I received to put my name forward. We can and should encourage people, we never know when our encouragement tips them towards growth.

Getting the most out of life isn’t about how much you keep for yourself, but how much you pour into others. David Stoddard

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, inspiration, and love.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

Young Lives on the Line: You Can Make a Difference by [Nicholson, Norma]
Kindle App Ad

Young Lives on the Line: You Can Make a Difference Kindle Edition

by Norma Nicholson (Author)

4.7 out of 5 stars    4 customer reviews

 Hide other formats and editions

Amazon PriceNew fromUsed from
Kindle EditionCDN$ 6.96

We are enough; we need the confidence to believe it. This is our life can we live, laugh, love, and savor all that there is with gratitude and joy?

This is our life can we live, laugh, love, and savor all that there is with gratitude and joy? We are enough; we need the confidence to believe it.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough. Brene Brown

My son says to me yesterday, “Mom you are a problem finder and you passed that onto me.” He didn’t mean it as a compliment but I’ve rolled it over in my mind and I think he’s right, and I’m okay with that. As Dr. Phil say, “We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.

If we are lucky, sensitive, or aware enough to see problems when they are small we can fix, mitigate, or eliminate them. Thinking things will get fixed with no effort is unlikely. Sometimes we try and fix things and make them worse. Sometimes we need to leave well enough alone.

Mom has always said if we look after the little things, the big things look after themselves. In large part, I believe this to be true. This is why one of the key things we can adjust is our attitude. Can we adjust our diet, sleep, exercise? We might not be able to control our stress levels, but we might be able to mitigate them.

Sometimes we busy ourselves to the brink of exhaustion because we don’t know how to relax and spend time with our families. We can control our food intake to the point of anorexia, we can over exercise, over volunteer, and be overly enmeshed in our children’s lives. I bet we can simplify our lives too much as well. Anything can be taken to the extreme, and extremes rarely lead to well-rounded lives.

Are we encouraged to live the well-rounded life? Or are we encouraged to be stars of one sort or another? What would happen if our Olympic athletes opted for balance and well-rounded lives? Maybe this is part of our problem. We are divided and pulled in too many directions.

There are times in our lives when simple and uncluttered lives may work. That is not what is in store for the newly pregnant woman and her husband as they build a family. We have seasons in our lives, and there is a flow. There is a season for sowing and a season for reaping. Are we living in balance with the seasons of our lives? Do we want to reap when we should be sowing and sowing when we should be reaping?

In an article on simplifying our life one of the recommendations is to forget the small stuff. Life is all about small stuff but it seems true we get 80 percent of the results from 20 percent of what we do. So if we focus on tweaking the 20 percent we will be better off. We can do this with anything. Maybe this is why we aren’t exercising. We think we need to dedicate whole hours to it when 20 percent of the amount of exercise we think we should do would suffice. What if instead of rearranging our whole diet we changed 20 percent of it that would make the most difference. It was eliminating cream from my coffee that I believe made the biggest change for me. I had eliminated eating after dinner, but that has crept back into my life and needs to stop.

We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle. Mahatma Gandhi

If instead of thinking we need to change everything we pick the 20 percent that will likely have the most impact we can improve our lives in big ways with small changes.

Decluttering is one of the things we can apply the 20 percent rule to. Some people think even having a junk drawer is too much clutter. Doesn’t everyone need somewhere to put the things that don’t seem to belong anywhere else? When we throw away that little miscellaneous screw we are sure to find where it is missing. Perfection is the enemy of the good. If we are after a good life other people can share with us then good enough may be great.

Of course “Good enough” is open to interpretation. Sometimes we know what good enough is because on an exam “Good enough” is often 75 percent.  We can’t do everything that is recommended but what can we do? What is the 20 percent change in every area that would make the most difference?  Does it seem like too little if we tried to save 2% instead of the 10% they tell us we must save? What if we tried to eliminate 20% of our debt instead of the 100% they say we should get rid of? We eliminated 20% of our clutter. We brought 20% of the exercise into our life they say we need? What if we tweaked our diet by 20%, not giving up all our indulgences, just the 20% that will make the most difference. What dreams can we make come true? How much communication can we have? Can we fit creativity into our lives to feed our soul and still leave room for everything else? How much tweaking can we do to our life so it still resembles our life only 20% better?

I’ve always told my kids don’t give up your good habits. I’ve started indulging in snacks while watching TV in the evening. This needs to be my 20% change. Snacks and treats in the afternoon, but get back to not eating after dinner.

The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. Brene Brown

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, confidence, and joy.

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

If you purchase an item through the Amazon.ca link I may receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon.ca affiliate program.

See all 4 images

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You ArePaperback – Aug 27 2010

by Brene Brown (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 272 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Personal Transformation


 See all 14 formats and editions