Misunderstandings and miscommunication create more problems in the world than malice and wickedness. Does this explain some of the polarization between us?

Miscommunication and misunderstandings create more problems in the world than wickedness and malice. Does this explain some of the polarization between us?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding. Unknown

We all make mistakes in life and some of them will impact our lives in big ways. Listening to Pastor Mark Hughes of Church of the Rock yesterday he told the story of twin brothers who were left their father’s hardware store. One day one of them sold an item for one dollar but he didn’t put it in the cash register he left it on the counter. When he came back to the front of the store the dollar was gone. He accused his brother of stealing it. The brother said, “I didn’t see a dollar on the front counter.”

This went on with each thinking they were right until they weren’t speaking to each other. They put tape down the middle of the store, put a cash register on each side of the store, and didn’t speak to each other for twenty years.

One day a man came into the store and said, “I’d like to speak to you two gentlemen. Twenty years ago, I was down and out and I saw a dollar on the counter and I took it. I’ve recently turned my life around and I’d like to make amends by giving you back your dollar.” He handed them a dollar. The two brothers embraced and cried the answer to the mystery now known, but they wasted twenty years.

On Dr. Phil the other day he had a couple on. The husband is accusing his wife of sleeping with three presidents, Obama, Trump, and Biden plus 97 other men. She says he is the only man she has ever been with. Dr. Phil said to the man, “I believe, you believe what you are saying. I also believe what your wife says is true.”

How do we handle things when we know for sure something is true and the other person is adamant we are wrong? Do we not speak to them for twenty years, get a divorce, or try to find an answer that makes sense?

When nails grow long, we cut nails not fingers. Similarly when misunderstandings grow up, cut your ego, not your relationships. Unknown

The problem in the hardware store was not so much the missing dollar as the brother’s refusal to believe his brother didn’t steal it. In the couple’s case, the wife is trying to get help for her delusional husband, who up until this point has been a good husband and father, they have a baby in the hospital with heart problems. She is hoping Dr. Phil and others can get to the root of his delusion and she can get her husband back.

That is an extreme case and of course, we all got a laugh when we heard he thinks she’s slept with three presidents which shows how delusional he is. But, we have many situations that may arise where we or someone else believe things, but they aren’t the way we think they are. We took offense to something that wasn’t meant. We heard or understood something that wasn’t meant the way we heard or understood it. We are willing to believe the worst instead of the best possible explanation.

How many relationships are ruined because of misunderstandings, misinterpretations of events, words, or situations? Even if we forgive someone for what we think they did, can they forgive us for thinking they did it?

Can we find dignity in what we know to be true even if people don’t believe we are virtuous, honest, and fair-minded? Can we not let our dignity get in the way of the relationship? If there is an answer can we look for it, can we at least be open to there being an explanation that isn’t just we are right and the other person is wrong?

 A single moment of misunderstanding is so poisonous, that it makes us forget the hundred lovable moments spent together within a minute. Unknown

Misunderstandings, if left unsolved, will push people so far apart that they might never come together again. Unknown

And I have again observed, my dear friend, in this trifling affair, that misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness. At all events, the two latter are of less frequent occurrence. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

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

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

Facing our fears and taking the next step. Living a courageous life is moving forward however slowly.

Living a courageous life is moving forward however slowly. Facing our fears and taking the next step.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. W. Clement Stone

How many of us feel the fear and do it anyway. There are steps we need to take in life that fill us with fear and trepidation but there is no way around going through what we fear to get to what we want.

It might be fear of a trip to the dentist, doctor, or something that is going to help us lead a better life. It might be we have to leave an old comfortable job to get a better job that helps us get more of what we want in life. it might be moving to a new locale. Having a baby is filled with fear and trepidation and birth is only the beginning.

They say we regret what we don’t do more than what we do. We come to a fork in the road and we take one path and leave the other. What lay down the path we didn’t take we’ll never know, and we have to be okay with that. Sometimes we can go back and make different choices but often that window of opportunity was there and we took it or we didn’t.

Some things we have a lifetime to look after. We can always start a new exercise program and eat better. There are always opportunities to be more patient, loving, and kind. We can pick up a hobby we’ve always been interested in. We can take courses or read books on subjects that interest us. Tom Jacobs, a citizen scientist has spotted a Jupiter – like planet in Nasa Tess Data. Alan R. Schmitt developed a program called LcTools which allows citizen scientists to inspect telescope data by eye. Do you think you might feel foolish when you think you’ve discovered a planet, what if you are wrong? Are other people saying to themselves I noticed that irregularity but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t say anything?

We risk failure to risk success. We could be awful at that new job, our new business could fail, no one might read our book, our marriage might fail. What if we won’t like the changes to our lives with marriage and parenthood. We don’t know what the results will be if we don’t take the chance. If we move forward or stay where we are life won’t be perfect. There will be challenges to face either way. No one has a challenge-free life, the most we can ask for is to pick our challenges.

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

It could be the more we grab onto what life offers the more we enjoy our life. At Toastmasters many people join because they are afraid of public speaking. They may never get over that fear entirely but they harness it. Toastmasters, say it is a powerful force in their lives and has impacted them in more ways than just getting up to give a speech. Finding the courage to face public speaking made them more courageous in other areas of their life. It has done that for me.  

When I rejoined Toastmasters after a thirty-year hiatus, it wasn’t because I feared public speaking but I wanted to be better at it. I was hesitant to put myself out there as a writer and just in case someone wanted to interview me I wanted to develop some poise and talk intelligently. By joining Toastmasters I found a group of people who want more out of life and are grabbing hold of opportunities in front of them. It was a great decision. Every time I give a speech I worry I’ll forget what I’m saying, After you’ve forgotten what you were going to say a few times you learn to pick up after a pause, and most of the time no one knows what you were going to say next, but you. Sometimes I realize later I left out part of my speech but it didn’t matter.

Finding the courage to face our fears and take risks is how we grow, and overcoming what holds us back opens doors to a future we may only have dreamed of, but we can make it a reality with courage and by taking the next step.

Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it. Bear Grylls

Courage is being scared to death and then taking the next step anyway. Unknown

I just give myself permission to suck… I find this hugely liberating. John Green

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 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.

The rewards of a creative life. Finding passion, purpose, and meaning feeds our soul

Finding passion, purpose, and meaning feeds our soul.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You can’t use up creativity the more you use, the more you have. Maya Angelou

Today is a day when we may have lost some of the focus and energy we had when we made our goals for the New Year. Maybe we’ve started something and it isn’t working how we thought it would. Our expectations may be too high in the beginning, and most things we do can’t be judged too harshly when we are at the beginning or even in the middle of a project.

When we get out of our comfort zone and start things we are more awkward sometimes even than we thought we would be. Things will take longer and we may never be as accomplished as we hope. In one sense this is good we have something to strive for, and we may never feel we’ve danced our best dance, played or sang our best song, painted our best picture, sewed our best quilt, planted our best garden, or written our best book.

It is easy to give up, close our eyes, roll over in bed, and not bother to go exercise or go for the walk. We may leave our painting until the water dries up in our water container and that happens much quicker than you might think. It happens to me all the time.

Yesterday at Indigo I picked up the book “The Fundamentals of Drawing” A complete professional course for artists by Barrington Barber. In his aids to better drawing, he says, “After you have been drawing for awhile you will see the world differently. For an artist, the visual world is full of interest, and what he sees is life-enhancing.”

I think this is true. Until we’ve tried to capture a shadow in a painting or drawing we may never have looked closely at them. In writing and art, we contemplate the small to create the big. A lot of life is lived in the small, and a lot of our focus is placed on the big. When we get the small detail right like the curve of a cheek, our drawing or painting will come to life even if it is in cartoon form. We have more control over the small things in our life and small changes create big changes.

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. Kurt Vonnegut

Often we focus on what is wrong in the big picture instead of what small thing is not quite right. Often it is small things throwing the big picture off, but until we look at the small and adjust something the big picture will never look right.

My husband came into my art studio the other night and looked at my latest painting that is trying to depict us years ago with our first dog. It looks like you have a new husband. Getting a likeness is not as easy as you would think and I struggle with the fact that my characters don’t look how I want them to look. We learn as we go. We have to accept our limitations, our lack of skill, and temper perfectionist leanings.

Even if I paint a cartoon of my husband to my satisfaction is it how he sees himself? Getting a face right when it is the size of a quarter is no easy task. I often feel like giving up on a painting but if I persevere in the end parts of it I will like. There is always room for improvement.

As I finish my second novel and get it ready to put out into the world. There are changes I would make if I had more time, but I think no matter how much time I take there will always be changes to make. Perfection is the enemy of the good. If things have to be perfect we will have very little satisfaction in life. But, if we can be satisfied with good, and good enough we may surprise ourselves with what we can accomplish.

My sister-in-law sews her own scrubs. They are a work of art inside and out. The people she cares for love to see what she wears, her creativity makes their day. Living creatively adds a dimension to our lives we get no other way. We add to our lives and the lives of those we interact with.

If we are starting out on a new creative path, we need to be kind to ourselves, we won’t master it as quickly as we hoped, we may never master it at all, but it will bring joy, purpose, and passion to our lives.

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. Mary Lou Cook

One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now. Paulo Coelho

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. Anthony J. D’Angelo

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 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.

Our daily habits determine our life. Our health, wealth, happiness, fitness, and success depend on our habits.

Our health, wealth, happiness, fitness, and success depend on our habits. Our daily habits determine our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream. John C. Maxwell

This is the time of year for setting goals. Many of us have heard of SMART goals, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. There is another acronym for goals WOOP – wish, outcome, obstacles, and plan.

We often have a vague idea or a specific idea, wish, dream, or goal, and we may know the outcome we want. It is getting from here to there that gets us stuck. We need to take that wish and get that outcome by overcoming obstacles with a step-by-step plan.

We may balk at taking our wish, hope, or prayer and turning it into a concrete goal. This is a step I stayed away from for years. If I made something my goal then I had to come up with a plan. What worked for me was instead of turning thoughts into goals, turn actions into habits.

Once we develop the habit of exercise we may or may not reach the goal of losing what we wanted to lose or end up looking like we hoped to look, but we are exercising and that is better than not exercising.

We may not think of some of the good things in our life as goals, they are habits like brushing our teeth. We don’t think about it anymore we just do it. Exercise can become a habit; it used to be I had gym nights. I knew what I was doing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, I was going to the gym, and Thursday was Toastmasters.

Now I do four sun salutations with pushups, plank, and fifty repetitions on an exercise machine. It’s not a lot but it adds up when done daily. I now write 150 words in my third novel as I edit my second one and work on illustrating my second children’s book. It’s not a lot but it keeps my mind percolating every day about where the story will go.

Sometimes we don’t achieve what we want to achieve because we expect too much of ourselves. By expecting less we can do more. Four pushups every day could lead to more, but any of us can find time for four pushups be it early morning, late at night, or somewhere in between.

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

Slow and steady can take us places. Often we think slow and small isn’t worth it. What difference will it make, but it will make a lot of difference in our lives if we look after the small things?

We may think we need to rush to reach a goal, but what if it is a life improvement instead of a measurable goal. What if writing 150 words in a personal journal is for your eyes alone? This may be a way to look at your life in a new way; there are many benefits to writing a journal. We can analyze our life, decisions, goals, habits, relationships, and life direction in a journal.

Four pushups per day may start us on a lifetime of healthier living. Four full-body stretches like sun salutations may keep us limber. We may change our diet one day a week or one meal a day, once a week, or even once a month.

There is power in small changes, creating daily habits to sustain the changes we want to make. Once four pushups become a habit it is like brushing our teeth, we don’t think about it we just do it. Journaling can be the same, we can’t wait to write our few words to empty our mind onto the page, write what we are grateful for, or something we’d like to look back on.

Is this the year not to worry about how you want the exercise to make you look, or what size you’d like to wear, but make it a habit that fits into your life so you become a person that exercises regularly? Just like most of us don’t sometimes brush our teeth, we have a routine, we do it every day. We can make creating good habits the goal. Small things we do daily can change our life, and we don’t have to know what they will lead to.

Our habits more than our goals create our life, goals are lofty, we can be proud of them, but habits are where we make things happen by what we do daily.

Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do. Sean Covey

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. Tory Robbins

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. Lao-Tze

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 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.

Philosophy of life, do we have one? Does it bring us joy? Are we willing to do what it takes to live the good life?

Are we willing to do what it takes to live a good life? Philosophy of life, do we have one? Does it bring us joy?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Bertrand Russell

My son got a book for Christmas “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday. I was looking for a new book to read before bed and pulled out “A Guide To The Good Life” the ancient art of stoic joy by William B. Irvine.

When I checked on Amazon “The Daily Stoic” was on sale so I quickly bought it and to my joy, it arrived yesterday. It is 366 meditations on wisdom, perseverance, and the art of living. I was able to catch up so I am on the right day today.

I love daily meditation and wisdom books. The book of Proverbs in the bible is full of wisdom and someone recommended reading it as a monthly meditation. There are so many books of wisdom and we can access them easily. We have the opportunity to read what the great thinkers have written. How blessed we are.

When the stoics were around in Greece and Rome there’s was not the only philosophy of life. In fact, reading last night Seneca’s brother Gallio is mentioned in Acts 18: 12-16. Even if someone only looked at the Bible as a philosophy of life it is a good one. One of the big secrets in life is there is no secret, no hidden information only open to a few that keeps the rest of us from living the good life. There may be hidden information only a few know but it may be hidden in plain sight.

What is a good life? Is it a virtuous life, a meditative life, a loving life, a forgiving life, a joyful life, an active life, a life pursuing our dreams and goals? From what I understand the Stoics believed in all this and they also believed we should be as happy when things are going well for us as when they aren’t. Joy is a state of mind, happiness comes from within and our circumstances don’t make us a better or worse person. Our thoughts, our actions, and our beliefs color our lives but who we are and who we can become is not set in who we were born to, the circumstances of our birth, our bank balance, or social standing.

Today as always these are important truths to instill in our children and to embrace ourselves. We have thousands of years of wisdom to build our lives on, we have philosophies and belief systems to choose from, and if we choose wisely they probably all lead to the good life.

The best reason for adopting a philosophy of life is that if we lack one, there is a danger that we will mislive. William Ervine

The thing that draws us to people who we see living the good life is their good life. We want what they have; we want a strong character, faith in ourselves, and humanity. Haven’t we all seen faces filled with joy, not someone preaching their faith but living it, and we know they have something that sustains them not because they tell us they do, but because it is evident in their lives?

We may not be willing to do what they do to have what they have, but we can at least recognize they have it. No one I know who has what I’m talking about is keeping their beliefs or practices a secret. Some want to push their belief system on us without us asking, and the reason they do this is that they think if we knew what they know, what it has done for them, we would get on board.

Envying people with belief systems and faith is a bit like envying the fit person. We know what it would take to be fit but we aren’t doing what needs to be done and until we decide we are willing to do it, we only look on. If we decide to embrace exercise and fitness often we are now willing to tell everyone what a difference it has made in our lives and wonder why we didn’t do it earlier. What we thought would be too hard to do, becomes easy as the rewards are so great.

I believe there are many roads to the good life. There may be trails, that lead to paths, leading to roads, leading to the good life.” We may think we have found “The Way” at points in our lives and find our thinking changes and we embrace something else, a different religion, a new way of thinking, acting, and carrying ourselves in the world. One thing I believe is “We will be known by our fruit.” If we have a philosophy of life be it a religion, practice, or belief if it is good our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will benefit from it.

How great is it to know that the good life is open to all of us? We get to choose it, search for what will lead us to it, and practice it. It isn’t the circumstances in our life, or who our parents are, or how impressed others are with us. This is open to all of us, the great and the small.

The good life comes with a price, as does everything in life. We reap what we sow, and if we don’t like what we’ve been reaping we need to plant a new crop to reap a new harvest.

To live a good life: We have the potential for it. If we can learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. Marcus Aurelius

A good character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness. Seneca

We are not given a good life or a bad life. We are given a life. It’s up to us to make it good or bad. Ward Foley

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 who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase a product I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Making plans, setting goals, moving ahead in life. You don’t know what you can do until you do it.

You don't know what you can do until you do it. Making plans, setting goals, moving ahead in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson thomas

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Alan Lakein

This is the time for resolutions and making plans. This has not been one of the strong points in my life, but I’m getting better.

There was the trip to Europe, still haven’t gotten there, but my husband and I are putting a plan in place to make it happen.

Writing, it took me forever to write steadily. It took even longer to make a plan to publish. I guess part of what I thought is; who am I to think I can be a published writer? This February I will release my third book. I was making it into a bigger thing in my mind than it is. If my goal was to be a big famous writer, that is not something in anyone’s control, but writing and putting my work out into the world instead of hiding it on my bookshelf, that I can do.

We don’t know what we can do until we do it. Fear holds us back from so many things. Fear of commitment and fear of failure. Millions of people have failed to read my blog or my books, or I failed to reach them but some have read them, and told me they enjoyed them.

The first book took a long time, but I started the second with a goal in mind because I’ve spent too many years afraid to set goals. What was I afraid of? Was I too lazy to bother? That is part of it, when we set a goal we give ourselves a job, a commitment to ourselves. Something that nags at us and says you should be doing… instead of watching this show.

Big audacious goals to start with are what we are tempted to set. I’ve set some of those and never reached them. We need to be able to break goals down into manageable steps. This is why one of my goals (I started in December) is to write 150 words per day in my third novel and do something to move my second children’s book along as I finish editing my second novel and get it out into the world.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Some of us might think 150 words are hardly worth doing and that is the point. It is such a small doable goal, we can make it happen. It’s like setting a goal to do 1 push-up per day. How can we not find time even if it is the last thing before bed to do 1 push-up – often we will do more? Small steps make a big difference in our life and they lead to big things. Often we overlook the small because we want to focus on the big, but the big is usually made up of lots and lots of small steps.

Writing my second novel and publishing it in a year and a half is all about the small steps taken daily to get me to this point. Anyone that has raised children knows its little steps. There is the big event, the birth of a child, or an idea. Then there is the hard work of doing what needs to be done and not losing focus during the heavy slogging of middles. We have to get through boring, mundane, middles to get to happy endings.

When parents look at each other at the big events in their children’s lives part of it is pride in getting their children to the stage in life where they take big steps in their own lives. It is when the sacrifice is worth it. If we are lucky we get to the place where our children are taking their place in life. Our heavy role of parenting is finished, now comes another fun part, enjoying our children’s success, and grandchildren.

We made decisions or failed to make decisions along the way that have impacted our life. The decisions we make today will impact our life going forward. We may pat ourselves on the back for the decisions we’ve made over our life or cringe when we think about them. We can’t go back and change the past, but we can go forward, and work with what we have to make our future better. Will that be one push-up or two?

The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities. Stephen R. Covey

Plans are nothing, but planning is everything. Dwight D. Eisenhower

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. Eleanor Roosevelt

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