Do too many laws infringe on our right to life, liberty, and happiness? Are we creating outlaws out of good citizens?

Are we creating outlaws out of good citizens? Do too many laws infringe on our right to life, liberty, and happiness?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Most bad government has grown out of too much government. Thomas Jefferson

Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook. The Philippines is bringing in a law that says to graduate, students must plant ten trees. Some are applauding this law. I am not. The idea of encouraging students to plant trees seems a good one. Making students who can’t, or don’t have access to land to plant trees on, or the resources to get the trees, or a way to get to the place the tree planting can take place makes criminals of good students. If every student plants ten trees it won’t take long and finding places to plant trees will be harder and harder, more students will be criminalized. Instead of building up the society which is the aim, it may get torn down by the unintended consequences of a bad law.

Was it a laudable goal to keep our kids from taking drugs? Did making them criminals help? Did putting kids in prison for nothing more than pot possession make sense?

We want to make society better, but are more laws the way to do it? Dueling was outlawed in France in 1626. There were still more than 10,000 duels resulting in more than 4,000 deaths from 1685 to the end of King Louis X1V’s reign in 1715. It is believed the law was ineffective because it went against established norms of the time. We would be shocked to be challenged to a duel; we wouldn’t even think we were compelled to show up.

How do we change our society for the better if we don’t bring in laws to make people behave the way we want them to? Who gets to decide what is acceptable, and what is not? The broken window theory says when we take a permissive attitude to small crimes more crime develops. When law enforcement cracks down on seemingly unimportant things, it criminalizes too many people. When the greater society doesn’t agree with the effects of what they feel are unjust laws, they no longer work with police to enforce them. We need to realize there are unintended consequences to laws that are brought in.

What are we to do in a society?

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Ayn Rand

Is it great when the privileged whose lives we think are made of simple choices put constraints on the poor whose lives are made of tough choices? Do rich women ever have to think of prostitution to feed themselves or their children? Do rich kids ever have to choose to sell drugs because that is the only option open to them to make money?

There is a law on the books that it is illegal to drag your dead horse down Toronto’s Yonge Street on Sundays. A strange law but why only Yonge Street, and why only on Sundays, or why such a crazy law at all?

Using profane and abusive language in publicly owned green spaces can get you a fine of over $200.00.

It’s illegal to climb trees in Oshawa. How would I pick my cherries?

It’s illegal to build snowmen taller than 30 inches in Souris, PEI. Who gets the job of measuring the snowmen?

Until 2009 it was illegal In Petrolia, Ontario to yell, hoot, whistle, and sing at all times. What a good thing they repealed that law before the Raptor’s won the basketball championship. The 2009 bylaw which replaces the old one in Petrolia sets a $250 fine for anyone who yells, shouts, whistles or makes another noise for the purpose of selling or advertising.

Many towns try to outlaw spitting, cursing, and other “Unseemly behavior.” Tabor, Alberta is one such town, as well as Whistler, B.C. Has it worked? Is it developing social norms that work? What do we do if we want to live with a certain degree of civility and our neighbors don’t? Whose rules do we enforce? Whose culture takes precedence, the quiet folk, or the ones who want to have a good time and party?

I love that I can eat in a restaurant without being assaulted by someone else’s smoke. It is good that most of us do not drink alcohol and drive. It makes sense that our rights stop when they infringe on someone else’s rights, but how much can they infringe on their rights? Smoke which may eventually kill us and driving drunk which may also kill us makes sense. Is hearing a curse word too offensive, what constitutes a curse word, and what is “too” loud?

If we bring in enough laws aren’t we all outlaws? Is creating outlaws the goal?

I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes, believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court cans save it; no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it. Billings Learned Hand

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Stand-up comedy. Take the opportunities that present themselves. Confidence grows when we accept the call to adventure.

Confidence grows when we accept the call to adventure. Stand-up comedy. Take the opportunities that present themselves.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Everyone needs a friend that will call and say, “Get dressed, we’re going on an adventure. Unknown

We can take a chance and grow or we can hang back. That’s our choice in life. Last night was comedy night, and I did my first attempt at stand-up comedy in a bar. It was a friendly Toastmaster event, it wasn’t that big of a leap, but it was a leap.

Comedy is hard, some people are naturally funny, and I’m not one of them. My strengths, I’m told is I’m insightful and inspiring, implied with that is, I’m not funny. The people who can get up there and talk without being too scripted I envy. If one gets up on stage often enough a stage presence gets developed. A lot of it is practice, practice, practice. It was a fun night, and if laughter is the best medicine we laughed a lot.

Our crowd was smaller than it would have been if the Raptors weren’t playing their sixth game against the Golden State Warriors. The woman who put on the events parents were in the audience, her father had his phone on so he could keep track of the score. We were losing when I left the event but by the time I got home, we were up by one point, for about a minute.

I couldn’t stay awake and went to bed. My family might have been relieved to see me go as I didn’t stay up for most of the games, and staying up for game five they might have thought I jinxed it. That any of us have that kind of power is ridiculous? It seems silly we think we might affect something we have no control over, but we don’t think we have that kind of power in our own lives.

When we get the chance to dance, we should dance. We never know when new opportunities will come our way. We grow when we grab onto the ones that do, we stagnate if we don’t look for new ones.

That is will never come again is what makes life so sweet. Emily Dickinson

Once we’ve tried to write a comedy routine, we’ll never look at a comic quite the same way again. There is the material which might be great, the delivery which might be great, great delivery, or great material. It really works when the delivery and the material resonates with the audience.

A drink was included in the evening. My drink ticket was left on the table; I drank lemon and water. This morning my daughter and husband said I should have had the drink, “It would have loosened you up.” I don’t want to be that kind of speaker, performer, comic, the one who needs a few drinks. What if I had that drink and put on the best performance of my life. Would I always be trying to recreate that? Could it become a problem? One drink worked once, but then you try two, and then three, and then… Am I worried about a slippery slope I don’t need to? Then, of course, there is driving home. I’m always comfortable if I can truthfully say, “Officer, I had nothing to drink.”

If the opportunity presents itself I would do a standup routine again. Will I seek one out, probably not? If you receive a call to adventure will you take it?

Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken. Frank Herbert

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The Comedy Bible: From Stand-up to Sitcom–The Comedy Writer’s Ultimate “How To” Guide Paperback – Sep 5 2001

by Judy Carter (Author) 4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Theatre


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We all contribute to the garden of life. Bloom where we are planted. Our season is short.

Our season is short. We all contribute to the garden of life. Bloom where we are planted.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

Last night I tackled the weeds in my garden. They were like a green carpet in my garden patch. As I pulled them I thought how quickly weeds take over. Are our thoughts the seeds that build our life? Can we plant flowers or plant weeds? Do we consciously plant weeds, or like my garden patch do they just spring up; we don’t even know where they come from.

Do we need to consciously prune our thoughts and consciously think better thoughts? Are our thoughts like plants, if we plant a big enough thought will it outgrow the weeds? If our thoughts are too small, unformed, and our convictions not strong enough can they easily be overtaken by weeds?

Carrots are one such seed that needs to be weeded when it is small but they can hold their own against the weeds as they get bigger. If we plant trees and shrubs we don’t worry about the weeds so much. It might be some people’s dream, even their reality to have a weed free garden. It is too daunting a project to be mine.

It is not my dream or aspiration to weed my mind to such a degree that unkind thoughts don’t come to the forefront sometimes. That I don’t voice them is my aspiration. I hope I can find the words to build someone up instead of tearing them down. That I am a positive force more often than a negative one.

Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul. Luther Burbank

When we look at our garden we may think if we were to liken ourselves to a plant, what plant would we pick? I love roses but they have thorns. Sometimes I think I do too. A rose isn’t as useful as a potato or cabbage. The useful plants aren’t as ornamental as the not so useful ones, is that the same in our lives?

What if we can’t choose if we are a sunflower, magnolia, carrot, potato, rose or day lily? Should we learn to bloom where we are planted, and become the best we can be? How great would it be if all we had is roses?

Can we be happy with who we are, our gifts, talents, and aspirations? The sun shines and the rain falls on all of us, we bloom in our season, we give our gifts to the world. If we do the best we can with what we have, enjoy our life, help who we can help, encourage who we can encourage, and be an example of a life well lived isn’t that what we want?

If we have round firm leaves instead of thin ones can we accept there is beauty in all shapes? Tall thin shrubs aren’t better than round full shrubs. White flowers aren’t better than other shades of flowers. We love ornamental plants but we live because of the plain useful ones. All gardens are different, our minds are different, and every life is different. We have different gifts, different roles, and different lives but we all contribute to the garden of life. Viva la difference.

Too many people overvalue what they are not, and undervalue what they are. Malcolm Forbes

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The Blooming of a Lotus: Revised Edition of the Classic Guided Meditation for Achieving the Miracle of Mindfulness Paperback – Apr 1 2009

by Thich Nhat Hanh (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews


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Being part of a group. Finding balance in our lives. Moments of truth.

Moments of truth. Being part of a group. Finding balance in our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. Carl Sandburg

Last night I went to the Horticultural Society meeting. I learned that one of the local Horticultural Societies has closed down because they couldn’t get enough board members. Our society needs board members as well. It might be time to step up. Volunteer groups can’t do much without volunteers.

When I first joined the society twenty years ago I jumped into the Secretary role, moved up to Vice President and then life got busier and I dropped off my volunteering. I attend with a friend, but we are just seat warmers. We need seat warmers but we also need volunteers that make volunteer organizations work. In all organizations, there are a few souls who do most of the heavy lifting. They are so good at it, so committed, so capable we let them, but they can and will only do it for so long. We need new blood; new volunteers or these organizations falter and fail.

Some roles are heavy but some are not very demanding at all, but these roles still need to be filled or organizations can be lost to us. It is harder to get something restarted than if we can keep it going. If we’ve become a group that just shows up to hear a speaker, and eat cookies we aren’t a very strong club. I left the meeting wondering what happened. I know what happened, too many of us are sitting on the sidelines, only showing up to hear a speaker, eat cookies, and warm a seat. As much as I hate to admit it, I have become that member too.

The Horticultural Society was the first group I joined. I needed to get involved, meet more people because we were working from home and my circle was getting too small. The camaraderie of fellow workers was gone, as it was just my husband and me in our small business. From the Horticultural Society, I was asked to join a book club which is still thriving. Then in 2016, I joined Toastmasters and last year I joined a Writers Group. As I’ve joined other groups more aligned with my interests my involvement with the Horticultural Society diminished.

The Horticultural Society needs more than a board member but it really needs board members and since it isn’t too big of a commitment, I think I’ll put my name forward. To get heavily involved in the Horticultural Society when it isn’t aligned with my bigger goals, and there is only so much time and energy, doesn’t make sense.

When you doubt your power. You give power to your doubt. Unknown

If we want groups to belong to, we’ll have to be more than seat warmers. If we all do our part we can have wonderful organizations that enrich our lives. Without volunteers, we don’t. We can’t always look at someone else to do it; sometimes we have to put up our hand. I enjoyed the Horticultural Society more when I was involved.

We enjoy our life more when we are involved, and engaged. What does being involved and engaged mean? The more we put into all areas of life, the more we get out of it. We can go too far, we can get so involved in the community we become less engaged at home. This is not good, we always need to put family, fitness, health, and work first, but there is still a place for community involvement. We can have achievements in community groups, and sports organizations that we don’t get in any other area of our life. Being involved in groups leads to fuller, richer lives.

My mother once said she didn’t want to belong to groups that wanted all of her. She has a point; we have to be our own control board. We have to develop boundaries so our involvement doesn’t take over our life.

When we are involved in groups we have stories to tell, things to discuss, and more to bring to our relationships. We need to be careful our significant other doesn’t feel they are on the periphery of our life, that everything else is more important than them.

If we are too much just the two of us, we may feel our life is too small, our interests too insular, our view too narrow. We may need to evaluate our life, do we need more outside interaction or more time with our significant other and family? Life is a dance, dancing is about balance and rhythm. What worked in one stage of our life, may not work in another. We must adapt to the changes, and stages of our life.

Do we have enough balance in our life? Do we need to take a good hard look at our life, is it time for “Moments of Truth”? Where are we out of alignment with our goals?  What is the tweak we need to make in our lives that would make us healthier, happier, improve our relationships, develop our interests, reach our goals, and leave a legacy?

I’m always tweaking, always trying to make it better, constantly moving the levers and dials. Steve Ellis

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Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead Paperback – Apr 4 2017

by Brené Brown (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews


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Every choice we make has consequences. Not choosing is still a choice. Choices create our destiny.

Choices create our destiny. Every choice we make has consequences. Not choosing is still a choice.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. Keri Russell

An early morning walk with a canine friend is one of the great joys of the day.  I was missing out on this because I wasn’t bothering. I wasn’t bothering to get up, and I wasn’t bothering to take the time when I did get up to go for a little walk that starts my whole day better, and my dog’s day better.

We walk past lovely homes, with lovely trees and flowers. The display of lilacs is incredible. One homes Iris’s are so big and beautiful they can hardly stand up. Some homes have no plantings, some are profusely planted, and I wonder what will this look like in ten years?

I’m late this year getting my garden in. I don’t plant much, tomatoes, basil, and parsley. I may pick up some other plants. Roses caught my attention. I had a Bonica rose I loved that died a few years ago. There they were potted roses for $5.99 each. I bought two and then when I figured out where I would plant them I went back and bought the last two Bonica roses. A profusion of roses in my back yard is what I envision later on.

If we wonder if abundance is the expectation we should have for our lives, when we look at nature, it is exuberantly abundant. Nothing in nature grows for itself alone. Everything serves a greater purpose. We need to be careful in our own lives we don’t try and create things for ourselves alone. We all have something to give and when we give it freely someone will be helped, inspired, have something to purchase, eat, look at, read, listen to, or be transported somewhere. All of our gifts, talents, work, industry, ideas, build all that we have.

Money is how we exchange our ideas, goods, creations, and labor. Instead of having to find the farmer that needs our services we can pay him money so he can buy what services he wants. Would we want to have to search for a Doctor that needs the product we produce before we could enlist their services?

When we provide a lot of services to a lot of people we amass a lot of money. If we provide a service to a few people we will have less money. If we can’t figure out how to provide any service to anyone we will have no money.

Life is about choices. Some we regret some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: We are what we chose to be. Graham Brown

When we look at some of the people we think are overpaid like professional athletes. They provide something we are willing to pay for. They provide entertainment, and because that entertainment can be so widely viewed each person paying a little for the entertainment means it is highly remunerated.

Abundance is all around us, we all have the same abundant 24 hours to do with what we please, what is required, and necessary. In those 24 hours, there is some choice, and it is those choices where we develop our lives. Some choose to exercise their bodies, minds, creativity, problem-solving, some choose to be entertained, some choose to build relationships, some choose to have new and different experiences. Is there a right choice, probably not, it’s our life, our choice, but shouldn’t we be happy with the choices we make?

Our life is our choice in many ways; after we do what we need to do to keep body and soul together we have choices in how we spend the rest of our day. Those choices add up, one choice upon another. This is our life, looking back it is the sum of the choices we made, going forward it will be the sum of the choices we make. If we think it doesn’t look exactly how we would like it to look, what different choices do we need to make?

What would we like our life to look like in ten years? We are going there anyway if we are lucky, we can put some time into designing it. If there are things we think, wouldn’t it be nice if we could? Whatever that is, chances are we can bring it into our lives in some way.

Can we become a professional athlete, probably not? Can we find sports to play, and enjoy being part of a team with the thrill of winning and losing, probably? Our life is what we make it; can we bring more of what we love into our lives? Can we live more, laugh more, experience more, dream more, create more, and enjoy more? The choice is ours, and we make these choices every day.

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. Eleanor Roosevelt

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Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom Paperback – Jan 6 1999

by William Glasser M.D. (Author) 4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews


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Do we have more power than we think we have? When we work within our circle of influence do we have the most impact?

When we work within our circle of influence do we have the most impact? Do we have more power than we think?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Be a light, not a judge, be a model, not a critic. Little by little your circle of influence will explode and you will avoid the emotional metastasizing cancers of complaining, criticizing, competing, comparing and cynicism, all which reflect victimization, all of which are the opposite of being proactive. Stephen Covey

Why is it that we think we are so powerful we won’t change our seating when our team is in the playoffs? What if we jinx them? Why don’t we feel so powerful in other areas of our life? What if we put that kind of belief and focus into areas of our life where we want to excel, where we want to manifest abundance, health, prosperity?

Some of us feel we have built the lives we have, some of us feel circumstances we can’t overcome have given us the life we have. Who is right? Probably both, we can’t overcome all of our circumstances and we aren’t bound by all our circumstances. We have a degree of self-determination, and life can seem to work for us or against us.

We see people who succeed against all odds, and we also see people who fail against all odds. There are things at work in our life we don’t understand. It is why we shouldn’t be too full of hubris when we succeed, and we shouldn’t be too down on ourselves when we fail.

We see people who ride the crest of waves and prosper while those who were too early or too late don’t get such gains. Timing is a good part of life, and that seems like luck. If we are at the right place at the right time, with the right idea and the right amount of resources, acumen, skills, etc. we look brilliant.

Some people start something and in a few years, they are head of multimillion dollar companies. Others are owners of a small Mom & Pop operation, still, others have closed shop.

Wherever you are, that’s your stage, your circle of influence. That’s your talk show, that’s where your power lies… You have the power to change somebody’s life. Everyone has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Oprah Winfrey

At my writing group Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James came up, no one thinks it is written particularly well. But, one person says the author is a multi-millionaire because she got the masses to buy her book. She offered them something they wanted. and brilliant writing wasn’t necessarily part of it. I’ve read the series, I enjoyed them. Do you think the author knew where her writing would take her, I don’t. Fifty Shades of Grey started out as stories on Fanfiction.net.

When she self-published her novel she had 30,000 copies sold in e-book downloads in one year. This is when literary agents started to take notice. Had she not self-published and built up a readership would literary agents and publishers be beating down her door? I doubt it, once she had done the work of proving she had an audience, they were happy to help her reach a larger audience.

I’m reading supporters of fan fiction have mixed feelings about E.L. James and her overwhelming success. Some feel that fan fiction is not supposed to be profitable and that E.L. James betrayed the community and its values by signing a book deal with such a major publisher. We can’t set out to become the kind of success E.L. James became; we can put our work out into the world. There are things we can do to promote it, we might even fear it could become a big success, but we can’t control where it goes once it is put out into the world.

Where will our journeys take us? We start something, we set something in motion, and it takes on a life of its own, or it does not. Our ideas may resonate with many, or few. We may become an influential voice, or not. We may not make much money, or we may make a lot of money but be considered fluff. Some people are nobodies in their own time, but legends after their death.

A lot of life we can’t control, we need to be okay with that. If we do the thing we feel called to do, then we’ve done our part. We don’t know how our life will touch someone else’s? How, who we encourage, motivate, raise, or teach, will impact the world. If we do the best we can to impact people positively, our ripple will spread out into the world.

We each have a circle of influence, when we work within that circle of influence we have an impact. Our circle of influence can grow. Do too many of us waste our energy worrying about what is beyond our circle of influence?

There is so much we can do to render service, to make a difference in the world – no matter how large or small our circle of influence. Stephen Covey

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Paperback – Special Edition, Nov 19 2013

by Stephen R. Covey (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 626 customer reviewsAmazon Charts#10 this week


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Telling our stories. We need to hear other people’s stories. Don’t we all love a story?

Don't we all love a story? Telling our stories. We need to hear other people's stories.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Story as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution – more so than our opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what to hang on to. Lisa Cron

Last night I pulled out a sketchbook that I had written a story about our beloved dog in. I’m going to read it at my Writer’s Group today and see if it can be included in a Children’s anthology put out by The Writer’s Group.

When we write our stories, even if only for ourselves is it worth it? Sometimes we express things in stories we don’t know how else to express. If these thoughts and emotions never get expressed they can lead to problems in our lives. All creative projects may be this way; we can express things that are left unexpressed any other way.

Everyone has a story, every story is different, and every life is different.  We have been telling stories through the ages. Sometimes it seems we are only consumers of other people’s stories in song, film, TV. We leave out our own stories at our peril. Families need to know our stories, so we can understand and appreciate each other more. So we can pass on knowledge so hard won.

When we give voice to what is inside of us, it is good for us, it is good for our families and wider communities.

This is my children’s story about our dog.

There Was a Dog Named Krypto

                                                                                    By Belynda Wilson Thomas @

“Can we get a puppy?” three-year-old Alanna asked her mother.

“When you are older,” her mother replied.

“Am I old enough this year?” four-year-old Alanna asked.

“Not yet,” her mother replied.

“When will I be old enough so we can get a puppy?” Alanna asked Mommy and Daddy.

“Six years old,” they said.

Before her sixth birthday Mommy and Daddy said, “Let’s go look at a puppy.”

Alanna, Aaron, Mommy, and Daddy got in the car. They drove and they drove, and they drove, and they drove.

Alanna didn’t say, “Are we there yet?”

Aaron didn’t say, “Are we there yet?”

Daddy said, “Aren’t we there, yet?”

Mommy called the breeder, “Oh, you’re almost here.”

So they drove and drove.

Finally, Daddy said, “We get the puppy, or we don’t get the puppy, but we are not coming back.”

It was dark by the time they pulled into the yard. A lady and three black puppies were walking on the lawn.

The fattest one walked up to Mommy. He had a big head and little short legs, a wagedy tail, two little sharp ears, and round black eyes.

They held each one of the puppies, but they held the biggest, fattest one the longest.

“His name is bear,” the breeder said. “He’s the pick of the litter.”

Mommy looked at Daddy. Daddy looked at Mommy.

Aaron and Alanna held their breath.

Mommy and Daddy nodded and said, “We’ll take him.”

Mommy held Bear all the way home, he didn’t make a sound, but when he was put in a box by himself, he cried.

The next day Daddy said, “His name should be Krypto.”

Mommy said, “His name should be Angus.”

Aaron said, “His name should be King.

Alanna said, “His name should be Scottie.”

One day they were all sitting in the den with Krypto at their feet when they saw he’d chewed a hole in the carpet.

“Bad boy,” Mommy said.

“Bad boy,” Daddy said.

“Bad boy,” Aaron said.

“Bad boy,” Alanna said.

Krypto hung his little head as if he knew he’d been naughty.

When the neighbors came over to see the new puppy, Aaron said. “He’s really cute now, but he grows up to be ugly.

He grew up to be handsome with his pointy ears, his beard, and his shaggy eyebrows over his little round black eyes.

He cocked his head with one ear up and one ear down looking like he understood every word that was said.

One day Aaron hugged Krypto, and said, “No one understands me but you Krypto.

When Mommy tucked Aaron and Alanna into bed after story time and gave them each a kiss, sometimes she would see Krypto snuggled in under the covers. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be there so he was quiet as a mouse.

Alanna got hit by a car while riding her bike. When Mommy and Daddy went running out to see if she was okay so did Krypto. When he saw she was okay, he kept running all the way to the park.

Every Halloween Krypto would go out with Mommy, Aaron, and Alanna until Aaron and Alanna were too old for Halloween.

Alanna and Aaron grew big and strong. They finished grade school, they finished middle school, and they finished high school.

Krypto was always at the door to meet them when they got home.

Krypto could hardly walk, hardly see, and his hearing wasn’t very good. But, he would still sit with one ear cocked looking like he understood everything that was being said.

Daddy started thinking it’s time to say goodbye.

Aaron started thinking it’s time to say goodbye.

Alanna started thinking it’s time to say goodbye.

Mommy started thinking it’s time to say goodbye.

Until one day they all agreed Krypto looked like it was time to say goodbye.

The vet was as nice as she could be. “I’m glad we can offer this service, so they don’t have to suffer,” she said.

“Krypto we love you,” Daddy said.

Krypto we love you,” Aaron said.

Krypto we love you,” Alanna said.

Krypto we love you,” Mommy said.

Krypto looked at them with his round black eyes. Then he closed them for the last time.

We miss you, Krypto.

After nourishment, shelter, and companionship stories are the thing we need most in the world. Philip Pullman

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A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans Paperback – Dec 6 2016

by W. Bruce Cameron (Author) 4.7 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviewsBook 1 of 3 in the A Dog’s Purpose Series


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Our habits build our life. Build good new habits; keep our good old habits. Continuous progress continuously gets us where we want to be.

Continuous progress continuously gets us where we want to be. Our habits build our life. Build good new habits; keep our good old habits.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. Samuel Jackson

Discipline is what we all think we need more of. We fail to realize we need more good habits which automate our life. As we create each habit using discipline, once it becomes a habit we can use that discipline for something else.

It will be difficult to start a new routine and keep at it until it becomes a habit, about sixty-six days. Then we can move onto the next thing we want to do to improve our life?

Where can the new habit fit into our life? What is the thing we do now, that our new habit could follow, so the thing we already do, becomes the trigger for what we want to add to our life?

It does take discipline and perseverance to build new habits. The good news is once they become a habit we can use that discipline and perseverance somewhere else. It might be hard to get up and exercise but it won’t always be hard, once it has become a habit it is a routine we just do.

All the people we think have discipline have used discipline to build good habits but their life is not one big exercise in discipline. They automate and they built those habits over time, and so can we.

The truth won’t set us free – until we develop the skills and the habit and the talent and the moral courage to use it. Margaret Heffernan

We need to focus on what we want to achieve, and break it down into small habits we can develop and automate.

Have you heard of the book The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach? The premise is we automate what we need to do. Investing money is what we need to do in the case of becoming an automatic millionaire. The author knows if we have to think about the money every month it might go towards something else, but if we automatically have that money go into an account, we don’t have to think about it. There are tables to decide what amount must be invested each month to reach the goal, depending on the time allocated to reach it and the expected return.

We often make life hard for ourselves, we talk ourselves out of doing things that are totally doable. We can accomplish so much, but we need to choose what we want to accomplish. If we want to fit things into our lives we can find a way to create habits and automate our goals. Then we need to move onto the next goal. If we keep this up throughout our life, what we accomplish will astound us.

We all have untapped potential. We all have things we’d like to do we haven’t gotten around to doing yet. What are we waiting for? If not now, when?

Until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word to those whom you do not admire, you will be neither successful nor happy. Napoleon Hill

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, good habits, and love.

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The Automatic Millionaire: Canadian Edition: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by [Bach, David]
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The Automatic Millionaire: Canadian Edition: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich Kindle Edition

by David Bach (Author)

4.2 out of 5 stars    29 customer reviews

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Is it true early to bed and early to rise makes us healthy, wealthy, and wise? Do we need to do what we can, to build the life we want, and quit trying to be perfect?

Do we need to do what we can, to build the life we want, and quit trying to be perfect?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order. Anne Wilson Schaef

One of my Toastmaster buddies mentioned a book she was reading and practicing its recommendations. The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma.

According to Christopher Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelburg, Germany, “When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards. My earlier research shows that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them. They’re proactive. Many studies have linked this trait, productivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”

“Though evening people do have some advantages – other studies reveal they tend to be smarter and more creative than morning types, have a better sense of humor, and are more outgoing – they’re out of sync with the typical corporate schedule.”

A good night’s sleep can make us more productive since it assists with improving our memory, concentration, and complex problem-solving.

Morning people tend to be more persistent, cooperative, agreeable, conscientious, and proactive.

Getting enough sleep strengthens our immune system. We also wake up energized and this may make it so we can get a workout in before the rest of the day takes all our energy.

They say the first hour of the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. By getting up at 5:00 I can exercise, write in my journal, read, and walk my dog before I sit down to write my blog. By the time I reach my desk at 9:00 I’ve already had a pretty productive morning. When I used to try and write at the end of the day, it was harder,

It was writing at the end of the day after I put the kids to bed that created the habit of writing other than in my journal which enabled me to actually write a novel. If someone had told me I had to get up early and write early in the morning the novel would still not be written. In time I moved my writing habit to the morning.

We need to start where we are; regardless of what it is, we want to bring into our life. If it is exercise, eating better, creativity, taking up a hobby, developing a skill or talent, we need to find the time, anytime that works for us so we can develop a habit.

After we do whatever, then we do this new thing we are fitting into our life. It becomes automatic, the more we automate the good habits in our life the easier it is. We don’t sit and think will I go to the gym, do art, write, etc. If we’ve established a routine we automatically finish dinner, go to the gym, then write, or practice whatever creative endeavor we are working on, all without really thinking about it. We only need to think when we deviate from our routine.

Occasionally my blog does not fit into my day. I’ve made peace with that. If we go to bed late, I give myself the day off, and I don’t beat myself up about it. I try not to do it two days in a row. One of the reasons I try to go to the gym every Monday is it starts the week off right. Even if the rest of the week is too busy to go, by going Monday I’ve kept up the habit of going to the gym.

A beautiful thing is never perfect. Egyptian Proverb

One of the things we have to override is our attitude that says, well I’ve blown it, what does it matter. It is that perfectionism that makes it so we ditch our healthy eating, exercise program, creative projects, or whatever good things we have going in our life that we can’t commit to perfectly. Our life needs a degree of flexibility so everything can fit into it.

Do we really want to be the “party pooper” who has to go to bed at 10:00 even when there are important functions to attend? Do we really want to be so inflexible with our eating that our husband can’t plan a special dinner? We can’t be invited to a potluck or barbecue? Life is short, we need to fit everything in, but everything does not need to be perfect. We can eat right most of the time, exercise most of the time, write our blog most of the time, practice our creativity most of the time or some of the time, whatever fits with our life. Where we make mistakes is when we think if we can’t do it just the way we think we should, then we won’t bother to do it at all.

So they tell us if we sit down and write every day we will write a novel in a year. So it takes us twelve years, are we a failure? I don’t think so. If we exercise some, eat better, make time for what feeds our soul, have time for laughter and socializing, enjoy time with our partner and children, do the work that keeps body and soul together, and make time for whatever other pursuits call to us. Isn’t that a great life? A messy, full, juggled, individual life, that fits us, that makes us who we want to be, feeds our soul, enriches our life, and the lives of our family.

Isn’t a vibrant, joyful life what we are after? Not what someone tells us would be perfect, and doable. What we can do, what we can fit in, what is most important to us. At different stages in our life, different things will be most important.

One of the things with the experts is they make us feel inadequate, how are they doing all that? We have many people who do great in one area of their life, but not so great in others. Comparisons are odious. We are individuals with individual lives, challenges, and aspirations. We need to make our life fit us; we need to make our dreams and aspirations come true. We need to find a way that works for us. It will not be like anyone else’s life.

We don’t see other people’s challenges most of the time. Don’t we compare the worst of ourselves to the best of someone else and find ourselves wanting.? We should quit doing this; don’t we need to be okay with good enough?  If we are good enough in enough areas we will have lives we are proud of. If we don’t have that life yet we have things to work on, but we will never have a perfect life.

One of the great things may be that there will always be some area of our life we can work on. We will have one more goal to reach, and one more mountain to climb.

Can we continue where we are? Can we live a life of few regrets? If not now, when?

Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves; the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – that we should try harder. Julia Cameron

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The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. Hardcover – Dec 4 2018

by Robin Sharma (Author) 4.0 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews


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Are we walking the talk? Are we practicing what we are preaching? Are we embracing our imperfections?

Are we embracing our imperfections. Are we waling the talk, Are we practicing what we preach?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others. Mother Teresa

Is it possible to live up to our own expectations?  Are we able to follow our own advice to the letter? I don’t think so.

We all know forgiveness is better than not forgiving but it isn’t easy. It’s hard to forgive people, and harder still sometimes to be able to forgive ourselves for not being better.

I’m looking at something on practicing what we preach and the author says if Jim gets up and says, “I used to be the town drunk, but I found Jesus, I’m still a drunk, but I’m a forgiven drunk.” The author is saying he would have no credibility, and his testimony would be of no worth.

I think we better think hard and long about that. Most of us are not drunks, drug addicts, or cheating on our mates. We are regular people with small problems like gossip, holding a grudge, judging and misjudging others, not always being considerate or kind, not always putting others first, and many other shortcomings. We are not always the best we can be, and not always consistent in everything.

If we were “the drunk” and took a drink that is held against us more than if we have a piece of cake, or we engage in gossip. I’ve always had a problem knowing the difference between gossip and conversation.

My mom fills me in on the news of the family. Is this gossip? Some say it isn’t gossip if there’s a useful purpose to talking about someone, even it is “behind their back.” Are we really digging into the details or just sharing something we heard – clearly said – to further the conversation? Obviously, this is a blurry line.

Not nearly as cut and dried as did we have that drink or eat that cake. We can say things innocently and mean no malice; they can still take on a life of their own and be very negative in people’s lives. Innocent words can come back to bite us and other people.

Where does a blog sit? As a journey of self-discovery, it is exactly that, looking at things and sharing. It is not about being perfect or pretending to know what one does not know, nor what one does not do. It is a journey of discovery if it is anything at all.

Support groups are also about self-growth and discovery. I know from my book club that sitting and talking about some of the deep things in life is a form of connection we might not get any other way. Some say when we sit in a circle, the world heals a little more. When we sit in a circle, at a table, or holding hands cross-legged on the floor, we celebrate our similarities, not our differences, and this is empowering. We have and are sharing experiences.

When we go to Church or hear speakers we are part of a group of like-minded people. One of the problems the Church has is we can’t stand up and say we are still struggling, but we are all still struggling, no one is perfect. This is why some people feel they can never find in a Church what they find in a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous where they are honest, vulnerable and accepted.

To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality. John Ruskin

Don’t we all want to be able, to be honest, vulnerable, and accepted? Isn’t this where all growth takes place? When we pretend we are better than we are, stronger than we are, more perfect than we are, this is when we put on the mask; this is when we are no longer living a life accepting ourselves warts and all. Is this when we become hypocrites; when we are not authentic, honest, and open?

It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to put our best foot forward, what is bad is when we pretend that is our whole self. We need to be willing to live a good enough life, have a good enough marriage, and be good enough parents. When we are willing to be good enough, there is room to admit our shortcomings, and help others admit theirs, and feel supported in our struggles to be better. Perfection is the enemy of the good, pretending to be perfect is harmful. Why do we wonder why there are hidden secrets when we weren’t willing to let people admit to their frailties and weaknesses?

We should all be willing to stand up and say “My name is __________________ and I’m a ________________________.  That blank could be filled with anything, greedy, gossipy, cantankerous, selfish, narcissistic, envious, jealous, or judgmental person. We need to accept ourselves how we are. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, and pretending to be perfect isn’t acknowledging our imperfections, and we are imperfect, it is what it is, and it’s okay.

Brene Brown tells us to make peace with our imperfections, we are good enough, we look as good as we look, we can dance as well as we can dance, our taste in music is ours, our challenges are ours, our story is ours, Courage requires us to be willing to let go of worrying about what other people think about us.

Courage doesn’t mean we aren’t afraid, courage means we don’t let fear stop us. I am trying to embrace myself, imperfections and all. It isn’t easy, but then the things that are worth doing are never easy, are they?

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman unapologetically hersef; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. Steve Maraboli

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.

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

by Brene Brown (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 267 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Spiritual


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