Mother’s Day without Mom, but she’ll always live in my heart.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is something about losing a mother that is permanent and inexpressible – a wound that will never quite heal. Susan Wiggs

Mother’s Day without our mother, for some of us happens early, and for some of us it happens late, but for most of us, there will be Mother’s Days without Mom. I feel for so many people who lose their mothers too young. If we are as lucky as I have been to have gotten from Mom all she had to give, for her to have gotten from life all there was to get, it is not the same as those cut down in life when there is still so much to experience.

There are conversations I would still like to have, and trips to see her I would still like to take, but here we are and it’s okay. But I say that as someone whose mother lived to ninety-nine. She got to meet all of her grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and some great-great-grandchildren.

Even when we no longer have loved ones with us we have memories. We are blessed if we have fond memories of our mother and can reach out and touch her with a hug or a phone call. We are also blessed if while we could we made the best of the time we had with her.

We have to be careful we make the effort to stay in touch with family, it is easy to be involved in our own life especially if they are far away and not in contact as often as we should. There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are as many ways to be good ones, as there are good mothers. We may wish we handled certain parts of motherhood better, just like we may wish we handled parts of life better, but if we did the best we knew how to do then what more can we ask of ourselves?

My mom is a never ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. Graycie Harmon

If we have relationships that need repair and we are capable of repairing them we should attempt to heal the breach. Maybe we need to forgive ourselves for being the frail human we are, we made mistakes, we hurt someone, we misjudged, we wrongfully accused, or we expected more than they were capable of giving.

If we expect too much from people they will disappoint us, if we expect too much from ourselves we will fall short, but expecting more from ourselves and less from others instead of the other way around will lead to a happier life. We can keep trying to become who we want to become, but trying to get someone else to become who we want them to become will not end well. We need to accept people as they are, we can encourage them toward the great things we see they could do, but the life we see for them, and the life they want for themselves may not be the same thing.

The hardest part of being a mother may be giving up control of our children’s lives. When they are young we control everything, what they wear, what they learn, who is part of their life, and who isn’t. It doesn’t take long before they start making their own decisions, and part of our job is not to tell them what to do, but to let them grow and develop to take control of their own life and their own decisions. We will see them make mistakes, we’ve made our share, but if we believe we’ve learned more from our failures than our successes, so too will they.

We may wish families stayed together when we hear of a young family fractured, young children spending time with each parent separately instead of as a family. But, what if what is important is the love from each parent, not so much the love each parent has for each other? In an ideal world, everyone loves everyone and stays together forever, but we don’t live in an ideal world.

Expecting everything to be ideal is part of what disillusions us with life. Life is messy, relationships are messy, and when hard times come some pull together and some will pull apart. We might hope we are the ones that will pull together, we hope we can heal the breaches, we hope we can become stronger in the broken places, but we only control our side of the relationship, and if we are a mother watching our children living their lives, we have no control at all.

What we can offer as a mother is comfort, wisdom, understanding, and being there as much as possible without trying to take over. Our children grow up to take their place in the world, chart their course, and navigate the difficulties of life. We need to trust we’ve given them enough to become self-reliant, strong, and resilient people who can deal with what is theirs to deal with.

If we are lucky no matter what the distance was between us and our mother we had a close relationship, and even though one day she’s gone she still lives in our hearts. We are blessed if we have a good mother; it is our gift to our children and the world to be one.

Mom, you are the most beautiful memory I kept locked inside my heart. Narin Grewal

One day we will remember how lucky we were to have known their love, with wonder, not grief. Elizabeth Postle

Whenever I am missing you. I also remember how fortunate I was that you were in my life. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world. Cindy Adkins

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Make a choice; make a change, the compound effect works in our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Marion Wright Edelman

The other day, I listened to Mel Robbins talking about rating how we think we are doing in different areas of our lives and then figuring out what we could do to raise our rating a point or two.

Where do we think our health and fitness rates on a scale of one to ten? Are we averagely healthy and fit for our age? That puts us at a five, so what could we do to raise it to a six or a seven? What action could we do every day or week that would add to our health and fitness and start to move our rating by a point or two? If we went for a walk once a week, that’s fifty-two walks a year, and most of us wouldn’t have to change our lives drastically to do it.

We might think we need to join a gym to get in shape, but what if we started doing morning or evening exercises? Gym memberships are expensive, and if we haven’t figured out how to fit exercise into our already busy lives, fitting the gym in might be difficult. What if we started smaller than a gym membership? What if we started with a yoga mat, stretches, pushups, and plank?

If we want to bring creativity into our lives, could we do something creative once a week? Would we like to write, paint, draw, dance, knit, crochet, sew, quilt, or build something? Could we integrate creativity into our lives once a week?

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Unknown

Would joining a group like Toastmasters elevate our lives? Becoming a better public speaker gives us confidence that will flow into other areas of our lives and might become the catalyst for the change we seek. Most Toastmasters groups meet once a week with a low yearly fee, and we can check out various groups by attending three meetings for free.

Are we reading books, and would we like to read more? Is there a book we would like to be able to say, I’ve read that? Maybe it is the bible or other religious books full of wisdom. There are many templates for reading the bible in a year. What if we decided to read a great book in a year, but it took us two or even five years to get through it from end to end? Would that be a failure, or would it elevate our lives?

Small changes create results if we build on those changes over time. Saving small amounts of money and investing will eventually lead to the compound effect, and small changes in our lives do as well.

Small daily decisions shape our destiny, and those decisions lead us to a better life or a worse one. The compound effect is working in our lives, and small changes throughout our lives can change the trajectory we are heading for. A little exercise every day or every week will pay dividends. Reading every day or every week will pay dividends. Bringing creativity into our lives will pay dividends. What if we make a small positive change in our relationships, and what if we hug those we love more often, smile at them, thank them for doing something for us, or do something for them?

Small changes over time will lead to results. What if we implement small changes in every area of our lives and create the life of our dreams? What if this is our little experiment to see how great we can make the life we have, our relationships, health, wealth, and personal growth?

It’s never the big things… it’s all the little changes you can make in your life that make the difference. Dean Graziosi

Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes will add up to big transformation. Don’t give up! Unknown

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

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Thank you for reading my books, and 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.

Are we living the message of Christmas and spreading love, hope, and joy?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you want to experience the true meaning of Christmas, give something to someone who can offer nothing in return. Toni Sorenson

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house… Here we are the week before Christmas. Last week my husband and I went looking for a Christmas tree and they were sold out. Snooze you lose, and everywhere we went they were sold out too. Our daughter agreed to set her tree upstairs. My daughter and grandson helped decorate the tree, and he had the most fun. When we plugged in the lights his little face lit up. At twenty months this is a fun Christmas for him and because of him, it is a fun Christmas for us.

Christmas is about spending time with those we love and reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. There is magic in Christmas and it comes from the heart. The message of Christmas is buried in gifts and hustle and bustle. But underneath all the decorations, gifts, and frivolity is the meaning of Christmas.

Every Christmas in many homes is the hope that this Christmas will be better. Where there is discord, we hope there will be healing. That family members not talking to each other will reconcile. That peace and forgiveness will be the order of the day.

We expect a lot out of Christmas. We travel long distances to be with family in the hopes we can bask in the feeling of togetherness we once had, or never quite attained. We often want things from Christmas we can’t quite manage at other times of the year. The problem with expectations is often the people we want to meet our expectations don’t know what they are, and we can’t even put them into words.

The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving. James Cash Penney

Unmet expectations are one of the dangers of Christmas, but if we realize perfection is not possible, and we should only put expectations on ourselves and not push them onto others we might have a chance of meeting them. We can expect ourselves to be grateful, kind, cheerful, loving, understanding, forgiving, and patient, and if we can manage it, others might manage it too.

Christmas is truly a time to expect more from ourselves and less from others, and by doing this we might feel the way we want to feel. If we can forgive ourselves and others for not being perfect, and love ourselves and others warts and all then we give ourselves and others space to find our way to being the best we can be. We can have our expectations so high they can’t possibly be met and by doing so end up bitter. This is not in keeping with the message of Christmas which is goodwill toward all.

One of the problems we face in life is expecting to get without giving, but if we change that to giving without getting then we can put a smile on someone else’s face instead of waiting for someone to put one on ours. We can be generous with compliments, time, and money. We take charge of our lives and by placing fewer expectations on others, we allow them to exceed our expectations, and that is a win for everyone.

Can we love ourselves and others even when we don’t deserve it, especially if we don’t deserve it, isn’t that the message of Christmas? Can we spread love, hope, and joy this Christmas?

Christmas is a season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. Washington Irving

Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home. Carol Nelson

The smells of Christmas are the smells of childhood. Richard Paul Evans

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

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Embracing creativity, wonky stripes and all.

Picture by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You can be cautious or you can be creative, but there’s no such thing as a cautious creative. George Lois

Yesterday, I finished knitting a blanket for my daughter-in-law’s sister’s baby. When choosing the yarn, I had a few I liked and got my daughter-in-law’s opinion on what her sister would like, and she chose a lovely grey, pink, and white stripe. I went to the store to purchase the yarn and it was gone. At a different store, there was a grey, pink, and white stripe that was very similar. I got right to my knitting and soon the pile of knitting on my lap was getting quite large. I realized sixty stitches would be quite a bit bigger than the forty-inch quilt I was planning, so I made another trip to the store for yarn.  I’d almost given up when I found one last ball tucked away. I was also looking for a solid pink to crochet around the edges but none was to be found.

As I neared the end of my knitting I found to my horror the stripes were not looking like I wanted them to. They did in the beginning couple of rows, and I kept on knitting until I held it up to show my husband and he pointed out the uneven stripes. At this point, I was too far into the project to quit and the only solution to get stripes how you want them is to knit from solid yarn and start and end the color yourself. I know this now but didn’t do any research before starting with striped yarn, and I know hope is not a plan, but the yarn was pretty, and I didn’t think beyond that.

I’ve never knitted with striped yarn before and now I’m reading on Google this is a common complaint and when I mentioned it to Mom she was aware of the shortcomings of striped yarn. On Saturday, I went to another store to see if I could find a pink yarn for the crocheted edge and voila, there it was the right color, the right weight, the same manufacturer, and the exact pink of the stripe. Gleefully I made my purchase and got 40% off. I almost clicked my heels on the way out of the store. 

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity there would be no progress and we would be forever repeating the same patterns. Edward De Bono

When I finished knitting I spread the blanket on the table and wondered if with wonky stripes it was good enough to give as a gift, but determined to finish it, I started crocheting the edge. The edge is the part of the blanket I am happiest with. On a blanket, I knit for my grandson the crocheted edge is pretty but not sturdy, so I looked online for an edge that would stand up. I found an easy scalloped crochet edge and did three rounds which gave it a nice border. Looking at the finished wonky striped baby blanket I shrugged as I folded it up, put it in the bag, wrote the card, and handed it to my daughter-in-law to give to her sister.

The thought crossed my mind, why didn’t I just pick up something for the baby instead of making something? Maybe part of the charm of that blanket will be its wonkiness, maybe sometimes perfectly imperfect is what we can do. It’s finished, it’s on its way to its new home, and I’ve learned a few lessons for the next one.

At Mom’s, one of the reasons she has so much yarn is she has been the repository of the knitting that never got finished. Projects were started and then for whatever reason given up on, and they ended up at her house. Some batches of yarn were not started but must have been purchased for a reason, then someone got too busy, found yarn they liked better, or gave up the idea of creating something altogether.

We never know when we start a project what the finished project will look like. At least I don’t, that is part of the appeal, and we have to manage our expectations. Sometimes when we start a project we realize we should have thought about it a little more, and done a bit more research, but sometimes we can spend so much time doing the research we never get around to doing the project.

When do we meet the fine balance of crippling our creativity trying for perfection, or being sloppy in our workmanship? It might be possible to create a baby blanket I’m really happy with, but I might run out of babies to give them to first.

It takes courage to put our creativity out there, and if we are courageous enough to put our creativity out there who knows where it might go, or who we might inspire. Is there any more creative act we will ever do, than the art of creating ourselves?

You use a glass mirror to see your face. You use works of art to see your soul. George Bernard Shaw

Everyone has a creative impulse, and has the right to create, and should. Patti Smith

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen. Robert Bresson

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Thank you to those who read my books, and 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.

Making plans, celebrating milestones, and making the best of it when our plans don’t work out.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley, and leave us nought but grief and pain, for promised joy. Robert Burns

The best-laid plans go oft astray. But, what really goes astray are the wishy-washy plans. It turns out I’m a flake, not an intentional one, but one nonetheless. My sister’s birthday is today and I asked my niece what she was planning for her mom’s birthday. “Nothing yet, but I’ll get back to you.” I hadn’t heard anything by Saturday and my husband said, “We should have a barbecue on Sunday, and yesterday being our son’s first wedding anniversary we set it up.

Yesterday at about two o’clock my niece called me, “Did I get the text about dinner?” I was so busy pruning bushes in the garden I hadn’t checked my phone. Dinner to celebrate my sister’s birthday was an hour and a half away, and my son and his wife would be arriving at our place to celebrate their anniversary in a couple of hours. I apologized to my niece and will call my sister today. I hope we have a good laugh over it and there are no hard feelings.

Feelings are easily hurt and one of the ways we hurt people’s feelings is by trying to do too much. We have good intentions, but people don’t see our intentions they only see the results, a botched birthday celebration.

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. George S. Patton

On Friday a friend and I were planning to attend the Horticultural Society plant sale Saturday morning. She volunteered to help out at 6:30 in the morning and I told her I probably won’t end up going if we aren’t going together. My garden needs pruning more than it needs more planting. Saturday I accompanied my grandson and daughter to the park. He’s now old enough for the swing and he loves it. Two little girls wanted to pet our dog Lulu and she loved the attention. Then I filled four garden waste bags with dead tree limbs. I didn’t end up going to the plant sale but if I had all that dead wood would still be in our garden.

Next weekend I am at the Bread and Honey Festival for the Mississauga Writers Group so no gardening will get done. My son looked at what I’ve accomplished and said, “You must have worked really hard.” Don’t we love it when someone notices and we get a little credit for our accomplishments, a pat on the back, and recognition in some way?

Can we host a barbecue in July for my sister and niece? I will start planning it now and hope nothing derails the plans. Happy birthday, Sis from the flakey one!

Chaos is roving through the system and able to undo, at any point, the best-laid plans. Terence McKenna

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. E.M. Forster

It’s not your plan that’s important. It’s your ability to adapt to the changing conditions that’s going to determine your success. Jon Butcher

Thanks for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and 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.

Life is a series of decisions, if we don’t trust ourselves to make a decision we don’t go forward in life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Trust the process, your time is coming. Just do the work and the results will handle themselves. Tony Gaskins

On Saturday we had a lovely visit with an aunt and her sister. She met her great-great-nephew. How lovely it is to get together with family. Schedules clash and getting everyone together with everyone we’d like to attend often isn’t possible. My sister couldn’t be with us because she is on a trip out West to host a quilting retreat with my oldest sister.

We are planning a trip out to see Mom and do some sightseeing. With five adults and a baby to consider planning is challenging. There is so much to see and so little time but in the end, it will be a memorable trip and my daughter-in-law will get to see parts of Canada she’s never seen.

Life is all about choices and we have to narrow down our choices which means we can’t have and do everything. What sights and people would we like to see and what sights and people do we feel we must see? We make choices every day; do we go for a walk or write? Do we eat this or that, do we feel deprived, or satisfied with our choices?

Is living a well-lived life about making enough choices that build a good life, feed our souls and bodies, create good relationships and live our lives with passion and purpose? My daughter asked me to go for a walk yesterday but her son fell asleep when we were getting ready to go. I wanted to pick up a few things and one of them was a book so I spent more time in the bookstore when I got back she had gone for the walk. I missed the walk but I bought the book.

Earlier in the day we had a lesson on trust. My daughter was picking up something she saw in a local marketplace. When she contacted the seller he said he would be away on Sunday but she could pick up the item and leave the money in the mailbox. My daughter picked up her items and left the money in the mailbox.

We live in a world that works on trust. We are going to book a car rental and show up at an airport expecting a car and it will be there unless something goes wrong. We couldn’t make any travel arrangements if we couldn’t trust, and the car rental can be canceled almost until pick up. Life doesn’t operate on guarantees it operates on trust and those who don’t trust often miss out. We need to trust others to deliver on what they’ve agreed to, and we must trust ourselves that we can deal with what doesn’t work out, whether that is marriage, business, jobs, health, finances, or something else.

Changing our decision sets up a bad habit. It reinforces decision-making as an expression of bewilderment and ignorance, instead of wisdom and freedom. Sakyong Mipham

Life doesn’t come with guarantees, and if we must have a guarantee then we can’t do anything. Do we feel we live in uncertain times but haven’t we always? We probably have more certainty in our lives than we’ve ever had. We also have more choices, we might have more good choices, but we also might have more bad choices.

We have to be careful we aren’t so worried about not making the best choice that we don’t make any choice at all. How many people never found the perfect person to marry so they never got married, didn’t build a family, and life went on its merry way as it does and someday all our choices are behind us whether we made them or not.

There are writers out there waffling on whether to self-publish their books. They feel like a failure if they have to self-publish them and want validation from an agent and a publisher. I’m not sorry I went the self-publication route. Not because it has made me rich or famous, but because it moved the process along. I’m not still waiting, the decision was made, a process got put in place, and my books are out in the world and I’m working on new ones.

This time in 2020 none of it had been done except for writing, endless writing, and rewriting. At some point, we have to make a decision and I’m happy with mine because it made something happen. Instead of working on the same project for more years, new projects were started and finished.

We always have decisions to make and it might be tempting to put them off, we worry now isn’t a good time, but there comes a time when we do something or we don’t do it. We go forward or we become someone who wanted to do something instead of someone who actually did it.

Are there choices we need to make, and want to make, but are afraid to make? What are we afraid of?

There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice. Simon Sinek

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong… To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done. Thomas Jefferson

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

The joy of Christmas is in our hearts it isn’t wrapped up under the tree

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. Unknown

It’s almost Christmas, and the hustle and bustle are in full swing. We are picking up last-minute items and making our menu choices. We could have done things earlier – my daughter and I were printing photos last night at Walmart. Every working kiosk was full and the line to pay was long. We didn’t need to wait this long, but we did.

We were late getting everything done so we picked up a roast chicken and salad for dinner. After dinner, my husband put on a Christmas movie and by the time it was over so was the evening. The other night was dinner with the book club, an evening full of laughs, and on Saturday if the weather holds out we’ll finally celebrate our nephew’s 50th birthday in person – two years late.

Our Grandson’s first Christmas he won’t remember but it will be a treasured memory for us. Last night he was big enough to sit in the cart propped up by our purses and he loved it, letting everyone know with his shrieks and giggles. While waiting in line he was playing with the lady behind us. He’d look at her and giggle, look away, and then back again. Babies are such fun to watch and be around. They really do make every day a happy day.

We’ll have the week off between Christmas and New Year for rest and relaxation. I hope to get some writing and painting in, the deadline to publish the next children’s book of February 7th is looming large. It seemed like it was a lot of time when I set the date.

Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most. Ruth Carter Stapleton

Living, loving, giving, and laughing is the theme for Christmas. How fortunate we are when family and friends surround us. If we can enjoy the gift of togetherness, reach out and touch someone we love. There are people we used to spend Christmas with that find it too much for them now. They weren’t well enough to attend our son’s wedding and they haven’t met our grandson. We need to make an effort to see them for a short visit.

Phone calls, emails, and texts have replaced Christmas cards for most people. The important thing is we are in contact with those we love and if we aren’t perhaps that is a change we can make in the New Year.

This is a time of year to reflect on what is going right in our lives and what we would like to change. What would we like more of, and what we would like less of? What goals will we set, disciplines will we practice, and creativity will we bring into our lives? How can the year ahead be better than the year almost behind us?

Do we have a word we can focus on that would sum up the hopes and dreams we have for the coming year? This year my focus word has been ‘grateful’, and what a year it’s been with a baby, a wedding, and getting out to see Mom, family, and friends.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. Unknown

Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand. Dr. Seuss

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. Janice Maeditere

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

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

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

Living a life of joy and wonder. Is living the good life seeing the joy and wonder around us while we deal with what is?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is joy and wonder everywhere when you see the world through the eyes of a child. Unknown

Last night on the news they featured a seventy-one-year-old woman at her art show. She’s been painting for thirty years and her paintings are beautiful intricate florals and the longer you look the more depth there is to see.

Many artists got started late and became well-known artists, but it isn’t about becoming well-known artists. It’s about building a life that works for us. Finding our voice as a person, artist, gardener, singer, and living with passion and purpose. In two hundred years no one will know who most of us were. We will be remembered by our children, grandchildren, and if we are lucky great-grandchildren.

If we live fully by developing our talents and interests so we live a more creative and interesting life isn’t that the goal? Painting is a way to say things we may not know how to put into words. We can paint our worries, passion, hopes, fears, and dreams. No one may know the significance of the painting and may wonder what is behind it, but they may still find something that moves them. No passion in the artist, no passion in the viewer.

Last night we watched the movie Ode to Joy, the protagonist cannot feel strong emotions or he passes out, and joy is the emotion that causes him the most problems. This condition is called cataplexy and brings on brief bouts of muscle weakness or paralysis when experiencing strong emotions. He devises all sorts of ways to keep from experiencing joy, and it isn’t just his joy, but seeing the joy of parents with their children is especially challenging for him.

He thinks he has to live a boring life, but in the end, his brother tells him he doesn’t have to live a boring life devoid of joy and love; he just has to be willing to deal with the consequences this brings him.

Fainting at the sight of a baby, a beautiful painting, or at your sister’s wedding, or perhaps at your own would be unbelievably challenging. Life is much more challenging for some people than it is for others, but we each must find a way to deal with the challenges that come into our lives.  

Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods. Plato

Are we choosing a life of joy? Do we see the joy on the faces of parents and feel a swell of happiness? Are we touched by works of art, movies, books, sunsets, and sunrises? When we walk in the woods does it feed our soul? When we hold our children or grandchildren does our heart swell with joy?

Being a grandma is one of the great joys in life. It is a double joy because we see the joy of our children with their children. The circle of life continues and our legacy is in the flesh.

Even if we don’t experience the joy of parenthood or grandparenthood we can experience a small part of the joy when we see the joy and wonder babies and children bring with them.

She found joy and wonder in every little thing. And joy and wonder always found her. Katrina Mayer

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. Joseph Campbell

The special life is where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the natural becomes miraculous, the every day becomes unique. Finding the magic and wonder within nature is the most assured means by which children rediscover the joy of life. Shmuley Boteach

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Making the best of bad choices. Sometimes we have to choose between the best of two evils.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Hard times are sometimes blessings in disguise. We do have to suffer but in the end it makes us strong, better and wise. Anurag Prakash Ray

The abortion issue in the U.S. rears its head again, or has it never stopped rearing its head? Abortion, although a simple medical procedure, is not just a simple medical procedure. There is nothing simple about the angst one must feel to even have to consider needing the procedure done.

There is also the angst felt by those who feel abortion is absolutely under all circumstances wrong. They believe any support for abortion taints their lives. All people should live their lives by their moral code, but does that mean they should force that moral code on everyone else?

Some people believe if Roe Versus Wade is struck down and it looks like it will be that an abortion law can’t be brought in. People are worried about losing what they have even though a better way forward for abortion in the U.S. could be found. Indeed it may have to be found.

Abortion may indeed be evil, but how much more evil happens when it is made illegal? A good society has to balance the harm done by making things legal, and the harm caused when making things illegal. Does a good society choose the option that does the least harm?

This gets to be a tricky question, what causes the most harm? We have places where harm reduction regarding drugs is making parts of cities almost unlivable. The death rate caused by drugs has gone up because the harm reduction appears to increase drug use.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared by scars. Khalil Gibran

Many of us, probably most of us want our societal problems pushed away so we are not confronted by them. I ask myself often what makes a good society. What makes a not-so-good society become a better society, and what causes a once good society to not be so good anymore? I also ask myself where we are on this scale.

It takes courage to deal with problems in our own lives and in society. One of the things we need is the courage to face what has to be faced and not pretend it doesn’t have to be faced. The more courage we have in our own lives to face our challenges and see what we do that is likely to present challenges, the better our life will be.

Abortion laws have been changed before, and they may be changed again. We have to deal with these tricky issues because life is messy. Even here in Canada where I think how we handle abortion at this time is reasonable and rationale. It is still an issue that divides us and perhaps it always will.

I do think more women probably regret their abortion than regret the baby in the end. You can’t think about the baby that would have been at ten, twenty, thirty, or forty, and not think about what they would have done in life, who they would have been, and how the world would have benefitted from their contribution. That doesn’t mean, I think someone making that desperate choice should have to have a back alley or self-induced abortion when that is the choice they feel compelled to make.

We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us. William J. Brennan

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice. Bob Marley

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

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

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

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

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

Facing our unmet expectations. Are we expecting perfection in an imperfect world?

Are we expecting perfection in an imperfect world? Facing our unmet expectations.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The person who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more. Richard J. Needham

How do we focus on what we want in life when what we don’t want in life is where we put our energy? How do we not put our energy on what we don’t want when that consumes us?

Counting our blessings is what we are told to do. Our blessings outnumber our problems and yet our problems fill our minds and grow and morph as we continually think about them.

People tell us about bad things happening as if that is all that is happening. It is easy to judge someone by their worst decision, their worst action, and their worst outcome. The sum of someone’s life is neither the best nor the worst of what they have done but the sum total of their life.

Police departments are under scrutiny right now. Minimizing the problems with policing is not what most people are trying to do. We need police and the areas where problems with police occur the most often are also where police are needed the most. It is these areas where police are the first line of help when people don’t know who to turn to except the police.

Is it the case that the more contact we have with law enforcement the more likely we are to have a bad outcome? Part of the problem may be marginalized areas are under scrutiny the rest of us aren’t under. No one is perfect but do people in poor areas live under a level of scrutiny the rest of us don’t live under. Do they live under this with child protective services, policing, and drug enforcement?

The anger and the brutality against everything can readily from one hour to the next be transformed into its opposite. Thomas Bernhard

Is part of the problem over policing? Is another part of the problem that calling the police is used as a weapon against people who are scared of having the police called on them? Is, “I’ll call the police on you,” a threat used often and to the detriment of communities? Is it something people use against others to make themselves feel more powerful?

It seems to me many of the situations we see with bad outcomes are people calling the police on someone often over small things. Once things are set in motion and people authorized to use force against us confront us situations can get out of hand.

People do not always do the right thing. Police officers are people. We expect collateral damage in wars, we don’t like it but we accept it. Is part of what we have to accept with policing is things will get out of control, situations will escalate, and decisions resulting in death will result?  Even though everyone will agree when looking at the videos different decisions should have been made the outcome of that bad decision is irreversible.

We can use labels that may or may not apply; we can call it many things but what if it’s really a bad decision that ended badly for all concerned?

If those who make bad decisions are held accountable and prosecuted is that the most we can ask for and expect?

We may have expectations that truth, justice, and good decisions should always prevail. Is dealing with unmet expectations a hard truth we have to deal with in life?

No one’s pro-police brutality. Kenya Barris

I encountered among my comrades the most varied human traits, from frankness to reserve, from goodness to uprightness and kindness, to brutality and baseness. Georg Brandes

I see myself capable of arrogance and brutality… That’s a fierce thing, to discover within yourself that which you despised the most in others. George Stevens

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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Chris Voss (Author), Michael Kramer (Narrator), HarperAudio (Publisher)4.7 out of 5 stars 4,331 ratingsAmazon Charts #9 this week