Thursday, March 31, 2022

March 31--Keep After It

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight. Never stop fighting.  --e. e. cummings

    I imagine e. e. cummings fought a lifelong battle to avoid capitalizing his name. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰
    I've made a giant pendulum swing in life from an ultra-conservative religion to (happily) none at all. I was raised in a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. We received pins for perfect attendance, with bars added to the bottom for each additional "perfect" year. I had a lengthy pin. Even if we were traveling, my mom made me go to Sunday School. That was torture for me, to go to a SS class with kids I didn't know. But I was competing with others for the longest attendance pin. Maybe you recognize why my early religious "commitment" didn't stick!
    I've passed through "lighter" Lutheran, Methodist and New Thought.  My next-door neighbor worked diligently for a few years trying to ensure that I was "saved." She gave up finally; at least she does not talk religion with me any more. Thanks to a 12-Step program, I have a very rich and comfortable and comforting spiritual life. 
    I am grateful for all the people I have met along the way. I have a community of friends who are loving and supportive. I enjoy encouraging others on their journey to find a spirituality that works for them. It is worth the effort. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

March 30--Self Rather Than Stuff

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.  --Kahlil Gibran

    The older I get, the more I don't want "stuff." The longer we live, the more stuff we accumulate and that's just more to move around, clean, or leave for our kids to dispose of because they don't want all that stuff. What I really want is to hang with the folks I love. Time with family and friends is much more valuable to me. And I fully appreciate "gifts of service"--when someone does something nice for me, like my sweet husband washing the vehicles. Our pets are the ultimate givers--no stuff, all love. 
    Let's do something nice for someone today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

March 29--Wonders

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.  --Carl Jung

    I'm a lifelong gardener. I've started the annual spring cleanup, and I love getting my hands in the dirt and tidying my little spot on the planet. 
    For a mental break from tax work and to move my body, I often take a one-mile walk around Clearwater at lunchtime. I've noticed on the street many of these tree droppings:

    These are (thank you, Google) the seed pods of a sycamore tree. They are extremely hard. However, with a pointed tool, one can get into the bumps and start removing the outer layer:

    In contrast to the outer part, that fluff inside is as soft as baby skin. As I continued to peel the outer layer, the inner seed began to appear:

    And here it is, the inner seed, again extremely hard:

    Ain't nature wonderful!?!?!?! Explore, look closely, there are wonders to be found!

Monday, March 28, 2022

March 28--What is Your Fear Level?

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.  --Joseph Campbell

    To be bravely "who you are" is not easy in a culture that tries constantly to motivate with fear and control. Here are words about that by Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation:

    Fear unites the disparate parts of our false selves very quickly. The ego moves forward by contraction, self-protection, and refusal, by saying no. Contraction gives us focus, purpose, direction, superiority, and a strange kind of security. It takes our aimless anxiety, covers it up, and tries to turn it into purposefulness and urgency, which results in a kind of drivenness. But this drive is not peaceful or happy. It is filled with fear and locates all its problems as “out there,” never “in here.”
    The soul or the True Self does not proceed by contraction but by expansion. It moves forward, not by exclusion, but by inclusion. It sees things deeply and broadly not by saying no but by saying yes, at least on some level, to whatever comes its way. Can you distinguish between those two very different movements within yourself?
    Fear and contraction allow us to eliminate other people, write them off, exclude them, and somehow expel them, at least in our minds. This immediately gives us a sense of being in control and having a secure set of boundaries—even holy boundaries. But people who are controlling are usually afraid of losing something. If we go deeper into ourselves, we will see that there is both a rebel and a dictator in all of us, two different ends of the same spectrum. It is almost always fear that justifies our knee-jerk rebellion or our need to dominate—a fear that is hardly ever recognized as such because we are acting out and trying to control the situation.

    My mother was the poster child for control freaks, and I learned that behavior well. She was terrified of losing a multitude of things. While it's a work-in-progress, I have made great strides in leaving the fear-and-control realm behind. Love is the alternative, and loving is "the privilege of a lifetime." 


Sunday, March 27, 2022

March 27--Best Friend

Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

    I've come a long way in befriending myself. Looking at that progression, I see that I have become a better friend, teacher, and worker. It is difficult to function well if you are not comfortable in your own skin.
    Questions worth pondering came my way from a friend recently. Is my "work" here on the planet complete? Not in the sense that I'm ready to die, or that I'm going to off myself, but do I feel satisfied with what I have accomplished here? Is there more that I need/want to do? Do I still have something to prove? These questions are very relevant to "friendship with oneself."
    I have had this voice in my head, seemingly my whole life, that keeps telling me, "You should do more." It's maddening, and usually I blow it off. If I say, "More what?" I don't get an answer, except occasionally "cleaning," so I know it's not a friendly voice. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰
    I still want to travel more, especially to complete my MLB stadium quest (6 more to go). Most of all, I'm not leaving until I get to love up that grandbaby for many years to come. I feel good about my life's accomplishments, but there is still so much fun to be had!!!

It's good to have growing things around!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

March 26--You Do Know

Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  --Steve Jobs

    A niece was chatting with me about something she should do for financial reasons, but she does not want to do it because of the time commitment and interference with family activities. I suggested she follow her heart. I'm happy to report that the decision has been made--she is not going to do the undesirable thing. As a result, she and I will get to spend more time together, good for both of our hearts. 
    I found this quote by Richard Rohr and it fits with Jobs' sentiment: "The greatest enemy of ordinary daily goodness and joy is not imperfection, but the demand for some supposed perfection or order." Demands, "the noise of others' opinions," are coming at us all the time from all directions. It can certainly be a challenge to even hear one's heart wisdom and intuition, let alone follow it. But just like my niece above, we know what is right for us. The perfect solutions are always within. 
    Knowing where to look is key,

Adorable Oscar visited the tax office this week.

Friday, March 25, 2022

March 25--Assertive

To know oneself, one should assert oneself.  --Albert Camus

    I once had a boss here in the midwest who was giving me a performance evaluation, and he said, "You certainly are assertive, but then you're from back east." Up until then, I had no idea that being born and raised in the boondocks of Pennsylvania made one assertive! 
    We don't know what we are capable of until we rise to the occasion and express our needs, wants, and dreams. I've learned so much about myself by going for it: yoga teacher training, traveling (especially solo), and spiritual coaching to name a few. 
    It is a powerful feeling in life to feel and know, "yes, I can." The spiritual journey has not always been comfortable or easy, but it has been totally worth it. 
    Asserting myself into today,

Opening day April 7, YES!!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

March 24--Heart-Rich

What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.  --Helen Keller

    This is a wonderful, comforting thought. Deep love brings people, places and events into our hearts where they leave an imprint forever. I think this is fairly easy to see relative to people. Each family member and friend has had a impact on us and helped to shape us into our present version. My husband and sons are a part of me--I can't separate my life from them, and I can't imagine going through a day without thinking lovingly of them, even though they may be far away. 
    Then there's Barney, our dog. He's a part of us for sure. I know that I may outlive him, or vice versa, and it would be unbelievably painful to let him go. But he'll always be my "best bud ever."  
    Places and events that I hold in my heart forever: Alan Seeger Natural Area in central PA, site of many a family picnic growing up and one of my favorite places on the planet; Wrigley Field and the many Cubs games I've attended; golfing with my sons and my brother; beach vacations; a multitude of learning opportunities like yoga teacher training and painting workshops; and certainly world travels. 
    My heart is full!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

March 23--Changing Me Changes the World

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. 
--Leo Tolstoy

    I would suggest that this quote may be generally true, but it is a sign of immaturity. As a many-decades 12-Stepper, I have learned and integrated into my life that the only way to change the world is to change me. I believe this is why the Serenity Prayer is so powerful, loved and repeated. This is my affirmative version:
God grants me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 
Have a wise, serene day.
One of my 2020 barn quilts

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

March 22--Nurturing Needed

Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.  --Rumi

    I am mightily encouraged by the slow but steady increase of feminine energy in our world. 

Today on many levels, we are witnessing an immense longing for the mature feminine at every level of our society—from our politics to our economics, in our psyche, our cultures, our patterns of leadership, and our theologies, all of which have become far too warlike, 
competitive, mechanistic and non-contemplative. We are terribly imbalanced. --Richard Rohr
     The ruling patriarchy (old white men) is doing its best to create a population that is "sick, dumb and poor" to quote my well-read husband. We are in desperate need of nurturing, both the giving and receiving of it. 
    Please consider how you can be a comforting presence in the world today. We need you!

Another outstanding Kansas sunset

Monday, March 21, 2022

March 21--Be Someone

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone.  --Coco Chanel

    Here we are, back at Monday. We have four more weeks of tax prep. My coworker and I are seriously pondering this being our last round of doing taxes. At this stage of the game, that is an extraordinarily joyful thought. This is my seventh tax season, and I do think about what I'll be when I'm not a tax person. What someone will I be without this annual working period? It's a huge part in my feeling of being a useful human, but it surely would relieve a lot of cares and stress to let this job go. And by next year, I'll be someone's Grammie (grandmother), and that's the best "someone" I could ever be. Cares dissolved!!!!

Happy to be Barney's Mom

Sunday, March 20, 2022

March 20--Adventure

Just trust yourself, and then you will know how to live. 
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    I've done it. I made all the arrangements to add the Arizona Diamondbacks Stadium (Chase Field) to my MLB stadium quest list. The bonus feature is that the game I am going to is with my beloved Cubs. I had a credit with Southwest Airlines from the cancellation of 2020's trip for the same purpose, so I'm using that. I reserved a hotel room within walking distance of the stadium. I fly to Phoenix on a Thursday, go to the Friday game, and fly home Saturday. I'm a little nuts about baseball, I know. It's one of life's great pleasures for me. And I adore a solo adventure like this. Some folks have suggested I'm brave, or crazy, to do such a thing by myself. I just do it. My MLB stadium quest is a great motivator. I trust myself (most of the time) and travel is one aspect of good living.
    Stay tuned for the adventure, happening mid-May!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

March 19--Create, Yes You Can!

If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself.  --Carl Jung

    It seems I've been creating something ever since my very talented mother taught me to sew at an early age. She also taught me to crochet and embroider. She did a lot of creating of things, but not so much of creating herself. Making things helped to keep her distracted from her many issues. 
    I've spent decades both creating things and creating myself. It seems each benefits the other. For example, venturing into painting ("I can't paint!") has helped me create myself with less perfectionism, more patience, more willingness to learn and experiment, and less self-criticism. 
    I would suggest not going overboard with self-improvement, i.e., creating yourself. Creating in any form ought to be a joy, not a chore. And variety IS the spice of life!

The finished painting by yours truly

Friday, March 18, 2022

March 18--Priceless Freedom

Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.  --Eckhart Tolle

    Free from what? 
  • Trying to be the person others think you should be
  • Self-criticism
  • Pressure to conform
  • Obsession in any form
  • The need to please others 
  • The need for approval
  • Being controlled by limiting beliefs
    Free for what?
  • To offer your unique talents to the world
  • To enjoy being with yourself, comfortable in your own skin
  • To make the choices that bring you happiness
  • To be good to yourself
  • To love and be loved
  • To be at peace with life
  • To live and let live
    Each of us is an eternal, infinite spiritual being having a joyride here on Earth. Are you enjoying the ride?

Thursday, March 17, 2022

March 17--Give!

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. 
--Sir Winston Churchill

    My dad was a very generous person, and I learned quite a bit from watching his giving nature. "Snapper" was wise with his money and shared his hard-earned bounty easily within the family and with those organizations he considered worthwhile. He would go door to door collecting for the Heart Association or the American Cancer Society. He was good at talking folks into giving. 
    I would add that giving joyfully is a key aspect of making a life. So many organizations are begging for money, and churches, especially, have tended to be quite forceful about it. I see that this sours people on giving, which I find sad. If you are not giving with a generous, happy heart, don't bother. The same goes with the gift of your time--if you are not offering your talents with joy, you aren't helping. Because you can't say "no" is not a good reason to do anything. 
    Enjoying now,

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

March 16--Happy Harmony

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.  --Mohandas Gandhi

    Here to support your happiness and harmony is a recent "Note from the Universe" by Mike Dooley:
If you just look at all that already exists in your life, all that you already have: unlimited air to breathe, ample lighting to see, music to hear, books to read, stars to dream by, trees to gaze upon, floors to dance over, friends to cavort with, strangers to meet, enemies to befriend, woods to walk through, beaches to comb, rocks to scale, rains to splash in, rivers to float in, animals to bring comfort… you have to admit, there's more of it than you could ever, ever, ever, ever spend.
But try anyway.
     Infinitely blessed,

Courses to play...

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

March 15--Change It Up

Things do not change; we change.  --Henry David Thoreau

    I'm grateful for this. Given that it is "we change," that puts the power within us, rather than experiencing the frustration of waiting for change to come from elsewhere. 
    One change I am joyfully anticipating is becoming a grandma. (Insert wildly-excited squeal here!) Just like I completely changed when I first held my older son in my arms, so shall I be completely rearranged when I see my son and his wife with their little one for the first time. I can hardly wait!
    Life is much easier when we see change as a good thing.

Jamaican sunset by LP

Monday, March 14, 2022

March 14--Every Age Matters

If we limit ourselves to the age that we are, and forget all the ages that we have been, we diminish our truth.  --Madeleine L'Engle

    Each of us is a whole package. There's still the child in us, and I figure most of us have experienced outbursts of that child well into adulthood. 
    I don't dwell long and hard on the past, but I've had a great life, despite challenges here and there. All the ages I have been have contributed to getting me to the "ripe old age" of 66. I surely don't feel 66, and I am supremely grateful for my great health. My journey has yielded me tremendous healing of emotional and spiritual issues. I loved life as a mom when my sons were still living at home. I've had many good jobs and have settled into a variety of work that I love. 
    Part of my truth is that I am a Pennsylvania hillbilly, born and raised in the boondocks of beautiful central PA. There is still a huge place in my heart for my home state. I also think fondly of my times living in Minnesota (Twin Cities), Wisconsin (Green Bay), and now nearly 40 years in Kansas. That round-about circuit led me to my husband, a family, and a lifetime of love. 
    Everyone has a story,

My former "stomping grounds" in PA

Sunday, March 13, 2022

March 13--Deep Down

There is nothing deep down inside us except what we put there ourselves. 
--Richard Rorty

    I surely believe that we pack deep down a lot of stuff we don't need, and much of the packing is unconscious. I have a rock-solid foundation of codependency, brought on by the need as a child to keep my mother happy and alive and to keep peace in the household. There were much more complex things going on than I could understand, but I worked hard trying to keep everyone happy. By the way, I failed at that, because it wasn't my job. 
    As life moved on and I became an independent adult, spurred on by my mother's death when I was 23, I learned that I could make different choices of what to put deep down. I saw my upbringing with new eyes and made choices to unpack some of the harmful baggage I had packed. Some items have been quite resistant to leaving, but persistence, time and spiritual practice have yielded much healing. 
    Grateful for the journey,
A gift from my son,
who knows me so well!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

March 12--It's Clear

In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.  --Stephen Covey

    There is a client at the tax office who keeps coming back year after year despite non-stop complaining about our prices, the government, life in general. The one who has to deal with her is truly "taking one for the team." This year it was me. I simply listened to the tirade. As she was leaving she said, "I just want to be dead. I have loads of children and grand-children and none of them ever come see me." Hmmmm... no surprise there! There's no penetrating that thick aura of negativity. 
    At the other end of the spectrum, I have friends and family members who are love incarnate. Just hanging out with them makes a person feel loved. 
    It takes energy to spread around a negative attitude. It's easy to let one's essential nature of love and joy flow through. 

It's back!!! Let the travel plans begin!

Friday, March 11, 2022

March 11--Palace or Jail?

Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.  --John Donne

    I love this one! Love yourself up, in your own body, mind and spirit, satisfied with the package, with no need to prove yourself to anyone. If you are looking for outside approval, you are constantly at the mercy of the fickle, critical world, trapped by others' opinions and judgments.
    I think we spend much of our early lives in the "jail." We want to be popular, liked, to fit in. It takes some life experience, some maturity, some "school of hard knocks," to decide to "be thine own palace." This brings a priceless freedom, peace, and comfort in your own skin.  
    I'm choosing "palace" today, 
Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse--I've been there!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

March 10--Choices Reveal

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. 
--J. K. Rowling

    We can use our abilities, or not, but we are ALWAYS making choices.  
    I love to play golf. My ability at golf, however, is questionable. I certainly hope that my choice to play with enthusiasm despite my lack of skill shows that I am at least persistent. I don't give up easily. 
    I'm pondering this one, and the words aren't coming. Some days are like that, and today I choose to let that be. 
Barney ("Who rescued who?")

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

March 9--Be a Good Person

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.  --Rumi

    "Hallelujah!" "YES!!" These are exclamations of joy heard around the tax office when a challenging return balances. Each return is its own unique puzzle, and some have a thousand pieces and some have only a dozen. It is a joy to complete each one. Only a numbers nerd would find such pleasure doing taxes.
    I feel compelled to offer up a bit of wisdom. We have several folks who are quite unpleasantly vocal about how much our services cost. You yourself may have grumbled about how much some service has cost you in the past. A) No one is forcing you to use us. We did not drag you into our office. B) If you work or used to work, I expect you enjoy getting paid for what you do or did. We enjoy that, too. Complaining is unbecoming. Be good to the people who serve you. If you don't like the service, go elsewhere. Please don't keep coming back and bitching. 
    There, my soap box for the day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

March 8--Open to Life

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.  --Henry Ward Beecher

    This is the Friday, March 4 "Daily Meditation" by Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation:
Author Michelle DeRusha uses trees as a helpful metaphor to understand how our True and small (or false) selves are intertwined:

I learned over the weeks and months of sitting [in nature] in quiet solitude that I am a lot like the oak tree that clings so fiercely to its leaves. I suspect a lot of us are. We, too, clutch our camouflage—the person we present to the world, to our own selves, and even to God. We, too, are unwilling to shed our false selves, to let go, to live vulnerably and authentically. . . .

Sitting in silence every day helped me see that my “leaves” of choice are busyness and productivity, drive and efficiency, achievement and success. . . . I clung with an iron grip to my false self, to the false identity I’d meticulously crafted over the years. I was busy, productive, and driven. I pushed myself to accomplish, achieve, and succeed. . . .

DeRusha goes on to describe the pruning method by which a certain Japanese maple tree was made beautiful:

Marsha [a tour guide] explained that a particular Japanese gardening technique called “open center pruning” was responsible not only for the sculptural appeal of this maple, but also for the uncluttered space and serenity in the garden as a whole.

When a Japanese gardener “prunes open,” Marsha explained, he or she cuts away not only dead branches and foliage, but also often a number of perfectly healthy branches that detract from the beauty inherent in the tree’s essential structure. Pruning open allows the visitor to see up, out, and beyond the trees to the sky, creating a sense of spaciousness and letting light into the garden. It also enables an individual tree to flourish by removing complicating elements, simplifying structure, and revealing its essence. The process of pruning open turns the tree inside out, so to speak, revealing the beautiful design inherent within it. . . .

The truth is, God does not wish for us to stand stubborn like the autumn oak tree, cloaked in a faΓ§ade of protection, our truest, most authentic selves obscured beneath a tangled bramble of false security. Rather, [God] desires us to live like the Japanese maple tree, our true essence revealed and flourishing, our true self front and center, secure and thriving. God yearns for us to live wholeheartedly and truthfully as the unique, beautiful, beloved individuals [God] created us to be. Most of all, God’s deepest desire is for us to know [God], to root our whole selves in [God] like a tree rooted by a stream, and to know [God’s] deep, abiding love for us.

God invites us into intimate relationship . . . so that we may then live more compassionately and intimately with those around us. We are the windows, as Henri Nouwen [1932–1996] said, through which others may glimpse God. They are windows through which we might glimpse God.
    This encourages us to keep our windows clean and open!

Japanese Maple

Monday, March 7, 2022

March 7--Here and Now

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.  --Eckhart Tolle

Prayer is an excellent way to spend the present moment. These are the words of Richard Rohr:
     Our faith spreads through and by the quality of our relationships. When we meet a person of a certain quality of maturity, we too can become more mature. We meet a patient person and we learn how to be patient. We meet a loving person and we learn how to be loving. That’s the way human beings operate. When we meet a really grounded, happy, and free person, we become more like that because we’ll be satisfied with nothing less.
     In prayer, it is possible to experience that quality of relationship with Spirit. In that place, we know we’re not being manipulated, we’re not being used, we’re not being judged, we’re not being evaluated. Who wouldn’t want to go there? It’s the place of ultimate freedom. It’s the state that every one of us wants to live in. That’s why we tell people to go pray for some set time each day, because when we do, we slowly learn to live in this place. We become a reflection of our own experience. We ourselves become our best teacher—yet it is the Spirit. God rubs off on us. It’s almost that simple. I don’t know any other way to say it.
Enjoy some quiet time today. 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

March 6--Good Deeds

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.  --George Eliot

    Have you played Wordle yet? It's a fun word-guessing game wherein there is only one word a day, so you don't spend an absurd amount of time playing it. For me, it is a brief relief from numbers and taxes to fiddle with letters for a few minutes. Google it--I predict you'll get "hooked."
    This quote from Maya Angelou crossed my path yesterday: "If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." I know from being an addict most of my life, "normal" has been the holy grail. I think "normal" is like "perfect"--a constantly moving target impossible to define. Recovery has given me permission to simply be who I am and enjoy my life just as it is, normal or not.
    When our sons were little, I gave them each a section of garden to do with as they chose. We went to the garden store each spring, and they picked out plants and/or seeds and planted and cared for them. Their interest waned in the teenage years. I am happy to report, however, that my younger son's tiny apartment now has loads of plants (can you say "jungle"?) and my older son has built a grow-light setup and has been calling with seed-starting questions. 
    We don't know what our deeds will manifest down the road...

Future pesto

Saturday, March 5, 2022

March 5--Always Becoming

What is passion? It is surely the becoming of a person.  --John Boorman

    Sometimes people bother me, and I wish I had my own private planet. More often I like to look at other folks and ponder life as them, like being a pro baseball player, or a delivery person, or a service person at the grocery store. In my kinder moods, I remind myself that each one of us is doing the best we can with the resources available at the moment. I don't know what any given person is going through, so it behooves me to simply be kind. That's the ideal. Alas, my judgmental self would like those who bother me to know that I do not believe they are doing their best. My judgmental self often shows itself relative to other drivers. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰
    To support "the becoming of a person," we must practice the ideal of "live and let live." With all of us here on planet Earth for joy, expansion and freedom, let us allow each other to passionately pursue life as they choose. Bless diversity, spread goodness.

Friday, March 4, 2022

March 4--Friends

Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. 
--Kahlil Gibran 

    What would life be without friends? I've moved around often enough and lived long enough to have friends in many places. Friends have come to me through school, work, church (I used to be a regular!), golf, recovery, hobbies, and travel. It is quite lovely how each friend brings a different perspective into one's life. Aaahh, therein lies the "deepening of the spirit." A good friendship serves each person's spirit equally well. 
    Thankful for good friends,

Friends in Jamaica (and ready to return!)

Thursday, March 3, 2022

March 3--Deception

When a person cannot deceive himself, the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.  --Mark Twain

    As time has passed, I've learned that I am not good at deceiving myself, and it's not helpful to try. I have little desire to deceive others, because I can't keep track of lies of any magnitude. 
    I'm guessing the opposite is true. If someone is good at deceiving others, I'll bet he or she is good at self-deception. Former President Trump is a perfect example. 
    Mark Twain was quite wise and clever. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

March 2--Am I Me or You?

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.  --Judy Garland

    I have considerable respect for people who are naturally good at sales. I'm not talking the stereo-type, high-pressure car salesperson. My younger son is someone who I say "could sell sand at the beach." He's natural at it. I've tried a few times in my life sell assorted things and finally realized that I am "second-rate" at best, and sales is not the profession for me. Recognizing what does not work for me has helped me settle into the things I do well and get better at them over time. 
    I am quite grateful for humanity's variety of skills and personalities. Each of us doing what we are good at makes for a smooth-working world. I appreciate those who are first-rate car mechanics, chefs, grocers, repairmen, manufacturers, truckers, and so on. Doing what we each do best, in harmony with life, makes for a peaceful, happy world. 
    Life is good!

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

March 1--Authenticity

The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is. 
--Desiderius Erasmus

    Erasmus was a Dutch philosopher born in the 1400s, a forward thinker for his time. 
    It's March! Can spring be far? The theme in "Daily Joy" for March is authenticity. From Merriam-Webster, this is being "true to one's own personality, spirit or character." We get to explore just how comfortable we are with ourselves, "warts and all." 
    The joke around the tax office is that my co-worker is the nice one and I'm the cranky one. I'm not really, but I just can't measure up to the sweet kindness she expresses. I'm OK with me. I'm content being a numbers-nerd. Numbers make me happy. Numbers are predictable; people, not so much. 
    I love to golf, though I'm not good at it. I love to watch a lot of baseball and basketball. When I paint, I am especially fond of straight lines. I love to travel. I love to swim. And I love being by myself. I'd have to say I'm at the "summit of happiness" because I'm good with me at this point in my life. Certainly that has not always been the case, and no doubt, there is still much room for improvement. It is an ongoing adventure for which I am eternally grateful. 
    Enjoy being you!
My daily lap swim spot in Jamaica