“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

It seems that this pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. I have heard stories and seen people hoarding things with not thought for others. I have also seen neighbors getting food for people at risk and offering whatever support is needed.

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This quote from Charles Dickens seems to sum it all up:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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This says it all and fits as well today as when it was written. It sums up succinctly everything that is going on. All the foolishness, all the wisdom, all the greedy people, all the giving people.

Nothing seems to have changed since the time of Dickens.

Choose fun!

Today I bit off more than I could chew. I needed to make more communion bread (not a problem) but then decided to make Hummingbird Cake. Also not hard but somewhat time consuming. I don’t know why I wanted to do that. I have no company coming and we will not eat a whole cake. What was I thinking?

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This is not my cake

Nevertheless I did all of that and am planning to give away large slices of the cake. Some people are in for a good evening when I take it to them.

Now I am really tired. This is what happens when there are many things to be done that you don’t want to do. Any way to escape. Now tomorrow I will have to tackle the things I put off but I have no other plans….so that will work.

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I think sometimes you just have to give in to a whim. It makes life more interesting. Just sticking to routine, no matter how comforting, can get boring. Don’t be afraid to jump into something you love. It will make life more fun.

Don’t listen to the nay-sayers

Focused on process, our creative life rains a sense of adventure. Focused on product, the same creative life can feel foolish or barren. We inherit the obsession with product ….from our consumer-oriented society.                                                     Julia Cameron in The Artists Way

I have always wanted to paint or draw and create something. Anything I did looked terrible and so I didn’t keep on trying. I never realized that art is also a skill to be learned

and though I will not be Picasso I can make some things I enjoy. Others may not find them good but they please me.

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A different kind of creativity

Don’t let our culture stop you from something you enjoy.

Flowers and friends

Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time–we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keeffe

We often hear the phrase “take time to smell the roses.” The truth is we seldom do take the time. There are some people who do but most of us don’t. Georgia O’Keeffe painted the flowers and she took the time to really see them….on a level most of us never will. Do I ever see the beauty? Do I ever experience the smell or the shape of the petals? Not often.

O’Keeffe compared this to the time it takes to have a real friend. Seeing all the things about a person and understanding them takes time. Accepting  who they really are takes more time and the ability to see beyond the surface. We don’t often take that time but that is how we find friends who understand and accept us as we are.

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Stop and really look at that flower. Absorb everything about it. Take the time to do the same things with those who could be real friends.

A thank you matters

Recently I have received two notes from people I saw often when working for the church. The notes were so affirming of my ministry when there. It was such a surprise and a joy. It touched me so to know that my time there meant something.

It reminded me of how important it is to affirm those who have meant something to us. It is so easy to make complaints when things go wrong but we forget to give thanks and praise when things go right.

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It try to thank those I meet daily even if it is a small task…thanking a waiter/waitress or someone who works on our car. Thank you for doing a good job means so much to someone who has had people putting them down all the time.

Take the time to be appreciative. It can change someone’s day or their life.

We all are important

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For those of us who struggle with mental health issues it is easy to look down on ourselves. We have the idea that we are not as good as others. Unfortunately, for some, this is what we have been told.

This is so far from the truth. Some of the most famous and inspirational people suffered things that would be categorized as a mental health issue today. Below is a list of some of these people and an estimate of their problem.

11 Historical Geniuses and Their Possible Mental Disorders
  • ABRAHAM LINCOLN // DEPRESSION. …
  • LUDWIG VON BEETHOVEN // BIPOLAR DISORDER. …
  • EDVARD MUNCH // PANIC ATTACKS. …
  • MICHELANGELO // AUTISM. …
  • CHARLES DICKENS // DEPRESSION. …
  • CHARLES DARWIN // AGORAPHOBIA. …
  • WINSTON CHURCHILL // BIPOLAR DISORDER. …
  • VASLAV NIJINSKY // SCHIZOPHRENIA.

We may not consider ourselves to fit into this list but it is obvious that we all have something to offer to the world. Never put yourself down. Know that you have gifts that are needed. Ignore those who want to put labels on you and just keep going.

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An ordinary day

As days go this was an ordinary day.There is something comforting about an ordinary day. It can seem to be a boring day.Nothing unexpected happens.The day goes as planned.

With the way that things have gone lately it is nice to have an ordinary day. Sometimes we go for quite a while with days being strange.When that happens it is nice for the day to be quiet.

The dictionary says ordinary is “with no special or distinctive features; normal.” It is interesting that it says normal since normal seems to be such a relative term.

I really enjoyed having a day where everything went as planned.That doesn’t happen very often.I have heard it said that time seems to go faster when everything is normal.Today that did not matter.It was just nice to have a day where there were no worries.Like most people, I probably would be bored if everyday we’re like that.I do find that once in a while it is nice to have boring.

Unfortunately, this seems like a boring post.I did you a good night.

Pay attention to health

This week I have been asked to do one mediation and 2 community conferences. I wanted to start back but wow! They have cases that must be done asap and someone has the flu. it will be a challenge but also interesting.

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I am also taking control of my health after the surgery and the shift of not having a thyroid. It is taking some rethinking on my part but I have realized that I have been taking my health for granted.  I am now watching my diet and getting back to eating well…back to walking the dogs for exercise for all of us. They even seemed tired after walking today. I guess we all need to get back to reality.

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It is so easy to slip and let important things get away from you. The holiday season didn’t help but really it was up to me. We have to pay attention and not let the things that keep us well be ignored.

It’s a privilege

Helping someone you love is not a burden. It is an opportunity to show gratitude.   ? from the two popes ?

I wrote this quote down without putting the author but I think that’s where I got it.

It really made me think. In today’s society we have a large aging population. People are living longer. More are having to be cared for. How many of us would be willing to take on what we may see as a burden. If we were blessed enough to have loving parents we need to remember the time, energy and love put into raising us.

I know I didn’t do enough for my parents. I did help and care for my mother and my aunt but they were not unable to care for themselves most of the time. Sometimes I feel guilty for the things I didn’t do to make their lives easier. Like most of us I was involved with my job, my family and my own agenda.

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Those we love are not a burden and it should be a privilege to serve them and show our gratitude.