Oh How Joyful

I must admit, I am a Facebook junkie. I really don’t want to go to the app, but out of habit my fingers click  and there I am surrounded by my friends. Not all are my closest friends, but it is fun to take a peak at their lives. Of course, one must take the good with the bad and it seems like the old book face is filled with anger and hatred these days as well as the grandkids’ first day of kindergarten. 

Political viewpoints. Religious beliefs. Violence. Racism. If you want your daily dose, just scroll through the pages of your friends, and their friends, and, well you’ve got the picture.  I will admit I’m opinionated but do scroll past many postings without comment even though I may disagree.  After all, sometimes the best comment is no comment. 

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit depressed. It’s not just Facebook, it’s radio, music, television, billboards. We are so filled with bitterness. Where’s the joy?  And then it happened. I opened the app and what post did my eyes see first?
  
OH HAPPY DAY!

Take a breath

Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. -Lecrae
I’m of the firm belief we should think comma while living life. Use the pause button.

  • Think before speaking. Listen to what is being said, don’t think about what you want to say while another is speaking. We miss so much by worrying about what we already know instead of of listening for new information.
  • Does every action need a reaction?  Maybe sometimes the best reaction is no reaction.  Believe me, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.
  • How much work went into that person’s effort?  How much emotion?  How would you feel if the words were turned on you?  Criticism is a creativity killer. Feedback can be given minus hurtful words. Pause before you criticize. 
  • Forgiveness isn’t about excusing another’s behavior, it’s about releasing that person’s power over you. Yes, another quote, but oh so true. Release the power and pray for healing. Feel the weight slip away.
  • Never quit before you’ve given it all you’ve got. Sometimes we barely start before making an excuse to quit. Then we wonder “what if.”  What if we started with “what if.”

I used to change my signature block quotes every month or so. This one has been in place for over a year. I look at it every day and think, “I should find something cuter, more eye catching.”  Then I take a breath and think, “These are really great words to live by, a good daily reminder.  Rhonda, don’t forget the comma.” 

A Sacred Place

Virginia Woolf said every woman must have a room of her own and money if she is to write fiction.  She spoke of that many years ago, and although romantics would say money is simply for material girls, I would say a girl has to eat. And a room of one’s own may not be a necessity but a roof over one’s head is nice to protect from the elements.  As a writer, a quiet place is essential to enable creative thought, or better yet continued creative thought.  🙂

I lived many years in central Illinois and my house was a story and a half.  On the half story was a loft that overlooked my landscaped backyard with pond and koi.  Looking out further was timber and a lake.  It was beautiful, a place of serenity. The loft was quiet and well lit.  Nature provided inspiration.  It was my room with a view.  My husband and I moved to Florida a couple years ago and downsized to a condo.  The view from our lanai provides fodder for writing and painting but is not necessarily quiet, especially in season.

So, I need to get creative.  My IPad can go anywhere.  So, for now my sacred place is in my mind’s eye.

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I’m RoundaboutRhonda. I will find many sacred places as I walk through this journey called life.

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Last but not least — What should I write about?  How can I challenge myself?  Please leave your ideas in Comments.

Old Stuff

  

While navigating this thing called life, we accumulate lots of stuff. Stuff worth keeping. Stuff we pitch shortly after we acquire. Stuff we should pitch but hang on to because we just can’t part with it.

I’m not talking about that priceless vase or piece of furniture. I’m talking about our past experiences. That stuff we stuff in our brain that emerges as a monster on those days when we’re at our weakest.  We should destroy that monster. Lock it out of our storage. We should throw that stuff out. Keep the lesson and throw out the the hurtful stuff.  We’d be better for it. 

But I know, that’s easier said than done. We are attached to our experiences much like that old vase that gathers dust in the far corner of our closet. Why is that?  Why do we keep that vase?  Great grandma gave it to grandma who gave it to mom who gave it to me. It doesn’t fit with my decor but the guilt associated with finding it a new home is overwhelming. Maybe someone else would display it in a prominent place instead of in the closet covered with dust. 

Why do we keep that stuff, stuffed in our self storage? That’s an even tougher question. Those thoughts and experiences get dusty. They get shoved to the back of storage because the experience happened so long ago. But unlike, a physical item, a long ago experience can be magically brought to the front without any trouble at all. We gladly remove the dust and nurse old wounds or guilt. How many times do we put it back before we finally get tired of revisiting it and toss it out for good.  We can’t and shouldn’t give it away. But we can glean the lesson and throw it away. 

After all, it is old stuff. 

Deliver Us From Ego

Appearances. How things look from the outside. Growing up, I lived in a family that valued appearances more than truth.  And in order to keep up appearances one most control, or try to control everything around them so others don’t see what is really happening on the inside. 

I never was very good at the appearance thing.  Sure, I could smile when I felt like crying. I could be funny when I felt sad. I could even look the part of a person in control. BUT I could never master appearances to my family’s satisfaction. As I look back, that could be why my parents preferred I stay home instead of hang out with my friends and their families. Hmmmmmmm. 

And I could continue that hmmmmmm as I think about growing into and living as an adult. Because, for whatever reason, I adopted a controlling personality. I wanted everything to be perfect from the inside out. And if it wasn’t perfect on its own it would be perfect with my help. HELLO

  
There were years of controlling. Praying that things would go my way. Praying people would act the way I wanted them to act. You get the picture.  And life moved on sometimes in good and sometimes in tragic ways. 

Through life events I met and married a man who lives life by 12 steps. I went to meetings and accidentally found out those meetings were helpful to me.  I learned control is a myth driven by ego.  Peace and serenity are achieved when we ask to be delivered from ego. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen

Uncertainty 

What if I’m not good enough. But what is good enough. 
I picked up a paint brush for the first time three years ago and loved how creating made me feel. Art is so freeing because it lets you be you and create what’s in your mind’s eye. 
I entered a contest, a couple contests and felt that freedom be replaced by uncertainty. Comparing myself to others. Feeling not good enough. I tried painting a couple times since and couldn’t find the freedom. Not good enough. Can I really do this?
Uncertainty kills creativity. 

An Endless Canvass

I love to look out of a window, especially from an upper floor. I can stare for hours.  

Leaves swaying in a breeze or still on a perfectly calm day. Rain falling in nature’s perfect angles. The occasional bird or squirrel. Wild life. 

Glass. Wood. An ever-changing work of art. 

 

Things…

I like,

Sunshine

Music

Hanging with my husband 

Cooking

Doing laundry

Cloudy days

Autumn

Creating

Words

I’ve learned,

Life’s short

Worry less

Love more

Forgive and make amends

Don’t waste time doing things you don’t enjoy

Take risks

Take time to just be

Never stop learning

Be kind always

Things I wish,

That I knew the things I learned earlier. 

That I would make more time to create and do the things I enjoy. 

Getting the words down

The reason I write. The reason I signed up for Writing 101. I was walking in St. Petersburg, Florida, and written on the sidewalk were the words, “if you want to be a writer keep putting the words down.”  I read that over 7 years ago and it’s stuck with me all this time. 

I have periods of time where I write often, but then I get lazy and would rather read other writers’ works. While I know that’s also important, to be a writer one has to write. It doesn’t have to be good writing but putting the words down is an important first step. 

So, I take this first step one more time.  It’s important to tell our life stories. 

A lazy writer

That’s me!  I love to write.  I enjoy creating.  I don’t make the time to sit down and put,fingers to keyboard.   So I try again by taking a course and becoming a daily blogger. Will it take hold this time?  Who knows. But it can’t hurt to try.