Category: Observations about Life


Happy Motivational Monday to you!  Are you glad to be headed back to work on this lovely morning?

“The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

-Chinese Proverb

Yes, it's a purple cabbage.  But isn't it pretty?

Yes, it’s a purple cabbage. But isn’t it pretty?

I’ve always loved this quote, because it reminds me that most limits only exist in your mind, and you can do almost anything.  I prefer to think nothing is impossible; it just hasn’t been done yet.

I was reminded of this quote yesterday when I read an article about a blind painter.  He creates wonderful works of art through touch, using textured paint.  Even if you’re not interested in the article, scroll through and take a look at the paintings.  It will remind you of all the possibilities out there.

One last thought:

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible!”

-Audrey Hepburn

It doesn’t matter what “it” is.  If it can be done, someone will judge it.

On that note, welcome to Wellness Wednesday.  Every Wednesday, I post something related to personal wellness.

Sunglass Cat- Find her on Facebook! Austin, Texas Photo credit: RJS Photography

Sunglass Cat- Find her on Facebook!
Austin, Texas
Photo credit: RJS Photography

I recently read an article about a woman who likes to read books.  She talked about being new to reading romance books, and gave some of her recommendations for books along with stating that despite the bad reputation romance books get, some of them are more well-written than others.

Then the post got weird.

She then wrote about not being afraid to tell others that you read romance novels, that some people will judge you for it, but that talking about romance novels is the only way to find other people who read them and get recommendations.

Say what?  People will judge you for reading a book?!?

Yes, dear reader.  People will judge you for what books you read.  It doesn’t matter that they haven’t read anything other than a cereal box in 10 years; others will judge what you read.  People judge Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray without having read them.  I’m not saying they’re literature; I’m just calling shenanigans on judging them based on an article someone else wrote about them.

Look, I’m a fan of doing what makes you happy.  Those people who are judging you?  They aren’t going to be around in 10 years, 10 days, and sometimes not even in 10 minutes.  They don’t pay your bills.  They haven’t lived your life.

Not caring what people think is an art form that few master, but when I see someone who obviously doesn’t care what others think, I want to applaud.  The happiest people know that flying under the radar is overrated.  I say that as long as what you do doesn’t actively harm anyone, do what you want to do.

Some people will say that you “harm” them when they really mean “offend.”  I’ve heard people say that being gay, having tattoos, wearing things with swear words, having a certain hair color is “harmful” to morality or some nonsense.

I call shenanigans.

Harm is what you do to someone else, not what you do to yourself.  If you hit on someone who isn’t interested (after they’ve told you), that’s harm.  If you hold someone at gunpoint and force them to get tattoos, that’s harm.  If you swear in someone’s face, that’s harm.  If you throw hair dye on someone else, that’s harm.

Being you… not harmful.

So today, remember that all the things you like and dislike make you uniquely you.  They make you cool and interesting.  If someone else doesn’t like those things, then that’s cool.  It means that they’re different from you.  Maybe you can even learn things from one another.

Go forth and be uniquely you today, no matter what that means.  And don’t judge others for being who they are.  Embrace it.  Enjoy it.

Live it.

Have Fun

On Motivational Mondays, I post something to set the tone for the week.

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.”
Randy Pausch

Don’t forget to take time out to enjoy something every day.  After all, that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Desert Botanical Gardens Phoenix, AZ Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Desert Botanical Gardens
Phoenix, AZ
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

When I started Feel Good Friday posts over 6 months ago, there were weeks when I had trouble finding 5 news stories to feature here.  It would take me about an hour of searching to find things current and worth sharing.  These days, I find way more than 5 news stories easily.  Keep the positive focus, and good things will come.

A photographer takes pictures of her grandmother as a way of showing that her grandmother is the epitome of beauty.  Beauty has no age.

Smiley, a puppy mill rescue born without eyes, goes on to be a therapy dog.  It took love and training for him to learn not to be fearful, but once he did, his joy for life affected everyone else.

99 year old woman finished her 1,000th dress for little girls in Africa.  Her goal was to get 1,000 before her hundredth birthday.

When a cheerleader with Down’s syndrome is bullied at a basketball game, three of the players walked off the court to defend her.

New Hampshire police are giving out tickets for following the law.  Actually, they’re not tickets… they’re gift certificates.  Police have been given gift cards to hand out to people walking their dogs on leash, using the cross walk to cross the street, that kind of thing.

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”
-Anne Frank

Go forth and have a wonderful weekend!

On Wellness Wednesdays, I post on a wellness topic.

Sea World, San Diego Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Sea World, San Diego
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I wouldn’t say that my high school had a bullying problem.  We were a small, rural school.  And yet I was bullied for my weight in high school.  One of my friends was bullied for the way she looked as well.  I recently wrote a story about bullying, and a friend of mine, who has been out of high school far less time than me, said, “That’s not how it works anymore.  Now, it’s the fat black gay kid who’s the popular kid.”

I had seen this trend in the new 21 Jump Street, but I wasn’t sure if it was for real or not.  When I asked another friend of mine about it, she said that it has gotten better, though it’s not quite like my other friend said.

I know that bullying still exists.  I know this because I still see online articles about kids who have attempted or completed suicide based on how bad bullying gets.  I’ve seen adults bully other adults, so I know it doesn’t just come out of nowhere.

Recently, I read an article about how Planet Fitness revoked a woman’s gym membership for not following their “No Judgement Zone” policy.  The woman reportedly got upset when a person she thought was a man entered the locker room.  The person in question is actually transgendered, and identifies as female.  The customer who objected returned to the gym multiple days to tell other gym members that Planet Fitness allows “men” in the women’s dressing rooms, which was what ended in her having her membership revoked.

I’m actually not here to weigh in on that particular issue, but I provided a summary of the story to set the tone for what I do want to talk about.  This article was published as a link on Facebook, and I was curious about the comments.  There were the expected arguments on both sides.  One woman stated that she agreed with the woman who didn’t feel safe with a “man” in her dressing room, and that she would never go to Planet Fitness as a result.  She expressed herself in a logical and appropriate manner.  Other people attacked her, calling her names and telling her that she was being “intolerant.”  They put her down and said things about her that they couldn’t possibly know, saying that she was a bad Christian (she never mentioned religion).

Several times, this woman responded and defended her views, saying that she has the right to feel the way she feels about it, and each time, she was met with a barrage of negative statements from others.

This woman was bullied.

I’m an LGBTQ ally.  I believe that everyone should have the same rights.  BUT, when someone disagrees with my opinion, I don’t have the right to bully them, and neither does anyone else.

There is a big difference between expressing an opinion by stating that you won’t patronize an establishment because you don’t believe in the way they do things and saying that you wish harm to a group of people.  The former is an adult reaction to something that offends you.  The latter is extremist, childish, and just plain wrong.

True acceptance means that we accept the respectful opinions of everyone.  It does not mean that we agree.  It does not mean that we bully.  It means that we allow others to express their opinions.  If we want to have an intelligent, adult discussion with dissenting opinions, that’s wonderful.  That’s what it’s all about.  Acceptance does not mean that everyone has to “accept” your opinion as correct.

By bullying the woman who expressed her opinion, all commenters did was cement her opinions.  People don’t change their minds because other people put them down or shame them.  People change their minds through open and honest discussion, along with respectful arguments that make them think differently.

Next time someone gives an opinion you don’t agree with, listen to them, respectfully and without judgement.  Then give yours.  I believe that this respectful meeting of minds is the way that we can truly promote peace and equality.

What are your thoughts?

Seeking Truth

On Motivational Mondays, I post a thought to set the tone for the week.

“Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.”

~André Gide

El Yunque Forest, Puerto Rico Photo Credit: Doree Weller

El Yunque Forest, Puerto Rico
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I’m a know it all; I admit it.  Though I don’t know nearly as much as I did when I was 16, and I’m hopeful that I’ll know even less 20 years from now.  The truth is that I don’t have all the answers, and the more okay with that I become, the happier I become.

I encourage you to go forth and seek knowledge and truth, but to never become too attached to any one piece of knowledge or truth.  Any time you think you have “the answers,” is when your mind becomes closed to alternatives.

Have a wonderful Monday, and an interesting week.  Enjoy the journey!

On Feel Good Fridays, I post good news stories. Remember that you find what you look for, so if you look for the good in your fellow man, you’re likely to find it.

Oh look, a fish! Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Oh look, a fish!
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

This is seriously the best thing I’ve ever seen on the internet.  If you haven’t seen the Unworthy video of skeletons dancing, you should take a look at it.  It made me cry and gave me a feeling of wanting to hug my fellow man.

Here’s a bunch of fun pictures with cops acting goofy.

7 positive trends with teens.  We all hear about all the bad stuff kids do, and how selfish they are, but studies indicate that teen drug use and pregnancy is down, and volunteering is increasing.

Seniors “prank” the school principal by giving him letters of gratitude.  Saying “thank you” to someone is seriously the best gift you can give anyone.

This is a true story about the power of noticing others.  I love the point that it makes, that taking a few moments to notice someone else, especially when you don’t have to, can have a powerful impact.  Take a few minutes and read it; you’ll be glad you did.

I generally only share 5 positive things, just to keep it manageable, but I see far more than that most weeks.

What kind of things do you see that warm your heart?  Has someone done something kind for you?  Have you gone out of your way to show kindness to someone else?  I know you’re out there, so tell me in the comments.

And as always, go forth and be kind today.  Have a great weekend!

Life Lessons

On Wellness Wednesdays, I post about a topic related to wellness.

“I have learned silence form the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind, yet strange, I am ungrateful for those teachers.”

-Khalil Gibran

San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Arizona Photo Credit: Doree Weller

San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Arizona
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I believe that we’re all presented with the same lesson in life, over and over, until we learn it.  People and situations may annoy or upset us, but the truth is that everything can be a learning experience.

It’s difficult because we don’t get letter grades for these experiences.  No one marks up our experience with a red pen, showing us exactly what we need to improve.  Instead, we have to figure it out.

The best way to figure out how you’re doing in learning about something in particular is by how it makes you feel.  If it upsets, angers, frustrates, or makes you afraid, you may have more to learn from it.  The more intensely you feel, the more important the lesson.

People who won’t shut up irritate me.  They talk and talk, repeating themselves, and usually end up saying very little.  I recently had yet another encounter with one of these individuals.  He was a member of my writer’s critique group, and he gave good feedback, but it was buried within a speech to rival the length of War and Peace.  I tried to let him know, gently, that it was difficult for me to hear what he was trying to tell me when he repeated the same thing over and over.  I think I hurt his feelings, and soon after, he dropped out of the group.  I still feel bad about that, wondering if what I said made him want to leave.

I have two lessons to learn here.  I’m honestly not sure what the first lesson is; I’m still trying to figure it out.  Perhaps that I need to listen, even when I don’t want to?  Or perhaps how to give better feedback?  The second lesson is most definitely that the world doesn’t revolve around me, and if he chose to drop out of group, that was his choice, and I didn’t “cause” it.

If I insulted him, he could have spoken to me about it.  He could have ignored me or told me to go to hell.  I’m not responsible for the choices he made, and likely his choice to leave group didn’t have anything to do with me at all.

What lessons are you still working through?

This Moment

Happy Monday, everyone.

Sunrise, Jerome AZ Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Sunrise, Jerome AZ
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

On Motivational Mondays, I post something to set the tone for the week.  Here goes:

“Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.”

-Omar Khayyam

Or, put another way:

“Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life.  Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.”

-Author Unknown

Even if everything else is going wrong, take time each day to enjoy something.  Enjoy that sip of coffee.  Enjoy the feel of soft gloves keeping your hands warm on a cold day.  Enjoy the song on the radio or that random person you heard humming “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Life is a series of moments.  Enjoy this moment.

Better late than never, right?  Welcome to your weekly dose of good news.

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

When no one showed up for her autistic son’s birthday party, Mom posted on Facebook.  Strangers showed up bearing cards and gifts, along with the Osceola Sheriff’s Department.  I’m really glad that this story had a happy ending.  Kindness goes a long way.

When a bus driver loses consciousness while driving, kids react, stopping the bus, calling 911, and starting chest compressions on the driver. 

A man who was living in his car in Colorado Springs spent time helping push other people’s stuck cars out of the snow.  When the news caught him in action, strangers offered to put him up in a hotel and started a GoFundMe page for him.  That’s what it’s all about: people helping people.

You may not recognize the name John Unger, but almost everyone will recognize the picture of him helping his elderly, arthritic dog to float in the water.  Shoep (the dog in the photo) died in 2013, but the photo is still viral, making its way around the internet.  Dog lovers will rejoice as this sweet man has adopted a new friend who will no doubt get amazing loving care.

Photographer captures people from 1 to 100, showing their dreams.  The photographs are in Russia, but the people could just as easily be living next door to us.  Take a few minutes to look at the photos, as they’re lovely.  You were just going to spend that time looking at LolCats anyway, weren’t you?

As you go into the weekend, here’s a thought:

“Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”

~Robert Brault

We only have one another in this world, so be kind to someone today.

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