My Best Is A Moving Target

img_6739I have a friend who doesn’t want to submit anything for publication that isn’t his “best work.”  I can understand the thinking there.  I’ve read enough published stories that are terrible, in need of more editing or someone to clarify the ideas, that I appreciate the sentiment.

At the same time, I recall reading a book by Dean Koontz years ago, and later learning that he hated it, was actually “ashamed” of it and wanted it to not be published anymore because it wasn’t very good (in his opinion).  I remember being puzzled, since I liked the book immensely.

It helped me understand that my best should always be a moving target.  This goes for writing, but also everything else in life.  Today I want to be a little bit more patient than I was yesterday.  Today I want to be a little more understanding than I was yesterday.  Tomorrow I’d like to be even more understanding.  And obviously, I’d like to tell a better story.

Of course, I want to do my best, but as I learn and grow, what my best is will change.  I’m not going to limit myself today because I hope that my best will be better tomorrow.  I also endeavor to value what was my best in the past, if it was really my best work then.

I look back at the person I was, the things I wrote, and I’m not that exactly person anymore.  That person didn’t have the experiences I’ve had today.

When I read stories I had published a few years ago, now, I can see the places they would have been made better through editing or different word choices.  Instead of feeling bad about that, it makes me feel good.  It’s a tangible reminder that I’ve grown and changed.  Isn’t that always better than standing still?

Feel Good Friday

On Fridays, I post about good news that happens in the world.

Bird of Paradise in San Diego Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Bird of Paradise in San Diego
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I’ve been doing Feel Good Friday for over 6 months now, and what I’ve found is that it’s getting easier and easier for me to find positive news stories.  I’d like to think that it’s because the world has become a better place in the last 6 months, but I think that’s even beyond my optimism.  I think what’s really happened is that because I’ve trained myself to look for positive news stories, I see them more often.  People know I do this, so they send me good news stories to be featured here.

The fact that I see what I look for just proves what I keep saying: you find what you look for.  Keep expecting to see all the bad stuff, and that’s what you’ll see.  Expect the good stuff though, and the world opens up in unexpected ways.

So, welcome to this week’s version of Feel Good Friday.

Eva Mozes Kor is a woman who survived the Holocaust.  She talks about the power of forgiveness, and has forgiven the Nazis for the Holocaust.  She’s even “adopted” as a grandson the man who is the actual grandson of the former SS commander of Auschwitz.  Forgiveness is powerful; it had the power to release you from what imprisons you mentally.  It doesn’t excuse or justify; it’s simply a gift you give yourself.  This is a powerful article.

Charlie walks his dogs every day, but when he got leukemia, it became harder for him to complete his walk.  Some neighbors noticed, and so they put chairs on their lawn so that he could rest if he needed to.  It’s a simple gesture, but it made him feel cared about.  Remember, sometimes the simplest things we do for others have the largest impact.  Putting chairs on the lawn is not a big deal to most of us, but to Charlie, it meant that others cared, and that he could keep doing something he loved.

Vivian Boyack and Nonie Dubes have loved one another since 1942, and they finally got married last year.  They said that they weren’t sure, even after 72 years, that they wanted to go public with their relationship, and that “we’ve always been married in our hearts.”  I can’t help but cheer for marriage equality, even while thinking how unimaginably difficult it must have been for them to love one another for so long but hide their relationship from others.  I’m so glad that they finally had the choice to marry; they deserve their commitment to be acknowledged and applauded.  72 years is an amazing milestone for anyone.

The UK did a survey on why women don’t work out, and found that it’s because of fear of judgement.  More people die from inactivity than obesity.  That’s right, kids: it’s better to be an active fat person than a sedentary skinny person.  So, instead of just telling people to work out, they made a video of real women sweating, jiggling, showing off love handles and stretch marks.  And guess what?  In my opinion, it’s beautiful.  Watch the video, and then go out and do whatever you love to do.  Be fearless and confident, because that, more than your weight or perfect hair or makeup, makes you beautiful.

Do a good deed.  Smile at someone.  Thank someone.  Tell someone what they mean to you.  Be the unique and wonderful you that you are.

Go forth and be amazing today.

My 10 Best Posts of 2014

Well, it’s that time of year again.  The end of the year approaches, and with it, time to wrap up the old and welcome the new.  Here are my 10 favorite posts from 2014.  (Okay, if you actually count them, there are 13.  It’s my lucky number.  So sue me.)

Sedona, AZ Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Sedona, AZ
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Never Enough– Why we’re all great the way we are.

Top 10 Reasons to Go Camping– I think this one is kind of self-explanatory.

10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved to Arizona– Also self-explanatory.

V is for Villains– All about what makes a villain great.

Words Matter-  Why it’s important to be mindful of what you say.

Old Things and Abandoned Places– They whisper to you… can you hear them?

I’m Having A Good Time, And Have The Pictures To Prove It!- Why taking pictures of everything we do might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

I Bet 99% Of You Won’t Repost This– My thoughts on Facebook’s version of the guilt trip/ chain letter.

10 Lessons on Friendship From Dogs– What my dogs have taught me.

Trust Issues- Many people seem to have trust issues, so how do you get past it?

It’s A Loud World– My thoughts after getting my first set of hearing aids.

Wait.  Why Am I Supposed to Care About That Again?– My thoughts on what really matters in life and friendships.

Master Yoda, Is the Dark Side Stronger?– Bullying, Star Wars, and the secret weapon of the light side.

Thanks for stopping by.  Here’s to an excellent 2015!