Author Archive: Julia

The thief of joy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Teddy Roosevelt Which bridge do you like best?  Perhaps you favor the sleek, clean lines of the new bridge, and find the older one unattractive.  Or maybe you like the ornate and romantic construction of the older bridge, alongside which the new one looks bare and cold.  Regardless …

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How happily we listen

“What can Spring say that other Springs have not already told us? And yet each year, how happily we listen!” — Joan Walsh Anglund Familiar yet always new, springtime lures us outdoors with warming sunshine, budding trees and bright blooms.  Whether your March  weather has been more like a lion or a lamb thus far, I …

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One of the great helps

“One of the great helps to success is to be cheerful; to go to work with a full sense of life; to be determined to put hindrances out of the way; to prevail over them and to get the mastery. Above all things else, be cheerful; there is no beatitude for the despairing.” —  Amelia …

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The quiet voice

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”  — Mary Ann Radmacher Enthusiasm and motivation are wonderful, but can backfire on us if we rush in with good intentions and expect too much of ourselves when tackling a new project or difficult resolution.  …

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Simple, natural, plain

“Enjoy the simple, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work.” — Benjamin Hoff I love decoration.  From Baroque music to Victorian architecture to everyday frills and fancies, I am drawn to intricate patterns and abundant color.  I have to admit, though, that there …

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Gather and transform

“The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of …

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It’s helpful to remember

“In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.” — Paul Harvey Today’s post is dedicated to all of us who are FED UP with: 1. traffic, gas prices and ridiculous parking costs; 2. the hassles of air travel; 3. public bus or rail system problems; or …

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Happily ever after

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.” — Margaret Bonanno Did you ever wonder why the fairy tales end when the happiness starts?  When the character slays the dragon or the enemy, saving the loved one or rescuing the world at large, the story usually ends (or at least …

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New possibilities

“Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.” — Stuart Brown, MD If you have a favorite hobby, sport or other recreational activity, why not schedule some time for play this week? On the other hand, if you don’t …

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Every single day

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” — Jo Walton Have you ever been outside just as the sun was rising or setting, and thought to yourself that you should make it a point enjoy sunrise, or sunset, more often? So have I.  …

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Teach your moods

“Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes…This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That …

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When March is scarcely here

“A light exists in spring Not present on the year At any other period — When March is scarcely here.” — Emily Dickinson Along with a recent post about walking, I included a photograph of some trees in my neighborhood.  The photo above pictures those same trees during the all-too-brief period of their flowering, usually …

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The garden of your mind

“You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.” — Fred Rogers As springtime approaches, there’s no better time to tend to the garden of your mind.  Let’s make our minds into beautiful gardens to enjoy every day!  We can cultivate the soil by feeding it healthy images and words.  We can watch out …

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Try adding some bright

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors…” — Allen Klein I appreciate people who take the time to add color to everyday life.  Some people plant bright annuals that bloom in spring and …

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Too big to pass

“Trouble is a sieve through which we sift our acquaintances. Those too big to pass through are our friends.” — Arlene Francis There are all kinds of reasons why trouble tends to isolate us from others.  Many long to reach out to people in difficulty, but find it emotionally taxing to be present during the …

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Tea will

“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.” ― William Ewart Gladstone My day would not be complete without tea.  For those of us who grew up in the South, …

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Give thanks

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”  — Tecumseh Long before we had any idea Jeff was sick, we planned a …

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Welcomed and recorded

“Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid” — Henry David Thoreau For me, writing is an effective way to train my thinking.  I find that most people give more thought to what they write than to what they say, and this may …

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Within our reach

“The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!” — Attributed to Fra Giovanni Giocondo This blog gives me an excuse to spend time reading from the wealth of inspiring, encouraging and remarkable writings that have accumulated over centuries.  Much of what I read — …

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The last refuge

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” — Oscar Wilde I know very few people who do not lead complex lives, and most of us yearn for simplicity.  Yet the complexity is also a blessing; a rich fabric woven with countless threads that add color, durability or utility.  Thus I …

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The unceasing effort

“Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers– and never succeeding.” — Gian Carlo Menotti Humans can create stunning works of art, but the best of these only imitate, echo, enhance or complement the beauty found in nature.  Art is usually made, at least in part, from materials found in the …

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The safekeeping of enchantment

“I have always felt charged with the safekeeping of all unexpected items of worldly or unworldly enchantment, as though I might be held personally responsible if even a small one were to be lost.” — E. B. White The unforgettable writer who gave us Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan certainly …

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Patience and faith

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient… Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh Few women of any generation could claim a life as full of adventure, triumph and tragedy as Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Yet her concerns were similar to …

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Travel the back roads

“To read the papers and to listen to the news… one would think the country is in terrible trouble. You do not get that impression when you travel the back roads and the small towns do care about their country and wish it well.” — Charles Kuralt Recently I’ve had to sharply curtail my exposure …

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There will be times

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.” — Anton Chekhov Even when the trees appear to be bare, there is a lot happening underground.  A gardener once explained to me that fall is the best …

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