Not just ogers, people are onions too.

There’s nothing more important than understanding oneself, though it takes courage to truly assess the kind of person you are at your core. Looking honestly at oneself can bring about ugly discoveries about one’s character, but this is why it’s paramount to peel back those layers and look inside. By acknowledging the bad and also the good that make up you, only then can you become master of yourself.

For example, at my core I’m selfish. It’s not a pleasant trait most people would be willing to acknowledge to the world, but I am. By keeping this natural tendency in the forefront of my thoughts helps me recognize quickly when I’ve fallen into my selfish ways. And recognition is key. You can’t fix what you don’t realize you’re doing.

You are so much more than a thing that just reacts to the world around it. It takes time, maybe even a lifetime, to curb the characteristics we don’t like about ourselves, but change is always possible. Yes, it must come from within, but it can be done.

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The importance of a lengthy lunch break

We’ve been in the middle of finishing a basement for more months than I care to think about, but we finally made it to painting. I’m so overjoyed I yanked my kids out of bed early on Saturday to get to work. They came along just fine and actually worked really hard for hours, rolling gallon after gallon of paint on the ceiling and walls.

At noon, my little redhead comes to me holding his stomach like he’s about to die. “Can’t we at least go eat lunch?”

“Fine.” I’m not that mean of a slave driver, though I had no desire to stop and eat myself.

I keep working, oblivious to the passing time. More than two hours later I finish up another room and realize I’m the only one still in the basement. I march upstairs to find my three kids lounging on the couch.

“Guys! What are you doing? Why didn’t you come back down?”

Without missing a beat, my youngest says, “Dad didn’t go back down.”

“Your dad had a meeting to go to,” I said.

“Then…” He looks around at his older siblings but they keep their eyes averted. “…we’re still at lunch.”

I purse my lips. “For more than two hours?”

“Yeah, I might get a tummy ache if it’s not fully digested.”

“What?” I shouldn’t have laughed, but I couldn’t help it. That little boy can come up with some crazy excuses to avoid work. And yet, back to work they always go. 😉

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Does it always have to mean war?

Yes, we humans can be silly, rude, angry, sweet, and many other emotions. It’s part of the human condition. It is also true that even among best friends disagreements will erupt. Most disagreements don’t have to be, and really shouldn’t be, relationship ending catastrophes.

First; remember that it’s okay if you don’t agree with your friends 100% of the time. Personalities and opinions are as vast as the sands on the earth. With all those endless possibilities it’s amazing any two people can agree on anything at all.

Second; don’t fight to be right. Everyone has the right to their own opinion. Nothing kills a friendship faster than always trying to prove the other person wrong. Remember, we’re not talking enemies here, these are your friends. Do you really want to see someone you care about crushed at the bottom of some verbal battle?

Always let your actions and words be guided by love, even if it means you have to walk away for a moment to remember what it was you loved about them. Friends are a precious commodity in life you shouldn’t be willing to let go of easily.

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Who installed these brakes on my train of life?

My body has decided to bring a whole new struggle to my writing, adding a painful dose of Carpal Tunnel to the mix. This recent flare up is the worst I’ve ever experienced. We’re talking never-ending numbness in my hands for the past two weeks, forcing me to do what I hate most—go to a doctor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the doctors, I hate admitting to weaknesses. I prefer to live in a world where I’m a wonder woman who never gets sick. But sadly, I can’t always have things my way. So with braces on my wrists, I’m hen-pecking this post, trying to be a good patient. I can’t go back to my full writing schedule for a month, which is killing me since the second book to my Stuffs Souls series was going so well. Ugh! But this too shall pass.

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A lesson that took a long time to learn

As I walked my youngest son to school last week, meandering at a pace of we-get-there-when-we-get-there, my mind started to reflect on how different this was compared to when I walked my older children to school. My younger years were filled with strict time schedules, and I, like a drill sergeant, made sure nobody deviated from those schedules. With the amount of children I had in my house at the time, being strict was the only way I could see to keep some semblance of control on the chaos, but the comparison filled me with regret anyway. To live without any regrets is impossible. We can only act and do as well as we understand at the moment. And since learning is a lifelong endeavor, we will inevitably discover better ways to do things. I am still very much a be-on-time kind of gal, but rather than leave myself only the exact minutes it takes to get there on time, we leave fifteen and sometimes even twenty minutes earlier. Time we use to shoot hoops in passing neighbor’s driveways and just enjoy each other’s company. Ah…a much better way indeed.

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Maybe it’s morbid but it motivates

I never feel my age until I overdo it. So I should just avoid overdoing it, right? The problem is it seems to take less and less for me to overdo it. Of all of life’s jokes I think this is the cruelest. Well, at least the pain lets me know I’m alive.

I’m not ready to slow down. Yes, I’ve lived a few decades, four to be exact, but my brain is still as fun-loving, happy-go-lucky as my teenage years. There are days I almost get a shock when I look in a mirror. “Who in the heck let the old lady in here?”

I swear it’s my kids. They’ve gone and hit the fast forward button on me. This slipping away of time does help me to stay focused though. On days when the busy world tries to crowd in on my writing time, my slightly morbid thoughts of not knowing how many days I have left on this earth steers my butt back toward the computer. My mind is full of so many ideas for novels. I would hate to leave here without getting them all down.

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Stuffed Souls needs your help

Thank you to all who have read my latest book, Stuffed Souls. The excitement I keep hearing is wonderful, but I do have a favor to ask. Please go to Amazon.com or goodreads.com and leave a review, or even better, both. I know it’s a pain and you have busy lives, but public reviews help others feel more comfortable about buying books from unknown authors. I can’t do this without you. Buyers want to know what other readers think about the book. I know I look through reviews before purchasing a book. You can help other readers in a way I really can’t. Of course I love my book, I wrote it!  Sadly, that bias alone means most listen when I say it’s a book worth reading. It has to come from others.

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