Where Are The Monsters?

Quotes and Notes # 310, September 10

Find the monsters. Give them a name. Pet them and make friends.

Find the monsters. Give them a name. Pet them and make friends.

“Monsters cannot be announced. One cannot say: ‘Here are our monsters,’ without immediately turning the monsters into pets.”—Jacques Derrida—

During a learning period in my life, I found myself with a lot of worries, doubts, and fears that randomly take over my happiness and contentment at any time without warning. Eventually I began to call them monsters. That was many years ago.

As time went by, as the monsters came and went, I learned to name them. I learned that many times the monsters were making a repeat showing and that I had to deal with the same one over and over. I named them Pete and George and Mary Ellen. There were a number of them and they all had their own personalities.

As more time went by, when I would become stressed by a particular doubt or fear, I could recognize that monster and call it by name. “Come here, Louann,” I would say, “let me make you content and send you home.” It worked. I recognized the monsters, knew from whence they came, and knew what it would take to send them home. That turns worry into fun.

Today, share a smile with a worried person.
Everything is going to be all right
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Good Things Require Hard Work and Love…

Quotes and Notes # 309, September 9

It takes hard work and love for a lot of things.

It takes hard work and love for a lot of things.

“Gardens are not made
By singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’
And sitting in the shade.”—Rudyard Kipling—

  • It takes hard work and love of the task to build a flower garden.
  • It takes the same thing for a relationship.
  • It takes the same thing for your personal happiness.

A story I heard fifty years ago was about an ancient king who gathered all of the wise men in the world and said to them, “Go out and find all of the wisdom in the world and bring it to me.”
Ten years later, the wise men returned with 100 volumes of writing.
“That’s too hard to read,” said the King, “You will have to reduce it.”

Ten years later, the wise men returned with ten volumes.
“That’s too long,” said the King, I want something short to read.”

Ten years later the wise men returned. Their spokesman said to the king, “Oh, Great One, we have reduced all of the wisdom of the world to one sentence. Will that be all right?”
The king was delighted and said, “Wonderful. And what is the sentence?”

The wise man smiled, looked at the king and said,
“There ain’t no free lunch.”

Today, it would be well to share a smile with a wise man or even a wizard.
Everything is going to be all right
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Perplexed? Examine the Truth of the Matter

Quotes and Notes #308, September 8

Sooner or later we must own up to the truth

Sooner or later we must own up to the truth

“You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes.”—Maimonides –

Sometimes the truth is not what we want it to be. Sometimes the truth makes us angry. But it is always there.

We all must deal with self truths, and would be a rare person who is totally truthful with her/himself. Sometimes you may lie to yourself and try to hide the truth from yourself. No one else will ever know, right?

We may tuck thoughts and feelings into the back of our minds and play like they don’t exist, but they’re still there.
There’s no real point to today’s message—merely an exploration.

Give out ten sincere smiles today
Everything is going to be all right
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Searching, Finding, Living (On My 70th Birthday)…

Quotes and Notes #307, September 7

It's a pretty place, It is alluring, but be careful. Photo by Bill Land

It’s a pretty place, It is alluring, but be careful. Photo by Bill Land

Today, on my 70th birthday, instead of a quote I am going to share an original writing about my progress in life. It contains vivid mental pictures.

Escape
6 years old
When I was very young
My mother pointed and said
“Don’t go over there.”
I wondered why.

16 years old
For years, I looked in that direction
And wondered what was “over there.”
I thought about “over there” a lot
And I asked myself, “I wonder what would happen if…”

26 years old
“Over there” became an obsession
I kept looking in that direction, not moving.
Then, one day I turned and began to drift
Slowly, fearfully, and carefully.

36 years old
I went as far as I could
There was a precipice and a cliff
I looked over the brink and saw…
Nothing—no bottom as far as I could see.

46 years old
I had visited the brink so many times.
I was obsessed with it.
I spent most of my time at the brink
Neglecting work, friends, and family.

56 years old
I was dizzy. I stepped over the edge
I slowly floated down toward the unseen bottom
The descent was slow at first and then faster and faster
And faster and faster
With no bottom in sight, I fell and fell,
Without realizing that I was falling.

I approached the bottom and the bottom of the bottom
Was a mirror. I fell rapidly toward it and gazed into it
And I saw myself
I saw myself as someone I did not wish to be.

And at that moment, I found that I had wings
And that I could spread the wings and stop my fall
I realized that I could escape the obscure ending.
And I landed next to a wall of rock
That ascended farther than I could see.

66 years old
I had climbed the rock wall for years.
Sometimes I made good progress
Sometimes the going got rather difficult,
Sometimes the going was fun and easy.
At a place almost to the top, I almost fell
Into what would have been a certain ending.

I found the top of the rock wall
And climbed carefully to the level ground
At the other side of the precipice.
I walked off happily, finding love and life.

70 years old
That was truly an adventure
I came close, so close to the bottom
Then I came close, so close to the top.
Everything is going to be all right.

Give someone a smile on my Birthday
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Once We Believe In Ourselves—

Quotes and Notes # 306, September 6

Can you see the elf man?

Can you see the elf man?

“I met a little elf man once, down where the lilies blow.
I asked him why he was so small and why he didn’t grow.
He slightly frowned and with his eye he looked me through and through.
“I’m quite as big for me,” said he, “as you are big for you.”—John Kendrick Bangs—

  • The elf man believed in himself. He had nothing to prove. That’s lesson number one.
  • We must accept others for who they are. That’s lesson number two.
  • If you have self-confidence, you can follow the example of the elf man and see that, on any level, you are quite as good a person as anyone else. Lesson number three.

E.E. Cummings said it well:
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”—E.E. Cummings—

Today, share a smile with an elf man
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Share a Smile With Success…

Quotes and Notes #305, September 5

Do it over and over until you get it right. Feel good about it.

Do it over and over until you get it right. Feel good about it.

“Whenever things go a bit sour in a job I’m doing, I always tell myself, ‘You can do better than this.’”—Dr. Seuss—

Things don’t always go as expected. Sometimes, no matter what kind of project it is, no matter how careful we are, something will go wrong. It is easy to entertain feelings of self-doubt, or, perhaps, it becomes time to work on another project which should be on-going:

Work on your attitude.

Remember, your attitude is something that you alone can determine. A good attitude comes easier with practice, in the same manner that cutting a piece of lumber, writing a poem, or producing a fine piece of needlework all come easier and better with practice.

Be positive.

Either fix the problem or throw it out and start again. By the way, the picture that accompanies this article is of a garden area that I planted six times over a period of twenty years before I was finally happy with it.

Share a smile with success
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

When Is A Job Not A Job?

Quotes and Notes #304, September 4

feel good project

Do the job carefully and to meet your personal standards.

“Every once in a while—and it doesn’t have to be big—do a job just to make yourself happy. Do it in a way so that when you have finished, you can stand back, look at it, and grin.—A.W. Picken, Sr. (from a conversation in 1970)—

We called him “Pop.” Looking back, I think that he probably would have been about seventy. That age was pretty old in my thinking at the time, but now, I’m about seventy and I understand.

Pop introduced me to horticulture. He didn’t mean to—he just asked me to photograph some plants in his greenhouse. My reply to his request was, “What’s a greenhouse?” He invited me to see his greenhouse and then he became a mentor. Today’s quote came from the time I asked him if he wanted a plumbing job to look good because nobody would ever see it. I listened to him. I did the job, stood back and grinned, and I understood.

Yesterday, I did a small job. I had thought about it all day. I used an array of tools that included, a Skil saw, a reciprocating saw, wood cutting blades, metal cutting blades, a drill, a screwdriver, and a hammer and chisel. I pre-fabricated the parts and then put them together. They fit like the proverbial glove.

I stood back, looked at the small project, and grinned. Then I thought of Pop and I got a small tear in the corner of my eye. Then I thought, “I think I’ll pass this story on.”

Share a story with a smile
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

There is No Hurry. We Shall Get There Some Day…

Quotes and Notes # 303, September 3

No hurry, the stream knows where it is going

No hurry, the stream knows where it is going

“By the time it came to the edge of the Forest the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
But all the little streams higher up in the forest went this way and that, quickly, eagerly, having so much to find out before it was too late.”—A.A.Milne, “The House at Pooh Corner”—

What a beautiful piece of writing that is. It contains a well-painted mental picture and a lesson.

Yes, many of us no longer “sparkle along” as we used to, but there is the benefit of knowing that we can see the direction. We can see the purpose, and we know that sooner or later, all will be well.

So sit back—reflect and meditate as you pack your worries in a box for the day—then forget where you put the box. It’s easy.

And don’t forget to share a smile with those you meet along the way.
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Fight Fear With The Ultimate Weapon…

Quotes and Notes #302, September 2

Conquer fear with understanding.

Conquer fear with understanding.

 

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”–Marie Curie–

We must look inside ourselves to understand. It is easy to know, but understanding takes more time, care, and examination.
My mother asked me once about my take on all of the things that were physically wrong with me at the time. I said, “We will see what can be fixed and get it fixed, then we will deal with the rest later—that will involve attitude.” Fear makes things worse. Understanding makes things better.
There are many things in this world that we cannot understand. For those occasions, it is best to turn your back on it, throw your hands in the air, and walk off as you say, “Oh, Well.”

But you can always share a smile.
Sharing a smile is like butter—butter makes it better.
Everything is going to be all right.

John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Watch Out For The Rapids and Be Prepared to Steer…

Quotes and Notes #301, September 1

“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.”—Emma Smith—

Enjoy the peaceful water

Enjoy the peaceful water

“We may be floating on Tao, but there is nothing wrong with steering. If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know where the rocks are.”—Ming-Dao Deng—

When things are flowing along well, enjoy it, don’t worry about the rocks that you know will show up sooner or later, but do be on the lookout for them. Be prepared to steer with skill and determination.

Sometimes the rocky water and the rapids can be quite a bit of fun to navigate. If we pay attention, we can find good even through the hard times. Optimism is a practiced attitude.

Share a smile with someone who is steering through the rocks.
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

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