How deep are your roots?

deep roots

 

“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”—J.R.R. Tolkien—

The strength of a tree is deep in the ground. Your inner strength is in your mind and will protect you from bowing to outside pressure and stress.

Marcus Aurelius said, “You have power over your mind –not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.”

Sharing a smile will increase your inner strength.
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

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How Many Questions Can You Ask Today?

 

The harvest

 

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”—Albert Einstein—

Three things to do today:

“Learn from yesterday”—Look back and review what you learned, good and bad.
“Live for today”—Enjoy yourself. Fold the day in your arms and love it.
“Hope for tomorrow”—Plan for tomorrow with humor and optimism.

Share smiles at the grocery store
Everything is going to be all right
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

A Story About A Story

storytelling party

Today, instead of a quote, we have a story about a story.
Ten years ago my mother took me to see the big storytelling festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee. I was intrigued. I thought, “How wonderful it would be to be able to tell a story like that.” I don’t think the concept of “bucket list” existed then, but if it had, I would have put storytelling on the list of things that I wanted to do before I kick the bucket. That seemed reasonable.

Three years ago I was recuperating from an operation that removed a malignant tumor from my throat. The operation also removed my larynx (or voice box). I knew that everything would be all right someday, but I remember being a bit depressed at not being able to talk at Christmas time. I had to write everything down instead. It was frustrating to say the least.

Time passed. I was fitted with a simple and effective implanted voice prosthesis that allows me to speak with a raspy but acceptable voice. When I want to talk, I push a button on my throat to re-direct the air from my trachea to my esophagus which allows sounds to form. I practiced and practiced with the device until it became a natural part of who I am. Everything was beginning to be all right.

Time passed. This year, Dekie and I were invited to attend a “Christmas Storytelling” party to be held at the lovely home of Terrell and Sheila Shaw here in Rome, Georgia. The guest list included a group of well-practiced and gifted storytellers from our area. Terrell said that anyone who wanted to tell a story could just sign up. I thought about that.
Could I tell a good story?
Would my limited voice work well enough?
Would I embarrass myself?
I had a lot of doubts and reservations. I was moving into uncharted territory in more ways than one.

“Well,” I thought, “I may as well try. There probably won’t be very many people there, anyway.” I still had doubts, though as to whether I should try until I got to the party and Terrell said,

“If you want to tell a story, write your name on a piece of paper and put it in this box.”

So, I did. Then I stood in a corner and watched as the house filled up with people—a lot of people. But, I had (intentionally?) painted myself into a corner—there was no backing out. We all sat in a big room and the storytelling started. These people were good. I wondered what would happen…

My turn came. I had modified one of my favorite stories to fit a Christmas format. I told the story about Louann. The voice worked rather well. I spoke the opening words of the story,
“Louann was a victim of numbers
With 5 more years of public education, 30 more points of I.Q. and 6 more teeth, she could have been a movie star.”

The audience laughed. I was off and running. The storytelling was a success. The party was wonderful. I had effectively dealt with my disability and overcome my fears of failure. I was able to share a lot of smiles.

For several years, I had told myself, “Everything is going to be all right.”
And it was.

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

Be Sure To Share A Smile

share a smile

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.”—Norman Vincent Peale—

Pay attention to your “manner of speech.” Try to speak only positive words today. Approach your situations with a pleasant demeanor and you will find that pleasantry returned with interest. The more I look at happiness and optimism, the more I find that these qualities improve with practice.

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

It’s Still True, No Matter How Old You Are…

Pink camellia

 

“And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.”—Robert Fulghum

Feelings of inner peace, happiness, and security may be enhanced when we reach out to touch friends and loved ones. Our circle of pleasantry can be enlarged as we reach out to others who are not yet included.

Performing a random act of kindness gives a warm feeling in return.

Sharing a smile receives a smile in return.
Everything is going to be all right
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Enjoy Well Done Deeds…

winter landscape

 

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”—Antoine de Saint-Exupery—

Today, write a poem—it doesn’t have to be much, just two or four lines–laugh about it. Go for a walk and look at the winter landscape to enjoy the well-done deeds of nature. Make up a joke.

Find something to smile about and share it.
Everything is going to be all right

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

How’s Your Disposition?

be happy

 

 

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”—Martha Washington—

This quote from the first First Lady takes us to the concept of “attitude.” If you are dealing with difficulties in your life, it is much more pleasant if you proceed with cheerfulness and a positive attitude. Negativity never helped anyone.

Remember, you, and only you, can determine your own attitude.

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

What Were They Talking about?

Bob Hicks and Dr. Mercer

I’ll bet it was quite a conversation–Photo by Dekie Hicks

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”—Benjamin Franklin—

There it is—you are the one responsible for “catching” happiness. If circumstances are keeping you from being happy today, then do this: act as if you are happy.

If you act happy you will become happy. Then you can share your happiness with others and that will, in turn, make you feel much better.

So find yourself a smile and share it big time.
Everything is going to be all right
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Santa Is Worried About You…

Santa is worried

Santa worries, “I seem to never be able to get ahead.”

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”—E. Joseph Cossman–

I love this quote! I never really thought about things in that manner. Just imagine—I might have been worrying about dying—and I obviously didn’t.  I do know that three years ago today I was not able to talk due to the cancer surgery but I wasn’t worrying about it, I was looking forward to the new voice I would receive in January. I was enjoying being able to breathe again.

Try it out and see. Can you remember last year? I wonder if I will be able to remember my concerns of today a year from now. How about you? I’ll bet that a year from now we will all be saying, “What was that all about?”

Everything is going to be all right
Keep On Smiling—Share it all day.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Share The Light…

Share the light

 

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”—Buddha

It is a time for us to work together. It is a time to stop being ruled by divisiveness and to move toward a feeling of belonging and happiness. This may be done by each of us lighting one candle at a time.

It’s a day to be selfish. Be selfish by figuring out what makes you happy and then sharing it with others. This will make you feel good. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when you smile at people and they return the gesture? Start the day with a laugh.

Go out and share a giggle.
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

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