Reflections In Solitude

Quotes and Notes #354, October 24

Time to think,

Time to think, “What do I really want?” photo by Bill Land

“If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain.”—Andre Maurois—   

We search and search to find things to fill up our spaces. We are not really looking for things but for satisfaction, status, instant gratification or other forms of what we perceive happiness to be. As time goes by, the results of these searches begin to matter less and less.

My wife has a rule that I love. She says, “If something comes in, something must go out.” Now, when I look at a bauble that promises passing pleasure, I must ask myself, “What will I get rid of?”

Perhaps I should do this with the multitude of fears that I am often offered. Maybe it should be something like, “I could be afraid that I would die at home in a fire—but first I must stop being afraid that a horde of angry Mongols will cut my head off before I get home.” I enjoy my lonely reflections—I never know quite where they will go.

Share a smile with the clerk in the bauble store today
Remember that You are the only You in the world.
Everything is going to be all right.

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

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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.”

Why I Never Work

Quotes and Notes #220, June 18

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it”—Ralph Waldo Emerson—

When I was in my early twenties, a man who was probably my current age gave me an intricate plumbing job to perform as part of building a greenhouse. I listened to the directions and then asked, “How good a job do you want me to do.”

He thought about it for a moment and said, “Do the job so that when you are finished you can sit back and grin.” I considered his statement and did an installation job that was close to perfection. I stood back, examined my work and grinned happily.

I have remembered that experience for almost fifty years. That one lesson kept me from ever having to work again. I hope you understand.

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

Never worked and Never will

Never worked and Never will

Curiosity brings Satisfaction…

Quotes and Notes #173, April 27

“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.”—Linus Pauling—

My favorite questions have usually started with, “I wonder what would happen if…? I can remember getting in a lot of trouble as a child by looking for answers to these questions. I learned that it was interesting to throw tubes of Uncle Fred’s oil paints on the sidewalk, stomp on them, and watch the colors shoot out onto the grass and cement. I also learned that there were dire consequences to such actions. Now, being older and more experienced, I have learned to be a bit more careful in choosing my experiments, but finding the answers to the questions is still a great source of happiness and satisfaction.

And, thinking back on the oil paints, I don’t remember the punishment (though I’m sure there was one), but I do remember the glorious line of red paint that shot out of the experimental tube.

Share a smile

Everything is going to be all right.

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

"I wonder what mysteries I can solve today?"

“I wonder what mysteries I can solve today?”

Give it all you got

Quotes and Notes, January 19, 2015

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”–Mahatma Gandhi

It doesn’t matter if you are trying to solve a problem or attain a goal. It doesn’t matter if the goal is to reach the stars or to merely enjoy the day—Be calm. Plan your approach. Meditate a bit. Then go for it and “give it all you got.” Remember, being happy makes you smile and smiling makes you happy. Make five people laugh today.

Everything is going to be all right

John P. Schulz

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