You’ll Regret It All

soren-kierkegaard

I recently came across the following quote by philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, and it really struck me as deeply true, at least for me. No matter what I choose to do or choose not to do in life, there is always a part of me that wonders if I made the right choice and won’t shut up with the “what ifs”:

“Marry, and you will regret it; don’t marry, you will also regret it; marry or don’t marry, you will regret it either way. Laugh at the world’s foolishness, you will regret it; weep over it, you will regret that too; laugh at the world’s foolishness or weep over it, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it; believe her not, you will also regret it… Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will regret that too; hang yourself or don’t hang yourself, you’ll regret it either way; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the essence of all philosophy.”

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Feeling Invisible

Invisible_man movie clip, public domain

Any of you ever feel invisible? Most likely, you are human, so you have felt that way at some point in your life. Unfortunately, I feel that way a lot. I’m not sure if it is the bipolar, the autism, or the fact that I am simply a hermit, but I struggle with feelings of invisibility a lot and sometimes feeling like I don’t even really exist, which is a super weird feeling in itself.

Anyhow, as I was feeling pretty darn invisible lately, I looked up some quotes about the feeling and decided to share a few of my favorites here:

“It would be too easy to say that I feel invisible. Instead, I feel painfully visible and entirely ignored.” ~ David Levithan

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” ~ Ralph Ellison

“But most days, I wander around feeling invisible. Like I’m a speck of dust floating in the air that can only be seen when a shaft of light hits it.” ~ Sonya Sones

And lastly, some words from our old friend Eeyore:

“I didn’t notice you were here.”
“That’s all right,” Eeyore said as he sat down. “Nobody ever does.”

Burning bridges and moving on

"Burning Bridges" acrylic on paper, 9" x 12".

“Burning Bridges” acrylic on paper, 9″ x 12″.

Lately I have been on a “burning bridges” kick. I have decided to let go of some situations and relationships that were unhealthy and quite frankly, were draining the life from me in some ways. For quite a while I debated with myself about whether to give up and move on from these things or not. Part of me didn’t want to give up on people I once cared about and move on. I wanted to hold onto the hope that things would change and magically it would all become better. I don’t think this hope is bad, but sometimes if you cling too tightly to that which isn’t good for you, instead of things becoming better, they actually deteriorate more.

When I realized that even thinking about these people and situations was severely depressing me, I figured it was time to release the attachment and move on the best I can. I wish them all the best, but I realize now that they are not the best thing for me at this time. Perhaps we were only meant to be in each other’s lives for a certain period of time, or maybe we do have a future together but need some time apart to grow and change. I have always prided myself on my loyalty to those I love and care about, but I am now realizing that relationships can’t just be one-sided. I cannot make anyone like or respect me, but I can choose to spend my time with those who do. Hopefully as I move on, I will enter a future full of new experiences and meaningful relationships.

Here are a few quotes about burning bridges I have especially enjoyed lately (sources unknown):

“May the bridges I burn light the way.”

“Sometimes you need to burn bridges to stop yourself from crossing them again.”

“The hardest lesson in life is figuring out which bridges to cross and which to burn.”

“Burning bridges takes too long. I prefer explosives.”

Judge not lest you be judged – quotes about true tolerance

Ok, I normally don’t get all political on my blog posts, but all this stuff going on lately is really bugging me. All the hate between the liberals and conservatives, all the hate between those in favor of Chick-Fil-A’s stand against homosexuality and all those who think it is prejudice, all the namecalling and mudslinging that goes on in election races…all this stuff really bugs me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion and God gave us free will and the choice to make our own decisions for a reason. BUT, does that mean we have to be filled with so much anger and hatred towards those different from us or who (gasp!) don’t agree with our beliefs? Both sides talk about love and tolerance, but you don’t see much of either of those attributes when people fight. The truth is, when you start tearing others down, true tolerance goes out the window. Tolerance DOES NOT mean you have to agree with what the other person thinks, but it DOES MEAN that you show them the courtesy and respect every human being deserves.

So in the hope of furthering true tolerance and unconditional love, here are a few quotes I thought we might all need to consider, starting with a couple from Jesus himself.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7

“When we judge others we leave no room to love them.” ~ Mother Teresa

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” ~ Paulo Coelho

“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly becomes any of us to talk about the rest of us.” ~ Edward Wallace Hoch

“All we see of someone at any moment is a snapshot of their life: there in riches or poverty, in joy or despair. Snapshots don’t show the million decisions that led to that moment.” ~ R. Baach

“We are all stumbling towards the light in varying degrees of grace at any given moment.” ~ Bo Lozoff

“God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?” ~ Sammuel Johnson

School Author Visit Tales – Kids Say the Funniest Things

This past friday I had the pleasure to spend another day presenting my recent picture book, “Ode to Icky” during a school author visit. Although I love all aspects of the writing life – the brainstorming, the writing, the procrastination, the editing, the rush to meet deadlines, the re-editing, watching the book come to life with illustrations, holding the finished book in your hands – I think my favorite part of writing is doing book signings and author visits at elementary schools and other community centers.

Why do I love these events even though they are tiring and sometimes extremely repetitive? Because of the kids! They are funny, sweet, creative and they treat me like I am famous (which is an awesome feeling, even if I know it isn’t true).

So I thought it would be fun to share some of the funny, weird and random things kids have said during one of my author visits. These aren’t all from one school or event, it is just a hodgepodge of what I have heard the past few months while I was out promoting my new book:

“Have you ever met Harry Potter in person?”

“How rich are you? Do you have a swimming pool and your own butler?”

“I really like your book but I think you are crazy for being a writer.”

“If your cat really stinks like the cat in Ode to Icky, then you should just hold his head under water for thirty minutes. He won’t stink anymore after that.” (I didn’t have the heart to tell this little girl that my cat would be dead if I did as she asked lol)

“Is your husband the illustrator of your book or is he just a plain old husband?”

“Can you autograph my sock?”

“You get into trouble a lot, don’t you?” (How did they know?)

“My cat is really ugly and she is going bald, do you want to borrow her so you can write another funny book about a cat?”

“Have you ever been arrested? If so, you might know my dad.” (I found out his dad was a police officer, which was a relief).

“My sister wants to be a writer, but she don’t got no talent.”

Learning to love change

Change is a fact of life.  No matter who you are or where you live, your life is bound to go through many, many changes before you leave this earth for the next life.  Some people fight tooth and nail against each change that comes their way, but that only makes you more miserable in the long run.  After all, what is more frustrating than fighting against the inevitable?

Recently our lives have gone through ALOT of change.  Yesterday, my husband and I had a foster son who had been living with us for two and a half years go home for good.  I also have two books that are soon to be published that will bring both happy and scary changes into my life.  Plus, my husband is working towards his Master’s degree in special education so that he can get a different job.  Add to those major adjustments the daily ups and downs of life and you get quite a roller coaster ride.

Sometimes all of this upheaval can be overwhelming.  During those times, I try to find inspiration from others who have been there.  Here are a few of the quotes that have helped me keep perspective while I deal with everything going on around me.  I hope they will comfort and cheer you as well!

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” – Flora Whittemore

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” – Winston Churchill

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” – Arnold Bennett

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” – Charles R. Swindoll

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Unknown

Rejections and unexpected sources of encouragement

Was feeling rather depressed over a rejection I received today.  The editor said my story was a “very moving, very well-written story” but it wasn’t right for their list right now.  Darn!  I get so sick of pitching to publishers and getting more rejections than acceptances.  I was sitting here throwing a pity party for myself and moaning over the fact that I don’t have an agent to do my marketing for me, when I came across some rejections received by famous authors of the past.  Now I don’t feel quite so bad…

I am sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language.
–San Francisco Examiner, rejection letter to Kipling (1889)

A gross trifling with every fine word.
–Springfield Republican, review of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

We fancy that any child might be more puzzled than enchanted by this stiff, silly, overwrought story.
–Children’s Books’ review of Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carrol (1865)

Shakespeare’s name, you may depend on it, will go down. He has no invention as to stories, none whatever. –Lord Byron (1814)

A huge dose of hyperbolical slang, maudlin sentimentalism and tragic-comic bubble and squeak.
–William Harrison Ainsworth, New Monthly Magazine, review of Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

Ralph Waldo Emerson is a hoary-headed and toothless baboon.
–Thomas Carlyle, _Collected Works_ (1871)