Saturday, February 17, 2018

Surround Yourself with Greatness

I read this post earlier this week.  It reminded me of how empowering wonderful, and insightful women can be.  I count this woman as a friend of mine, she teaches at the school where I am a librarian.  I love to have friends who inspire me to want to be a better person.  I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did.

 Today I arrived late to church. I might, under normal circumstances, be annoyed at myself for “committing” such a self-proclaimed embarrassing action. Today I couldn’t care less. It’s the first time I’ve been to my relief society meeting in a long time. I was really proud of myself for making it there at all. Late is nothing compared to the alternative, of recent.
Our lesson was on humility. I listened as different women raised their hands to discuss what humility means to them. One woman raised her hand and started with, “Hi, I’m sorry, . . .” After that intro I struggled to hear what else she said. I don’t appreciate the need so many women feel to apologize for themselves. For their actions? Their words? For taking up space? What, exactly, are we (I include myself here) apologizing for?!
I apologized on Friday night. I apologized to my partner for wanting to dance with him. Let’s just let that sink in for a second. What need have I of apologizing for that? None. But I did.
So now, humility. This is an important topic for Mormons. I’ll tell you what I think it’s not. Humility is not playing small. It’s not feeling like what you have to say is unimportant. It’s not believing that your words make no difference. Humility is not apologizing, although in some circumstances it can merit that. In contrast, I think humility is something powerful.
Look at Christ’s humble life. He knew his divinity and declared it. He taught with boldness. He loved with passion, he healed, he made outlandish promises that only He could keep. He walked on water. He allowed others to love him adoringly, intensely, and imperfectly. (Clarification: He perfectly allowed others to imperfectly love Him.)
What if humility comes from knowing who you really are, from recognizing your own divine value and eternal worth and acting on that? What if humility manifests your talents, instead of hiding them? What if it drives you toward greater accomplishments, and brings you accolades? I guess what I’m getting at is that humility might be knowing just exactly how great, how powerful, and how influential you are. Maybe humility means not quieting down, but speaking up. Maybe humility embodies boldness. Christ was humble. So too, was He bold.
Maybe I’m wrong. Our station in life, which is in constant flux, acts as the filter for everything we experience. I do know this, for too long I’ve believed too many lies. The lies have told me to apologize and to play small. Today’s lesson seems to have placed me in a position to experience humility in the way Christ intended for it to be. In bold humility I’ll drink life’s experiences without apology and without shame.
Let's get personal again. I'm not sorry I wanted to dance. I'm not sorry I walked into church late. I make no apology for being me.
Ha, now that we've been through all that, maybe what I am experiencing IS actually pride. Either way, still. I make no apology for being me.
What do you think is humility?
--Bethany McGarry

Until next time

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Best of the Best

I am a sports nut.  I love watching most sports, last week the Superbowl, for the next two weeks it will be the Olympics.  Like most people I want my favorite team to win. In the case of the Olympics I want the US to do well. But what I love the most are the back stories.  What happens away from the spotlight.

How do we feel about ourselves, how do we treat others.  When you live in the spotlight your actions can be scrutinized to an extent that everyone thinks they can chime in on what they feel is acceptable. In reality just like people out of the spotlight, they are just doing the best they can.  When we start to compare ourselves to others, for the most part, we are harder on ourselves than on others.  We feel like we can always do better.  This feeling goes for our public as well as our private selves. 

It's funny, when it comes to sports, for some reason we expect perfection just as much in the spotlight as well as away for it.  We forget these athletes are just like us, they have good days and bad days.  And just like us, they hope the good days out weight the bad.  And we, like they, hope the good days happen when we need it the most. 

What makes people the best of the best?  I think when we keep trying to do our best everyday, and when we fall we keep getting back up and trying again. 

Until next time

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Have you ever met that one person who can annoy everyone they meet?  Better question, have you ever been that person?  Sometimes I wonder about myself.  I know there are many things I do that can be considered annoying.  For some reason I pride myself on being able to recognize an actor in a movie or television show and tell you what else I've seen them in.  Then I act all smug if you disagree with me and then I have to double check IMDB and make sure I'm right.   How annoying is that? 

There is probably a good reason I spend time alone.  I love my alone time.  I love riding my bike, I love writing my book.  But I also love going to the movies alone, going to lunch alone.  I even love working at the bookstore alone.  I wonder if that's because no one can tell me I'm wrong. 

I have been trying to get over what others do that annoys me because I realize everyone is annoying to somebody.  I want to be a loving, giving, caring person.  I want to be helpful, and forgiving.  But I'm also at the time in my life where I don't always care what other people say.  It's a precarious position to be in.  My goal then is to as un-annoying as possible but still be myself.  To be as giving and caring as I can and still allow others to be themselves. 

But hey right now I just want the Eagles to win the Super Bowl!!!!!

Until next time.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I Wonder

This past week I came across a picture book.  It's a picture book about the movie Wonder.  It was a wonderful book aimed at trying to help younger children understand those people who are different from themselves.  I read it to the children at school and they loved it.

I wonder what would happen if the children of the world grew up untainted by the prejudice's of the adults in their lives.  What would the world be like if everyone actually loved others despite of their differences?  Would it be filled with love and understanding?  Would everyone be happy and self assured?  Would there be more forgiveness and meekness? 

I wonder if we will ever get there.  Will we ever try to understand someone else's point of view?  Will we ever reach out to offer a kind word to anyone with a differing viewpoint? 

That's a place I want to live.  A place where love is given unconditionally.  A place where peace abounds and everyone is considered a friend. 

My only question is how do we get there?

Until next time.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


Last weekend while on my retreat I was able to edit four chapters of  my present work in progress and add 9000 words to it.  Normally at this point in the process I would be at least half way done with my manuscript.  With this book its only about a third of the way done.  I asked myself this week why.  Why is this book taking longer to write?  The only answer I could come up with is substance.

I like to think my characters are pretty well developed.  With the other books in this series the characters are young and falling in love for the first time.  They are fresh out of college, and even though they have some experience in life the feelings they have are new and always exciting.  The series is call the Broken Heart Collection because the family is trying to find a way to mend their hearts after the death of their mother and wife.  She truly was the heart of the family.  For the children it has been a difficult to live their lives without a parent. But they have been able to move on and find the person they are meant to spend the rest of their lives with.

This book however is about how their father goes on after loosing the love of his life.  The woman he planned on growing old with.  That I'm finding is a whole different level of pain.  The main characters in this story have lived through life's ups and downs, they have baggage to work through.  They don't have the option of carefree love.  When they meet and fall in love it effects more people in more ways.

I knew writing this book would be different, more difficult, but I had know idea how difficult, or that would affect me so differently.  Part of this book is based on the relationship of a dear friend who passed away, her marriage to her husband was and is truly inspirational and not just for the book.  It was a marriage where both partners were not only on the same page but on the same sentence.  I have never met anyone who had actually found what I consider a soulmate.  It has brought up many tender feelings for me.  Then the heroine of the book is based on my oldest and dearest friend.  This is a woman I have known for all of my adult life.  A woman who has known very real heartache and pain.

That's why this book is so difficult but important to me.  That's why my characters seem so real.  Because to me, the experiences they have are real.  I want to be true to those women in my life who have experienced excruciating pain and come out on top.  Who have inspired me to be a better person.  To look my trials in the eye and face them head on.

So this book is for these women and for those women who have become family.  I hope I do them justice.

Until next time. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018


I am on a writers retreat this weekend.  I usually go on retreat once a year by myself.  I take off and drive for four hours to get to a hotel room in a much warmer place than I live.  I write Friday night, all day Saturday, and again on Sunday Morning before heading home.  I like to get at least four chapters written and use this as a springboard for the next several months for writing and publish a new novel by the end of the year. 

Well last year was different.  I went on my retreat as usual wrote my four chapters was so excited and totally looking forward to publishing my novel as usual by the end of last year.  This is where it gets a my plans took a different turn. It was not a great year for me, personally.  I had some ups and downs and my head wasn't into writing mode. 

Now, because I am self published and have no advertising, and I write for myself because I enjoy it.  It is a diversion for me in my hectic life.  I love my books and my characters.  I love to see how their lives unfold.  A few people have purchased my books, not many, I'm okay with that.  If all the people I talked to about my books who say they are going to buy actually did I might sell a few more.  I hope to bring people a little happiness and maybe help them to escape their lives for only a little while.  That's why I write. 

This year however my writers retreat had to change a little bit.  Tonight I sit in my library at my home writing my book.  Funds were short this last year and I was unable to book a hotel and travel four hours to stay by myself for the weekend and work my guts out.  Fortunately for me I was able to compromise.  I'll still write this weekend. I'll just be doing it at home.  I have done what I can to help my family be comfortable and my "library" has become San Diego.  That's where my latest story takes place.  My family knows when I'm in "San Diego" I am not to be disturbed.  It's not ideal but sometime we have to compromise.  I'm happy my family is supporting me in this endeavor.  I will keep writing this weekend. I just won't have to travel to make it home tomorrow night. And I will continue to write through Tuesday.    So wish me luck and happy writing.

Until next time.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Cleaning Up and Clearing Out

I love the feeling of dejunking.  Which is unusual because I am a pack rat.  It's the whole my left brain (that is barely functioning) and my right brain are constantly battling.  Of course my right brain wins every time.  I am not a very organized person to begin with, but this week I have been making some headway in my storage room.  Okay let's face it my storage room is one half of my entire basement.  Hey now don't scoff at me, I am giving it my all.

When I do make an effort and make some headway in cleaning, throwing out and straightening it feels good.  For me this is more than a weekend project. Don't get me wrong I don't belong on that show about hoarders.  I can still some daylight and I don't have to make trails in my basement.  I just have piles of stuff here and there.  So to that end I have been straightening and organizing.  It feels great.

I suppose that is why this time of year I also make a mental inventory of what I would like to change in my life.  That also is not a weekend project. And like my project in the basement, a little at a time is a good thing.  To many drastic changes at once just leaves me overwhelmed and unable to make any headway.  In my quest to better myself I just have to remember I can be a tortoise I don't have to be a hare.

Until next time