Family of Composites

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Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life! ~Albert Einstein

“She’s just like her father,” or “the apple didn’t fall far from that tree,” is often heard at every family reunion, celebration of birth or funeral.

I challenge you to find a family where all members are exactly alike. The family of man is made up of  individuals with unique characteristics  – physical, emotional and intellectual. A group of composites makes life interesting.

When our family gets together we are loud and possibly overbearing to outsiders. Having a healthy sense of humor is the best defense a newcomer can arrive with if they want to survive the experience.

Crazy woman wearing a metal colander for a helmet

I am grateful that my family and all those who came to it through marriage enjoy being with each other.  We try to avoid talking politics or dietary choices. We have “agreed to disagree” on those issues. Sometimes we successfully respect the unspoken ground rules and other times things get a little vocal. What do you expect from a bunch of fruits and nuts from the harvest of America’s people who all have their own opinions and were raised differently?

As you will learn from my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, we’ve had many crazy times around our family table whether it was a holiday or not. The audio book holds the real treasure and you can get a better picture of what I mean when you listen to the voices.

The recounting of those family stories (from the EVVY award-winning anthology) was before our clan expanded to include my husband and our offspring and my siblings spouses and their families. Since then, there have been more lessons of heart & soul that have been learned from extended family.

 

 

 

Life Colors Thought

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How long has it been since the biggest decision in your day was which hue to use out of a box of  sixty-four colors of crayons? If only life was that elementary.

Have you ever considered this thought?

simple-philosophy 6

No doubt about it, there is truth in that statement.

Unfortunately life is complex. Things aren’t always reduced to black and white.

Next time you’re agonizing over decisions or find life challenging – simplify your thought process by remembering this –

attitude isThis blog is brought to you by the author of short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul and Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

 

Simplifying the Difficult

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Has there ever been a person who has gone through life unscarred? I doubt it because there is no such thing as a perfect life. Good times and bad times are all part of the human condition.Scars come in different forms – physical, emotional and mental. No matter what form scars take, anguish is it’s partner.

Today, on All Things Fulfilling, since we are focusing on things that might make life easier – think about this statement:

Simple philosophy 4

 

Understood! Save yourself some heartbreak by simplifying how you look at pain or sorrow. Change the perspective from difficulty to triumph. That’s all I’m saying but you can learn more about this issue through my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

Published! At 100 Years Young

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Life is like a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it. ~ Danny Kaye

Today I am scheduled to speak with the Routt County Council of Senior Citizens about memoir writing. I will be im_no_spring_chicken_wooden_signintroducing my publication Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. After discovering the work of Virginia Wade Ames, I am feeling as if I have published my memoir as a spring chicken!

The WayfarersCentenarian Virginia “Ginny” Wade Ames has become a published author at 100 years young. Her book The Wayfarers: Journeying through a Century of Change is her latest creative endeavor. She has been an artist all her life and when macular degeneration made it difficult to see, she turned her attention from various mediums of visual arts to writing. She has four more manuscripts in the pipe-line for publication.

Throughout her life she has worked in many mediums – perfecting her passions for silk-screen printing, watercolor, acrylic, and pastel painting.  She has even tried her hand at hat making! To learn more about the art of this amazing woman who has found a lifetime of personal fulfillment through her art, please visit her website.

For information about her book, which is said to be witty and full of advice on how get along with one another, please visit this link.

My husband’s cousin, Mary, had the privilege of having lunch last week with this woman at a facility in Arizona called Lifecare. It came as great surprise to Mary that “Ginny Ames” is 100! Described as bright, vocal and intelligent, she comes across with the vibrancy of a seventy-year old woman.

See you tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her publications.

 

Life is Comedy and Mystery

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“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius

fanny flaggDeath is no laughing matter, until it comes to Fannie Flagg’s humor. Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is a funny story about Elner Shimfissle living in the town of Elmwood, Missouri. This story is about small town America at it’s best. Elmwood is a place where everyone knows everyone. People stick together and help each other out.

When high spirited Elner, one of Elmwood’s most beloved community members, passes away after being stung by wasps, she inspires a whole town to consider some of the absurdities and truths about life.

As stated by the Rocky Mountain News  “Elner emerges quite the character…a woman who uses the mind and heart she’s been given… ”

Fannie Flagg, one of America’s most talented humorists, takes us through a rollicking story that will warm your heart and keep you laughing. The characters are so charming, you will love this “feel good” story.

fanny flagg cant wait to get to heavenPick up this comedy-mystery at your library or at your favorite neighborhood bookstore.Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven will remind you not to take life too seriously and to have some fun with those who make your life fulfilling while you are living on this planet called Earth.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/141aW6S

 

 

The Reality of Life

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“Trust life a little bit.” ~ Maya Angelou

Have we become a society that is far too difficult to please?  Sometimes I think we need to focus on being less picky about what we eat and remember how many people go to bed hungry.

I heard some statistics from a speaker from the Boys and Girls Club last Friday about the number of children who have their only nutritious meal at school or at the Boys and Girls Club. It was astounding how many kids, right here in America, want nothing more than to go to bed at night with a full stomach. It wouldn’t matter to them whether milk was whole, low fat, two percent, skim, coconut or almond, for instance. For them, just having enough to eat would be the height of living a life fulfilled.

Granted for some people with real health issues food choices are necessary and specialized diets are very important.  But, at the risk of sounding like an old fogey who repeats stories like “when I was a kid we had to walk 10 miles to school, all up hill, in blizzards, without any shoes,” I’d just like to say how persnickety we have become as a society when it comes to food. Back when I was a child there was one choice:

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Because our society as a whole has become so focused on every little thing we put in our mouths, we forget to be grateful that there is even food on the table. There are so many other things in life that should hold more importance, because when you come down to it –

life too short to stuff a mushroom
Would you agree or does my statement sound silly, naïve or uninformed? Maybe my attitude is just too square. It seems as if living with balance has become a foreign concept.

NO MATTER WHAT WE EAT…..

tomorrow isnt promised to anyone

dont sweat the small stuff

In whose hand is the life of everything, and the breath of all mankind? ~Job 12:10

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the award winning memoir, an anthology of stories, please visit this website.http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

Tugs of Heart Strings

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tugof war Do you remember playing tug-of- war on the play ground?

The physical education teacher marked the the pavement with chalk, threw down a hefty rope and teams were chosen at the discretion of the teacher or the team captains. Then began the battle to see which team had the greatest strength and persistence and could pull the other team over the line.

A few weeks ago when I talked with Kiwanis, I read aloud a chapter from my memoir called Having Faith in Oneself. Essentially it is about Fanny’s advice to me about the feelings I had when I was left out of the crowd on the playground due to my childhood illness. Fanny is the stellar character in my memoir who was a very sage woman.

Now that I am an adult, I understand what she was hinting at in one of our heart-to- heart conversations. One day she said “Sue, there ain’t no one who don’t play tug of war in life. Sometimes we is among the lighthearted and sometimes we are wid da heavy hitters. Dem knots in da rope is what helps us to learn to hang on and to roll wid da punches.” There is a lot of truth in that! But it is more fun to play nice. Tug of War Shel Silverstein This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for information about Sue’s memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  

Moving and Birth

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untitledHaving a baby is painful in order to show how serious a thing life is.” ~ author Lisa See

At the end of last week my husband and I changed residences. As we went through the process, I began to think of the analogy between moving and giving birth:

Through both you have to do the work and you are faced with labor. Yet if you want to make way for newness in your life, you must bear down, face it and go through it, whether you want to or not.

Once you’ve gotten through each event, you can look back and laugh. You forget all the pain and agony that was packed with the experience.

I’ve moved many times throughout my life. My most transient years were after I graduated college until the time I married. Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. We will be visiting the neighborhood where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. It is where many of the stories in my memoir took place – in Towson, Maryland.

Sue’s memoir

Small Things Big Wonders

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All of our life is a miracle. . . . There is not a minute in the twenty-four hours that is not filled with miracles.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever noticed how the smallest things sometimes hold the biggest wonders? Consider:

  • The sudden appearance of blue-speckled robins eggs in the nest
  • An unexpected phone call from someone you were just thinking about
  • The delightful scent of a newborn baby’s head
  • A colorful rainbow after a wicked storm
  • Perfumed air from a gardenia, rose or lilac
  • The extraordinary talent of a musician, painter, dancer, writer or singer who has had no training
  • The crowing glory of the daffodils through the snow

When did you last stop, take heed and intently observe  a small thing that holds big wonders? Springtime holds an abundance of opportunity! Recharge your life by being keenly observant as the season of renewal unfolds and opens up. Deeply inhale all the goodness and find gratefulness in each daybreak and sunset.

little is much

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  See you tomorrow on http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com.

 

 

Writing Conflict and Lessons

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Life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next.”
Joseph M. Marshall III, The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History

I read a marvelous article recently in Poets and Writers Magazine about character development in stories and it got me thinking about real life people. Is it not true that some of the most interesting individuals you have ever met have incredibly complex life journeys?

If every thing in life was smooth, easy and breezy, our personal stories would be boring and there would be little reason for memoir writing. Out of strife and struggle comes personal growth, and by reading tales written by others we meet some very interesting characters who inspire us to become better people.

art of perseveranceThere is a book I encountered on Goodreads called Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance.  This book may be a good resource for writers who are frustrated and disappointed in their progress or at a loss for direction. Sage advice on not giving up is incorporated into this book. Rather than the typical new age jargon, wisdom of the ages from the Lakota Indian is shared through the writings. Click for info & ordering

Author Joseph M Marshall III, a Native American writer, inspires others in his workshops on character and leadership and through his other publications. Please visit his website to learn more about Marshall as a writer and motivational speaker. http://www.josephmarshall.com .

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Click for info and ordering See you tomorrow on http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com. The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.