The Grateful Whale

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If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, December 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her – a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around – she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate today – to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude!!!

Source: Unknown

The Cost of a Smile

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Smiles and happiness are SO good for the heart and soul. It is great medicine a person. The following thoughts are fabulous reminders as to why a smile is so important. So, take time every day to laugh, giggle, or smile.  A smile is not only good for yourself but an encouragement to others! 

A smile costs nothing, but gives much.

It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give.

It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor, but that he can be made rich by it.

A Smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship.

It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature’s best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone, until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile;

Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

A Millenial at 56 Years old!!

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Congratulations!! I would like to thank you for reading this blog because today, you will one of the people that discovers why, at age 56, I am a Millenial. The reason? Today, this blog will be number 1,000 for me as the founder, editor, writer for this blog!! I am now an official Millenial Blogger!! I don’t know if that is actually a word but it sounds good!  🙂

It wasn’t until recently that I looked how many stories that I have posted and discovered that I was just a few away from this magical number. I NEVER thought that I would ever find that many interesting stories, pictures, anecdotes, etc., to make it this far! I consider myself very fortunate and blessed to have had almost 1.4 million views and the untold number of people who have been impacted in some way from the site. Hopefully, I will be able to post many, many more of these kinds of things that will enlighten and uplift people around the globe.

In celebration of my latest achievement (if you want to call it that), I have decided to post the FIRST BLOG that I ever created starting back on February 26, 2013. The name of the posting was “A Mother’s Love”.

It is my hope that you will enjoy it the same way as the first people who ever visited “Good Time Stories” did “Aa way back then.”

A MOTHERS LOVE

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his Mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:

For cutting the grass: $5.00

For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00

For going to the store for you: $.50

Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25

Taking out the garbage: $1.00

For getting a good report card: $5.00

For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00

Total owed: $14.75

Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote:

For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me:

No Charge

For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you:

No Charge

For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years:

No Charge

For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead:

No Charge

For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose:

No Charge

Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is:

No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.” And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL”.

Lessons to Learn:
1) You will never how much your parents worth till you become a parent
2) Be a giver not a taker, especially with your parents. there is a lot to give, besides money.

Advice: IF your mom is alive and close to you, give her a big kiss and ask her for forgiveness. If she is far away, call her. if she passed away, pray for her.

Mom’s are Awesome….ALWAYS Remember them and love them.

The Incredible Power of Music

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Music. Its power and effect on people are unmistakable. It can soothe and comfort the soul, it can create an air of nostalgia, make that special moment more romantic, make you mad, make you sad, the list goes on an on.

It’s funny how sometimes the small things in life can make such a huge impact on other people’s lives and we don’t even know it.

We all are aware of how our actions can affect an individual’s well being, etc. but what about other things that we may use every day? Music can affect people’s lives in many ways… take watching a movie as an example. Imagine if you were watching a sad movie and the background music was a fast-moving pop song. Or imagine viewing a scary movie and ballet music was playing in the background? The music would not fit into the movie and you wouldn’t enjoy the film…..but used correctly, music has a huge impact on the total movie-watching experience.

Another example of music’s effect is how well music “can soothe the soul” or how athletes sometimes use loud music to get “pumped up” for a game.

Music can be used in many ways and affect every person differently.

In today’s story (it’s actually a video), watch how the power of music totally transformed this old man’s state of wellness. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and heartwarming. The power of music…AMAZING!

What Marriage is Really All About

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What makes up a marriage? What makes every moment in a marriage full of smiles, laughs, and excitement? We all now that the married life always runs smoothly and really is a Bed of Roses. Good times! Right? Unfortunately, we all know, without question, the marriage is hard work and there are times when couples face adversity, sorrow, or suffering. It how we react to these circumstances that can make all the difference.

A friend of mine, (my sister-in-law 🙂 recently shared the following little ditty that I think sums up what a marriage really is in a beautiful and positive way!!

————————————————

Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It’s not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep. It’s not a clean home filled with laughter and love making every day.

It’s someone who steals all the covers, and snores, it’s slammed doors and a few harsh words at times.

It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal, and then forgiveness.

It’s coming home to the same person every day that you know loves and cares about you in spite of, and because of, who you are.

It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid.

It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds.

It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life.

It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.

It’s about eating the easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at a late hour because you both had a crazy day.

It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your love lays down with you and holds you, and tells you everything is going to be okay. And you believe them.

It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.

Loving someone isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s hard. But it is amazing and comforting and one of the best things you will ever experience.

If you are blessed to have a wonderful partner in your life, then leave a thought here and please feel free to share this post with others!

 

Have a WONDERFUL day!!

The Crab and the Ocean

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What in the world is happening? Why did something like this happen to me? Why is it that this individual continues to do this annoying thing to me? Don’t they understand that when they continue to do this same thing over and over, it really, really bothers me!?! What is this jerk doing? Why is this person so mean? Why is it, that it always seems like bad things always happen to me?

Occasionally, there are things or situations in life that happen that we simply don’t understand at the time we are experiencing them. Sometimes people will continuously do things to us, like our bosses, parents, or a host of other kinds of people, that we don’t comprehend why they are doing what they are doing. The result? We jump to negative conclusions, make poor judgments and assessments of others…many times resulting in embarrassing or awkward moments.

The following little story is a great little illustration which demonstrates a simple truth of life…that we should attempt to truly understand the unfortunate things that may happen to us before we judge others wrongly.

Once upon a time, there was a crab. It was walking on the shore of the ocean, leaving its beautiful footprint behind. The crab adored its footprints. Suddenly as the crab was adoring it footprints, the waves of the ocean washed the footprints away. The crab turned towards the ocean wave and said, “Hey!! I thought you were my best friend. Why did you do that?? Why did you wash my footprints away?” The ocean said, “A fisherman was chasing you, my dear friend, looking at your footprints, so I washed them away so that fisherman could not chase you.” It’s a general human tendency. We all judge each other in different situations and conclude about the person. Even in our relationships, we judge the people by the actions or behavior. But it is important not to conclude about that person and react without understanding other person’s intentions. (Divya Nimbalkar). http://frtonyshomilies.com/

JUDGING A PERSON DOES NOT DEFINE WHO THEY ARE…IT DEFINES WHO YOU ARE!

Kafka and the Doll

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Death, grief, despair: these scorns of life are devastating. Death is arguably the most sorrowful time an individual can experience in life. Most unfortunate is when people encounter death within a family, a friendship, or an acquaintance. Sometimes, the loss can hurt so bad that it may seem like the pain and suffering will never go away.

Bill, a dear friend of mine, lost his wife to cancer at age 60 and a brother to murder at age 42. He uses faith, philosophy, family, and friends to mitigate his loss.

I would like to share the following story/essay that he wrote a while ago while thinking of these unfortunate events. It is our hope that this story will help ease the pain and sadness of others who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one.

Here is Bill’s story/essay.

As part of the human race, we all suffer loss. Loss is not a one-time occurrence, it happens to us and then it happens again. Loss is always difficult to accept. On the loss of a loved one, we wish to hold open the door into the next world and pull the deceased out. We wish to kiss those vanished lips, to hear that silenced voice; but it doesn’t work that way.

There is an instructive story on grief titled, “Kafka and the Doll.” In the story, Franz Kafka encountered a little girl in the park where he and his friend Dora walked daily. The little girl was disconsolate and weeping as if her heart would break. When Kafka inquired about her tears, the girl said she had lost her doll. Kafka told the girl that he knew for a fact the doll was fine. How he could be so certain, the little girl asked? Why just that morning, Kafka told the girl, he had received a letter from the doll.

Kafka arranged to meet the little girl the next day at the same spot in the park. That night he composed a letter from the doll and read it to the little girl when they met. “Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”

The meetings and the letters from the beloved doll continued. The little girl was comforted. When the meetings came to an end, Kafka presented her with a new doll. The doll obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “Do not be surprised at my appearance, my travels and adventures have changed me.”

Many years later, the now-grown girl found a letter stuffed into a deep fold in the cherished replacement doll. Kafka had written, “Everything you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”

Grief and loss are ubiquitous and an inescapable part of being human. Holding the perspective of the universality of loss, helps us deal with our loneliness and regret in times of grief, for if grief is omnipresent, we are less alone, less regretful. Holding the conviction that “love will return” is the path towards healing. As with the little girl in the story, following our loss and a period of grief, our job is to recognize love when it returns in its new form.

Those loved ones for whom we mourn would not want us to be in tears and sadness. They want us to remember them with laughter and with smiles, and to find love in all its new forms.

 

*Editor’s Note: Bill is simply a wonderful, charming, and outgoing man. After the loss of his wife, he continued teaching until he retired a few years ago.  Since then, he has traveled across America, hiked great mountains of the world, explored various countries and cultures, and has see and discovered the many beautiful things in this world. His warm personality and sense of humor have brought encouragement and happiness to all that have met him.

“The song may have ended but the melody lingers on.” ~ Irving Berlin

The Boy Who Changed A Village

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We all have struggles and burdens that we deal with on a daily basis. For untold thousands of people, they can carry hardships, misery, and a sense of doom with them for years.

Today, I would like to share the following story from a blogger friend of mine, Chuck L., author of a fabulous site, “Dr.JoyFinder.com” I think that you will enjoy his “Bits of Wisdom,” art, and other ways of finding joy.

The Boy Who Saved A Village

Once upon a time in a small mountain village, it was the custom for the villagers to strap on their knapsacks each morning. Then, during the day, each time they worried about something or felt depressed about a problem, they would pick up a small pebble and put it in their knapsack. The knapsacks were heavy and a burden to carry because the villagers never emptied them. They carried their burdens every day.  It was all they knew.

One day one of the village elders walked down to the river bank bent over from his knapsack full of burdens and noticed one of the small boys from the village skipping pebbles across the water. The boy’s knapsack was empty.

“What are you doing?” the old man asked. “And why is your knapsack empty? Why aren’t you carrying your burdens like the rest of us?”

“I come down to the river bank at the end of each day,” the boy said, “and skip my pebbles across the water until my knapsack is empty. I see no reason to keep carrying them.”

The old man was stunned and so bent over from his knapsack full of burdens that he could hardly move. He had never seen anyone cast their burdens away like that.

“Would you like to try it?” the boy asked.

The old man was hesitant, yet it seemed like such a good idea.  Slowly he reached into his knapsack that was large and heavy from all the burdens he had accumulated over many years. He grabbed a pebble and studied it, recalling the burden of pain that he felt when he had placed it in his knapsack.  He was so bent over that it was difficult to cast the burden away and watch it skip across the water and finally disappear, but he somehow did it.

The boy smiled.

The old man smiled also.  It was easier than he thought to let go of the burden. Then he tossed another pebble, another burden, then another, and another.  The boy stayed and watched.  They built a fire and the old man kept throwing until his knapsack was at last empty. He felt so relieved.

The next day the old man, standing straight and tall, told the other villagers what happened and how good he felt.  They could see how happy he was, how he looked and acted like a different person. They were amazed.

At the end of the day, all the villagers joined the old man and the small boy and went to the river bank and skipped their burdens across the water until their knapsacks were empty. They were amazed at how good and happy they felt.  They never continued to hang onto their burdens again.

A sign was erected at the entrance to the village that said, “IT’S HARD TO BE ON TOP OF THE WORLD WHEN YOU’RE CARRYING IT ON YOUR SHOULDERS. LET GO AND LIVE.”

Surprises in Heaven

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It is so foolish to believe that anyone is better than someone else. Sometimes our pride gets in the way so much, that we don’t realize what other people are really like. There are times individuals put themselves on such a high pedestal, that I believe that some people may be very surprised one day when they get to heaven.

The following poem is a good reminder of the foolishness of judging others. Let it serve as a reminder to us all.

Judge Not

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade..
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

Have a wonderful and rewarding day!

“Perhaps I Never Will”

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I have always enjoyed discovering heartwarming, inspirational, and motivational stories and anecdotes for my blog. Every once in a while, I like to “change gears” and read poems and quotes written by others. I have always been fascinated by how every individual writes poetry in their own special way.

I recently came across a few poems on a friend of mine’s blog, “Timeless Classics“, in which the poetry and prose are written by Ana Daksina herself. If you like different kinds of poetry, then I recommend you check out her site…I think you’ll love it.

Today, I would like to share one of her poems with you named, “Perhaps I Never Will.

“Perhaps I Never Will”

We came back to the farm that day
Where dogs had in our absence been
Describe to you the scene we found
I could not e’en begin

The custom in deep country is
If you let your dog get away
For someone else’s chickens
Ducks and geese prepare to pay

Nor will you seeing be
That dog ever again
The farmer has the given right
To shoot it there and then

Walking our farm I understood
They willing were to take one out
For feathered wildlife full of blood
Was strewn that ground all round about

Not even eaten — just destroyed
In malice and in sport
I might myself unto a rifle
Given chance had had resort

That cataclysm did provide
As cataclysms sometimes do
A most amazing story
Which I will tell to you:

Of all the carcasses that lay
About the farmstead strewn —
An aftermath of genocide
Upon a sunny afternoon —

A single goose survived
But did so with a broken wing
Being a goose there’d be no way
To put it in a sling

At that time but a callow girl
Sixteen years of age
And city bred, this in my life
Turned an untouched page

The closest I had ever been
To one of Nature’s creatures when
My sister’d got a hamster
Around the age of ten

The other people on that farm
To save the bird did not agree
They walked away and left
Its healing or its death to me

I sat down there beside it
Stroked its head and murmured low
That if it wished to live
That mangled wing would have to go

And that I really hated
What I’d have to put it through
And asked the goose what it prefer
That I prepare to do

Looking back, I should have been
In that moment more amazed
That when I lifted it to move
It didn’t get all crazed

But quietly lay in my arms
And let me take it to
The bathroom and into the tub
To see what I could do

Anyone skilled in medicine
Would hate me for the blundering
Ineptitude with which I cut
From that poor goose its wing

But strange to say, the bird itself
Not only didn’t hate me, it
Didn’t even slightly twitch
As I ministered to it

But settled down as though to help
A partner in a team of two
Me operating surgic’lly
The goose quietly pulling through

And pull through ‘gainst all odds
And expectation’s what it did
I always will be happy that I
Did as my good conscience bid

But sometimes stop to wonder:
How did that goose stay so, so still?
I still don’t understand it
Perhaps I never will

**If you enjoyed this poem and would like to read others, I would ask you to please visit Ana’s page, “Timeless Classics.”

The Mother with One Eye

eye
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Judging other people can be a struggle for almost anyone on a daily basis. People can find themselves judging others in a variety of ways. If could be something as small as how someone looks or how they act. We could be judging them based on what their government affiliation might be or their religious beliefs. The list can go on and on.

An example of how we can sometimes judge is this short story from psychologist and meditation teacher, Tara Brach who frequently tells this story: Imagine you are walking through the woods and you see a small dog. It looks cute and friendly. You approach and move to pet the dog. Suddenly it snarls and tries to bite you. The dog no longer seems cute and you feel fear and possibly anger. Then, as the wind blows, the leaves on the ground are carried away and you see the dog has one of its legs caught in a trap. Now, you feel compassion for the dog. You know it became aggressive because it is in pain and is suffering.

Your judgement changed once you understood the situation.

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I came across this story that simply broke my heart and reminded me of an important lesson: never judge a person until you know exactly of what made them the way they are…

My mom only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed.

How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mom only has one eye!”

I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?”

My mom did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.

Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my Mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!”

And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” – and she disappeared out of sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.

My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

“My dearest son,

I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children.

I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

You see……..when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine.

I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.

With all my love to you,

Your Mother.”

————————-

“If you judge people….you have no time to live them” ~ Mother Teresa

Life Lessons From A 90-Year-Old Woman

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There is much wisdom to be gained from individuals of advanced age. If we are wise, we would take heed of things that they have experienced throughout their lifetime, and apply it to our everyday lives.

The following list of “Life Lessons” was written by 90-year-old Regina Brett, in the publication, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. It is certainly a fantastic collection of helpful tidbits of knowledge that we should all use.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 44 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:” ~ Regina Brett

01. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
02. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
03. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
04. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
05. Pay off your credit cards every month.
06. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
07. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
08. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
09. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness, but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ”In five years, will this matter?”.
26. Always choose life.
27 Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
34. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters, in the end, is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

 

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