Tag Archives: attitude

How do you handle criticism?

Just a quick question for you tonight —  How do you handle criticism? 

  • Do you sulk, stomp your foot, pout?
  • Do you consider it carefully, looking for what may be the truth of what was said?
  • Do you get bent all out of shape and defensively confront the one who made the criticism?
  • Do you accept it gracefully and chalk it up to experience?

How do you handle criticism? With maturity or with ego?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

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In this New Year do you resolve to, or hope to?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Can you believe this is “the year of our Lord, two thousand thirteen“?  2013! To me, that seems a strange number; it feels different somehow.

2013 with bamboo

I think the beginning of a new year always brings with it that ‘starting fresh’ feeling, the way the outdoors looks after a fresh fall of snow — all sparkly and clean. The new year comes in like that — sparkly and clean with nothing marring it or tracking it up. We want our new year to be that way … unmarred with no tell-tale tracks. We want to start fresh, leaving the mistakes and disappointments behind.

Have you made any resolutions?  For the past several years I have not recorded or purposely written a list of New Year Resolutions. The many times I fell short, and then felt guilty about failing, led me to give up that emotional self-abuse.

Or are yours more like “hope to’s”? What I usually do is simply think about what I want to try to change in the new year, which is sort of making resolutions but it often happens less deliberately. It could be called my list of “hope to’s” instead.

My goals this year are centered around reading, writing, and attitude – none of which should be a surprise to you. :)

  • READING: You have no idea how many books I have collected over the years with the intention of reading them someday. The problem with that is my TBR (to be read) stash continues to grow as I keep adding to it and have less time to read. The older books are still waiting and the newer ones keep coming. My husband gave me an e-reader for Christmas (a Kindle) so now I have a growing digital TBR book stash! (What complicates it further is that I found a “free e-books on Amazon” daily list. Oh woe is me! but how delightful at the same time.) To say I love books is almost an understatement. My plan is for some of them to be reviewed on my blog, a few old ones, but mostly new titles. I have a waiting list.
  • WRITING: Of course I hope to continue writing picture book drafts and working on the ones I already have. I also hope to finish writing my novel this year. As for my blog, I’m now trying to formulate a better plan regarding my posts. I will still be writing book reviews, interviewing authors, posting about other things in between, but possibly something else will also take shape on my blog if I can get it worked out. Being better organized along with the habit of scheduling would be very beneficial.                                                             I have not signed on for the extra writing challenges this year that I enjoyed the past few years, as much as I would have liked that. Perhaps it will give me more chance to catch up on emails, blogging, and the book writing I mentioned. Maybe next year I will be able to try some of them again.
  • ATTITUDE: As you know, my word – since my birthday in November – is GRATEFUL. I have not made it my habit yet, but that is something I am aiming for – to become consciously grateful every day for something. And to say out loud (to God as well as to myself) — “I am grateful!” I believe in every circumstance there is something for which to be grateful, and once found it changes one’s attitude and perspective, and releases the stress – at least a little. I believe an attitude change will help me handle things much better, including the combined challenges as a wife, caregiver, and writer.

Perhaps I have set resolutions for 2013, but I prefer to call them goals … goals that I hope to achieve – not just in 2013, but as positive long-term life-affecting choices. 

How about you – what resolutions or ‘hope to’s’ have you made for 2013?

3886950-fountain-pen-writing-paper-with-black-ink

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

My word is GRATEFUL: Remembrance and Thanksgiving

Lately, I have been finding it hard to write. If you have been following my progress during NaNoWriMo you will have noticed there is not much moving forward the past few days. I am so far behind now there is little hope for me to end the challenge with a high word count. I’m even wondering if I will finish this novel no matter how many words it takes to get there.

For some people, when things are going wrong in their lives, or they are just having a down time, they write. It helps them through it. But for me … I can’t seem to think that way. The creativity gets put on hold by whatever is troubling me. I seem to fall victim to my emotions, and that’s not a good thing.

Remembrance Day is a special day for this family. Our dad is a WWII veteran and we are very proud of him, especially as he was one of the young Canadian soldiers who bravely liberated the Netherlands. For years, with Dad we have attended the ceremonies and the Veterans’ dinner following the special service. This year things got a bit confused and it was difficult for awhile – my week “on duty” so it was more upsetting for me. It got straightened out but left me with a troubled heart. That affected everything since I just can’t seem to separate myself from it all even when I get away for my week at home. I think if I were good at writing through things, I would have had a lot more done on my novel by now!

Last Thursday was my birthday. I won’t say which birthday, I’ll just leave that for you to guess if you want to.  I’d been talking to God, telling Him (as if He didn’t already know, but I had to admit it) that I need help. I need help to get through this. The day before my birthday two friends called me, two friends totally apart from one another and whom I hadn’t talked with in awhile. Neither knew my of increased stress, both conversations were ministering to my need.

The next morning, November 16, a really interesting thing happened when I woke before my feet even hit the floor.

First, by way of explanation — There is someone who has a website or blog who chooses a word for herself at the beginning of each year, and challenges others to do the same. That word – individual to each person – is to be their word by which to live all that year. (I’m sorry I don’t recall who that person is, but if you know please remind me in a comment.) I had tried to come up with a word for myself, but nothing came to me. What is fascinating to me is that as I was waking on the morning of my birthday  .. there it was! My word. GRATEFUL.

My word is GRATEFUL!

Now, let me tell you, that word makes a difference. The trick is to remind myself of it in the midst of disappointment, worry creeping in, feelings of inadequacy, frustration, sadness, depression raising its ugly head, anger over things beyond my control … GRATEFUL chases it all away!  

Notice my word is not gratefulness, but I feel gratefulness when I am grateful. :)

Here is the definition for gratefulness: 

  • warm friendly feelings of gratitude [synonyms: thankfulness, appreciativeness]

The definition for grateful:

  • 1: feeling or showing gratitude; “a grateful heart”; “grateful for the tree’s shade”; “a thankful smile” [synonym:thankful] [antonym: ungrateful]
  • 2: affording comfort or pleasure; “the grateful warmth of the fire”

When negative feelings or thoughts come upon me, I remind myself that I am grateful or I have much to be grateful for and those negatives are washed away. It’s an attitude of gratitude that has to become habit for it to be most effective. (I did remember to thank God from my grateful heart for the help He sent me.)

Our Canadian Thanksgiving was October 8, USA’s Thanksgiving is coming up on November 22, so it seems quite fitting to have this word now. Try it out and see what it does for you.

My questions to you are:

  1. Do life’s struggles set your writing free? or does writing free you during times of stress?
  2. If you write when life hits you hard, how do you do it?
  3. Do you have a word to live by for this year?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Are you a ringer? or a leaner?

Have you ever played horseshoes? It’s a fun game of skill.

My dad and I have been playing horseshoes a little this Summer (now turned Autumn) and – although we certainly aren’t the greatest at it – we have lots of laughs.

Two pits are prepared, into each is driven a stake forty-two feet from the other. From beside one pit the players throw two horseshoes each, in turn, trying to get a ringer (shoe around stake) for five points, a leaner for three points, or within a horseshoe width for one point. Then the players walk to the other end, add up their points and pitch the shoes to the other pit. Eventually, a total of 21 points wins.

Take a look at the image here. This was amazing!

Both the ringer and the leaner are mine! Dad got one shoe close enough for a point, the other just a little too far out. This was such a great toss that we had to capture it because I thought no one would believe it. Of course, we have not been able to repeat this exactly again. In fact, when we get a point it’s occasion to cheer.  :)  That’s right, we won’t be asked to join a team any time soon, but, as I said, we have fun. It’s a good way to get exercise, too.

Looking at this picture I began wondering about it in relation to life.
A ringer — do you hit your mark? Do you reach your goal?
A leaner — do you nearly get there, not quite where you want to be but enough so that you can say you did it?
Close — the old saying is, “close only counts in horseshoes.” Do you get nearly there and then decide this is close enough?
Not quite there — do you think, “well at least I tried”?

I wonder what my own attitude has been. I can go many ways with this but if I relate it to writing I know I have not made that ringer. I’m not sure I even have a leaner, either. But I may be close, although for me it’s not close enough yet. And I have had many days of thinking, “well, at least I’m trying”, but if I am truly going to succeed I know I have yet to develop my skill.

The secret, the trick, is to never quit, never give up. In writing there are so many, many ways to express one’s ideas and imaginings, many places to apply one’s talent, many word avenues to travel. And one has to learn how to pitch, how to lean in, how to get close enough so as to eventually succeed.

Am I there yet? No. But I am still trying, still in the game, even with all of life’s sidelines and stressors and detours.

How about you? Are you a ringer? a leaner?
Are you close? or not quite there yet?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

How do you want to be remembered?

I’ve been thinking about memories and the impressions we make on others.

Family health issues, and being a part-time caregiver for as long as we can handle the stress that comes with it, has caused me to think about memory. As memory slips away from some people, I’ve been pondering about the impression we leave of ourselves on others’ memories.

I had a very discouraging day recently, and I was rather rude to a store clerk. It’s not the way I always am nor do I want to be thought of that way, so when I got home I called the shop and apologized to that lady. She didn’t ask for my attitude, nor did she deserve it. One bad day, one bad mood, is not how I want to be remembered.

So, what DO I want people thinking when I come to mind?

Am I patient, kind, pleasant to be around? Or am I moody, snappy, seeming to have a dark cloud hanging over my head?

Am I cheerful, helpful, loving? Or am I angry, irritable, sullen?

Do I handle disappointment with grace or do I let it take me into a sour mood?

What impression am I making as my path crosses someone else’s today?Are they glad of the encounter, or do they wish they had not met me? Did I make them feel blessed or did I leave them with an ugly hole in their heart?

Attitude is very important, and I have discovered that it really affects everything. I am working on mine.

How about you? Have you ever thought about the memories you are leaving of yourself? How do YOU want to be remembered?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)