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I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.

– George Burns

I posted this on Facebook two years ago:

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. – Jim Rohn

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. – Lao Tzu

Sometimes, when I feel like results are too far away, when the road is too long or too rough, when I get tired of trying... I'm tempted to give up. And sometimes I do give up. I need to constantly remind myself that long journeys begin with one step. And as long as that step is pointed in the right direction, it's okay if my progress is slow.

Better to be moving in the right direction slowly than in the wrong direction quickly.


I appreciate this reminder so much right now. Lately I've been feeling frustrated because I can't seem to keep up with all the creative projects I want to work on. Besides my "real" work (I have several writing and illustration assignments lined up for the next month or so), I have so many other things I want to make or learn about. As I said to a few friends in my writers' group this past weekend: "So many ideas, so little time!"

For example, I had really hoped to design and produce a calendar for 2022, and quite a few of you indicated you'd love one but, realistically, it's not going to happen. My trip to Armenia, though only three weeks, took about five weeks out of my work time, and I'm absolutely okay with that! It's a decision I made, knowing that I was going to have to let go of other things. (So. . . sorry about the calendar thing, friends!)

Sometimes it's hard to admit we can't do everything, especially if we feel like we're going to let others down. We may either need to cross items off our to-do lists and give ourselves permission not to get them done, or we may need to ask for help.

One of the friends in my group suggested a couple of bold changes I could make to accomplish my goals, and one of those changes involved allowing someone to help with tasks that slow me down, tasks that someone else could do for me (and probably do better than me). 

I haven't quite decided what to do with that advice but I had to admit that it wasn't a terrible idea! I've worked solo for 25 years so it's not easy to consider doing things differently and yet, you know what they say: You can't keep doing things the same way and expect different results. Do I want different results? Yes! So maybe I need to change how I do things. 

Maybe there will be a 2023 calendar from me. Or maybe not. We'll see. :) But there will definitely be something(s) coming your way! Thank you for graciously allowing me to figure all of this out slowly and for keeping me company on the journey! 

Last month I asked you to tell me about your favourite childhood pastime or game. The responses (from nearly two dozen of you) made me smile, some because I could relate to them (especially the ones that mentioned reading, art, or board games) and others because they were so unexpected and creative. Here are a few responses I thought were too good not to share:

  • I have 6 sisters and during the long prairie winters we would cut up the entire ladies' and children's sections of the previous years Eatons or Sears catalogue and make cut-out families out of them. . . As winter turned to spring we would head outdoors and make houses in the bush. Old logs would be the perimeter of our houses, sticks and leaves would be bacon and eggs. We would also take picnic lunches with our mother and explore the countryside, eating lunch under a big tree. I am 67 now and recall my childhood very fondly! - Sandra
  • I loved playing with my Barbie and Ken dolls. Since my Mom knew how to sew, I would watch her so as to learn and then I'd ask her for scraps so I could make clothes for my dolls. And I would also use scrap wood from my Dad's workspace and make furniture. - Kathy
  • I absolutely loved to swing on the swing my dad put in a big maple tree by our kitchen. Sometimes he'd even push me so high. . .but usually it was a solo experience and feeling the air rushing by as I pushed and pumped to go higher and higher. We now have a simple swing in our backyard and last summer even our 18-year-old grandson couldn't resist it and he hopped on and pumped hard to gain height. Often our grand daughters just sit and usually sing as they swing. Something so simple is still giving this old Nana lots of joy. - Heather
  • My favourite pastime was going camping with my family in the mountains. I loved the pine-tree scent, the sunlight filtering down through the pines, and hiking on mountain trails. Seeing the wildlife - bear, mountain sheep, moose, and even squirrels - was also so exciting. - Pam
And the winner of the October giveaway? Diadem Velasco of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan! Her favourite game as a child was Scrabble, so she's got a Scrabble-related card game headed her way. Enjoy! :)

Now, for the November question...
What is your favourite quote, Bible verse, or song lyric? The randomly chosen winner will receive a graphic of that quote (designed by me) for printing and (if desired) framing. Click here to respond to the survey. Your deadline is December 4.
whimsy & wisdom from the world wide web

May be an image of catI was admiring this photo I took of my cat Buttercup last week when I started wondering why cats' pupils are vertical slits and not circles like human pupils. So I Googled it. The answer is pretty cool and this article explains why some other animals have different shapes of pupils (such as the creepy horizontal rectangles seen on goats and sheep).  

One of the small steps I've taken in developing my art business is deciding on my studio's name. Is it a big surprise I named it after my cat? :) Anyway, this link will take you to the Illustration page of my website, where you can also find a link to the Buttercup Design Studio Instagram account. Please have a look and share it with friends or colleagues who might need some custom illustration work. Thanks!

"While starting a sentence with 'to be honest' may be a red flag in some situations—or simply a bad habit—there may be times when the speaker is trying to break the ice, command attention, or give the listener a heads-up that something direct or potentially unpleasant is about to be said." Here's something I wrote for the American Bible Society a few years ago, about identifying biblical qualifiers that should give us pause.

HECTOR

(v) to behave in an arrogant or intimidating way: to play the bully
or
(n) a bully or braggart

After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.

– Cato

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