Category Archives: Motivation

Thank you, you’re just great! ~Joe~

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We recently had a neighbor move in on the corner of the block. The house he purchased had exchanged many hands over the course of the past twenty-two years, or so. It was owned by a not-so-present landlord and was frankly, an eye-sore. Frat-boys partied it up, two kids dug a hole in the front garden, digging half-way to China, weeds encroached the yard’s border, making us cross the street for an evening walk. Paint was chipping and peeling, the lawn was unhappy and the old house was putting a frown on the neighborhood’s face.

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I spoke with the new owner, “Joe”, and thanked him profusely for the great job he was doing renovating his new home. He said a simple, “thank you, Ma’am”.

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In the ensuing conversation, I inquired about his life’s history: he’s a business owner, a former Marine, a family man. His politeness echoed back to his military background. I asked if he’d mind if he were featured on this blog and if he preferred his name be mentioned or not. True to form, he was happy to accommodate, yet humbly declined the use of name. But, he didn’t mind our sharing his pretty cool tattoo!

So, we wanted to take a minute to honor his polite and humble ways, his can-do attitude, his “fixer-upper” spunk, investment and service to our city, neighborhood, country and lives.

“So, why make a fuss” you might ask? “Someone bought an old house and is fixing it up. They are doing it with investment in mind. The neighborhood is happy because their property values will rise”. Point taken.

But I say, anytime effort, substance, beauty, or investing in something worthwhile occurs, it’s worth a kudos. In a society often fixated on the negative, where an eye-for-an-eye is condoned or even encouraged, where people carry a spy-glass in their pocket, examining flaws, downfalls and ineptitudes, isn’t it worth making an effort to highlight good things, people, those positive efforts?

Our city struggles with neighborhoods and housing, at various times and places. Someone chose to stay here and invest, fix up the old and run-down. Hooray! It doesn’t mean he’s perfect, it means he’s trying.

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So how about finding someone to encourage when they are doing something right? Look for those who are being helpful, kind, putting forth an effort. Put the spotlight on them, and take it OFF all the negative noise and brew-ha-ha.

Joe is the first in a series of spot-lights, featuring everyday heroes and plodding pedestrians, moving in the right direction. We’re just taking a moment to say “thank you, you’re just great”!

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Dare to Grow!

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How did this beautiful blossoming tree start out? A mere kernel! Let’s not be afraid to grow..

Take a minute to pour a little water & sunshine on your fine self!

By Sherrie Robins

My nephew popped over to the house last night. He’s a talented young photographer/videographer, who’s starting a business with my son. Their work is fresh, hip, young, knowledgeable, practiced & informed.

I’ve learned a few things from them both.

“Hey Jordan”, I said. “Wanna see the new ‘video’ I made”?

“Sure”!
Now, though I’m a practiced and ardent “photo-snapper”, my ‘video’ happened to be a photo compilation-slide show of a family weekend gathering, something I’m relatively new at, and a far cry from their professional work. (I wish them the best).

But he liked it!

Then he said this: “I love the way you’re not afraid to try new things and continue to grow. Most people your age just settle. Stop growing. Maybe they find something they enjoy, but they stop there and just do “that” for the rest of their lives. How many people do you know that keep trying and expanding; reaching? You’re great”!

Wow. What a compliment.

It brought to light a new perspective. Because of different life situations, I’ve had to wear many hats and have sometimes seen this as a negative. Others have told me so. I haven’t always assessed these accomplishments as assets: a positive!

Here’s a couple of thoughts: as one continues to grow, some old things must be left behind, some for a while, some for always. Knowing which is which can be a challenge. And we can’t expect everyone to understand where we’re coming from. If we stretch, there’s always the chance of rejection.

Also, we have been told that in order to be good at something, really good, you have to stick with that thing forever! But what about a different take. You’ve heard it before, “he was a real Renaissance man”. This is referring to an individual’s proficiency at a number of abilities. This used to be a “thing”. Not so much anymore as society often seems to box people into roles: teacher, business person, entertainer, artist. Any Mother knows that just ain’t so! Children are even taught that, at least up to high-school, through a well-rounded education. But many of us leave behind the variety upon reaching adulthood.

And here’s are some additional perspective: the more we become proficient at a variety of things, 1) the more it rounds out our personalities, 2) enables us to relate to wider circles, and 3) we begin to see one gift as feeding off the other.

1) Each new lens we look through allows us to see life a bit differently. Having been an artist and photo-snapper, for example, has caused me to go from looking at each single flower, leaf and stone to taking in the vastness of the world around me.

2) Personally, being able to relate to my son and nephew in their world of photography, another nephew with his writing, my daughter in her’s of cooking and travel, and many others in singing, piano, blogging, teaching, etc. This ability has enriched my life on so many levels.

3) When one is developing any gift, artistic or otherwise, it seems the additional become easier to access. I’m sure this has a scientific base, but I’ll let YOU google it!

So, think out of the box! Don’t be afraid to expand, develop, grow in whatever you’re already good at, and more. It’s okay if it isn’t in our comfort zone or we make mistakes. We all do. Whether it’s a new hobby, a new work challenge, relationship growth or trying a new recipe, it’s all ripe for the picking.

Learning is the stuff that keeps us fresh, young, vital. It helps us to reach others and become our best selves. So let’s grow, Grow, GROW!

*Thanks for reading lessonsinperspective. Feel free to follow, like and share!

Here’s another one of Sherrie’s blogs:                                                                                                        https://2chicks2go.wordpress.com/                                     https://www.facebook.com/2chicks2go/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

and her Facebook art page:                                                                                                                             https://www.facebook.com/sherrierobinsart/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel 

Photos and Graphics can be purchased:                                                                                                     http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sherrie-robins.html?tab=artwork 

 

 

 

 

Victory ~ A Poem ~ By Sherrie Robins

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Written on National Poetry Day, October 8, 2015

I thought I heard a thought, I did

A pleasant moment, amongst, amid

The daily busy tasks at hand,

That conquer minds and heads upstand.

But silence forced its way on top

Stepping on the list, chop-chop.

It stopped my mouth and opened ears

Causing fears to flip and flop,

Making me to choose this day

To win o’er what I hear and say,

And meditate, a golden slice

For a second; no, maybe twice.

Subservient I will not be

To tasks and lists, varieties

Of all that push and pull my day

Trying to suggest dismay.

But quietly I bowed my head

And won, this silent moment,

Done.

When is a Weed a Weed? ~ An Allegorical Poem regarding weed-like folk ~

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Poem & Photography by Sherrie Robins

When is a weed, a weed?

When did it fall from grace?

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It’s beauty diminished in our eyes,

Unwanted and out of place.

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What are the naysayers saying?

Who has given them right?

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To judge wildflowers unjustly,

To call them ne’er but a blight.


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Surely, there’s bad weeds in the garden,

But it’s not always so easy to say,

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Directing one’s judgments correctly,

Knowing which way’s the right way.

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For beauty can be found in odd places,

Overlooked by the mere human eye,

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Joy waiting just there to surprise you,

Unexpected, but revealed, by and by.

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For some have come up from hard places,

Dark corners, reaching out for the sun.

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They’ve reached as far as they could grow,

Without help from anyone.

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Still, others have grown up together,

Just trying to do their fair best,

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There are those tattered and torn in their beauty,

Needing our help, and a rest.

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Not all flowers are nurtured,

Clipped, snipped, watered and fed,

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But sometimes a weed is a flower,

To be treasured and noticed, when led…

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(Photos taken along a walk to the Niagara Gorge, with the exception of the daisies, which are in the Berkshire Mountains, and the orchids, taken at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens.)

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Lessons I’m learning from my Cat Misha

Story, Artwork and Photo-editing by Sherrie Robins,  Various photos by the Robins Family

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Darling little Misha was an alley kitten, camped out behind my daughter’s house. One night, just before Christmas, Jennifer spied a sweet little white and orange face peeking up over a snowbank.

Now, the back story is that we had lost our long-time pal, Oreo, a few months previous, and I had been mourning his empty seat, next to mine. But I had a hubby who had had enough of Oreo’s last days and the sickness and mess associated with it. He was happy to be the proud owner of a cat-free zone and intended on keeping it that way.

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Our pal Oreo, sitting on our deck enjoying the sun. (With one of Mom’s paintings, Orange Cat, keeping him company.

Our daughter Jennifer (the make-it-happen child) brought me endless opportunities of golden-faced little ones, needing love. Poor helpless, homeless babies all calling out for me to be their Mom, tugging at my heart strings; oh my. But though she has a special way with her Father and could certainly sway him in her favor, I chose not to press the issue and opted to wait for just the right moment and just the right member of our family to present themselves to us. (And, not less importantly, for Daddy to be ready for her.)

Well, as I was saying, Jennifer saw this furry feline and snatched her up right quick, before either of them knew what was happening, and brought her in from the cold. “Dad…you know how Mom REALLY wants a cat. Well…” and the rest is history. Needless to say, we had a joyous Christmas with this darling little bundle of joy!

So, what lessons am I learning from our Misha?

1) Sometimes its good to wait for the ‘just-right-moment’. It isn’t always necessary to make things happen. Sometimes they just do.

2) I don’t always have to have my own way. I wanted that new cat, right now! But waiting for the right way, over my way only made things that much better.

3) Making other people follow our plans doesn’t necessarily work. Sometimes we just have to wait for them to be ready.

4) When the moment IS right, seize the day! Grab it and run. It may not last forever.

5) Following other people’s advice may not always work. Their good intentions are just that; good intentions. They want to see you happy. But they just may just need to wait too.

6) Praying about the little things can be just as important as praying about the big things. Being patient for the small things, works out the same muscles as being patient for the weighty moments of life.

7) Happiness, when waited for, can be that much sweeter because you remember what it was like before.

8) There’s always room at the table for one more.

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Now, a few lessons from the little girl, herself:

A) Be zesty. Don’t be an old fuddy-duddy just sitting around all the time. Play!

B) No one likes to be alone. When you can be a part of the group and they’re doing good stuff, do it!

C) Sometimes flies come along to spoil the ointment. Leap into the air and gobble them up!

D) Everybody needs their beauty rest.

E) Take time to make yourself pretty.

F) Keep your eyes and ears on alert because you never know what’s out there.

G) It’s good to nibble all day long and not to make a pig of yourself.

H) Practice makes perfect. (Did you see that flip I just did, catching that toy mouse?)

I don't like going to the Vetz!
I don’t like going to the Vetz!

I) I may not like the Vet, but the treatz are pretty good…

J) Learning can be fun.

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Misha ‘helping’ Sean with his computer work.

K) Know when it’s time to cuddle.

L) Love your peeps. They’ve got your back.

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Jennifer falling in love with her ‘prize’. 🙂

M) Be patent with people. They just might become your best-est friend.

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Our growing young lady, on Daddy’s lap…her biggest fan!