Category Archives: Self Help

Dare to Grow!

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”?

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:                                                                                                                         

and her Facebook art page:                                                                                                                    

Photos and Graphics can be purchased:                                                                                            






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


Poem & Photography by Sherrie Robins

When is a weed, a weed?

When did it fall from grace?


It’s beauty diminished in our eyes,

Unwanted and out of place.


What are the naysayers saying?

Who has given them right?


To judge wildflowers unjustly,

To call them ne’er but a blight.


Surely, there’s bad weeds in the garden,

But it’s not always so easy to say,


Directing one’s judgments correctly,

Knowing which way’s the right way.


For beauty can be found in odd places,

Overlooked by the mere human eye,


Joy waiting just there to surprise you,

Unexpected, but revealed, by and by.


For some have come up from hard places,

Dark corners, reaching out for the sun.


They’ve reached as far as they could grow,

Without help from anyone.


Still, others have grown up together,

Just trying to do their fair best,


There are those tattered and torn in their beauty,

Needing our help, and a rest.


Not all flowers are nurtured,

Clipped, snipped, watered and fed,


But sometimes a weed is a flower,

To be treasured and noticed, when led…


(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.)


Lessons I’m learning from my Cat Misha

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


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.

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.


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.

Misha ‘helping’ Sean with his computer work.

K) Know when it’s time to cuddle.

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

Jennifer falling in love with her ‘prize’. 🙂

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

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

Poisoned Pens ~ Poised against the Paradigm ~ A Poem

At the National Aquarium

Poetry and Photography by Sherrie Robins (Please allow for three *words.)

Poisoned Pen.

Noxious Fingers.

Harbingers of *Hackamores, you Sour-faced Children of the *Habitudes.

Why all the angst and self-perceived *percipience, you of the fine-toothed comb?

The stony-hearted throwing stones. Smacking the rock, making bitter the waters.

It’s amazing anyone reads your diatribes. That there are those who enjoy inhaling the fumes, breathing deeply to become one with toxicity, assuming superior airs.

When all the while their own closets overflow…

Excuse my simplicity, my naivety, my flabbergasted, gobsmacked insolence. But haven’t we been around that mountain before? Will we never learn?

I say pass the bread. The wine. Wash the gnarly feet.

Stand in awe of the glory and reach out to bind the broken. 

Bend over backwards to see the good.

Wear the glasses dyed and blinded to all but love and hope and grace.

We are a thirsty folk.

Find the voices of the waters-sweet, in a dry and barren land, and run to them, run to them my friends! 

*Hackamore: rope or canvas headgear for a horse, with a rope for leading.

*Habitudes: habitual mode of behavior.

*Percipience: Having the power of perceiving, especially perceiving keenly and readily.


Everyday Gymnastics ~ was this a day merely of interruptions, or was there something more?

My talented nephew's photo. For more information, contact me.
My talented nephew’s photo. For more information, contact lessonsinperspective.

Photography and Writing by Sherrie Robins

(with the exception of the first photo)

My feet hit the ground running today. You might say it started out on a springboard.  I’m really not that kind of person. Ask anyone who knows me. But we were out of half and half. My son was supposed to remember to pick it up at the store he works in, but he didn’t. AND if there is anything I can’t stand it’s black coffee…or even coffee with no creamer. A great motivator to get out the door to buy some groceries in the morning…before coffee…before breakfast…before a shower…or even makeup!

*Bunny trail: No makeup. Allergies. Puffy face. Hope I don’t meet anyone I know!

But as I was about to grab my purse, an old friend messaged me in Facebook: “Do you have a moment? I’m having a bad day, can you say a prayer?” So a coffee-less, makeup-less prayer was sent out into cyber-space, through private messages.

I look around at my messy kitchen, wondering how to put the groceries away in this disarray of a day.

Arriving at the store, in my own blurry world, I became aware of a shopping ‘companion’. We encounter several near misses, this stranger and I, and I thought to myself that she seemed to be a bit dour. But I made a conscious choice not to pre-judge her. As we were leaving, I commented about something or other to her, and next thing we knew we were engrossed in a conversation. I am so glad I’d given her the benefit of the doubt. Glad not to have missed this opportunity to learn alessoninperspective.

She shared her story with me; that of a bad accident, a severed foot and ankle, predictions of gloom and the loss of a leg, Of her beating the odds to walk again, now nineteen years later still proving her point. I was awed and fascinated by this elderly survivor/warrior woman behind the shopping cart.


Arriving back home, anxious for that caffeine intake, the phone rang; a cousin who just needed to chat. Ah well, the coffee could wait. It’s probably best to sip on that lemon water, for these allergies, anyway…and then it rang again, while I was on; a favorite friend. So went the day. A bit of work here, an unexpected interruption there.

It came to mind how this has been a time of quick adjustments and flexibility for me. A former neighbor and wonderful friend who’d moved to Florida popped in to see me on the weekend. What a glorious surprise! Our son and another nephew have concocted business plans which include our home and grocery list. My precious daughter is getting married this summer, and a favorite nephew two weeks earlier. Lately I seem to have to be prepared and ready at a moment’s notice.

Googling the word ‘gymnastics’ the definition read: “exercises developing or displaying physical agility and coordination.” Can that apply to one’s everyday life as well?

Later, I reopened Facebook to see my old friend had written me back to thank me. She asked what my favorite flower was. You see, she’s planting a ‘garden of friends‘. A favorite flower from each so that when she walks in it, she can remember us, and send up a prayer, by name. “Do you have a favorite, Sherrie?”


So while I’m thinking of which flower to choose, and what to make for supper, I’m also thinking of what a glorious day I’ve been having. How grateful I am for Doctors with their miraculous hands. For cousins who live a million miles away, but can call on a whim and a whistle. For lemon water to assuage allergic reactions. For friends who have prayer gardens and want to plant my favorite flower in it. For friends who call or write, want to talk and need me. For an active family that I’m a part of.


There are other days that are quiet and boring and times I don’t feel so very vital. I need to be able to be flexibly adjustable and prepared for those as well. There are also days when I’ll have to say no to ‘interruptions’. But perhaps today’s interruptions were the point of the day, after all.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. The phone just rang. Someone is having a terrible day at work and I haven’t made dinner yet… another arabesque is all in a day