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Christmas & New Year Thoughts

This has been a fine year for me, in terms of sharing my words in various ways, some quite different kinds of thoughts. This blog, for instance, which covers my thoughts regarding Stoicism, and how it applies to my life.

I have had no formal training in Stoicism (although I would certainly like to have such training). I have read one book about Stoicism, a book by Massimo Pigliucci, titled “How to be a Stoic”. I found much in this book that interested me, and have been working, ever since, to be a better Stoic.


It’s a work in progress, my Stoic life, but I find when I stay closest to Stoic ideas, I make better decision about important things. I no longer stress about anything really, because I realise there is so much in life that I can do nothing about, because they are for others to deal with.

And when I see something that is my responsibility, I try my hardest to deal with it, in the way that is best for me, for my loved ones, my community, and/or the whole, as appropriate. I can’t save everyone, from everything, but I can save some, from some things …

So this year is almost over, and tomorrow we will have the big day for the giving and receiving of gifts, with more to come the day after. Being with family is an important part of this process, being kind and thoughtful, and enjoying each other’s company.

Thoughts, and then acting on them in ways that bring good, these are the important to me, and even though I know I have flaws, I know I’m working on those flaws, and am becoming a better person, in some ways. I am a work in progress though, as we all are, and if I get things wrong at times, and find out about it, I try to mend things.

This isn’t always possible, but I take note of it, and try harder to be a good and virtuous person, using the wisdom I have, and trying to become ever wiser … I give to my community, I am honest, I try to be kind and friendly to all I meet, if and when I can. Life brings challenges, I try to meet them wisely, with my eye on the best result, in terms of good being done …

This has become my personal philosophy, and I know there are many other Stoics also working to be virtuous, working to make wise decisions, for the best of all, when and if they can … Will we one day help the whole world thing in the same way we do? Who knows, we can but try.

If you have any thoughts about any of my words here, please leave a comment, I would love to here how you feel about what I have written.


Times Spent With Nature

Spending time with Nature is one of my favoured things. And by ‘time with Nature’ I don’t necessarily mean time way out in the bush. I can simply go out of my door, front door or back door, and I can be with Nature.

There are trees, and birds, and the sky with or without clouds. And there’s the wind out there too, bringing more sounds, above the bird calls out there. Out of the back door, there are wind chimes, the wind seems to frolic through, and out of the front door we have big pine trees that the winds swoosh through at times, making it sound like there is an ocean up close to us, even though it isn’t near enough to hear, in reality.

There was supposed to be a New Holland Honeyeater in this pic, but I can’t see it now. They’ve certainly been in this bush previously. The tree is a bottle brush and it isn’t actually flowering at the moment.

This morning, I had a peaceful time out there, collecting things. My main collecting ‘thing’ was a list in my head of the different kinds of birds I saw or heard. I do this sometimes, not because I want to make a top ten list of birdwatchers of the world or anything like that, but simply because I like to do it.

I like birds, and they are one of my preferred parts of Nature. I didn’t know I would find this love of watching and listening birds when my husband and I moved from the suburbs to the country. But love of it, I certainly have, and while my list of birds isn’t record breaking, I am pleased with my number of around fifty different kinds of birds seen at or above my place, over the years.

I like the fact that I can spend ten to fifteen minutes outside and easily encounter at least five different kinds of birds, almost guaranteed. My birdwatching/listening foray this morning gave me more than five different birds, the list is:

Sparrows (lots), Swallows, Chickens (I can hear my neighbours’ Chickens when they get excited), Crested Pigeons, Spotted Turtle Doves, Black Faced Cuckoo Shrikes, New Holland Honeyeater, Starlings, Parrots of some kind. Then just now, back inside, I saw a Murray Magpie through the window into the front yard. Ten different kinds of birds.

That’s not a bad haul for a quiet morning of easy bird watching. I fossicking around out in the yard too, checking out and picking something to put into a ‘vase’ for decoration in the kitchen. I also looked at the vegetable plants we have growing in the backyard, and the flowering plants we have growing in hanging baskets on the back veranda.

These pleasant past times won’t make me rich in monetary terms, but they enrich my life, and a life enriched by simple things like this is surely a good life. When I am ‘out there’ I think on things like the way the different kinds of birds have their own place, and do their own things, living near each other, but living quite different lives, in many ways.

The birds eat different things – some are nectar lovers, some eat insects, some others dine on a variety of other things. They make the most of the bounty that is available, and if our place failed to give them what they need, they will move on.

There are some birds that are here only in certain times, others are always here. The Sparrows are certainly always here, living and breeding in our bushes and trees. It is late Winter now, and Spring is certainly in the air. I spotted a couple of Sparrows in the backyard this morning, who were obviously in a ‘Spring is Here’ kind of mood, if you get what I mean!

So I have had a pleasant morning, and am now having a light lunch, with a cup of my only ‘addiction’, coffee. I only indulge in moderate amounts of coffee, three cups a day, usually. My lunch is nuts and seeds, with some fried fruit, also only moderate amounts of each.

The view from my backyard, beautiful!

A moderate life, a good life of simple pleasures, and interesting ‘other things’, doing good when and if I can, this is my recipe to a good and Stoic life, and it is a life I am enjoying. Family connections, meeting up with friends, doing things for my community, these all bring my joy, and I am always grateful for these simple pleasures.

Having a life to be grateful for, that is a life for me, for sure!