Do It Now!

Whether it’s crochet, knitting, gardening, painting, writing, sewing, whatever it is, grasp the good that comes from the hours spent in the making, and be proud for every moment spent! Such moments and their rewards are priceless!

Living a good life, that is what life is all about, or it should be. Because if we think about it, we are all on a ride, from birth to death, but no-one knows when or where that ride might end. There are people dying every single moment, all across the world, and while some of those deaths were expected, many weren’t.

If you leave things “for later”, you may never have the time to get them done, and you’ll be gone, never having completed one of those masterpieces of art or craft, you told yourself you’d do later, when you had the time. Make the time, and make it right now!

If something is important enough for you to consider doing, surely it deserves being done now, or as close to now as is possible. Putting things off, will never get them done, because other things will crop up, that in the moment seem more important than that creative thing you really want to do.

My creative thing is writing, poetry mostly, but other things too. I like to spend times out in the garden, where light pruning, and harvesting are my pleasant chores.

And certainly, with gardening, knowing the right moment is very important, whether it’s watering, replanting, pruning, or harvesting, if you don’t do it with Nature says it must be done, you may lose out! We have strawberries growing in hanging pots at the moment, and we have lots of birds in our garden too. These two things meant that if we didn’t do something about keep the birds away from any ripe strawberries, the birds would get them, not us!

So my husband and I bought some bird netting. And we left that netting in the back yard, and left it, and left it. Until the other day I had a moment to spare and I went outside with scissors and some rubber bands, snipped the lengths of bird netting for the hanging pots the strawberry plants are in, and covered the strawberries safely with the netting, done, safe from any hungry birds!

I can see the strawberries growing, safe behind the bird netting, and I’m glad I took that moment and got it done; I love home grown strawberries! I’m writing a novel at the moment too, and even though I’m not churning out thousands of new words a day, I’m doing at least 500 new words every day. A friend challenged me to send her 500 words from my novel every day in January, and I said yes, so that’s what I’m doing. I’ve missed out on a couple of days only, and will make up the missed words, by sending more than 500 words, on some days.

And once January is over, my friend and I will look at where the novel is, what needs to be done still, what isn’t working (perhaps), what stage the story is at, and so on. I could have said no, when my friend mentioned her idea, but I took the opportunity handed to me, and so my novel is moving along far quicker than it had been moving.

So a lesson learnt, if something needs to be done, don’t leave it for another time, which may never come, do it now! As Seneca once said, ‘To be born is to begin dying’. So yes, do it now, while you’re still here to do it!

“You Don’t Make Friends With Salad”

Those words came from the famous Homer Simpson, of the well known animated comedy The Simpsons. If you are a fan of the Simpsons, you probably remember the words and the episode they occurred in, and even if you’re not a fan, you may well have heard the phrase.

  • This is Lahde, a dear friend, now gone, and he sure liked salad!

I can’t remember Homer’s point, with this curious proclamation, and it’s not one I necessarily agree with. I can certainly imagine a friendship that could begin with salad. Friendships are curious things, that can happen when you meet someone, and just ‘click’, feeling that finally here is a person who ‘gets’ you.

Another famous person, the philosopher Seneca, over two thousand years ago, said this about friendship:
“Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve.”

I’d never heard or read this thought, until earlier today. I have been thinking about Facebook and friendship off and on for quite a long time, really. I have real ‘see often’ friends who are also Facebook friends, and I have ‘see often’ real friends who aren’t on Facebook. I have a ridiculously large number of Facebook Friends, some of whom I don’t even remember ‘Friending’ in the first place.

I delete these occasionally, when I am having clear out in the interest of hmm, I don’t know what. Greater clarity? I’m not sure. On Facebook, the majority of my not actually true friends, FB Friends, are usually writers, or friends of friends. With some of those friends, I keep them as Friends, for the former reason, as stated by Seneca. I associate with them. These are people who have interesting things to say, or who may help to make me a better person, in some way.

The concept of being able to ‘improve’ a person is a curious one, because I’m not sure knowing me will ‘improve’ all others, but I certainly welcome into my friendship group, people who are interested in the things I’m interested in, writing, mostly. I have many writing related friends, and I welcome these are real friends, on the basis that we can actually ‘improve’ each other through our ideas, and connections.

Seneca’s words seem very sterile to me, and word has it that the man was quite the party goer, so I wonder how much improving was going on? I have no way of really knowing that, without a lot more research. Anyway, I certainly know that true friendships are far from sterile things. I have many friends I care deeply about, and love to catch up with them for coffee, chats, and hugs!

Social media opens up the entire world of possible friends, and FB Friends, as well as those on Twitter we follow and who follow us. We may never meet many of these people, but we may both, be made better by knowing them, and we may improve them. This friendship thing is truly a mixed up thing, and as I’ve seen in the past, it can go very wrong, very quickly.

But true friendships, such as the one I have with my husband, who I consider as my second best friend, these kinds of deeply committed friendships can withstand much, and still stay strong. I have been married to my husband for 33 years, and we’ve seen each other at our best, and at our worst. We both realise the importance of give and take …

Why second best friend. you may wonder, why not best friend, if our relationship is so strong? Well this is another thing – I consider myself to be my best friend. I care deeply about myself, and my best interests are an important focus of my life. I definitely believe that loving and caring about yourself helps you to become the kind of person who attracts good and caring people to your friendship group.

And yes, dogs have been great friends to me too, over the years. The dog in the photo above, Lahde, is the big brother of our current dog, Missy. Sharing our lives with dogs can show us how open and honest friendships can be. Dogs will come to you for food, yes, but they are also happy to just hang out with you, sharing your days, with no pressure, just casual ‘hanging around’ the way your best human friends can too.

So that’s it – some of my thoughts about friends. They can be tricky, they can be global, they can be in your face, and they can go wrong, but a true friend is one of the best, if not the best, thing to have in the world! Treasure your friends, they are priceless!