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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!

Stoicism in Troubled Times

So it’s mid April, 2020, and life has suddenly become completely weird. The coronavirus has taken over our lives, and none of are living our lives completely as before, even if you are trying to. Being ‘locked in’ is far from a normal life.

Having a job may no longer be possible, and you may have lost your fob. or you may have a job, but have to work from home. Or you may, like me, be on a disability support pension and weren’t working, but services have been cut, and shopping has become far more difficult.

If you are a Stoic, or exploring the idea of becoming one, what might that mean, now that we are fighting against an unseen enemy? I am not an expert in Stoicism, and I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about it. But I know my own life, better than anyone else does, and I know how I try to ‘do’ Stoicism, in this new world we have right now.

For me, Stoicism feels like it was helping me to be at peace with this strange world. There is little I can do to cure this disease, nothing in fact. But it is well within my power to stay relatively safe from ‘getting it’. I am helped in this by my husband, who is also my carer, to assist me in various daily things, shopping, housework, etc. I stay safely home, while he goes out to keep ensure we have all we need to eat, remain clean etc.

If ever there was a time to grow your own food, surely now is that time. If one is able to provide for themselves, that is so much safer, as long as you aren’t affected by the Covid 19 virus. And if you are, but are not badly affected, staying home is the only thing to do, apart from seeking medical help as needed. And if your are worse affected, it’s to hospital for you, no doubt about it.

growing our own strawberries

There is little an ordinary person can do about this virus, and so trying to go beyond your abilities, is a senseless thing to try. And ignoring the word of experts, who know far more than others, well, that’s a path to stupidity, surely? The Stoic works at going what they are capable of doing, and affecting, and leaves alone the things they are not capable of doing.

That doesn’t mean not helping out, if something comes up, that you are in fact able to do, perhaps. Not being expert doesn’t mean you can do nothing. It just means you are wise to keep within your bounds of ability, not venturing too far beyond. Growing our own food? Yes we can do that, as proved by successes in previous seasons. Intubation of a patient suffering breathing problems? No, not within my abilities, so I wouldn’t go there, unless there was no other help, and I felt I could do it.

Knowing my own abilities, and understanding the extents of how far I may be capable of reaching, these are important. There are people who know about caring medically for others, and I am happy to leave such things in their hands. If I were to be in the position of being the only available person? Well, I’d give it a go, but understand (I hope) and forgive myself if what I managed wasn’t enough.

I haven’t thought a whole lot about such things previously, because they haven’t seemed important or necessary things. But in this new world, we can’t know everything that might happen, there are not lessons written down in stone, on how to deal with what is here. So I am staying at home, most of the time. I’m eating a nutritionally sound diet, as always, and I am now doing more exercise, to assist my body to do what it needs to do.

I’m exposed to lots of ‘news’ – some true, some perhaps not true. But I am keeping my mind open, and staying with what seems the most likely, and what is sensible and understandable. I’m not a medical person, but I have a doctor who I trust, I will do as he thinks best, when it melds with what I believe to be true. (Which is almost all of the time)

I step back, or try to, from things that seem wrong, or fake, or just plain silly, and I stick with likely, and true things, things that make sense to me. Sure there are moments when I am less than serious, and there may be things I could do for my good, or the good of others, but do nothing. I am human, and like most humans, I go wrong sometimes. Such is the nature of being ‘only human’.  Sometimes a little bit of humour makes things go better.

So these are a few of my thoughts about living with a ‘killer disease’, and trying to look at them Stoically. If you have some thoughts or ideas about any of what I have written, I’d love to know about it, please leave a message here. Thank you. Or if you have any more ideas about Stoicism, I’m always keen to expand my knowledge, and welcome those thoughts and words too. Thank you.

From Marcus Aurelius – A Thought

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”   Marcus Aurelius

I searched for and posted the thought above to a Facebook page of a friend. I like to find words that have relevance in the modern day, that have held onto the relevance they have held through the times since they were first spoken.
Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome two thousand years ago, and he was also a philosopher, using Stoic thought as his guide to the travails of life. He seems to have been a wise leader, and his wisdom is definitely still relevant to us in these modern times. He would consider his actions coming for each day, in the morning, and then in the evening, think of what the day had brought, and how he had acted.
Thinking on our lives in such Stoic Philosopher makes very much sense. There are so many options to take, and decisions to make, but in reality, when one considers the decisions with wisdom and thought, the end results, in keeping with Stoic thought, will be wise ones. Putting aside the myriad things that one cannot change, and that actually are not yours to decide on anyway, will clear space for you, cutting away the unnecessary and unneeded thought.
If it seems difficult to work against your natural inclinations, it may well be your brain trying to tell you the truth, it is not your business to act, so why are you working so hard to do something … Doing the best you can, for the things that truly are yours to decide upon, that is your Natural business, and those things are the important things for you to thnk on, and do.

A tree doesn’t try to make apple crumble, that is not natural for a tree to do, a tree though, an apple tree, will work at growing the apples that go toward making apple crumble. And an apple tree will grow those apples at the correct time. It will bloom in Spring, bees will pollinate the blossom, and then the fruit will grow and be ready to harvest at the appropriate time.
If you were to say you will make apple crumble next year, using your own home grown apples, but don’t do any of the necessary things every day, to actually grow apples, it will be nonsense. So yes, you may have had a thought about something you wish to do in the future, but there is work to do.
You also have to consider there may not be any fruit to use, even if you do actually plant an apple tree. And apple trees take time to go from just planted, to bearing fruit. Spending time studying how to grow your own apples, or asking those who know about such things are wise things to do, if that is something you wish to do.
So thinking of the future is never a guarantee that what you want will ever happen. If you use your reason, and do all of the things that need to be done, to have the things you want or need to live a good life, (with apple crumble if that is what makes for a good life for you), then your reason will help you to perform all of your necessary tasks.

apple apple tree apples branch
Photo by Tom Swinnen on

An Alphabet of Wisdom

This blog post is an Alphabet of Wisdom, based on some of my recent thoughts about my newly broken ankle. I have been doing a lot of sitting around and thinking lately. Getting up and about is quite difficult when unable to put any weight on one leg …


Ankles are more necessary than you might realise, value your ankles, for they important for your ability to move around.

Bones & broken – a painful pair of words, as I have recently realised!

Challenges are character building, in good ways or bad, always do your best!

Denial of truth is huge problem in the world, and while falsity continues to be wholeheartedly embraced, problems increase …

Ego – not a dirty word, unless there is no understanding …

Family and friends – nurture them, and you will always have help if and when you might need it.

Gratitude – if you can find at least one thing to be grateful for every day, it will help you have a happier life.

Heart – when you think about things with your heart as well as your head, you can make more meaningful decisions.

Inspiration is a wonderful thing in life, look for inspiration, be an inspiration, an inspired life is always the best life to live!

Justice – think on what is fair, what is right, and what is deserved. Punishment with no plan for rehabilitation is never going to make things better.

Kudos – always give people credit for the good things they have done, give the same to yourself, as & when appropriate.

Love can be the answer to finding your true purpose in life, and living in ways to meet that purpose should be what you aim for, always.

Mindfulness, a word, a way of life, an answer, perhaps THE answer, to ‘what it’s all about’.

‘Never’ is a huge word, & one to be wary of, because it doesn’t leave room for changes to happen, which may become necessary when circumstances change.

Open mind – if you can keep your mind open to all that occurs, considering multiple aspects, you will be able to make better decisions on all things in life.

Purpose is what keeps you headed in the best direction throughout life. Thinking and then acting on thoughts about your purpose in life is the best way to go.

Quality will always beat quantity, a little of the very best, is far better than more than you need, of mediocre things.

Rational ideas, and actions are what separates humans from animals. We think on things and consider them rationally and so can make the best decisions.

Sense – making sense of things is what we should try to do, and if we fail to do this, we will pay the price for our lapse.

Truth is better than a pretty lie, and truth is how you can maintain the inner core of your best possible self. Never lie to yourself, always consider truth as your base level.

Understanding will take you to where you want and need to be. Think on things and work toward gaining as much knowledge as possible, so that all things can move in the best direction for yourself, family & friends, your community & the world.

Verification of the words of others is important, that truth is known and understood, is vitally important, always.

Wisdom is when all possible things are taken into account, before action is taken, and acting with wisdom should be the preferred option, always.

X – exceptional results, exciting times, exceed expectations and thrive!

You are the agent of all! If you don’t take action yourself, and merely react to things that occur, you are on the periphery, the edges of life.

Zeal and zest – these are great ways to live your biggest and best possible life. Enthusiastically embracing all that life presents to you is the best way

Being Moral in an Immoral World

When you live in times that seem to you, to be going in very bad ways, morally, and you’re working hard to be a good stoic, what do you do? I’m going to look further into that, and report back.


OK, after some further reading, and thinking, I’m back again – So, Stoic thought has it that we are here, not to accumulate great wealth for ourselves, but to use our wealth to provide for ourselves and for others, family, community. So if you are a successful business person who has much and gives nothing, well Boo to you, you greedy person!

Also, further to the idea of possessions, Stoic thought has it that you would do well to appreciate what you already have, rather than to long for or even work toward more than you can ever need. Gratitude for your haves, will bring you a better life than yearning always for more and more have nots. 

Another important issue to always remember, is that it is not your role to live the lives of others, your own life is the only one you can, or should try to live. This is a concept that requires thought, lots of it, sometimes. As a parent, your role is to assist your child as much as you can, and this can mean teaching them good ways to live, be, do things. You are not making them live in a way they can’t or don’t want to live, just a way to also live a life that is in keeping with the four cardinal Virtues – wisdom, morality, courage, and moderation.

If each and every one of us looked to living our own lives with wisdom, morality, courage and moderation, there would be plenty of the good for us all, with none of us ever missing out on what we need to live good lives. Food, shelter, enough, and no more.

So, given this is not that world, or not yet, far from it actually, what are we to do? The way I see it, we are to do the very best we can, to make that world come into being. Start with ourselves, and our family, then extend what we do as far as we can, within our sphere of influence. We are here in this world, to better ourselves, surely? After all, otherwise what is the point of anything we do, it not that?

A Political Poem – Stoic, Or Not?

I’ve been pondering and wondering about Stoicism and Politics, and how or if the two can do good things, if joined with a poem. I don’t know the answer to this, and certainly would like input from others, poets, Stoics, politically minded people …

This is the poem:

Politician’s Free Speech? A Sonnet

Their words inspire bad ways, not good,

I wish to clench my ears to keep them out –

they sicken me, why listen? I know I should

cleanse my skin of them, scream and shout!

Though my pores refuse to let them in,

still the hate invades my troubled self.

To listen, to hear their filth, is it sin? 

I’m complicit – ghoul, not goodly elf,

for though I rightly say I don’t agree, 

what I do is clearly not enough –

the price we pay for democracy,

to be invaded by this vile stuff …

Unworthy lies portrayed as honesty –

the price we pay for speech is far from free.

Cloudy thoughts …

So, does this poem speak of politics, and hint perhaps at Stoic thoughts? I think on such matters at times, and would appreciate discussing it further. If you have thoughts on this too, please leave a comment, and we can discuss it further.

When We Die, We’re Gone

The Stoic life is a combination of wise words, and a slap in the face. How so, you might ask. Many people have written wise words about how to live the Stoic life, not more so perhaps that the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Marcus wrote much about his Stoic life, but he wasn’t writing to become famous for his words.

Marcus’s words were written to himself, as he went over his day, looking at the things he’d failed in, and how he would do better if faced by such things again. He was not writing for an audience, so he was writing the truth as it seemed to be to him.

The headline of this post is a thought of my own, and it relates to a thought I had today. I certainly don’t believe I am going to heaven when I die. When I die, that’s it, my life is over, and my mind and body will be finished. Whether others remember me after I die is irrelevant to me, because I won’t know, I’ll be dead.

Other people may have other ideas about such matters, and all I can say to that is, well, I don’t believe your thoughts to be true. I cannot see how or why there could be a God, or Heaven, or so no Hell either. I don’t do good things so I can get into Heaven, I do good things because that is the right thing to do, both for myself, and for others.

And if others do bad things to me? According to the Stoic thoughts, I should feel sorry for those people because they surely have something wrong with themselves, that they should do such bad things to another person. So forgive them, but do your best to not be harmed by that person again.

I have troubles with this line of thinking, but I realise the problem is more likely to be with me, than with the wise Roman ruler, and others of his ilk. I will go on thinking about such things, and work to gain understanding. I welcome the thoughts anyone else has regarding these matters, and I hope for greater understanding. Please leave a comment, if there is anything you can add to this!