TMG Philosophy: Inspiration

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration, whether from images, gestures, or words. Sometimes we need quite a bit! Recently, I’ve been looking at readings and favorite quotes for some much needed comfort and inspiration. Part of the reason I journal is for just such a reason as this.  I thought I’d share some of those I’ve collected, and those that jumped out at me today. It occurred to me that some of these personify our TMG Philosophy perfectly!    


Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. – Sam Ewing
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

“I think that to find meanings, you have to look at things from different directions.” – Bev Doolittle

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ― Walt Disney Company

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

“Although I make mistakes, I am not a mistake.” – Anonymous

“We become brave by doing brave acts.” – Aristotle

“People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.” – Anonymous

“A picture is a poem without words.” – Horace

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” ― Gloria Steinem

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RSWL: Family Dinners

Okay, this may be a stretch for a Random Stuff We Like entry, and may even be borderline TMG Philosphy.  I’m going to do it here, today, anyway.  

We recently celebrated a birthday dinner with my husband’s family, and then, of course, we were with family for Mother’s Day.   As I reflected on each of these dinners, I started to think about how special these family dinners are.   They may even be endangered. 

I’m not talking about nightly meals with those in our home.  I mean the dinners that bring members of your extended family together.  Though the occasion and participants vary, my husband and I have the opportunity to gather in this way at least once a month, if not more.  Whether it is his family, my family or both combined, we can count on these gatherings.   In our hectic and crazy busy lives, sometimes this opportunity feels like a chore, a burden.  However, I always get something out of the interactions, and am grateful that my children are now getting the chance to experience these family meals.  

We don’t just eat and leave.  We sit.  We talk.  We work together, cook together, laugh and sometimes cry together.  We even fight together for that occasional family drama encounter. Here, smart phones, tablets, television and social media don’t exist.  Here, we practice the art of conversation.  We ask questions, we listen.  With all the attention-sucking, hypnotizing gadgets being crammed down our throats, it is nice to sit around a table, practice our manners, argue over the last biscuit, and laugh at the same jokes over and over.  Here, family tales grow bigger.  Here, legends are told.  Here memories are made. 

A Family Dinner

A Family Dinner

Invariably, pictures are taken, capturing mouthfuls of food, children picking noses, parents yawning, awkward glances and hearty laughter.   These snapshots of time become a record of our family growing together.  These snapshots are shared with those loved ones not with us.   These snapshots capture time to be passed down to the next generations. 

Maybe, just maybe, these gatherings full of home-cooked food and love offer a reprieve from the rush of everyday life.  They might serve to offer extra support and love to family members that are hurting, or encouragement to those in need. Rituals are shared and taught.   New boyfriends or girlfriends are introduced and embarrassed, announcements are made, and identities are formed.  

In sharing our joys, stories, jokes, trials, frustrations, and even recipes, we share parts of ourselves with each other and deepen our roots.  That’s what makes family dinners and gatherings one of those things we love.  What’s for dinner? 

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TMG Philosophy: Discipline

Not to sound like a broken record, but once again I’m going to parallel life to Nate, our 19-month old boy, with TMG Philosophy!  As a relatively new parent, I am learning so much about life and myself by raising our son!  Especially when it comes to discipline

Discipline gets a bad rap.  It just does.  You bring up discipline in a conversation and most people assume you are referencing punishment.  When I talk about having discipline in my toddler son’s daily routine, people raise one eyebrow, look at me sympathetically and say, not ask, “Oh, he gets in trouble a lot does he.”  Ummm…negative Ghostrider.   In fact, discipline keeps him out of trouble and daily crisis for the most part.  And me.   The way I see it, discipline involves what could be seen as a consequence to a choice made.  A cause and effect.   I guess this is what most people would call punishment.   Discipline also has rewards then.   A positive outcome for a choice made.  In a moment of no self-discipline, when I choose to take 10 times (instead of 3) to tell Nate to stop something that isn’t acceptable, I usually get a category 6 tantrum (his, not mine) and a resistant, boundary-testing boy for the rest of the day.   When Nate chooses to throw his cars at his baby sister over and over, he knows he has to put the cars away.   When he chooses to stop throwing  after I ask him to,  he gets to keep playing with them, and then usually moves onto something else fun. 

In our home, we think discipline is a virtue that brings out the good and shows the strength within, no matter what age or who you are.  We know it takes consistency and respect for physical, emotional and spiritual guidelines.  We know that without these guidelines, we may survive in life, but we most definitely won’t thrive.  And that just isn’t okay.  Of course, this doesn’t mean our lives are all unicorns and rainbows all the time.  It’s hard.  It takes effort.  It takes commitment.  It means we have to discipline ourselves just as often as we do our son.   There are failed attempts.  Many.  But in those moments of success, we have such contentment, and we learn and we grow.  We grow as individuals, as partners, and as a family.   We learn a little bit more about who we are and who we do (or do not) want to become.  I think that makes discipline pretty cool. 

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