Don’t Be An…

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If you’ve followed my blog for long or follow me on social media, then you know that I love a good inspirational quote. Put the quote on a picture of a beach or mountain, and that is like a little slice of motivational heaven. Today, I saw one of these pictures that summed a lot of what I have been thinking about the actions of people lately. It said “inspirational quote of the day don’t be an ass.” Frankly, I feel like that is the exact inspiration that a lot of people are needing these days.

Why is this needed inspiration? At it’s most simple form, it is because there are sects of society who have become too preoccupied with their own agendas to seem to care about how their agenda impacts others. So I’m going to present to you a series of question, and if you answer yes to any of them, I implore you to take some time to reflect on how it relates to the advice of “don’t be an ass.”

  1. Are there things you do in the name of “morality” that purposefully hurt other people?
  2. Do you almost hit people head on because you aren’t paying attention to which side of the road you’re on?
  3. Do you judge books by their covers so to speak?

I’m sure my list could go on and on, but I just wanted to include the ones that I’ve seen this week where I feel like “don’t be an ass” is appropriate advice. The first question on the list comes from all of the bills around the country aimed at hurting those in the LGBTQ+ and Drag Communities. Whether that is something you understand or not, purposefully hurting those communities through legislation is being an ass. Number two on the list comes from almost getting hit today by a goober who turned on the street we were on today and didn’t seem to notice they were on the wrong side of the road until I stopped to avoid them hitting us. If they had of hit us, then I’m pretty sure this mama would have been a total ass. I will be the first to admit that I’m not 100% perfect at following this advice. The last question comes from a general observation of how judgmental people can be. Spend five minutes scrolling through social media, and that will remind you of just how judgmental people can be especially when there is a keyboard and screen separating from whomever they are judging. In a nutshell, there’s the reasoning behind my list of questions and why I think “don’t be an ass” is such sound advice.

What is the best advice you’ve seen this week?


The Great Kaysby

23 Hours

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For 23 hours across the last two days, we were without electricity. The loss of electricity was due to windstorms unlike any I’ve ever experienced in our current home. At one point during the 8 hours of hurricane force winds, I thought our house sounded like it was going to explode or be ripped a part from the inside out. At some point in the first couple of hours, part of the roof ended up in the backyard. From all of this a lot of emotions have been experienced in the last 23 hours.

During the 23 hours, there were a couple of times when I was like, “Ugh…this is terrible.” For example, when I woke up at 5:40 in the morning to the smell of cat poo, I desperately wanted a cup of coffee. When I remembered you can’t have coffee with the power out, I was bummed for a minute. Likewise, when I needed to take a shower, I was like, “Ugh…this is going to be cold, but I have to go out in public and don’t want to be stinky.” Truly, I wasn’t actually stinky, but I’m not a fan of having to get dressed in clean clothes after sleeping without taking a shower. Thankfully my “Ugh Thoughts” were few and far between.

My thoughts that were not few and far between were the number of times I felt thankful and blessed in the last 23 hours. Throughout this time frame, our cell phones never ran out of battery, we had food to eat, and we were able to stay warm while sleeping under an extra layer of blankets. Additionally, the damage to our home was relatively minor. Plus, at all times we had other family members with electricity with whom we could have sought refuge if necessary. For a fun bonus feeling, I got to write and reflect in my journal by candlelight, and I got to read a book by flashlight like I used to do as a kid when I wanted to read after bedtime. I was such a rebel! We may have been in a crummy situation for 23 hours, but I am glad that I was able to keeping feeling thankful and blessed!

While I was able to continue feeling mostly positive during the 23 hours, I know there are others who were not able to feel that way. I want them to know that their feelings are also valid. Everyone is entitled to being able to process a situation how they need to work through it. I also want to share that my heart goes out to all of those who have been dealing with the issues associated with this swath of storms. My gratitude also goes out to those who have worked tirelessly to restore power, Internet, and telephones to those who experienced outages.


The Great Kaysby

The “Art” of the Matter

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Once again March is here, and I am in the middle of Tech Week for a show. Like usual during this week, I either find myself thinking about a better way I could have made a costume work or why I believe all children should have access to the Arts at early age. Just this morning I found myself thinking, “Why do so many people push their kids into athletics but not something related to the arts?” I am not a researcher, but as a life long fan of the arts (seriously, I played a sheep at age 5), I feel like the “art” of the matter is that people don’t see the benefits of involvement with the arts.

So what are the benefits? This can vary depending on the type of art form being utilized. To start, let’s talk about the theatre. First and foremost, being in the theatre teaches team work. Unless you’re starring in a one person show in which you also do all of the tech work, you have to work cooperatively with others to stage a successful production. A big component of this is strengthening communication and self advocacy skills. For example, if you’re in the cast, and you lose something, then you have to be able to ask the appropriate person for help. I can’t tell you how often I get asked “Where’s my x?” I’m always glad they ask so that they have something to wear on stage! Additionally, theatre promotes learning empathy (something that I believe is strongly missing in today’s society). Whenever you are playing a character, you have to find ways to understand their emotions and portray them in such a way that you can relate to the emotion. Empathy can also be developed just from watching a theatrical production as well. Obviously, given my 35 years of being in theatre, I feel very strongly about this one!

However, my strong feelings about everyone trying the arts doesn’t stop with theatre. I believe that learning to paint, creating collages, and using clay are essential to developing fine motor skills. Another way to work on fine motor skills? Playing a musical instrument! Learning a musical instrument and how to read music can also help with math skills. In elementary school, I always believed that fractions made sense because of knowing how to read music and understanding the number of beats associated with a given note. Along with teaching math, music can help with writing skills, emotional management, recalling memories, and much more. Seriously, look up all the ways music can be beneficial. One other thing worth looking is the health benefits associated with music and art therapy. If I can’t convince you to get the “art” of the matter, the research might be able to do so. Are you feeling ready to try being artsy yet?

Understand that I’m not trying to say sports don’t have a place. I played several of those while also being active in the arts. Likewise, I’m not trying to convince you to only pick the arts. However, if getting to the “art” of the matter could have a positive impact on life, why not at least give them – or encourage your kids to give them – a try?


The Great Kaysby

The Impact of One

Since attending Mass last night, I’ve been thinking about part of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans:  “just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all” (Romans 5:18). In the context of Christianity, this is an allusion to how one man’s negative action changed the world for the worse while one man’s positive action changed the world for the better. At first I reflected on how true this is per my beliefs and how in other religions one person has also had a massive impact on all of humanity. When thinking about this today, I started thinking about how frequently in history one person has made either a negative or positive impact on a portion of humanity.

Of course it was easy to think of singular people who have negatively impacted humanity. I immediately thought of Hitler who was directly linked to the start of World War II and the deaths of 6 million Jewish people. Negativity has stemmed from the impact of this one person for the last 90 years (the first Holocaust victims lost their lives in 1933). My next thought was of David Koresh, a cult leader, who did a number of unimaginable things to his followers and ultimately led many of them to their deaths in a fire in 1993. The losses were nowhere close to the scale of the Holocaust, but at age 9, this was the first time I remember seeing the news and thinking, “How can one person influence so many people? Why would people follow them?” Be they politicians, cult leaders, terrorists, criminals, etc there are many instances – more numerous than I can even fathom – where singular people have had a negative impact on humanity. In some respects, this can be downright discouraging.

However there is a light in the darkness! There are single people who have had major positive impacts on people around the world. My first thought was of Civil Rights leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Both of these men had major positive impacts on the Civil Rights movement. Then, I thought of Marie Curie. Her work with radium has been game changing in the medical field for over 100 years. Though her work ultimately cost her own life, it has saved millions of people. There are also people like Dolly Parton who are constantly positively impacting people by supporting literacy, medical research, and many other causes. When thinking of the positive impact of one person, we also have people like Henry Ford who developed the assembly line, and we have authors like Maya Angelou who impacted Civil Rights and Literature. Looking at the arts, there have been positive impacts by people like Lin Manuel Miranda. The list could go on and on!

My biggest takeaway from this reflection is simple. It can be easy to dwell on the negative impact of one person, but when you start to think about it, the positive impacts of one person occur frequently. What will your impact be?


The Great Kaysby

An Open Letter to Kate Winslet

This is outside my normal blog writing realm; however, I thoroughly enjoy writing fan mail. Along the same lines, I’m also too lazy to go buy an International stamp. Thus, I’m sharing this here even though I know that Ms Winslet will probably never in a million years see it.

Dear Kate Winslet,

A few nights ago, I went on a date with my husband to see the 25th Anniversary run of Titanic at the movie theater. When the movie was released 25 years ago, I saw it at the cinema five times. A part of that was because I had a huge crush on Leo DiCaprio. Fourteen year old me thought it was amazing that he was a hottie who also gave a damn about the environment even before it was trendy to do so. Just as big of a part of my going to see the movie so much was because before you brought Rose to life, I had never been able to see part of myself in an actress.

Growing up, I always saw myself as out of place physically. I had auburn hair that was far from a popular shade in the 90s, and I was heavy set compared to most of my peers (today, I realize that 155 at 5’7 truly wasn’t that heavy). To go with this, I’d always had a more round face and slightly chubby cheeks than most classmates. Prior to Titanic, I never could relate to anyone I saw in magazines, film, etc. However, from the time I saw your natural beauty and grace onscreen with similar features to mine, my outlook changed. Through seeing you, I discovered that I was also beautiful in my own way. Seeing you in the film also helped me realize that unique can be a lot more beautiful than the cookie cutter Barbie-like pretty that was so popular when I was growing up. Thanks for making a red head feel like part of the cool kids club!

In recent years, I’ve read that you feel like your performance in Titanic was embarrassing. Though it may not be your favorite, I am forever grateful that you chose to be in the film. Your choice began the journey for making me realize how powerful and beautiful a red head can be!


The Great Kaysby

The Answer Is Love

There have been several times this week when I have wanted to write, but I couldn’t quite find the words to do it without feeling as though my writing would seem confrontational. Confrontation is not my jam, so I decided not to write at those given times. Some of the things I wanted to write about were how everyone should never feel like they cannot achieve their goals. This thought pattern came after reading the book and watching the movie Dumplin’. At a another point in the week, I wanted to write about how any legislation that promotes discrimination – especially legislation that promotes discrimination against children – is wrong. However, I didn’t want to start a political debate because that really isn’t my style. Yesterday, I considered writing about self improvement as I realized that one of the areas I need to work on is remembering that I have two ears and a mouth because sometimes I need to just listen and not insert my two cents. As I reflected today on these various topics, I realized that while I do have opinions about these issues and know that I need to do more self-growth, what I really wanted to remind everyone is that the answer to life’s problems is love.

If everyone would speak more words of love and perform more actions based in love, then maybe we would see real lasting change. When everything is based on love, there isn’t room for discrimination. Likewise, in order to show love to others at the highest level possible, we have to love ourselves. I’m sure a lot of other positives could come from a little more love in the world! Thus, my conclusion for the week is that with all the hate fueled things happening in the world, I’m going to do my best to show others the goodness that can come from love.

My challenge to you is this:

  1. Work on learning to love who you are if this is a challenge. I know this is difficult, but I promise that it is worth it. Also, learning to love yourself is a life long journey, so don’t give up!
  2. Show those you love how much they mean to you. Don’t just say, “I love you.” Think about their Love Languages or Enneagram type and utilize that to show your love.
  3. Forgive those who have hurt you. Part of being able to love is to be able to forgive. Remember, just because you forgive someone that does not mean you have to associate with them. Likewise, forgiving does not mean that you forget. Forgiveness can be just as much – if not more so – for your personal healing than the person who wronged you.
  4. Be a light of love to others so that they might want to show love too.


The Great Kaysby

Library Love

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When I think about my childhood, I often find myself thinking about memories of the local public library. Some of my earliest memories are of attending Summer Reading and other programs such as pajama story hour with Mrs. Pickle. I also remember getting super excited as a kid when I could have my own library card and check out books in my name! Two of my favorites that I checked out over and over were Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Father’s Day by Steven Kroll. They were such big favorites of mine that Mr Kisby surprised me with them as gifts one year!

My love of libraries wasn’t contained to my local branch. Both of my grandmothers had libraries in their small towns, and I loved to go to those libraries too. In fact, my grandmother in Kansas lived across the street from the town librarian. I always thought that was so cool! Plus, since she knew the family, she’d let me check books out of their library while we were there visiting in the summer. This made me feel so special!

As I got older, libraries became a place to use the Internet and study. I never thought much about checking out books for probably fifteen years. Then one Saturday morning many years ago, Mr Kisby and I went to the local library for a morning date of checking out books. I thought it was so sweet! From this date, I became reacquainted with our local library. For the past several years, the library has become a staple in our lives. One of the things that I was most pleased to learn was that the library is no longer just about checking out books and using the Internet. Our library offers a plethora of classes, activities, and even movie and music checkouts for free! Bonus, the classes and activities are for literally all ages! I’ve also been amazed at how much they do for families including Book or Treat and Milk and Cookies with Santa. The first of which has been a hit with LilKsby, and the second of which has made him scream. They also always have games that you can play as a family and a puzzle that you can work on while relaxing!

So why am I talking about the library? Because February is National Library Lovers Month in the US! Libraries are a forgotten gem, and they need to be utilized so they won’t become a thing of the past! For more ideas on how to support your library, checkout this article: In the meantime, go visit your public library!


The Great Kaysby

The Broken Road

Photo Credit: The Great Kaysby

There’s a song by Rascal Flatts with the lyrics “This much I know is true/That God blessed the broken road/That led me to straight to you.” The song is aptly titled “Bless the Broken Road,” and though it came out a number of years ago, it has been in my head today. I saw a post from a Facebook connection (sometimes it seems weird to me to say Facebook friend when it is someone you knew years ago that you’re not really sure if you were friends or acquaintances with then much less now) reflecting on the journey of their life and how some of the must unexpected parts yield the biggest blessings. That post moved me because I felt like it was talking to me in that most of what I thought would be my future 22 years ago hasn’t been my path at all; however, I could not be more blessed and happy than I am today on this road.

When I look back on those days, I think of a person who just really wanted people to like her. At times I felt like I would do anything just to try and get/retain friends. As a smaller kid, I was always heavy set and far from the “pretty, popular type” which meant not always having a lot of people want to be around me. Looking back, I realize that this need for people to like me could occasionally come at the cost of hurting others. It was never intentional, and since I haven’t seen a lot of those people in a long number of years, I hope they have either forgotten or forgiven the wrongs I did to them. If they haven’t done either, then I get it. Sometimes I wasn’t the nicest way back in the day.

Thankfully, a long my journey through various roads, I have learned to like me for me. I’ve met a wonderful tribe of friends along the way thanks mostly to theatre, LARPing, teaching, and Mary Kay, and a long the journey I met an even more wonderful husband! I know that Mr Kisby is the absolute best husband in the world because he’s my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and so much more. I could keep going, but the lovey dovey overload might make you sick at your stomach. The best way to put it is we love each other and like each other. Mr Kisby is also the one who gave me the biggest blessings in the world: the baby in Heaven that taught me just how much I wanted to be a mom and the sweet little boy here on earth that calls me Mama. ❤️ As the boy and the husband lay asleep next to me, my heart could not be more filled with love and joy! Thank you God for leading me to them!

Personal growth aside, there are a lot of other parts of life that I never would have imagined 22+ years ago. You may not believe it, but at one point I wanted to be a lawyer. What can I say besides Clueless and Legally Blonde made it look glamorous? I would have been a terrible lawyer because I absolutely do not like conflict. In fact, having conflict with people has been know to make me so upset I get physically sick. Then, I started college with the intent of getting a double major in theatre and journalism with a minor in sociology. I ended up changing schools because I didn’t like the college and I missed home with all of my friends. That change led to a couple of business degrees and eventually a teaching degree. All of these led to job changes which saw me through various relationships and a lot of time LARPing (these I’m confident enough with who I am to admit publicly how nerdy I am). Each of those choices were little roads that also brought me to where I am today.

Today, I am on the best road I ever could have imagined! I absolutely love being wife and mama, and I am so thankful to be in a position where I am able to be home caring for them full time. Each day with them is an adventure, and as I am watching LilKsby grow and change, I feel like I’m also watching myself grow and change for the better each day! I love the person I am becoming, and I believe that allows me to love all of the important people in my life that much more!

I realize this is pretty deep for a Friday night, but I feel like turning 40 this year is going to be filled with a lot of similar reflective retrospection. I’m not one of those dreading 40. It’s actually quite the opposite. I feel like 40 is going to be fabulous! Since the broken road has led me to where I need to be, some of the greatest chapters are still to be written!


The Great Kaysby

39 Things Update

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If you have been following me for a while, then you know that back in May I published a blog about 39 things I want do while 39. Well, it is now January and the big birthday is getting closer every day. A lot of times right now I look at my list and start to panic because I am behind on my goals. However, this year I am very pleased with how my goals are going. So far I have…

  1. Rode a roller coaster – rode a super fun adult one at Dollywood and the kids one! I love wooden roller coasters!
  2. Rode a train – did this at Dollywood too! Really cool train ride up the mountain!
  3. Taken a vacation – I’ve been able to go on a few of them! Highly recommend making the trip to the America’s Historic Triangle!
  4. Hosted Sushimas – We hadn’t had this event with friends since 2019, and it was wonderful to get back together!
  5. Gone Kayaking – Nothing like the open water for relaxing, planning, and thinking!
  6. Played Pool – one of the best perks of our cabin in the Gatlinburg area! I hadn’t played pool with my parents in years.
  7. Gone to a Cave – Took our nephew to Mammoth Cave for the lantern tour. Highly recommend! Other recommendation? Don’t give the lantern to a teenager who will walk fast and leave you behind!
  8. Entered a Creative Competition – Entered the city Christmas tree competition! 12th place of 31 is not to shabby in my book!
  9. Made a Scrapbook of LilKsby’s 2021 and 2022 Calendars – put this in the category of things I previously never made time to complete!
  10. Completed LilKsby’s First Year Frame – Same as above!
  11. Saw Dr Strange 2 – Loved this movie! Then again, I was a HUGE fan of Wandavision!
  12. Saw Thor Love & Thunder – I laughed so much that I wanted to cry!
  13. Watched Young Sheldon Seasons 3 and 4 – Not as good as TBBT, but the supporting characters are a lot of fun!
  14. Watched Step By Step – I love seeing all the old TGIF shows again! Fun fact, Staci Keanan who played Dana is now a hot shot lawyer!
  15. Attended GenCon Online – Love gaming! Miss going in person!
  16. Gone to Gatlinburg – We made it to that area twice! The time we drove through Gatlinburg, we totally saw a bear crossing the street.
  17. Completed 5 Paintings – I’m so happy to have gotten back to the canvas!
  18. Saw the BSB DNA Tour (again LOL) – Almost 30 years and they are still amazing!
  19. Completed NANOWRIMO – I love writing, so this is always a fun challenge!
  20. Gone to a Winery – Shoutout to Forest Edge Winery for being fantastic!
  21. Gone to a Pumpkin Activity – We went to the Pumpkin Wagon, painted pumpkins, and carved pumpkins!
  22. Wrote 10 Fan Letters – As a kid, I loved writing fan mail! So I thought why not try it again? I wrote 10 letters and sent them. We will see if I get any responses!
  23. Gone to the State Fair – Worked it and went as a visitor!
  24. Got a Casey’s Taco Pizza – I’ve had two, and they are still the most tasty pizza on the planet!

Something you will notice from my list is that some of the goals were not on the initial list as some of the initial goals have been removed and replaced. I account this to changing circumstances in life and my priorities shifting. Once I switched over to Work from Home Mom life and homeschooling, I started realizing just how much I enjoy goals that can be completed at home. Along the same line, I also realized that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to be able to complete goals. Plus, as we grow as people, the things we want to do change. So even though I haven’t met all of my goals yet, I think I’ve already learned the most important lessons from 39 Things While 39: Your goals in life will change as you change, and this is an acceptable part of personal growth!

Stay tuned to see what all gets completed by my birthday!


The Great Kaysby

Paying It Forward

Now that the picture of the cute doggy has your attention, let’s talk about the concept of Paying It Forward. The idea behind this is that if you do something kind for someone, then they will do something kind, and the chain will never end until everyone has received and given an act of kindness. This theory became popular with the 2000 film titled Pay It Forward. The most frequent implementation of paying it forward seems to be done in drive thru lines. Many people love the idea of surprising the person behind them by paying for their meal, and many more people love scoring free food. However, I will be the first to say that I am not a fan of this method of paying it forward.

Now before you go thinking I’m mean and uncaring, hear me out. Just the other day, I was reading an article about a young man who was publicly shamed by restaurant employees for ending a “pay it forward drive thru chain”. The young man explained that while he was thankful someone else had paid for his meal, he could not afford to pay $45 for the entire car behind him. He added that he only had $15 which was going to buy his breakfast and get him through. My heart broke for this young man who has also now been shamed virally for breaking the chain. Frankly, I think he had every right to break the chain, and I think it was in direct opposition of the pay it forward concept to shame him. After all is it really showing kindness and compassion if you’re going to make people who don’t participate feel guilty or you guilt people into participating?

For me showing kindness and compassion are not things you do to get someone else to do the same things. You show them to care about other people. That said, here are some ideas on how to show kindness without buying food for the person behind you:

1. Call a school system and offer to pay off a family’s lunch charges.

2. Send money to a school doing a book fair so that those who can’t afford to shop get the opportunity to buy a book.

3. Volunteer! Help out at an animal shelter, homeless shelter, donation center, etc.

4. Deliver meals to senior citizens and/or those who are homebound.

5. Donate books to Little Libraries.

6. Donate food to blessing boxes.

7. Go and visit with people in a nursing home. If you have a skill, see if that skill could be used to bring them joy.

There are a lot of ways that you can show kindness without making others feel guilty because they can’t contribute. Plus, maybe more people would do random acts of kindness if they felt they were voluntary and not an obligation. I’d love to know which you prefer: random acts of kindness or the pay it forward model.


The Great Kaysby

What You Say and What You Hear

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In all of the years that I have been in my business and attending conferences to motivate and inspire, I have frequently heard a lot of words of motivation. One that I’ve heard a lot is “It’s not what is taught; it’s what is caught.” Another saying that I’ve heard a lot is “What you think about you bring about.” When hearing these at conferences, I knew that they were accurate. However, it wasn’t until I started paying attention to what my own child was saying that I realized just how much what you say will become what you hear.

If you have a child of your own, are close with a friend’s child, or have relatives that you’ve witnessed grow through the toddler years, then you know that children pick up on the things you say. Usually you learn this the first time your kid drops something and says, “Shit.” Maybe it was the first time you called someone a “Dumbass” when they cut you off in traffic, and from the backseat you heard, “Dumbass.” While these things make you giggle (because you know we’re all secretly 7 some days), you know that you have to make a change so that your child will not think that it is acceptable to be three and cuss like a sailor. Even though this change can be hard to make, most of us are willing to do it or start using alternative codes for the betterment of our children.

But what about those words and phrases that we don’t think about that are causing our children to have negative thoughts? I started thinking about this one a lot lately with how much LilKsby has been saying “I’m scared” or “I’m afraid” when starting a sentence. He will apply it to things he’s completely not afraid of like “I’m scared of the garage.” He’s not the least bit scared of the garage, but I’ve realized how often he hears those phrases. Because of how much he hears them, he seems to just think that is how you start a sentence even though the emotion doesn’t apply. I caught myself today saying, “I’m afraid it’s going to be moldy” while washing dishes with LilKsby. I immediately corrected myself and told him that “I’m afraid” was the wrong phrase to use and that I should have said “I think.” Really, I could have cared less if the peanut butter jar full of water had become moldy. If it was moldy, I already knew that I would just throw it in the trash and recycle next time. Also, I’m not afraid of a moldy jar. Yet there I was making a hypothesis yet making it sound like I was scared of a jar. Instances like this make me realize just how much I need to be careful with my speech around a toddler in formative years.

With LilKsby being in his formative years, I am always fascinated by how much I am learning from him. I’m starting to think one of the greatest things about having a toddler is the life lessons that I am learning to make myself a better person. Am I perfect? Far from it! Are my words always the ones I want to hear repeated back to me? That is a HUGE work in progress! But I know that I’m doing something right when he tells people, “Thank you, have a blessed day!”


The Great Kaysby


Does this picture bring you joy? If you’re a cat person like me or just a fan of chunky orange kitties, then the answer is yes. Let’s say you aren’t a cat person (hard for me to understand, but we’re all different). What kind of photo would bring you joy? Is it a photo if the beach? Maybe a photo of a favorite childhood place? As you’re thinking about the photo, start thinking about the emotions that it brings you. Are you smiling to yourself as you think about it?

Little exercises like this are one of the simplest ways to remind yourself of the things that bring you joy. Another good exercise? Making a list of all the things that bring you joy. Writing out a list can remind you of things you forgot that you loved. It may even remind you that you just love to make lists! I’m sure someone reading this is like, “Making lists is fun? What? No.” Then there are people like me going, “YES! I love making lists! Can I check things off the list too?”

There are tons of other exercises out there for feeling joy. Also, I’m by no means an expert. After a joy filled night, I just felt like sharing a little advice for finding your joy. What is your favorite way to find joy?


The Great Kaysby

Motivation Monday

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I started writing about the topic below during a five minute free write and decided to expand on it.

CS Lewis once said, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” Personally, I like this quote. As someone who has missed a lot of goals, I feel like this quote give me hope. From this quote, I know that I can “reset” so to speak and still reach goals. For example, I spent several days of 2023 eating well (yes, I realize we are only 9 days into the year). Today, I had McDonalds twice. This doesn’t mean I’m going to always eat badly. I can start again tomorrow and still achieve desired weight loss. (End free write portion.)

Who else can relate to already having slacked a little on one of their goals? I don’t know how many readers are raising their hands, but I’m here to tell you that it is okay if you’ve already experienced bumps in the road. One of the greatest lessons we can get from goal setting is learning to overcome obstacles. Learning to overcome obstacles is a key in life as it teaches us perseverance and bounce back ability. Overcoming obstacles also teaches us that sometimes we have to be okay with losing. Learning to be okay with losing helps us to keep going and striving for the end in the long run. I’ve long said that the “Everyone gets a trophy mentality” is detrimental to learning how to cope and move forward. Judging by the quote, I’m guessing CS Lewis felt the same way!

So if you are struggling with your goals, take this as your Monday Motivation and get back on the proverbial horse! You can do it! I believe in you!


The Great Kaysby

Your Gifts

When my uncle passed away unexpectedly in 2012, the medical staff asked if we wanted to donate his organs. We said yes, but we weren’t sure they would be able to use any of them. He had passed from a second massive heart attack and had been on dialysis treatments for more years than I can recall, had lost toes and was mostly blind from complications of diabetes. We were rather sure they wouldn’t be able to use anything. Sometime later my dad received a note saying that my uncle’s corneas had been transplanted. We were all astonished that a blind man had been able to give another person sight! What an amazing gift!

For some reason I started thinking of this today, and it reminded me that we all have gifts that can unexpectedly help others. These gifts could be natural talents that we use to entertain and bring smiles or make clothes to give to those in need. The gift could also be time. It could be as simple as spending time with a loved one or as dedicated as volunteering each week with a given organization. Perhaps the best gift is the gift of listening. When you truly listen to someone, you can hear what they are really saying. What’s the old saying? You have two ears and one mouth for a reason! There are so many gifts that can unexpectedly bless people. What gifts do you possess that could be an unexpected blessing?


The Great Kaysby 

The Healing of Love

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

Once again I am writing this as I reflect on a portion of Coursera class that I’m taking. At this moment, I am watching a video (it is paused for reflection) with Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann about love as viewed through Judaism. One of the points of reflection was this: think about how love replenishes where as anger and outrage diminish. What a true sentiment!

Think about it. When people feel anger and fits of outrage, how are they often left? I know for me that while in the moment a fit of anger might make me feel better, in the long run anger and outrage make me feel depleted of energy and wanting to avoid human interaction. In our modern technology and social media driven society, anger even makes me want to avoid interaction via social media. Frankly, I’m glad that I’m not an overly angry person because I feel like that would be mentally and physically exhausting.

Love on the other hand, I could express love all day! Expressions of love fill my cup so to speak. When something is done in love, it brings the biggest smile to my face! It also empowers and makes me want to do more. There is something super energizing about love. I also love the feeling associated with altruistic love that comes with doing activities that lead to making the world a better place. I could talk all day about the goodness that comes from love, but I think the summation of it would be this: love keeps us going! Love gives us life!

What do you think about love?


The Great Kaysby