Monday, March 29, 2010

Signing Off With Love

Blogging has been so much fun for the past year. I started last spring on March 31,2009, so it has actually been just about a year. My blog has taken many twists and turns this year, as have I. I thank you all for wandering with me.

I'm not bringing my best to my blog writing any more. True to form, I am ready to move on. My current interests are depicted in the photos below.

The Ones I Love The Most

My Mom At Almost 90

My Drawing

Learning To Paint !

Most Of All, My Sweet Man

Thank you all for being a part of my family this past year.  I've truly looked forward to visiting your blogs, reading your stories, your poems, seeing pictures of your families, and riding the ups and downs of life with you.  I've treasured your comments like you can only imagine.  It has felt like my little contribution to "world peace" by connecting with readers and bloggers all over the world...seeing how much we are alike and how little we are different.  I believe we are truly all One and that our Oneness is the Spirit of God flowing through us as our very breath. 

Take care.  Enjoy the day.  Enjoy your life!  See you on Facebook perhaps?

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bullying Is Just Not Right

The Today Show is talking about bullying this morning.  I guess, unfortunately, bullying has been around since the beginning of mankind.  Was Jesus bullied?   Well, those who eventually put him to death.  He was bullied and mocked all the way to Golgatha where he was crucified.  So is it human nature to be cruel to those 'we don't like'?

Maybe it is a natural response at the most basal level of human nature but once a person has any level of real enlightenment, or awareness, it is not a part of their nature. 

Children live what they learn.  Never a truer statement has been written...most of the time.  Hey, we human beings are not black or white.  We all have a little grey...and isn't that a good thing.  Except when it comes to bullying.

I hear repeatedly that schools 'do nothing' to stop bullying.  That schools 'allow' bullying to take place.  It does make good fodder for talk shows and political debates but, not true, according to me.  More like "Zero Tolerance"!  You know...just like for weapons.  The difference is you can see a gun.  It is tangible.  If anyone reports the presence of a gun in a school, it is immediately the first priority of the administration.  Bullying,, however, IF it even gets reported, is intangible.  You can't always see it or hear it.  Sometimes you can chase down a text but can you imagine the losing battle you are fighting with a thousand cell phones in a school?

Much bullying goes unreported for fear that it will get worse "if I tell".  We've all felt that way before in some way, shape or form.  What to do?

Teach your child to tell.  To tell his teacher, his counselor, you.  Let the child handle it first on his own if it is age appropriate.  It builds his esteem and power to handle it if he can.  Have I had to handle this as a teacher?  You bet I have.  Once a student actually bullied ME!  His teacher!  Once.  After explaining to him in no uncertain terms that he was breaking the law and I could charge him in a heartbeat, and I would, he cowered away.

When I was a very young teacher, I saw bullying one time and I let it go.  It stills haunts me.  I apologized later to the student and tried to restore his dignity.  That was 30 years ago.  Teachers were untrained in how to handle bullying back then.  Now the training is intense.  I am glad to say that I've conducted those trainings atone for my lack of backbone way back when.  And to make sure my peer teachers knew what to do.

Don't blame the schools.  Support them.  Your words are powerful.  Not just when bullying but when spouting off to a neighbor about your neighborhood school or writing a letter to the editor.  Let your words be supportive, not destructive. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How Do You Comfort Yourself?

Friday I spent visiting my mother.  When I got ready to leave Friday night I realized it wasn't the thing to do so I spent the night.  Good days and bad...and this one wasn't good.  Mother would be the first to agree with me.  Nearly-90 is a struggle for her and every now and then she just gets fed up with it and wants to throw in the towel.  It's just not an easy time.

My strategy has always been to treat mother as I always have...with dignity and as if she were still 65.  We go out to lunch, take a drive, or run a few errands.  I don't think I realized how tired she gets.  I feel like I am doing her a favor to keep our relationship as much like it has always been as possible.  I think it would be doing her a disservice to behave as if she were an invalid.  Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe I push too hard.

I left Saturday morning to drive home.  Mother's 'caretaker' and friend was with her so I knew she was in good hands.  My drive is about an hour and 15 minutes.  After about 20 minutes, I told myself I needed a Coke to stay alert and focused.  In the drive-through at MacDonalds I told myself I needed a hamburger too.  It was too early to serve lunch so I settled for an Apple Pie.  I have not eaten an Apple Pie from MacDonalds in years.  I don't eat fast food!!!  But this day, I ate two pies!  I don't know why they put two in the bag but since they did, I just ate them both!

I've started doing this fast food snacking on my weekly trips down and back.  I always have an excuse.  Sometimes I'm sleepy, sometimes bored...or so I tell myself.

What I realized, however, is that this has become a way that I comfort myself.  I was no more hungry when I ate the first apple pie than the man in the moon.  The second one??? Please.  What are you thinking!?!

It's just what people mean by comfort food.  When you feel stressed you probably reach for something.  Do you?  Maybe it's unwanted and unneeded food, like I did.  Maybe you reach for a drink.  Lots of people do.  Some reach for drugs.  Even the most spiritually centered and grounded among us have those moments of looking for self nurture.  I think I realized that more this weekend than I ever have before.

The eating trend of the day only went downhill when I got home!  You wouldn't think it could get any worse but it did.  Today I was better, lunch was a nice healthy home made vegetable soup, green salad and fruit. 

Mother is far too strong, even now, to engage in these behaviors of comforting herself but I wonder if it would help her if she did once in awhile.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where Did That Hour Go?

It seems like gaining or losing an hour in the fall and spring really shouldn't make much difference since it evens out in the end.  For me, though, this week has been the laziest I've had in a long time.  Since I don't want to take responsibility (LOL), I've decided to blame it on the time change.

Don't we all just love it in the Fall of the year when we gain an hour?  I've always wanted more hours in the day and that's the only way I've found to get it....just that one hour, that one day.  And then, darn it, we have to give it back in the spring.  I miss that hour!  'They've' been taking out of my sleep time!  I don't like that.

All kidding aside, I guess Spring is truly almost officially here.  March 21 is THE day spring arrives but I am celebrating early.  I didn't celebrate St. Paddy's Day this year....just didn't speak to me so I am due a celebration!  How about you?  You can even take two if you want.

My yard is teetering on the edge of taking a chance and blooming forth with the possibility of another freeze lurking out there somewhere.  Little blooms are peeking out.  Nothing to brag about.  So far, only my Forsythia is 'all out'.  It will only get better from here!  The show is coming soon!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

When's The Last Time You Danced All Night?

Dancing is a blast!!!  My husband would rather be stung by 100 bees than have to go dancing.  I mean he will occasionally participate in the obligatory slow dance but really have fun dancing???  I don't think so.  It's been an issue in our marriage from time to time because I hated missing out.  But no more!

Now I have that problem solved!  I'll slow dance with him, and love it, whenever he's up for it, but twice a week I get to really dance my heart out.   My gym has the greatest Zumba teachers and my class just rocks.  We have so much fun dancing til we are soaking wet and about to collapse from exhaustion.  The music is the best with a beat that really gets you going.

Our Friday night dance was a fundraiser for CCFA, the Crohns and Colitis Foundation.  We raised $750 and had the best time doing it.  In the fall we danced for Breast Cancer.  I'll raise funds that way any day of the week! If you haven't tried it, go find a class somewhere and jump in!  You'll have fun, make new friends, and burn a ton of calories too!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Do You Lie To Yourself?

"If it is necessary sometimes to lie to others
it is always despicable to lie to oneself."

Somerset Maugham from The Painted Veil (1925).

What do you think?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We Won The Lottery!

The Lottery!  I remember when it first came to my state.  There was so much debate about the merits versus the moral decay it would bring.  Letters to the Editor were written. Hotly debated issue. It was a biggie. 

Today's style of debate takes on a different flavor.  Formerly it was considered rude, actually it was rude, to talk over someone, to ignore them, to talk louder.  Things have certainly changed, haven't they?  All the news stations like to bring us opposing views, even if the network is skewed left or right.  They all love top ratings.  To survive the TV business, I guess top ratings are a must.   An argument between two people makes you turn and listen.  You don't really want to, but you do.  If you are in a store, a restaurant, at work, turn and listen, probably judge a little, take sides, and gossip about what you have heard.  Given this human condition, the networks are taking full advantage. 

No longer is there a polite debate.  It is more like a shouting match, a hollering contest to see who can be the loudest.  It seems to be more about loud, drowning out the opposite point of view than anything else.  If we can't even hear opponents speak, no one has to defend any of their talking points.  Logical thinking, consideration, respect?  Out the window.  Just yell what you think and people will take note, catch your name...more out of 'shock and awe' than any real interest.  The TV hosts love it though.  They allow it with only mild attempts to quiet the situation.

Oh well.  I digress.  The Lottery.  We won....$3.  I say it's better than nothing.  It is just a game after all.  Odds are so against you winning you would, logically speaking, never purchase a ticket but once in a blue moon it's fun.  In my previous neighborhood we had two real winners.  One family won $10,000 and another, right up the street, won hundreds of thousands of dollars.  That makes the odds against us even greater.  Just a fun diverson.  $3 will buy a gallon of gas....barely!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

You See What You Want To See

When I was hoping to become pregnant, back in the day, it seemed that everywhere I went...the mall, church, travel...everyone was pregnant!  Once I became pregnant, same thing.  Pregnant ladies were everywhere!  Were they there all along and I just didn't notice them?

What I am noticing these days is how many people have difficulty walking.  Walking!  Something I have taken for granted my whole life!  My mom has almost lost this ability.  She has lost it for all practical purposes.  We don't know why.  A combination of a broken leg and a broken hip, though both well-healed, plus atrophy from using those parts less and less, plus some arthritis, plus fear of falling, and on and on.  I think it is what is called "old age" for many.  So the doctor says anyway.  Even Emory can come up with no better answer.  At least there is no pain.

Now, when I go out, I am aware of how many people either walk with what is called a "disturbed gait".  For so many reasons, people of all ages have impairments in their ability to walk.  Don't get me wrong.  They still get around and enjoy a good quality of life.  It's just that I never noticed before. 

Makes you realize how very much we take for granted, huh?  The same happenings, give or take, play out around us as we encounter everyday life when we are out and about.  I think I will experiment with this idea.  Maybe I will pick something....anything shirts, eyeglassles, obesity and watch those things begin to surround me.  I may notice eye contact and connection and see how that looks.  I may notice sadness, gladness. 

Reality often goes where thought flows.  What we focus on is often what shows up around us.  People who expect the world to be their handmaiden, to expeirence joy and goodness, usually do.  People who expect to be the victim, often are. 

Decide what you want to have more of in your life.  What do you want to show up in your daily sphere?  Expect it.  Look for it.  Notice it.  It is already there.

Enjoy the day!

  PS.  Happy Birthday Trip!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Poignant Quotes You Remember

Sometimes, when you are reading or maybe listening to someone, you will hear words that stick with you for a long time.  It may not be anything you don't already know, but something about the way it is phrased or the context makes it memorable.  It seems I have come across more of these in the last few days than I have in awhile so I'm sharing.

From "The Five People You Meet In Heaven":

"Parents do not let their children go.  Children leave their parents.  Instead of looking to their parents for approval, they look at their own accomplishments as their gauge."

"The water was below the roots of their love."

"All parents damage their children."

"Holding anger is a poison...It eats you from inside...We think that by hating someone we hurt them...But hatred is a curved blade...and the harm we do to others...we also do to ourselves."

"Strangers are family you have yet to come to know."

"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on.....

"Young men go to war. Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to........courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down."

Here are a couple I remember from "Stones Into Schools:

"A village called New York was just bombed."   (spoken by someone in Afganistan)

"Style is everything".  (referring to learning to communicate with those unlike you)

Lots more good ones escape me.  What do you remember?