Monthly Archives: April 2012

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

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The way to happiness:

  • Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry
  • Live simply, expect little, give much
  • Fill your life with love
  • Scatter sunshine
  • Forget self, think of others
  • Do as you would be done by

 The way to unhappiness:

  • Keep your heart full of hate, your mind with worry
  • Live extravagantly; expect much, give little
  • Fill your life with irrelevant stuff
  • Scatter gloom
  • Dwell on self, forget others
  • Do only for your own good

The only thing you’ll hold in your hands when you pass is that which you gave away.

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YES, GROWING UP SUCKS

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A young person I was talking with the other day told me she was having a quarter-life crisis (she is not quite 30).  I asked what she meant.  She said she was tired of all the responsibilities she had and wanted to move home and have her mom take care of her again – do her laundry, make her dinner, etc. I understood that this was just a passing whim of hers since her life basically is pretty sweet and I knew tomorrow would be a better day for her. But what I really felt like saying was, “Yes, dear, growing up sucks.”

Who doesn’t feel that way at times? I know I do, although mine is more of a post mid-life crisis, and moving back with my mom is no longer an option. Life does get boring and monotonous and laden with responsibilities, and I can understand how you would want to walk away and return to the coziness, warmth and responsibility-free home of your childhood. Understood.

My own life has taken some crazy twists and sharp turns and where I’m at is nowhere near where I dreamed I’d be way back in my quarter-life crisis years. I was supposed to be living in Topanga Canyon,California far away from the maddening crowd with my main squeeze Keith Carradine. He was supposed to be strumming his guitar and singing me sweet love songs as we sat sipping wine barefoot on our candlelit deck overlooking the lush landscape leading down to the Pacific Ocean.  (deep breath) My fantasies, by the way, are excruciatingly vivid.

But instead of sipping wine with Keith, I sit here in the kitchen/office trying to figure out how to pay bills, how to get another job at an age when I should be thinking retirement, how to keep life interesting when nothing interesting is happening and how to stop feeling like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. The only thing I can think of in answer to these quarter/mid/post-mid life crisis’s is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time and keep moving forward and doing those daily yet vital chores one at a time until they’re done. That’s life. Fact.

Maybe tomorrow a miracle will happen to make it all worthwhile and wonderful and bring you more happiness than your heart can possibly hold. Warm and fuzzy usually works for me. Or you can dye your hair red and hope you’ll have more fun that way.

RUN TOWARDS IT

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~That thing that scares you the most – that makes you say

~“I don’t know if I can do this”

~”I’m so scared to try”

 ~ Run towards it

    ~Because you’ll find it’s so amazing on the other side.

This is what Sherri Shepherd, co-host of The View, said when she was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars this week. She was afraid to try something like this that was so outside of her comfort zone, but she did it anyway and was grateful for the opportunity and experience.

It hit me hard as I apply this to my own circumstance, which is being unemployed.

Finding a job these days is as challenging as wrestling an alligator. I don’t need to tell anyone that – just look at the unemployment numbers.  And I am at a precarious point in my life where I’m too young to retire but feel like I’m too aged to start over. I feel like I’ve lost some of my stamina and my self-confidence has been compromised. I second guess my abilities as I look over so many job descriptions. I find myself thinking…I can’t do this….I can’t do that…I don’t have the education…I don’t have that kind of experience…I’m too old…I’m not qualified enough…even though deep down I know I can and do have the education and experience and qualifications and my age is just a number.  I just have to keep telling myself that I can.If you are also unemployed in this ridiculously trying job market, you understand that it is easy to be scared and difficult to run towards something you’re not sure of when it does present itself.  Especially when you find that courage to do so only to experience the deafening silence of no response. It’s like a dead zone wherein you feel like you’re invisible. And you wait and wait but then find the strength to go on and try again knowing one of these days you’ll hit pay dirt.  Trying again is the secret and you have to venture out into the unknown once more.

I know there are millions of people like me out there right now – hunting for that ideal (or not so ideal) job that will make them feel whole again and put back the spring in their step – just like Sherri.  So, like her, I will be brave enough and try something new – something I’m scared to try.  I just need the opportunity, and I will run towards it knowing it will be amazing on the other side.

JUST KEEP TRUSTING

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Sometimes the best thing

you can do is not think,

not wonder, not imagine, not obsess,

just breathe

and have faith that

everything will work out

                       for the best                         

Author Unknown

As we prepare for our Easter celebration, each in our own traditional way, each of us carrying our own crosses of worry, remember to let go and let God.  Easter Sunday will dawn with a new day and new hope in the promises of Jesus Christ. All you have to do is hang on through the night and just keep trusting…Happy Easter.

 

Our traditional Easter Bunny

Our traditional Easter Bunny

WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?

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 When I first heard about the killing of 16 Afghans, including nine children, by a 10-year Army veteran, my heart dropped. I was shaken by the thought that a member of our military force could perform such a heinous act of terrorism. How could this be when his duty is to keep peace? But then I heard more of his story…

…Robert Bales is a 38-year-old highly decorated staff sergeant in the American Army and also a devoted husband and father. He had been wounded several times on multiple tours of duty in Iraq. Two days before the shooting, a friend of  his, another soldier, had his leg blown off  by a roadside bomb. He didn’t witness the explosion but saw the aftermath. Other troubles weighing on this man’s mind were a Florida investment job that went sour, his Seattle-area home was condemned as he struggled to make payments on another, and he failed to get a recent promotion. Everyone has problems, I know, but this is what really got me:  This was his fourth deployment…this man was deployed four times. Fourth Tour. When is enough, enough?!  How much can one person take?  What kind of pressure is the government putting on our military forces that they’re pushed to the brink of destruction through sheer physical, mental and emotional fatigue? I heard a news report that he wasn’t happy about the fourth deployment but accepted it as part of his duty. What is the duty the government has to these servicemen and women?

Someone I know commented that the same forces are deployed over and over again because we do not have enough manpower.  Well then, get out of Afghanistan.  Get out of  the Middle East.  Stop senselessly sending our people over there time and time again until they just can’t take it anymore. 

I am not a political person and have no idea what the circumstances or conditions are in Afghanistan. I’m not saying Sergeant Bales should not have repercussions for what he did ~ if, in fact, he’s proven to be guilty of this crime which hasn’t been decided yet. I understand that there is a price to be paid, and if proven guilty, he’ll be paying the price for the rest of his life as will his family. Everyone’s life in this man’s circle of  family and friends has been drastically changed. A family man serving his country is now barricaded in a military prison and will stand trial, and his family is sequestered for their own safety in a military compound. What a difference a day makes…

I’m not pretending to be a psychiatrist who can analyze what triggered this tragedy of 16 lives that were senselessly taken. What I am saying is that I think for Sergeant Bales enough was enough. And I also think that those who decided he should do a fourth tour should also be held accountable, and they should use this incident as a barometer for their future recommendations.