Posts from the ‘Positive Thinking’ Category

You Are Cordially Invited to a Tea Party

matson

There is an interesting phenomenon going on throughout our country today.  In ways not seen on this scale since the war protests of the 70’s, people are showing our government that they are fed up.  Americans young and old are sending the message loud and clear that we are tapped out as a nation and weary of yet more restrictions, bail-outs and tax burdens being heaped upon our shoulders and those of our future generations.

It is not a partisan effort, despite what the ultra-left wing branch of the Democratic party would lead you to believe.  There are Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike participating in this show of outrage and frustration.  We are exercising our Constitutional rights as Americans, whatever our political affiliations might be, to assembly and free speech.  We are, as a people, sending a message that while we respect the office of the President, many of us grow increasingly unhappy with the direction the country is being guided or shoved down a path we do not want.

So, today we protest our frustration and convey our disagreement with policies and new taxes and programs that it are being presented as what “we” want.  I for one, am tired of being told what is good for me and to just shut up, sit back and agree with those that do NOT represent my views, despite what they seem to believe.  I’m angry with the bail-outs that were passed “for our own good” even though the public outrage and opinion showed that Americans were soundly against their passage.

Washington and those currently in office better pay attention to what is being expressed by the people that have elected them as our representatives.  If they are smart, they will not put spin on it or tell us once again what they think we meant to say rather than listening to what we are actually SAYING to them.  This is a warning shot for those coming up for re-election that we the people, are paying attention and are discontented with their actions and disregard for what we think.

So, exercise your right to be heard.  Even if you believe no one is listening, it is a sure bet that you won’t be heard if you don’t even try.  In the past few election cycles it has vividly been shown that even a few individual votes do indeed count.  If you choose to sit on your backside, then don’t complain when you are not “bailed out” like the major corporations or fall through the cracks when you thought you’d be saved from your responsibilities and allowed a free pass.

Wake up and smell the tea brewing! 

Washington, you are not doing a good job at hearing the people you represent and that elected you.  This is not just a fluke or something that will go away if you put your fingers in your collective ears and cover your eyes.  To even give the impression, whether accurate or not, that the views of your constituents are falling on deaf ears would be a mistake if you wish to continue to serve the people that elected you.  Change is indeed brewing in this country, although I’m not sure that it’s quite the change the current administration envisioned.  I beg you, do not make the mistake of dismissing or alienating what is becoming a larger and larger section of the American people clammering to be heard..

On another little, purely personal note, I know that the original Tea Party was located in Boston in 1773.  However, we in the South know the TRUE value of tea.  Look in any refrigerator in a true Southern household, and you will find a gallon or two (or four) of the best SWEET tea that you’ll ever taste.  I know that the Yankees amongst us (hear that oh stoic one?), don’t recognize the simple indulgent pleasure in a glass of sweet tea and insist that having sugar on the table will somehow negate the fact that your restaurants don’t have it available on your menus up North.  You just don’t know what you’re missing.  Perhaps it’s why Southerners always have a smile on their face and something to say to everyone, even making actual eye contact as we do!!  We’re just infused with sweetness from birth through our tea! 😉

So, today in Atlanta, our tea party will have sweet tea flowing freely and our voices as proud Americans will be heard loud and clear.  The only question is, will those in Washington be smart enough to pay attention and react by rethinking some of their proposed actions?

Time will tell.  One thing is certain, ignoring it or making light of such a large group of Americans discontent would be foolish and ill-advised on their part.

 

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”  Thomas Jefferson

 

**The DHS bulletin released or “conveniently leaked” on April 7th is troubling in the fact that it seems to be a not so subtle hint that our freedom of speech is being threatened at least by threat of intimidation and at worst incrimination.  We all need to pay attention and be vigilant of such veiled threats against our freedoms.

Easter Ain’t What it Used To Be

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I was raised to respect traditions.  I went through my childhood relishing in the fact that while the world around me was changing at a rapid, sometimes scary pace, some things in life would always stay the same.  Some things were so important, they always took precedent over any other in my life.  You could always depend on their very essence and the spirit of thought behind them.

It was a comforting thought to hold close.   Precious traditions to look forward to were a safe harbor I could count on regardless of circumstance or location.  While the manner or details of their execution might by necessity vary a bit  in form from year to year, the basic tenant of their existence never changed nor wavered.

As a result, I brought up my children with the same value system from my youth.

Even as parents around me found themselves too busy or too “sophisticated” to bother with silly things like building memories, a few of us still insisted on keeping to the things we knew were important.  Traditions like ensuring Santa always had homemade cookies waiting for him on Christmas Eve or throwing a special birthday party at home for our kids complete with games and/or crafts and handmade goodie bags filled with treasures where much thought had been given to their selection, started to become few and far between in modern day families.  It was easier to let Chucky Cheese or the latest mini-golf adventure park handle all the messy “details” of marking the birth of your child rather than being bothered with all that planning yourself.  Family time was quickly being relegated to whatever bits and pieces that could be crammed in around all the REALLY important stuff.  You know the ones, important things like working 80 hours or more a week for that 3rd or 4th car..for the 4 vacations a year or 2nd little getaway home.

Traditions got lost along the way in the rush to acquire more and more “stuff”.  We sacrificed what we thought were non-consequential little bits of our lives along the way so that we could hurry up and wait for all the “good stuff” to get here.  The only problem with that theory was, those “little bits” start to add up to a lot of time and missed opportunities we can never get back with those around us.  Hey, it was all for the greater good though..right?

Wrong.

Just take a long look around at what is happening in our country and in the world today.  Every day on the news there is yet another tragic story of a person or family suffering directly and personally, or indirectly through the actions of a stranger, from the effect that loss of family and tradition has had on society.  People are slipping through the cracks.  We seem to have lost our way in the rush to “improve” or “re-invent” something that didn’t need replacing in the first place.

Traditions matter.  To have something that can be counted on in some form or another from year to year, makes a huge difference in how we handle life’s little (or big) ups and downs.  We all need a support system or something to depend on as being solid…a foundation to quiet our souls when we need to believe in something.

That’s what a tradition is for.  Whether it be something silly that only you or your loved ones count as important or something as vital as a group we identify with and celebrate our mutual beliefs, traditions give us a place in ourselves that can never be erased.  They provide a warm secret spot within our thoughts where we can retreat to anytime the world seems to be collapsing around us. 

Traditions don’t have to be centered on religious beliefs.  It’s not a matter of money.  Special traditions don’t have to cost a penny, they can be from the heart.  They don’t have to be grand gestures.  They do however, have to be consistent..even in times of strife.

So,  even though traditions have to be changed a bit this year at my house, they will be celebrated nonetheless.  I’ll pull out my grandmother’s recipe for a traditional heavy lemon pound cake and make it to celebrate my Dad’s birthday, simply because it’s what he asked for.  I don’t care about the current trend of low-fat, low taste healthy, only eat what’s good for us, that is in vogue.  Tomorrow, as part of an Easter celebration, we’ll enjoy without guilt, a taste from our past and smile.  In that way, my Grandmother (Nana) will be with us as well.  I have no doubt that stories of past Easter dinners at her house will abound for my children to hear yet again and pass along one day to their children.  Tradition will continue.

I’ll put together Easter baskets with special treats or little gifts for my kids to find when they wake tomorrow morning.  I have never bought a pre-made pre-put-together store bought basket in my life.  No matter that they are going to be 23, 20 and 14 this year, they will be almost as excited as when they were little to see whatever has been “left” for them by a Giant Bunny that has hopped by overnight.  Forget the fact that they all stay up most of the night and that Mom in turn, will have to have little if any sleep in order to make sure a surprise is created..it’s worth it.  Their Grandmother (my mom), even though she’s not in good health, will still have her house filled with special decorations and more treats for her grown children and for the grandchildren.  Tradition will live on and be something they carry on with their families one day because they recognize the importance of something to count on, even if it’s silly.

To start the day I consider Holy, I’ll also fall back to my upbringing.  Even though I rarely attend church regularly anymore, the convictions and beliefs I grew up with are strong within me and are passed on to my family.  There are years I will attend a sunrise Church service at the mountain, other years I feel the need to be amongst a congregation of those I know and respect, and some years I spend the morning in quiet reflection and remembrance of what I believe.  Whatever form the day takes, it comforts me to know that some things never change, in spite of the turmoil in the world around me.  I don’t know the answers as to why things happen the way they do, many times to those most innocent or undeserving of the chaos, but I have an abiding faith that there is a reason for every event that happens and that I don’t have to know the reason.  Tradition of spirit and of your own soul is perhaps the most precious gift of all to nurture and not neglect.

So, Easter ain’t what it used to be anymore for many of us.  It makes me sad to see so many traditions falling by the wayside in society.  The loss of family time as stores remain open in the name of political correctness or convenience is troubling.  The cost to the family from the increasing isolation and loss of human contact in favor of digital ways of interacting…the loss of our very humanity in a way as a result, is a shame and dangerous for some of those amongst us.  Especially for ones with dangerous violent tendencies, such isolation has shown just in the past month with so many tragic shootings, what happens when people cut themselves off from others or when we don’t want to “interfere” in someone else’s business.

Traditions are important.  So go hide an egg or two, have a meal with your family or a neighbor that is alone, go to church..heck go to a baseball game.  Start your own tradition if you didn’t grow up with one and cherish it from this point forward.  Give yourself and those around you a glimmer of something to look forward to in years to come.

Give the gift of something solid to hold on to, of something to count on, to yourself.  In these uncertain times, it’s vital…whether we realize it or not.

Recognize the value of small things around you.  Small things are the ones that make the most difference to us all.

Reality, The Final Frontier

 live-love-laugh

Common Sense has been dying a slow death in our society for years.  However, with growing pressures attacking us from all sides in recent times and economic woes escalating, the slide for those not able to face simple reality in many areas of their lives appears to be on the rise at an alarming rate.

The time has come to try and let a little common sense start to creep back into our lives, even if it’s bit by bit.  It’s time to learn to cope with the new realities in all our lives and with the changes that are here to stay in the world around us all.  It’s a matter of survival and is vital to any sense of happiness and well being we can hope to have. 

Progress toward finding contentment has to begin by paying attention to the ways in which we look at and handle our relationships with others.  Many basic life skills and truths are being abandoned or sacrificed in modern times in favor of wearing blinders to avoid large areas of real life.  That avoidance only serves to ensure we don’t actually have to deal with the emotions or reality present in our lives.  Real change can only begin when you come to the realization that no one can make you happy, but YOU.  To depend on someone else for your sense of self or put the responsibility on others to make yourself happy, is a recipe for disaster.  Happiness by default is an ultimately unattainable goal to reach for.

 

In your life, there will come a time when you have to admit a few things to yourself…if you dare.

 

The sheer force of your will is not enough to cause life around you to always be as you think it should be or in your comfort zone. You can only do what YOU can do in situations, both in your life or in events that concern you.  Ultimately you cannot make anyone else do the things you think they should or the things you need for them to do for your peace of mind. You cannot control everything around you all the time. There will be situations in which you have to trust enough and go with your gut feeling and/or let someone else take the lead, even if you believe it’s not the shortest path to where you need to go or you can’t see the outcome from the beginning. You WILL fail from time to time.  Deal with it and learn to do it gracefully when needed. If you don’t fail, at least now and then, it stands to reason you’re not playing fair somewhere along the line. 

Even someone that loves you or that you love with all your heart, will at times disappoint or hurt you. It’s up to you to decide what you do about it and whether the hurt is a temporary and sometimes necessary curve in the journey, or whether it’s a detour that won’t ever lead to where you want to be. If the person is truly important to you and your life, weigh these choices carefully before you act. Some bridges can never be recrossed once they are traveled over. There will be times though, when enough is enough. Learn to tell the difference.

Not every day will be a good one. Some days will swing from the highest highs to the lowest lows with remarkable speed simply because of an unexpected phrase or thoughtless comment expressed from someone you trust, love or depend on. These comments are probably not thought twice about, much less ever meant to upset you. Try to remember that hurt feelings are not fatal.

Remember when someone acts in ways that confound or confuse you out of the blue, that they might in fact be coming from a place of fear in themselves and their behavior is a protective measure on their part. Don’t always make it about yourself. Stop to consider what else may be going on beneath the surface and why. Also stop to remember why they are in your life in the first place and that you want them there for a reason.

Tell or show people how important they are to you often, just because, and don’t expect the same in return or be hurt if the people around you don’t bestow on you the same courtesy and thoughtfulness. Love and respect can’t be mandated or scheduled for others by you. Love is, at times, only a silent player much like the wind…some days it’s a gale, some days a mere breeze. You can still feel it in every fiber of your being without repeated flashy demonstrations of it’s existence. Learn to appreciate all the subtle nuances of it’s presence as well.  Those nuances are just as precious, sometimes even more memorable.

People love and express love in their own unique, individual ways. None of these ways are perfect, nor can they be judged as right or wrong. Just because someone doesn’t love you exactly the way YOU want them to, it doesn’t mean they aren’t giving you all they are capable of giving. If it’s not enough for YOU, it is then your problem, not theirs. Only you can decide to walk away or not at that point. Don’t get involved with someone expecting to change them or for them to change for you.  Females, as a group, are notorious for this belief.  They then wonder why they are always searching for more.

Whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual or a freak of nature that is on this Earth by mere coincidence of atoms colliding…the Good Book still has some common sense rules of humanity to live by. Treat others as you’d like to be treated, don’t always envy what someone else has and don’t take for granted the good things in your own life..are three of the most important ones to hold close and put into practice.  Karma, fate or destiny (whatever you choose to call it) will indeed come full circle if you choose to tempt it too many times. Don’t cry over spilt milk and never make the mistake of assuming that getting said milk without ever any commitment to the cow will be without consequences.

Bottom line, growing up is not for the faint of heart, neither is maturity. Courage, responsibility and honor are not givens in your character, but are instead developed in the way you choose to live your life and how you treat others.

Try not to be trivial or sleaze your way through life.  Decide to make a difference where you can, while you can. Make your mark on this world instead of being like gum on the bottom of someones shoe.

If these simple common sense concepts are too much for your meager brain to handle or for your corrupt soul to fathom, then trust me…you won’t care for much I have to say if you press me or act like a stupid juvenile when you’re supposed to be all grown up (in years anyway). Playing dumb or trying to be “cute” all the time without ever being real, wears thin very quickly. Have some substance, purpose and backbone in all that you do, even during play.

~Kath

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~The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed the change. Happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.~

Through The Eyes Of A Child

eyesofachild 

One of my careers is that of being a school teacher. While I no longer teach full time with a single class for the entire year, I get to interact now instead with many more children each and every school year. Instead of teaching a single class the entire year with only 25-30 children, I now get to know 1200+, most of them by name. I see them grow from fresh faced kindergartners to 5th graders that think they are on top of the world and full of attitude when headed for middle school. In doing this, I receive a benefit that is more precious than any other that could be offered…I get to see the world through their eyes that aren’t clouded yet with all the weight of the world. Those eyes have seen things at young ages and have worries these days that children just shouldn’t have to cope with or even know about, yet they are still full of hope.

Over the years, I’ve written about a few of my special students. While I genuinely enjoy the majority of the kids, there are some that manage to get closer to me than others and will sneak right into your heart. I have one child as a student who is the son of a pilot I fly with. Ben is cute as a button and has had a crush on me since he was five. His face literally lights up when he sees me in his classroom or in the hall. He never fails to run up and squeeze me in a bear hug with a huge smile on his face. It always brightens my day. He’s one of many that I have a special relationship with throughout the school.

As I walk down the hall and constantly hear someone telling me hello, giving me a hug or a wave, I never fail to smile. They want to tell me their latest news or ask me a question. They make me laugh and at times my heart breaks for them when they are hurting or sad. It never fails to amaze me when I get to the end of a long day and feel like I have fussed all day at some of the same students, when they still go out of the door hugging me or with a smile on their face.

Children respect consistency. They know who loves them.  They know who wants to be there and who doesn’t, even when you’ve had to give them extra work or time out of recess. They also know they need boundaries. While they don’t always like the rules they must follow, they are glad those rules are there. Most grown-ups could take some lessons from their kids in that regard.

There are the kids in the EIP classes (early intervention), that have varying degrees of challenges in learning. These children have a huge span of personalities and abilities. They are not physically challenged, but have home situations or learning delays that make it trying for them to sit in school and process information as some others do. These kids will worm their way into your heart and while you hope like holy heck they will be successes in life, you know that some have the odds stacked against them. Regardless of that fact, you have to realize that you are affecting this part of their life and hope it has some impact, even if it’s a small one. These kids are usually charmers and sweet and usually precocious. They also are brutally honest and will make you feel like Superwoman when they share their thoughts or emotions with you.

There are also many kids that are physically challenged as well as being learning delayed. These children are generally bright, always have a smile on their faces and try their best to learn and behave. With inclusion becoming more and more the norm, these kids are looked upon by the other students as just one more friend in their class.  Most of the time their disability becomes something that is not even noticed.

Now, FINALLY the reason for writing today. (I can get a bit wordy when it’s about something I’m passionate about…teaching and children are near or at the top of the list) I was in a 1st grade EIP class today, one of my favorite classes. There is a student in this particular class that I have spent a lot of time with over the past 2 years. His name is Ade. He’s a precious little boy that last year came in shy and bewildered and pretty much stayed that way all year. This year has seen him begin to come out of his shell. He smiles much more. He’s finally “getting it” in the classroom, his work has improved more than I can tell you…it’s starting to click for him. He talked my ear off today, something he never would have done last year beyond random words here and there.

Ade is moving to Illinois tomorrow. The move came unexpectedly and for some reason, finding out yesterday that this would be his last day here in our school made me sad. While I was glad to get to teach and spend his last day with him…when his mom and brothers came to pick him up, it hit me harder than most. Children move in and out of the school with increasing frequency in our current fluid society, but this one got through to me and I’m not sure I even realized it until I knew he was leaving. I do have his phone # and address in Illinois to keep in touch with him, and will.

While I was losing one student today, I met a brand new one that transferred into the school last week. Jamal is in the same class. He’s a bright kid and has a huge smile. He whizzed through his work ahead of everyone else and I had to wonder why he had been placed in the EIPclass. I soon found out. Everyone was working. Jamal had finished and had asked to write a story on the back of his paper while everyone else finished. I told him that would be great. I watched as he wrote for about 10 minutes, his face intense with concentration. He came up to me in the back of the room wanting to read his masterpiece to me. He started to read the words expressing how much he missed his mother. The sentences told of the special things mom did for him and how he wishes she were here.

Not yet knowing his history, I thought perhaps mom might travel or that he had a family that had experienced divorce. I wasn’t going to ask Jamal, but when he finished reading, he looked up at me and more words starting spilling out. He was very matter of fact, but you knew those words had been bottled up for a while. He told me of a sibling that had died, I didn’t ask how. He told me that “they” had taken his sister and him out of their home and away from their mom to keep them safe. He paused, waiting for my response. Quite frankly, for someone that is rarely at a loss for words, I had to stop and think. I tried to reassure him that things would work out as they should. I told him how very glad I am that he’s with us now and how glad I am that he and his sister are indeed safe. I felt like I was bumbling through my rambling words, but he was listening. As I finished all I could say, a smile burst out on his face and he hugged me. This child just met me today and already he gave ME a gift.

I’m very aware of the problems with education. In fact, if you crossed my path, you’d hear me regularly giving my opinion of what we’re doing to our kids in the name of “progress” both from a teacher stand point and  as a parent. That isn’t something I can change right now, it requires time and legislation and common sense that I’m not sure some powers that be even have. Regardless of this though, I can make a difference and try to do just that in my little corner of the world with the children I have the privilege of interacting with.

So, I do what I can.

I try to show up each day I’m at school excited to be there. I give the children parts of myself.  I tell them stories about my kids and my life and make myself a little more human. I let them know about teachers I had that changed my life or gave me little tricks to make learning easier that have stayed with me. I smile and outright laugh often and easily. I make a fool of myself in assemblies or at dances…I don’t take myself so seriously and it breaks through to them. I wear funky outfits or jewelry that gives them something to talk about and smile.

I listen when they are excited or upset, knowing that sometimes no one else in their life takes the time. I always hug anyone back that gives me one. My classes are loud and interactive and they LEARN and remember. I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing, I’m good at it and it’s my niche. When you find something that makes you happy, it shows…whether professionally or personally. I’m not the perfect teacher, I have many faults, but one of them will never be that I don’t care and give them my best even when I’m tired. My Connecticut Yankee would tell you that my face absolutely lights up when I talk about “my” kids.

What those kids give to me however, is absolutely priceless…and they do it without even trying..just by being themselves.

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

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Time…such a funny thing when you stop to think about it…

It can march on or stand still. You can squander it or take your sweet time getting things done.

Time is money, but money doesn’t give you more time.

Time flies, but at the same time can crawl.

We always need more of it, then complain when we have too much time in situations that make us uncomfortable.

You can’t buy time, but you can make time with someone.

We save time AND waste it. We take time for granted, then complain mightily about it’s loss…

Life can be the best of times, or the worst of times in the same sentence…

We can’t save time in a bottle for when it’s more convenient for us to pull it out and experience it or have it back when we want it.

I’ve been thinking a good bit about time in the past few months. As I watch the kids grow up and they are increasingly on the go, I sit and wonder where the time and years have gone. Now don’t get me wrong, there were and are STILL days that seem to go on forever! You know the ones…where everyone is in a pissy mood or thing after thing seems as if Murphy is sitting in your house writing his next installment of laws and you look up and actually mutter the words that you can’t wait until the day is over or until the kids are grown and gone.

Then poof, one day you look up and get your wish. Not only are the kids starting to turn into adults, but you’re a bit farther along in the adult process than you ever imagined yourself being. You still FEEL like a teenager with your thoughts or in the way you play your music.  Then one look in the mirror and you start to wonder where in the hell did those wrinkles come from? You’re slowly turning into your parents…and if you’re lucky enough to still have your parents here…you look at them and wonder how they suddenly got so old without you noticing.

That’s when it hits you (or should). WHAT are you doing with your life? I’m not talking about career or keeping up with the Jones…or even getting ready for retirement. Are you ready for the changes that are coming at light speed? Are you really using and appreciating all the little things in your life RIGHT now that might be overlooked in favor of letting the challenges over-shadow the good things that happen each and every day?

Are you courageous enough to reach out and not let things or people slip through your fingers that you hadn’t anticipated, to not let go even when it all might scare you with the feelings or implications involved? Can you give yourself permission to reach out for something, with no guarantees? Can you trust that whatever happens, it’s important not to take something special for granted and enjoy it to the fullest?  Can you trust yourself enough to let it happen and see what might happen, even if it wasn’t in your plans or ever anticipated?

Time isn’t an unlimited commodity to be traded like a stock. Life changes as we go along, as does our direction, no matter how much we try to keep to the path we had imagined for ourselves, and that’s okay.  The passage of time works things out for the best, even when we take detours we hadn’t planned. Do not take things for granted or throw them away.  Make time for simple pleasures and relax…trust that things are happening by a grand design that we aren’t always privy to.

I’m definitely not a polly-anna type of person. Anyone that knows me or that I let see that part of myself, knows I approach life with a realistic, cynical, sarcastic view of a lot of things. I’m opinionated and outspoken, and these days can be a full strength, un-diluted ME with those I trust. This alone makes me happy when I feel free enough to be myself. (I’m not sure about everyone around me gets the same warm fuzzies from my unfettered views as I do *grin*) What I do make sure that I accomplish each day, even on the days that would make Barney the Purple Dinosaur break down and cry, is to find SOMETHING in the day that was good or to smile over. Many times the things to smile over in today’s society might be minuscule, but there is always something to cause a grin if one looks for it.  Some days there is full bodied laughter and joy.  You have to take the time to enjoy the subtle nuances and ebb and flow of life in unexpected ways and places.

I enjoy life. Period.

Whether it’s challenging or exciting or ho-hum, I enjoy the simple fact that I’m breathing each and every day.  That fact alone leaves me with endless possibilities in front of me and another chance to make a change or a difference.

The challenges, the colors, the tastes, the smells, the experiences that let me know I’m living life and not just wandering blindly through life, all are precious.  Missing most of the flavors of life or making those around me miserable would be such a waste of the time granted to each of us since it is all too important to ever take for granted. 

We all start out each day with 24 hours. The same 60 minutes in each of those hours. The same 60 seconds in each minute. It’s time that can never be reclaimed once it passes.  You cannot bank it for later when you have the “time” to experience it. You can’t turn back the clock.

Will all things in life be pleasant or good? Heck no!!  I do know one thing though…you better live while you’ve got the chance. Life truly is TOO short to waste too many seconds of it. You should never look back and have to wonder “what if”.  Take a chance.

What matters most in life is what we do with our time here and if we make sure that at least PART of each day has something in it that you find to smile over. I don’t care if it’s as simple as the fact that your dog didn’t crap in the neighbor’s yard for once, that a cloud had an interesting shape or if you DIDN’T hear from that pain in the butt friend who makes you crazy. There is something in those 24 hours, EACH AND EVERY DAY, that can be smiled over. It may be something little, find it anyway and make the conscience decision to realize that it happened.

Life is truly how you face it and what you make of it. If you want to be miserable and make those around you feel the same way, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. You’ll wake up one day and wonder what happened to your life, why no one comes to see you, why you’re so lonely, so alone.

Don’t blame anyone else, fix yourself and get happy with yourself FIRST…don’t wait on someone else to do it for you. Accept what life hands you and find a way to make it work for you or to improve the areas where its needed. You’ll find when you are comfortable with yourself, others will be as well and will want to be around you.

Now, as often happens when I start typing…this didn’t start out to be a general pep talk about life. I was looking at old pictures and at the kids sitting around the house one night with their friends, and my mind wandered to time and it’s value. I’m making memories still and will always. I’m also savoring the memories already made and making sure to pass them along to future generations or friends so that they are never forgotten.

I’m also looking forward to finding many things for myself in the coming years. I’m not speaking of material possessions, although those are nice, but of the things that I’ve learned that are truly important to life and happiness. The things that I truly need or want for myself on other levels will not be neglected or taken for granted. None of us has a crystal ball to predict what those things will be or where we’ll be a year from now or with whom. TIME will tell, we can’t totally script our lives and be happy.

The past year has been a bit of a roller coaster, full of the highest highs and a couple of lows I hadn’t expected or foreseen amongst the good things happening to me. I’ve had relationship challenges and a family health scare, but over “time” and by sharing with someone special, everything works out…perhaps not perfectly, but in ways that have amazed me and have given me joy in the way those things are progressing.

It takes hard work, communication and at times blind faith in something or someone. Living your life takes courage and realizing there are some things that just are.  Situations unexplainable by logic or reason.  The things that are inexplicably and unexpectedly wonderful. Experiences that are needed to continue to grow, whether we planned them or not. Enjoy each one thoroughly and cherish each day.

Time, such a funny wonderful thing. It’s the ultimate gamble in life. We know we have a finite amount and yet we take a chance on how much time has been dealt us. It’s a question not one of us can answer with any certainty…don’t let your time pass you by.

 

 

~Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is made of.~ Benjamin Franklin

All Along The Watchtower

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Each and every morning I wake to the news that yet another attempt to strip away the “rights” we take for granted as Americans is slowly being planned by the current administration.  With each fresh news cycle, more plans are unveiled that prove just how little regard the man we elected to be our President has for our way of life and for our country.  He is proving to have no loyalty but to himself and his agendas.   Agendas that are put forth as being for our own good and designed to “save” us from ourselves.  We’re told that we can’t possibly understand all the intricacies of whatever crisis of the day is being flailed at by those in charge.

For a liberal administration that preaches it’s abhorrence to torture, it seems that doesn’t apply to the American citizens.  Of course we’re not under a police state or in danger of being taken away in the middle of the night (yet) and it’s inconceivable that we ever would be.  The only problem with that theory is, there are so many basic tenants of our everyday life under assault that I never in my wildest dreams would have considered now happening, that I’m not sure anything is inconceivable anymore.

What is happening  is a death of our liberties by a thousand tiny cuts, which in my mind, amounts to the same thing as torture to all that makes our country what it was founded to be.  We count on our right to free speech without retribution.  We depend on our right to free enterprise and in return the equal right of success or failure.  We expect to be treated as adults and be able to make our own choices as to our health care and how or if we want to make a difference and contribute to those less fortunate.  We insist on the right to choose our own religion and worship how we see fit or not worship at all if we don’t find a reason to believe in a higher being.

All of these things are the threads that our founding fathers wove together to make our country into a wonderful, at times messy, mosaic of patterns and rhythms unlike any other country in the world.  They are part of what makes us resilient and sometimes called arrogant by the rest of the world, and yet, people from all over the world fight to live here and earn their chance at a better life.  As a country, we can be very selfish at times, but when push comes to shove, we always rise to the occasion and give of our resources and many times our manpower to aid those around the world in need.

We are far from a perfect country.  Anyone that proclaims in their personal life or in regard to our nation, that change never needs to occur, is a fool.  Change is necessary to growth.  Change isn’t always comfortable, but as long as it’s positive, it works out for the best over time.

Change just for the sake of change however, can be destructive.  Change when it contains the agenda of a few being imposed by force on the many, is dangerous.  Change when it alters the basic foundations of what our country was founded on, will erode some of the basic principles of life we count on. 

The things we need to fiercely protect with every fiber of our being are the less tangible ones, the things that we cannot always reach out and touch.  Those can start to slip away slowly..quietly..without much notice or fanfare, until we wake up one day and find we no longer have the comfort of feeling secure or safe in our own homes in our own country.  If we do not stand up and be counted against the assault on the rights afforded to us by the Constitution, our children will grow up in a much more oppressive and scary country…one we won’t recognize.

Yes, we’re all hurting due to the economy.  It’s frightening to not know what is around the corner.  We need to remember that things like income are fleeting and tend to ebb and flow with time and circumstance.  This is a time to get back to some of the basic principles of family that have been lost over the past few decades in favor of excess.  This is a time of opportunity to rediscover what should have been truly important to us all along and learn to get along or make do without all the static that has been clogging up our lives in the recent past. 

A lot of us that are in our 40’s and 50’s need to remember our own simpler childhoods and teach our children and grandchildren the pleasures we enjoyed growing up that didn’t require money or electronics to occupy our time.  We need to learn how to interact with each other on a personal level again, without throwing money at a problem.  Here’s an idea, throw your time and attention at things instead.  Start to pay attention to the world and people around you.

We are resilient people, but in these times, we also have to be resolute in our determination to rebuild our country in it’s own image.  We have to fight, be vigilant and not give away our liberties in favor of letting the government overtake every part of our lives, privacy and freedoms.  We are writing our country’s history and we better not screw it up.

Instead of using the catch phrase of a company being “too big to fail”, we need to remember first and foremost that our COUNTRY and it’s ideals are too IMPORTANT to fail.

Are You Good Enough to Eat?

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Most people tend to associate aphrodisiacs only with food. It’s been long examined and proven through exhaustive studies (with willing volunteers I’m sure) that certain foods will raise our libidos and pique our interest in getting physical.

While I am a firm believer in well, anything that will get things ummm, firm, I also believe we’re disregarding a whole other source of passion and pleasure when it comes to the inducement of cumming. We instead rush to the unimaginative resources that bombard us through the media and porn industry of what romance and arousal should be rather than tapping our own natural resources for inspiration.

There are commercials with catchy jingles about the wonders of Viagra for instant interest and hard-on simply for the sake of performance, regardless of whether or not the person in question actually fans our fire. Sex for sex sake. While a little blue pill technically does get the job done, so to speak.  In taking these shortcuts to instant intimacy and guaranteed performance, we’re missing out on so much of the important part journey that makes it more intense, more fun.

I happen to believe we can all learn to be walking talking aphrodisiacs. It’s not dependent on your looks, but on your imagination and confidence level in who you are.

We’ve all seen them..those people who seem to attract others to them like magnets.  The ones who always seem to have suitors vying for their time and attention, no matter the situation. They are not always the most beautiful people in the room, in fact, many times they are not. So what sets them apart from those around them and gets them noticed? Attraction is an art, but it is also part science..bottom line is, the magnetism you exude is entirely under your own control.

You have to be willing to do a few things. You have to not take yourself so seriously. Will everything you do always turn out like the soaring soundtrack to a romantic movie? Of course not..you have to learn to laugh at yourself, to get over yourself. You will also have to step outside of your own comfort zone at times.

This is one time it is perfectly okay to fake it (fake it now, not later when you have accomplished your goals of heating things up). Put on your confident airs and believe that you can do anything. Fake it if you must until you start to believe your own bravado and sense of self.

Last but not least, it requires a true realization within yourself that you are truly sexy, confident and worth being adored, and worthevery bit of  the attention coming your way. Confidence in yourself is as powerful as any little blue pill or food that you can eat to ensure that you WILL trip someones trigger that you’re interested in.

There are a few things you need to remember and do in your quest to find your inner sex magnet…

Define your own sense and version of what sexy is. It’s different for everyone, so trying to copy someone else just won’t work. Be yourself and be confident in the style you create. There is no one size fits all in the rules of attraction. Find your own niche.

Show an interest in those around you, keep up with current events. Ask questions that show you’re listening, have direct eye contact with those you’re speaking with. If you show interest in learning about someone and that you are more than just a pretty or handsome face, it ups your attraction value greatly.

Learn how to make an entrance. This does NOT mean to always make a spectacle of yourself. Instead, enter a room with your head held high. Make eye contact and smile. Believe that those that are there are glad to see you and say it to yourself until it sinks in and becomes true in your mind.

Have something you’re passionate about and don’t be afraid to express it. In order to be attractive to others, you have to have beliefs or causes that you can express passion over. Passion is SO much more that what comes out of sex. It’s a part of your spirit. Whether it’s an issue you feel strongly about or a hobby that you throw yourself into, you’re more appealing if you’re not one dimensional. Have a favorite author, argue politics if you dare, challenge someone to a game of backgammon or chess.

Exercise and take care of yourself. No, this doesn’t mean running out to join a gym tomorrow. Take pride in your appearance, like it or not, first impressions often are difficult to overcome. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to do so and it’s important to respect yourself and to let it show. No matter your weight, if you exercise, even just by walking a few more steps a day..it increases your self esteem, boosts your energy AND your libido. It will show from a glow in your face..if you feel healthy, you look healthy. This too, is about attitude in part. Treat yourself and your body with respect and others will too.

Forget the “rules”.Don’t go into a situation with pre-conceived notions of what you should and shouldn’t do. Don’t play games. Go with the flow and enjoy yourself, loosen up. If you feel interest, let the person know it. Don’t expect them to wait on you to return their calls or have to guess if you’re interested or not in them. If you do, don’t be surprised if they aren’t there when you decide to try and reel them in. That doesn’t mean that discretion and flirting go out the window, but by the same token, don’t sabotage yourself either by trying to control the entire situation.

Learn to flirt, don’t dismiss the ever so important nuances of foreplay.Someone that can master the art (and it is an art, albeit becoming a lost one) of seduction is almost unstoppably, unbearably interesting to a partner or potential partner. While the in-your-face take me now approach can be and is fun in an established relationship, in most cases..learning to flirt, even without serious intent, is vital to your appeal-ability..and knowing how to seduce and fan the flames of passion with someone you are in a relationship with is priceless. Whether you are in a long distance relationship as I am or in a long term marriage, know your power. Don’t be predictable.

Be picky, don’t settle. There is nothing worse than the sense that someone will take whatever is available simply in order to scratch an itch or not be lonely. Learn how to like being alone, and when you meet someone that just isn’t quite right…don’t try to talk yourself into them or think you can make them into your ideal partner. When you decide to get down and dirty, it doesn’t have to always be for true love. When that decision is made and the clothes start coming off, it always should be with someone you actually respect and at least like, not just someone you’re in lust with and don’t want to be seen with outside of the bedroom (or restaurant bathroom stall, whatever floats your boat). Not only are one night stands dangerous to your health, it’s truthfully not even close to being the mind blowing sex you can have with someone you know well and know how to arouse.

Accept that you will not always come away with the prize. Yes, I know it’s hard to imagine, but not everyone will find you attractive or be interested in your bubbling confident personality. That’s what makes the world go ’round. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it only means that different strokes for different folks (literally at times *wink*). No one is 100%attractive, 100% of the time, to everyone they meet. Feelings will be occasionally hurt and that’s okay, it’s not fatal. Don’t let it stop you from climbing right back on the horse to ride..so to speak.

Last but not least…Learn how to be sensual. Indulge in your senses…learn to appreciate the life around you. Hug your acquaintances. Enhance your sense of touch, whether out in nature or around the house..feel the texture of life around you. Appreciate the delicious smells that can spark our senses. Taste everything. Learn to dance, slow and close, hear and feel the music surrounding you. Passion and sensuality is not just simply about sweaty naked bodies, it’s something that permeates your entire being.

Cultivate yourself, learn how to become irresistible to those around you…learn how to be fascinating. Before long, you’ll notice a difference in the way others look at you and treat you. Smile often, flirt shamelessly without intent to those you meet, but flirt with pure intent with those that fire your senses.

Before you know it, you will literally be good enough to eat and an aphrodisiac that can’t be found on any grocery shelf or in a pill bottle. You’ll be the definition of pure walking talking sex appeal and available without a prescription..what a concept!