hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

XI-haftakingabreak

Rites of Passage and Milestones; I thought reaching the century mark would be massive for me on my blog. It was an accomplishment, but then I seemed to feel like I needed to give my blog more time. I was working on the book and just working period. There really were not enough hours in the day for me to accomplish anything. As I kept active with the blog, days and weeks passed without me even looking at the book. I had a target date in mind and I certainly could not get to that point without dedicating some of my time to my book. I think my readers can relate. Often times we have to stop and back away from a thing in order to get a good look at what is needed, and what comes next.

Thus, I am starting my break. There are a few things for folks to read or read again until I make a little progress on the book. I would love to have 125 pages written in the book, when I return. That is small in itself, but with 125 blogs done the number seems tangible.

I am feeling lost and apprehensive. I am abandoning that which was familiar to me and it is very difficult. My goal now established, I must venture out and move toward that goal. Time and time management is very important here, I am still “counting” and I will be back. Hopefully with more insight, more accomplished, and more focused. After all, I am only half-way-there.

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The “Spoilers”

Inevitably, every season there are one or two teams with horrible records. They near the season’s end and what happens they must play a team with hopes of breaking records and/or chances to make it into the playoffs. Like clockwork they ruin that teams record for the season or eliminate them from the contention. What would we have them do? Just give up. That is not likely when sports, teams, etc. are involved. What happens when it is just individual people?

The individual “spoiler” is not as easy to spot. I venture to say in many cases they are not aware this is who they are. Time and opportunity will identify them, though. They often suffer from “foot-in-mouth” syndrome. The treatment is long and arduous, many aren’t ever cured. I, optimistically, believe there is a fix for the “spoilers”, but it takes a joint effort. The simple solution of course is to eliminate the problem., However, not unlike the sports, team, or even a bad ingredient in a recipe “spoiler”, the simple fix for the individual “spoiler” may not be that simple. People are so multi-facetted, eliminating someone from your life may create another problem. This may be why so many people stay in bad relationships and marriages.

All a”spoiler” needs is someone to bring the good out in them. A strong presence that can neutralize the quality in them that makes things go terribly wrong and/or fail. “Spoilers” need to be reminded that they can ruin something in an effort to be noticed, and if they use a little better judgment favorable results will occur. I listened to my all time favorite singer, Barbra Streisand doing a duet; it does not matter who she was singing with, her angelic voice inspired me here. “Barbra’s voice would complement a bullfrog” one of her many admirers noted. I totally agree. A tall order, but to the “spoilers” find your Barbra and you will be just fine.

Patient’s Patience

To all of the “Angel’s of Mercy”out there, I salute you. There are no others like you upon this Earth.

All of us will be relegated to the spot of patient at some point in time. It is what you demonstrate while you are in that status that counts. A difficult place to be in; sick, tired, in pain. You feel alone, no one understands what you feel. There is the vulnerability and need. As time goes on anger and resentment sets in. These are all understandable, but do you get a free pass? Is it okay to treat the folks who are around you, the folks trying to help and comfort you, badly. I understand that you may not or are very likely NOT aware of what you are doing, but trust me when someone says it to you, it is true.

When you are not a medical professional, you are handicapped in your attempts to help someone who is suffering. Some people are grateful to have someone willing to try to help. Then there are the others who, unwittingly, make it painfully obvious that their would be helpers are inept. This serves little purpose, for you need help and a bad attitude will oftentimes leave you without assistance or with a begrudging helper.

In your pain and illness do not allow yourself to believe that in order for one to be understanding, sympathetic, or helpful they MUST be lying in the bed with you experiencing what you are currently going through with the same degree or exactness as you. You take away the desire to try to help, and possibly leave yourself in the very spot you want to avoid. Two people in the exact same place will see and hear very different things. In having that understanding, patient I beseech you to employ YOUR patience.

As with most everything attitude is everything. It helps the patient in the healing process, it helps the caregiver with a sense of appreciation which motivates. Motivation that is essential for all parties to continue on.

Think of that nurse, who was particularly kind to you, when you were hurting and not so very easy to get along with. Realize she or he was “just doing their job” when they helped you through a rough pain episode. Process in your mind these are trained professionals who absolutely selected this spot they are in, because they felt a little something more than the monetary gain. Think of how very special these nurses are. Then think about the person you have at your disposal. They may not be equipped with a degree, they may not have the intricate medical training, but they are armed with the desire to help. Compassion; don’t run or push them away because you as a patient, cannot draw on a bit of understanding and patience yourself.

To Tip Or Not To Tip…

I heard a story that upon introduction took me back to an incident that happened to me. Mine was a case of false imprisonment and the funny thing was it was at a local car rental agency. This particular case although similar, from the false imprisonment standpoint, had to do with service at a restaraunt and how we determine who we do and don’t reward for the type of service we receive. If you don’t know, come be enlightened. Personally, I think this is something our younger counter parts should look at more so than us, but there are always exceptions. Therefore, here we go.

I had a group of “colorful friends”. California Girls” through and through.  I am proud to say most of us are still friends, but at the very least we keep in touch with one another. We did our share of restaurant hopping too; and I have to tell you we were very quick to tip, and if the service was bad we dealt with that accordingly.

Well when you visit an eating establishment and there are 6 or more of you, there is generally a little note on the menu informing all patrons of the tipping policy for such instances. Most of us ignore this due to the fact this size of a group is not the norm.  It is with that same thought in mind, that I feel safe in saying most of us have been a part of a group that fits the criterion which makes us aware these special sized groups require a little something extra, the extra being one MUST tip.

Oh how we hate being told what we must do. As seasoned adults we take it in a slightly different manner, but it is generally received the same way. The MUST tip thing doesn’t bother most of us, but upon examination can tip, should tip is very different. Realistically, if the service is good and we have the option, the tipping occurs. If the service is bad and we have the option, the tipping may be slighted. Not what you normally would leave or maybe no tip at all. However, when it is right in front of you in black and white that a gratuity WILL be added to the bill for parties over 5/6 people, your choice has been eliminated once you all sit down.

What to do? It is simple you realize and accept that your meal is 15% higher than on the menu because of the group PERIOD. Service from an individual standpoint is non existent. However, if it is good you still can show your appreciation.  Here the choice is still yours. The other alternative is to walk out before you start that bill.  Realize the establishment HAS the right to refuse service to anyone, and you as a patron have the right to not abide by their rules by simply leaving.

Cheese-us Cry-us

I do love cheese. I am a semi-lover really. My cheese needs to be on something or served with something for me to fully enjoy it. I cannot say I have often eaten a simple cheese sandwich. I have had my share of grilled cheese sandwiches though.

Recently, I saw a commercial about a  “new”sandwich being served by a national chain restaurant, it took me into a tornado of cheesy fast-food memories. I started with how adding cheese to a sandwich used to(during my adult life recollection) cost anywhere from 5 to 10 cents.I clearly remember rationalizing NOT paying 20 cents for that same cheese especially if the sandwich was going home to be eaten. Now depending on where you are that cost is 50 to 80 cents. Really, for some processed cheese food product high in fat, sodium and ultimately calories.

Honestly, it is not simply the cost we pay for this “food” it is the mindset. Sandwiches and entrees alike are given a whole different classification just because this product is added to it. Look around, there is no escape we even put cheese on desserts. A morning danish, a slice of apple pie or a creamy cannoli, it is there.Wow folks it is JUST cheese. It adds a little flavor but changing the entire eating experience for it’s addition?Wow folks it is JUST cheese. It adds a little flavor, but changing the entire eating experience for it’s addition?

I laughingly tossed out titles with my son: “Say Cheese”, “I’ll have Mine with Cheese”immediately came to mind. However, “Cheese Us Cry Ust” won out because of the phonetic play on words.

The irony of this all hit when I saw and advertisement for a sandwich that highlighted ranch in its name. I thought,” I wonder if they are actually charging more for this sandwich because it now has ranch dressing in opposed to mayonnaise?”  What’s next mustard and ketchup? At the most minor and primitive level the accessories,  the add-ons, the extras are sucking us in. As a cheese lover, I am NOT telling you to stop ordering cheese. I am merely suggesting if we all stopped doing this, perhaps it would discourage the industry from overcharging us for such a minor adjustment and make them think twice about expanding on the idea.

Now This Is Scary

There is a bit of a monster in me. I don’t like to admit to, look at, or talk about it. I won’t say I would rather look at or identify other monsters, but I would be lying if I said I do not possess  the characteristic of this very same thing.

We all like to believe we are enlightened. We think we are modern, intelligent, but what about our moments that are not so flattering.. our” toothless times”.

For starters let’s take rural Mississippians, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Allen West, New York welfare leeches and Sarah Palin. They all share a  commonness I want to reveal. Serial stupidity. When we are angry when we are being just plain mean words like ignorant, dumb, stupid come pouring out of our mouths.  However, saying those words and living those words are very different. Here these examples readily demonstrate they don’t have to be angry or even agitated for their condition to rear it’s moronic head.

Whether it is accusing groups of individuals that one does not like of being communist, to stating you can relate to a said group because your ancestors had a relationship with this group in the MOST negative ugly way. Individuals suffering from serial stupidity often time do not realize they have the condition and furthermore they think something is terribly wrong with anyone who does not see things their way. They are entertaining and unpredictable; they are also NOT qualified to be in positions that affect other human beings, let alone an entire nation. Maybe they can all catch a ride on Newt’s spaceship, settle on the moon. Mitt can be king, Newt can be vice king and founder, Allen West can be head waiter and the Mississippi locals” can put their double-wides all over the moon.  Meanwhile Sarah Palin will tell them she can still see Russia from her new front yard.

All in all it reminds me of “Dark Shadows”. As a child I watched this daytime horror/drama series. I was often plagued with nightmares and fear. I, however, could not stay away from the television at 4:00 p.m. Now as a remake Tim Burton offers his take; and while the original creepy environment and backdrop are in tact, the main character is building up to be a rather comical clown type. This does not make me happy, although I am reserving judgement . Reserving that same judgement in connection with the cast of characters I mentioned earlier is not quite as easy. You see if you really look closely these folks have their degree of scary and we should all be aware of that.

It would not do for us to “tah-tah” them away only to have these people, these real life monsters emerge when we were not expecting them in a way we were not expecting them, simply because we did not take them seriously. Take heed folks; someone out there is watching, listening to, and believing them. We wouldn’t want to fall asleep and wake up to a horrifying administration in the White House.

Good Intentions

“The road to Hell is paved with them”. I consider myself someone who has a sense of humor.  I like some pretty crazy stuff and funny, like so many other human emotions/reactions, is subjective.

Awhile back I did a post called “I’m With Stupid”. It was heartfelt, I can attest that I undoubtedly had done something that made me reflect, just cannot remember what. Here I am again baring my soul, so to speak. It looks like I may need to revisit that post periodically.

I realize I am not alone. We are all teetering on the brink of insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” . I just want to know where  the exit door is to this particular ride. If you are asking yourself the same question then you need to examine and revisit some places too.

Without detail I want to share, we must be mindful with our words beyond just thinking; “How would I feel if ____ were said about me..”, we must bother to personalize it to “How would ______ feel if they knew I said this about them”. Humor at the expense of another is NOT funny. Admit it”quick wit” may not be something we have command over anymore. For we may be quick and we may be witty, but  the presentation of the two simultaneously could present a problem. No don’t walk on eggshells, no don’t take yourself too seriously; just slow down, reflect, and think. Slowing down should not be a problem for us. I know how much longer it takes me to do most everything nowadays.

Perhaps now, I can actually train my brain to take in a bit more of what my heart actually has to say. Stay Tuned…

How Long Can You Live With It?

Well I must say we are all far beyond the point of NOT understanding the adage, “You made your bed now lay in it”. Today I had a “huuum moment”.

There have been numerous decisions over the years that I would tactfully avoid saying were not well thought through. More than a decade after one of these I find myself periodically questioning whether it was not only well thought through, but perhaps it was wrong. OUCH that one hurt! For as much as I see and recognize the inability of others to admit they are wrong, I have the same condition and it is terminal.

I will not bore you with the details for this would make me have to stop and truly examine this thing again and I really do not want to. I will tell you this, recognition also makes you go back and look at your r’epertoire, because unfortunately there generally isn’t a lone incidence.

The steps are simple. First you have the Accusation; this step will lead you to the spot where you KNOW something more must be done. You may or may not mull it over for a bit, but the next step is rapid and hard hitting. This is the Action; not a lot to say for the fact that you are here means you have made up your mind, right or wrong. Acceptance;  here you say you have done all that is humanly possible and you have no other choice.  Consideration; the back and forth happen here. Arguably this should take place before acceptance, but then we may not be having this discussion at all if it did.  Remorse; this is more of a admission, an admission of mostly YOU are not really happy with the outcome, not necessarily with the incidents that lead up to this outcome.

I leave you with “what if I was wrong” to ponder. The next step is even more difficult to face,” what do I do now“.  Along with the topic here, I would say there is a bit of soul searching you have to do. You can work on this now or you can do what I have done more than one time, put it on the “back-burner”. However, I must caution you “it” will come back again until you truly have resolve.

They Keep You Sane

I remember the haunting hypnotic sound of her voice, Deniece Williams, as she sang, “Cause after all…. that’s what friends are for.” How many times have you been on the receiving end of a sympathetic, knowledgeable, loving ear? How many times have you had to be the sounding block for one who needs that same type of caring?

Throughout my blogging, as well as throughout my life I have thought in passing how very blessed I have been to have some very special people in my life. I call them” friends” and I take them very seriously. I know in the earlier part of my life I would hear folks referring to individuals they knew as” friends”. Through the hard times, and there have been  lets just say”a few”, these special people in their special way have helped me to carry on. They are “Godsends” and I thank God for them all.

Every-once-in-awhile, as a friend, you get to do the role reversal and help them through. It is at that point in time YOU should realize and thank them for giving you and opportunity to give back. After you have some things in your life the acquisition of more doesn’t seem quite as important. However, the ability to share part of yourself/ your very being with another, is indescribable. Couple that emotion with the love you feel for that individual… well money can’t buy that.

Hold close these people you call “friends” and be the same kind of friend that you have needed, “once upon a time”. This is my “Hats Off to my “FRIENDS” .

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