Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

Choosing HAPPY

I am blessed to be connected to some very wise, sweet, and logical ladies. happyballOur connections allow us to provide one another with things we may be missing in ourselves at various times. Moments ago I was mulling over some of my “me” issues and “choosing happy” came to mind.

I can be a bit a passive masochist, if you will, and I didn’t realize it until “choosing happy” crossed my mind. I wonder if that is the control freak in me, residual affect speaking?

It is Sunday morning and church is on my mind. Paul talks of being contented no matter what your circumstances. I will say this is a challenging thing  to do, but if one can manage it… wow imagine the advantage one would possess. Paul sat in prison and kept his heart and mind on the Lord. Paul walked out of that prison, can you walk out of yours. Do you even realize you are in one? Are you blaming someone else for the time you are serving in there? Do you want to be free?

Well in order for you to do this the first thing you must do is decide this a place I do not want t be in. How many of us talk and complain of something being so terrible, and how we cannot endure. Yet that is precisely what we do. There is no effort made to change, just countless reference to how much one is dissatisfied.

On one occasion or another all of us have lost our keys; car keys, house keys, etc. the  most common thing to do once the initial search comes up empty is to retrace the steps and when that yields no results we often try the process again.  Irritation sets in, followed by confusion as you wander over the same steps again and again.

If anyone is around and ask what is wrong, aren’t you reluctant to tell them? You know what type of help they will offer don’t you? They will get in your way, they will look a/in the same places you just did, and then they will do it, they will ask the question that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and all you have in you will be challenged  to keep from pouncing on them and beating them to a pulp. ” Where were you when you last had them?” NOOOOOO! Did you really just ask me that? See that is exactly why I didn’t want to say anything.”  Word to the wise; the next time a someone is in one of those aimless search modes, I suggest you back silently out of the room. They call for your help, and trust me that will only happen when they are in desperation mode.

EUREKA! when you do find them, generally in plain sight, you wonder how you could have passed over them so many times without seeing them. I submit to you; this is what happens in your quest for happy you have to realize that you have what you need to possess this thing you are in search of, and perhaps in your search you discover (or have someone else point out) you have had it in your possession all along.  Just stop take a rest, take a listen to the calm quiet voice, and magically you will find your keys.


“The Best Man Holiday ” Was Truly The BEST!

Every-so-often as a writer you run across something that brings tears to your eyes and rouses your spirit.  A piece that makes you say, ” This is why I write, I wish I could write like that, or Thank God for writers!”

This morning I was surfing the internet looking for inspiration. I have a couple things pending, and I always like to either publish something positive to follow-up or even neutralize a negative. I came across a movie trailer for “The Best Man Holiday”.   I was in a nostalgic type mood and recalled how much I enjoyed the first film  as I found myself laughing aloud at this current trailer. It was early and I decided, I would go.

The theater was rather full for a Friday morning. The audience was well mixed. I expected different in Gwinnett County Georgia. Picking up years later you felt like you were going home for the holidays. You watched these endearing, intelligent diverse, funny characters maneuver around LIFE happening to them.  The wonderful familiar faces, charming personalities, and a smart script made you laugh, cry, and warmed your heart.

If you want to do something for yourself today, treat yourself to a quick visit to the forthcoming holidays, that will remind you what “the holidays ” are all about. A film that will help you reflect on sharing with friends, family, and gives tribute to the human spirit. Don’t take my word for it, go see it!!!

What Richie Can Learn About Being INCOGNITO

As I read a little about this controversial player, the first impression was loud mouthed-attention-hungry scumbag. He has all the necessary pieces to qualify for that label in my book. He is from New Jersey, he has Italian heritage, he attended school in racial/diversity insensitive areas (Nebraska and Arizona), he has been referred for Anger Management repeatedly, he gropes and molests women at will,  he was named NFL “dirtiest player”  in 2009  are among his accomplishments.. hummmm He hasn’t been looked upon in a positive manner, since high school sports were a part of his life. Get the picture? Now of course I am being extreme with the reference to Italian heritage,  everything else I stand by.  We cannot overlook or ignore the horrid impression  and impact “Jersey Shore and Snooki “ have had on two of my points of reference though. However, I am NOT that narrow-minded. I have no issue with Italians; I believe many of them do have issues about certain characteristics, but all-in-all who among US in this great big human family is NOT in denial on one level or another? Big, bad, and over-the-top. Richie you went too far, it appears(“p.c. alert”). I, in spite of myself listened to this man speak about the incident(s) briefly. He seemed to be doing a very good well rehearsed job of explaining himself. The “Blue Fairy ” in me wanted to believe this guy is JUST a dumb-ass, but my better judgment said,” How naive; how long, how many excuses can you give a 30 year old MAN to make this behavior forgivable?!” I rummaged through interview snippets from players on his team and in the league trying to make this  seem blown out-of-proportion. I was especially critical of the African-American players siding with him. I lost ALL ability to justify or excuse when the “n-word” factor came into play. For that word in and of itself is subject for many and another dialog.  The”n” word also is a source that breathed life and fanned the flame of this controversy of Richie Incognito.

Is Richie a racist, perhaps. Did he make bad decisions, CERTAINLY! Can he recover, possibly. Did he learn anything, TIME WILL TELL! Now here is a little something. His name suggests mystery, subtlety, and NOT drawing attention to oneself. However, his behavior is the antithesis and now it has ONCE AGAIN gotten him in trouble. There are people,and we all know at least one, who would rather have a light shone on them in a bad way than no light at all. Richie Incognito exhibits those characteristics. Now that he has time off, the possibility of his bank accounts being relieved of some of their “weight”, and exclusion from the club he wants so much to be a part of; Richie, you may want to re-think that persona of yours. Research that last name of yours and practice some of the defining traits of someone who exists “INCOGNITO”. Also while you are expanding your horizons and enlightening yourself take note of another word, the word whose malicious and careless use by YOU probably will be the source of your career’s demise and life as you know it. Next time you decide to drop the “n” word think before you speak, and realize had you done this before you may not be where you currently are. Here is a pearl of wisdom for you; IT IS NEVER OKAY TO USE THE “n” WORD! NEVER!

Uh… Discussion About Race

Well here we go.. AGAIN. I stood uneasy and in disbelief! Just when I think he cannot be more insensitive and  tactless he proves me wrong. I was livid and sweating bullets at the same time. I mean this guy is a friend and a valued customer. How can I recoup this obvious flub. My mind raced. The more time that passed, the farther from an answer my mind wandered. At last on a seemingly good note we all parted.

On the way home making general conversation ,I could NOT wait for an opportunity to tell my spouse how terrible I thought he was. I had the adjectives and nouns lined up. I was prepared to be as condescending as possible, for he needed to know, just because you feel and think one way it doesn’t give you the right to just go off on these tangents with people you claim to like…

I began with a simple question to bait the trap. “Did you realize that you were talking to someone white when you said that”, I asked. He replied, “yes..” Well with both barrel blazing I prepared to attack, but he through me for a loop and I had to re-group and re-consider. He continued, ” Why do you think it is that we in this country time and time again, talk about having an open forum about race yet it never seems to take place?” Whoa, whoa wait a minute.. he was actually making sense and in a fashion I was ill prepared and possibly ill-equipped to answer…

I am driving home, after a weekend of football controversy about bullying and misuse of words and charges of racism, and here I am being confronted with my own possible missed opportunities to address subject matter that arises again and again. I thought he was being mean when in fact he was doing what we on one occasion or another like to say we believe we need, to have a discussion about race.

Well it’s not the time or place.. question when is it? Things can get heavy and deep when you examine them “head on”. I was so concerned about what my/our Caucasian friend would think about the brash comments my spouse made. I didn’t bother to give either of them credit of being the types of people that, one hopes, open forums create and foster. It did not occur to me that perhaps they were already in the place I say I dream will come to be one day, before I move beyond this Earth. I did not consider that maybe THEY had truly evolved. I was too busy being uncomfortable and judgmental of them both.

When is the right or proper time to have this discussion? Dare we be so exact? In a classroom sounds good, a place where ideas are meant to be exchanged. At work, certainly not unless some problem has arisen. In church, that again is a safe place because no one would  be confrontational in the house of the Lord. What about at home and not your home? That is something to ponder. You see all the examples I gave were easily identified as basically safe or non-safe.  However, out of these antiseptic, tagged areas one doesn’t know what might occur and that makes one reluctant to broach such  a subject in that type of environment. Not in your house out of your comfort zone,  anything can happen. Would YOU take that chance?

The biggest problem I see with a discussion of race, is the subject matter is uncomfortable and volatile.  You want to be expressive and honest, but at what risk. Can you be truly open with people you care about, work with, attend classes and church with..? The truth is most of us walk around and ignore race until it affects us directly and depending who you are, the frequency of those direct affects varies.

When racial tension hits the headlines, there are naturally more rumblings about the problems, solutions, and yes the existence of racial issues. Case in point Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins, and the NFL. There are rumblings of bullying, hazing, and most prevalent racism. I, being a football fan, have an image in my mind of a football player. I cringe when I see rules changing in the game, even knowing it is to protect the players. It is a rough and tumble game, and you have to be resilient and tough. Yet we are talking hits here, when one goes on the field he has his body armor, but what about the psychological armor. The helmet protects your head, but what do you have inside of yourself to protect your “head”? What about sportsmanship, team camaraderie, and here’s a little blast from the past word for you  R-E-S-P-E-C-T! (I will cover this particular incident  more detailed on a different post, for now it merely serves as an example.)

The truth is we do not know how to communicate with one another in most instances, so what would happen if we start a discussion about something that makes most of us uneasy. There would likely be arguments, harsh and hurtful words, perhaps a fight would ensue, but maybe something positive could result from this dialog. Never know unless you try, and remember it doesn’t necessarily need to be a planned event. However, you MUST make every effort to “keep-it-clean”.

Someone You Used To Know

An old friend of mine got married the other day and it got me to thinking. Now let me elaborate some, the old friend was an ex-love and the other day was well about 35 + years ago. I have to say the marriage was a hurtful thing, because I wanted to be the one to marry him. I was fully engulfed in a major case of “puppy love” with the side effect of believing even a Pyrrhic Victory would be fulfilling. Years later I would discover I wasn’t right in my thinking, and as genuine as I thought my love was it passed. The marriage ended rather quickly. I married another and life went on. I still see and communicate with my “friend” and admittedly I smile about the way I felt about him and the closeness that meant so much to ME. I also get a bit of satisfaction out of knowing the universe manages to get things right. He and I were not suited for one another, and forcing that issue could have been a disaster. Instead we now can sit and talk and laugh, because we are friends with no undertone and no expectations.

Who is out there like this for you? The “ex” you thought you’d end up with, the “ex” you are relieved you didn’t end up with or the “ex” you kinda forgot about. Some how you run into a reminder, a photo or even them in the flesh.  If they cross your mind you wonder how you’ll feel, if they cross your path you wonder how/why you will react. If there is a rise, they clearly have NOT gotten to the place of which is the subject of this piece.

Perhaps your current situation is relate-able. Think about options in life in general; if given the choice of being demoted or being terminated, what would you do. First you have to take ego out of the equation, but in reality the equation is non-existent without ego.  I mean having a job but being embarrassed and disgraced by loosing your title, versus being embarrassed , disgraced, and broke. This is seemingly a “no-brainer”. Yet, I do understand and in my youth I may have chosen to appear tough and say, “Fire me, huh I quit!!!” Youth has the uncanny ability to make us overlook less important things, like common sense and acquisition of knowledge.

Then I fast forward to the real inspiration for this short piece. I looked at pictures of someone who we thought could have fit easily into our family, but it was not meant to be. I see a radiant smile on her face, loving family surrounding her, the dress, and I am truly happy for her.  She deserves “happy”. Remember the universe gets things right. Sometimes no matter how much WE think we know what should and should not be, human beings are “tried and true” mistake makers. As with my experience, life moves on and now there is another who may be the one to replace “the one who might have been”. Time will tell. She is vibrant, charming, smart, talented, and fun, her presence lets me see something in my child I haven’t been privy to before. If this is what the universe has in store, if she is the one… WONDERFUL! My only hope for my children always has been and will be is that they find “happy”, with the one who is equally “happy” with them. If not, there is always room for another in that spot simple labeled “someone I used to know”. .

I Don’t Want to Live Without You

Life and the irony surrounding it never ceases to amaze. I hope you listen to the song by “FOREIGNER” whose title I used for this piece and in my mind it is so very fitting.

I went to a memorial service of a dear friend of mine this past Saturday, Robert Howard Short. Bob was a war hero, a husband, a father and a grandfather. I told myself I wasn’t going to cry that I was accepting of his passing, for he lived what most would deem a long, happy, productive life. 89 years is quite a feat. Well I lied, I think I was in my seat a full 4 minutes looking at pictures of him, with his children, with his plane, and with the love of his life, Kathryn for 65 years before my tear ducts exploded.

I recall how I felt when I realized how much he and his beloved wife meant to me. I believe I fought long and hard to keep from caring and becoming their friend. When in reality I know better. I know I told myself that because caring for them made me have to accept the fact that one day I would very probably lose them, and I did not want to deal with that. Yet I couldn’t help it, they invaded my heart and before I knew it I loved my friends. Knowing them for 5 short years allowed me to see we as human beings still possess what we had in childhood, the ability to love and be kind for no other reason than, it is what we feel. Unbound and without obligation to anything but our hearts, simplicity in life still can exist.

This was news to a rat race baby boomer and it was refreshing. I suppose you can understand why I was unwilling to let go of such a precious gift.  Now both my friends are gone and in such a short span of time. Bob KNEW he would go before Kay, but the good Lord had something else in mind. Bob and Kay were truly a matched set.  I thought of the family they left behind; they are testament to what lovely people Bob and Kay were, for it is genetic. You can see it in their children Robbie and Betsey, and grandchildren 7 fine young men.  I know they will all be okay and then I think of something that was written by one of their daughter Betsey’s friends, lovely words of comfort, “He and your mom are together and happy again”. What a wonderful thought. What a wonderful love; to be able to see and experience the fruits of that love is just special beyond words. I love you guys, keep us in your sights.

This Year The Spiders Are Bad

I have never been afraid of the arachnids as-a-matter-of-fact, of all the creatures on the insect world, they are by far one of my least offensive. However, this year in Georgia they seem to be everywhere and it seems they are every present as well.

As I removed the web of one of these tiny little creatures from the corner of my bathroom door, it suddenly occurred to me that I was going about this all wrong. I mean the web was small, a minor annoyance and the only reason I payed attention to it was because I was on the floor picking something else up. Yet as insignificant as I deemed it to be, I realized I had destroyed a web in this location several times over the past few days and here it was again.This tiny stubborn creature would not give up, it kept invading my space. Though it was a small corner, there were many corners in my house and if I let this one go perhaps more would come and join before I could look up the invasion would be complete. A coup d’etat in my house!  As I pondered momentarily on what I should do next, it came to me, “The web isn’t the problem it’s the spider”. I took a tissue and smashed the tiny arachnid. The next day I went into the bathroom and I specifically looked in that corner. There was no web and no spider. Simple solution if you realize what the problem is you are attacking. Now keep in mind, I don’t necessarily dislike spiders, but I am not a fan of them either. If they leave me alone and stay out of my house we have no issue.

The House of Representatives then crossed my mind. The TeaParty and the influence they have over the Republicans angers me. What happened to free thinking? Ah yes it is truly the ideology of the poor, weak, and less influential. Who else has the ability to wish for better or to dream? The rich and powerful do not dream; they do not have to,  for their money and power have granted them the visible/tangible dreams. Yet through it all they are still not happy, and that is because they know all that they have will not last forever and the price they have/will have paid for the illusion’s worth of grandeur cannot be quantified.

The song “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, rings in my ears. The horrid Koch Brothers dry sullen faces flash in my mind and one cannot disassociate the Koch brothers from the TeaParty either. I read over the article in Forbes magazine from December 2012 and had to turn from it, thinking,  “I have to work on NOT being able to stomach information about things(people) I do not like”. I realized this problem I have can be tied to the problem we have facing our country in the political arena. I don’t like you; therefore I do not have time, nor will I waste my effort finding out anything about you. Yet in reality it is not that simple.  The world as it has become increasingly smaller does not allow for the so-called simple solutions avoidance and ignorance have a very short “shelf life”. Where does that leave us? What do you do when you basically want to exist outside of the controversy and conflict, once you discover you cannot. Well here’s my two cents worth; do what I  did about the spider problem(mine in particular) identify/realize what your source problem is and take care of the root cause.

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