Friday, February 5, 2016

My Gift - Original Poem

My Gift
(Original Poem) 

It’s Christmas time, a time of hope, of love, and cheer,
But not all understand the love that’s floating in the air.

“Mommy, play?” the young child asked as he stared up from the floor.
“Sorry, no, too much to do” she replied and walked out the door.
He looked over at his dad and noticed he was there,
In front of the TV, watching sports, reclining in his chair.
And so he rose and walked around and with a little jerk,
Tugged on his Daddy who just looked down and said, not now, I’ve got to work.
The little boy just looked around and saw the Christmas tree.
“What happened to Christmas Spirit,” he thought, “Santa come help me.”

The next day came and on it went until then came the time,
When the little boy saw Santa and jumped right in the line.
As his turn approached, his mother asked, “What will you ask him for today?”
He just smiled at her, shook his head and continued on his way.
He climbed up on Santa’s lap and smiled up at him,
And when Santa asked his greatest wish, he said “All I want is Time.”
“Time?” Santa asked, “What do you mean? No toys, no gifts, no books?”
“No,” replied the boy, “I’ve got toys coming from every nook.”

“What I want is time - for families and friends to see.
Some time to spend with nothing to do – nothing to do but be.
I love my life, my friends and folks; I’m not saying that I don’t
But one day they’ll be less busy and by then I won’t.
I want them to know the me that’s hiding deep within,
The one that hides inside because no one’s there to listen.
So what I want is easy and doesn’t cost a dime
All I want is for you to make them find a little time.”

Santa just smiled down at him and said he’d do his best,
And as the boy walked away, Santa felt a weight lift in his chest.
It’s not the decorations, the music or the gifts.
That isn’t what Christmas means at all, it’s the spirits that it lifts.
So if you’ve been too busy to realize all you own,
Take a moment to look around at what this child has shown.
For in a family, love is not spelled the way you see,

It’s also spelled in a special way, that way is T-I-M-E.

This is an original work of poetry, if you choose to share this poem, please link back to this site, it is not for commercial use but may be shared personally.  Thank you.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What do I have to Show for It?

I've come to the startling realization that I am a bit arrogant.  I never would have thought of myself as such but I realized I am in some ways.  I've always looked at certain people in my family and felt sorry for them because of how they talk to other people, they don't really have many friends. However, since recently I have been in somewhat of a flux emotionally and haven't felt like doing much, I've done a lot of thinking.

I realize that I only have three really good friends.  And there are some things that I can't tell them.  One of them knows some of it, but the others don't.  Some things I've done in the past few years that I'm rather ashamed of.  Things that have made me question who I am down to the very core.  I've come out of it, didn't break any laws, but definitely broke my spirit some.  But as I added up who I had that I could count on, I realized that I was one to be pitied, because not only do I not have that many real friends, I was stupid or arrogant enough to believe I did.

Now, when I say real friends, I mean the ones you can really count on.  Not the ones who text you occasionally or act like they're your friends because you have lunch together every so often. Real friends are those who know the real you, even when you're hiding it.  They know the goods and bads and they accept you regardless.  They deal with your moodiness and still hang around.  They send you little snapshots and treats to make you smile just because they know you're having a really crappy time right now.  The ones you can call in the middle of the night if you wanted to and they wouldn't go WTF - they'd say, hey is everything okay, what can I do to help.

Now, I am blessed to have a few of those in my life luckily but I realized that I don't even have that many casual friends.  Not people who know me.  Not people I can count on.  Not even people I can trust.  One of the ones I thought I could leans on me whenever her other so called friends disappear or let her down, and I try to be there for her.  But I don't think she's ever honestly been there for me.  And I recently found out that she had a housewarming party and didn't invite me. Now it may be petty, but I have done so much for her I can't even count it up, I've been a shoulder when she needed it. And her reason for not inviting me?  Apparently it was a beer party and I don't like beer.  I don't want to be friends with someone who's ashamed of me. If you're afraid to be seen with me with  your "cool" friends, then you aren't good enough for me.  Flat out.

I'll get through having only a few friends if it means not having my back stabbed and heart broken by people I thought I could trust.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rollercoaster of Emotions

I feel like I live my life on a constant rollercoaster.  Mostly due to emotions.  I wouldn't mind the hill so much if I got that rush of the downhill speed more often I guess.  Lately it feels like I'm either running on flat track or just going up and up the hill never experiencing the good parts.  I think I've said it before, I've gotten darn good at pretending everything is okay.  Sometimes I even manage to lie to myself about it.

Today is not one of the good days, it's definitely a flat track with a slight incline kind of day.  Having trouble focusing on my work, nothing I do for fun even sounds good, my junk food doesn't even sound good.

If I'm smart I'll use my lack of desire for my fun things to actually accomplish some cleaning and organizing tonight.  Will I be smart? Who knows.  It's difficult on days like this to make myself care. In my head I do, but it seems like there is a brick wall between my thoughts and the signal to my brain that actually tells me to move.

If I had telekinesis, I'd be done my cleaning in no time. I can literally sit there and look at the counter and go, oh this should go here and that should go there, but then actually putting one foot in front of the other to do it - not so much.

I can't even really explain the feeling to someone who hasn't experienced it.  In a way my brain hurts from the sheer lack of anything, not so much pain in the way you may imagine it, but yet it does hurt.  I'm doing a lousy job of articulating it today I guess.

Here's hoping that I get it out of my system and get on the track to accomplishing things.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kindness is Contagious - So go and Spread it!

I had tried blogging a few other times as I mentioned in my first post on this one I think.  One of the ones I had done was called Hand to Hand - It's time to Spread the Nice Virus.  This was one of the posts I had on there and although the event that sparked it happened many years ago, I still vividly remember that day. Not just because of actually hitting someone with my car (yes, really, see below), but because of how everyone reacted to it.  I thought it worth posting here to remind people to look for the good in people not the bad.


Why seems to be a popular question these days.  Two days ago on Halloween I found myself asking it over and over.

I was in a car accident.  I struck a pedestrian with my side mirror.  It was dark out, there is no shoulder and he was in dark clothes so people keep telling me it's not my fault.  Maybe for insurance and legal purposes it isn't, but I kept asking myself Why?

Why did this happen?

Why did everything conspire to cause this?

It was dark out yes, and I was in the exact spot at the exact moment that he was walking on that corner. But if it hadn't been Halloween, maybe he wouldn't have been out walking.  If we hadn't just had the large rain from Hurricane Sandy, maybe the grass wouldn't have been so muddy that he couldn't walk in it.  And of course the biggest question, Why did this happen to me?

Then I stopped.  I realized that I wasn't asking myself the right questions.  What I should be asking is Why I had been driving towards the edge of the lane towards the center?  I don't generally and if I hadn't been I might have struck him with the car instead of the mirror.  Why wasn't he hurt worse?  He walked away with bruises, nothing more and that alone is a miracle worth giving thanks for.

The guy was an amazing person.  He was nice and thoughtful and he was actually trying to comfort me.  There are decent people out there.  And yet, when all was said and done, the advice I get from friends is whatever you do, don't call him. Let the insurance companies handle it in case it turns ugly.

And I found myself wondering at the state the world has gotten into where common courtesy and being nice to someone can actually come back and bite you.  This man was a good man, he called me when he got home from the hospital to reassure me that nothing was broken.  Why shouldn't I be allowed to call and check on him, to make sure he's still okay and to let him know that I'm concerned and I didn't just forget about it the second it was over.

Yes, it was a horrible accident but it's opened my eyes quite a bit.  One - while I am not a distracted driver, I definitely will be even more fastidious in watching the road.  Living with hurting someone even a little makes my heart hurt, if it had been worse..... Two - Why does the world need to be this way? Why can't we go back to the way things were or make things the way we want them to be?  Why can't we treat others with respect and kindness without fear of repercussions.

On the back of this, we had an event in our town that sparked a bit of controversy.  We have a local "blog" that disguises itself as a news site.  While I love the idea of the blog and that there would be a place for less "newsworthy" events to be discussed rather than just the newspaper, it is definitely editorial in nature and if you aren't on the good side of the man that runs it, watch out.  He seems to take any situation and turn it into a negative.  He thrives on causing controversy and causing discord in our town.  He took a local charitable event for children and threw such a light on it that those that don't know the full facts are bashing it and the people who put it on.  They don't stop and ask questions, ask the Why? of it, just take what he says as full and complete disclosure of the facts.  The comments on this article made me cringe at the negativity.  Out of 80 or so comments, only about 3 stopped and said, hey wait a minute - this is a charity, maybe we should see what really happened.  I know there are many more people out there that read it and just didn't want to get into the mud throwing, because they rise above it.  But the fact is that if we keep letting these negative thoughts be the only ones heard, what does that say about us as a whole?

Why can't we speak up and defend others without being criticized and ridiculed?

Why shouldn't we get involved and make those negative people stop and think, ask themselves Why they are saying this? Because I would be willing to bet you, many of these people that bashed the event are the same ones that would slam the door if asked for a donation to help.

I truly believe that the good in people outweighs the evil.   Edmund Burke is noted for the popular saying, "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."  He's right, it's time for us to stand up and speak out.  To stop letting only negative thoughts be heard.  Because if we keep going this way and don't make an effort to be heard, the only thing our children and grand-children will hear is the negative, what do you think they'll learn from that?

We all have opinions, and I don't take away anybody's right to use it or speak it.  However, our mothers all taught us the "Don't Say Anything if you Don't have Something Good to Say" as children, maybe it's time we start keeping that in mind as adults.

I changed a few years ago to how I treat my family and friends.  If they do something that makes me angry or that I think is silly or stupid, I stop before I say anything and I ask myself, What am I going to gain from saying anything? Is it going to change the way they feel? Is it going to help them understand me better? Will it help our relationship if I speak up? If the only thing it is going to accomplish is to make them feel bad, I don't say it.  It's that simple, say it in your head to get it out, start a diary (or a blog) and say it there, but don't say something with the sole purpose of making someone else feel bad.  Maybe you'll feel powerful for a moment or two, but in the end, doing something that makes someone feel better rather than bad - that feeling lasts a lot longer!

I'm putting a call out to all those out there, not the angels, not those that you look at and go wow, look at all the good they do.  I'm calling out to the normal, average every day people. Those that have that good inside them, that want to do good, that when they hear the negatives (we need a name for these people!) they disagree but don't speak up out of fear of consequence or think it's not their business to get involved.  Of course, I'll welcome the angels and do-gooders out there (and when did that become a slur by the way?)! We could use some advice on getting started. 

It's time to Spread the Nice Virus - Go Hand to Hand and Day by Day and we can make a difference!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Overburdened Social Schedules for Children?

I am the first to admit that getting children involved in activities with other children is great for them. It builds social skills, confidence, encourages growth of imagination, in some cases health, etc.  I have nothing against it in any way.  However, it seems like some children these days have such a full calendar they literally are never home.

I'm not talking about teenagers here, i'm talking about 7-8 year olds.  I have a nice and two godsons who I love more than anything in the world.  I can tell you that my biggest goal in life is to always be someone they can be proud of and will want to have in their lives.  They lead very different lives from each other.

My godsons are involved in school and in one sport.  They are home most every evening, playing with each other and the neighborhood kids.  They are active, they are healthy, they are happy.  They have family time.

My niece is involved in three activities - all of which she loves and chooses to participate in.  She is home one evening each week, one.  That's it.  Every other evening, she has an activity or practice, etc.  On weekends, she has at least one activity and sometimes two.  Her calendar is more full than mine, I have to make an appointment to spend time with her.  When I talk to her you can tell she wants more time at home to play yet if you ask her what she's willing to give up, the answer is nothing. Her parents want her to be happy and to try these different things which is great, but I wonder in the long run, what's right for her?

She doesn't have any siblings so when at home, she'd be doing homework, watching TV or playing alone or with the next door neighbor kid.  I'm glad she's making friends in these activities, and she's happy which is what really matters.  But it just seems crazy to me in some ways.

Last week she had practically everything cancelled because of the weather and when asked if she'd prefer giving up some things to have more time at home like that or to have her activities, she said she wanted the activities, so it's not like the question has not been put to her a million times.

That being said, I worry about the relationship of the family.  How strong is it going to stay when it's just about shuttling a kid around to different activities that are in a room where you can't go.  So you sit outside in the waiting room with other parents.  I worry about how she's going to keep up with school work when she is doing her homework at a table in McDonalds in the half hour she has to eat dinner before one of her things start.  I worry that she says she wants to be involved in all of these things but really just doesn't want to disappoint anyone.  I know I'm a worrier, I worry about a lot of things. But most of all, I want my kids to be happy. (Yes I call them mine, cause they are mine to share and love!)

Maybe there is no right or wrong answer, maybe as time goes by the kids will develop as they will and as long as they stay happy and healthy, I'll find something to worry about to keep them that way.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review and Opinion - Drano Max Gel

I decided to randomly start reviewing things. Now, when I say random, I was thinking of the crafts I do, recipes I've followed, books I've read.  But yet, I am compelled to start my review process with a bathroom product.

I have VERY thick hair (on top my head, get your minds out of the gutter!), and when I wash it, brush it, etc. it falls out.  Normal growth process, no health concerns (although my mother used to freak out about it let me tell you).    Anyway, it creates HUGE clogs in my bathroom sink and shower.  And in case you haven't read any of the rest of my blog, I am not the most gumptioned individual out there.  I am somewhat lazy and put off everything until it has to be done.

My bathroom sink got to the point that by the time you'd finished washing your hands, the sink was full of water that hadn't drained (we use a lot of water when we wash our hands btw) and when I would take a shower, I would literally be giving my feet a bath because about three to four inches of water would build up while I was showering.

That's a tough clog!

I purchased a double pack of Drano Max Gel and decided to try it out.  I had tried regular Drano before and had some luck but nothing that I was amazed by.  Now, it takes half a bottle to really do a job on a tough clog BUT IT WORKS!  I used half the bottle on the sink and half in the tub, let it work for 30 minutes then ran hot water through it and the clog was gone.  I was shocked, I figured I'd need both bottles just to get through the clogs, but now I have a spare to keep in my bathroom for the next time it builds up.

If you have trouble with clogging in any of your drains, I highly recommend this product.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Television Addiction and Decline of Family Time

Google's icon today is honoring the 90th anniversary of the first demonstration of the Television.  Did you ever stop and wonder where we would be today without the Television?

It seems like most of the conversation we have with friends and family now revolve around what we watched or what we are going to watch.  TV, Movies, Video Games, it's all wrapped around that square box we keep in our houses that just keeps growing.

Growing up (and I'm only a little over 40 so it's not like I'm ancient), we had one television, no remote, 13 channel knob.  Before school we would watch a couple of shows until the bus came. After school, I remember watching Woody Woodpecker or Mighty Mouse.  When I was a teenager, Nintendo came out with their system and my brother and I would play Super Mario Bros after school for a bit. Became a competition to see who could find the hidden blocks and get further, but it was fun time to spend together.  We'd all sit down to a family dinner together and discuss the day, not what we watched, not the video games, even though they were part of our lives, they didn't consume it.  We would rent movies and watch them as a family together, no laptops to work on while we watched, no cell phones to text. Just family time.

We also had family game night, not planned, just we would play games together, normally Monopoly (I had an obsession with the Railroads, I would pay anything to have them all).  My brother and I would also play games after school, like Payday.  We did jigsaw puzzles at home sometimes and almost always had one going when we visited my grandmother.

Now, many of the families I know don't even sit down to dinner together, they'll fix the kids one thing and they'll eat at the table by themselves, and then they'll fix themselves something later.  Now instead of the food and extended family making holidays special, just sitting down to a normal meal is considered special.  The kids will be watching TV by themselves, or playing apps on their Ipads. Next time you're at a restaurant, take a look around and count how many people are actually conversing with each other without looking at their cell phones.

I love technology, don't get me wrong, I have so many games on my IPhone it's ridiculous.  I like texting my friends and family, in some ways it's much easier.  And I'm guilty of introducing my niece to IPhone games to keep her happy while we ate when she was younger.  Now it seems like that's all we do though.

There has to be a balance.  I'm working to find it myself. I haven't turned on my Television in two weeks.  A few years back I cancelled my cable for a year, I watched movies occasionally but for the most part I just left it off.  I don't let my niece have my phone the second we sit down in a restaurant, if she behaves and talks to us for a bit first then I'll sometimes let her have it towards the end of the meal, but I'm thinking about nixing the cell phone at the table at all.

I can't control what happens at her family dinners at home, but I feel like I can't change anything unless I change myself.  So going forward, I'm not looking at my phone when I'm with other people at a meal, if we're shopping, I may check it occasionally to make sure there aren't emergencies, but no messing with Facebook or the Internet. I'm going to find that balance and try to be an example.  Because I miss Family Game Night, I miss Family Dinners. I love that when I visit my parents, I have a seat at the table that was always mine growing up.  That's the legacy I want to pass down, not a high score on an app.