Feel-Good Moment!

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I’m sure that a lot of you have seen the video of the young man saving a bunny rabbit from the wildfires that are raging in California. When I first saw this video on ABC via Twitter, I was so overwhelmed by different emotions, I needed to react to it.

In the craziness of our everyday lives on top of the politics, hatred, and negativity that we’re living with daily, this was so inspiring to me! It’s so easy to get caught up in the things that we’re dealing with, the things that are problems in our lives, that we sometimes overlook the good that we encounter or we just pass it up on our way to get things done.

The video of this young man risking his life to save a rabbit from the raging fires really hit me. It signifies all that is good in our world. Watching him, I could just feel the emotions he seemed to be experiencing.

I watched this a few times in a row because I just FELT the good in it! I really needed that. Sometimes we get to a place where we really need something good to see, to happen, to make us realize that we really are okay.

Judging by the reactions to this tweet, I’m definitely not the only one to have been affected by this. Let me know how you felt after watching it!

Please check out the video here: Fire Video

Here’s my Twitter response:

Damn… and just like that my faith in humanity is restored. We’re definitely broken right now but THIS? This means we’re going to be okay. Thanks, young man, for being a good person. Our world needs a lot more people like you. I’m sure his mother is none too happy with him tho

and link if you’d like to follow: Tweet

would love to hear about any experiences that you’ve had that have inspired you! I think we could all use a little positive in our life right now. Share your story!

This Long Week

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So this is how I feel this week.

Thanksgiving’s over and it was great! This week we have to get back to normal and take care of our stuff that we ignored last week AND it’s a full one. Seems like this week is a month long, doesn’t it?

This is also the week before I bring out the Christmas spirit and start going crazy! So I clean the house, put some things away, get my stuff ready and in place…and wait for the weekend!

Hope your week is going by faster!

 

 

 

 

Where’s Our Moral Compass These Days?

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Daily now, we’re faced with the divisiveness pervading our country. Politics has really played a number with us over the past couple of years, but this isn’t about politics. At almost 60 years old, I have never in my life seen anything like it. I have seen elections play out through the years while both sides put out political ads insulting the other. I remember a time when people were criticized for doing that and that was nothing compared to how it is now. We are being subjected to behavior that is so offensive and unacceptable that my mouth literally falls open at some of what I see and hear. When did we turn into human beings that allow this type of behavior and what are we going to do about it?

I’m going to leave the actual political debates aside here. I am, however, holding our elected officials, individually, accountable for a large portion of our current problems. They are setting the standards and they are the ones lowering them by accepting things that should not be acceptable. To me, this problem is so much bigger than politics. I think, beyond the political culture, the continuing tolerance for ill behavior by SO MANY people in the recent months is shocking. I have a hard time believing what we now consider acceptable. We have to stop blaming the political parties as a whole and look at the individuals involved and hold them accountable for their behavior. This is not a political problem; it’s a humanity problem.

When did it become tolerable to blatantly admit to sexually assaulting women and think that it’s okay?  In fact, even if the abuse is admitted, the victims are still subject to skepticism, doubt, and disbelief. Often, there aren’t even repercussions for these actions. Why do we find it so hard to believe the victim and find it so easy to find excuses for the accused? Why are there different levels of blame based on who it is, whether it’s your political party or based on the color of the person or the nationality of the person involved? When did it become okay for the KKK and other hate groups to be open about their hatred? In what world is it okay for them to spew hate and violence and not even worry about repercussions? I feel like somebody opened that door that we all knew to keep locked and we’re facing what’s there. We know it’s been there, but have been able to keep it at bay until now. We’ve tried hard to remedy these biases and have worked to do better as human beings. I feel like we’ve just been set back by decades. Why aren’t our elected officials, in all capacities, dealing with these issues as a country and not blindly following along party lines? These issues are defining us as a country, as a people. It’s their responsibility to treat these issues accordingly. These topics, like so many others that are now occurring on a daily basis, need to be addressed swiftly and surely. There really is no other acceptable choice. What kind of world do we want to live in? What kind of world do we want our children and grandchildren to be part of? I think it’s time to make that choice and do something about it before we continue to lower our standards as human beings.

The lies that we’re subjected to daily by some of our elected officials and some of the media are also not acceptable. The fact that these falsehoods roll so easily off of their tongues is a bigger problem to me than the lie itself. Since when is it tolerable to simply make things up and put them out there as truth? Even when caught, they feel no responsibility to correct it. These same government officials that we have elected to preserve our rights, to look out for our interests, are just as culpable as anybody else. The race to put through their own agenda has put our health and welfare at risk. Many of them have admitted to not knowing the details of the plans put before them yet are completely comfortable voting on them. Now millions of us are living in fear daily as to what’s going to happen to us. The fact that we entrusted these people to do their due diligence means nothing. They continue to vote in a manner that critically affects those most vulnerable while enabling those most fortunate to continue to line their pockets.

Most of what I read and hear these days is so hypocritical that it angers me to listen. It seems as if everybody has one set of beliefs and absolutely refuses to listen to anything that differs from it. There appears to no longer be a way of working together, of working in the best interest of the people or of simply acknowledging that there’s a right and wrong. People are put on television to excuse others’ words, actions, and behaviors. It’s as if they can make it okay if they can make enough people believe it is. We’ll make up excuses to support our view. We’ll bend the truth as far as we can to look at things the way we want to see them. When did this become okay?

I know that there is a group of people out there that are perfectly fine with the way things are going. They clearly embrace the violence and the hate and are taking advantage of the direction we’re headed. There’s another group of people that are simply unaware of the changes taking place and may not pay much attention to politics or our changing standards. Their world may not have been affected much. That’s pretty tempting given the amount of coverage and mind-boggling accusations being tossed around. It’s easy to tell ourselves that it will work itself out. There’s another group of people, though, that are working hard to fight this culture, to hold themselves and others to higher standards, to uphold the constitution and morals of our country. These are the people that are trying to keep our country great, to maintain our standing as the best country in the world and to look out for each other. That’s the group that I want to be part of.

I want to go back to the world I grew up in, one where there’s a right and a wrong. Right means behaving in a manner that is moral, that is honest and that is appropriate. Wrong is selfish, hypocritical, and negative. I really don’t understand how these two things can be confused. Lies, violence, and inappropriate behavior or words should not be tolerated or excused by anybody. Our humanity has taken a steep dive and I think we’ve continued to move the bar in a negative way and accepted way more than we should have as normal. I don’t know how much longer we can allow this to continue and still remain the country of people that we want to be. I think it’s time for each one of us to say we’ve had enough. We deserve the honor, the integrity, and the respect that our ancestors worked so hard to create for our country. We cannot and should not give that up. We need to raise the bar again; raise our expectations for those that represent us. Hold people accountable for behavior that is not representative of our country. Women, children, disabled people, people of color, people of different religions…nobody… in this world should have to be afraid daily or treated in a substandard manner. Hatred and violence should not be a daily occurrence where we just shrug our shoulders.  I’m tired of being afraid of what our representatives are doing and being embarrassed and angry. We deserve a country that we’re proud of and a government that supports us and puts our best interests first. I think it starts with each one of us and what we can do to change it. Make a phone call or write a letter. Get involved. Vote for whoever represents your values and vote out those that don’t! Let your voice be heard and let your actions be representative of how you want our world to be. Stand up for what’s right and don’t accept less.

In Honor of Veteran’s Day

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My heartfelt gratitude to those of you that are currently serving or have served our country. I can’t begin to imagine the sacrifices you’ve made on behalf of our country. What I do know is that I appreciate each and every one of you and offer you my thanks.

As a mother, I can’t imagine the worry and the sorrow that you must go through when one of your children is away and in danger. To you and all of our veterans’ families, I want to say thank you as well. I know it’s not easy and I applaud your strength and support while your children are serving our country.

God Bless our veterans and keep them safe.

 

 

It’s Time!

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Once again, it’s time to change our clock.

Tonight, or technically tomorrow at 2:00 a.m., we need to change our clocks back by one hour, thereby ending Daylight Saving Time. For those of us in the United States, this means everybody except Hawaii and Arizona. Confusing? Yep, and so is the rest of the story.

Did you know that this tradition actually started way back with Benjamin Franklin in order to conserve energy? Apparently he was way ahead of his time in his thinking that the extra hour of daylight would require less energy on lighting. It wasn’t until a century later, however, that Daylight Saving Time actually went into effect in 1916 when Germany established it as a way to conserve fuel during WWI. Europe followed shortly thereafter and the United States jumped on in 1918. It’s actually a myth that it was initiated to help farmers out by having more daylight hours.

There’s actually quite a bit more history behind the story of how this came to be and how it’s still managed. I found a really interesting article that describes how it was started, ended, and started again. Then it created a lot of chaos by leaving the decision up to the individual states and towns to manage. Nowadays, less than 40% of countries around the world observe Daylight Saving Time.  If you have a few minutes, it’s a fun read.

Daylight Saving Time 2017: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How

There are some fun facts here, as well, like how it affects us, our health, and our pets. I think most of us agree that we can definitely feel the impact twice a year when this rolls around. So tomorrow morning, you can enjoy that extra hour of sleep, but be warned: your pet might not get the memo and expect to get up and eat at the same time as usual.

 

Can’t “Just” Do It All Anymore?

slow

At some point in our life, we have to stop assuming that we can “just” do whatever we want. Sometimes we can’t “just” run to the store or “just” pick up the house. Sometimes it’s a bigger deal to get it done. Sometimes we expect this change to happen and sometimes it takes us completely by surprise. No matter how it happens, it’s an adjustment that we are forced to make whether we like it or not. It’s just the reality of it.

I think, for most of our life, we go along doing what we want to do or what we have to do without thinking too much about it. We go to school, we go to work, we go to the store, and we go out with friends. All of these things are done without too much thought. We’re in the habit of doing things we have to do, like cleaning the house or going to the grocery store. Most of the time, we just think of these things as necessary and get irritated if we don’t have the time or don’t really feel like doing it. If we get invited to a party or want to go to an event, we decide if we want to go or not.

At some point, however, some of these choices are either taken away from us completely or the choices become much more difficult to make. Sometimes it happens when we least expect it, like when it is due to an accident or an injury. This requires an abrupt change in lifestyle and a complete adjustment to how we have to manage our life versus how life used to be. Sometimes it’s a gradual process, for instance as we age. We know we’re just not quite as capable as we used to be or not quite as quick as we used to be but we learn to adjust to things over time and it’s accepted as a normal process. Sometimes, as with chronic illness, these choices are taken away from us and we can’t really explain it very well.

In all of these instances, life changes and we must learn to adjust to our new reality. Nobody wants to be in this position and nobody has asked for this. Sometimes we can blame our new reality on something specific like an accident or debilitating illness and we have something to be angry at. We have a name that we can blame, something that people understand and that can be easily explained. The other times, the times when there is no good reason for our declining functionality, results in a frustration that is not easily dealt with. That doesn’t help us and it’s just another adjustment that we have to make.

I can speak from a perspective of both aging and having a chronic illness. I can say that I am super frustrated daily. My life has changed in many ways over the past years and I’m not real happy about it. I will adapt, but not easily. Who wants to change their life in a negative way? I certainly didn’t want to give up working when I was finally at a place (and salary) in my career that I wanted to be and had worked toward my whole life. I’m not happy to be in an uphill financial battle with the government (which is woefully inadequate btw). I’m not happy to have to worry, every single day, about what I can and cannot do. Most of all, I’m not happy that these choices were not my doing and not mine to make; the choice was taken from me. We don’t like having choices taken away from us.

From what I have learned, it appears that people with chronic illness tend to be more of a Type A personality, which I definitely am. I’m also stubborn. It makes it much harder for me to admit that I don’t have control over many things in my life anymore and that I’m not able to always just do what I want to do. Dealing with our lack of control is as much of an issue as any other disability, loss of function, or impairment. As I’m aging, I’m also finding that I can’t do things the same way that I used to do them, which I continue to be surprised about…each and every time. You’d think I’d learn after awhile. I can’t multi-task quite nearly as well and things take longer than they used to, so I don’t get as much done. I still have pretty high expectations of myself so I find that I’m constantly being disappointed. One would think that, at some point, I would realize that this is now my “new” life, relax, and learn to adapt. It’s not always that easy.

Many of us, for various reasons, have to live with the reality that there is no such thing as “just” getting something done anymore. Every day when we get up, we make a choice of what we can do. Sometimes that choice needs to be adjusted as the day goes on. When I make a decision to go grocery shopping, it’s not “just” going shopping; it’s making sure I’m up for the walking, lifting, and driving and have nothing else that has to get done.  If I make a commitment to do something, I need to plan ahead and do the best that I can do to feel well enough and hope it stays that way. There are so many factors that play into how we live our lives that I couldn’t possibly list all the possible considerations. It’s discouraging enough to have to make concessions, so please be understanding if someone has difficulty or needs to change plans.

We all have varying circumstances; sometimes these changes are temporary and sometimes they are permanent. Either way, we all have our own set of limitations and do the best that we can to live within them. Adjusting to these changes isn’t easy and we need to understand how this affects people. I know it’s easy to be impatient when people are moving slowly in the grocery store or filling out forms, but it’s important to remember that they’re not doing these things to ruin your day. They’re doing the best that they can. I like to think that we are here to help each other out when we need it, but certainly the very least that we can do is not make their situation worse through our impatience or misunderstanding. For those of you that are struggling daily, take care of yourself in the best way that you can. The rest of us will be just fine. All of us are going to be older one day or have issues that make things a bit harder. Hopefully the people around us will be understanding and supportive of us when we need it as well.