Monthly Archives: September 2014

Moments

Country singer Mark Willis writes of Moments…”days in the sun, moments, I was second to none…moments, when I knew I did what I thought I couldn’t do.” We have all had times like these in our lives when we made a decision or an event happened that affected us for the rest of our lives.

I’ve had many, but the one that really changed my life is when I decided to pack up my life and move up north to Boston. I was in my 30s, had never lived outside Virginia before and thought the experience would be good for me. Mom told me I needed to “sow my wild oats.” Trust me, between working two jobs to make ends meet and taking classes for my Bachelor’s Degree, the “oats” were left by the side of the road.

In any event, I was there almost two years and made the decision to come back home in October 2006. I remember the night I called my folks and asked if I could stay with them until I found a place. Well, I’ve been there 8 years now and although it took a while, I realized my “place” was with them. The time I spent away from Virginia helped me understand what I truly had in my life and when I came back home, to my friends and family; it was as if I never left. It was a great reminder of what it means to be loved.

I challenge you today to think about the Moment(s) in your life that brought you to where you are today. Feel free to comment and share your own experiences and why those moments were important to you.

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Moments

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Monday’s Laugh

Well…since Monday is winding down, I thought we could all use a little giggle. Enjoy!!

Why Teachers DRINK

Remember: These answers came from 16 year old students!!

The following questions were set in last year’s GED examination. These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds)

Q. Name the four seasons

A.. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. How is dew formed

A.. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on

A.. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections

A.. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids

A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs (Shoot yourself now , there is little hope)

Q… What happens to your body as you age

A.. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty

A.. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery (So true)

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes

A.. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination

A… When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour

A.. Keep it in the cow (Simple, but brilliant)

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorized (e.g. The abdomen)

A.. The body is consisted into 3 parts – the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the  abdominal cavity contains the five bowels:  A,E,I,O,U (wtf!)

Q. What is the fibula?

A.. A small lie

Q. What does ‘varicose’ mean?

A.. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control

A.. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium (That would work)

Q. Give the meaning of the term ‘Caesarean section’

A.. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure?

A.. A Roman Emperor. (Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)

Q. What is a terminal illness

A. When you are sick at the airport. (Irrefutable)

Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?

A.. Benign is what you will be after you be eight (brilliant)

Q. What is a turbine?

A.. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head.   Once a Arab boy reaches puberty, he removes his diaper and wraps it around his head.

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40 Inspirational Quotes About Gratitude

I came across this today and thought it was worth sharing.  Thanks @jeffhaden!

Sometimes, a totally different perspective can be found in a few simple words of wisdom.
Whatever your definition of success (everyone’s definition of success is and should be different), we all want more. That desire for more can blind us to what we already have–and should be grateful for.

Here are 40 quotes about gratitude that will not only remind you that what you have is pretty awesome, but will also, I hope, spur you to express that gratitude to the people who deserve it most.

1. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward
2. “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
3. “‘Enough’ is a feast. Buddhist proverb
4. “If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.” Robert Quillen
5. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault
6. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
7. “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens
8. “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle
9. “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” Frank A. Clark
10. “If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” Gerald Good
11. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
12. “The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” Michael Josephson
13. “Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
14. “The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” Charles Schwab
15. “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus
16. “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
17. “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” William James
18. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey
19. “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Buddha
20. “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” Gertrude Stein
21. “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” Henri Frederic Amiel
22. “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
23. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
24. “It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” Naomi Williams
25. “One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh
26. “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden
27. “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” Alfred North Whitehead
28. “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Milne
29. “Forget yesterday–it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow–you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift–today.” Steve Maraboli
30. “We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.” Neal A. Maxwell
31. “In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
32. “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.” John E. Southard
33. “I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice.” Mike Ericksen
34. “Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it.” Stephen Richards
35. “Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.” Robert Braathe
36. “They both seemed to understand that describing it was beyond their powers, the gratitude that spreads through your body when a burden gets lifted, and the sense of homecoming that follows, when you suddenly remember what it feels like to be yourself.” Tom Perrotta
37. “Gratitude is more of a compliment to yourself than someone else.” Raheel Farooq
38. “Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.” Tom Hopkins
39. “In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day–or to celebrate each special day.” Rasheed Ogunlaru
40. “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” Maya Angelou

Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/40-inspiring-motivational-quotes-about-gratitude.html

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As Time Goes By

Years ago, when I was younger,
I guess midway through my teens
One rule that should have been taught to me
Is things aren’t always what they seem.

As a child we learn to love
Pain and suffering we do not know
But all that changes, love turns to hate
As one begins to grow.

Your mother becomes the nosy one,
Your father strict and overbearing
Your siblings are angels in their eyes
For them, there’s no shortage of caring.

You spend more time away from them
It doesn’t matter where you go.
Until eventually your life at home is gone
Disappearing like a shadow.

The streets become a way of life
The subway your best friend
All you have are the clothes on your back
No one’s there for you in the end.

Your life has changed so much, so fast
The days go by like years.
A year ago, you had a nice warm bed
And were loved, you remember through the tears.

And that is why, on one dark night
You find the corner phone
And with the quarter found on the street
You call and say, “Dad, I want to come home.”

You find home’s not so bad anymore,
Even after all the pain.
And hate has finally turned to love.
It’s not them; it’s you who’ve changed.

SB/2014

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Want vs. Need – Which Can You Live Without?

As I was reading a book by one of my favorite authors the other night, I came across a line in the story that really made me think – “We can live without the things we need, but we will fight to the death for the things we want.”

Let’s think about the things we need….food, water, shelter….and for all intents and purposes, people in our lives to love.  But could you really forego any of those things if it meant you could have something that you wanted more than anything?  Case in point – the release of the latest IPhone.  I have some friends who have talked about nothing but the new phone since Apple announced its debut.  Frankly, I don’t understand it.  Do I want to sacrifice a month’s worth of groceries, electricity, water, cable and internet in order to afford to buy the newest version of the IPhone when the one I have works just fine?  Ummmmmmmm…that would be a big fat NO!  Granted, not all of us have to face this type of decision…unfortunately, I am not one of them and I struggle from paycheck to paycheck…but I digress.

The sad thing is that our society has become so confused over the difference between a “need” and a “want” – and trust me, there is a difference; they are not interchangeable.  Sure, we all see, hear or read about things that we want to try, a new gadget or a new outfit…but do we really need those things?  The majority of the time, the answer is no.

I have learned the hard way that if we focus more on those things we want, rather than those we need, we will be totally screwed in the end.  As a young adult, I admit I didn’t care.  If I saw something I wanted, I bought it regardless of the consequences down the road.  Can’t pay my car payment this month?  Who cares…I NEEDED a new outfit.   Running behind on my credit card bills?  Sorry…but I NEEDED a mani-pedi to go with the new shoes I got with my new outfit.    Um…..hello???  Wake up and smell the debt!  These are WANTS, not NEEDS and they do not pay the bills.

Since I’ve grown up a bit (hopefully) I now find myself questioning everything I buy.  Yes, there are times I have made mistakes, but lately when I see something I’d like to have I ask myself three questions:

  1. Do I have enough money to pay my bills and buy groceries this month? (If the answer is no, then there is no need to proceed to question 2).
  2. Why do I need/want this particular item? (How many of you have answered this question with, “I don’t know…I just do”). Again…this is a “want” response and does not indicate “need”.
  3. What are the benefits if I make the purchase right now? (Usually the answer to this question is excitement – again, not a “need” emotion.)

There are many frivolous things I’ve bought over my 40+ years on this Earth and if I could return all of them for a refund, I would have the start of a nice little nest egg when I retire.

The moral of  the story is this…next time you see a commercial or ad about a new product or pass by a store window and “absolutely fall in love” with what’s there, take a minute and walk away.  You’d be surprised how trivial the “item you can’t live without” becomes.

SB/2014

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To Let Go Takes Love

One of my favorites…

TO LET GO TAKES LOVE
To let go does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off. It is the realization that I cannot control another.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means that the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to change or blame another. It is to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect  their own future.
To let go is not to be protective. It is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate others, but strive to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.

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Does Your Brain Go on Vacation?

Well, here we are….the Tuesday after Labor Day and time to get back into the grind. Kids go back to school, homework starts up again and the lives of parents are basically turned upside down over the next 9-10 months. Although I have no kids – just cats – I have friends who have a love/hate relationship with the start of school and some days one side wins over the other.

I hated summer vacation when I was a kid…don’t get me wrong, I loved being away from my teachers, but by the time the first week was over, I was ready to go back to school. Why? Because I got bored – so incredibly bored! I could only go to the pool and sleep in so much, and I wanted to be in school learning….doing something with my brain. Yes I was a nerd and am proud to be one to this day, as this mindset has followed me into adulthood. There is; however, a downside to this…I don’t know if I’m getting older or what – I’m only in my 40s – but if I am not engaged all the time, whether reading or working on a project, I get very bored and my brain tends to take a sabbatical.

If my mind isn’t constantly challenged, I find myself forgetting how to do the simplest things,  Today is a perfect example. I came into work this morning and processed my outstanding client requests for the day, checked my email, looked at my open cases to see if anything was pressing, then I looked at my watch…only 9:00 and I was caught up…I had nothing to do. Of course, since doing personal stuff (my blog, my website…) at work is a no-no – I tried to find something to do. After about a half hour, a co-worker asked me if I would bind some presentations for her. “Sure!” I said, thankful to be doing something. I took the books-to-be in the back and as I got ready to punch holes in the documents, I actually had to stop and think about how to work the freakin easy-peasy machine! What? I use this machine a few times a week – you know the kind with the plastic coil binders – and my brain had to process how to push a stupid button??

Staying busy today is the norm in the corporate world, and I’ve had jobs where I’ve been so busy there wasn’t time for a lunch or break and I had to ask permission to go to the bathroom! But my brain was challenged and working and I LOVED it! I don’t care if I’m typing a report, preparing a spreadsheet , binding books -or doing all three at the same time – at least I can feel the synapse firing and the adrenaline pumping.

In any event, it is 1:45 in the afternoon, and as I bring this post to an end, I can already feel my brain dragging out the suitcase to take a mini-vacation. Am I crazy not to want to go with it?

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SB/2014

Who We Are

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive
element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my
daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or
de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Remember…we are what we project!

SB/2014