Friday, November 26, 2010

The Gift Of Gratitude

Today is known as Black Friday what it should be known as is the Debt Black Hole Friday. It is the day when normally sane people go crazy. I mean what do you call people who line up days in advance just so they can buy the latest gadget. When did Christmas become fighting to get something that will be forgotten soon after the package is opened? Gratitude is no longer a part of the holiday.

Christmas used to be know as Christ’s birthday now it is known for Santa Claus and who can out shop everyone. I remember when I was a kid getting one big gift that my brother and I would share and then a couple of small gifts. I was happy with what I got. It was called gratitude. Whatever happened to that? Now, if a kid doesn’t get all he or she wants, they are ready to call authorities to complain of being abused and neglected. The sad part, some parents would rather go into debt than explaining to their kids that Christmas will be lighter this year. On a local news show they were interviewing people who were having financial problems. One couple said they didn’t know how they were going to keep their home but they were going to give their kids a big Christmas. To me, their priorities are way off. Keeping the home is more important than the latest Wii game.

If you honestly think about it, what do you remember most about Christmas? Do you remember the gifts or the people you celebrated them with? If you asked me what I got three years ago I couldn’t remember for life or money. What I remember is the fun I had with the people I love. My best Christmas memory is when I knitted a throw for my best friend’s mom who was dying of brain tumors. She loved Christmas and we all prayed that she would be around for it. When she opened my gift the look on her eyes will always stay with me. She acted like I had given her the most expensive gift in the world. Anyone who came into the house would be called over to look at it. This wonderful woman was so grateful for something I had made. When I was working on it , I had people tell me why was I being so cheap.Why didn’t I just go and buy her a gift? To me, a handmade gift is something from the heart. It isn’t because the person is cheap. Back in the old days, Christmas gifts used to be homemade. The difference between now and then is gratitude. People were grateful for what they were given but now some people complain because the gift wasn’t expensive enough.

With all the problems in the world now, maybe we should take a step back and go back to being grateful for what we have. Gratitude isn’t something elusive. It is within all of our reach. We just have to want to have it. Make these holiday about more than how much you spent or how many gifts you got. Do something for someone else. It can be something you made for someone or helping an elderly neighbor by shoveling the snow off their sidewalk and driveway. Help in a food bank and you will forget about whatever problems you have. That is when gratitude comes knocking. Answer the door and let it in. If you have a job even if you don’t like it, a roof over your head with food on the table, you have nothing to complain about. Gratitude should start at Christmas and go year round. Wake up everyday and ask yourself what you can do for someone else. Gratitude is the best gift we can receive.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celebrities Are Human After All!

I am watching Oprah today and she is interviewing Marie Osmond. She is talking about her son killing himself. This really touched my heart and got me thinking. People think celebrities traded in being a human being for fame and fortune. That comments hurled at them don’t hurt them.

Imagine going shopping and seeing some event in your life splashed all over the tabloids. How would you feel? I bet you wouldn’t be happy about it. I wish someone would explain to me what is so entertaining about the pain of another human being. Yes, they are human beings. Just because they are famous or make more money than most of us will ever see doesn’t change it. I have seen news reporters put microphones in the faces of celebrities who are grieving over the loss of someone they love. The usual question is how do you feel? What kind of question is that? Just looking at them tells you they are in pain. But, the goal of the reporter is to get the exclusive interview no matter what. What happened to decency and letting people grieve?

People have said well they should just deal with the intrusion since they have fame and fortune. Again, what event in your life would humiliate you if it were splashed all over the place? I always wanted to be an actress but am glad it didn’t work out for me. People going through trash to find any tidbit of scandal. Having family and friends betray confidences. To always be worried about someone close to you who might sell you out to the tabloids Does fame and fortune make the hurt less painful? No!

While the internet is wonderful it can also be horrible. Just google a celebs name and you will get all kinds of stuff. Some nice comments but some so disgusting it is beyond belief. What has happened to all of us that we would think it is ok to write such junk. It diminishes all of us when we condone it. The next time you are standing in line at the grocery store checkout, skip buying or even looking at the tabloids. Just imagine if you or someone you loved was splashed all over the tabloids. Would you be willing to read them? Would you want you co-workers to read a story about some pain you or your family member is going through? Put yourself in their shoes. If people didn’t buy those papers they would cease to exist. If people didn’t watch the trash tabloid shows they wouldn’t exist. But they do. We are all to blame. I have turned on the shows from time to time but they left me feeling bad. Why? The main reason, I wasn’t raised to find any joy in someone’s pain.

Just food for thought: The next time you feel like reading about some misfortune of a celeb, put yourself in their place. How would you feel about your pain being discussed by people you don’t know. Hasn’t this society progressed to where we don’t need that as a form of entertainment? You will only attract negative things if that is all you dwell with. Be positive look for the good in people. Celebs are human beings like the rest of us. The fame and fortune is just a blessing they were given.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Is A Mother

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I have been thinking of what defines a mother. Back in the day, June Cleaver stayed home and was there when the Beaver and Wally came home from school. Then in the 1970’s with the help of Alice the housekeeper, Carol Brady held down the fort. In this modern world the term mother has expanded beyond the typical old tv stereotypes. It has even crossed the gender border at times.

Now, I know what you are thinking, how can a man be a mom? Well, in my life experience I have known men who for unforeseen circumstances have found themselves both mom and dad to their kids. These are the same men who years earlier would rather have a root canal than be seen sewing a Halloween costume for their kids but they are doing it now. They stepped up to the plate and have taken on both roles. They have rearranged their lives in order to be there for their kids. I remember a friend of mine who was raised by her dad told me how this guy who would make Arnold Schwartzenegger look like Barney Fife actually came to her tea party on Saturday afternoon. She even got him towear one of her mom’s old hats. He didn’t care how he looked. He did it out of love for his daughter.

Today, a mom can even be a woman who has never given birth. Recently, Sandra Bullock adopted a sweet baby boy. She didn’t give birth to him but it doesn’t make her any less a mother. Even if a woman doesn’t adopt she can still be a mom by mentoring to kids. Sitting and reading to a child will open the whole world to them. Spending any time with a child will create memories they will never forget. Even the simple thing as baking cookies will not only teach a child a skill but they will feel wanted and useful. And with how crazy this world has gotten lately that might be just what they need.

Lastly, a mother can also be someone who loves and cares for a four legged, feathered, or gilled creatures. Sometimes in people’s lives they find the love of a pet. I recently found that out when I adopted an abandoned kitten who I named Mojo. Mojo means magic and she is magic because she made my life better. I know people roll their eyes when someone calls their pets their children but in a way they are. The person isn’t a loon. Sometimes in people’s lives a creature comes to them that they can give love to and get love in return.

What is a mother? A mother is simply love. Love is the one thing a child or any of us needs but sometimes doesn’t get enough of. Love crosses all gender lines. It doesn’t acknowledge age, wealth, or anything else that we think should matter.Love is all that matters. Love is the only thing that can bring light to darkness. Love is the only gift that keeps on giving. So on this Mother’s Day, give love to people who have helped you along the way for in some way they have been a mother to you. Happy Mother’s Day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Living Motivated by Dr Walter Sims (A Book Review)

“Your situation is not your destination, but it should be your motivation” Dr Sims. We all wonder how some people are achieving their dreams while ours aren’t even getting off the ground. Are we in our own way of achieving what we are meant to be? Sometimes we are. How can we get motivated and change our lives? Simple. I read the wonderful book “Living Motivated” by Dr Walter Sims.

I have read my fair share of self help books that fall short of being helpful. What makes this book different? The big difference is that Dr Sims works on ALL aspects of a person and not just one. Faith, health, happiness etc are all intertwined. To motivate yourself you must work on all or it will be like a three legged table. It won’t stand. Using the techniques that Dr Sims gives you than you will be able to motivate yourself to change your life.

For those of you who know Dr Sims, you know what a man of God he is. He shows in the first chapter that Faith is needed in order to make changes. His example of St Peter taking his eyes of Jesus and sinking in the sea shows what happens when you get scared and look away. The saying with God all things are possible is so true. Dr Sims shows with an example from his own life how his faith in God led him to the do what he was meant to do with his life.

Along with faith, you need other tools to motivate yourself to change our life. Simple things like making a list of positive thoughts can work on changing the negative thoughts in your head. We all have what I call the tape recording in your head that plays over and over. Thoughts of your not good enough, your stupid etc play over and over. Dr Sims shows how these thoughts can prevent you from even trying to make a change in your life. He gives you the tools you need to reprogram those thoughts from negative to positive.

The book is laid out like a pattern, follow each chapter and by the end you will have the tools to motivate yourself into the life you are destined to have. No magic bullets here. You must do the work. I know from my own life that the techniques do work. Dr Sims uses motivating quotes and examples from Tony Robbins, Wayne Dryer the wonderful people from Twitter as well as many others. His best tool is his own life examples. In Chapter 5, he shows how he had to do the dreaded D word. Diet! We all know how hard it is to diet and exercise but it is achievable.With a strong, healthy body and mind nothing is out of your reach.

Dr Sims truly wants you to achieve greatness. When you are fully motivated and on the ground running please contact Dr Sims at and let him know. He is also on Twitter @MofMotivation.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ships That Pass In The Night!

“There are those who pass like ships in the night, who meet for a moment, then sail out of sight with never a backward glance of regret; folks we know briefly then quickly forget. Then there are friends who sail together, through quiet waters and stormy weather, helping each other though joy and through strife. And they are the kind who give meaning to life.” Author Unknown

When I first read this quote it touched something in me. It made me realize how we all are ships on the sea of life. In real life,Twitter or Face Book, we all come and go out of each others lives. Some leave us with good memories, others not so much. But, however brief, or good or bad, we all leave our mark on each other.

It used to hurt when people I thought were friends turn out not to be. In real life it’s calls unreturned or invitations not given. On Twitter it can be dms or tweets unanswered or being unfollowed or blocked. It took a while for me to realize it had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the other person. They made the choice. So all I can do is pick up and move on. This is what I tell my friends when they come to me upset because of how someone just dropped them.

It does us no good to dwell on why they did it or what did I do. We will never know the answer. Like ships passing in the night, soon that person will no longer be in our sight. The best thing to do is look toward your horizon. For on the other side are new friends just waiting to meet you. New people who will leave their mark on you. Good and bad experiences that will add to the growth of your being.

While you will have people go out of your life and it can be painful. Sometimes, if you are really blessed you will find that person or persons who can be called a #BFF. They are there when you are happy and will never leave you when you are sad. They have seen you when you look like a million bucks and when you look like something the cat dragged in. To have people who love you for who you are and not what you can give them or what you look like is worth more than anything money can buy. I can say I have been blessed with wonderful #BFFs. If I were given a choice of a very successful writing career and a fabulous life or having my #BFFs. I would choose my #BFFs. To not have people in your life who know you so well that they know when you need a laugh or a shoulder to cry on is very sad to me. I would be so very lost without my #BFFs.

So, to all the people in real life and in the cyber world who have sailed out of my life. I wish you all the best. I learned from you and it was time to part. Does this mean I wasn’t hurt or angry. No! I am human after all, but I don’t like dwelling on the negative. I choose to be positive