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Take A Trip This Christmas And Leave Your Worries Behind

Take a trip this Christmas.  It doesn’t matter where you go  if you know you won’t have to do anything but enjoy the ride.  That is what I am going to do when I take a Christmas shopping trip tomorrow.  Somebody else is driving and I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of the vehicle and finding a parking space.  We are going out to dinner and seeing Christmas lights.  The most it will cost me is a small fee for the ride and whatever I decide to pay for my food at dinner.  I have nothing in particular to get and I will be happy to get out and about no matter what stores we go to.  It is out of my hands and I like it that way.  There will be no drama as far as I am concerned as I don’t expect more than what I have described on this trip.

rp_300px-Face-smile.svg_.pngI leaving my worries and bills at home.  My motto at home is ” what house gets kept I keep”;  and I am sure the household chores that don’t get done before I go will be there waiting there for me when I get home.    I will empty my mind and leave room to experience the gift of the present.  I will not be concerned with whether or not I will make friends. . I just want to get along with the other passengers.   I won’t be rude or crude.  I don’t care which seat I get in the bus.  I won’t fight over a window seat .  I won’t try to take control of the group riding the bus and demand that they sing Christmas carols, the ones that I want to sing

I am going to let go and no matter what happens (even if it doesn’t make me deliriously  happy) I am going to accept it and realize that the privilege of getting to go on the trip is enough  and so is having a chance to to leave all my cares behind.  Now your “trip” might not be my “trip”; but do it anyway.  Just let go and do something with few expectations about what will happen.  Give yourself a break.  If  possible, leave all or as many of your responsibilities behind as you can.  You can always take them back up again when your “trip” ends.

When Will You Come Out Of The Closet And Help Yourself Or Others??

rp_300px-Baby.jpgThe value of human life is invaluable but many people want us to hide our light under a bushel basket so that they can let theirs shine.  When are you going to come out of the closet and stop others from making us do this.  Just as it is life changing for a homosexual to come out of the closet so is it life changing for any individual to come out of the closet and expose who he or she really is.

Forcing a belief system on another through coercion is not the way to spread love and knowledge.  We all have something to contribute and to have another’s belief system forced upon us out of the fear that our expressing our beliefs system which is different will restrict theirs.

I believe we all have something to contribute if we believe in our selves from the most developmentally disabled individual to the most brilliant and verbal individual.  When we assemble in a group, why do we almost automatically begin to judge ourselves against each other.  Leaving some people out and promoting other people to positions of leadership over the rest of us.  How often does someone sit quietly in a classroom because they feel that they have little to contribute.  So often people criticize others and complain about others so strongly that they cause others to shut up and make no contributions for fear of being criticized.

rp_3476636111_c551295ca4_m.jpgGreat people like Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross have recognized the contributions of “little” people that most people don’t notice or ignore.  How about the cleaning lady who when she goes into hospital rooms her mere presence quiets and comforts dying patients?  Consider the behavior of the “Father” also known as Pope Francis who has not taken on the pompt and circumstance of being the Pope and thus has discouraged those in the Vatican and Cardinals and other clergy in positions of authority from elevating themselves above other religious or common folk.

How uncertain are we about expressing ourselves when we see what other people can do to us when we express ourselves.  In psychology, this is called relational aggression versus direct aggression which involves actually hurting someone physically.  Rejecting someone and encouraging others to reject them too can be deadly (sometimes resulting in self-murder or suicide or mass murders of innocent people) .  Have you ever feel that your own opinion was as good or better as someone else’s or that your instinct to do something in a given situation would have resulted in a better outcome than someone else got? but we stay quiet.  How much does that actually help the world  if all the good people  keep their mouths shut.

All of us are diamonds in the rough.  It just takes cutting and polishing to bring out our brilliance.   Some of us are fearful of going through this process.  Some of us do not have enough self-confidence.  What if people like Ghandi kept their mouth shut.  What if mother Teresa had been content to just be an ordinary nun?  Would she have been more comfortable?  When Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross came out against quarantining and rejecting children who had aids (through no fault of their own), she was virtually kicked out of the community that wouldn’t let her take them in.

embarassingquestionsHow often have you been in a group where you kept your mouth shut even though you might have said what many others were also thinking?  This can be true about supporting homosexuals right to lead normal lives without rejection and persecution.  Have you ever kept your mouth shut in a group where someone was trying to do this? or something similar?  I am not wanting to take away anyone’s right to disapprove of homosexuality while taking the right to app0rove of it or at least not to reject it.  On the one hand, everyone  has rights and we have to be careful not to take away someone’s rights while asserting the right to have our own.  On the other hand, have you ever supported someone else’s rights while keeping quiet about your right to your own beliefs?

Should You Celebrate Yourself Before You Celebrate Others?

PsychosisVonnegutCoverIs this an either or question?  Think of Life as a balance scale with yourself on one side and others on the other side.  Too much on one side or the other and the scale won’t balance.  It also can make you grouchy and resentful and possibly greedy.  How about the person for whom nothing is ever right and who is difficult to please.  Too much candy and then none of it tastes good.  You work hard so you can enjoy life and then you never have any time to do what you enjoy.  Rush through things and then you don’t have time to enjoy them.  Best get-a ways I ever had were when we forgot about time and enjoyed the setting, the company, the conversation, and sharing the experience.

Savoring is enjoying what you do have.  Whether it is clean sheets, fresh corn on the cob, a clean car, or unexpected, but welcome, company.   Savoring involves being able to accept a change of pace when one offers it self.  Remember when you were in schoo9l and had a snow day?  It represented a free day to go out and play in the snow.  Did you ever really miss having school on a snow day?  Have you ever read a book while caught in a traffic jam after an accident on the interstate?  I did and it was one I had already read so I reread it.  Did I waste my time grouching and complaining about the jam or the fact that the only book I had I had already read.  Time went faster as I lost myself in the story I had read before.

“Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think,” was a title of a song.  Did the writer know what he or she was writing about?  On the other hand are you too busy enjoying yourself that you have no time left for anybody else?  Grandma or grandpa are you too busy to babysit your grandchildren because you always have a golf tournament, a card game, or a committee meeting.  You may even rationalize this away by telling yourself that the grand children will be more fun and less work when they get older and then you never find the time then either.

me,me,mejpgAre you there for every meeting your social or church group has and have held every office over the years and some for several years in a row.  Do people say that they don’t know what they would do without you?  Are you tied up babysitting for family and the family always knows who they can get at the last minute.  You!  You tell friends that you would like to do something with them and then are unable to follow through with your plans with them because of family obligations.  You have planned a trip somewhere on a special day and have made all the reservations and paid fees that are not refundable but don’t go because you have to do something for someone else and that is more important than what you wanted to do.

Is “wallflower” your middle name?  Do you let everybody else take all the credit, get all the prizes, and celebrate all the milestones?  Would you be surprised if nobody showed up for your own funeral and/or that your relatives didn’t even have a memorial service for you.  In fact, while you are alive you even encourage them to do this when you die.

There needs to be a nice balance here.  You are just as important as others are and others are just as important as you are.  Giving and receiving are both part of the equation.  Knowing what might really please you now may be the inspiration for something you can do for somebody else later.  Parents of young children often know this as do members of families with a chronically ill loved one or a recent unexpected death in the family.

kindness,acts ofGiving is important.  Gratitude is important.  Giving as a form of gratitude is one of the most sincere forms of thanks.  You give me some of what you have and I give somebody else some of what I have.  It is the daisy chain of gratitude.  I may not be able to pay you for the tank of gas I needed to get to the doctor, but may be I can mow the neighbor’s yard.  Remember the old story about someone who gets out on the wrong side of bed and kicks the cat who scratches the dog who bites the mailman, etc.  Start your day off right and who knows who the favor might effect?

Ever skip a meal to get something done (maybe even for someone else) and then wind up so hungry you bite someone’s head off?  Was that a really good idea to begin with?  Being self-sacrificing can lead to “gunny sacking”  in which you expect the recipients to pay you back without you asking them to do it or to stop asking you to do things for them or to say, “No,” once in awhile when you offer to do something.

 

Old Rolls Or Old Roles

rp_300px-Nuclearfamily.jpgOld rolls or old roles?  Which are staler.  Have you changed even so you might fall back into old roles when you are back in an old situation.  The expectations can still be there and you can’t resist them.  Does everybody eat at the dining role table when you eat in the kitchen even though you are not a child anymore.  Do you wait until everybody else has eaten before you even attempt to eat your food?  Anticipating a family visit can take you back to childhood, adolescence and possibly young adulthood. and when you actually get there it can be even worse.  The cues that used to set you or family members off, still do.  Okay, it doesn’t happen for you.  What about your partner when they visit their family.

Do we ever grow up in spite of our families?  Daddy’s girl or mama’s boy are roles that are easily taken up again when around mommy or daddy again.  Do you or did you have a sibling that used to boss you around, always got their way , or could beat you in a fight verbal or physical?  Were you the “STAR”, the one always recognized for your accomplishments or were you invisible and if you you did anything that achieved  recognition,  did certain or all other family members ignore it or worse yet  not even know that something like that happened?

Old habits die hard. Do family members that were used to giving you orders still order you around effectively when you are around them?  Do you pick up the check, wash the dishes, mind the little children while the rest of the family doesn’t even thank you and may even go off without you.  Enabling, double binds reassert themselves.  Do they order for you, refuse to get you a drink, or comment on your hair or what you wear or even go so far as to pick out what you wear.rp_Yes_stars_drama_logo.png

Worse yet do you become sick or somewhat spacey when planning to make a home visit.  Worse yet can be family reunions where you are given no choice as to what happens or do you do the opposite and wind up planning the whole thing with everybody else’s wishes, preferences, and time schedules in mind, not yours, because it is easier for you to just give in.  Do you find yourself not making a fuss even when you are grossly inconvenienced.  If it is your partner’s family reunion, do you get taken along for the ride and have a miserable time.  Do old dramas reoccur like Uncle George drinking all the spiked punch and getting sick and puking all over someone’s pants or carpet.

Do you wonder why you went.  Was it just to go and put in an appearance.  Did it even mess up your schedule and cause you to miss something else that you would have preferred to go to another family reunion, or a planned event with hard to get tickets.  Do the people there smoke, drink excessively, or cuss outrageously even in front of children?  How many of these events have you enjoyed? in the past ten years.rp_Send_It_On.png

Are you still the scapegoat at these events like a school reunion, etc..  Or worse yet do you still get bullied or even worse yet emotionally , physically, or sexually abused.  Some times sexual abuse by a family friend or member does not stop when the victim reaches adulthood.  Do the people there go off into their own groups (old school friends) and leave you on the fringe. Or instead do you lapse into old negative behaviors deliberately talking about things and doings while openly leaving someone out and who has a miserable time.

I suggest a spa visit before to get ready or better yet after to pamper yourself.  Aim to just live through it and give yourself some quiet decompression time possibly both before and after the visit.  Reward yourself for getting through it even if you only went out of obligation such as  “Honor thy father and mother.”  You might even go so far as to do or not do one thing that that you usually don’t do or do (almost helplessly) on these occasions.  Stand up for yourself, but be totally prepared for what might happen if you do this.  These people can still push your  buttons even if they have not been pushed in a long time.

Okay you are strong; you wouldn’t let this happen to you.  What about letting it happen to somebody else just because this was the way it always used to be.  You don’t want to cause any conflict.  Worse yet then they might pick on you too.  Have you really matured and do what you think is right rather than falling back into going along with the crowd.  “The crowd” can exert a lot of pressure and you may be seen as spoiling their good time.

Celebrate Yourself?

rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpg

Do you keep a low profile.  Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do?  Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it.  I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go.  I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back  as when I finished I was no longer on campus.

Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses.  I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town.  Is it bad to blow your own horn?  I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)).  Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation.  But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.

If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will.  If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will?  Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself.  I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right!  But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends.  Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority.  But I’m not going to back down for their sake.

I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it.  Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing?  I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess.  Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself.  I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there.  I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends.  Keep your mouth shut.   Ever hear of that?

Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high.  Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you.  Is there a happy medium?  Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?

Ruminating? Is It Useful?

rp_8619481133_df8a85fccf_m.jpgHave a problem you can’t solve?  Has somebody hurt you?  Do you like to talk it over with a friend or friends?  Do you want to share your frustration or hurt feelings.  Do you think it will make you feel better if someone thinks or feels the same way you do?

A little coruminating can help but continuous airing of frustrations, bad news, or unrequited love can make you feel worse, especially for women.  Depression can deepen and anxiety increase and you can even drive away friends with your constant texting or late night phone calls.

Pathways can be reinforced in our brains and associated feelings can be intensified with constant musings and repetitious ventilating.  Going over and over a problem for which there is no current solution or recourse is frustrating both for you and the person you are sharing it with.  It may even make it worse leaving you unable to recognize a solution or change in the situation when it happens.

Sometimes you can create a time table suggesting when you should try to solve the problem again or when you really should worry because you haven’t heard from someone.  In the mean time take a break and encourage yourself not to do anything rash or jump to conclusions.rp_300px-High_Anxiety_movie_poster.jpg

For example, being called to jury duty may throw a wrench in your monkey works if you are sequestered in a jury on long infamous trial but you might get excused from jury duty before you even have to report because of something that you didn’t know would excuse you from serving in the first place or after you get called in for the jury selection for a trial.

There is one thing that I usually say to myself when I start worrying about something that might happen or have happened and that is usually when something bad happens, I don’t expect it so if I am worrying that it has, it probably hasn’t happened.

Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think.  Excuse yourself from ruminating about something especially when you don’t have all the information and won’t have it for a while.  Yes, be ready when the time comes to do something about it.  It is a lot easier to prepare for something and make plans for when something happens when you’re not worried about it and can think rationally.

 

Do Adults Bully Children In Their Own Families??

at least i'm not a bully

at least i’m not a bully (Photo credit: Miss Blackflag)

Do adults bully children in their own families?  Unfortunately, yes.  Making fun of someone, joking with them, is not humorous  if the person being teased gets upset.  Do we stop or this is this a signal to keep on going?  Building a child’s self-esteem is one of the most important functions of the family.

English: A Bully Free Zone sign - School in Be...

English: A Bully Free Zone sign – School in Berea, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most children will get plenty of opportunities outside the family to be put down, bullied, and feel insignificant.  What downers!  But this doesn’t happen in my family!  Yes, it does and it is often ignored and not even noticed or the person gets away with it because the family member should be able to take a joke.  While this may be alright in adult company, it is not right in a family setting with vulnerable children with fragile egos.  Do you think making a three year old cry on purpose can be justified?

I have noticed that in this society we often do not notice what is going on around us and it is especially true in families.  We tend to do the same old thing over and over and nobody notices it.  They often say things like “I was just teasing (while repeating an unappreciated taunt).”  They follow this with comments like, “I don’t know why he or she cries so much?  He or she must be a crybaby?”

Notifies people of a joke. (SVG version)

Notifies people of a joke. (SVG version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Love will keep us together.  Hugs and kisses, well earned complements, a smile in someone’s eyes or elsewhere on their face is priceless and does not cost anything to give.  They are free.  What are we thinking?  Is it that by bringing someone else down we are building ourselves up?  In this case are the means are justified by the end result.

What do you think if you see someone kill a baby rabbit out in the field just for the fun of it and then laughs?  Aren’t children just as vulnerable?  Especially when they don’t know as much as you do and don’t always understand what adults are talking about.

 

 

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When Are You Helping? And When Are You Medling?

The Three Gossips

The Three Gossips (Photo credit: Christmas w/a K)

When are you helping and when are you medling.  Do you think of something somebody has shared with you as juicy gossip or an unspoken prayer.  Do you actually make things worse?  Understand always.  If it is not your personal business, be sure whatever you do helps, not harms.  Do what the other person wants even if you think you know a better way.  Help is not help if it is not what was sought.

Divine Machines

Divine Machines (Photo credit: hersheydesai)

Sometimes control of a situation is the only thing a person has left when they are at a lost as what to do.  If someone has a problem, don’t make it worse by gossiping about it.  Above else do no wrong.  You may not agree with them; but this may be the only shred of dignity the person has left.  Controlling how the news gets out is the only thing that they have left that they have any control over.  Don’t take that away from them.  In this case, it is not all about you.  Don’t make it that way.

Prayer Mormon

Prayer Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

Don’t be a drama queen and be the first one to tell the story even if it is not yours to tell.  When somebody has a problem they like to focus on themselves and the other people personally involved not other people who want to grab the attention for themselves.

How many times have you started to talk about a problem and someone interrupts you to tell you about their similar problem which (at least to them) was much worse.  What you can do is just pray.  For this you need no audience.

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Anger And Control, Just Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go!

Philosophically I think that I have gained control of my anger; but realistically, I haven’t.  The little gremlins (better known as grandchildren) have gotten to me.  No matter how patient and understanding I am something that they do or say or something else that they don’t do or say takes me over the edge and I am ashamed of my self afterwards to have such little ones see or hear such a thing or things.

Families

Families (Photo credits: www.myparkingsign.com)

I am on my best behavior (Wouldn’t you be?) with my grandchildren.  I want to show my adult children that I have truly grown up since I raised them and am providing a good example to their children now no matter what I was like in the past.  I can forgive myself for what’s happened in the past and do better, but can my children forgive me?  Will I be jealous if  I see them do a better job with their children than I did with them?

Is there such a thing as being too nice!?!  Wouldn’t you just like to let go, but not in front of the grandchildren!  The longer I live, the more responsible I become and I am not as easy on myself about forgetting to do things, not getting things done, and giving up when I have a problem to solve or something that I have put off mastering.  I think I am ready to take a vacation, not from life (I am not suicidal), but from everyday life.

It is amazing how easily a cuss word comes out when you thought that you have literally forgotten how to use them and I could shake a fist at somebody who has ticked me off after being in a confining SUV with a crying baby on a long sixty mile trip home from the hospital after having had surgery by failing to fill my prescription (on the third try through the drive through) so I would have pain medicine when I finally got home.  Nor do we live close to the pharmacy.

DriveThruPharmacyMainImageAnger has a lot to do with control.  Yes, it involves self-control but it also involves retaining control when you can and need to have control over your own life, thoughts, and feelings.  Too much Mrs. Nice Guy.  Was that my problem when I blew up?

Did I fail to stand up for my rights?  As an adult, setting boundaries for children.  As a customer, letting a business hold me hostage when I was supposed to be served by them?

 

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Much Ado About Almost Nothing

Much Ado About Almost Nothing or Save Your Drama for Your Llama!  A Llama is a Drama Queen.

Don't Feed the Drama Llama

I recently purchased a tee shirt with the saying on it saying, “Leave Your Drama To My Llama”  I didn’t know at the time that I was going to go off on a tangent about Llamas.  My first thought (which was not “politically correct“) was of changing the first two letters of “Llama” to “Ob“.  Oops, now I am talking politics and I am not sure what is happening to our freedom of speech in this country so bear with me while I digress; but I have.

The Drama LLama

The Drama LLama

I knew the shirt was meant for me as it was in my favorite colors, pink and turquoise and it was my size, at my price point (two bucks), and it was the only one.  I have never seen one like it before or since.  It was meant for me I concluded.  I was looking for something to wear to my class on Halloween.  Screwy, right?

Also right after Halloween, I heard about a Llama being kidnapped in France and I saw the Llama on TV.  Llamas usually don’t make the news like that.

Llama Abduction

Llama Abduction

Nobody got the pun in my class so I decided to look up a Llama as a symbol and this is what I found

Iceberg Llama

Iceberg Llama

“LlamaEndurance, service, sacrifice. Hard work, responsibility, stubbornness. Llama people tend to be sociable, giving, and easygoing, but fully capable of standing up for themselves if crossed. Llama medicine can teach us to relax and trust in our own abilities to maneuver even the most difficult paths in life,” from Foxloft.com.  Does that fit me?

Llive, Llaugh, Llove

Llive, Llaugh, Llove

Because I did the search for Llamas as symbols; I found several memes about Llamas.  I liberally salted these through out this post.  I’ll keep looking as this intrigues me as I had never heard of the “Drama Llama” before.  What do you know about this?  See below.  Just joking?

My Opinion Of Your Opinion

My Opinion Of Your Opinion

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