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Monday, February 23, 2009

Random Ramblings

I have various random thoughts to discuss today. In no particular order, here are things that I've thought about or find of some interest:

My brother safely returned home to Japan from Iraq today. He did a six-month tour of duty in Mosul, Iraq and my family was very concerned for him the entire time he was there. This is the third time he has served in a war zone in his many years of service in the Air Force. We are grateful and blessed that he has returned healthy and safe from each tour. He is stationed in Okinawa, Japan right now and was happy to be reunited with his wife and two children as well as his friends.

Someone in our subdivision owns a hearse. It is always parked in their driveway and I see it every single time I drive into our subdivision. Today, I did a double take as I drove by because I saw a face in the side window of the hearse. It was a mannequin head and the black curtain on the hearse window was draped on the side of the head. Seriously?? That is so wrong on so many levels.

Last, but not least, my friend, FK, will be taking the Texas Bar Exam this week. It starts tomorrow morning and continues through Thursday. This is her second try at the exam and I would appreciate all prayers and good thoughts for her as she goes through it. I took the bar four years ago and I still vividly remember the fear of failing (I passed thank God) and the many sleepless nights of studying and worrying. FK - I know you can do this! I'm rooting for you!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bathing the Oven

Today, the oven was in the bathtub. OK, so not the whole oven, just the bottom pull-out drawer. You know that drawer...it's the one where everyone always stores baking sheets, bowls, and whatever else will fit in there that is sometimes (or never) used in the oven. Ours had a few baking sheets, some weird wire rack, a Rubbermaid bowl, and the lids to several Pyrex containers that I believe are in the kitchen cabinet.

The drawer hadn't been cleaned in many moons (or forever) so I decided to do it today. It's a big drawer so I had to cart it to the bathtub to really get it clean. I let it sit in there with some bleach, cleaned it, and dried it. I then put all the sundry stuff in the dishwasher. Those baking sheets and other stuff were dusty. So yeah...I don't bake much OK?

In between putting the oven drawer in the bathtub, I did a ton of laundry, folded it, and put it away. I also swept and mopped the kitchen floor. I followed that up with a trip to the card store where I purchased cards for all our family events through June. That is quite possibly the only thing I do not procrastinate on.

Tomorrow is another drive to Victoria and I'll return Saturday afternoon. My dad, who has been on a cruise this week, will be back Saturday and he, Dear Husband, and I will go to our favorite Mexican restaurant before dad returns to San Antonio on Sunday. A busy week to be sure, but at least my whole oven wasn't in the tub.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunny Side Up

Today I had lunch with a new friend I recently met. It was so much fun and she reminded me of the importance of being positive. I always strive to be a positive person anyway, but she was a tangible reminder of just how much better life is when you look on the sunny side of the street. She has recently been treated to some very unsavory behavior, but she's let it go and is upbeat and positive about it.

This made me think about how much better life is when you stay with the positive. We all worry so much in life about everything - health, finances, family...the list goes on and on. What if, whenever a worrisome thought came into our mind, we said "It's ok, it will work out." Instead of ruminating on the negative and worrying, what if we acknowledged that it would be just fine and continued about our day? Why are we so much more willing to focus on the negative than on the positive?

I challenge everyone to start each day being grateful for having another chance to make things good and positive in the world. Then, as you go about your day, chase away the worrisome thoughts with the single sentence acknowledging that it's ok, it will work out. Do one thing that makes life better for someone, whether that is someone you know or a complete stranger. In some cases, that one thing you do can be as simple as smiling at someone as you walk into a store or into work for the day. You never know the impact the small things can have on someone - and on you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Beauty of Consistency

I should be in bed. But I'm not. Instead, I'm writing this blog and playing games on Facebook. I'm also drinking some sweet tea, which is the state beverage in Texas. I'm feeling a little restless tonight in a few different ways. Although it is only Tuesday, this has already been a crazy week. Well, really last week was weird too. In some ways, continuity is a good thing. That is to say that knowing what to expect can be a good thing, but sometimes it's also depressing to realize that some things never change.

I'm not trying to be cryptic. This can apply to so many things in life: work, family, and so on. The interesting thing about it though is that when you know someone or something is going to be a certain (negative) way, there isn't a whole lot of anger or upset. If you're smart, you think to yourself "Ok, I knew it was going to be this way, so it's cool. Been here before and I know I can handle it."

The same is true for positive consistency as well. When you know that something is going to be good, you can look forward to it. You know certain friends will be there for you, you know you'll enjoy travels or hobbies that have previously turned out well. You know who and what you can count on.

Life is full of yin and yang. We cannot have the joy without the sorrow. We cannot have the positive without the negative. And that's a good thing because it's through the negative that we learn the most needed lessons in life. There is great strength in not only knowing how to handle something, but knowing that you can.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

33rd

Today, I turned 33. In many ways, I feel as young as I did when I was a teenager. In other ways, I feel older and wiser. And that's a good thing. It's amazing what you learn with each passing year of life. There is no amount of money in this world that would entice me to be a teenager again. I am much more myself in my 30s than I ever was in my teens. But then, isn't that the way of life? Hopefully, we learn more as we grow. Some people do not. And that is a very sad thing indeed.

What I have learned so far is that life is about helping each other. When someone upsets you or hurts you, try and understand where they are coming from. If necessary, let them go lovingly and with care. Pray for them, or if you don't believe in a higher power, put good thoughts out into the universe for them. Never hold on to the anger and the hate. It will eat you up from the inside out. It is better to leave it behind and go forward with positivity. That lets light shine from you instead of darkness.

Remember that every single person you meet, whether you like them or not, is fighting their own battles. No matter what they do to you or say to you, shower them with kindness. It will do more good than you know. They will go away from you with a small bit of positivity that may grow into the light they need in their life. In everything you say and do, choose kindness. It's amazing what a difference it makes when you stop and say a prayer for someone or think a good thought for them instead of cursing them or being angry.

This doesn't mean anyone is perfect. Anger is healthy sometimes. Venting, complaining, and throwing a pity party definitely have a place in life. Quite often, they are the precursor to acceptance and growth. Let them have their place, but don't let them take over. Vent, complain, have the pity party, then clean up the party mess and move forward with light and love.

That is what I have learned in my 32nd year. I look forward to the wisdom 33 will bring.