Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Facing your fear - don't let me stand in your way!!

This is one of my favorite Far Side cartoon's and I have kept it taped to whatever desk I have sat at since March 17, 1982.  It makes me smile every time I look at it, but on a deeper level, it also makes me think.

Most of us don't want any trouble.  We sometimes find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time; sometimes we suffer from "foot in mouth" disease and cause our own problems but at the end of the day, all we want is to GET ALONG and GET IT DONE!!!!

I had a dream recently that really stuck with me-  I was running outside to get something - I don't know what but at some point I realized I was in my pajamas. (YIKES)  As I raced back inside, just as I was closing the front door, from the corner of my eye, I saw an inside door shut.  Because I was home alone, I became filled with fear.

The more frightened I became, the more cloudy my vision became.  I began to stumble around the room and it started to become smaller and smaller until it wasn't a room at all.

When my vision cleared, I was in a wasteland of sorts, flooding was going on, storms happening - everything very primitive and frightening.  At the height of my fear, this was where my fear had brought me.  The water began to overtake me and I fought against the currents for the longest time.

Finally I grew weary and just let the waters take me.  I quit fighting against the current and closed my eyes.  When I opened them, I was back in "reality" and found it was not as big as my fears.

This dream really spoke to me.  So many times we get caught up in what we are afraid of, we can't focus on what we need to face.  I have been doing a little consulting with a couple of businesses and their main question is "help me see what I am missing".

I won't stand in their way - and it will be easier, once the fight goes out of us.

Until next time,
let me know if you need a hand,

Your pal,

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Working Out is such a work out.

I am no stranger to exercise.  I have had a love/hate relationship with it for years.  I am not a runner so you won't see me at the trendy "run-a-thons" for all the good causes.  They always say it's cool to walk but I just don't quite believe it.  It reminds me of the only time I ever signed up for a run/walk in a 5k while still living in Topeka.  THIS GOES WAY BACK.  I had to be in my early 30's which means a couple of things; I still smoked; exercised sporadically,  and while I could dress the part of a runner and look authentic.... that was about all.

The day of the race dawned clear and I showed up with about 400 other people.  Looking around I felt very confident because I saw people of all shapes and sizes.  Certainly I could beat some of these people.  I am always so darn competitive (even when I have no business).  I started strong and that lasted around the first bend, until we were out of sight.  Soon the run/walk was more walk/walk fast and the large throng of people that started with me were thinning out quickly.  I wish we had been talking in miles rather than metrics because. obviously I had no idea just how far in distance (and humiliation) I would be going that Saturday.  I cannot tell you how many times I considered slinking off the course and trying to find my way back to the parking lot unnoticed.  Had it not been for my total lack of ability to punch my way out of a paper bag when it came to directions, I would have made a break for it.  Time felt like it was standing still as I was now limping along solo.  I saw a bend up ahead and realized with nothing less than sheer horror that the race would NOT END until I crossed the finish line.  When the crowd spotted me, the cheering and encouragement began.  "You can do it, Don't give up, You're almost there"  were all slogans shouted (as if I were a 5 year old).  Hoping that the tears of embarrassment would pass as sweat, I gathered what little strength I had left to gamely shuffle the remaining length of the course.  By the sounds that the crowd made when I finished, you would have thought I won the Olympics...or they were just glad to call it a day.

Needless to say, I have never participated in any type of run again.  In fact, if you see me running now, you should probably run, too.  Someone is either chasing me with a deadly weapon, there has been a bomb threat, or a mouse has been spotted in my near proximity. Ok, maybe I have picked up the pace if an ice cream truck was trolling down the street with a head start but that's about it.

With all that said - I am no slug.  I attend boot camp regularly which is not for beginners or crybaby's (already tried that).  I work out with the best of them and could take you.....unless you get a head start by running.

Until next time,
who likes ice cream?

your pal,

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Homesickness for those left at Home - Absence made my heart grow fonder

Back in Austin
Madi just returned from her first mission trip.  She was gone for eight days in Honduras, truly excited to be chosen to serve.  There was some trepidation; this was the first time away from home without any contact cell phone, Instagram, Facebook.  NOTHING.  We have been apart many times in her life. My past life called for much travel but we always enjoyed the modern conveniences and instant gratification of cell phones, Facetime and texting.  This would be a true testament of our maturity levels.

Let me preface my remarks with just a few comments.  This mission trip (sponsored by her school) has been in the works for the entire school year.  Both her dad and I signed off on this back in the fall when she first expressed an interest.  We love her servant heart and sense of adventure.  She participated in fund raisers and had some strong support from loved ones (special shout outs here to Mary Jo, Grampcrackers and Marissa).

Fast forward to 10 days before the mission trip.  Did you know that coffee bean disease is impacting Central America particularly hard this year?  What this means here in America is that our Starbucks prices may increase.  What that means in Honduras is local drug wars and crime is on the rise.  This caused me to google Honduras to learn a little more about what was going on.  Did you know that Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world?  Sigh.  Just reading about the precautions advised when traveling in this country made me neurotic(er).  A little late in the game some may say.....

Time to leave.  We drove her to the airport at 3:30 a.m. and both Madi and I managed a strangled hug with just a slight watering of the eyes before I dashed to the car (AVOIDANCE.....we have talked about this!!!!!!).

Let the clock begin.  I did okay until maybe Sunday.  I kept busy with odds and ends around the house, quite a bit of knitting, reading, walking and more knitting.  Actually, before she returned I finished a baby afghan, two headbands and started a new project.  One might conclude I find knitting therapeutic.

Today FINALLY arrived and I was up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for that 6:34 PM flight pick-up.  The day couldn't go by fast enough.  I waited anxiously at the airport and truly felt like a returning veteran being reunited with their child (a bit overkill - I know).

When she came down that escalator, I realized she was not the same child I had sent off.  We both had tears in our eyes - mine in thanksgiving that she had returned safely and hers (as she shared with me later) with a little remorse for what she had to leave behind.  The homesickness I felt FOR her, she never suffered, because she knew where her home was. 

The lessons learned here - this won't be the last time she leaves home.
And there is still so much to be done.

Until next time.
May your heart grow ever fonder,


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Support Group Needed - For a Friend.......

Let me just come right to the point.  I am discussing the needs of a friend (of course) who needs help. He started small but is now "running with the BIG DOGS"!  While there is no drain financially on his family yet, his needs are starting to become evident as his "fix" becomes more and more pervasive.  While his family is obviously aware of his problem - perhaps they have even enjoyed the fruits of his "trade" in the beginning, now that he has hit the BIG TIME, they no longer have explanations for the appurtenances found throughout their home.

Haven't we have all been there at one time in our life?  Aren't we all veterans of some type of problem - maybe even an addiction, that got the better of us?  Necessarily, one must first recognize the problem before accepting the challenge of correcting it.

Examples?  This is so easy for me.  I remember when I became addicted to watching "Breaking Bad". Already in the final season, I had a lot of catching up to do.  Unfortunately, I drew my daughter into this addiction with me.  (we can talk about poor parenting choices another time).  Bedtime rules were ignored when a tense moment called for ONE MORE EPISODE!!!  Like I said, we have all been there.  (of yeah, and I used to smoke, too).

No judging but "this friend" began small, (already mentioned) and justified his "fix" by saying "It's for charity."  After all, silent actions were all held at those fund raising dinners and his first purchases made were clearly targeted with gift giving intent.  How quickly this all escalated.

Soon it became a "winner take all" venture and may I remind everyone that the only winner in this game is the charity (an argument that I lose .....I mean my friend's family will lose, every time).

God Bless America
Who knows what SUBASTA means?  Let me enlighten you....AUCTION in espanol.  Yes, this guy has graduated to the big time (as mentioned earlier) and evidence is in abundance.  No charities involved as many times auctions are held at personal residences.  WHAT A RUSH!

As you reflect on different solutions, remember "All gave some, Some gave All" but who knows how much was given for this reminder of those who served!

Until next time,

Leave your saddle at the door,
your pal,

It's never too late to do the "right" thing

Even this is my opinion! What is "the right thing"?  Many times over the years, I have heard people say "I want to do the...