Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In their honor

Your cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash about your 'buddies' that aren't with you.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.

You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.

You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.

This was a "chain letter" of sorts sent to me but it really got me thinking about the bravery and selflessness our soldiers show...every day. It's easy at times (too easy for me I confess) to complain about things that just seem so trivial when compared to the plight of our troops.

I may not believe in or support this war (or any for that matter), but I do support our soldiers. Whether they are young or old, men or women, first timers or re-enlisted, their bravery simply stuns me. That they willingly go to the lengths they do to protect our freedom or to create it for others is nothing less than amazing.

In their honor, I salute, and pray today.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I really love this, for what reason I'm not sure?


(can anybody help me figure out how to make this look like the video screen instead of just the ugly string of letters that is the link?)

I learned today that a dear friend's mother died recently. So terribly sad. Whenever life ends, there is tremendous confusion. I feel as though I've been put into suspended animation, a bit like this ad which I saw today for the first time.

I know that I've walked this path, but my path is different from anyone else's. It's easy to feel that we can give advice and painfull to know that our advice will not help. My heart breaks and heals all at the same time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I recently read a sad story about a dog from the perspective of a six-year-old boy. Our family has shared our home with more than one loyal and lovable member of the canine persuasion, so the story caught my attention more than most.

It told about the family dog that had cancer and had to be euthanized. The father and mother thought their son could learn something from the experience. As the dog slowly drifted away, the little boy seemed to accept the dog's transition without any difficulty or confusion. The family sat together for a while after the dog's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. The young son already had it figured out, and announced, "I know why."

His explanation was stunning in its depth and simplicity. He said: "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life—like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
We can learn a lot from dogs. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal anyone has ever made.

The veterinarian who cared for this dear family pet, and so many others, offered some other lessons that dogs can teach us: (There are 65 million dogs in the United States.)

1. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Dogs treat us like celebrities when we come home. There's nothing wrong with showing people that we care about them.
2. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. On warm days, there's nothing wrong with stopping to lie on your back on the grass. I think of Richard Gere's character in the movie Pretty Woman. He was so busy working—doing big business deals—that he never stopped to enjoy walking barefoot in green grass until Julia Roberts showed him.
3. Take naps. Many of us are on overload, so in life you have to know when to throttle up and throttle down. If you can't take a nap, at least take a break. It will improve your disposition.
4. Run, romp, and play daily. If you have a chance to have fun, go for it. Life presents plenty of difficult times, and we all need a break every now and then. My motto: work hard and play hard. 5. Let people touch you. Don't be aloof. Allow people to get close to you.
6. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. Just make sure your bark isn't as bad as your bite. It's okay to warn people that you're upset or even angry, but keep your temper in check.
7. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. Happiness is the American way. After all, the Declaration of Independence says we are endowed "with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." So we have a right to be happy!
8. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Exercise is always good. I've been doing it all my life. It just makes me feel better, gives me energy to work more productively and, I hope, live longer. My philosophy is: Exercise doesn't take time; it makes time.
9. Be loyal. In a recent column about loyalty, I wrote that one of the first qualities that I look for in both employees and friends is loyalty. And my friends know they can expect my loyalty in return.
10. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. I'm constantly asked what the secret of success is, and persistence is at the top of the list. When you study truly successful people, you'll see that they have made plenty of mistakes, but when they were knocked down, they kept getting up ... and up ... and up.
11. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. People remember two things in life—who kicked them when they were down, and who helped them on the way up.

Moral: My goal is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just SO proud

I am just so proud. Of all of us. We've been waiting and fighting the good fight for almost two years (or eight, depending on how you look at it). And last night we finally got our chance to stand up and make it all count. Make it add up. Make it matter!

And we did it. This amazing thing of starting a change. I think of it as a quiet revolution. And I think there's more to come. I love that Obama has united and ignited our passions and has brought belief and hope back to us. It is a marvelous feeling.

And I am just SO proud.

Oh yeah, and on another note...K4 - after a hard fought campaign of her own was elected President of her 3rd grade class yesterday. I can hardly stop smiling.

November 4th, 2008 - a day that will go down in history!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So exciting

It's a day of unbelievable excitement and anticipation. I've been covered in goosebumps for a good share of the day already. I won't get to vote until later tonite and am simply chomping at the bit.

K1 called to tell me he did vote - and to my great pleasure he shared his choice with me. I was worried, but he made (in my opinion) the right (and only) choice!

Hooray for small (and LARGE) victories!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

By the rules

I've always been a person who lives by the rules. Mostly anyway. I believe in the 10 commandments, the Golden Rule, and yes, some rules ARE made to be broken.

I found the following Rules for Life recently and thought they were worth sharing:

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life. Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Call your mother.
20. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

All true. # 19 made me cry though because even now, more than three years later, I still wish I could call my mother sometimes.

I found another list too and #1 really made me chuckle. So I have to post this too because one of MY rules is everything balances out...eventually.

1. Never give yourself a haircut after three margaritas.
2. You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
3. The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship are, "I apologize" and "you are right."
4. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
5. Never pass up an opportunity to pee.
6. If he/she says that you are too good for him/her - believe them.
7. Learn to pick your battles; Ask yourself, "Will this matter one year from now? How about one month? One week? One day?"
8. When you make a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.
9. If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!
10. Living well really is the best revenge. Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just might mean that the other person was right about you.
11. Work is good, but it's not that important. Money is nice, but you can't take it, or anything else, with you. Statistics show most people don't live to spend all they saved; Some die even before they retire. Anything we have isn't really ours; we just borrow it while we're here... even our kids.
12. Be really good to your family and/or friends. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan.
13. If you are going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it,you may as well laugh about it now.

There, balanced.

Tears + laughter = good.