Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MOTHER NATURE'S MEMORIAL DAY

Yesterday was Memorial Day to honor and respect all those who have given their life, trying to represent and protect the safety of our country.Thank you and your families for your sacrifices.We asked much too much of you.

I think today we should remember all those who Mother Nature took from us recently and randomly, for no good reason whatsoever!

It had been a tough and rough time for Japan, Joplin, all over Alabama and other southern and mid-western states that suffered devastating loses.OMG!How strong do the winds blow?

We send our kids off to school, clean our homes, drive along without a care and with a text in progress, or lie down at night ASSUMING the best. Sometimes, for no reason I can figure,she, undeservedly, gives out the worst of the worst. That Mother can be a....bitch!

Mother nature is a beautiful woman who I respect for all she has contributed to our great land. BUT, every so often she can punish people for no reason whatsoever. It is very hard to figure out. It makes no sense really, nor does our assumption that it won't happen to us. Yet, we can optimistically, assume that it won't!

Go in peace and safety and take a moment to remember those who were not so fortunate.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, May 30, 2011

HAVE A DAY -- REMEMBERING

I heard a TV news anchor end last night's broadcast by saying, "Have a happy Memorial Day."

That sounded really weird to me. How can a day of remembering soldiers killed on the front lines of battle be happy? It would be like wishing a Jewish person to have "A really great Yom Kippur"--the holiest holiday and day of atonement for all sins made during the past year, for which religious Jews fast for 24 hours.You might say, "Have an easy fast" but not a great day.

Similarly, have an easy, but poignant day, remembering all the young blood shed in all past wars and most especially and painfully those since 9/11. War has always been harsh, but seems so out of place in our seemingly evolved times. Isn't it time we found other ways to resolve conflicts among nations or for that matter,between family and friends?

Bye for now,

Bill

Friday, May 27, 2011

I COULD NOT MAKE UP MY MIND

I wanted to write today either about The Chicago Bull's player, Noah, American Idol, Lady Gaga, Tornadoes, Israel and Palestine, Mother Nature, the Middle East and a host of other topics.

Instead, I thought I would just stay in the positive lane and wish you a good day and a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Bye For Now,

bill

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WORDS WORTH READING

There is a foolish corner in the brains of the wisest people.
Aristotle

Hear that, Mr. Camping, Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WORDS WORTH READING

He who neglects to drink of the spring of experience is apt to die of thirst in the desert of ignorance.

Ling Po

Hear that Mr.Camping?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

IN MY GRADUATE SCHOOL DAYS...MANY YEARS AGO

(many more than I care to recall)I became fascinated by the work of Dr.Leon Festinger. He developed a Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. He studied many groups and individuals that confirmed that when facing "dissonant" information, instead of abandoning their beliefs, people strengthened them. Dissonant information, in simple terms, is when A is believed to be true and Z actually occurs.

He studied dooms day predictors who, just like the 89-year-old evangelical broadcaster in California, Harold Camping, alerted their followers that the end of the world was coming on.....in this case my son's birthday.

Logic would predict that when the end didn't come, the followers would return to their jobs on Wall street or wherever and give it all up. Instead Festinger found that the fact that the world didn't end, actually strengthened the fervor of the true believers. They choose to interpret the results as if their prayers saved the world and just picked another date in the future when all would come undone--this time for real.This could go on till the world finally did come to an end or the end finally came to those predicting it would come.Eventually, we all get recalled or whatever word he used that I am forgetting.

It will be curious to see if Festinger's predictions hold true this time around. So far Harold could not be reached for comment. Perhaps he went, well..... camping!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, May 23, 2011

END OF THE WORLD--NOT!

Every so often,seemingly intelligent people, predict that our world is ending on....

I resented that this time they picked my son David's birthday.Give the man a break!

In addition, I resented that they picked a Saturday. Let us enjoy the weekend and blow us to smithereens on a Monday at 8:02 am so that my loyal readers can read my blog at 8:00 A.M.,before they move on.

What would my blog say on that fated day, I wondered? Bullshit! Go to work. The world is not ending. In fact, it is just beginning. God doesn't want to lose us. He or she just wants to guide us toward more healthy times.There is no need to destroy us to teach the few that don't yet get it. Focus on the Governator and the IMF super stud star. Please leave the rest of us, whose pants are zippered and skirts are on, alone.

The most awful thing about these ridiculous predictions is that it causes people to see those good and loyal Christians (or whatever religion) in a negative light. Please try to separate the true believers from the true deceivers. Fortunately, though the latter get media attention, they are in the minority.

More tomorrow.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Friday, May 20, 2011

SOMETIMES WE NEED TO APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS

So my printer crashed for no reason other than that is what machines do and I called Brother and they did a quick analysis from some remote place across the world and then sent me a new printer in two days at their expense. They even included new ink cartridges.

Yes, I do understand that they want to continue to earn money from my buying ink, but it is always nice when the world, in their quest to feather their own nest, contributes to ours as well.

In a fair weather, difficult, rule bound and seemingly self-serving world, it is always nice and a bit surprising to be treated well. I appreciate that and feel grateful.

Thank you, brother, for being able to spare a dime! (I understand that young people haven't a clue what this sentence means!) Age, does have its privilege.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, May 19, 2011

WORDS WORTH READING

Courage does not always roar like a lion. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day that says, 'I will try again tomorrow.'
Peter Sheridan

There is no education like adversity.
Benjamin Disraeli

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ALL WE CAN DO IS KEEP MOVING FORWARD

As you know from recent blogs my mood has been a bit maudlin lately. It came from too many losses combined with spending the last 9 months hyper focused on my book, "How to Cope Better When Someone You Love has Cancer." It is complete and should be out in a month or so. I am optimistic that it will help many people deal a little better with Cancerville--one hell of a place!

The world is not an easy place, but it is still the best place to be. I marvel at our resilience as people and our ability to adapt, cope and strive to overcome all that is thrown at us, while absorbing much suffering and pain. At the end of the day till the end of our days all we can do is follow the title of this blog, one day and one step at a time.

It may not always be easy, but it is the only way I know. The sign in my office reads, Never Never Never give up! It guides my way and I hope yours, too.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A WALK IN THE PARK: PART I LOST TRACK

So, there I was Sunday, shooting some hoops in the park, before my walk. And there were these two young boys, not much older than ten, showing me up. One shot like a champ, while my shots mostly went in and out. The other dribbled like a Harlem Globetrotter.My goodness, they were little kids.

Holding aside their tee shirts, you knew the names Lebron and Wade were tattooed on their far heads and, more importantly, on their minds. It didn't take much to realize they were passionate about the sport of basketball. They, no doubt, fancied themselves someday playing in the NBA. And, maybe with some hard work and luck, they will.

It is a joy to enter the fantasy world of children who are unfettered by the burdens of every day life.Their energy and enthusiasm are infectious and can guide our way through the obstacle course of our lives.

Freud, said, "The child is the father of the man." In many ways, he was correct about that. There is so much more happening at the park other than ball games and walking, jogging and bicycling. You just gotta pay attention to it all!

Bye For Now,

bill

Monday, May 16, 2011

I LOST MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE AND TEMPORARILY MY VOICE

As I am sure you know, my friends, it is not easy to maintain optimism and hopefulness in the face of day to day challenges--locally and around the world. I try really hard most of the time to promote those feelings in these blogs and in my office. BUT, every once in a while along comes a thunderstorm of emotions that takes time to process and resolve.Sometimes,the storm is so intense that an umbrella is worthless and nothing shields us from the rain of pain.

2011 has been a loss leader in many ways. First, my doctor cousin Debra, then my Mom (who needed to move on, but that doesn't lessen the loss) and then,unexpectedly, Mimi G.

I think Mimi would approve of me saying that she was my counseling client for many,many years as she would always be quick to tell everyone and anyone that if it weren't for me, she wouldn't be here, thereby breaking her own confidentiality.Truth be known, I almost saved her again. I just missed in a way that haunts me still and will so forever.

In recent years, she was my colleague, helping others learn relaxation skills at our tranquility center.Her goodness and mercy graced the halls of our office and cheered us up and on. Her last act of kindness for me was to clean and organize my Fibber McGee closet, with plans to take on the bathroom soon.Sad to say,I'm stuck doing the bathroom on my own, which I don't mind, but for the implication of her absence.

Saturday, I was invited by Mimi's family to attend the memorial of her ashes being placed at sea. In my characteristic fashion, I was very quiet aboard the Pamela III. Despite the rockiness of this water logged byway, I sat sadly in one of their fishing chairs feeling the force of the ocean swells. I did not seek shelter, as many of the others did, but chose to allow the wind and sea mist to activate my senses. I licked the salt water from my face like so many pounds of tears trying to wash away the pained feelings of loss. I allowed the mist to cloud my glasses until I could no longer see the sea. On some level the pounding wetness I was experiencing helped me. Discomfort tells us we are alive and therefore still able to reach out and touch someone, which I tried to do in many silent ways.

I came to realize that that is what my blog and other writings are all about. Mimi was a loyal reader and responder. They helped her these last few years overcome parts of herself and rise to the challenges of her life. With that in mind I found my voice at sea that evening amid my heavy heart and the heaving ocean below us.I shall continue to try to be a positive influence on our less than positive voyage.At the end of the day we just need to believe in the power of our self to heal and overcome and find peace and joy as long as we are alive.Our losses may trip us up momentarily, but we cannot allow them to keep us down indefinitely.

Mimi would have enjoyed and agreed with this blog. I'm quite sure they have wireless internet in Heaven.

Hopefully, filled with renewed hope, I am back.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IT IS IMPORTANT TO LAUGH OFTEN

My wife found a joke recently and left it for me. Author unknown.

Three older ladies were discussing the difficulties of getting older. One said, "Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand in front of the refrigerator and I don't recall whether I need to put it away or start to make a sandwich."

The second lady says, "I know what you mean, dear, "I find myself on the landing of the stairs and can't remember whether I was on my way up or on my way down."

The third lady chimes in, "I'm glad I don't have that problem, knock on wood," as she bangs the table. She then said, "That must be the door. I'll get it."

Perhaps you can't fully appreciate this joke unless you have your senior moments. My wife and I have been continually saying to each other, since reading the joke,
"Must be someone at the door," as we rap our knuckles on the table!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, May 2, 2011

A SAD FAREWELL TO A GOOD FRIEND

Mimi G was a special woman in so many ways. She religiously read my blogs and was the only one, best as I know, who responded to them from time to time.

Mimi was a kind-hearted person. When she read my blog about Haiti having seemingly been forgotten, she organized a clothing drive and send tons of stuff to that beleaguered country. She always identified with the underdog. She always gave of herself, tirelessly.She never expected anything in return.

In that same spirit she took on the director title of the Tranquility Center at our office. She earned no money, but gave of herself to so many in so many ways.

Years ago, Mimi introduced me to the Youth Automotive Training Center (yatc.org) where I have volunteered for 20+ years.If she wasn't doing good herself she was inspiring others to do that too.She always meant well and tried to do well.

She was an important employee of the prison system for many years and so many other organizations where she gave and contributed her all.

Mimi was a candle burning brightly,doing good or trying to wherever she went. Sadly, her candle went out last week suddenly and unexpectedly. She will be missed by all who knew her. She will be impossible to replace.She was one of a kind in so many ways!

Somewhere, a candle still burns brightly as she takes on her new role as angel of mercy and goodness in Heaven. Well, perhaps not a new role as she practiced for it all of her life.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I REALLY WANT TO WRITE ABOUT

those totally obnoxious ads from T-Mobile that are flooding the airwaves. There are phones being thrown away on a ski lift, "Hi Mom, In Your Face," by an Asian guy, a stereotypical pretty dumb gal in a pink outfit from TJMaxx and a fast talking dude who says absolutely nothing worthwhile, very quickly. Dumb and dumber pink lady says, "What he says" or something like that. These must be appealing to and working for our disenfranchised youth.

Better we should talk about all of those wonderful, high potential,going to make the world a much better place youngsters.In them I have hope. Take that as a sign of even more good things to come in our lives.All of them will go with AT&T.

Personally, if I was a T-Mobile user, I would NOT throw away the phone. But I would throw away the service immediately and tell them, "In your face!" Perhaps, I am just getting older.

Bye For Now,

Bill