Friday, March 31, 2017


For years, each morning I find the time to take a few moments (some days more moments than others) to meditate and get my positive mantra of the day going for my own self-motivation. When I worked in a wonderful school setting, I shared with the staff these positive mantras weekly on little notes and titled them, "Milestones." I received positive feedback so I then started posting them on my Facebook page. 

Again, I would like to say that these help to motivate me, myself and I. If it strikes a chord with anyone else then great. It makes me happy to share. If someone feels like scrolling on past, that is fine and good. There have been some times that people I know have told me that they look forward to them daily, yet never have clicked like, love, etc. There is no need to. It really has to ring a bell with me for me to post it so I most definitely get it when others don't connect to it or just don't usually write on FB for any reason.

Today, was a day that I needed a bit of a shove to get myself motivated. I am not going to write from the poor, pitiful me aspect of what I was feeling. We all go through the ups and the downs of life. Just lately Steve and I have had our share. What is most important is that we do what we need to do to move past this time. So my FB mantra that I posted today was one from Ralph Marston. "What you do today can improve all your tomorrows." I can take that quote in many different ways. Find what I can do to NOT feel deflated is how I am taking it today. It is not a feeling that I am comfortable with nor have very often, thank goodness. I also posted that it will never be perfect. Just make it work.

Quite a bit had happened today before I was ready to sit and have my quiet meditation. An article was in my e mail that touched me tremendously. It was exactly what I needed to hear for me. Maybe you too? At the end of the article, the author, Sheba Leung said that if you loved this article then share it with your friends on Facebook. I decided share a summary of what I am using for myself in order to not feel deflated.

The article was about self-motivation and how it can be easier when you know what you want. This covers in your work place, home life, social life, health and a multitude of other 'resolutions' per say. For example if you set a goal to lose 25 pounds and after one week you have lost the motivation, does this mean you are just too weak to stay motivated? It depends.

Remember that it has to be all about YOU! It is your goal. If you are trying to fill an obligation or expectation imposed by others, you will never be able to stick to it. Things don't happen like magic. Usually the magic needs a little help or boost along the way. You must be ready and you just can't let it be. So I asked myself if this is how I want to feel and there was a BOOMING answer back. "NEVER!"

In self-motivation there are two kinds:  intrinsic and extrinsic. If you are setting a goal to achieve, just your very own personal satisfaction is enough to keep you motivated to go for the gusto. This is the intrinsic side of motivation. If on the other hand you feel that you need to have a type of reward once your goal is reached then by all means write it down and go for it. If you lose the 25 pounds, then you deserve some small rewards along the way and a big one, such as a whole new outfit once the pounds have disappeared.  
I personally have a few goals that I am working on for myself. Weight is only one of them. Keeping up the physical therapy on my left knee is the other one. I will reward myself with some form of clothing for the weight. That is my extrinsic reward, yet the personal satisfaction will be there also. As far as my left knee, my extrinsic is to be able to go on walks with our new puppy. It also will be an intrinsic motivation. I believe that it takes both kinds of motivation to get in the groove of self-motivation. Then today's goal of not feeling deflated is to make changes to what was making me feel that way. This would be mentally thinking differently and physically working on the physical therapy with all my might in order to improve movement.

This article ended recommending for the readers to watch TED with Scott Geller's 4-C Model of Motivation. To break it down in very basic terms they are Competence:
 Do we believe we can do it and will it work?

 Is it worth it?
  We have a sense of autonomy-we are in control
   We all need people to perceive a sense of        connection with other people in order to feel    motivated and happy

There also was a book that was recommended for reading to help us quiet any negative inner voice that inhibits your self-motivation. The book is by Andro Donovan and is titled, Motivate Yourself.

Some days we all need a swift kick or a gentle reminder of how to stay on the right track in order to achieve what we truly want and need. If you find me like the character depicted above, please first try the gentle reminder and if I do not respond you then have my permission to give me the swift kick. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Our Doodle Is Smarter Than He Should Be

Disclaimer:  When reading this, please note that I am not saying that any other dog does not have intelligence.  We have owned dogs before, some smarter than others. The breed that I am writing about today has been bred specifically for intelligence and obedience and sometimes for seeing if they can keep their owners two steps ahead of them.

Now I am just saying that no, I do not believe my Doodle is smarter than your 5th grader, however, he is pretty dang smart. First, let me explain that Doodles, for those who do not know, are officially called Goldendoodles. Unfortunately, they sometimes are lumped into the category of 'Designer Dogs.' They are a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. Doodles came to be sometime in the 90's. The popularity has grown in leaps and bounds over the years.

There are several reasons for this popularity. First of all they are considered hypo-allergenic for those who have allergy symptoms around dogs and secondly, they are extremely intelligent. Just as the Golden Retriever, they are trained for therapy and service work dogs because of how easy they are trained and now people who have allergies can now work with a therapy dog. As one author who wrote one of the many books about Goldendoodles worded it: "They are not 'Designer Dogs,' rather, they are dogs of good design."

If you notice in the picture above, our Goldendoodle is not golden at all. Golden, caramel, cream, apricot, or white are the colors that most people expect to see. There are some more rare reddish Goldendoodles, but there are many black Doodles, also. When we have Davis out and about and people ask what kind of dog and we tell them, the first thing they begin to say is that he is not golden. My husband loves to put his finger up to his lips and say, "Shhhh. He doesn't know that."

What I can tell you is that this dog is so very amazing in just how smart he is. I sound like parents of the children that I used to teach. If this is what you want to believe then it is okay. My feelings won't be hurt. Let me just give you examples (and I might add that this is not just our puppy, it is Goldendoodles as a breed). They are sensitive, intuitive, wishing to please, agile, athletic, and highly social which just adds to their intelligence.

Some people want this kind of dog, thinking that they will have less to do in the training part of their pet. Let me tell you right now that this is so not true.  These dogs must be intellectually stimulated and properly trained, along with the extra socialization. Because of their high intelligence and the need to be with people, they can become bored which leads to mischief.

Doodles are quick learners and are often the star students in obedience classes, usually the one that the trainer pulls out to be the puppy who will demonstrate the skill being taught.  These dogs love to please and you will notice them tilting their heads and gazing into your eyes, trying to figure out what it is that you want them to do because they are ready to do it.  Due to the Poodle intelligence and the Golden Retriever  intuitiveness, this dog can read you like a book, so you want to be sure that you are sending the right messages.  

When training your Doodle, you must vary the routine or else he will have it memorized and do the commands before you get them out of your mouth.  In other words, if you have them sit, then down, next stay and last stand, he will run through them all once you say sit in the sequence that you taught them.  It is as if they want to make you laugh and giggle and they thrive at being the life of the party. 

Just remember to keep in mind that they are highly intelligent and inquisitive, therefore when in an unfenced area there are way too many more interesting things happening than you, his owner. If you find this hard to swallow and your ego is bruised, you just need to suck it up, Buttercup and find another way around getting the command through to him.

Simply the fact that these dogs are so quick and agile, I can assure you that playing catch the puppy if you can is not a good, nor a fair game to play.  They will win. This is when you must return to the collar and leash, so that they know who is in control. Otherwise the halo disappears and the little devil horns pop out and a wild eyed puppy is playing with you, the one supposedly in charge as he watches with fascination any one of the following things in his area: the wind blowing a leaf, the wind in general, a bug, a bird flying overhead, much less a loud aircraft, the prism glow on the fence caused by the sunlight on the door as it is opened or closed.

Their intelligence is enhanced by keeping them fit, which includes a good and steady walk and playtime daily. When out for a walk, whether it be around on a walking trail or walking in a pet store, this dog knows how to put on the prance.  He always stands taller, walks prouder with ears hanging just right and his little question mark tail held just the right way, as to draw attention to himself.  I can assure you that he needs mentally challenged constantly, which keeps you mentally challenged. It is most definitely impossible to start your day in a bad mood. Your happy voice and inner child will escape from within you all because of your Doodle.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Believe In Yourself

To be totally honest, I must credit my wonderful son-in-law, Craig, for giving me the inspiration to write this blog. I never know what I will be writing about until something smacks me right between the eyes. When writing something on Face Book, I saw this post on his timeline. PERFECT! The light bulb clicked on.

As I was going through my 'Blog' folder, where I store ideas for future blogs when I think of them, I found a collection of believing in yourself articles and quotes. If I did not believe that I could write and publish novels, then why am I wasting my time? That is my point. Today, I am going to write about some people who accomplished extraordinary things based on the fact that they believed in themselves and followed through carrying on with their work, regardless of what others may have told them.  

J.K. Rowling, one of my favorite authors stated that it was not until she hit rock bottom that she had anything solid to stand on which allowed her to then rebuild her life. She turned her life around by believing in herself. Having the confidence that success will come your way by believing in yourself is so important and yes...sometimes that may mean to fake it till you make it.  A case in point would be Muhammad Ali when he said, "I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was." He believed in himself. 

We have to be bold enough to believe that we can change the world by believing in ourselves because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do based on the philosophy of Steve Jobs. Stay unique because this is what makes us truly human and different from one another. Oscar Wilde followed this in his life, "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."  There is no reason to try to replicate what others have done. There is no one way to accomplish goals. Do it your way.

Even though I have been in the field of education, I strongly believe that we can't allow schooling to get in the way of our education. We can't allow failure to stand in the way and should constantly be putting ourselves in situations where we could possibly fail; then learn from it.  Michael Jordan and many other professional athletes that were All Star quality will say that they have failed over and over and over again in their lives and this is why they succeeded. The top rated baseball players had the highest number of strike outs. Surprising? Not really. They believed in themselves and did not let anything get in their way, even failure to hit the ball.

The bottom line of believing in yourself is if you really want to do something, you will do it. If not, you will find excuses. My plan is to challenge myself enough to do it by looking in the mirror and seeing an accomplished, published author staring back at me, checking my hair before I go out for another book signing tour. See you there. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Assumptions Will Lead To the Unexpected

An assumption is a thing that is accepted as true or something that is certain to happen, without any proof whatsoever. "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." This quote is attributed to Isaac Asimov, a Russian born American writer and biochemistry professor. In my opinion, very wise words, indeed.

How do you feel when others make assumptions about you? It happens to all of us, some of which make their way back to you through the grapevine gossip. It becomes hurtful that someone can think and then tell others what they believe to be true in their own minds without any fact base.  

Let's turn the question around and ask ourselves what about the assumptions we make about others? Oh, come on now! We all do it. Personally, I really try hard not to make quick assumptions about anyone. It is a part of human nature and shows an ugly side at times. Intellectually, I am aware that it is wrong and can be a dangerous thing. Presuming to know what motivates others to behave a certain way as if they are incapable of making the right decision for their own lives? Many relationships have been destroyed based on assumptions made by others.

In everyday life we make assumptions all the time. Sometimes we may actually be right. If you took the time to calculate them all, you would discover that more times than not the assumptions made are not correct. How can they be when you do not have any facts to work with?

The political atmosphere in the USA today is one BIG example of assumptions being made by both sides and everything in between. In the blink of an eye, the assumption is then in the news media. Sometimes it is the reporter who puts out a story without checking the facts. This is very poor journalism, not to mention unprofessional. The lessons taught in elementary school about fact or opinion did not stick with everyone.

The way to stay away from making assumptions is to work on good communication skills. Have the courage to ask questions. Some first hand examples of assumptions that were made about me are still carried around within my head. They don't overwhelm me, just reminders that until you walk in another's shoes, don't judge and make assumptions of other people's lives and choices.  

While still working in a supervisory type position, one person came up to me, not to question and ask about things that were being said about me. She was telling me what another person had started telling others about me as if it were true and it seemed as if she were trying to get my dander up so that I would go after this other person. She said that many people were around when this person stated that she did not know why I was still working. I had a husband who made plenty of money at his job, we drove fancy cars and lived in a huge home, wore expensive clothing, and the list went on and on. First question would be what my husband earns is no one's business and certainly nothing that I share with others. It is private. It was quite interesting in that she had no idea that a major decision was made by him that actually lowered what he made. As for driving fancy cars?  Fancy compared to a clunker?  A huge house compared to a tiny house?  Any home under 3,000 sq. feet is not considered a mansion. Nice clothes? Did she know about the word sales and a sense of style in putting the old with the new? Biggest assumption of all? She had no idea that we had a son that was going to college and not on a scholarship. We were paying. 

Some of the assumptions, I addressed with this person, who really was a pot stirrer, just wanting to stir up a little drama. Maybe she did or maybe she didn't go back with a few facts that knocked the assumptions out of the ballpark. Sometimes you just have to let it go.

You hear the stories all the time about how women get so very upset when their husbands don't "get it" when she did not communicate what the "it" was and the poor guy had to make an assumption about what she wanted. The word communicate comes into play again. Say what you want and mean what you say. Share with one another. Simply saying that you thought they should have known does not work, unless you married someone with a crystal ball or is a mind reader.

Have you ever looked at another person out in the public, such as a restaurant or a social event and saw tattoos all over their body or piercings? Instantly, most people come to a certain negative assumption. . It should not work that way. What I think is attractive does not mean that the person next to me will think the same thing is attractive and vice versa.    

There are a few things that I do when I catch myself making assumptions. I tell myself to just "Stop it." I realize that I do not know what this person thinks and that everyone does not think the same way. Instead, talk to the person, if it is appropriate. Engage in conversation about their style of dress code choices. Get another point of view. I have mine and others are allowed to have their own view, also. Who is to say which is wrong and which is right? 

When you go directly to the person and talk about differences and assumptions, you may find yourself very surprised.  The worst thing that could happen is that you are told to go mind your own business. It is much better and healthier for you to attempt communication and if that doesn't work then just leave well enough alone.  After all, jumping to conclusions is actually not an exercise. There are many other ways to help you physically and mentally to get over assumptions, both the kind made about you as well as the kind that you may be guilty of making about others. It is such a happier world when we embrace our differences. If we can't do that, at least be sure that you are dealing with the facts, just the facts, Mam.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

All You Need Is Love!

It really is a fact.  The Beatles had it right when they wrote and recorded, All You Need Is Love.  The words, along with the tune make me happy.  Even though the song was out long before the movie of Love Actually, that movie scene is what I think of when I hear the song now.  When that orchestra got up one by one and started playing the song during the wedding scene, it just made me cry happy tears.  It still does after watching the movie more times than I can count.  

Even though it has been a month since Valentine's Day, love is something that is every day.  Love does make the world go around and has always inspired writers of all kinds to write about it, whether it be in poetry, books, movies, tv, plays, or songs.  Once you locate that perfect partner you just want to have everything last forever.  So what is holding you back from that?  Finally, I believe that I have found the answer to why so many of marriages end up in divorce. Why does it have to be that way?  It seems that once one partner or even both become disillusioned by the relationship, they want to call it quits. What got them to this disillusionment?  It did not happen overnight.  

Just the other day, I was reading about the stages of love.  I totally disagreed with the article.  First, let me say that this article came from Life Hacks, which that alone was not on a very positive note, at least in my book.  It was a part of the American Psychological Association research on marriage and divorce and stated that it was endorsed by Chloe Chong.  

The five stages of love according to this research is passion and playfulness, getting serious, what happened, climbing down from the pedestal, to working as a team.  I noticed as I was reading that each stage stood out there all alone. It was very easy, at least for me, to see the glaring problem here.  The first stage must stay forever and not be simply a stage.  It is what love is all about.  

Let's start with the obvious one of passion and playfulness.  It stated that this is when you meet the one of your dreams and the hormones are flowing.  Flowing so much in fact, that you are glowing.  It is a fun place to be.  You would call it your happy place.  This moves on to getting serious.  You are a great couple, and perhaps have moved in together or have gotten married, whatever the case, you have made a commitment at this stage. According to this article this is when the fun has had its run and you are now in The Twilight Zone. (not really, I just added that because that is how it made me feel when it said you are now in the adult phase and you have entered the serious zone)  

My point being here is that who says the passion and playfulness ends now.  Big mistake in my book.  If you can't take life that is going on all around you and turn it into fun with each other then I see trouble coming on down the road.  Which is where the article goes for the third stage of what happened?  Yeah, right?  You really don't know what happened when you dropped the passion and play and headed for making life into a serious and scary nightmare? This is where the relationship ends if you can't work on making lemonade out of lemons together.  It is a time to get creative and show your passion for life and one another even more. You have to be a team and work together.  

Why did 'Life Hacks' put stage 4 in as a part of love?  This stage is called climbing down from the pedestal. My husband and I know and we knew from the start that neither one of us is perfect.  We both have our funny little quirks. Does that make me not place him up high on my pedestal where he belongs? The most wonderful feeling is knowing that he has done the same thing with me. So we came into our relationship learning about each other yet still placing each other up high and above all others, on the pedestal of honor, support, and unconditionally loving one another whereas nothing is going to make me want him to climb down from that pedestal.  

The last stage of love that was written about is working as a team. This stage should be a part of the very beginning stage with the passion and playfulness.  It is real love when you totally accept each other unconditionally from the beginning.  If there is a deal breaker, that is when it should be noted so that the relationship does not move forward because a deal breaker is not going to change. You either love one another with all the quirks and baggage that comes with him or her or you don't. Marriages end when one partner thinks they can change that imperfection. I am here to say to you that no you can't.  And this is based on my very own experiences.  

Couples who play together, stay together.  Finding your common ground and working on life together is what will bring you closer. Even though it sounds basic and simple:  All You Need Is Love is easier said than done, especially if you need someone to tell you to never let the childlike qualities fly out the window as life becomes more challenging, i.e. bills, rent, car loans, children, jobs.  These are times that you must work together to make life a creative adventure for yourselves.  It is not too late to start now. As the song goes:  "There's nothing you can do that can't be done,
            Nothing you can sing that can't be sung,
            Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the                     game.  It's easy.
            Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in                     time."
All You Need Is Love!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Joy or Just Wait?

"Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about but the hardest thing in the world to do."  Matt Walsh is credited with this quote, although many others have used it one way or another. Wherever you go, this seems to be so very true, even from back in the dark ages up until the present time, everyone seems to have an opinion of what the parent should be doing differently.  

Sometimes the writing is on the wall. An example is when I see and hear a parent berating their child out in public. Other times it is not quite so easy. If you have ever been out in a store and witnessed new parents with their tiny bundle of joy, you know they are pleased as punch to have this little one out and about, even though the parents look exhausted. Experienced parents know that they are because there is not a lot of sleep going on in their house. The 'joy' is there, just at some point some sleep needs to take place in order to restore the very basic skills. 

I always try to make a positive comment to young parents and it is heart warming to see them beam with pride that someone noticed their little one. Then the naysayer steps in and asks if it is their first? You always can tell by the look on their faces that they can't wait to get their two cents worth in. The new parents smile and say that yes it is. Then the know it all says, "Just wait."  This is then followed up with a comment about the just wait for the terrible twos, all the way up to the just wait for the unruly teenage years.  

Ouch! What must this young couple be thinking now? We seem to live where there are way too many negative people concerning parenting and they are not afraid to voice their opinions. When new parents are already overwhelmed, this is not the kind of feedback that they need to hear. The know it alls warning others that the worst will be coming soon. Beware!

It is no secret. Parenting is hard. It does not come with a manual.  If you are doing it right, you will discover that parenting is wonderful, challenging, exhausting, heartwarming and heart breaking.  So when others step in with their judging of all the doubts and despairs soon to come looking for these parents, I just want to add to their "just waits" a set of my own.

Just wait till you get that nightly snuggle and the words of, "I love you!"  Or just wait till you go to their school to pick them up and they catch glimpse of you to wave and smile as if they have not seen you for days.  Instead of naming all of the wonderful 'just waits,' I simply say,  "Just wait for all the joy you have in your future." Milestones happen daily if you are tuned in to your child and really listen to their day.

The best part is that it just keeps growing. Now it is the 'just wait' for how special that grandchild makes every grandparent feel when they grab you around the neck and say, "I love you to the moon and back, forever and ever."  

Moral of the story?  It is both; all the "Joys and all the Just Waits."  Enjoy and relish in them all.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

There are funny, amusing stories going on all around us constantly.These things are happening right in front of our faces. We just must take the time to notice it and find the humor. Laughter keeps us young, just as children and pets will. Many times they are actually the cause of it.  

One particular day this past week, Steve and I had a major dilemma.  At least at the time, it seemed that way. Ever since we have had our precious little puppy, he has caused us such joy and happiness. There have been a few mornings when he has desperately needed to go out after sleeping through the night but really did not want to because the ground was wet from a night time rain or it was sprinkling rain. There was no major precipitation at the time. Just enough to bother him. It was different weather and he just stepped gingerly in the wet grass and looked at us for a sign that it was okay. We praised him, talked to him and finally he did what he needed to do after much encouragement. He indeed received his little treat for going out to do his business. Bless his heart.  He has been so good and has not had an accident all through the nights since we brought him home.

This one particular day there was no sprinkling.  It was torrential rain.  Looking at the radar, it did not look as if it were going to stop anytime in the near future. As it happened, it did last over an hour.
When we opened the door, he looked up at us as if to say, "You must be joking."  We know our puppy very well, and he could not come back in without taking care of business. There was an urgency.  

So, we acted like a pair of court jesters by going out in the rain and calling him out with his treats in our hands, his favorite toys in other hands while he sat in the covered screened porch with a look on his face that said it all.  "No way!"  It took 30 minutes to get him out and to let him know that he was not going back in until he finished his duty. There was no scolding, there was only praise when he finally took care of what he needed to take care of, even if it did take a little push to get him out of the door. He just stood like a pitiful little puppy for a while until he finally understood that we meant business.  Steve was drenched. Davis was drenched. Towels were out for everyone, as well as lots of love.  

It was only 8:00 A.M. yet somehow it felt as if we had just run the marathon.  Later in the day, I got the idea to ask Face Book friends to share their solutions if they had this problem. I received quite a few responses back, most telling me that their dogs were afraid of the thunder and lightning. That is not what bothers Davis. He just does not seem to like to get his paws wet or maybe he thinks it will mess up his curly curls. If anything, it made them curlier and cuter.  

Some of the ideas that I received may be helpful, others I know that I could not do at all. If I had to leave the house for work or an appointment and Davis refused to go out as some friends told me their dogs do, then I am not sure what we would have done.  One good friend told me that his 11 year old lab won't go out for love nor money even on a cloudy day, much less rainy, while another one told me that her rottweiler would hold it for 24 hours before going out in the rain.  

I did promise Davis and Steve that I will never put him in clothes, such as a coat or jacket and that includes a raincoat. So nix that idea. Perhaps a large golf umbrella over us both, although I think it has more to do with the wet grass on his feet. Not sure about that yet. One thing that we did already try was to have a good unusual treat such as cheese.  Ha! He laughed in our face with that one, just as he did with a piece of a hot dog.  Food did not entice him one little bit. A person who deals with anxiety in children, suggested a thunder jacket, which are made for dogs to calm them.  Davis does not seem anxious just adamant that he is not going to get wet.  

Davis came from a very loving breeder, Kim.  She even wrote to me with some suggestions. She said to take him for long walks in the rain so that he could get the feel of it. Really, only once did it start to rain on one of his walks and his normally excellent walking on a leash behavior turned into get me home, by pulling and tugging to hurry us up.  

I even thought about putting up a tent for him to go in and take care of his business, even though I really don't want a permanent tent in that section of our backyard.  Apparently, this is a problem with quite a few dogs because I googled it and I found an article that had ten suggestions to help the process of getting your dog to go out in the rain.

  • spend time out in the rain with your dog to desensitize him
  • try a raincoat for doggies
  • umbrellas, which means you holding it over them
  • go out with your dog in the rain
  • if you think it is the wet grass, try going to gravel or concrete
  • walking stimulates elimination, so go out on a leash for a walk (by the way, he gets a walk every day and he has yet to do his business)
  • use really good treats
  • praise, praise and more praise
  • make a fast beeline to the house once the job is done so that your dog learns the sooner it is done the sooner you go in
  • teach your dog the command "hurry" and then praise like crazy

Let's review.  Most of these items we have tried and some we will not even consider.  I believe continuing to work on desensitizing him to the rain by walking in the rain, praises, and teaching the command "hurry" may all help in solving our problem.  

I just know that seeing two soaking wet adults calling a puppy out to the rain with treats and toys must have looked hilarious.  We obviously were his entertainment for the morning.  I don't think Creedence Clearwater Revival had this in mind when they sang, Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Unconditional Love

In my humble opinion, pets and children are able to express unconditional love without even thinking about it twice.  It seems just to come naturally.  My brain started stirring and whirring around this thought and thinking about why that may be.  

First of all, love is not rare.  What is rare is unconditional love.  Unconditional love is demonstrated just by the giving of yourself to another without conditions. Spending time with those who only love you when the conditions are right for them will lead to bitterness and will always set up the perfect UNhappy ending.  

Unconditional love means to accept someone without conditions, to feel someone in every heartbeat, to find someone in every thought, to see someone with eyes closed and to miss someone without reason; just because! To love unconditionally means you don't need the other person to be different than they are in order for you to be happy.  They make you happy by just being themselves.

Close your eyes and think of your child or grandchild reaching out for your hand in total trust.  Think of those puppy hugs and kisses that only a puppy can give without conditions being met. Watch a child and their pet interact and that picture should be in the dictionary beside the word and definition of unconditional love.  

The concept of unconditional love is not always an easy one to understand.  You are not going to promise to each other that there will not be disappointments because there will be at some point. The fact that you don't run away and leave someone because they disappointed you is the unconditional part. It is okay.  

This kind of love is a state of being.  It is a love for no reason because there are no demands, no fear, no rewards.  It is basically a universal language that all can understand with an open mind.  You give it without expecting anything back.  When two people meet that grasp this concept, they begin to see that they may not be expecting anything back, however, they get volumes of love back.  

To me, it should be part of the official marriage vows. When the judge or minister or priest states do you take this person to be your husband/wife and do you promise to be faithful in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health and to love and honor all the days of your life? How about adding and I promise to love you unconditionally.  It is a choice. You either will or you won't. It is keeping someone in your heart regardless of other conditions. 

One very important part of unconditional love is knowing that it does not stand for accepting bad behaviors.  Behaviors that are illegal most definitely would be a deal breaker.  (Unless you just want to go to jail with your partner - separated, of course).

  Find a heart that will love you at your worst and arms that will hold you at your weakest.

Friday, March 3, 2017


There are times that I must admit, I get tied up in all that is going on in my world.  What usually jolts me out of that place are random acts of kindness that others share with me.  It can be as simple as a door being held open for me or someone motioning for me to make a turn in front of them at a four way stop.  It truly does not take much to show me the goodness in others.  

This is what brought me to just think of some easy and simple ways to help make someone's day a little better. Just adding a touch more to bring a smile to someone's face.  We all have our own battles and to know that someone cares enough to help in small ways to get us out from under some of these possible demons is empowering.  Smiles and hugs do wonders.  

Spreading kindness is two fold.  Not only the recipient gets the feel good part of kindness, it also gives the donor such a good feeling.  Just the other day while in line to pay for some items, I noticed the mechanical motions that the scanner/cashier was going through, as well as her customer.  There was no communication, neither verbal nor body language, positive or negative.  Well, perhaps I would call nothingness a negative.  It was rather sad to witness.  

I looked over at the lane across from where I was and there were smiles, conversations, and the transaction ended with one saying to the other, "Have a great day."  Then amazingly enough, the recipient said, "Thank you.  You do the same."

You can change someone's world in a brief second or two with a gesture of simple kindness.  If it is someone that you are close to then the act of a hug, a touch on the shoulder, grasping of a hand would be appropriate.  It is a way to show support that mere words are not able to express.

These tiny gestures that are shared with others are remembered for a very long time.  Many times, we overthink acts of kindness and believe that it takes something grand to make a difference.  It is the small stuff that counts.  Steve and I have said this over and over in our marriage.  Never take the small stuff for granted. The small stuff grows to become the big stuff.    

If you really want to perk up a group, such as your team at work, make or buy a healthy treat to take in for sharing.  Smiles tend to break out all over the place when food is shared as a random act of kindness.  I had a friend at work who always cut out a coupon to a store that she knew that I shopped at often and it made me feel so very special that she thought of me and took time to cut the coupon and bring it in to me.  

Taking the time to watch the habits of those around you can tell you a perfect act of kindness that you can bestow on them.  For example, I had several co-workers who were avid readers.  Often, I would take in a book that I placed on their desk as a surprise.  I would hear them talk about this anonymous gift for days.    

There are so many ways to show kindness to others. This world needs more kindness and it seems to me that kindness grows in volume as it is given.  It makes others feel more compassionate.  Kindness does not need to cost a penny.  There are many different manners to show kindness.  If you are thinking that someone looks good in the color or style they are wearing, why not tell them out loud.  It only needs to come from your heart. It is rather powerful to know that you have the ability to turn someone's day around to a positive note!