My Present

I hope you’re enjoying your holiday season. I hope the season has been kind to you. I personally know how holiday seasons can put anyone at odds with themselves. We are made to feel we need to do more than we can, spend more than we are able, and often extend ourselves to the point of breaking. And yet, it does not have to be and should not be that way.

I have promised myself this year to change my ways. Rather than spending a lot of money, I have tried to add something which I have spent time designing or making. It was not the big thing that I did this year, yet it said something personal that I had made with the belief that the person I was giving it to would enjoy it. Is it working out? I do not know. I still have some homemade gifts which I am still working to complete. These gifts will probably have to be delivered by the three wise men.

What did you give yourself this year? We often give to everyone else, and usually, do not consider anything for ourselves. I have broken with my usual tradition by giving myself a wonderful gift. Some people may feel that it is cheap, or flimsy, or made up. I believe that my present will turn out to be one of the best things I have ever received. My Christmas present to myself is a better me.

No one can give a present like that and just walk away. Much work is involved in making a gift like this valuable. First, I have to give myself permission to be genuine, to be me. That means rather than trying to be different things to other people, I am first true to myself and my beliefs. Therefore, the first question I ask when starting action is, “Is this who I am?”

The next questions I ask whenever I consider an action or a change is,” How will this help myself and others to be better?” And I also ask, “ Whom will these actions help or harm?” I believe that these are excellent questions to consider as we get ready to make changes in operations or directions.

There are some more questions I ask, and some more actions that I have to take before deciding. You may want to ask if this slows me down? How much more time does this add to my day? Does this make me feel better, or just send me on a constant guilt trip? I can’t tell you the answers yet. I just received this present, and I will have to work with it and report back to you.

I will report back to you from time to time. If you work with or intend on trying something like this, please let us know how you are doing with your present. And if you are attempting something like this, please don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, we are only human.

Thanks for being with me today. I hope to be with you again soon.




Thanks Wind!

Thank goodness for the wind. If the wind might not have blown all night long last night, I may have fallen asleep or something. You know, we are lucky to have things like wind. Wind seems to happen when air under higher pressure moves to an area of lower pressure. Along the way, it can shake windows and turn your front door into a harmonica.  The wind can give you a fantastic opportunity to play hide and seek with empty trash cans or lawn furniture.

I live at the end of a short two block street. Two streets make a perfect T right in front of my house. And this serves a vital job for the rest of the community. Whether it’s leaves from our forest of trees, trash from those who have already lost their trashcan lids, or anything else from old cigarette packs to someone’s homework, everything seems to find its way to my lawn and into my carport. Thanks, prevailing winds!

Over the 25+ years that I have lived here, I have considered many options to deal with the presents that the wind brings me. I had thought of a high chain link fence. Unfortunately, our winds blow strong enough that things can move over the top of the fence and then would be held inside my yard, growing from knee to hip deep. I also imagined with a chain-link fence that debris that could not get over the fence would be lodged into the chain-link and make it look as though the house had been buried in trash. I did consider this along with a fence sign that would read ‘Modern Art Exhibit.’

I also considered doing a little accounting. I would charge a penny for each leaf and three cents for each piece of debris. I would keep a running tally, and then once a year, I would divide all those pennies I had added up by the number of houses on the two blocks of my street and go around to collect payment for my services of cleaning up and disposing of everything. I hear trash companies make a real profit at this.

Well, none of my grand schemes ever really went to fruition. I just look at the gathering refuse as an excellent excuse to get out and enjoy some exercise and fresh air. And, I have a bonus of being able to play with my leaf blower. The kid in me thinks that’s a really neat deal.

Maybe the wind’s looking out for me after all.

Thanks for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

The Eve of All Possibilities

‘Tis the season of joy and care, of family and friends, and of some of the most beautiful possibilities those on earth have ever known. For tomorrow we celebrate a presence given to us for a short 30-some years. A gift that happened over 2,000 years ago.

Like all presents, this presence is what you make of it. Positives and negatives are always in the world. And, the importance of each depends upon what is done about it.

This year we see nations who have furloughed their workers due to lack of funding. We have catastrophes caused by weather in many parts of the world. We find families torn apart over man-made borders. In many areas of the world where the embattled masses hide from those who forget we are all one people, on one planet.

We look at the horrors and shake our heads. We wonder why, and what the future holds. It is hard for us to find anything positive in any possibility. And yet, we must remember the present of a presence over 2,000 years ago. For that presence, placed into an area of our planet, much like we can find in parts of the world today, in poverty, and in an embattled nation, where others had marched in and set up their own man-made borders. With a ragtag group fighting back because everyone had forgotten that we are one people, on one planet.

We have more people, today, living in the most enormous wealth and technology the world has ever known. At the same time, we have more people in desolate poverty and starvation than any other time on this planet. And, wars and battles rage on, in far too much of our planet. And yet we are only one people, with one planet.

There are those who downplay or do not believe of the present of a presence 2,000 years ago. And yet they forget when they do not believe of the one truth of one people on one planet. They forget, or they choose convenience. Because nothing worth anything is easy, or free.

Two thousand years ago we were given a present of a presence, who was sent here by one Heavenly Host to remind us of one important thing.

We are all one. One people, on one planet. Placed here and going back to the same heaven, for the God of our fathers is still the same God. And with this knowledge, anything is within our possibilities.

Care for Your Inflictions

Once again, I have to stand in front of you and apologize for missing for the last two days the blogs I write. Although there is no excuse, you do need to know that I have been battling vertigo. I missed Wednesday because I had to go and see a doctor for some help with this ailment.

The doctor gave me some great pills, which did little more than make me dizzier and put me to sleep. I ended up sleeping through yesterday. I’m sure it was there, I just don’t remember much. This is not the doctor’s fault, it is just a side effect of trying to get better.

This is nothing more than a remembrance of what happens as we get older. I really believe the trick is not to age. Unfortunately, the fountains of youth have all dried up. We just need to work hard and overcome these maladies one at a time.

It would be horrendous to pick up a disease and have it live with you for the rest of your life. Frankly, I get too bored too fast and want to move on to something else. If I’m going to have a disease it has to work for me.

I have diabetes, and in treating it, I stay thinner and younger with more energy. The disease makes me get out and exercise, watch what I eat, and as a byproduct, I am out around people more often.

I do not recommend diseases to anyone. However, if you’re going to have one, I recommend working the illness, so it delivers the best for you. If you work it right, you might end up younger, more informed, healthier, and with more energy in the long run.

As for me, I will use the pills as needed, and I will do my best to find methods that help relieve vertigo and help me to improve.

Thank you for being with me today. I really hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Positive or Negative?

You know, it’s a good day. Of course, any day is what you make of it. Each and every one of us has good that comes into our lives. And each and every one of us also has bad things that come into our lives, also. The trick to handling these positives and negatives is to determine what you focus on, and how you deal with the rest.

Think about what you have. If you have good things in your life, even if there are only one or two, that is where you want to focus some positive attention. It is essential to pay attention to the good things because those things that are ignored often have a tendency to go away. I know, I’m battling that with my teeth right now.

So how do you deal with all those things that are negatives in your life? Well, to start with, don’t gripe or grumble over them. If you complain over adverse problems, they realize that you’re paying attention and then they may never leave, and you’ll be stuck with them.

What you want to do is start with one negative thing, fix it, so it becomes a positive and not a negative, and move on to the next. Then, you take care of the second problem, changing it from a negative into a positive, and move on from that one. I would like to tell you that you can get to a point where there’ll be no more negatives, and although that won’t happen. I can tell you that as you add to and focus on your positives, you will find that your problems will dwindle both in number and size.

Planning this out is good, just remember planning doesn’t fix anything, actions do. People who make positive responses, get things done. People who start with griping, seem to lose momentum and end up merely griping and grumbling. Remember it’s the griping and grumbling that causes the negative items to hang around in the first place because you’re paying more attention to them.

Will any of this work out perfectly? No. Just remember the more you do this, the better you’ll get at it and the smaller and further away your problems will seem.

If you don’t believe me, do a good deed for someone else. Go to the local soup kitchen and offer to serve for a meal or two. While doing so watch the people in the crowd as the food is served. Fairly soon you will start to understand that although everyone being served has similar circumstances, some are focusing on the good in their life while others are focusing on the negatives.

The big question for you, is what you want to focus on?

Thanks for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.


Global Connection

It’s a beautiful morning. We are now entering the week for timeliness. This is the week where the deadlines for mailing Christmas presents exists. I know not everybody has everything shipped yet. And I know this because I’m part of everybody and I still have packages to send.

There is importance to staying on top of things, and planning gives yourself a lot of good time in which to act. We do this so that when push comes to shove and everything slides because of a multitude of reasons and demands, we could still get what needs to be done completed just under the deadline.

I saw this morning on the news that UPS will be delivering over 400 packages a minute come Wednesday morning. The most significant cause of this is e-commerce. As a purchasing public, we just don’t go to brick-and-mortar stores as much as we have in the past.

One of the reasons may be is we cannot always find exactly what is desired in a local store or within a community. Those Christmas items that some people have asked me for were not to be located in the local area, I did look and still had to go to the internet to purchase many presents. Shopping online, the desired gifts were quickly found and delivered to my front door within a few days.

I am not saying that e-commerce will take over all brick-and-mortar stores. I really like to go out and look at items and understand what I am purchasing. Quite often in a brick-and-mortar store I can see different things and gain new perspectives based upon what my gift receiver might like.

It is great to know there is a global market which allows us to reach out to a larger community. This is only one of the many good things that the Internet does.

Not only can we purchase more, but we can also keep in touch with friends from long ago or far away. When I was young, my dad was in the Army. As we moved from Army post to Army post, new friends were found, and old friends seemed to be lost forever. When I grew up, my kids went with me from Air Force Base to Air Force Base. The kids met new friends wherever they went, and as the boys grew, they could keep up with old friends through the Internet. After all, your real wealth is found in the friends you keep in the things you share.

Please have a great week.  And, don’t let the rush get to you.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.