Archive for the ‘volunteerism’ Category

When disability becomes a part of our life as children we often see much in the make-up of the child who fights for a normal ability to function, we admire.  Parents who refuse to let their children feel sorry for themselves or to give up and quit are often Blessed with the results of an adult who lives a normal life and succeeds beyond the ability of many able-bodied adults.

Without knowing Matt Roloff, personally, I have no doubts that this Blessing was bestowed on Matt  as a child and his family.  When Matt struggled through a hundred surgeries as a child and a “little Person”, to fit into a “Big World” he not only showed himself and his family he could excel but we also became accustomed to watching him on reality television, do the same.

What Matt is now dealing with as an older adult is entirely different from what he dealt with as a child and as a disabled adult myself, I can almost feel his frustrations and doubts interfering with his enjoyment and expectations for himself in his life. Although Matt needs to re-invent his own abilities again, not too unlike he did as a child, it no longer is instinctual in an older adult the same way it is a child. After having spent years fighting against the idea he was disabled it must be just that more difficult for Matt to acknowledge that he now is disabled and nothing will change that fact, not even denial.

it is not always the disabled person who remains in denial but our loved ones who refuse to show us the respect we deserve in knowing our own abilities and limitations, who also go into denial. Too often we are treated as though we cannot make a decision for ourselves without it becoming a matter of family debate. There are emotional limitations involved in disability as to what we want to share with others along with the physical limitations. Many of us have become accustomed to hiding our feelings when they have been hurt by outside influences or attitudes, because we do not want family to worry. On some days of the year we can do more than on other days, and a great many families cannot appreciate the difference as those of us who are disabled can.

It is always a real rush for me to go into a casino over feeling like I am on display in other arenas so of course the release of endorphins or the thrill of being as normal as anyone else when I am sitting at a slot machine does improve my ability to get around over doing something that otherwise I know I can never fit in with or compete with, without feeling like a sore thumb.

On the opposite end of the spectrum of disability,too often we are viewed as the strong one, mom or dad will always be there for us, or family has become accustomed to our making the decisions and it becomes extremely frustrating when they go into denial about our disability and refuse to listen when we do try to level with them. Others will shut us out of their lives entirely as they view us as being incapable of handling the truth if it is bad news.

So in short, it is not uncommon when the disabled are both disregarded for their abilities when they are capable of doing more or understanding what others are going through, just as we are often ignored when we do require help. Both can be exhausting to those of us who are often disabled to have to constantly explain or deal with, so many times it is simply easier to avoid those venues that seemingly require repeating the same information over and over again, up to and including Doctors’ offices.

Too often families, not unlike the general population,  will believe that disabled people are faking to get out of work or family involvement because if disabled children can turn disability into ability then so should adults be able to do the same.  As a young person afflicted in early adulthood with a disease, more commonly seen in older adults, I too believed that disability was only a part of the vocabulary of people who refused to try.

There are two kinds of spinal stenosis. Congenital stenosis, although rare most commonly shows up in ages between 30 and 40 and still is a mystery and relatively unknown, but is seen in individuals who are born with it and even minimal changes from aging can lead to severe spinal stenosis. I was 32 when I first experienced pain from stenosis. It can never be predicted or prevented and is seen in all body types and often goes misdiagnosed. Acquired stenosis is more commonly seen in 60 year olds and due to disc herniation’s and wear and tear of the aging process. Although disc herniation can lead to spinal stenosis at varying ages. My mother had Scoliosis as a child and there have been studies that do show birth defects of the spine can present themselves in off spring.

Although I agree with you, that there needs to be a special place for those who judge our pain as nothing more than ,”punishment from Satan”, This opinion should never deter us from seeking out options available to us. When I heard, ” What was a sincere expression told me and I could spare my pain by praying for my soul to be taken from the devil,” I must  have had a look on my face that no one ever wanted to see again, as the same person never expressed it to me again even though she sincerely thought she was helping me. We often hear, “Such and such was in real pain. She/he got paid back for everything they ever did wrong.”

I do believe in the power of prayer but not because people who suffer chronic pain suffer, because we lived such bad lives that the Devil has set up residence in our souls.  It’s hard for me to even understand that Christians could even think such a thing since Christ suffered much more than we do, through Crucifixion. Pain does not come from bad deeds but rather from disorders in all of our own bodies brought on by injury or disease.

We must always discount the theory that pain is as a result of Satan’s  punishment for obvious reasons to most of us but also since we already know that finding is based on ignorance. ” Bad things do happen to good people,” and when we accept that as our own reality we can move on.

Many in the medical profession believe that there is no physical pain but only pain due to emotional pain.  In short all physical pain exists only because of unresolved emotions and these doctors understand we do feel physical pain, because of this. None of us can deny that pain and emotional upset are greatly intertwined but those who accept the above need to be aware of the problems that arise when they try to simplify pain and those who suffer when they do.

Many times patients will be accused of being hypersensitive to pain, malingering, or worse yet, blamed for being responsible for their own pain even when medical tests show numerous causes present as to why a person is suffering, before a Medically trained Doctor will acknowledge their own limitations to understanding pain. When hindsight shows that the testing results showed the problem but was miss-read or went undiscovered by the abilities present at the time, we will rarely be told the same or will it always become a matter of our medical record, if it does happen.

Why some people do not feel pain or can tolerate pain better than the next has sometimes simply been dismissed for the above reasons of hypersensitivity, malingering, or self-induced by those who do feel a great deal more pain and discomfort.As medicine learns more many times it also learns the frailty in previously long held beliefs in medicine. When Doctors refuse to leave their own egos out of a diagnoses the results often makes these diagnosis, incomplete or in some cases dangerous.

It is often too simple to place the blame for pain on an inadequacy within the behavior or weight of the patient. If every person who was over-weight or smoked were responsible for every disorder that exists in medicine, then we would all eventually have the same diseases and disorders because we would all be afflicted as smokers or in association to second hand smoke. Why some are afflicted and others aren’t still remains a mystery in medicine.

None of us deny that to quit smoking and to lose weight are both sound advice in the principles of the treatment of pain but to discount the ability to burn calories or that weight lost often requires complete fasting in those whose movement is limited and the soothing effects of smoking to calm the nerves in people who do suffer pain, is also often overlooked by those who are too quick to dismiss their own role in the treatment of the patient.

Too often the stability of the patient living in pain is dismissed by the urgency of those to add more discomfort through cessation of smoking and weight lost, by those who refuse to understand that underlying causes for the continuation of pain are present to the point when the patient can do both, the suffering does not cease.

In many cases pain can actually increase due to muscle spasms after the cessation of smoking and flu-like symptoms. When a patient does lose as much as a 100 pounds and feels little to no relief in pain, lost of hope or feelings of abject failure in the patient who does struggle to accept society’s’ judgments and lack of understanding along with that of the medical profession, itself, can often occur.

When drugs are introduced to replace the effects smoking had to relax muscles and pain, or when marijuana is denied for religious reasons, many times the drugs introduced as replacements, can be equally destructive through the damage they cause with increased problems that add to further discomforts. Doctors have known for years that both cortisone and narcotics can lead to kidney and liver failure, onset diabetes, as well as other pain treatments can cause cancer, but not all Doctors do advise their patients of the side effects prior to giving injections or the starting of treatment.

Many times when this does happen our complaints go dismissed as being normal for the drug we are taking, and in other cases denied, while other times another drug is simply added to compensate for the discomfort being caused by other prescribed drugs, when a patient is successful in stopping smoking. Perhaps in knowing this then, we ourselves can learn to be more tolerate, in knowing those who suffer from chronic pain often need to consider just how much of their health or life is being spared by treatment for pain, especially when the effectiveness of narcotics do wear off and often requires heavier doses in order to gain relief.

Other times because of the lack of understanding by many in the medical profession when it does come to drug re-actions or inter-actions patients health can become life threatening very rapidly. Too often, we the general public will accept a cocktail of drugs to relieve pain without questioning the harmful effects of the drugs when we do quit smoking, believing in doing so we are prolonging our own life but in truth we can be limiting it even further.

It often becomes true when in an attempt to treat one system of the body we often worsen or increase symptoms in another system of the body, that does require treatment as well, so there are really never any easy solutions for those of us who do suffer chronic pain when surgery fails or becomes too complicated to attempt. It is an equally frustrating choice for many Doctors to have to make, but almost all will tell us they prefer the drugs they prescribe over that of smoking either cigarettes or marijuana.

When the pain is so great that many of us are totally over-whelmed with living another hour of the same discomfort the great majority of us will need to take almost anything to get relief and suffer the consequences later, no differently from anyone else who is not seeking martyrdom. When this happens we are all very grateful that any drugs are available to treat pain that breaks the threshold that many of us cannot stand to live with for another moment.

Those who have not been exposed to smoking or do not have weight problem histories during pregnancy or childhood or later in life have no better guarantee of avoiding disability or death than those who do. Many of us, who have never learned to question test results or Doctors, and suffer chronic pain know ourselves, we will almost always accept the Doctors’ diagnoses and question ourselves instead.

When we are told, “it is our own fault”, it is not uncommon for those amongst us, who do receive poor medical opinion, to add to our own physical pain which also can be due to other yet undiagnosed problems such as: circulation problems, infections, joint deterioration, muscle or ligament tears, irritations, undiscovered poisonings and viruses, swelling due to inflammations or compromised nerves, or other injuries, when we haven’t yet been fully evaluated or there are causes yet hidden in normal testing or unknown by the medical profession, itself.

By believing it is our own fault we too many times will add to our own suffering by pushing ourselves beyond our own tolerance levels, go into denial when we do feel changes more severe taking place, and ultimately increase the pain already present and cause further damage to our own bodies or in other cases fall into a depression so great that emotional or mental problems do become greater than the physical pain that existed prior to the diagnoses of it being, “our own fault.”

When any of this does happen we do end up proving the wrong diagnoses made previously to be a correct diagnosis, because sometimes it is an easier explanation to accept. It is easier for some of us to believe that we can prevent our own disability since it is our own fault than it is to accept that we will live with the unknown and with an unknown cause that we have no control over.

When we and our Doctor refuse to understand there are many causes of pain yet undiscovered by medicine, just as there are many disorders yet diagnosed, we all run the risk of further suffering. Just as an example of that; the medical profession blamed ulcers on people who worried too much for centuries, before they discovered that ulcers are as a result of viruses and not of emotions.

Although there are many diseases that disable going back to the cavemen, when life expectancy was only 40 and before couch potatoes, obesity, and junk food, mankind was wearing out their own bodies and it often led to arthritis. Arthritis today is still the number one cause of disability amongst the population and can effect those as young as in their teen years. The remains of the caveman shows arthritis as the only disease present as the cavemen or the hunters would often need to travel miles in pursuit of game and berries that constituted their main diet and carry heavy loads often on their backs.

To relieve pain they chewed on tree bark and it would not be until the 1800’s that aspirin would be discovered followed by steroids in the 1930’s, which was then thought of as the real panacea to treat inflammation caused by joint deterioration. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Tylenol and n-saids were introduced to treat fevers and pain followed by the cox-2 inhibitors. Pharmaceutical companies continue to try to come up with drugs to re-place those that can be life threatening and each time new hope abounds with limited results.

Poke a perfectly happy baby, who has no emotional baggage, with a needle and they will cry. We can use the same analogy when a dog is kicked or we accidently step on their tail or foot and they yelp, even though dogs rarely show they are in pain. Pain can more often be as a result of real physical pain prior to emotional upset or mood changes and until the medical profession understands pain better people will continue to suffer despite all the advances already made in the Science of medicine.

Too little is known about the human body and especially the central nervous system for the medical profession to be 100% correct in many of their diagnoses and especially in all cases of physical pain, even though they know all pain is transmitted through neurons that run to and from the brain. Pain can neither be seen or measured by the medical profession to date.

Once we accept to be labeled by a diagnosis is a serious flaw in the convictions of those who do judge, for too many amongst us, the sooner we will all understand those who do think as they do and must make a diagnosis on limited knowledge, can sometimes help hinder our own ability to move outside of what is normal for the majority rule as well. The more Doctors do understand about the differences in the make up of each individual person they treat, the more they will no longer need to use generalities or statistics to reach diagnosis.

For now Doctors can only reach a diagnosis based on their best educated belief or guess and hold that belief to be true for all of us, in the exact same way.  Medicine is leap years away yet from individual diagnosis becoming our reality, since no two people’s bodies behave identical to each other’s, much in the same way no one shares the exact same DNA.  Not even identical twins will respond to treatment in the exact same way. For now they can only apply what they know to be true about majority views to all of us. 

The study of medicine is making greater in-roads into discoveries of the human body almost monthly and in the study of genes science offers greater hope to all of us that very well may lead to individual diagnosis and new hope for treatment of disease. I do not want to mislead my readers into believing that medicine does not already have far greater knowledge than it has ever had at any other time in history, but rather to make it clear that as far as medicine has advanced there is still much yet to discover. At the same time The diagnosis now held by some Doctors does carry weight in some people and medical cases but to attempt to simplify all pain by brushing all of us with the same brush, is to discount the causes of pain that are yet unknown.

As is typical  for the great majority of us, we usually fail to understand the differences amongst us, until and unless we experience those differences through the experience of living them.  We often hear people complain about handicapped parking and ramps being built, at tax payer’s expense, even though able-bodied people use them for baby strollers, walk ways, or their own conveniences of loading and unloading heavy items, without the majority of people even noticing the same.

Unless we are truly disabled by paralysis too few people understand or want to understand that pain can often be a greater deterrent to understanding the lost of normal functions, than is paralysis. The paralyzed are accepted by others to be limited in what they can do, and they too often suffer pain but they many times will get much greater help, attention, and understanding that is required for their needs while the same goes lacking in chronic pain sufferers. This is not to say their limitations aren’t far greater than most of us who do suffer from chronic pain, as we all will acknowledge.

Chronic pain sufferers, on the other hand, are expected to force themselves against or through the physical pain that even their own bodies resist, often without any understanding or help from those who fail to notice our plight or refuse to believe it. The pain levels vary amongst the disabled according to the ability to tolerate pain varies, and their responses to drugs vary, so no one should know better than the person who suffers pain what those abilities or limitations are, including the medical profession as well as our loved ones. We do need to force ourselves through acute pain that often follows joint replacements or  will be relieved following surgery, according to the advice of the medical profession but chronic pain that cannot be treated is different from acute pain that will remit with treatment and time.

When across the counter medicine like Tylenol, Alieve, Anacin, Motrin, or Aspirin treats the pain in many, then too many feel these pills can also treat the pain that is part of a normal day in those disabled by chronic pain. As we age the body also ages and when assaulted with surgeries, torn ligaments, many different kinds of injury, or simply over worked in our youth, the body quits functioning as we age and what we once could do or what is normal in the rest of the population, who neither experienced these assaults to the body or inherited genetics for the diseases, becomes more prevalent in those of us who did.

Aging of the joints and tissue scarring or injury catches up to us, as we get older, and  prevents people from functioning normally through pain that is no longer eradicated with across the counter drugs or our body becomes numb and stiff until it becomes impossible to move past the stiffness unless we do use aids such as canes or crutches to assist us until the muscles finally get the message from the brain to move again.  It is no longer as it was in childhood when the joints could learn to adjust to what was normal for untrained joints or muscles. The majority of people do understand this happens in the older generations but few understand that it also occurs in the younger generations, Doctors included in too many cases.

When the body is still young enough to with-stand the assault of  diseases or injuries there are still adjustments that can be made to forgiving muscles and joints that become impossible for the older body to do.  Too few Doctors will treat pain effectively in the younger people who suffer from chronic pain so many people do function beyond what would be pain too great for the majority to bear, themselves. It is too easy for those who have no idea of the pain levels that are present in the young to judge those who have not lived a life in pain, to adjust on the same levels as those who have. When we are young we can stand just about anything in our efforts to form normal day to day’s functions.

Sadly after all these years, there still is not very much of anything that is effective towards pain treatment other than narcotics whose addiction to the same can destroy our life sometimes greater than the pain itself, can. What I see Matt Roloff struggling with in his ability to keep up with the family or upset because the family doesn’t want to do the things he can do, is a very normal part of the frustrations that those of us who deal in disability eventually, some sooner than later, will have to deal with when we do accept disability.  Even Doctors who have seen the damage with the MRI of each of us will suggest that we get down on the floor and play with our children or grandchildren when they should know both are humanly impossible in the disabled.

Disability due to pain, when we view it as a new adventure instead of an end to a way of life, can bring all of us a greater appreciation to explore new avenues that were not even part of our thinking before.  It certainly, when viewed through the eyes of positive thinking, should bring with it a new hope of self-discovery and appreciation.  If we need help we will need to humble ourselves and ask for it.  This definitely isn’t the habit of many of us before we became disabled as too many of us have actually helped wear out our own bodies by insisting we do it ourselves.

Many times through asking another for help  we truly do learn to appreciate someone else more than we would have otherwise.  I see that appreciation in the hearts and minds of so many disabled people, myself included, when we view the world through the eyes of the disabled. On the other hand we cannot become so helpless that we leave the people who love us most feeling like they are real Pollyanna’s either, by insisting they give up their abilities and wants for our own needs and wants.

This is not to say, it can also take years of trial and error to get through the bitterness that we often feel when we are forced into letting go of what has been our dreams, plans, and hopes for decades, either. This often effects our loved ones as much as it does us and as a disabled person we need to listen to them when they express their needs and wants as well, without feeling hurt when they share their honesty with us. The more negative we are or the more negative or toxic people are who we surround ourselves with, the more difficult it can become following acceptance of disability.

The judgments of others and not being heard by those who need to listen are many times much harder to deal with than is the physical pain that does exist. Some of us can be the greatest pains our self, along with being extremely difficult people who others will have to deal with and when and if we are, professional help needs to be sought out by both the disabled and caregivers as too many care givers will take the bad moods often caused by pain, frustrations, and/or drugs more personally than they are intended to be, from the chronic pain sufferers amongst us.

What I discovered totally on my own is I could do much of what I had done before but by doing it differently.  When I could no longer stand for any length of time I used a portable light weight stool that I could carry myself; when I could no longer run distances I got a power chair, that could go at pretty good speeds and a custom van with a lift and one I could drive, myself; when I could no longer walk very far I got a scooter that could be broken down and was fortunate enough to know I had a husband with me that would put it together so I could at least do some things I enjoyed doing from the past, yet.

I got a 4 inch piece of foam rubber cut when no bed was any longer comfortable to lay down in and when I could no longer lay down to sleep at night, I began taking my comfortable chair from home with me along with the 4 inch foam rubber pad, when we were planning on extended stays in the same area. If we do not have back problems before we try to sleep in a hospital like bed, the majority of us will have after we do, so I forgot about getting a hospital-like bed. I had,”been there and done that,” with early hospitalizations and since with minor surgeries and know from experience just how uncomfortable these beds are to people who do have back problems. I also avoid lazy boys knowing full well the damage they do to a spine at rest. Maintaining the curve in our spines for as long as possible is always important and it is often lost when we spend time in a lazy boy. An upright chair, such as a wing chair and foot stool is always preferable.

When I could no longer stand up to shower I got a shower stool and a hand held shower head and when that became obsolete, I had a walk-in tub and spa put in. I thought ahead to my possible inability to step up into the walk-in tub and if I ever needed to rely entirely on the wheel chair, I would need a wheel-in-shower installed, so I had that put in with the walk-in-tub.

If I may, I will get off track for a moment and offer my own response to those who have pre-conceived ideas against the disabled and in regard to your money paid out in taxes going to benefit the disabled. Not all of us do file workmen’s compensation claims or hire lawyers in an effort to get something for nothing. Many of us are as repulsed, as you are, when it comes to “ambulance chasers”.

Disability payments are not filed on our behalf or by many of us whose spouse’s income is above what entitles people to file for the same, but I do appreciate the need of the people who require help to be able to do so. In cases where the main bread winner is disabled or the income barely stretches to maintain a family, which is almost always, the need for worker’s compensation or disability claims do become the difference between a roof over our heads or living on the Streets no differently from those who qualify.

Unlike popular belief, none of what I was able to do to maintain my own independence is provided for by the government or the tax-payers for the needs of the disabled. Without private insurance that pays for some small amounts of this, or our own funds, many people who can take care of their own needs but do not have the funds,have been left dependent on the mercy of others, when it would be so much cheaper to allow people with disabilities independence through government subsidies and to live in their own homes. Obama care can help but even it does not go far enough. Many older people do have good mental responses well into their 90’s, yet.

Private Insurance will pay for a small amount of these needs where as Medicare won’t pay for a disabled person to remain independent,which makes no sense at all as these are often greater needs of the elderly than the young, in the majority of the cases.

The money that we have paid into Social Security would stretch much further, if people in general, did not view people with physical disabilities as being incapable of living alone and instead analyzed our ability or lack of ability to reason and make rational decisions for ourselves, on individual bases.

Many disabled people are very capable of living in our own homes and making decisions for ourselves. Hiring a little help from home help services, which Medicare does pay for, will often take care of the needs of independent disabled people. I gained new appreciation for the needs of the poor, who do not have the same advantage of funds as I had. I know the poor who neither splurged with funds they never had or were given the same advantages I had, needs all of us.

Returning back, before I digressed off of the subject I was on, when I was still a young adult and in total confusion from primarily misdiagnosis, I began a journey to find other family members who suffered as I was suffering.  In doing so I discovered that the personality that drove me to over-use my own body was prevalent in the family history I was born into.  I also discovered many misdiagnosis in my father’s family that were made prior to the MRI when it came to stenosis of the spine being present, whether they ever smoked or not.

Since it isn’t an interest of many young people, even I became amazed that it would be part of my make-up to want to discover the roots of previous generations.  I spent a number of years doing the ancestry of both mind and my husbands families. In doing so, it led to a love of research, history, politics, and antiques that had always been present in my interests but not developed further by me.  I found I enjoyed oil painting, even though I could not draw.  I did my own research on stocks until I realized that the stock market is primarily the territory of large investors, who even though it goes denied, do get insider trading tips.  I finally had the time to become an avid reader, which was something I never had time for before my life became more limited.  Writing has always been more the natural calling of my children over my own, so I was surprised when I too enjoyed writing.

The capabilities that exist in all of us, that often go unfounded in us, are available for the doing once we do understand what does makes us the person we are. The list of what we can do with disability is only limited by our own lack of imagination, when we finally do accept just how healthy change is to all of us and our own personal growth. Too many able-bodied people never do take the time to learn or to gain the same knowledge for themselves, that we are fortunate enough to learn because of disability.

I finally accepted that no one on a white horse or wearing a white coat would ride by and discover a cure or effective treatment and in knowing this through both false hope and false starts, I knew if I was going to find personal satisfaction as my body failed me, I needed to take control over my own cure.  The pain did not go away but instead of fighting against the pain by refusing to give up the normalcy of what had been my life I was able to lessen the pain by doing less to aggravate the same through living a different lifestyle. When I got together with able-bodied people who I was never going to be able to keep up with or fit into their conversation or activities, it would be my own responsibility to deal with the same. I did, just as an alcoholic must. I found it necessary to draw on my own courage to remain my own best friend rather than to be reminded by others the lack of my own capabilities. It was not fair of me to limit their activities anymore than it was fair of them to insist I join theirs’

It didn’t mean I couldn’t still travel and see my kids and grandkids and have family gatherings but it did mean I could ill afford to expect them to understand feelings that I would never have had if I had not experienced disability myself.

I still have moments I feel sorry for myself and feel others can be extremely insensitive and feel it the most the more time I spend around able-bodied people, but hopefully through the joy of being able to live another brand new life of challenges and adventures, I do not drag my loved ones down with me.

I still feel moments of resentment that very little is available to treat pain in a disease that has existed through out the ages and in my own failure to understand that the human body is not indestructible. Having grown up with a father who had back problems and watching him to continue to work hard, little did I know that inherited family disorders often show up in the next generation earlier than it does in the previous generation. At the same time the years of not knowing were the most difficult so I am grateful that I do have an easily diagnosable disability.

Resentment perhaps is the emotion I struggle with the most and I’m sure will battle until I die. I have been Blessed by a wonderfully independent family who help out as needed and ask nothing beyond what I want to give or can do. I unlike so many others am very fortunate in having a family who does deal with the stark honesty I often require, as well as the support I gain from their own independence.

For Amy and Matt Roloff, whom I’m sure have already learned the same, but simply need reminders, and others who are still struggling yet to understand the positive of life following disability, I can assure all of you that we need never to lose hope as we progress ahead with that which changes our lives, or our significant others, or marriage, be it disease or injury. The value of the Roloff marriage just as our commitments’ to loved ones and what commitment really means is just starting, at the point that a loved one along with all of us are forced to accept disability into our lives.

When we can understand after disability the major needs and wants of each person in our marriage or our lives must change, because we want our relationships or marriage to last, and we can respect the rights of all people involved, through genuine compassion we do find the Blessings of having fought for our lives on equal grounds with empathy for our loved ones, is the greatest accomplishment we can ever do, for another. Their are no losers in unconditional love when we all feel we are respected.

The day we get married is not the best day of our lives but rather the day our marriage can last through thick and thin and whatever we get hit with, and we know, “It’s the two of us together who made it, is what matters.” does become the greatest day of our lives. Divorce does not only mean giving up our futures but it also means giving up our past, and nothing is greater than the day we realize how truly Blessed we were to have found each other.

Since divorce rates sky rocket when one in a marriage gets sick or disabled while the other is well and able bodied, we must go into it knowing that disability is not for sissies or quitters. Its a hard road to follow for all people who do care as it changes all of us. It is the day, we know we made it, that the real fireworks goes off. Disability means letting go of old hurts, denial, and grudges with maturity and compromise, compromise and then compromise again, on not just our part but on the part of our loved ones as well. When we fail to forgive we never receive forgiveness in return. Like any relationship, it will never last if one remains nasty while the other remains committed.

As long as we who are disabled look for what is good in our own lives many of us will feel an abundance of possibilities surround us and we never need compare our lives to others nor do we ever have to let go of the fact;  we have tomorrows of all kinds of opportunity and new adventures that we had never before imagined we would enjoy doing, greater from what we had been doing. Let those possibilities begin in all of us today and give them a fair balance with what we believed we wanted, prior to disability.

When we finish our journey and put fear of the unknown behind us, we all can realize what others say or think is only to be pitied as no one will ever know the value of our own strengths more so than we do. While the able-bodied question their own weaknesses we have already,” been there and done that,” and no one need to know the value we place on our own strengths, other than through our smiles, compassion, and understanding we show them. We better than most, as disabled people, must know that getting even can never be part of our behavior or design if we are to find the happiness, all people seek.

No one but ourselves can ever be held responsible for our own unhappiness or happiness unless we wish to remain in a life of misery. There are people who can only be happy if they are miserable and we need to recognize them, if they are a part of our lives. Some people do want a life of sympathy and actually live longer when they get it,but that more than most attitudes, can lead to defeat, in all of us. We do need to know, more than most, the difference between those who want our help because they want to change or are confused, and those who we must let go of because they only want to control us. Just like the alcoholic needs to sometimes distant themselves from the drinkers in their lives in order to give up alcohol, so must we learn to distant ourselves from the opinions of those who wish to “rain on our parade” with constant complaints, restraints, and negativity. We can only make our own lives count by being present in our own life with recognition of our own capabilities and those of our loved ones who have stayed with us. Many times when we do, it will count far beyond all of our own individual expectations!

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For those who missed it, the above title is a sigh.  The Thanksgiving meal has become a recent memory and the turkey an ugly carcass and the next Holiday meal with all the trimmings will be fixed by my son-in-law and daughter while I spoil those terrific grandsons of our’s.

I have the Holiday gifts purchased wrapped and mailed, and I am down to charitable giving.  We purchased the car that we will be revisiting America in while we travel both Canada and the U.S.A. My husband is a tall man so it is always a challenge to find something that is tall enough to give him the head and leg room he needs, that is comfortable for me, and that I no longer have to use a running board to step on to pull myself into the vehicle.

Lucky me that the market is flooded with Japanese and Korean vehicles that are made for the 5 foot 8  or under people and the taller Americans appear to get the smaller American sedans appear to become, due to all the added technology.   We have never purchased a vehicle not made in the U.S.A., and probably never will.  The only vehicle that fit our qualifications was the Mercedes-Benz SUV.

The American-made pick ups,suv’s, and custom vans fit my husband’s size and we have had our share of them, but they require me to step on a footstool or to swing my leg up on the running board and then to pull myself up and I am  hurting before I even leave home, since my health problem is as compounded in the arms as it is the legs. We feel somewhat justified buying the Mercedes since it is made in Alabama, and you do what needs to be done.

Some people on the internet and Facebook, that seem to think it their job, have done their number on degrading the Chevy Volt, that was one vehicle that caught on fire when it was put through rigorous test results that would not happen with normal driving, and the Mercedes-Benz SUV because 8,700 vehicles had their floor mats recalled because of the potential of it sticking under the gas pedal.

I have no idea what drives people to downgrade others who have their best interests at heart, much less vehicles, but the Chevy Volt even got a dressing down by the Fox news panel even though it is the model other Countries are copying in order to catch up with its technology. It is almost impossible to get lost,killed, or bored in today’s fully loaded vehicles if we follow the speed limits, do not get caught in a pile up due to bad drivers and weather, or do not meet drunk drivers, regardless of where they are made.

I need to send out very few Christmas cards yet and the decorations and the lights were up and went on Thanksgiving night. We needed to stay at the Kids’ house as it was their turn for the other side of the Family for Thanksgiving, and we bought the SUV across the river from where they live but a distance from our own home.  My husband got sick from shell-fish and we were grateful that they extended us the offer.  Their cats were as well and they got a nice airing out of it.

It was a delight to see their tree up and lights strung as well.  I learned years ago that the weeks before Thanksgiving run as good of sales as the stores do after Thanksgiving,because often they need to attract buyers worse before Thanksgiving than they do after.  Any time I can get 40% off across the board and not fight the crowds or stand in line, it is worth shopping early. I understand that many wait for their bonus but since I pay my credit card off during the year I do not feel bad paying a little interests until the bonus is paid.

The Christmas Season or Holiday Season has always been my favorite time of year.  If I stay away from the grumpy or harassed Christmas shoppers who are shopping on Black Friday or the last-minute, I never have to see the dark side of the Holidays.  The generosity of the majority of Americans shown during the Holiday Season is always amazing and almost magical to me.  It is not an easy task to remember all those who we share our thoughts,prayers,cash, and gifts with during the Season.  When we add the meals and goodies anyone who can, do, and we see the best of mankind all around us, how can we not be inspired by the graciousness of the American people? Why anyone would resent or hate the Season is beyond me, but many do.

The complainers totally over look the generous spirit of the Christmas Season and instead complain that Christmas has become too commercial. Those who are members of a Religion, such as The 7th Day of Adventist, even refer to the mention of Santa as being sinful and deny all mention of his name in their home,totally disregarding the fact that Santa comes from the name of Saint Nickolas who was admired for his spirit of giving.  Children in these Religions are never able to celebrate beyond attending Church and being reminded of the Christ child. I do not criticize those who truly believe as they do or their right to do so.

My own personal experience with the complainers has not been so much that they  themselves resented giving as it was that they felt cheated on the Holidays when they were children,felt to give to children meant they would be spoiled and lose the meaning of Christmas, felt they should be receiving and not giving to their children,were too drunk on alcohol or drugged out to care, or felt giving to children left their bank accounts lower.

I understand the difficulty of the Season if we have lost a loved one since the memories of past Holidays can sadden all of us, if they are all alone, do not have a job, or cannot afford to buy the gift the children want from Santa, but often times these are not the people who chronically complain about the Holidays. Many of them learn to seek out others who share their pain or learn the healing power of bringing joy to others brings to them. Others are also the grateful ones, since they end up on the receiving line of American generosity just as our family members do, when they too will accept the love given at Christmas time. I grew up under the roof with one of the chronic complainers at Christmas time and I was determined to reverse the cycle by compensating for my loss by being generous instead.

We, who love the Season, are all driven by some time or memory of our own or by our spiritual beliefs of Christ’s birth to do a little extra for those we sometimes spend too much time forgetting during the rest of the year.  I know people who will leave their Christmas lights up year around as a reminder to themselves to treat others the same during the year, as they do during the Holiday Season. Some people keep their decorations up until their loved ones return home from military duty. Others work in soup Kitchens while others deliver packages to those who have not fared as well during the year. The joy on the children’s faces are thanks enough to those of us who share our good fortune with others during the Holiday Season.  Neighbors often bring baked goodies to the shut ins or sing Christmas carols each year,while others send or bring good will and cheer to those they have not seen or heard from, for years.

Even though I have been through many other Christmases, I am still touched by the magic that changes each of us, just for a while at least, when we remember why we celebrate the Holidays. Since no one knows for certain the real date of Christmas,some how, I do not feel like Christ minds too much when or how we celebrate the spirit of giving in His memory, since He instructed all of us to love each other and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Sadly, to often we need the Holidays to remember that which we should know all year; Just as much as we need to be reminded to be grateful for what we have, for our lives, and our loved ones.  If it takes commercial means to remind some that it isn’t the things that we buy but instead the spirit of giving out of love that we pass on to others in the form of a gift to cheer them, that matters,or it takes the same reminder to donate to worthy causes, is that really so bad?

As much as I love the Season I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief knowing that most of my work of the Season has been completed and now I can stay inside for a while and enjoy the snow from our recent storm, light a fire if I feel like it, and listen to my favorite Christmas music. AHHhhhh!

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If you read my previous post entitled “Emotions Denied” then you know that I have stressed the importance of knowing and releasing ourselves from our past emotional baggage.  I love people who give of themselves without question or suspicion but I do not love it when these same people regret their doing so and they either end up bitter for life or they complain obsessively about it, and then turn around and repeat it again and again.

It is our job to understand the difference between real need as versus those who go through every member of the group or family pulling a fast one, while they play a victim with their hands out. If we do not learn this lesson fairly quickly then we will get burned by those who deceive. We do not owe con people or those who have such little respect for us, that they would lie to us, anything so we need to stop them from their own bad habits by having the courage to say,”No.”

We should never feel an obligation to support those who have a better lifestyle than we do. Intellectually, we all know this so why do we allow these destructive people to ruin even a  moment of our day much less,years and years? If we can’t stop our obsessions over the same shouldn’t we question our own emotional development instead of their’s? People who can deceive us will always deceive us, if we do not have the power to be honest with them as well as ourselves.

We will all have at least one or two extreme or real hurts in our life time that makes each of us obsessive until we heal. We often think the first time we are betrayed by a friend is the worst hurt of all until we do mature enough to understand the real priorities in life.  Many will be tested much further than the rest of us and still remain in charge of their own emotional well-being, because they do recognize they cannot do it alone and they need help. When it comes to the lost of a child perhaps we will never recover.  This is not the kind of pain that I am writing about today.  What I am talking about is when people make sacrifices to give of their time or money and then complain because they get “screwed” and it leads to a lifetime of grudge matches or hate to the point they remain bitter and take it out on those closest to them for life.

My biggest complaints about joining charitable groups in the past and what led me to get out of all of them, was not my enjoyment of doing so but the complaining I heard from the individuals working in them.  Some one was always complaining that they worked harder than the next person or “so and so” felt they needed to point out what “butter paddies” were over just butter”,or the person in charge had no life beyond making their own image look good and it meant the rest of us should ignore our families and fall in line as well. I decided the best way I could give of real charity was to go anonymous and form my own.  The type of groups I was in had nothing to do with being charitable.

True charity is giving when we know we have nothing to gain ourselves, in return.  I have gone into a number of relationships in my lifetime knowing full-well that I would be betrayed,used, or rejected afterwards. I was aware of the fact that it was their behavior that was at fault, not my own, but my conscience told me that if I ignored their needs, it would make me less of a person than the one I wanted to be because I did have the ability,money, and time to help them.  In saying yes I  also knew I risked the fact of being mistreated because as does happen, some of them would feel, if I helped them once, they were entitled to my help again and again. I did not take on these challenges in my life until I had learned that once burnt twice learned.  It did not give me the excuse to never again show charity to others but instead to understand that losing people who would betray me is not the worse thing in life to lose.

It is when we take on extreme views in life that never bend or because John Doe hurt us we can never trust men again or if Jane Doe behaves in such a way then we will never speak to her again, that we take on the views of a person who would rather dwell on our extreme views over that of a person who would learn humility and charity.  I certainly do not advocate spending time with people who have a past history of being untrustworthy but if we can instead learn from the mistakes of our own roles in life we can also let go of the judgements we place against others.

Most obsessions come from our own lack of understanding that our extreme views led to judging another’s person’s right to operate as a free agent or we assumed to much about them, when we have no right to judge the behavior of anyone other than our own behavior.  When we spend time understanding why we respond the way we do, we make it more difficult for others to burn us.  The mere fact that we refer to it as being burned often means we are not looking at the full picture as it presents itself as others can not burn us if we do not give them permission to do so. Obsessions that continue are only a cover for the fact that we are human and have been hurt more sometimes from our own assumptions than by the person or people we have misjudged.

Having been disabled by pain, all my adult life, I have come to appreciate that we all have limits and if we do not say “NO” but instead resent people by saying “Yes”, then we do both of us a disservice. When we are at peace with our own emotions it is neither foolish or stupid to do so but it is the act of true empathy for someone whose need is greater than our own, when we can make a difference.  It is called Charity. It is also charity to say “NO” when we mean “No” because we set our own ground rules by knowing our own as well as our loved ones limitations to give, as well.

Giving because we expect something in return, because it is our cultural belief,we are doing it for our own image, we are told to by superiors or a court,or we obligate another person so they feel guilt if they do not do us a favor when we need a favor, is neither charity or an act of kindness.  There is no place for the word me in charity or empathy if we do wish to help and can without hurting ourselves or our loved ones, in the process.

When charity is done at the expense of the future of our own children, then it can be as destructive as doing nothing. It is through charity that we can best teach right from wrong to our children, when we keep it in balance with the rest of our life.When I see members of the Tea Party such as Ron Paul say,”Why should I have to pay because they lost their Beach house in a storm,” I can relate to what he is saying but I do know that if we ever reach the point in America that all Americans develop,” that me first and only attitude,” we will fail to exist as a Democracy or we will become a Country without a conscious.

The point I am making today is if we give with our compassion,time or money and have expectations in return every time we do, then we should not spend the rest of our lives obsessing over the fact that we got nothing back in return when we keep giving to the same person or people who never will return their own compassion,time,or money, but instead will mistreat us or betray us.

If we are not willing to learn through our own feelings of making a mistake  but instead assume or insist they pay us back in kind, we are only hurting ourself through denial or assumption of their being the people we think they should be rather than the person or people they are. When we do an act of kindness we should understand that it is its own reward instead of having a view of injustice when it is we who are acting irrational. There is a reason that the cliché’ exists and it is,”No good Deed shall go left unpunished.”  It is the quickest way there is to teach each of us two things and those are:  How secure are we in giving and do we have an ulterior motive when we give? Clearly if we are going to obsess about how we got burned from 3 to 30 years, then we pretty much have our answer, don’t we?

The whole point of giving is the comfort we gain when we look ourselves in the mirror or lay our heads on our pillow at night and know our joy of living is complete.  It should never have either a price or expectation on it, beyond the fact that we are comfortable enough in the act of giving and in our own emotional health that we are made complete as a result of doing so. If we are giving when we don’t wish to give then whose fault is it if no one is there to give us a hand up when we fall? We need to determine our own limitations as well as the past history of others who we do deal with and if we are emotionally strong enough to continue dealing with those we are obsessing over.  If not it is way past time we acknowledge that we no longer have a role to play in their lives and if the cost is walking away then we do so.  Ask yourself,”If this person’s need had led to starvation,suicide, or accident would that had made you feel bitter because you got nothing back from them?

If  all of us had expectations of what we would gain in return for our compassion or when we gave, then none of us would ever enjoy life.  Trust me when I say,” if I am speaking about you, then would you please keep your time,money,or charitable work, before obligating others,establishing an image for yourself, or following through out of guilt, or you tell yourself you have an obligation to do so.” We all need to understand that giving isn’t done to gain personally and if it is, it will gain you nothing when it comes to peace of mind. It will instead only add to your own denial and inadequacies of just how out of keel with your emotional health you are or will become.  It will also drive all the rest of us right up a wall if we ever hear you obsess over it one more time!

The truth is those of us who care, which is the majority of us, are going to get burned by people like yourself, if we look at life as you do and ask to what can you do for me or how entitled am I, especially if you plan on giving nothing in return, unless you have strings attached to your generosity. A Nation that legislates by taking advantage of those who jeopardize their life for our freedoms,the sick or elderly who paid in,the poor and the hungry who teach us what real humanity is,or the disabled and disadvantaged who refuse to quit, while we pay for the wealthy tax breaks, is a legislature out of touch with the needs of the people who they take an oath of office to protect.

Those who give back to all of us, through their inspirations and constant struggles and those who teach us unselfish dedication along with giving us the hope through their own strengths,are the people we need to help and certainly over the greed of the people who wouldn’t waste their time trying to understand what real struggle or charity is unless they stood to gain. If we are going to call ourselves civilized or a Democracy, we cannot continue to reward bad behavior in favor of good behavior.

Our giving to those in need, as a Nation and through our tax base, is what should give all of us peace of mind. Knowing they have been there for us in the lessons we should have learned from them and the struggles they made for us or the hope they offer us, needs to be paid for by a grateful Country. To hate or obsess over doing so only indicates to the rest of us, you fail to appreciate those of us who will care for you, even when you have expectations in return. So can we quit obsessing and get back to compassion? Please stop the hurt and hate in you that feeds into driving your obsessions of feeling like you got burned, so those who do care about you, want to spend time with you.

I hope this brings a smile to the face of those of us who can remember a time in our life when we were to wrapped up with the negative side of life and to you who understand about which I write.  It would be equally as wonderful if it offers sage advice to those who don’t.  Remember the advice given by someone much wiser than I and it goes like this,”I asked you how you were, not how your ailments are?”Make life work for you in the best manner you can and then add others when you are strong enough to understand your own strengths and weaknesses.  Life takes a lifetime to get it right for a reason, with peace of mind following when we do.

Enjoy the empathy and compassion granted us through out our life as to destroy it is a real waste! Life really is too short to waste it in upset and hate, while obsessing over those who we make assumptions about according to our own extreme beliefs! Loving those who cannot love others because they cannot love themselves makes it even more difficult for those of us who try.   Understanding that as individuals we have a right to choose just as you do, goes a long way towards healing our Nation, and is the goal of all of us without your hate in it, hopefully with that  lesson learned in our election. Despite that hope the hate will continue if we do not put a stop to it in our Churches, legislatures,media, and lives.

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I was watching a cable network show the other day, and the question asked of the viewing public was,”When will the government tell us the truth about the Iraq War?”,there were a various number of answers and of course the ever stupid one blaming OBama, but in truth just how much do we need to know?

Those of us who do not bore ourselves with research,read, or study foreign policy probably did not understand that British Petroleum owns 66% of Iraq oil rights and American Corporations owns 18% with Iraq having more oil than, any Country in the Middle East. American oil reserves were at one of the lowest if not the lowest before we went into Iraq. Since we had sanctions against Saddam Hussein he was refusing or making it difficult at least for British Petroleum and American oil companies to get their oil out to the refineries.

Cheney served on the board of Halliburton for years, before becoming Vice President and I believe history will show that he spear-headed the movement into Iraq and the war as plenty have indicated the same. Once an oil man always an oil man is fairly common as with most other occupations. Our other allies did not go to war with us because it was a commerce problem not a problem for war.The American people as well as members of the military, Congress and the Senate were incorrectly led to believe that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and when none were found just as the people on the ground, whose job it was to report back to the U.N., had told the United Nations previously before our going to war, then the people were lied to and told they had faulty information.

Since I did know this,as I regularly check out foreign policy.gov, and I believe that oil is no excuse to go to war, I was very much against the war in Iraq. I believe unless the people or our allies ask us for help, as the Libya people did, we should remain neutral other than when we are attacked on our soil or the soil of our allies or for humane reasons when we are asked to intercede.

America was very much justified to go into Afghanistan and Pakistan,once we had been attacked as we were by Osama Ben Laden. I believe we are justified, to enter any country to eliminate him. I am neither a Pacifist or a Hawk, but I do believe that America should and does have a right to eliminate injustice when asked by those who need our help, since we have the most superior of all military in the World. However after once entering and they feel confidant to continue as Iraq did, we do need to leave when they ask us to. Many times communications or sanctions can solve more than war, and we owe it to our young men and women to open up communications before going to war.

Although I would never advocate that the American voter bury their heads in the sand, or not educate themselves, before going to the polls to vote on the candidates, who do run for office, a great deal of American interests does need to remain in secret in order to better protect our own shores from terrorism,to safeguard our military personnel over-seas, and to serve Democracy. It is no different from a drug bust ever being made, a murder solved, a chop-shop broken up or any crime solved, if the press and criminals were all aware of what the authorities were doing.

The important thing is that our military, regardless of what they were told, fought with honor and after leaving Kuwait today, will all be home, with the exception of 160 troops who are still training the Iraqi troops and those who will remain to protect our Embassy, in Iraq. We need to understand that those who have and are coming home, in so many ways, their war is still going on and may continue doing so for years, while they battle against both physical and emotional wounds. Their families who are making the adjustments and who sacrificed right along with them, will learn as all war families do, that a different person from whom they knew, has returned home. We Americans must never forget their sacrifice when or if the legislatures try to dismiss the long-term care that many will need and have earned.

Our men and women fought with honor, in many cases, to save and spare their own comrades while the great majority of we Americans went on with our lives. It is now time that we rise to the occasion of meeting their needs. We all must remember that 1/3 of our homeless are military vets, when we take umbrage with the poor, and fight for them, when they can no longer fight for themselves.

Before you accuse me of seeing UFO’s and or The Loch Ness Monster, since the Day of the Trojan Horse, much of what has been told to the people, is not always as is, when it comes to matters of war. Even the Civil War began as a war over secession over high tariffs charged by the North to the South and later changed to a war over slavery.For those who think the movies resemble war-time then we all need to reassess reality. There has been much conversation, about the drone that was lost by the CIA into Iran. So much of espionage looks different to the civilian population than it does to those who do know exactly what they are doing.

Because the press sometimes keeps us too well-informed, I can simply say, if I was Iran, I would at least take the smirk off of my face if not consider destroying it, rather than risk the fact that it wasn’t a deliberate “Oops” moment. Do we even know if it is fully equipped or with what or was it set down to mislead? It would not be the first spy plane, that was set down to mislead those we were at war with. I acknowledge that it also may not be anything less than reported, but we too quickly want to believe the worse in the news about OBama or are too quick to accept the spin doctors who promote or pay for the lies that we hear, instead of realizing none of us know a damn thing, if we do not ever question what we read or hear.

A good example of what is currently being reported as fact is that the Republicans are expounding and that is that the Keystone pipeline will produce 20,000 jobs and not cause the American tax payers anything. The truth is the Company itself as well as Cornell University, who makes a point of checking the facts out, says it will produce 6500 part-time jobs and lead to 50 permanent jobs while the Republicans continue to hold up the tax break to the middle class tax payers, without the Keystone Pipeline included.

I think it does us all well to remember:”that a great deal of what we don’t know, does not hurt us,” when we are ignorant of those who do protect our best interest in the World. The inter-net along with some establishment owned networks, some cable television news,radio air ways and print owned by Murdoch and the establishment make it a habit to spin the truth to those of us who would remain better off not knowing their brand of so-called truth. Let’s face it,most of all the lies we hear, even when it is not on the inter-net,media, newsprint or from a politician, do come from an insecurity complex or a narcissist, or an ego or the establishment. As teenagers we seem to know this and sadly, as adults we resign ourselves to accepting it,or worse yet, go into denial and believe the lies.

What we all need to remember is just where our priorities should be and what we should make a point to know and that is during this Christmas, or if you prefer Holiday Season, our goals need to be “Goodwill towards our fellow-man, woman and child,who are in need and or suffering whether it be our own family or our neighbors, and especially that our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our military families.”

I will use this medium to tell all military families.”Thanks to you all” for your service and sacrifices for us, and speaking for myself,I greatly appreciate your heroism, even though I was against the reason we went to war, I am capable of admitting that I was wrong, when I hear about the dreadful treatment suffered by the people under Saddam Hussein.

I just like some of you,would have felt better about the sacrifices you were asked to make, if America had gone to war for humane reasons or if the Iraqi people had asked us to come in, and without the lie of weapons. I have lived enough years to know that even when life may look its darkest or the reasoning behind it is not always sound, more times than not, another door will open and flood brightly with light on the justice of it all. It will all make sense with time, when the press stops reporting the negatives and lies against Obama being weak, and catches on to the protection Iraq will have as an ally of America. War is hell and rare has it been when the troops left, they did not feel the quilt of leaving behind the misplaced people.

The possibility of having a new ally sitting between Israel and Iran, not to mention getting rid of a cruel dictator, is already telling us your time was worth much more than perhaps you can now appreciate, as you gave us more than any of us dared hope for more than a decade ago when Saddam Hussein turned against America, after we set him up with technology and weapons. The potential for a civil war looms great, and I ask patience of us all, while the Kurds, Sunni and Shiites fight for supremacy, as I know it will be hard on the Iraqi people and require more sacrifice on their part, as well. Once there is a victor, then we will begin to see your sacrifices recognized, right along with theirs’.

Once trade opens up between our two Countries and the American people see our economy turn around because Corporations will be forced into hiring back the workers out of need to produce, as we join with our ally in shared interest of rebuilding Iraq and bringing security back to the Iraqi people, then your efforts will become a part of the history you sacrificed for, and the naysayers will know just how much you did contribute to the American welfare, on the back of your own suffering. What the politicians could not accomplish you will accomplish and we will all be better Blessed for your sacrifices.

I am confident that we learned our lessons from what happened with Saddam Hussein and have another chance to be more firm, observant and ever watchful, thanks to your sacrifices. Never forget,” your second wind.” as those of us who care, respect you when you lose sight of it. God Bless you all and again, Thanks! Welcome home where you belong!

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Too many times over the years I have heard parents complain because their teenagers show little to no ambition. They are not a member of any organization at school or outside of the school. They do not have after school jobs nor clean their rooms or work around the house. They do not play sports nor join speech classes, work on the yearbook, belong to band, or partake in drama classes, or anything that is considered extra curriculum. They simply go to school and come home and sleep until noon or later on weekends.

When this happens, it is always appropriate that we parents take a good look at our own behavior. To what extent, are we the parents, involving ourselves or our children in extra activities in the home or out of the home. Do we simply go to work and come home and flop down in front of the television set and stay there until bed time and then get up and leave for work again the next day? Do we spend weekends puttering around the home and never leaving unless we go to the mall, a home repair or grocery store?

As I have said in many of my posts, our children do not hear what we say as much as they watch what we do. If we are a stay at home Mom and we are not making our children pick up after themselves or clean their rooms or share in household responsibility, we only add to their laziness.If we are working all kinds of hours and our children never see us work around the home, it can have the same kind of effect. If we have a maid and gardener and nothing is asked of our children, it can have the same results.Children are not born with ambition, it is something that needs to be taught to them. The best teachers are always the parents.

Schools can do just so much towards inspiring our children but when the majority of the classroom time is taken up with discipline problems, as it is today in most cases, then we need to inspire our own children.

If we are not taking them out to play putt putt golf,walking to the park or biking on trails with them,going to art museums or historical museums with them, bowling,teaching them to swim,T-ball or softball or games that the family can enjoy outside of the house or away from our home town or cities, then they will never leave the house, themselves.

If we never leave our home and stay in a motel but instead at mom’s and dad’s home, when we do leave our home, go to movies with them or drive to another town or city and choose different vacation spots,if they are never allowed to take a weekend trip on their own during the later highschool years,if we never volunteer in our communities or help with any special drive or organizations, then they are not being taught anything but to go to school and come home, just like we go to work and come home and never leave.

Too many times parents say,”No matter what I said to him or her or no matter how hard I tried to teach them to get up off their butts, they never listened.” Children will never listen to the parents who talk about ambition and then do nothing towards inspiring them to get involved when the parents are not showing any involvement themselves.

Many times parents can be very ambitious themselves but if work around the home, that never involves the children, is all they see us do, then they just assume that we are doing our job just as they are doing their job, when they go to school.Unfortunately, too many adults also have this attitude, as well, especially when it comes to both the boys or men in the household. Instead of having the patience or going through the headache of getting the children involved with helping with the housework, they will often convince themselves that it is not the child’s responsibility to be responsible for themselves at home.

We need to lead by example and inspire them to want to leave the home because we have taught them to be both independent through their own efforts of taking care of responsibilities both in the home as well as in the community in which they live.I repeat then: Only we can inspire them through our own behavior and through teaching them how to be independent before they are too old to hear us. Children need to start learning to take care of their own responsibilities before they are 10 years of age.

They need to be able to get themselves up when an alarm goes off, do their own laundry,clean their room and change a vacuum cleaner bag or dump the reservoir, run a dish washer, fix their own meals, even if it is only cereal or micro-waveable, earn an allowance for the work they do around the home or from a job out of the home, balance a check book, start taking a serious look at the colleges they plan on attending by their sophomore year,bathe or shower without being told and be inspired to join extra curricula activities within the school or outside of it, so that it is natural to them and habit, before their 17th birthday.

Responsible and independent teenagers are no different from any other responsible adult in that they do not want to be told to do what they already are responsible enough to do on their own. The more we try to treat them as irresponsible children the more eager they will be to get out and away from home, in order to begin their life on their own. It is when they are never taught to be responsible before their teen years, they will be content to stay home and let mom or dad do it for them. The older they get before they become independent and responsible the lower their self-esteem will become and the more fearful they will become to leave home on their own.

The more capable a child is towards taking care of their own needs, as well as, the more exposed they are to different cultures and lifestyles, because they have been exposed to different areas in the United States or the World,as well, the more likely they will also be towards wanting to leave home and provide for their own needs. If the most that we can afford to do is camping or fishing or school activities or YMCA sports or in State travel, then do that, with your children, so they do learn to leave their home because You taught them to get away from home and take responsibility beginning in baby steps, by the age of three, and while they were still young enough to enjoy the adventure of doing so.

If our children are already adults, then sometimes we will need to move them out of our home, once they get a job, even if we need to help with the deposit or they need to advertise for room mates or move in with someone else who is advertising for a room-mate, to help pay for expenses, and accept the fact they will more likely than not live the life that we lived, because we went to work and came home and never left the house but to go to the mall, a home repair store or grocery store,or to Mom’s and Dad’s. All Momma Birds, as well as humans, need to sometimes kick the stragglers from the nest, before they can learn to fly.

It doesn’t make a lot of difference if we like it or not, but our children will emulate us when they do become adults, when we do not spend the time with them to teach them a different way to live. If we wanted better for our children, then we should perhaps be grateful they did value the good in the life we may have taken for granted, instead of being disappointed with our children for not living, our dream for them, for our sake.

If in the final analysis, when we have done our job and are able to offer to the world an adult child who both knows and respects themselves as well as others, we should all be grateful. No one should ever be made to apologize for the job they hold,their own belief system, or the dedication they put into it.

It does us all well to know and remember: just as maturity comes in stages, so does the kind of life our adult children choose to live, often times move in the same or different circles, and is not always open for interpretation from us or others, of how many hours are put in but rather how those hours are spent. Ambition just like success, belongs in the eyes of the beholder, when it makes a difference to the person receiving the kindness or efforts from the job, as well as the person doing the performance.

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To leave out any confusion, for those who scoff at placing rules in our homes, and maybe are confused otherwise; Setting standards in our family, that we will all live by as well as expect our children to live by, are setting rules in our homes.

By being consistent with the enforcement of the rules we establish harmony in our homes, as well as eliminate confusion over what we expect of our child or children because we ask no less of ourselves. The rules or standards, are not unjust,too lenient, or too strict. We do the same when we set the standards in all of our lives, and that is why we know how to set them, and where to draw the line.

Too many times we set standards for ourselves and others that are simply too high to accomplish or do the reverse and set the bar too low. When we are looking for a job, someone to commit to, planning to provide for our children’s future, or what we will do to contribute to Society, we need to be realistic.

Many times we will blame life for not giving us the break it gave everyone else, when in truth, we did have the opportunity that everyone else gets but because we doubted or over-rated our own ability to perform, that of our child’s or spouse’s or felt it was beneath us, we passed on opportunity when it was right in front of our own noses.

If we are self-employed and constantly set the bids too high because our standard of living needs more, we often price ourselves out of what could have been a lucrative future if we had been more realistic about the competition we would be competing against. When we are willing to let the Company hiring, indicate what they feel is fair, and we take the lost income now, we will many times find that our exposure to others,while doing that job, can many times lead to meeting the people who will give us the break, if not finding it in the Company, where we currently work.

Although Companies are slower to show loyalty themselves, they still look for it in people, who give them loyalty. Many times they will remember we were willing to work for less and reward us accordingly,the longer we stay with them. Other times they will keep us on, when the next layoffs come around.It will never be the concern of Companies to make certain we can maintain our own standards of living, but instead, our responsibility to lower our own costs by eliminating wasteful spending.

If we understand that all people age and change their appearance and our only criteria in looking for a spouse is appearance, we are going to end up with something quite different, once we are married for a few years. Their character as well as their potential to adapt to their surroundings over trying to control it or us, along with the level of communication they exert, will offer us far more in the future, when life does become difficult.

Those who are continually angry or teary eyed or bitchy now, will not improve with age or commitment. The person that says,”I fell in love with them because they liked what I liked,” is often more in love with themselves than they are with us. We need to realize that the dating period is as phony as we are, since we both are on our best behavior. He or she are trying to impress us, as much as, we are them. Many times when they are rushing the courtship it is because they know they will not be able to fake it,for long.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that we cannot force people to think as we do anymore than we can force loyalty out of others or make them love us. If we see things, while dating, that are throwing up warning signals we need to listen to our common sense and pay attention to what we are sensing is a problem. The lies and behavior, we are picking up on now, will be part of our own hell, later, when we refuse to listen to those warnings now.

For those who are confused as to the saying, “The wedding cake is the most dangerous food of all,”I will explain what it means here. We are never so vulnerable as we are when we fall in love. We will do things unimaginable for the person that we have fallen in love with. Many will lower their own standards and the most honest of people can become liars. Many times jealousy or the inability to hang onto our spouses’ fidelity will lead to murder or criminal behavior on the part of those who would never have believed it years earlier.

2500 pregnant women who are mostly married, will be killed yearly by their spouses who professed to want children. When we telly the record of battered people in a marriage who are killed or injured and add the number who marry us for both our income or life insurance, those numbers go through the roof.

We need to sit standards before we fall in love and stand by them once we do. If we fail to marry character, but instead marry the bad boys or the wild girls, we will become part of what is bad and wild about them. We will not fix or change them and that we can take to the bank and bank on it.It maybe the only thing bankable in the entire relationship. As soon as they become bored,which is frequently, we will become history and hope that we still have our lives intact. Even though they may not want us, they often, make certain no one else will get us either.

I have written enough on children to make us open our own eyes to what direction we need to take in my previous posts but I would also like to add, that average intelligent children, do not make straight A’s unless our own pressure forces them into cheating or we hire tutors to help them.

When cheating happens we need to make certain that they are doing their own homework at home because they will rarely be caught by their teachers. Most of us would not be able to figure out their systems either. If we have average intelligence in our children, they obviously will not be getting 4 year full paid scholarships.

We need to make it both our child’s priority by having them earn income as well as our own savings will need to go into that pursuit.Lower income scholarships,not based on grades, statistically go to those living below the poverty line. Middle class students with average ability and average intelligence, who do not live below poverty, will get the least in both scholarships and loans. Buying a car when they turn 16, obviously will not be part of the plan, if education comes first.

When it comes time for all of us to give back to Society, we will need to look at our own strengths and weaknesses and decide for ourselves, where we will be able to contribute the most,in the best way that we can. If we have been doing nothing but taking or even if we are not always being paid for what we do, we have a responsibility to offer our thanks for the gifts of freedom and Democracy, we all enjoy.We need to educate ourselves in the way we will vote, that will protect both our freedoms and Democracy, and understand voting is the responsibility of all of us.

We find our own niche in life, by first finding maturity and character in ourselves and then in our spouse, by raising children who will make a positive difference in Society because they learned from our own example, as well as the guidance we instilled in them, and by giving back to America. When we set standards high enough for all to reach but not so high they or we, are bound to fail, we take responsibility for our own successes of life.

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Add to the lack of work experience, your degree is only a highschool degree and you have been homeschooled, and it spells disaster, in some areas of the Nation, at a time that you are looking for work and competing against 40 year olds with plenty of work experience, who have been laid off, and new college graduates. Do not use that as an excuse to not look, however. Mom and Dad the easier you make the stay at your home the more you rob your own children of both ambition and ingenuity. Who will go to work if they find nothing but free and comfortable lodging with spending money? All of the above, are in trouble, if you do not use your own creativity,in the areas where jobs have not come back, when it comes to the job hunt.

Employers need to see why they should hire you over all the other potential employees they are looking at, currently. It is important that you are able to sell yourself as to why they need you as well as why you need them. Do not take your arrogance with you but now is not a time to be shy,either. If you do have experience or education beyond highschool, it does not always need to be in the field that companies are hiring, as many times Companies are only looking for leadership skills, while wanting to train or retrain you in their own work environment.

Of the three groups, unless you have had an erratic work record and have gone from one job to the next, never staying long enough to establish a clear-cut picture of your work skills, the 40 something is still most likely to get the call back. Employers do not want to see someone who has made it to adulthood totally dependent on mom and dad for their income and never having worked outside of the home. Add to that, home school ,and they have nothing that will indicate to them you even have social skills, much less work ethnic.

So what does it take to find a job in this kind of lost work environment? Dress professionally, lose the heavy make-up(light will suffice) and remove the ear rings if you are male and the nose ring if female. Conservative haircuts as well as hair color, are a necessity. Cover any and all tats, because employers are not looking for “cool.” If you are asked to come back for an interview, schedule it for the earliest possible part of the day, if they ask you to set the time for the interview. Many times when employers are in the position that they can choose from the cream of the crop that first interview(when all things are equal) will leave the most lasting impression. It also shows the potential employer that you are eager to get up and get going on the day.

So you have your college degree and have never worked as you stayed at home with mom and or dad and they paid your way. Was there something that you did in the family business or around the home that can beef up a resume? Do you have a hobby that shows talent or skill? What about volunteer jobs? Did you hold a position in the boy/girls scouts? Edit the school newspaper or year book? Hold elected offices at the college you attended? Are you willing to travel? The middle of the Country has not been hit as hard as the rest of the Nation. There have even been jobs that have gone wanting even with continued growth in States like North Dakota and Texas where they were not hit by an over built housing market. The same is true about over-seas jobs where english speaking people are needed.

Other States worthy of looking into, closer to home, are,South Dakota,Oklahoma,Iowa, Missouri,Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Although there maybe areas or cities in these States that have been hit hard there may be more remote areas needing help. Arizona if you are older. Arizona is filled with retirees and there are many times jobs for 40 to 50 year olds in these places as that is still considered young by the older population standards. The Nation is and has been short of nursing care for a number of years now. Handy men/women, even if you have been use to doing construction jobs, come at a premium almost everywhere, there are older people. It is not unusual handy men/women find that they can begin their own construction companies by beginning this way. Don’t always get caught up in looking at the larger towns or cities as often times the midsize to smaller size towns or cities have a difficult time filling job applications.

If you are drawing un-employment but not particularly interested in finding a job and even have turned down a job or two this does not weigh well with your future when the job market returns. You do need to get back to work. Any job, even if it is volunteer or temporary Christmas help, for now, is better than doing nothing when it comes to going back to work. The benefit of doing this, is, some times both volunteer as well as temporary jobs, can and do lead to full-time paying jobs, once we do make the connections and prove ourselves to be dedicated workers.

Do you have an older family member or friend of the family, that needs help and can pay you to help out? If your work record remains void, even during this time of difficulty, it will not bode well for you, when the job market does return. Most employers will take a good look at what you did by checking through your records and interviews or the lack of them, when they do start hiring again. It’s the character that we show during times of lay-off that can often times cost us or cinch the job for us,when the market returns. Sometimes, during times like this, we do need to both make and create a demand for ourself in the market, even when it means starting from scratch and last person out.

The good news is, that Bank of America is hiring 1000 new employees and there are signs that other companies, will both hire and keep on temporary help, after the Holidays. I have faith, even though it may take more time, that we will be back again, if we don’t elect incompetent as well as the same old mentality that put us in this mess, in the first place on Nov.2nd..

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I would recommend that your read the previous blog first in order for this one to make any sense. Thanks!

I certainly would never recommend that an individual person or couple take it upon themselves to personally get involved between a relationship involving a husband or wife or a parent and child. It is possible that in doing so we run the risk of jeopardizing our own safety. What I am talking about is awareness. Many times we live next door to someone and never see them or pay any attention to them, beyond saying, hello.

Sometimes we need to consider forming a neighborhood watch if there is not currently one in our neighborhood. Many times in an abuse situation the adults will act strange in that they deliberately appear to be shunning the entire neighborhood. Abuse can only function in isolation as well as meth houses, can only operate in secret. We need to pay attention to what kind of a scream it is. Children playing and screaming and having fun do not sound like the scream of abuse nor do wives sound like someone having fun. Error on the side of caution for the child’s sake,without thinking that we might appear foolish.

What time are the kids coming home from school and are they old enough to be babysitting themselves? Are they being left alone at night while Mom and dad are out? Just in general we should not worry about being a “nosy Rosy” as many times we neighbors are all the children and wives have to protect them against abuse.

This small town near where I lived, like all small towns, was a gossip haven. They had a neighbor that they knew who was scrubbing their 8 year old daughter in lye with a wire brush along with other abuses. I never heard a thing about it while the family lived there but once they left and moved to a larger size of town they were immediately reported to Social Service and the little girl removed from their care.

The first thing I wanted to know was, why was this kept secret, when nothing else was. I haven’t a doubt that if someone like myself had heard about it, I would have reported it, so when I asked, it became apparent to me, immediately, the reason no one told me was because they did not want Social Service snooping around in their town. It clearly was not the only family where abuse was taking place. Statistics show that in any neighborhood of any size of town, one house out of three on each block, has some form of abuse taking place.

There is a terrible smell that gets absorbed into the clothing,hair and even lungs and skin of children when meth is cooking. It cannot be missed. We need to get in a habit of getting close enough to a child playing outside if we cannot already smell it coming from the home. We can ask them if they think their parents would care if they had a lollypop or if they want to play at the park with our child. If the mother never comes out and visits while we are visiting with the children or if none of them are ever outside perhaps it is time that we make the effort to get more acquainted.

I am not talking about the monthly or by-weekly pity trips or snoop sessions that I wrote about ,previously, that takes place in small towns nor am I suggesting they take an interest in what we are interested in. Once we find out that the kids are just couch potatoes and are entertained by t.v. or she has hobbies like reading or painting then at least we have an explanation over just guessing.

Not all meth houses are isolated from a neighborhood. We need to pay attention to bruises and broken bones that are not common. Especially if the children are sedate and are couch potatoes. If in visiting with the children or wife, we find that they are falling a lot more that what normal children or adults fall then get suspicious and contact the right authorities. Ask to remain annonymous.

Otherwise if your neighborhood is not the place you want to help then contact soup kitchens, large daycares, schools, and ask if they can use help with children, check with Children’s hospitals in regard to gifting or volunteering time. Large physcal therapy Clinics may be able to use free volunteer work with their children. In general anyplace where children play, work, or sleep.

We need to just remember to be more aware or alert of the children than what we commonly are. Obviously, the only way we can stop more laws and more government is if we start giving a little time. I know we are already short of time and energy as it is, but what I am talking about,for the most part, requires looking out the door or window and using both our eyes, ears and common sense. Time that we all have, that costs nothing, but could save so much more than any of us can imagine.

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I began my career before minimum wage was even law. When it initially became law, businesses could hire two part time women cheaper than pay minimum wages and they often did. The first minimum wage in 1966 or 1967 was set at $2.25, if I recall accurately. We were just bringing attention to women of the unfairness that existed between men and women in the working field. All these years later there is a real movement being made by the Religious right/right wing to take women back to where they, were barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, so that white males can get the jobs that women currently hold.

After that introduction then, it may make more sense to you why I had waited patiently for my husband to decide if we could financially afford to remodel the old historical building that we had purchased. It was built in the 1800’s and had been turned into a home in the 1930’s and never updated. It clearly was a home in desperate need of remodel. I kept hearing from my husband, that there was no resale value in the area, and that was true,(although we would later be able to sell it) but it definitely was in a state of disrepair and needed to be brought up to code so that, if nothing else, the drafts would be blocked and the home made warm.

We had moved from the City to the Country to appease my husband. It was the only place available that my husband’s boss did not own and the widow lady all but gave it to us so that we would fix it up and the man owning the other homes would not tear it down and buy the place for the land. It included 27 acreas and the old hotel was 5200 square feet by the time I did totally remodel it with the help of a carpenter that my husband hired.

When it became clear to me that there was never going to be a good time to fix and remodel the home, according to my husband, was the day I exerted my women’s rights of equality, and picked up the sledge hammer and ax and knocked down the kitchen wall. Obviously, when my husband came home for lunch it was quite a shock to see a wall knocked down to the 2 by 4’s.

It was the beginning of my learning home decorating and would enable us to buy the home in the right locations/neighborhoods in need of repair, for little of nothing,and be able to put immediate acquity into our homes. It only took one strike of the hammer for me to prove that the “If it bugs you-Do it yourself” rule really works! Make sure you know the difference between a load bearing wall and a none load bearing wall though before attempting doing this! The whole house could fall in on you!

I am a total misrepresentation of what the right wing is teaching women about why divorce happens when women gain independence and for everyone of me there are another 9 just like me. We do have long lasting marriages, offer challenges and interests to our marriage and maintain the respect of our husband’s. Unlike what you are being told,by the Church ladies, we raise stronger, more independent children that are educated and developed to handle life’s stresses and HOLD families together rather than break up families. They have opened minds and compassion for the less fortunate.

I have total empathy for your daughters who will never be able to stand on their own, if their marriages end in both divorce and death. How can they be anything but, made weaker, by being dependent on men that they are boring to death? Men may sleep with them but most intelligent, self sufficient men and women want a companion, that they can communicate with, that understands their life. Both sexes are looking for the same thing and that is love and understanding. Men and women that work in their field or in jobs commonly held by other men and women, are usually more interesting to both genders. Tell a man she said, “such and such” and they will tune out; tell a man he said, “such and such” and they will tune in. The same holds true for women.

It doesn’t always take an education to be intelligent or to own common sense but it takes life experiences beyond home and kids to be interesting to other people and to form our own opinions as well as have compassion without judgement. Just as Christ had a deep empathy for women most of us come away with a broader understanding after having experienced their hardships and histories. Many stay at home Mom’s that believe in equal rights,worked before having children and are as well educated as the men and women that work with our wives and husbands. We are as well read and traveled, as working women and men and sometimes more so.

Some start our own businesses at home, some trade our own stocks, do geneology, further our education and studies, work part time,do volunteer work, sometimes along with working women and men and other times alone; for Red Cross,blood mobiles,as school aides, as hospital aides,as an E.M.T.,in thrift stores,on election boards, on juries, in walk-a-thons,fund raisers,soup kitchens, as veternarian aides,cleaning up after disasters,(the list never ends where women that believe in equal rights are found giving generously of our time) We run for local elections, work on campaigns, do random acts of kindness, work on community plays and dramas, and dedicate time to causes outside of the home and Church. We are not destroying families but rather strengthening them as well as our own communities. Both men and women support equal rights for women, minorities and gays!

Decent men are no different than women, in that they feel uncomfortable with people, that sacrifice for them if they truly love us. Men that are not red necks, do not want their wives giving up their own happiness for them, because they are being told it is their duty, to do so. The most unattractive person to both genders are those that are totally phony and brainwashed.

Any man that truly wants and is looking for the doormat that waits on him hand and foot, makes sure he takes his medicines and lays out his clothes, is not looking for a wife but rather a free maid or to replace his Mommy. I maintain that men will more likely stray on that type of marriage long before they will someone like us. Women like us, make life much more interesting and enjoyable enough to hang around to see ,just what it is that we will do next!

Happy Valentines to all! Enjoy and love each other and to those that are single please remember to Celebrate yourself! This too will pass!

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