My family once owned a dog that we named ThunderStorm and just called Storm. He was a chocolate Labrador from a big family and, full grown, weighed about 100 pounds. The odd thing we discovered about him, from the earliest days we had him as a puppy, was that he loved to go out and play in the rain. I don’t mean those occasionally warm spring and summer showers… I mean thunder and lightning downpours that created puddles in minutes. He delighted in going out to play in those puddles. He’d splash and frolic and bury his face in them, shake off and do it again. We hated thunderstorms. They meant someone was going to have to put on a rain coat, hat and boots to leash the dog and take him out. Continue reading
Have you ever noticed that some of your friends or family never seem quite as stressed or lacking in control of a given situation as others? Have you ever wondered why? What makes them so special? How come they never seem to sweat when something goes sideways? Here are a few reasons why they might be like that; things they might do that others don’t. Continue reading
In today’s computer age, days where you can’t look around without seeing someone on their “smart” phone, and times of everyone being connected nearly full time, the word “hack” has come to take on a whole new meaning. It is essentially used to mean “something that makes your life easier or an easier and faster way of doing something.” I’ve seen some pretty cool hacks posted online but I often wonder how come nobody ever shares TRUE “life hacks:” hacks that actually make your life easier in the way(s) that count most. So… I had to. I considered it a challenge I couldn’t back away from. Continue reading
So, I received a private message on Facebook from a gentleman asking, “What qualifies you to give advice on life to anyone?” I had to think about this. It’s a good question. I found myself wondering if he has a point? What DOES qualify me to give advice on anything to anyone? For that matter, what qualifies me to teach anyone anything as well?
The answers become obvious after a while. Continue reading
Near the end of every calendar year… or in the first few days of a new year… huge numbers of people make resolutions with the goal of improving their life. Some of those resolutions are very specific and equally unrealistic. For example, after someone has been a cigarette smoker for years (if not decades), they decide that starting January 1st of the New Year, they’re going to quit smoking… cold turkey. Now, they’ve decided to quit a dozen times before and they’ve stopped smoking for several days at a time, made themselves miserable, and then come up with a reason why they just HAVE to have a cigarette. My own father stopped smoking for a year after he had heart surgery and then someone offered him a cigarette at a bar and he thought, “One won’t hurt.” Another year later he had to go through the misery of quitting again. Continue reading
Recently I saw an image through the wizardry of social media and, after having read through it, thought about just how true it was. The title was “Simple Formula for Living,” but that didn’t really describe the list of items included. As I read them, I felt they more described lessons to be followed for a prosperous and spiritually valuable life. I certainly don’t always follow each bit of guidance (because I’m human and therefore imperfect), but I see the value in each and strive to maintain my compliance to them. Let’s go through them and briefly discuss the value. Continue reading
As happens all too often in my household, my son asked me a question that forced me to carefully think through my beliefs and values before offering an answer. I have to think carefully because I know, for sure and certain, he’s already trying to form that next question so if I’m not as specific and exacting as I can be, I give him huge maneuvering room to ask the more difficult questions. This week’s question really wasn’t so hard: “Dad, what makes an American an American?” The first and most obvious answer was, “Where he was born,” but that’s not what he was asking. He was looking for me to explain to him what values I felt that he, when he became an adult American, should have as part of his character. Long time readers know that such a conversation can’t be had without me sharing it, so here we go with an explanation of my answer. Continue reading
Plenty has been written about “the butterfly effect.” Whole movies have been made about it from dramas about how minor changes we make can change the future, to science fiction movies where someone consciously tries to manipulate the present or future by changing something seemingly minor in the past. This entry is neither drama nor fiction, but simply… encouragement. All of us have the ability to change our future and, thanks to that butterfly effect, the smallest of changes today can have the largest of impacts tomorrow. Continue reading
If you Google “rules for life” you get 863 MILLION returns (in under 2/3 of a second). There are whole books written on the subject. You can find lists with as few as three rules and as many as 75 rules. Every now and then as I surf the Internet (and life), I come across something having to do with “rules for life” that catches my eye. This one – Seven Rules of Life – was a meme I saw, read and thought about. I was compelled to share a few thoughts.
NOTE: This blog isn’t being written, or even approached, with journalistic structure or professionalism in mind. The topic is suicide: awareness and (hopefully) avoidance or reduction. The statistics and data listed are gleaned from various sources and listed at the end. The rest of this is the result of input and comment from family, friends and coworkers along with a huge subjective filter that runs from my brain to my fingers – with a detour through my heart. It’s my hope – throughout the process of researching, gathering comments, collating and writing all of this – that it has some positive impact on the readers. I hate to think it, but some of the readers may be in a dark place and contemplating suicide to resolve their problem(s). Other readers may know someone who is thinking about committing suicide (statistically speaking, that’s almost guaranteed). HOPEFULLY, some of this… any part of it, will help. Last item: Some of this, because so much of it is just my articulated outlook, might aggravate you, anger you or insult you. None of that is my intent and I beg you to continue reading past anything that you don’t like to see if I suitably explain myself. Continue reading