Mahnamahna

27 02 2007

The cure for the common cold: Rest, lots of water, chicken noodle soup, and of course, The Muppets. 

During this time of year when cold bugs are flying, and too many of us our home sick, we need all the laughs we can get.  Enjoy, and try to stay well.  

Thanks to Stuart for posting this video yesterday.

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All that Love Stuff

13 02 2007

“Valentine’s Day falls on tomorrow this year.” ~Winnie the Pooh





Four Little Words

11 02 2007

My birthday is in a few weeks, I’ll be twenty, and as most everyone who has seen or heard from me within the past month knows, I’m very excited.  I don’t have any earthshaking plans, but I’ll be forever rid of “teen” from my age.  I can hear the hallelujah chorus now.

My dad gave me my present yesterday, and with it, a birthday card.  It was the card that got to me, or rather, the note inside.   

There were just four words inscribed, “Happy birthday.  Love, Dad.”  My dad’s never been a writer, so I wasn’t expecting anything profound and poetic, but the fact he’d written his short birthday greeting to me in pen, so there was a permanent record of just much he’d struggled trying to arrange the letters caused a sharp twinge of pain.  Because even in the end, he still hadn’t found the right mix of lettering to spell those four modest words correctly.   

When my sister, Shannon, was little I’d smile at the cute little cards she’d give me, and I’d try to decipher the text as best I could.  It was fine her notes could be a challenge to read, because she wasn’t even school age.  In fact, the illegibility and creative spelling added to the overall cuteness factor, but it’s not cute when it’s your dad.           

Here I am almost twenty and my dad can no longer always address a simple card.  He won’t be able to play a prominent rule in my adult life, because he’s unable to even now.  If I ever get married, he won’t be able to be a the supportive dad he would have wanted to be, and it’s going to be awhile before I’m done with school, because I’d like to get my masters, and by then he might not even be able to fully comprehend what that means.   

The reality my dad won’t be able to be there when I cross each hurdle and enter into each new stage of life, is painful, but the hardest part has nothing to do with me missing out on “dad time,” but that Shannon – who’s turning twelve this month – may not even have her dad cheering her own when she graduates from high school. 


It’s remarkable how four little words can jolt you back to reality, and leave you feeling like Alice tumbling head over heels down the rabbit hole.  I didn’t allow the note to wreck havoc on my day, but I did go for a run to wear off the “Alice” feeling.  Sometimes, you just need to run.     





Character

3 02 2007

“I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character.”– Theodore Roosevelt





Perspective

1 02 2007

The journey from empathy to aggravation can be as effortless as sipping your morning coffee, while munching away on a slightly burnt piece of toast, and staining your figures with news print, completely oblivious to the fact there’s a hint of poison deluding your morning ritual.  It doesn’t require much poison for the results to be lethal. 

I caught myself recently feeling increasingly frustrated and annoyed with some of the very people I’ve gone out of my way in the past to be there for; people I truly care about.  My inner voice (not my conscious, the other fellow) had become more and more irritable and nitpicky and I’m sure my mental eye rolling count was rising at a rate to rival the gas prices.   

Yes, there are some obnoxious people in the world, but if you feel the need to put them all in The Stupid Box, pretty soon it’ll just be you and the local shrubbery (which honestly doesn’t always sound so bad, but that isn’t the point right now).  

It wasn’t the people and their both irritable and concerning quirks that frustrated me originally; it was the looming problems on the horizon, which they were unaware of, so consequently where walking headlong into. 

I was frustrated because I cared about them, and the last thing on earth I wanted was to see them get hurt, but somewhere along the way I’d lost sight of why I was even upset in the first place.  There was cause for concern and frustration, because there were real problems, but I was getting tied up in knots over the minor issues and irritations.  My concern for them and developed into frustratoin wtih them.    

It’s amazing how just a slight change in perspective can completely alter everything from our mood, to the way we interact with those around us.  It doesn’t take much to lose your focal point, and in doing so, completely miss your target.    

Oh, that’s right, I do like people.  Duh. 

Empathy is a curious thing.  It’s a wonderful gift, but if you don’t keep a regular tab on it, it can easily turn into something hideously narcissistic.  Maybe even our best traits can become disfigured without a careful eye.  Proverbs 4:23 puts it nicely, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” 

Perspective can make all the difference in the world, but it needs some looking after.