Friday, January 30, 2009

Beautiful smiles

Somewhere in my profile I believe I mention that I live for the "Aha!" moments in life. I believe I heard a teacher somewhere along the line refer to these as Aha moments and it just stuck as it fits, so that's what I call them. I do my best to try to incorporate these revelations when I have them, as I believe they truly help us grow. Sort of like a word of the day where they say if you try to use a new word in conversation it will stick in your mind. One of the earliest I can remember is driving through my neighborhood in my late teens, and seeing this little old man just standing in his front yard observing the world, perhaps reflecting on his own revelations. As I drove by, he graced me with the loveliest smile. It was a genuine smile, the sort that makes you feel sunshine on your soul, and I can still remember his face to this day. In that moment I felt compelled to stop and tell him how I felt. I didn't think about it, I just reversed, rolled down my window, and said, "You have the most beautiful smile, I just had to tell you. Thank you for sharing it with me." He gave me a wave and I drove off with a warm heart. It was a simple interaction, but it had such a profound impact on me. I don't know if he remembers me or that moment, but many times I reflect on that day and wonder. Did I have any impact on his life? Did I make his day a little brighter? What was going on in his life at that time, did he have trials and maybe I made those trials a little easier because he could smile through them and know that when he does he's adding beauty to the world? Perhaps not, perhaps he was hard of hearing and never even heard what I said! I hope that he did. Either way it changed my outlook. Small gestures can be so powerful. I greet everyone with a Good Morning and a smile, I try to find something positive to pass on to people, whether it be as simple as a compliment on a piece of clothing, or helping someone with their groceries. Even just letting someone into traffic or not flipping out when person in front of you is driving 20 miles an hour, you do not know what their lifes journey is, perhaps it is someone's grandfather driving to a hospice to visit his dying wife of 55 years as happened to my grandfather. Maybe someone just found out they are pregnant and is a little distracted and that's why they cut you off. Or perhaps letting someone into a line of traffic is the difference between that person making it through the day and breaking down over life's struggles. Sometimes it doesn't take much to tip the scales either way. And perhaps that small gesture will make such an impact that the stranger will remember you and your act of kindness, and your kindness will carry on a legacy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History in the making....

Today is no doubt a historical day. The first black president will be sworn in to office, and I for one am excited. Even if you don't like Obama, you have to be celebrating the fact that BUSH IS GONE!! Hopefully never again will we have to hear a bumbling speech or listen to him talk about things he has no idea about. Though I am an Obama supporter and have been since mid-way through the election when I finally made a decision on my candidate. I think Obama can inspire, I think he can bring the nation and the two parties together as hasn't been done in many years, and I am sincerely hoping he will be a path to change. Because this country needs a lot of change, change in outlook, change in perspective, change in culture, change in attitude, change in tolerance, in policy, education, health care, you name it and it needs to be fixed. I think he can envelope the younger generations into the world of politics and hopefully unite generational gaps and differences. And let's hope he can bring a little honesty back to the world of politics, maybe make it actually about the people and not the big companies or the politicians wallets or the plight of the upper class. I don't want to hear one more person argue with putting higher taxes on the upper class and lightening the burden on the lower class. Don't they get enough breaks in life?? This is not a meritocratic society, yes there are opportunities for those born without to rise up and make a name for themselves based on hard work and determination, but in 9 out of 10 cases its just not possible, more often than not you end up with Paris Hilton's or Miley Cyrus's. Their good fortune was helped along by the fame of their parents. Can you honestly tell me either would have made it where they are, or could make it to where they are, if they hadn't had a leg up? And at least Miley does something for her fame, Paris doesn't even have that to say for herself. She had a leg up to the bar counter so she could dance on it and sing karaoke to her own songs that were only recorded because she had money (meritocratic or unmeritocratic?) This is getting off track and bitter, back to topic!

The thing that I find appalling is the attitudes and comments I hear from people who obviously were not Obama supporters. Its amazing how negative people can be. I've heard people say that any democrat would have won, which is absolutely not true. If you have a problem with Obama beating McCain, there is no one to blame but McCain himself. If he hadn't picked Sarah Palin, ANYONE other than Sarah Palin, he very likely could have won. I was going back and forth on Obama vs. McCain myself and I was about as anti-Bush as they come. Its almost as though people want Obama to fail so they can say "Ha! Told you so!". I actually saw one blogger say she would be continually tracking and blogging his failures. So in essence she can't wait for him to fail. Does she realize a failure is another blow to the US economy? Another person I saw said, "Today is just another day, you couldn't pay me to watch". Honestly? You are that petty that you can't celebrate the day the first black president will take oath? I certainly hope this is the minority.... you have to get behind a new president and support his efforts even if you may not agree with everything he says or does. If he does fail, then so be it, by all means blog all you want, but at least give the guy 6 months before passing judgement! And at least don't knock today, this is a day of history, how can you not support that and get caught up in the excitement? These are the moments where you really feel like a united nation, revel in it while it lasts!

Quotes from MSN:
The TV reporters keep saying, 'Look at all the blacks here today.' Give it a rest!
Go get 'em, Obama!
—Dave, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
You are not in this alone. The country is behind you. Lean on us, President Obama.
—John, Sycamore, Ill.
Obama is just a rock star right now. Reality starts tomorrow.
—Pam, San Antonio
It is amazing to see a man of color embraced by the world.
—Edith, Columbus, Ohio
Obama's giving people false hope, and they will be disappointed in just the first year.
—Marnie, O'Fallon, Mo.
Maybe middle-class America will have "golden years" after all. God be with him and his family.
—Willie, Dumfries, Va.
It's all right to be bitter.
—Felicia, Jackson, Miss
I'm from Louisiana and did not support Obama, but if he can help the country I love, so be it.
—Raymond, Baton Rouge, La.
I pray that Obama will not be a celebrity but a leader. Good luck and God be with him.
—Darrin, Montpelier, Ohio
Give the guy a chance to work before deciding what will happen.
—Jaci, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
A very historic and important day for our country. I hope he lives up to the hype.
—Missie, Abingdon, Va.
A united America, a new era begins, under a new leader. Let's all work together toward prosperity!
—Susan, Springfield, Ill.
Today is truly an inspiration for everyone to DREAM BIG. This movement's infectious.
—Courtney, Phoenix
I am thrilled to be an American today. History is being made!
—Sandy, Springfield, Ill.
I am 45 years old and overjoyed for Obama! I wish my dad was alive to see this.
—Anne, Oklahoma City, Okla.
People need to be careful on whom you worship, Obama or God? I choose God.
—Ralph, Fargo, N.D.
Time for hope to morph into action. God bless America!
—C., Henderson, Texas
How long before America knocks this latest hero off his pedestal?
—Marie, Trinidad
I'm very excited about today. Obama will bring change and a touch a class to this country.
—Bethany, Euclid, Ohio
Would like to have seen the holiday for MLK changed to today. Then all children could watch.
—Paul, Selma, Ala.
Go, Obama!
—Casey, Menasha, Wis.
President Obama, I am so sorry for the ignorance still in this country. God bless, America.
—Terri, Dallas
America needs President Obama. Set aside your prejudices for the good of the country.
—Daniel, Miami
I feel like we are celebrating his color instead of the event.
The media already has him walking on water and restoring Stevie Wonders sight! Enough already!
—Matt, Victoria, Texas
Obama is a MAN not the MESSIAH. Quit worshiping him.
—Renee, Phoenix
I wish my grandmothers had lived to see it. I'd love to see and hear their reactions.
—Cynthia, Alpharetta, Ga.
Traffic, shut-down bridges, too many people in town. I hope it snows to drive people away.
—Scott, Arlington, Va.
This is the first step in restoring and returning the U.S. to its former world-class reputation.
—Jamie, Concord, N.C.
Obama is treated like a superstar. He hasn't even done anything yet.
—Michael, New York City
This president will hear our voices. This country has come a long way.
—William, Woodbridge, N.J.
I will be there with my 14-year-old daughter to celebrate and share in this wonderful event.
—Mary, Buffalo, N.Y.
Politics as usual, with a left bent. Hold on to your pocketbook. Yawn.
—Bob, Las Vegas
I couldn't care less. Not because I do not support Obama. I am just ready to get down to business.
—Nette, Jacksonville, Fla.
History-making, reminds me of the "Camelot" years. Bringing hope to millions.
—Sue, Sault Sainte Marie, Mich.
I want to hear what this new president will do, instead of talking about his color.
—Nancy, Katy, Texas
I am taking the day off work and having an inauguration party.
—Sara, Des Moines
It's a complete waste of money.
—David, Manhattan, Kan.
It just means another circus is in town; same old clowns doing the same old tricks.
—Bennie, Lewiston, Idaho
It's history and proves that anything is possible in America, the land of opportunity.
—Mike, Tulsa, Okla.
Obama probably has a more difficult job at this time than anyone for the past 40 years.
—Steve, Concord, Calif.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just a drag...

Quitting smoking really sucks. Its funny how easy "just a drag turns" into half a cigarette, into a full cigarette, into one in the morning and one at night, today was a bad day so one in the morning and one after work and one more at night, and next thing you know you're at the store buying a carton again. My biggest regret in my short 27 years of life is starting smoking. All told, I've spent over $13,000 on cigarettes since I started 10 years ago, give or take. That's more than a new car!!! Combine that with what my husband has spent and its at least $30,000 between the two of us, which is a down payment on a house. That's disgusting.

In any case, its one day at a time. I went to my sister in laws ultrasound last Friday and got to see little Madison (sigh...). She's beautiful even in black and white one dimension. :) She's not due until 1/31 but I'm hoping she'll come NOW because I can't wait to hold her! And I'm only her auntie, I can't imagine how her mommy feels!

I've always said I do not see myself having kids, I didn't grow up around children and honestly feel like I will still be fulfilled even if we never end up having a baby. Its really weird, almost like I have two personalities now, one is still adamant that I have no intentions of having children. The other has an obsession with pregnant woman (not the 'I want to steal your baby' kind, but the 'I know I'm a stranger but can I feel your stomach 'kind) and believes that my purpose is solely to pass along my values and outlook to a child. Depends on what day you catch me, and whether or not I'm at the mall because I don't think anyone can go to the mall and still want children... I apologize if this offends anyone but the tweens and hormonal teens at the mall frighten me sometimes. Not to mention they make me feel way older than I should at 27 because I find myself making"Kids these days..." remarks. Which in and of itself I feel I am too young for since I'm only 10 years removed from high school myself. A lot changes in 10 years, is it changing faster these days or did anyone else feel this way at quarter life?? Am I becoming a crazy old cat lady before I've even gone completely grey?? I need to go pretend I'm smoking a cigarette...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sleeping Beauty...

That is what I will be, come Friday. I have every intention of sleeping 12 hours every night, wasting away the days in my PJ's on the couch, and eating take-out for every meal. I feel as though I haven't stopped since November, and I can't wait to take a break!! It went like this starting at the beginning of November: Goodwill Auction event (I was on the auction committee), Anniversary, raking 34 bags of leaves, Thanksgiving, raking 19 more bags of leaves, Goodwill annual meeting, putting up Christmas lights, PJ's mom's Christmas party, shoveling 2 feet of snow THREE TIMES, sending out baby shower invitations, sending out Christmas cards, work Christmas party, redo the living room and dining room, Christmas decorations, get Christmas gifts and Christmas dinner, Christmas Eve party, Christmas day dinner, day after Christmas dessert night, host my high school friends for game night, New Years Eve party at the neighbors, host my sister and a mutual friend and her husband for another game night, sister in laws baby shower. And I managed 24 hours at the zoo in between. You'd be tired too!

Anyhoo, Christmas was a lot of fun, we decided two weeks before Christmas to redo the living room and dining room before we had everyone over Christmas day. It was just paint and fixtures and accessories but its surprising how long just paint and fixtures and accessories takes, and how expensive!! But I LOVE it. Its warm and comfortable and will be very conducive to my slug fest this weekend :) Christmas day went by in a blur of turkey, apple pie, and Wii, which I couldn't get my family to turn off. The house looked great, the food was fantastic, everyone got what they wanted, and it was a very cozy day. Thank god its over and I don't have to worry about it again for at least 11 months ;)

And finally, Sunday was my sister in laws baby shower which went well! Its surprising how competitive a game of baby shower bingo can get, some of those ladies were not leaving without a prize! A couple were genuinely upset that the rules of the game were not more structured and I feared for my life at one point. But Tiff really enjoyed herself and I'm so happy for that because she needed a little joy right now. Of course, I managed to fall, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. I almost took out an 18 month old baby in the process, I felt horrible because I'm pretty sure I stepped on her foot, but we both made it out alive and with minimal tears.

THREE MORE WEEKS TILL I MEET MY NIECE!! I woke up this morning with baby fever again so she'd better get here soon, my resolve is weakening :)