Archive for September, 2012

Climbing Your Mountain/Reaching Your Goal: 4 Tips!

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Ever feel like this: Over the Moon!!

Harvest Moon

Especially when you reach a goal. A difficult one. A goal that is your personal Mt. Kilimanjaro!!

I love mountains. Majesty. Beauty. Fresh Air. Yet at this point in my life, I’m “temporarily” resigned to life in the literal flat lands of Florida. I will have to be content to mountain hike and climb vicariously/symbolically through my goals! Less exercise, or is it? depends on your goal(s)! :)

Growing up in the North, my family would vacation in the mountains. Do you like mountains? Do you climb mountains? I hope to reach the summit of my Everest 1 day. Summiting would be too costly for me…can’t afford that right now, anyway. One can envision. One can hope.

Life in Florida has been like my “7 years in Tibet” but longer–a transformation/growth as a person (partner, mom, caregiver, friend) outside the comforting cocoon/land of my relatives and upbringing.

Thinking of mountain climbing, etc. brings me to Heinrich Harrer and transformation as a person experiencing hardships, exposure to the Tibetan culture and friendship with the Dalai Lama. Harrer died in 2006. The Dalai Lama lives.

I found these interesting excerpts from Harrer’s Obituary published in the New York Times by Douglas Martin:

“Just months before the movie’s release, the German magazine Stern added a startling and disagreeable new dimension to Mr. Harrer’s life story; it reported that he enlisted in Hitler’s storm troopers in 1933, when they were still illegal in Austria.”

“Five years later, he enlisted in the SS, the Nazi organization responsible for countless atrocities, and rose to sergeant. He asked the SS leader, Heinrich Himmler, for permission to marry in 1938, giving proof that he and his fiancée were Aryans. He later said he wore his SS uniform only once, the day of that marriage to Charlotte Wegener. In a ceremony celebrating the Eiger triumph in 1938, Mr. Harrer shook hands with Hitler and had his picture taken with him.”

“Mr. Harrer reacted to the disclosure of a Nazi past by …

3 Tips for Dealing with Disappointment and Discouragement

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

EdwardAre you disappointed? SORRY! Are you discouraged? SORRY!

Each of us at one time or another, or even today at the present moment, deal with disappointment and discouragement. Something didn’t turn out as we’d hoped or even more painful: someone is not who we thought they were. Do you feel duped?! I do and did!
How to Find Courage and Carry on: 3 tips!
(FYI:This post is a summary/essay on recent reading/research that is whirling around in my brain. This is an “attempt” to unjumble it. An “attempt” to write a non-rambling/long-winded post. THANKS for bearing with me as I “try” to keep this concise and to the point. ;) Do I hear snickering? You, my patient readers, are getting to know me too well. Due to past readings, You may doubt my ability to keep this post short/under 1,000 words! I’m having some “doubts” myself, but I won’t Give Up! Overcoming doubts is possible! :)

You know the adage: “a picture is worth a thousand words”…was telling Hubby that his cartoons/drawings eloquently express way more than 1,000 plus words ever could. (Not comparing our work, just respecting different styles of communication!) Hoping not to disappoint, here goes:
Disappointment and discouragement are difficult to deal with…(yeah, I realize pretty obvious statement, huh? goes without saying; needless words.) We may be experiencing D & D due to internal factors and not only external ones.
 WHY ME? Why NOT me?
1. Don’t Fuel D & D: Pride, envy, insecurity–may be a driving force leading to and not away from Disappointment and Discouragement.

In other words, an inflated (conceit) view of self/abilities or (deflated) insecurities or envying what others have is a snare that can entrap us in disappointment and discouragement.

For example: We get discouraged thinking we can never accomplish what we hope because we lack ability/resources/support, etc. We are disappointed that we didn’t get the promotion that another colleague/peer did because frankly, we are better qualified and deserve it (or so we think). We may refuse to accept the other person is better qualified at this moment in time for …

Got Lemons, Now What?

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Lemons“EUREKA!” I got it!… lemons, that is and the standard market variety at that! Do you like lemons? Do you like sour things that make you squinch and pucker?!… a sconce* really (is what I got)–*”sense, brain, wit” or “a protective screen or shelter” or “In medieval architecture, a detached earth-work, that serves as a small defensive position, providing additional protection for a fort.” or “any device serving as a source of illumination.

Ah, illumination is good. Shelter, protection is good. Some common sense…ah, that’s good, too! Guess lemons aren’t so bad after all.

Yes, life serves them up (Lemons in all variety, but this post will concentrate on “Eureka”) and frequently to some of us! What do you do? Got Lemons – Now what? Let your lemons serve you well! There is a lot to learn from lemons (the kind you like to eat and the kind you are force-fed.)

 Do You make lemonade? or add Lemon to Green Tea with Honey?

Yummy, my beverage of choice…which I’m sipping as I compose this post. What are you sipping? May be, that’s the key to all things unpleasant or sour…learning to sip it up and not gulp it up and choke. A “little” sugar doesn’t hurt either. Sweet n’ sour tastes good to me. I can hear Mary Poppins singing now: “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down! In the most delightful way!” Oh, so there is a “delightful” way to take medicine?! Sometimes, Yes! depending on your attitude; keep it real, positive and pleasant for the sake of the kids please. As Care-givers, Partners or Parents, let’s gently teach the kids we can’t always get our way and that’s okay! We’re all grown-up, we can take our medicine, right? Sure, we can!:)

Creative Commons License photo credit: eamylove

Awareness and Acceptance come in stages. Sometimes, “lemons” are thrust upon us from concealed places…ooh, …

Corruption Perception Index: How do You Rank?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

“Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.” ~ Transparency International – The Global Coalition Against Corruption.

                              Are You Transparent?                             
Creative Commons License photo credit: JF Marrero

Are you in a position of authority? Caregivers, Partners — All of us have a measure of authority over someone or something in our life.

How do you wield your power? Are you honest in your dealings? (Come on, “honest” evaluation is necessary for “positive” personal growth!) Or do you take a kickback now and then? Are you a victim of corruption? Or are you a perpetrator of corruption?

How would you rank in the Corruption Perceptions Index?

“According to Transparency International’s (TI) 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index which ranks countries according to their perceived levels of public-sector corruption”…

“the vast majority of the 183 countries and territories assessed score below 5 on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean).”

Ooh, brave enough to take the survey?! If not, please proceed with caution! :) (i’m proceeding with caution!)

As caregiver or partner or other: how would you rank yourself from 0 – 10? (0 being highly corrupt to 10 being very clean). Pick your number from the corruption scale. Then have a family member, friend, colleague, employer or employee pick your number? Do they match-up? Thank You for leaving your survey results in a comment.

(FYI: i just asked my son and our numbers didn’t match-Oh No! I’m curious now, where I rank in my kids’ perception of corruption… Do they think I treat each one fairly, or that I favor one kid over another?) Yes, this mama has stuff to work on!

Others depend on our integrity, whether we think so or not!  Integrity can be defined as: “moral uprightness; honesty.”  Do you view integrity as a virtue or as an encumbrance? Some smart yet selfish, scheming strategists may/could fluctuate their stance on “corruption” to their advantage. What do …

In Search of Eden

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

What are you searching for? Of what are you in hot pursuit? Everybody’s searching for something: a job, misplaced keys, a long-lost relative, true love, a remedy, a cure, an escape, hope, money, quiet, purpose, meaning to the daily grind, understanding, satisfying  answers, truth, justice, closure, mercy, security, forgiveness, happiness, peace, pleasure, paradise?!

Have you checked the lost n’ found? :)

Some tire out and give up their quest without finding what they really need/want out of this life. Please, Don’t give up! Keep up your search! Caregivers and Partners have needs and when these are filled, they may find a measure of happiness.

One key to happiness is being aware of this:

 “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”

I don’t believe that spirituality (not talking “religion”, which may conjure up many negatives and atrocities in the name of) is an unreality! I think too much emphasis on “material” things/possessions/items is an unreality and here’s why: many are seduced into looking to material things for permanent security. Okay, you may feel that money, possessions and high-paying jobs offer many advantages. But do they, really?! The advantages may be of a temporary nature. Notice these thought-provoking points, I recently read in an interesting article entitled, “Do Not Follow Unrealities”

“What do material things deliver, though, when health fails, when the economy crumbles, or when a natural disaster strikes? What do they deliver when people feel empty inside, in need of purpose, direction, and answers to life’s deeper questions? What relief can they deliver in the face of death? If we look to material things to fill spiritual needs, we will be disappointed. Material possessions do not deliver; they are unrealities. In the long run, they cannot even provide physical security, for they have no lasting effect on the present brevity of human life or the likelihood of sickness and death.”

Is that all there is…work hard, acquire stuff, and more stuff, and more stuff, then die and let someone else take care of all your stuff?!

Yes, I realize we all …

A Leader’s Language: Are You Fluent?

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Italian Language WorkshopWhat is your native tongue? Arabic, Bengali, Creole, Dutch, English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish, Luxembourgish, Mandarin, Navajo, Oromo, Portuguese, Quechua, Russian, Spanish, Telugu, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa,Yiddish,Zulu or another language not on this limited list?

There are around 7,000 languages world-wide!

Are you bilingual, trilingual, quadrilingual or multilingual? Is your language or preferred form of expression/communication: sign, scientific, symbolic, poetic, artistic… mathematical, musical, philosophical, spiritual or technological? What language speaks to you? What language/s do you easily understand? Some say money talks. I ask: What is the language of your dreams?? (The kind you have when you’re awake.) Is this a dream: all of humanity united in world-wide peace?

Speaking of dreaming (the kind you do when you’re asleep)…I remember the first time I dreamt in French. To me, it was a cool sign that I must be reaching a level of fluency. Woke up pretty proud of my progress (in dreamland) and promptly informed hubby of it. Of course, being totally immersed in French among native speakers in France with living language lessons like those learned during rapid dinner conversation helps your dreams!

Like any learner (I’m still very much a learner and not just languages), I’ve had my share of  humbling and embarrassing, painful for my listeners (and too difficult to recount here), language (pronunciation) mistakes…especially with similar sounding words like plus belle et poubelle. Here’s a tip: Never ever tell a new mom her baby is poubelle. OUCH!! The baby is plus belle/beautiful and not poubelle/trash. (Unfortunately, this was a language nightmare I had while awake. Fortunately, I was freely forgiven!:)

My hubby and I were friends with this older gentleman who was such a brain. A professor, a linguist, fluent (I think) in 8 or 9 languages. He could carry on multilingual conversation and immediately switch languages/gears like a race car weaving in and out of traffic lanes speeding down the highway. Ironically, what we learned from him was not French…but life lessons, spiritual ones. …

No Excuses – Empathy Needed

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Empathy is an essential quality for effective care-giving. No excuses. What I mean by that is: As Care-givers–We have No Excuse Not to Show Empathy! 

I know: You’re exhausted, frustrated, hungry, down, misunderstood, unappreciated, overworked and underpaid…all that and much more! The reality of care-giving is expressed by these words:

“The world’s people want answers from their leaders. They expect solutions, not half-measures or excuses.”


Same expectations for Care-givers by those in their care: No half-measures, No excuses. The hurting and sick require care. They require solution. They require our best effort. They want answers to their cries for help. They need empathy and so do you! (We all want it NOW.) Talk about pressure.

No real answers + No real solutions = Fake leaders.

Please, don’t be deceived or misled. One can claim anything…Those who cannot answer us (adequately) are not our “true” leaders. Those who offer no (real) solutions are not our “true” leaders. They are imposters. Why blindly follow an imposter into the deep pit of disappointment?! Who do you follow (not talking only twitter) and where is he or she headed? (Hope it’s down an empathetic road, full of understanding, answers that are logical and solutions that actually fix problems and do not create new ones!) (Wow, I kinda sound unempathetic toward imposters!) Cause…Beware: Some pits are way too deep to dig out of. Be smart. Avoid imposters. Avoid Pits.

It’s a tough job being a leader. Leaders in the scope of things are really care-givers (or should be.) Leaders should care. Leaders should give. Leaders should show empathy. Leaders and/or Care-givers should be self-sacrificing. Sorry if you didn’t fully realize, but it’s in the job description! Tough reality of care-giving, huh?

How does one develop empathy? How does one show empathy? Do you need empathy? I definitely do!

Empathy 101:

One dictionary defines Empathy:identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings, and motives.” It’s not always easy to understand the feelings of those who may be suffering if we have not experienced such pain …

Women deserve DIGNITY not discrimination!

Monday, September 10th, 2012

don't discriminate against womenAre You a Woman, Wife, Grandmother, Mother, Aunt, Sister, Daughter? Hopefully, this post will be encouraging to you!

Or do You have a Woman, Wife, Grandmother, Mother, Aunt, Sister, Daughter? THANK YOU for treating her with the dignity she deserves!

Please Note: This post is not anti-men whatsoever. I harbor no gender prejudice against men. I “respect” men!  All humans, male and female, deserve dignity, fair treatment, respect and justice!:)

As a woman, I am naturally interested and drawn to topics concerning fellow women. Women often fulfill the role of informal or family caregiver. I am researching statistics and this is the most current I could find. (If you have latest 2012 numbers, please share, thanks!)

“More women than men are caregivers: an estimated 66% of caregivers are female. One-third (34%), takes care of two or more people, and the average age of a female caregiver is 48.”

~National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, Caregiving in the U.S., Bethesda, MD: National Alliance for Caregiving, and Washington, DC: AARP, 2009.

Thus, the plight of female caregiver is of interest to me. Caregivers cope with various obstacles from stress to discrimination. It is of historical note that the plight of womankind throughout the centuries has not been an easy one! The odds against women have not been in their favor at times. Some women have been “unjustly” deprived of basic human rights and basic human freedoms. (Which perpetuates the need for care-giving.) Did you know:

  • Over 2.6 billion women live where marital rape is not viewed as a crime.
  • A 2011 UN report estimates that in Asia nearly 134 million women are missing from the population due to abortion, infanticide or neglect (because of male gender preferences among some.)
  • In developing countries, women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications (about every two minutes) due to a lack of basic medical care.

(I’m “trying” not to point fingers), however in some places– women are deprived basic education, basic health-care, property rights and “permission” to drive and/or permission to leave their homes. Imagine needing permission to leave the kitchen or …

A Compassionate Caregiver Cries

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Uncle Jack and his grandson SullyA compassionate Caregiver Cries!…a lot and not just tears!  (A compassionate care-giver cries for help as a voice for the voiceless and trampled upon!) Have you been trampled upon?! I am sorry this happened to You!

How many tears have you shed? Too many to count?

Tiny little droplets streaming down my face flowing into a blue ocean. An ocean teeming with life. Tears are a sign of life–you are alive!  What a privilege, what a gift to be alive! That you feel. That you care. That you are not desensitized and numb or apathetic to the suffering around you. We all suffer. Yet some let their love cool off. Without love, we become harsh, hard, rigid, brittle, inflexible, unfeeling, breathless, weak, dead.

Love needs to be cultivated which starts at home. Mothers and Fathers teaching and showing young ones what “true” love is….setting an example within the family setting in the loving way they treat one another and speak with one another. Love lessons. It’s so sad that many children grow-up without a Mother or Father or both. So, these early love and loyalty lessons, lessons of healthy emotional communication/expression/action go untaught. We know what happens if a child is not read to at an early age. They may struggle to learn to read later.

From where do motherless and fatherless children learn basic life lessons/skills? From school, from the streets, from t.v., from movies, from the internet, from peers, from other adults? Are parents abdicating their responsibilities too easily; leaving young ones to fend for themselves? Where does one go for compassion education?

Our first teachers are our parents. If you rarely or never get a hug, a gentle word, empathy, a tissue to wipe your tears from your parents when you’re a child, how does that impact other relationships as you grow older age-wise? How does that affect ones emotional growth? The answer is pretty obvious. Negatively.

Let’s not trample on the fragile!
We are all fragile!

Years …

From August To Autumn…THANKS!

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Available at the Gordon County Animal Shelter. 706.629.3327Reading this out loud as I type helps me think — I think!

Dr. Oz says…(wait a minute, do you hear barking, too?) “Stop it Toto – I didn’t say WIZARD!”

Good thing I can’t hear you: “If she “only had a brain” maybe that joke wouldn’t of been so lame!”

Sorry Readers, can’t resist due to happy childhood attachments to munchkins, ruby red shoes and yellow bricks. What kid doesn’t like doughnuts and cute little doggies or special slippers that take you where you want to go? Who needs a cape?  I am NOT super-girl and never will be!

Back to the point. Yes, there was a point, somewhere…I lost “it” Over the Rainbow. No! “It” is not my mind. I just have an affection for a classic childhood movie.

Rainbow in water vapour
Creative Commons License photo credit: MindsEye_PJ

Doctor Oz suggest a bunch of habits in the Fall Issue of Prevention (October, 2012). Good Ones. These are my three favorites of his habit suggestions:


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