Lost Lessons, Prejudice and its evils..

Lesson # 1 that people should have learned from their parents, but didn’t seem to…  “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”

People are amazing.. their sense of logic sometimes astounds me.  As evolved and civilized as we think we are, we still allow some pretty stupid things to cloud our judgment, and opinions.  Why is our society so quick to embrace negativity? To promote actions, behaviors and thoughts that are destructive? I just don’t get it.

Be mindful that sometimes all someone has is hope.. don’t always be so quick to burst their bubble..

Without sounding all flower-powery… “Why put all that unnecessary negativity out there?” When will people realize that even negative statements and thoughts can really hurt, not only others.. but also themselves.

I was recently sitting at a table with a group of people who where talking about our new president, how he’s going to fail, and how things aren’t going to get any better, and the stimulus package isn’t working because the “markets are still falling”

My first reaction  (since being newly  interested in what exactly is going on in our government), was really pure annoyance.  Mostly because I know a good portion of the views being expressed there were tied more to a political party preference, than to any actual educated and investigative research on their parts.

My second reaction, was thinking to myself… hmm…. do these people realize he’s only been in office for a month and 5 days?!?  Has the money all been put to work?  Is it all said and done?  Seriously, how can they have an opinion that its failing already?

Lesson # 2 that people should have learned from their parents, but didn’t seem to…  “Don’t spread rumors, or cause drama”

Then to add insult to injury, later today I actually read a comment on facebook that someone was talking about the most recent weekly report  They were saying that for the first 30 days the president only talked about what a crisis we are in, and that this past weeks address was more along the lines of the clouds were parting and the angels were about to sing… (can we say overly dramatic…)  I later logged into the hulu.com to watch the most recent address from Feb 21, 2009 , since I hadn’t yet seen it.  Yes, it started out with a hopeful tone, but in no way was saying that everything was now going to be perfect like the comment I read earlier insinuated.  Infact, as I listened –  what I heard him say was “No single piece of this broad economic recovery can by itself meet the demands that have been placed on us”. Then actually later on went on to say..  “None of this will be easy”

Goes to show you, people allow all kinds of prejudices to affect their own understanding of what is said to them. Is that the fault of the person saying the words.. no.. its our own form of self-sabotage. We have  prejudices against other political parties, against races, and whatever other personal prejudice we’ve allowed to take shape in our own hearts..  Maybe the speaker has a gap in their teeth.. so we don’t actually listen to whats being said.  We skim along and make up what we think they are saying, or better yet..   come up with a version of what was said that will entice more drama when it is retold…. ohh the drama….

People really do just hear what they want to…  Its kinda sad when you think about it.. no wonder there is so many problems with communication! People rarely ever really REALLY listen!

Last qualm on this particular point… why is it that people feel the right to complain about practically everything, but can hardly ever offer a different thought out solution along with their complaint? And for some reason,  its ok to put down the person who is actively trying to do the work, when we haven’t done a thing nor have any real expertise on the subject…….

Bah…..  People need to get off their high horses… Really!

Lesson # 3 that people should have learned from their parents, but didn’t seem to…  “Don’t believe everything you hear”

So many times I’ve listened to people issue statements where they base their knowledge on  subjects upon something they once “heard”.  Me personally, I’m really afraid to say things that aren’t entirely true.. so if something comes up I’m hesitant to speak up unless I know something to be a fact, and have researched it myself..

I’m sure there are more Lost Lessons out there.. in fact if you can think of them, feel free to leave a comment with one or two… These were just the most recent ones I’ve thought about..

but sheesh… I think I once heard the sky was purple… maybe it actually is… hmmm…  /sarcasm off

Deep Breath.. ok  Smile!

House Update 2/24/09

Here is a picture of the house progress yesterday

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First off – House update! We are getting very excited! It is sounding like it could possibly be finished sometime in the next 6 weeks..  (Notice how good I’m getting at those non-commital terms.. hehe)

Yesterday we finished the front porch…

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I took the kids over there yesterday evening and took their picture standing on the new front porch. I’ll have to add that picture a little later… I think they are starting to imagine it being real now, because Haiden went home and packed a few things in a box.

I’m thinking that I’ll try and have a “Mellow Packing Plan” each week.. nothing stressful, but small things we can do to get ready, and make things easier later. This week I think we’ll wash and  box up all the blankets and sheets that we aren’t currently using, as I think that would be a safe place to start. Next week it may be books….

Visit with Alygator ^^

My husband has affectionately nicknamed our new niece “Alygator”
She came and spent a couple hours with us this weekend so that my sister and her husband could go watch a movie. She is a month and a half old. I got some really cute shots while she was at our house.

Uncle Deon and his little "Alygator"
Uncle Deon and his little “Alygator”
Alysondra on 2/15/09
Alysondra on 2/15/09

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090215alygatorkylan

A Valentine’s Day Post…

Here is a Valentine’s Day inspired post..
Myself, I have never been a real avid Valentine’s Day partaker.. but I have always appreciated the idea of celebrating love.

This Valentine’s Day, be sure to appreciate those you love…. but beyond that.. be sure to appreciate your right to freely appreciate those you love on Feb. 14th.

My daughter came home from school today telling me that she had been told that there was some country in the world where Valentine’s Day was outlawed… but she couldn’t remember the name of the country.

My curiosity got the best of me, so I google’d it and sure enough I found what she was talking about.

In Saudi Arabia, Valentines Day has been outlawed because of its perceived Christian origins. They actually go as far as to prohibit the sale of anything red in color on Feb. 14th each year. Anyone who gets caught can actually be sent to jail over it.

The main story appearing more frequently of the origins of Valentine’s Day is said to be that Emperor Claudius II believed single men to be better soldiers than married men, so he actually outlawed marriage for young men, causing many couples to be unable to wed.
A certain Catholic Priest called Valentine defied the law, and would perform marriages for couples who were in love. When the emporer found out, he ordered that Valentine be killed on Feb 14, 270 A.D.

Ancient Romans began to celebrate the the anniversary of Valentines death which conveniently coincided with a pagan fertility festival.

In an effort to “Christianize” the celebrations in 498 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14th to be St. Valentine’s Day.

Quote to think about

Someone e-mailed me this quote this morning….

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
-Charles Kingsley

How true is that! Everyone always thinks “If I just made more money” or “If I had X then I’d really be happy”.

How much of our mental state can be attributed to our choice to be lazy and apathetic towards the world around us? Ever notice that the people that live simple lives and focus on the things they really care about, seem to be the happiest. Those who are in love with life, not for what life gives them, but rather for what they make out of their own life. Those who realize that money is not the fix-all.

Slightly different subject…

I had an interesting epiphany the other day. There are times where I feel extremely under utilized at work. I sometimes feel like I’m not getting the opportunity to learn new things like before, or that I’m not being included as much into even some of the day-to-day stuff. Part of that is because my position has changed, and honestly we have such a great team now. They are all very capable, they don’t “need” my extra help so much any more. Sometimes it makes me feel as not as important around the office as I used to.

And Yes, I do realize that last statement is my own personal “ego” issue. Its on the cusp of being ridiculous really. I am really very lucky, I still have a job when many don’t. I do really like my co-workers. I still have work to do, I still am needed, there’s still things that people come ask me for help on… why do I have this odd innate wish to be bogged down? For some reason I feel more valuable at those times. Really I should be glad that for the most part, I can actually take a day off and not have someone call me about something anymore.

I seem to have this over-the-top “need” to feel “needed”. I like to help, and feel pretty empty when there is no one to help. Its a catch 22 for me really because it is probably better for me since the MS diagnosis to not be as busy or stressed out.

The more I dig, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it goes back to the (I’m sure unintentionally directed) belief from childhood that I am no good unless I’m doing something for someone else. I’m only as good as the amount of help I provide, and that as soon as an aspect is finished, its over, its value then annulled as the “favor” or “job” is complete. So its on to the next favor or task to make me worth something again.

Grrr.. Really I don’t know why I continue to struggle with this. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. I’ve figured this out about myself on more than a few different occasions now… why hasn’t this issue gone away? If I’ve identified it, and have picked it apart knowing full well what a crazy subconscious belief system it is.. I can successfully argue how illogical it is….. then why does it still creep up?

Anyhow.. so back to what I originally intended to write on today… I was going to write about the idea of your “1 thing”.. If you’ve ever watched the movie “City Slickers”, Curly says the secret of life is “1 thing”. As you watch the movie there is a sort of pursuit to figure out what that “1 thing” is. In the end, it turns out that everyone’s “1 thing” is different.

Everyone has something different that excites their spirit. I think its important to figure out for ourselves what that “1 thing” is, and then work towards that.

There is so much depression in our society today. I think it has a lot to do us being apathetic, and just allowing life to happen to us, rather than going out and living, and really making our life be about our “1 thing”.

Even worse, society encourages us to prioritize our life and our own value by physical and monetary measures, as opposed to what is really important. We think we have to “measure up”. The lines between “need” and “want” quickly become muddy and blurred, and so we pretty consistently look to ascertain a certain standing, treating it more as if it were a right to have things rather than a privilege. Its a false sense that we are “owed” something out of this life. It is this way of thinking that perpetuates unhappiness, depression and stress.

Logic is logic and fact is fact. When you base your beliefs on ideas or thought processes that are false, or even only partly true, then of course you are going to be disappointed. For example.. I can argue all I want that I don’t believe in gravity, but no matter what I say, or how convincing I am.. I am still subject to it and will fall to the ground if I don’t respect it.

No matter what you may think or feel, any sense of control you think you have is really just a farce. It can be disturbing to realize that really, you never truly “own” anything. Even your vehicle, or an inherited piece of land you have, really isn’t ever yours. It may be “yours” on a piece of paper somewhere, but that doesn’t make you able to totally control what happens to it. Can you detour a natural disaster? Can you ever totally shield from an accident anything you claim to “own” or “control”.

Control is a figment of your imagination. Things can change in a split second, and everything you knew can totally be turned upside down just as quickly, and its more important to be able to work through and adapt than to hold on to self reasoned ideals of what life owes you. No amount of tantrums can undo whatever wrong you think you’ve been dealt, so deal with it and move on the best you can. Don’t hold on to misery.

sheesh sorry so long.. and the sad part is I don’t think I’m even really done with all I wanted to express, so maybe will revisit this idea another day… or maybe not..

Siding :)

Here is a picture of the house, they got the siding on! Now they are trying to dry out everything on the inside before they put the drywall up. Very exciting. 🙂 I’ve spent a lot of time sweeping up all the dirt and sawdust etc inside so that it can dry.

Jan 10, 2009
Jan 10, 2009

We met with our new neighbors, and picked out paint. The main color will be a gray color called “Fading Fog” and the Trim will be a darker blueish gray called “Flirty Fran”. I’ll try and figure out how I can post the colors up here later.

The story of a sofa… and the little things

A new year generally signifies an event we always strive to accomplish as soon as possible… getting our taxes done. We probably aren’t the most organized when it comes to alot of things, but when it comes to that, we always try and get it done and out of the way as soon as possible. We figure the quicker we know if we have to pay, the more likely we will be able to save up to pay if needed.

Its like a tradition now, as soon as we have all our W-2’s we schedule our appointment, and this year was no different. Thankfully we ended getting some back from federal this year, even though we have to pay state, which I will do this week.

A couple good things came out of us getting the taxes done early though. The first is that we were able to finish up our savings for the amount we were supposed to save up for the closing costs for our house with Habitat. So that is a relief, and one less thing we have to worry about in between now and then.

The second thing we did, was that for the first time, Deon & I bought a decent couch. This probably sounds insignificant, but it is a very cool thing to us. We paid for it, and actually got to pick it out ourselves! We (just like many people starting out) had began our marriage by being given someone’s old couch, then when that wore out, we bought another (on two separate occasions), $25.00 garage sale specials, which were both in (to put it nicely) not so great condition.. but for $25.00, what would you expect.

Then about 5 years ago we moved to my Parents-in-laws house and got their old couch, which was much better than what we had had at our old apartment. We had that for about 3 years, and then we ended up letting a friend that was going through a divorce stay with us for a short period of time. (Ever notice that short periods of time almost always seem to grow… but that’s a whole other story for another day.. ^^)

Anyhow, our friend who stayed with us had none too recently bought a nice couch sectional, and he had ended up with it in the divorce. (It was absolutely huge!) We didn’t have enough room for all of our furniture and his, so we ended up giving our couch that had been Deon’s parent’s couch to my sister and her husband (fiance at the time).

When the “slightly extended” short period of time ended, our friend moved out, and as fully expected and intended – with him went his furniture. So we were once again looking for something cheap that we could get to put in our empty living room.

Our friend-that-just-moved-out’s sister, had someone who was offering her a couch and two luvseats for free. His sister lived in an apartment, and didn’t have room for the couch part of the set, so she offered it to us.

We said why not, and helped our friend’s sister move the two luvseats to her apartment, and we brought the couch part home. It was nice to have something to sit on in our front room again, but hopefully not sounding ungrateful….. Boy was that thing ugly! It was dirty, but was still bright yellow with red berries and green leaves and blue flowers – all over it, and they were watercolor-esque type pictures, with no formal outline to the pictures. Seriously the red “berry” pictures looked like someone had smeared jelly and didn’t clean it up. I tried to clean it up some, but most of it wouldn’t come out.

But Free is free, and it wasn’t like we spent any money on it, nor had the money to get something better at that point in time. Whenever someone came over, I would always take a couple different clean blankets to cover it up..

We had decided it wasn’t going to come with us when we moved. We had thought about donating “Big Yellow” to the ReStore, but we knew that they wouldn’t have accepted it even. So we were kind of at a loss as to what to do with it… or about it.

It was this past week, we had went to a furniture store in town, as we knew the boys would be better served at the new house with a bunk bed in their room, and we wanted to get an idea of what options were out there.

While we were there, we saw that were actually having a good sale on some of their couches/loveseats, etc. We found one that we could afford (because we had gotten our taxes done.. lol), and decided to go ahead and get it. So here is the first couch we have ever picked out… sitting in our living room!  Old habits die hard, so I have one of our blankets laying across the back.. but its a nice change to not be embarrased to have part of the couch actually show.. lol.

couch

I know this all probably sounds so insignificant, but for us its exciting. 🙂

I think that this is a prime example of how its the little things that can make you smile the widest. Instances where you may shrug off  little things you can do to help out a friend and neighbor. Remember its the little things that count.

This weekend another event greatly displayed this idea..  Little things do really add up.  An hour volunteered here and there…  they eventually add up into something great.  Here is a picture at the dedication ceremony this past Saturday,  for our future neighbor’s home. They are moving in this week.  A year ago, this plot was empty, but through the collective effort of community members, these people  now have their home.

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cake

I’ve enjoyed getting to know these people, and are happy to have them be my new neighbors sometime this year. To hear their stories and to interact with them on thier project has been amazing.  Habitat is not about hand-outs.. It is however a definate hand-up, they are interested in you and your family being sucessful. You put hours into not only the physical building of yours and others homes, but also Habitat offers classes to help get you to a place of being more financially responsible, and just giving you information that you ordinarily wouldn’t know anything about going into owning a first home. It has been such a blessing.

It is odd sometimes to realize that the most difficult thing in my life (finding out about my MS.) and and the inspirational effect of being able to be involved with Habitat, all happened the same year.  Just another instance of proof to me that God is watching… 🙂

House

A lot of things will be happening in the next couple of weeks.
They will be using humidfiers and heaters to dry out the house now that it has a roof. Electritians will be starting to run wires probably this week as well, and the people coming out to do siding will also be starting that as well.

Hopefully the pictures in the next update will show some definite changes. Here is the newest picture from today showing it with the roof on.

January 31, 2009
January 31, 2009