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Archive for the ‘Life Happens’ Category

Question mark

There are questions in life that you will be hard pressed to ever find an answer to that will be definitive and beyond dispute.

One of the questions to which I am referring is actually not about life but rather it is death. Death, the 5 letter word that has so many different meanings, fears, unknowns and questions attached to it.

Death is something that is dealt with differently by each and every person. It is dependent on your religious beliefs, your upbringing, your life experiences and whether or not you believe that there is more to the world than what we can see, hear or feel.

For me death and the questions surrounding it have followed me around most of my adult life. I don’t know for sure when my questions and fears started. I do know that aside from one friend of my parents who passed away when I was a teen, I did not come into contact with death of people I knew or loved until I was in my twenties.

I do however quite vividly remember a bible class in tenth grade about heaven and hell. The explanation we were given then about hell has stuck with me since then. I was taught that hell is basically the soul’s yearning to rejoin God, but the more sins you have the farther away your soul is from God for a period of time until you have paid your dues so to say. The teacher likened it to an avid baseball fan who really wants to sit right behind home plate during a game but instead is stuck in the last row of seats high up in the bleachers.

For some reason that description has scared me more than fiery pits.

Embrace Death

Over the years I have had many sleepless nights worrying about death. Almost to the point of panic attacks at night when all is quiet and I am trying to fall asleep. Thankfully I think I have put most of that to rest.

I have spent countless hours discussing death, learning about death and learning how to accept and cope with death. I have also been present at numerous deaths. Over the years there have been times when I felt that people were waiting for my shift at the ER to come and pass away. Something that in some ways pleased me but also scared me at the same time. I felt that the people’s souls who passed away wanted me to be there for their loved ones at that particular moment. It’s odd to describe, but that’s what I felt.

I know that I have a purpose here in this world. I know that I have things to accomplish and things my soul has come here to learn. I believe one of the things I have come to do either for myself or maybe to also help others with is to learn about death, how to cope with it and to search for answers about what there is after our body is no longer.

My problem is that I am a very concrete person. I need proof. I need unequivocal proof. But maybe that is meant to be part of my journey as well. To learn to feel things and believe what I know in my heart is true, whether I can explain it or not.

I believe in reincarnation. Some in my religion believe in reincarnation, while others do not. That is also something that took me a long time to come to grips with. The not knowing for sure if I was going against my religion by believing in things my heart was telling me was true. Even writing about it now on a blog where I know people who know me will read it made me hesitate a minute. Not because I think I am wrong in what I believe, but rather because do I want to possibly be looked upon as someone who has lost my mind. I haven’t, so I am writing this.

Maybe some of my fear of death comes from the way I have died in previous lives. I was told that in one of my previous lives about 100 years or so ago I died from cold exposure. Not an easy death. Maybe that is part of my issue in this life trying to understand and embrace the fact that life is but a short blip in our total existence.

I do have to say that knowing that I have previously died horribly and look I am here again has given me some strength. It’s kind of like, hey I’ve done it before, it can’t be that bad. Wierd I guess, but still it does give me a small measure of comfort.

So what do I believe? Believe but can’t prove. I believe that our life here on earth is only a small tiny part of our total existence. I believe that hell is our reviewing of our life after we die and seeing and understanding all the hurt we have caused other people.

I believe that how we view death and the after life will have a lot of impact on our soul right after we pass away. About how confused we are or how comfortably we glide into our new existence.

I mostly believe that we are here on this earth to accomplish things our soul planned for us to do. If you take the time to listen to your body and your soul, you will be put on the path that your soul planned for you to take. We just need to listen and to use the gifts we were given. We need to never give up hope because everything we do our soul learns from and we take with us.

Image:

QUESTION MARK
© Marco Bellucci | Flickr Creative Commons

EMBRACE DEATH
© Oisin Mulvihill | Flickr Creative Commons

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
This blog post was written for writing workshop #19 run by Josie at Sleep is for the Weak. I chose the third prompt: Write a story or a poem or something descriptive to try and share your view of what happens when we die.

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A list

Like everyone else, I too am sometimes guilty of worrying about what others think. I too sometimes tailor my actions to something I think might be more acceptable to others.

I do have to say though that over the years I have learned to assign less importance to what others might say or feel and to do what I feel and think is right for me. I am not saying I ignore others or their requests or insights into my personality. (Though sometimes I do.) I am not saying I don’t like or crave approval and validation by others. I am human so of course I do. All I am saying is that when push comes to shove, in order for me and the people around me to be happy, I need to be true to myself and listen to my heart.

Recently I have been rather surprised by how so many talented writers/bloggers have been having an issue with what they write, whether their content is appealing to readers and their issues with success. Just the other day Josie wrote about her insecurities at Sleep is for the Weak. As usual, her doubting herself really had me stumped because she is an amazing writer and photographer and she has inspired many people with her writing workshop and prompts.

Mark Twain said “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”

3 of 8 Girl dances (jumps) at water's edge on Morro Strand State Beach
I have heard some other takes on that phrase that include:
“Live every day like its your last.”
“Love like you’ve never been hurt.”
“Work like you don’t need the money.”
“Live like heaven on earth.”
“Live like you give a damn.”

Josie, for you and for another good friend of mine who is an amazing writer and who also struggles with the whole issue of success I have now coined the phrase “Write like no one is reading.” Actually I wrote it a few days ago when I responded to your blog post, but still….

What I am saying to you and to all the other talented people out there who are doubting their way is this:

Write for yourself.
Be true to yourself.
Write what brings you joy and makes you happy.

Whether you are a singer, a dancer, a worker, a writer or anything else in life, do those things that make you happy. But most importantly do them for yourself. Not for anyone else. Not for anyone’s approval. For yourself.

When you are true to yourself and worry about doing what is correct for your heart and soul, you will blossom in all aspects of your life. You will achieve confidence you never had. You will truly enjoy the things that are important to you and make you happy.

Sure you may go through ups and downs. That is life. All I am saying is to have the strength not to lose yourself along the way.

And for those times when things are tough I have found this picture and excerpt from the photographer Todd.

“It isn’t how you’ve succeeded in life that matters, it’s how you’ve held yourself when things have fallen apart.”

I believe that if we are true to ourselves and live like no one is listening, watching or reading we will achieve everything we hope to and we won’t have too many moments where we feel things have fallen apart. Just be true to yourself. And Dance, Sing, Write and fulfill your dreams whatever they may be.

Images:

A LIST
© Miss Izs | Flickr Creative Commons

GIRL DANCES AT WATER’S EDGE
© Mike Baird | Flickr Creative Commons

WHAT MATTERS MOST
© Todd | Flickr Creative Commons

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I love being tagged with awards and memes by other bloggers. It gives you a chance to get to know other bloggers and for them to get to know you. It also at times gives you something to write about when you are struggling to find a light hearted topic, or sometimes any topic.

The way I write my blog, I have a theme. I try to blog about a lesson in life each day. Sometimes fitting memes into “a lesson” can be challenging.

I have done a tenth photo meme and I still have another one to do. I have done a 7 things you don’t know about me meme, and I have done the Happy 101 list of 10 things that make me happy twice. The first time I wrote about unexpected happiness and the second time I wrote about there being happiness in every day.

When I was tagged for the third time with the Happy 101 ten things that make you happy meme by Potential Mummy B at My Baby Adventure, I chuckled to myself. I wondered if I would be clever enough to come up with a new take and a new lesson on something I have done twice before.

I have risen to the challenge and I have decided to write about ten things I am happy I don’t have to do. How is that for creative?

So here is my list:

1. I have no more pampers/diapers to change. Sure I still have my little daughter’s cute little tushy to wipe, but no more smelly diapers.
Babies Stink.
(Photo courtesy of Miss O’Crazy)
(Unless of course you count the ones I change on adults in the ER. Hmmm, maybe I should qualify that and say I am happy to have no more baby diapers to change.)

2. I don’t have to find things to do with my free time to keep me from being bored. That’s because I have no free time. I have my family, my house, my job and now blogging. No, I definately do not have to find things to occupy my time.

3. I don’t have to iron with an iron that barely gets out the wrinkles. I have an amazing big humungous steam iron and when I iron it goes really fast. Unless of course I have two weeks worth of ironing piled up because I have been blogging…

4. I don’t have to work full time. Or I should say I don’t have to work full time in a paying job. I am thankful to be able to have the luxury of only working part time.

5. I don’t have to do all the housework on my own. My kids are big enough to help out and sometimes they even do a better job than me. My hubby is a great help as well.

6. I don’t have to fight my kids for computer time. Thanks to my amazing hubby, I finally have my own mac laptop. I am quite sure that he is regretting buying me one since I have been linked at the hip with it since I got it and definitely since I discovered blogging. mac-butterfly-3
(Photo courtesy of Spike)

7. I don’t have to think twice about picking up the phone and calling my sisters overseas. Or at least as far as cost I don’t. Them being 10 hours behind me can be a bit tricky if I don’t want to wake them in middle of the night or at the crack of dawn. I remember when the cost of these overseas phone calls were prohibitive and did cause you to think twice or at least keep your calls short.

8. I don’t have to go to parent/teachers meetings. Well I don’t know if it is true that I don’t have to but I don’t go because my husband goes instead of me because I really do not like going. So let’s just pretend that I don’t have to go.

9. I don’t HAVE to go to school. If I chose to go back to school to learn something it will be because I want to. I do feel bad for my kids sometimes when they are struggling with subjects that they really will never use.

10. It’s okay if I don’t have a number 10 for this list, because I can’t think of anything else. So I am happy that I don’t have to have a number 10 if I don’t want to.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
And now in blogging tradition I tag the following bloggers with the Happy 101 award and send them on their mission to find a list of ten things that make them happy. And if perchance they have done it before, they have creative license to change it around.

* Paula at Battling On
* Annette at Mammakerr
* Claire at The Life of a Twenty Something Mum
* Tara at Sticky Fingers
* Julia at What Will Julia Do Next
* The redhead at Deer Baby
* Snaffle’s Mummy at Snaffles Mummy
* Vicki at Vegemitevix (Because I would like to see how she manages to come up with another list when she only managed one on the list she just did. LOL-with friends like me who needs enemies?)

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Today my husband and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. Twenty one great years as husband and wife, 5 wonderful kids and 5 different houses on two different continents.

I was lucky to have found someone special to have shared my life with from an early age. We have grown up together. (Although he is the older man three years my senior which at 16 was probably more than enough to freak my parents out.) I have been married to my husband for more than half of my life.

Our marriage has been a wonderful journey. And like any journey it has had it plateaus, peaks and valleys.

We have agreed and disagreed. We have fought and we have made peace. We have spoken calmly and we have yelled. We have spent time together and we have spent time separated by thousands of miles. We have read each others minds and we have been clueless about what the other was thinking. But no matter what, through it all, we have always loved each other.

Marriage is about constantly working at improving your relationship. It is about learning to appreciate things the other cares about. It is learning to take balance your own feelings with someone else’s. It is about mutual respect and it’s about communication. It is about growth and about love. Above all it is about true friendship.

Honey, it’s been a wonderful and exciting journey so far. I am looking forward to many more years of getting to know you better and better.

And if these pictures each taken before we met don’t prove that we were meant to be together, I don’t know what will. (Hope I am not in trouble now.)

Happy 21st Anniversary Hun! And I think you are romantic as well.

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Today my husband and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. Twenty one great years as husband and wife, 5 wonderful kids and 5 different houses on two different continents.

I was lucky to have found someone special to have shared my life with from an early age. We have grown up together. (Although he is the older man three years my senior which at 16 was probably more than enough to freak my parents out.) I have been married to my husband for more than half of my life.

Our marriage has been a wonderful journey. And like any journey it has had it plateaus, peaks and valleys.

We have agreed and disagreed. We have fought and we have made peace. We have spoken calmly and we have yelled. We have spent time together and we have spent time separated by thousands of miles. We have read each others minds and we have been clueless about what the other was thinking. But no matter what, through it all, we have always loved each other.

Marriage is about constantly working at improving your relationship. It is about learning to appreciate things the other cares about. It is learning to take balance your own feelings with someone else’s. It is about mutual respect and it’s about communication. It is about growth and about love. Above all it is about true friendship.

Honey, it’s been a wonderful and exciting journey so far. I am looking forward to many more years of getting to know you better and better.

And if these pictures each taken before we met don’t prove that we were meant to be together, I don’t know what will. (Hope I am not in trouble now.)

Happy 21st Anniversary Hun! And I think you are very romantic as well.

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I am sure that we have all come across people who are so closed minded or unsmart (I know that is not a real word but I really don’t like to say stupid..oops, said it anyways) that there is almost no point in having any type of conversation with them. Or at least any conversation that involves them changing their own personal narrow minded point of view.

My kids are especially lucky to have been gifted genetically on both sides with stubborness. But even with all the stubborness in my immediate and extended family, when push comes to shove with my family if you actually have a good point you can reason with them. Sometimes you can even get them to agree with you.

Then there are people who are brick walls. They are as thick as one and as deaf as one and talking to them is actually like talking to a wall but the wall is probably more intellligent.

red bricks wall
(Photo courtesy of ezioman)

As you guys can guess, I had a frustrating experience with one of “them” the other day.

I have been debating about whether or not to write about this because I don’t like to label or judge people. I also don’t like talking negatively about people or making fun of them. I debated about it quite bit and decided that the point I will get to in the end is important enough to make.

So back to the story. I was working the other evening. The ER tends to bring out the worst in people whether it be patients, families and even the staff. People are stressed, feel ill, worried, anxious and of course impatient. I am generally patient but I am human and sometimes things do affect me. For instance the 10th time in 5 minutes someone asks me the same thing. I digress though.

The other evening there was an old woman in who was in pretty good shape for her age. She came in with her two grown sons. Forget about the fact that they were told numerous times that each patient can only have one person with them in the ER and they kept ignoring the guard and finding their way in.

That wasn’t even the problem. The sons’ mannerisms, manner of talking and choice of words really bothered me. Where I worked that evening is a kind of closed cubicle with me on the inside and the doctor and patients at the mouth of it. Basically a really unsafe scenario because if a patient gets violent I am cornered.

At one point one of the sons got into a shouting match with the doctor and said “So what should I do? I should slaughter the doctor?” As you can see really inappropriate.

IMG_9038
(Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind)
When they came over to me for blood tests, I started a conversation with the son while I was taking care of his mother. I first bought up the insight I had had about myself just a few days earlier when I had realized how some phrases I use I should be more careful about. I then tried to gently tell him how his choice of words was really not appropriate. I ended up talking to a brick wall.

Now I understand that when people are under stress they are less receptive, but that was not the issue here. This was just a very angry, slightly unsmart and close minded person. After about a minute or two I just gave up. Especially after he said that things only started moving for his mother in the ER once he started yelling and saying things like he had. (Little did he know that I held up sending his mother’s blood tests for a really long time because of that comment. Yup, the stubborn not nice part of me rears its head once in a while. I am sure I will have to pay for that karma at some point.)

Initially I found myself getting really upset at his guy. I mean come on man, I am giving you my time and words of wisdom, don’t you think you can just listen and take it to heart? I joke but being honest I think it did bother me that I really had a good point to make and something that if he took on board would make his life better and less angry and confrontational and he wanted to no part of it. He barely even acknowledged my words.

I also don’t like the bullying attitude where people think they get their way better or faster by yelling. Which is probably why I said something to begin with.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I would love to educate the world and help everyone live their lives better, I know that I am not going to change everyone. I also know that I don’t know everything. Not by a long shot.

That doesn’t stop me from trying because I have found that pointing something out to someone in a friendly way often makes them pause and think before they do the same thing in the future.

And then there are times that I just give up when I see the conversation is going nowhere except for getting on my nerves. A conversation like I had with “that” man. Times like that are really just a waste of your breath because the person is either too wrapped up in themselves or not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. Or maybe they really are very narrow and close minded and see the world only through their own point of view.

We see the inability to carry on a productive conversation with all kinds of people and often times with people who are hateful or rascists. I had gotten a rather hateful and shocking comment on a previous post of mine. A comment that I chose not to air on my blog because the person writing it just spewed hate and one sidedness.

What I have learned from both that incident and the work incident is that there are just times where no amount of reason, goodwill or nice words will help. There are people who don’t want to hear a point of view other than their own and have no interest in change.

So sometimes it is better to just walk away and remember that there are people who cannot be reasoned with. Or at least people who don’t want to be reasoned with. You cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. Remember that the only thing you can do is to change your own reaction to them and their behavior. And you can be thankful that you yourself have the capacity and desire to reason.

Have you ever been in this kind of frustrating situation?

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I am sure that we have all come across people who are so closed minded or unsmart (I know that is not a real word but I really don’t like to say stupid..oops, said it anyways) that there is almost no point in having any type of conversation with them. Or at least any conversation that involves them changing their own personal narrow minded point of view.

My kids are especially lucky to have been gifted genetically on both sides with stubborness. But even with all the stubborness in my immediate and extended family, when push comes to shove with my family if you actually have a good point you can reason with them. Sometimes you can even get them to agree with you.

Then there are people who are brick walls. They are as thick as one and as deaf as one and talking to them is actually like talking to a wall but the wall is probably more intellligent.

red bricks wall
(Photo courtesy of ezioman)

As you guys can guess, I had a frustrating experience with one of “them” the other day.

I have been debating about whether or not to write about this because I don’t like to label or judge people. I also don’t like talking negatively about people or making fun of them. I debated about it quite bit and decided that the point I will get to in the end is important enough to make.

So back to the story. I was working the other evening. The ER tends to bring out the worst in people whether it be patients, families and even the staff. People are stressed, feel ill, worried, anxious and of course impatient. I am generally patient but I am human and sometimes things do affect me. For instance the 10th time in 5 minutes someone asks me the same thing. I digress though.

The other evening there was an old woman in who was in pretty good shape for her age. She came in with her two grown sons. Forget about the fact that they were told numerous times that each patient can only have one person with them in the ER and they kept ignoring the guard and finding their way in.

That wasn’t even the problem. The sons’ mannerisms, manner of talking and choice of words really bothered me. Where I worked that evening is a kind of closed cubicle with me on the inside and the doctor and patients at the mouth of it. Basically a really unsafe scenario because if a patient gets violent I am cornered.

At one point one of the sons got into a shouting match with the doctor and said “So what should I do? I should slaughter the doctor?” As you can see really inappropriate.

IMG_9038
(Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind)
When they came over to me for blood tests, I started a conversation with the son while I was taking care of his mother. I first bought up the insight I had had about myself just a few days earlier when I had realized how some phrases I use I should be more careful about. I then tried to gently tell him how his choice of words was really not appropriate. I ended up talking to a brick wall.

Now I understand that when people are under stress they are less receptive, but that was not the issue here. This was just a very angry, slightly unsmart and close minded person. After about a minute or two I just gave up. Especially after he said that things only started moving for his mother in the ER once he started yelling and saying things like he had. (Little did he know that I held up sending his mother’s blood tests for a really long time because of that comment. Yup, the stubborn not nice part of me rears its head once in a while. I am sure I will have to pay for that karma at some point.)

Initially I found myself getting really upset at his guy. I mean come on man, I am giving you my time and words of wisdom, don’t you think you can just listen and take it to heart? I joke but being honest I think it did bother me that I really had a good point to make and something that if he took on board would make his life better and less angry and confrontational and he wanted to no part of it. He barely even acknowledged my words.

I also don’t like the bullying attitude where people think they get their way better or faster by yelling. Which is probably why I said something to begin with.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I would love to educate the world and help everyone live their lives better, I know that I am not going to change everyone. I also know that I don’t know everything. Not by a long shot.

That doesn’t stop me from trying because I have found that pointing something out to someone in a friendly way often makes them pause and think before they do the same thing in the future.

And then there are times that I just give up when I see the conversation is going nowhere except for getting on my nerves. A conversation like I had with “that” man. Times like that are really just a waste of your breath because the person is either too wrapped up in themselves or not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. Or maybe they really are very narrow and close minded and see the world only through their own point of view.

We see the inability to carry on a productive conversation with all kinds of people and often times with people who are hateful or rascists. I had gotten a rather hateful and shocking comment on a previous post of mine. A comment that I chose not to air on my blog because the person writing it just spewed hate and one sidedness.

What I have learned from both that incident and the work incident is that there are just times where no amount of reason, goodwill or nice words will help. There are people who don’t want to hear a point of view other than their own and have no interest in change.

So sometimes it is better to just walk away and remember that there are people who cannot be reasoned with. Or at least people who don’t want to be reasoned with. You cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. Remember that the only thing you can do is to change your own reaction to them and their behavior. And you can be thankful that you yourself have the capacity and desire to reason.

Have you ever been in this kind of frustrating situation?

Read Full Post »

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