Friday, December 4, 2009


Thanksgiving has come and gone and is now a week in the past, however the spirit of the holiday should live on. Who says we should only express gratitude one day a year?  Even for all of it's problems this world is pretty amazing 365 days a year.

In a society where we are defined by possessions, shouldn't one take stalk and look at the blessings in their life and not look at what's missing?  Does that make sense to anyone else?  I want to take this opportunity to do just that, I want to name a few things I know I am grateful for and maybe some of you are too, you've just forgotten.

1) America.  True, this country has some problems and it doesn't matter if you agree 100 percent with the politics right now, this nation is truly a gift.  We have a history to be proud of, the foundations of America are sure and beautiful.  Try not to forget the pride we felt in America as children, the good in America is still out there.

2) Technology.  I cannot even fathom what the next stage in technological development will be, we already have it all.  I have my entire music collection on a device smaller than my hand, I can talk to anyone, anywhere with my phone that isn't connected to anything, I can open a search engine and learn about any obscure topic under the sun in seconds, I can take pictures and put them on my profile so I can stay connected with family and friends hundreds of miles away, I can play virtual baseball or tennis in my living room by waving a game remote around.

3) Education.  It's a long, painful (at times) road, but when it's all said and done I'll be moving into adulthood armed and ready to become a (hopefully) productive member of society.

4) Family and Friends.  These people are my world.  My family is always on my side, cheering me on, wanting me to be the best I can be.  Not every family is perfect but every family is worth loving.  Friends are an extended family of sorts and good friends are invaluable.

5) God.  It doesn't matter which God you pray to or in what building you worship, God is there.  He loves you, He leads you and He will never leave you.  I am grateful for the relationship I have with my God, I truly do love him.

The list could go on and on; love, money, nature, shelter, cars, etc.  and that leads to a challenge, take some time and think of the things you were grateful for one week ago on Thanksgiving and return to those thoughts often.  Instead of focusing on what is missing from life, focus on what life is full of and I guarantee that life will appear more beautiful.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Life is full of little annoyances; people cutting you off on the freeway, someone on their cell phone in line at the grocery store, or a roommate not doing their dishes, case and point-life is irritating.  I'm the first to admit that at one time or another I have been irritated past the point of sanity with most of this planet's inhabitants, but I'm also amazing at how bent out of shape people get over silly things.  People, life is too short to sweat the small stuff!

Seriously, what does it matter if the kitchen is left a mess once in awhile?  True, I have been annoyed by a dirty dish or two or twenty left in the sink before but I try not to let it get to me.  There's so much more to life than looking for the negative everywhere you go, if you look for the negative that's what you're going to find.

Now, I'm not saying that it's not totally acceptable and necessary to have moments of frustration, let's face it, mankind was not made to have one emotion and one emotion only, but I am saying to try not to let frustration rule your life.  As cliche as it sounds, just take a deep breath and count to ten.

Everyone has pet peeves, everyone knows someone or something that pushes their every button, everyone has things that get under their skin and drives them crazy, but it's important to pause and take a good look at the situation, is it worth getting upset about?  Sure, your roommate sheds like a tabby cat, but is that hair all over the bathroom sink really worth a confrontation?  I'm willing to guess that it's not.

Pick your battles wisely, my friends.  If you fight the wrong battle on the wrong day, you just might not only lose the war, but a friend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bubble Kids

I was in class today and I overheard a kid in the back of the room talking about the five second rule and how "back in my day we didn't care about the five second rule and we turned out fine."  This led to a class-wide discussion about how a little dirt never hurt anyone and it's true, parents today can be too overprotective of their children.

Of course its a parent's job to protect their children but there is a limit.  It seems back in the day a mother was concerned about her child playing in the street, not because the street was dirty, but because cars made it dangerous.  Gone are the days of "look both ways" and "stranger danger", those days have given way to fear of germs, not physical dangers.  Interesting that ad campaigns are being launched to get kids outside where a matter of years ago that's where a child would prefer to be.

Commercials for disinfectants are perfect examples of this phenomenon.  These ads show children as germ ridden beast crawling with bacteria that must be swiftly eliminated or else all hell will break loose within the home!  Mothers of American!  Run to the store, pick up 30 cans of Lysol and spray your house down to save your family, nay the world from such evils as the common cold!  Protect you children from any and all germs to keep them from illness.  

Never mind the fact that you are only one woman and can only do so much, the outside world is filled with disgusting vermin whom, unlike your child who is germ-free, are the carriers of disease.  Never mind the fact that you are ultimately doing your child a disservice by depriving him the chance to build up that little thing called an immune system that will be bombarded the instant he sets foot outside your front door.  

Does no one else see the problem here?  Does no one else how illogical this is?  While no parent wants to see their child sick, it's for their own good.  Many have lived through a cold or the flu and lived to tell the tale...your child will too!  

So I plead to mothers across the country, please let your child run outside!  Let him or her make mud pies with friends, jump in puddles, ride bikes!  Let them eat dirt, fall down, scrape their knees, even, Heaven forbid, break a bone!  Part of growing up is learning from experience and what experience can a child gain from being cooped up in a house all day?  Children are blessed with amazing little minds and gigantic imaginations-let them enjoy this before it's too late and adulthood is knocking on their door.  Remember back to your childhood, remember coming home covered in mud from head to toe, isn't that a precious childhood memory?  Guess what, you're still here, it didn't kill you, it won't kill your kid either.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Egg Nog in October?

Simple things make life worth it, like the fact that on campus they are selling egg nog in October.  Traditionally egg nog has been a delicious, once a year treat, that is no longer the case.  

It all started a few years back when I saw my first carton of Easter egg nog; I distinctly remember the bright pink packaging with daisies replacing the typical red packaging with Christmas lights.  I seem to remember thinking, "Is nothing sacred?" as I reached for a carton and put it in my cart.  And now today I saw that the convenience store was selling egg nog and jumped at the chance to buy it.  I could not get that Christmassy goodness inside of me fast enough.  

Whether you're a fan of egg nog or would rather it ceased to exist, you have to admit that there is something undeniably Christmassy about it, it simply ushers in the holiday season.  The question is why does the holiday season need to be ushered is so early shoving Halloween and Thanksgiving, two wonderful holidays in their own right, into the shadows?  And why does someone who wholeheartedly believes that there should be no Christmas music listened to nor Christmas decorations displayed until the day after Thanksgiving indulge in such a seasonal treat as egg nog mid fall?

The obvious answer for the October distribution of egg nog is that Christmas has been commercialize past the point of no return and that even Meadow Gold wants nothing more than your money.  Being the dewy-eyed optimist I am, I can't bring myself to believe that (even thought deep down in my heart of hearts I know it's the truth), I'd rather life in the misguided belief that it's a simple way of bringing the mindset of Christmas to us early, where once a year we put the wants and needs of others before ours.  If only that was the case.

That leaves my last question, why would I willingly submit to such a blatant display of commercialism when I fight tooth and nail against every other pre-season expression of Christmas spirit each year?  I have no defense, I've been craving egg nog since Easter, and it just sounded good!