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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giving Thanks

I have thoroughly enjoyed posting something I am grateful for every day this month on FB. Even an early morning Saturday awakening can be funny if you see the humor in it. (My dog woke me up at 6 today because I had set my alarm to a door bell.) What's more important is developing an attitude of gratefulness about all of the conditions of life. I keep having a recurring dream that I am married to my children's father, although it's been 22 years since I became single. Someday that may be funny, too. This month was rough for my son's in-laws because of the death of Mitch Robinson, age 16, in a tragic truck accident. Yet they have found things to be grateful for as well. Listing the things I am grateful for has been a habit with me. I have an alphabet book of "gratefuls" and try to write something each day. More importantly, I have learned not to sacrifice my happiness too much in the service of others or I will become resentful or depressed. My job can become oppressive, with lots of individualization and paperwork, but I have learned to enjoy the students, parents, and coworkers every day. That is why I am truly there, to show how much I care by doing my best. If I push myself too hard, I lose sleep, gain/lose weight, or get sick. I find myself fighting compulsive escape behaviors or just isolating for relief. It has taken me a lifetime to let go of things that I can't get done without harming myself, and I am thankful for that. Last of all, I am thankful for a country that sets aside at least one day to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hug Your Kids

Those are the words of a dear relative who lost her 16-year-old son last week. He was driving to his aunt's before school to get a backpack he had forgotten. He drove a different truck than usual and hit a railroad crossing which caused him to lose control of the truck. Although he was buckled up, he was killed instantly when it rolled several times. Mitchell was a fine young man, the oldest of five children and a treasure. He was fun, nice, smart and kind. This is one of those events that makes us question the meaning of life. Why did such a good person have to die? Did he know how much I cared about him? Am I living my life with the most important priorities? My daughter-in-law had a profound comment that I must repeat here. She said that Mitchell had no idea how many people cared about him. He thought of himself as an ordinary kid and not necessarily popular. Yet there were over a thousand people at the visitation and about six hundred attended the funeral, which was held in a community of about a thousand people. Lynette wants us all to tell people if we care about them. Don't wait until it's too late.