Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When Negativity Feels Like Quick Sand

DNA is an interesting thing. Our DNA makeup is unique to us alone. It defines the color of our hair and eyes, our height, the basic foundation of our health, and much of our personality. But even having the firm foundation that we each do, we also have a lot of areas in our life where our minds get to help us define who we are. We can choose how much we exercise, what foods we put in to our bodies, the words that come out of our mouths, how we choose to treat those around us, and what our daily outlook will be.
Everyone has 'things' thrown at them (unwelcome things) that can alter their mood and outlook in the blink of an eye. That's unfortunate, but a reality nonetheless. Many people are what I would term a 'Pollyanna'; they see everything with a positive set of eyes. They first look for the good. Others will be just the opposite. They will have an negative outlook ... about everything. They won't want you to lift their spirits or share a better approach with them. As sad as it is some people view negativity like quick sand. It's all they are exposed too and they can literally feel it pulling them in and under. Some will try to hold on to something positive, but it can be difficult.
Some people are a little of both; they'll have their good and bad days ... but holding on to the positive by the tips of their fingers is to be commended, because they have not given up and they are still willing to look for the light.
If you or someone you know experiences their life this way, as hard as it is some days, don't give up on them. Continue to try and help them focus on the good, on the possibilities, and on ways things could get better. The reality is YOU can never do it for them. You can't tell them how to feel or what to accept, but just because they are leaning toward giving up does NOT mean that they get to drag you down with them. Don't be sucked into a negativity that isn't yours.
Stay positive!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How Strong Is Your Passion?

I've been extremely busy with 'life' the past few weeks, but today I am attempting to take a well-deserved break. So what's on my personal agenda? Of course, some time at the library where it's quiet and the phone won't ring; although there is a tired three year old somewhere nearby letting us all know that he's done for the morning and would rather be somewhere else ... but hey, we ALL have moments like that. Then I'll be off for Taco Tuesday with my daughter for a quick lunch break and then perhaps a trip to the cider mill this afternoon with my husband (because I know if we don't go today another season will have gone by and we will have missed out on our chance once again). Sometimes we just need to put the 'lists' aside and savor the moment; I know, that's ironic coming from someone like me who always has a list with them. I guess you could say I am attempting to live on the edge today.

So what's been going on in my world lately? A lot. A fundraising project that included a dance performance recently wrapped up this past weekend, a few loose ends that still need tightening up regarding elder care for my mother, and then there's the ongoing election (something no one can seem to avoid).

Just last Sunday in church my pastor said something in his sermon about how 'you can't avoid the bad things, but you can prepare for them.' Unfortunately that is how many are categorizing this year's election. Good or bad, it will be one for the history books; the year a woman became the first female president or the year a non-politician did. There has been more mud-slinging in this campaign than with the pigs at an over-crowded 4H fair exhibit. Candidates aside, there are many voters who are disgruntled, many have become antagonistic, many have lied, many have shown their true character (or lack of it, depending on who you ask), and that probably goes double for anyone in the media or who is part of a campaign team. There has been more 'dirt' dug up on both sides that leaves many voters feeling they are left in a position of having to vote for the 'lesser of two evils'; which again will vary depending on your point of view.

Now, some may choose to comment to this blog in defense of their candidate of choice which would be ironic since I never said WHO I plan to support; so if you do make that type of comment know that I may choose how far I will allow it to go (keep it clean, keep it appropriate, and keep it relative to THIS blog post). I don't support conversations taken out of context. Social media has been flooded with personal attacks against candidates, as well as anyone who states an opinion that may differ from their own. We are all empowered to have our own opinions, I fully support that, but even one politician must concede at the conclusion of an election and for the good of our nation at least claim that they will come together and support the country going forward (for the most part). It's sad, but I've come to expect politicians, campaign managers, and the media to choose sides, wage verbal battles against the opposing side, and try to sway us to their side. I suppose that goes with the territory, but when I start reading personal Facebook, Instagram posts, etc that have strangers slamming each other down for having a different belief I am even more saddened. Why are we allowing others to dictate to us whether our personal opinion is better or worse than theirs? People will always be passionate about their families, their causes, their religions, their political points of view, etc. But when people spew off their words without thinking first they can become something they can't take back. True ... you can make a media post and sometimes delete it if you rethink things, but once you've sent an email ... it's gone. Once you've mailed a letter ... you can't get it back. Once you've said or done something ugly there's no going back for a re-do; you can apologize later, but you can't undo it, and you can't change it. Seems logical that a little more thought put into ANYTHING beforehand could be beneficial. Choosing to gain your few seconds of fame at other people's expense will never be something I can support. You may have a few people say, 'hey, way to go!' and you'll be feeling popular and important (for a moment) and you may not even care about those you insulted or stepped over for your few seconds of notoriety, but it will be your sleepless nights and conscience that you'll have to deal with ... maybe not today, but some day. We've all been there; done or said something we've regretted. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Words do have the power to build people up, as well as tear them down.

Passion can be a beautiful thing. It means you care enough about something to not keep it to yourself. That's never a bad thing; it's how you choose to act on it that becomes important. Sometimes, though, when passion comes into play, logic and common sense can fly right out the window. Relationships will be damaged, jobs and reputations can be jeopardized, and opinions will be formed. Of course, opinions and what others think of you may or may not matter to you, but if you ever plan to do something in your life where you hope people will support you  -  you may want to be careful.