Monthly Archives: November 2013

WEATHER OR NOT….

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As I was driving home this morning from the mall area, I ran into four distinctly different weather conditions: by the mall it was blowing snow, by Menards it was clear but gray, in the Pike Lake area it was hazy and snowy but as I drove closer to home it cleared up and the sun was shining and I was struck by the thought that this is what life is like.

There are times where we feel like we are blown around by cirrcumstances beyond our control and we wonder how we will manage to get through it and we can’t see our hand in front of our face.

Other times in which  we can see ahead but are depressed at the life ahead of us.  Our outlook is all gray and unappealing.

The worst is when we are surrounded by chaos and turmoil.  Everywhere we look, we see strife and stress and we lose our way and our focus and we wonder how we will ever make it out alive.

But then there are those beautiful clear spots, where everything is bright and you can see the road and the scenery on both sides and life is good and we are hopeful.

And as the weather in our area changes from moment to moment so does life.  You can move to a different physical location but unfortunately you can’t move away from life.  It has a tendency to follow you no matter how far you run.  The trick is to remember, “This too shall pass” and clear days will return again.

I once read that you should wait three days before making a serious decision about your life, since it is possible things will be different at the end of those three days.  I must admit to not following that advice and by the grace of God, I am still here.

In the time that it has taken me to write this post, my weather outside has changed from sunny to gray, snowy and windy to sunny again.  Much like my life.

So hang in there my friends and be ready for the changing weather of life, never giving up during the storms and appreciating the clear days!

Musings from your Mad Queen

TIS THE SEASON TO BE…..

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As I was enjoying my coffee this morning while listening to Holiday music and reading a Christmas decorating magazine, I was moved to write this post.

I was reading the editor’s column and I was struck by her words describing her holiday traditions; “In mid-December, we love having a special trim-the-tree evening.  I’ll prepare a light dinner, so we can begin decorating the tree early.  Once the twinkling tree is adorned with ornaments, we sit back and enjoy hot cocoa by a crackling hickory fire-all manner of holiday cheer enhanced by plenty of carols softly playing in the background.”

How does reading that make you feel?

For me it created a longing in my heart for something that doesn’t exist in my world.  And I’d be willing to bet it doesn’t exist in most of your worlds either.  How I envy families that have long-standing traditions that include multiple generations.  The families that have loved ones fly in or drive long distances to join in the memory making.  Families that are so close that if one member can’t make the occasion, their presence is sorely missed.  Do these kinds of families really exist in today’s world?  Are there really Currier and Ives-type celebrations?

Is it me or have families become more autonomous?   Do we feel that chatting on Facebook or Twitter is communication enough?  What happened to the  Sunday dinners at Grandma’s?

Growing up, my family always went to Grandma Lou’s for Sunday dinner.  All my mom’s brothers were there with their families (my aunt lived out-of-state) and as I look back now as a grandma myself, I see how blessed my grandparents were to have us all there every Sunday.  And every Christmas Day was spent there.  The men gathered in the basement to play poker and the women prepared the food and we kids looked under the tree for gifts with our names on them and each gift was handled and shook and speculated upon.  Everyone was in holiday attire, no jeans or sweats or everyday clothing.  It was a BIG DEAL.

So what happened?  Once Grandma Lou had to sell her house and move into an apartment, things changed.  We all grew up and had families of our own and we had no “glue” to keep us together.   No sense of “family” anymore.

What had started out as a great morning has morphed into some serious soul-searching.  Is it too late to attempt to grab ahold of what little family I have left and start making our own version of that Currier and Ives scene?   And what if no one else in the family has that same desire?  Or do we just “suck it up” and do the best we can with what we have?

To those of you who still have “family”, treasure it and try to make your kids and grandkids understand the value of traditions and the blessing of extended family.

“Blood is thicker than water”  is the old adage and I’m sure many of you have horror stories about relatives ruining holiday get-togethers.  And some of us have friends that are closer to us than family members but you must admit there is something to be said about the bond of DNA (good or bad!)

My wish for you my friends this Holiday season is that you can reclaim some good family traditions and that whatever your family situation is that you can make some new memories with those that you love.

As for me, I will be spending my Christmas not with family but with a person who needs all my love and kindness as there is no holiday spirit in them.  Perhaps that is the true meaning of Christmas….to give of ourselves.  The present of presence in an otherwise sad and lonely day.

My little family will be celebrating on some other day as with three work schedules to plan around we never have our  Christmas on the same day each year.  My hope is to make memories for my grandbabies that they will remember even if it isn’t my Currie and Ives dream.

Happy Thanksgiving one and all from your Mad Queen!

A KINDER YEAR

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I am big on dates.  I am always going to start a new life on a catchy new date and this year was no different.  Tomorrow is 11/12/13.  A great date to start something new in my life.  Usually it has to do with some sort of deprivation or self-change like dieting or exercising or giving up something and as you can see, it has never worked for me.  I suck at self denial.  I suck at improving myself.  So a new thought popped into my head a couple of nights ago, why don’t I focus my actions on someone else?  I am pretty good at making other people’s life better in small ways so maybe I could really make a go of this!

So my goal for 11/12/13 to 12/13/14 (do you know that a sequence like this will not happen again until 01/02/03 of 2103?) is to perform some act of kindness each day and to record it so I can chart my progress.  Not to puff my self up (good grief I am puffy enough) but to keep myself accountable.  It need not be any earth-shattering thing, but just a small touch to someone else’s life.

Would anyone want to join me on this journey?  You don’t have to tell me what you will be doing if you don’t want to, but please keep a record so you will be accountable to yourself and please share with me your progress.  It can be anything you choose: self-denial, self-improvement, something for others, etc.

So to help me with my project, I am going to make a list of acts of kindness I could do and I would so love it if you would add others in the comment area.  It would be so great if I actually completed something as I am a fantastic starter but a very poor finisher!

ACTS OF KINDNESS

Send notes of encouragement to friends and acquaintances.

Pick out random names from phone book and send a card to wishing them a great day.

Send a note to someone from the past, thanking them for something they did or said.

Send a thank you note to a past teacher for all they did

Send a note to the fire department or police saying that you appreciate what they do

Give random compliments to strangers/store clerks/etc.

Pay for someone behind you in line at movie, or coffee shop or fast food joint

Leave a nice note with your tip at a restaurant

Drop a dollar bill for someone else to find

Pray for someone you see on your way to work

Park in the farthest parking spot so someone else can park closer

Buy someone a flower or plant

Wipe off someone else’s windshield this winter

Put a kind note in a library book (or a dollar)

Use whatever talents you have to make someone something for no special reason

Let someone go ahead of you in a line

If you see something on the floor, pick it up even if it isn’t yours or you did not drop it (like in a store).

Tell someone why you like them or appreciate them

Drop some change into the bins at drive thru’s for whatever charity they collect for

Thank the “bell ringers” for their service as you put money into their red kettles.

Open doors for others and give them a nice smile

Put a nice note into your bags of stuff  you donate to encourage the person unpacking the bag

Never pass up the chance to thank a service person for their sacrifice

I will be adding to this list as I think of things and I need ideas from you.  Help me succeed in my Kinder Year Quest and think about doing something yourself in this time frame..it won’t come around in our life time again so get on board now!!!!!

Your Mad Queen