Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Have you ever just stopped and enjoyed the stillness for a moment? Or stopped and given thanks for the blessings you have? Or just plain stopped and let your brain relax from all the craziness that is your life?
I know I don’t do that nearly enough. I was driving home from a family visit recently. It was a ten hour drive through beautiful scenery, which I couldn’t take in because of driving rain and road construction. As my two youngest daughters were watching movies in the back seat, I had plenty of thinking time. I knew it would be my turn to blog soon, and I wanted to come up with something witty, or at least interesting, or hell, maybe something that would make a reader want to buy one of my books. (See, I’m a conscientious blogger, really!) I had snarky comments about road construction, I had biting thoughts about lousy drivers, I even considered blogging about the beauty of nature.
This blog is about none of those things.
When I finally got home (through several traffic jams when I was only an hour away) and unpacked and relaxed a little, I went online to check my Facebook page and see what I’d missed over the week I’d been away. While I was scanning through my friends’ messages, I saw that a patient who had been in the hospital on the same floor at the same time as my daughter had passed away.
It made me stop.
With a full time job, a wish to keep writing, three very active daughters, and a husband who’d like to see me every once in a while, I’m pretty busy. Even when I’m not working or running my children hither and yon, I’m busy cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and planning what I have to do next. Sometimes I think my brain resembles that of a mouse on crack. I’m never still. I never stop.
Well, I did today. For a few moments this morning, I stopped and considered how very lucky I am. I don’t care if you believe in God, a higher power, or just the luck of the universe, sometimes you just need to offer up thanks, because no matter how awful you think you have it, it doesn’t take much to see someone worse off.
I am so damn blessed, and so very thankful for not only the joys, but the sorrows which have made me stronger.
So today, take a minute and just stop. Give thanks if you wish, contemplate the universe, or just enjoy the stillness. You’ll be glad you did.
Monday, August 15, 2011
In the week following the riots in England every news report is filled with how Britain is broken, young people are doomed and unless we bring back corporal punishment then we are all going to hell. The news reports are full of recaps of the violence of those nights and they are rolling out every politician, journalist and ‘expert’ to tell us why it happened. In the face of all this negativity you could be forgiven for believing the hype and getting depressed and angry as hell and for a while that’s exactly what I did. Then I saw the evidence of community pride uncrushed, people rallied round to clean up, started funds to help those who needed and generally put two fingers up to those who let greed and bloodlust sweep them up.
It was inspiring.
It made me think about other people who inspired me in small ways or great. Not movie or pop stars, few of whom deserve the term ‘role model’, but everyday folk just getting on with their lives. A friend who took in a child when he lost his mother, even though money and space was tight. A fellow author who lives with an illness that terrifies most of us and who has become an advocate against that fear. Several friends whose partners are still fighting a war that politicians would like us to forget. A woman who has survived cancer, not once but twice and defiantly lives on. A friend who had major brain surgery and lived to joke about it. A family who tragically lost a child but made sure her death to changed things, so it will never happen to another. I am full of admiration for each and every one. They make me want to be better and that is a very special gift.
Who inspired you today?