Sunday, November 23, 2014

Acceptance is the Key to my Happiness

I Can't?

     The absurdity of the words, "I can't walk", emanating from myself felt foreign.  Rarely have I ever spoken words of that nature.  Not being able to stomach that phrase, it soon became,
 "I can't yet"

   Teaming with two surgeons, I began a quest of moving forward with a philosophy of "Let's see how much of my life I can get back."  It has been a long road to my best recovery from that car collision. We are just a month shy of four years since our world has been rocked.  Four years of frustration, tears, lost memories, living in slow motion and sheer joy at the most trivial advancements. That brings us to the splitting of tracks.  I have envisioned myself the small but mighty engine that may not be able to pull the largest of loads anymore, I may have to be more creative about which route I must take, but I am persistent and always make it to my next station.  

     My upcoming visit with my surgeon in December should be my release into the real world.  Providing all goes well, I am free of surgeries and free to live as I want to live until the day arrives that "I can't" anymore.  Enthusiasm envelops me at the thought that no one but myself has authority to tell me what I can and cannot physically do.  The other side of the sword is that this truly means I am at my peak.  There is no getting better anymore and that is all that it has been for four years.  This is as good as it gets.  I have worked hard and my family and I have practiced extreme patience with my trials and I believe we are all proud to have this moment upon us.  But this means, I must now accept that this is where I will stay.  So I must swallow those bitter words of "I can't" and accept that there are some physical activities that I just will not be able to achieve.  

     Entering into a small shop I chose a gift for my daughter.  Walking into a back room, the owner wrapped that gift with care as she asked, "Carey, how do you do it?"  "What is that exactly?" I inquired.  "When you have tried everything you know how to do and you know you will not get any better", she spoke.  Thankful that her glance was cast down as my eyes darted to her face, I felt my lips part in astonishment.  Did she know?  How could she know?  Tears sting my eyes as I perceive that it was a honest inquiry and that she has no idea that question has been slowing invading my thoughts as I near the end of my own recovery.  She was speaking of her own trials. 

      As my emotions released their hold on the lump they had placed in my throat, I admonished,   "When I know that I have done all that I can do, that I have put one hundred percent into the effort and feel proud of that effort, then I accept.  Actually, acceptance is the key to my happiness." 

     Hearing my own words, I softly smiled.  I also smirked at God because He knows I now listen.  He has a way of working through people.  This shop owner helped me take my own advice that day and maybe my words helped her through the next step of her own journey.  She does not know how that short visit affected me or that it nudged me out of that rut of vulnerability.  

     Recovery is as much mental as it is a physical.   My husband has cited a pledge to me many times over our almost ten year liaison, especially this last four.  A great friend passed it to him, he has passed it to me and I will pass it to you.  I altered it a bit to tailor to my situation, but in the end we receive the same message. 

Acceptance is the key to my happiness.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no happiness until I accept that situation as being 
exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake.  
 I must accept life completely on life's terms or I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in 
me and in my attitudes.

   My happiness does not hinge on what was thrust upon me.  My happiness does not hinge on my ability to walk.  My happiness clings onto my attitude, that if I cannot change my circumstances then, I make peace with it by accepting that this is how life is supposed to be a this moment.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What is a BAE and how do we Get Rid of It?

     If you have not yet heard of this new word then you are behind the times and fortunate, in my opinion.

     I first saw this word in print, wondering what the heck it was.  It is all over the Twitter scene, in every tweet, comment, photo.  Then, I heard it in my house, vibrating off the walls.  Sometimes it was pronounced in valley girl style, others in drooling admiration, usually as some hot, teen hunk flashed his abs across the television screen.  That is because I have a house full of Teenage girls.  My son, at age twelve, has not entered the social media scene or started using slang.........yet.

     So what is it?   Noun, verb, adjective?   Apparently it can be used any way you desire.  

bae-noun -abbreviated form of "babe".

     This is the slang meaning of the new word as it progressed through modern dialogue.  Babe is a shortened form of "baby", babe has now been shortened to "bae".   Like it needed to be shortened anymore?  I believe society just keeps getting lazier.  

     Other meanings I've come across are:

*Boyfriend/Girlfriend/ BFF

*Awesome, sweet, sexy ( he is so bae)(that car is bae)

* Concern( you bae, right?)



Okay, I get all of those, but here are some definitions that I bet those who use it didn't know of.

*a person that is your best friend AND you get naked with

(bae, let's get naked) 

*Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering (BAE)

*Yes/Right? (you wanna go with, bae?)

*Biggest A** Ever! ( She has a bae!)

*Butts are ev.ery.thing(bae, man, bae) as guys are checking out a woman's backside or vice versa 

*The Danish word for "POOP"(my favorite) (Heath took a big bae in my bathroom, how rude!) or you can recall this meaning as you tell your loved one how much they are your most treasured bae.

     Each time I read or hear this word, I cringe.  It should not last in our culture too much longer because of it's daily overuse.   We know from history, once something is so popular that even your Grandma says it, it is done for.  It's time if over, it's ran it's course and what was once the most bae slang term has become outcast.  You are no longer bae if you use it.  That was so, like, six months ago just like the term, "yolo". (good for you if you missed that slang also)

     If you do get through the time period of this slang term with minimal interaction, I applaud you.  You have missed out on nothing.  It is just a fad that will be tossed out soon along with last years "can't live without" Coach purse.

I'll leave that up to you.







Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cyber-bullying: The Silent Threat

     How would you react if your child received messages or posts like, " You are the ugliest person on this earth, why don't you just die?"  

      Now, let's turn this around. 

      How would you react if you found out your child was the one posting these messages?

      Hopefully we react with the same intensity to stop this foul mouthed hatred in both cases.  

     My children love, no, I mean adore, their electronic devices.  This generation has been reared on technology.  It is in every aspect of their lives.  Although my family enjoys the outdoors, you can bet your bottom they will not leave without their phone or Kindle.  Even if it must be left in our vehicle or they have no signal, it has to be there, just in case.  So, when it comes to discipline, guess what gets taken away first?   

     Kids are surfing the internet constantly.  Social media and gaming sites are the big ones in our home.  This much activity leaves the door open to misjudgements or misinterpretations of an individual's  post.  As I sit and type this, I say, "children", because I automatically assume that adults hold themselves to a higher standard and know not to do this, but I sit and recall comments on Facebook that are clearly negative and are pointed at another adult that we all know, even though the name is not mentioned.  I guess that I could actually put them in the "children" category then, can't I?

    Last year our home had it's first case of bullying. (that we know of)   Children are not vocal creatures when it comes to being bullied.  They keep quiet for fear that their character will come into question in the hallways of their school.

      Cyber-bullying is not different.  To those who execute this action, hiding behind a computer screen does not give you power, it makes you a coward.  In most cases it doesn't even make you anonymous anymore.   Fake confidence is not attractive.   The old saying of "words will never hurt me" are not true.  Words do hurt.  They can be apologized for, but never taken back.  They are read or repeated in our heads over and over again.  As adults who have lived through at least one episode of bullying, we can say that this school yard crap means Nothing in the real world.  Although it may make your skin thicker and you can learn from the experience, it means nothing in how we should let it control our lives. 

      Our world is busy, not every child has a positive role model or someone to take them to the side and educate them on right and wrongs.  Unfortunately if that does not happen, we have those individuals who never grow personally and forever stick to their playground antics.  Adults who bully with their words.  They are words said by mindless, weak adults who are trying to bring you into the tiny circle they have drawn around themselves because they are too afraid to step across that line into your confident world and see what they are actually made of.

     Thinking about this and how much influence the internet has on our children brings me to wonder, "who will remind my kids of appropriate behavior when I am not around?"  My hopes are that the voice of my husband and I will be booming in their heads or that they have grown into that confident child that can stand up for what is right and make the correct moral decision.  

     But sometimes they act before they think, just the same as you and I.  Emotion gets the better of us, good or bad.  With social media on every corner haunting us, posting has become automatic.   There is little self-regulating on this.   Every moment or feeling is documented.  Many times for the good, but sometimes not.  What if it could be somewhat regulated or we, as well as children could be reminded of what is morally appropriate to post?  

     I researched this.    What I found is a fourteen year old girl who had the same question.  She has in fact, brought this into reality.  A science project.   That is how her idea started.  

Her question was,
 "What if every time you posted a negative comment, you were questioned, Do you really want to post this?  It may hurt another."  

     Would it work?  Do you think it would make us rethink before we type?

     With any problem, we try to fix it at the source, right?  She developed a software program to do just this.  Her science project was to add this program to over a thousand computers and collect the data.  Her results were outstanding!   The majority of offensive posts were canceled.  Ninety -three percent of the time, the user changed their mind about hitting Enter on their computer.  

    Here is her video presentation.  It is 11 minutes, but it is interesting and well worth the watch.   Remember, she is just fourteen years old and already an incredible innovator with her idea of Rethink before you type. 

     Now, if we could only have a safe software for Rethink before you speak..............


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saying Thank You to All of YOU!


     These are just a scattering of terms that I owe to all of you. 

     Four years is a long time to recover.   Four years is a long time for your continued support, but you have never given up on me, which in turn, causes me to not give up on myself.   We have been granted a gift of  86,400 seconds in a day, it only takes the use of one of those seconds to say, "Thank You" but I am going to use quite a few more than that today.

Silent gratitude is not much use to anyone, so

      It amazes me that the effects of this collision have spread so far.  Society may not know my name, but I hear, " Ohhhh, you're the one, " quite often.  I receive hugs from citizens that I do not know because they said a prayer for my family and I in church.  The same goes for cards, texts and private messages.  They start by explaining who they are and that they have a friend who knows us personally and felt compelled to write us.   Then............there is you.   Still receiving random, "how are you doing?" messages or cards.   I receive the best hugs when I venture into town.   Smiles are everywhere and if one of those smiles are a little droopy, then I hug you and you have no choice but to hug me back, because that would just be bad manners.  

     I rarely shake hands anymore unless the occasion truly calls for it, I encompass my acquaintance in my skinny, woman arms and hope they feel every bit of indebtedness that I have.   I have so much to give and give back.  

     I cannot recall if I have communicated this story to you or not, but this moment calls for it.     

     When I roused in my room after one of the surgeries, I'm not sure if it was my personality, God or something called Dilaudid, but I awoke in a great mood.  As long as I received my medicine routinely I was in moderate pain, light-hearted and didn't think much about my situation.  While I was holding my Mom's hand after a surgery I vividly recall a divine sense of prayer.  I spoke genuinely to her, " Mom, I can feel everyone praying for me, I can feel it.  That's why I feel so good."  I can only think of one way to explain this titillation.  When you watch how fans 'people surf' at a rock concert, there are many hands supporting that person as they travel along the crowd.  This is how I felt about everyone who was praying for us.  You were carrying me with prayer at a time when I could not carry myself.  It's an inspiration that I could never forget.

     When I speak of "you", I speak of everyone.  My family, friends, acquaintances and unique strangers that took time to help me, even in thought.  My family put their lives on hold until I could function on my own.  Our children practiced patience, nurturing and bred independence in their new roles, while my mind, body and spirit were reclaimed.  There were times when my own light diminished and was rekindled by a spark sent by one of you, whether you knew this or not.  I will never be afraid of saying a prayer or sending a message to someone because of awkwardness.  It was at the oddest junctures that a short note from someone revitalized my ambition to survive and live, like I wanted to live.  

     It is said that, "if you were not grateful for what you had before, that you could never be grateful for what you are to get."   I believe this to be true.  I do not wish this experience on anyone, it is painful in so many ways.  I am grateful to live thirty-five years as I did, but I am grateful to live any way I can now.  This is a promise to you, that I will pay it forward til the end of my life here on this earth.

If there was a way that I could touch you, to transfer my emotion of appreciativeness,  so you could feel what is in my heart, you could have endless peace just from that smallest gesture.   

 Gratitude has, undeniably, been my best attitude.