1halffull's Blog


Feel it first; be strong later….
July 28, 2015, 5:03 pm
Filed under: Change, Emotions, Strength | Tags: ,

Today is one of those days that marks endings and beginnings.  Not for me, but for my daughter-in-law.  It’s her last day at work in a place, for the most part, she has loved.  It was both a difficult decision and yet a seemingly easy one, all things considered.  She took her time with it and ultimately came to one conclusion – it was time to make the change, to move to the next level – and so she is.  But even though the decision is made, that doesn’t mean there isn’t sadness over leaving what has been good.

This morning, I wished her a happy but sad last day at work.  She responded that she was having a sad morning but trying to remember all the exciting stuff on the horizon.  My response?  Let today be today.  Let yourself feel it.  It’s better if you do and that’s okay.

BAM!  Like a gunshot in my own soul, that comment went off because, while I totally believe what I told her, I’ve rarely afforded myself the same opportunity to ‘let yourself feel it’.

It started when I was just a child.  My home life went pretty much awry and I started having to be someone else, someone much older than my childhood would wish for.  Always doing the right thing, always taking care of everyone else, squelching every feeling, always holding back, never letting it out, taking care of everyone but myself with no one to take care of me.  It was very frustrating.  I held in a lot of feelings, actually most of them, except the smile plastered on my face so no one would know.  I learned to pretend pretty well.

As I got older, that didn’t change.  When my mom died, my grandmother, who lived with us and was part of the ugly party, squeezed the back of my neck and told me I had to be strong for my dad’s sake.  (I still have a weak spot in that part of my neck where everything I’m holding in still goes – ouch!) So I pretty much had to hold it all in and smile while I was melting inside.  It was a terrible time.  After the funeral, I ran to my neighbor’s house – someone who was a grandma herself – to hide out because the sound of everyone laughing and talking like nothing had just happened hurt so much.  I just couldn’t stay there and be strong any longer.

When my dad died, a month after our son was born, inside, I was struck down, laid low, immovable.  But outside, I had to be strong steelfor everyone else, get them through.  I went to the funeral home the afternoon of the family viewing long before anyone else and asked to see my dad.  The director, who was a friend of our family – and most of the local families – didn’t think this was a good idea.  I remember telling him I had to do it so I’d be able to help the rest of them through it.  He let me in.

Later, when we all went back, dad’s mother (another grandmother) from whom he’d been estranged, came in wailing.  It was horrible, especially in light of previous behavior.  I was so furious with her; yet I held it in along with my own anguish.  Next morning I warned her that should she do that during the service I would personally come drag her out of the service because no one needed to hear her fake wailing.  If I had to be strong then she could not be ridiculously emotional.

Calling hours were limited to an hour before the service.  Dad was laid out in the receiving area.  There I stood for an hour, looking at his lifeless form, hearing the comments of the guests as we greeted them, holding in for all of dear life so I could ‘be strong’.  When it was time to close the casket, all I wanted to do was throw myself across him and scream for all that was now lost – never seeing my son, never playing with my daughter again, never teaching them how to fish, no more chasing them around the living room, oh just so much lost in one moment of time!  It was unbearable and yet I was expected to bear it and be strong.  It made the coming months very difficult and I did have to see a counselor for a while.  But old habits die very hard.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of my life ‘being strong’ when all I felt was weaker than ever before.  The ingrained attitude of strength is okay to a point, but, my belief is that when forced upon you to the limit of never being able to express your weakness, it is extremely detrimental.  It’s important to feel what you feel and to let it out appropriately; turning it inward just makes you sick.

So, people, my advice to you is this:  whatever you’re feeling, embrace it, examine it, see if there’s anything to be done about it.  If so, do it; if not, let it go.  Then be strong for others by helping them learn to do the same thing.   LLHHKK

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Praying for the President and Others in Authority
November 4, 2012, 8:48 pm
Filed under: Barack Obama, Change, Democrats, God, Government, Politics
Today I’m giving over my blog to this article written by Dr. Charles Stanley because I think it is worth the read, whether or not you’re a believer.  Dr. Stanley is a man of wisdom and clarity and someone who speaks truth.  May his words cause you to really give thought to what is taking place here in America.
     The final debate is over and our focus is on the finish line. If you’re like me, you are watching the news and the polls, attempting to discern who our fellow citizens would like to entrust with one of the most difficult and important jobs on earth—the presidency of the United States. At times it seems that the whole country is tense with anticipation.
But as I think about who the president and our congressional leaders will be, I am reminded that regardless of who wins the coming elections, God is clear about our responsibility to our nation as believers. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the apostle Paul writes, “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
     In no uncertain terms, the Lord calls us to pray for our leaders. This is because no one person or group of people can change a country or get it back on track. And when we consider how our fellow Americans are suffering because of the downturn of the economy, rising unemployment, the deterioration of family, and escalating conflicts on the world stage, we quickly realize that only almighty God can truly help us.
     Our nation urgently needs our intercession. We do not know who the next president will be or who will hold the seats of power throughout the land. But we can be confident that the Father honors the prayers of those who love Him and is faithful to answer us (James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:12).
     Therefore, please pray the president and other elected officials would:
1. Realize their positions of authority were obtained either by God’s choice or His permissive will.
2. Recognize their personal inadequacy for the task of governing our country and look to the Lord for the wisdom, knowledge, and courage to succeed.
3. Restore dignity, honor, trustworthiness, and righteousness to the office of the Presidency, to the Senate, and to the House of Representatives.
4. Readily forsake their political careers and personal ambitions if it is necessary to do so for the best interest of the country.
5. Reverse the destructive trends of humanism and atheism—which attempt to dethrone God and deify humanity—because they ultimately result in an ungodly society.
6. Respect, honor, and obey the Constitution of the United States—the protector of our freedoms.
7. Reject all counsel that weakens our defenses against aggressors or endorses agreements that would do so in the future.
8. Refuse to promote a way of life in which citizens of our nation become increasingly dependent upon the government for their needs, thus surrendering their freedom to prosper.
9. Remember their accountability to almighty God for their attitudes, motives, behaviors, and decisions that affect our nation.
10. Resolve that their terms of service will be dedicated to returning America to its position as first among nations—where people can prosper individually, feel secure, and take pride in their American citizenship, and almighty God is recognized as the Source of all our blessings.
     I often say, when we fight our battles on our knees, we win every time. And as we lift our nation up in prayer, I know we can make a difference regardless of how difficult our problems may be because we are taking the burdens of our country to the One who understands the way to victory.
     So please join me in lifting up the United States and its leaders to the Lord, confidently knowing He will move on our behalf. Certainly, our loving Father will hear our prayers and heal our land (2 Chr. 7:14). May God bless you and may He continue to bless America.


Aging Sucks
February 23, 2012, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Aging, Change, Healthcare, Life, Over reaction

Aging sucks.

Why?

Because as you age, people who are not in your age bracket see you as less vital. They suddenly think you’re now unable to chew your own food, that you drive 20 in a 50 MPH zone and that you should stay in after dark.  You don’t dare become ill and need hospitalization because that’s where a real downturn in your life takes place.

I’ve seen it time and again with older friends who, even though they are more lively and interesting than most of the younger people we know, become invisible once they get into a hospital situation.  Doctors and nurses no longer speak directly to them about their conditions.  Caregivers immediately presume that the children now have custody of the parents.  Our friends have been overlooked and treated by the caregivers as though they are nothing but old sacks of bones lying in a hospital bed.  What kind of ‘care’ is that?

The kids are no less guilty in propagating this myth.  They often come on the scene thinking it’s their place to mind their parent’s business.  I know one family who, once their mom broke her hip, decided that meant she needed to be railroaded into doing whatever they decided was best for her.  Yes, a broken hip required surgery and rehab.  But it didn’t affect their mom’s mind nor her ability to go back to real life once she was healed.  The kids have become paranoid over their mom’s safety to the point that they’re trying to railroad her into an assisted living facility.

Unfortunately, they have created a situation where this once strong-willed woman, now questions her every thought.  She speaks and a son says ‘Mom, you shouldn’t say that.’ She wonders if they’re right and she’s wrong – all the time.  Every move toward reclaiming her life, sends the kids into further paranoia.  Faster and faster she’s losing her grip on autonomy.  Thank you kids.

Who is actually on her side?  And who really understands what she’s thinking, how she’s functioning, what she wants?

The family just doesn’t get it:  they think their mom lost her right to live at home when she broke her hip. How dare she!  They no longer see her as a viable human being.  Now she’s become someone they have to put somewhere so she’ll be ‘safe’.  Everyone’s so busy with their own lives, the only room left for her is at the assisted living facility.  Worry over; case closed.  Peachy.

The woman she was has gone missing, hidden by the wants, desires, needs of everyone else.  Unfortunately for her, internally she’s still a viable, thinking adult who wants to live her life in a way pleasing to herself.  It would be so much easier if she was out of her mind, but she’s not.

It’s unfortunate that the kids can’t take a step back from their own paranoia.  Really and truly, no matter what the kids think, this is not all about THEM! Just like this woman could not protect these kids from every single, negative life event, neither can they protect their mom.  Unlike her realization that the kids had to go through things that she couldn’t prevent, these kids refuse to realize that it’s her right to do the same.  Maybe what she really needs to be able to thrive again is for the family to lift the net of paranoia and give her a real chance to show she can still do it all in her own way.  Maybe handing her back her original freedom is what she really needs to be able to get back to normal.

Who knows what could work?  But I wish they’d give her more of an opportunity to regain herself before they dump her in some facility just so they can have peace of mind.



Self Made Man? No Such Thing
February 1, 2012, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Change, Jobs, Life | Tags:

I recently heard a commentary on someone that the reporter called ‘a self made man’.

The statement gave me pause.  What exactly would a ‘self made’ man look like?

First of all – I guess he’d have to be kind of like the big bang theory – out of nowhere and nothing (well maybe that one atom that we’re not sure where it even came from), he’d appear. Not created by any beings, having no parents who would contribute to his looks, his mental capacities, his abilities.  A possible blob of disconnected matter, not resembling anything currently recognizable. Nurturing and nourishing himself through life; unaided by teachers, uninfluenced by those around him. Surviving by sure wit under what?  A bridge?  A rock?

Einstein and family

And out of that ‘nothingness’ we’d get who?  Albert Einstein?  Donald Trump?  Hitler?  Nietsche?

I’m thinking more like the Geico Neanderthal – if even that.

Backing up the truck: of course a ‘self made’ man has to come from parents – even if only birth parents who send him straight to an orphanage.  As such, he does come with a particular set of genes that may be more ambitious than someone else’s; a brain that is inherently more memorable with a higher IQ.  A potential for creativity or business or invention and innovation are already built in as are a level of drive and desire to succeed.  Work ethic is also helpful and most often engrained by parents.

Even though a ‘self made’ man wants to believe that everything he does is singularly his choice, he will have been influenced by everyone who comes through his life.  Further, the state of his surroundings – culture, economy, politics, religion or lack thereof – and his responses to them – will contribute to the success or failure of his every choice.

Faith based or not, there’s a likelihood that he will meet up with people along the way who may pray for him or those who will just wish him well.  Alongside of those will be people who may also wish him ill.  We can’t scientifically prove or disprove that these things affect the outcomes of what we do, but since this is my blog, we’ll presume it does, as least as much (possibly more) as human interactions affect us.

Even someone who starts with virtually nothing outside of himself may have all he needs internally to become someone to whom the world will ascribe greatness – that, too, is most often subjective, much like modern art!

There are some men who have used all they were born with to become successful, even uber successful.  But to be honest, there are no truly ‘self made’ men; they all have someone on the way up that they need to thank.



The Surprises of Life…
April 4, 2010, 5:05 am
Filed under: Change, Dad, Friends, God, Happiness, Humor, Jesus, Kids, Legacy, Life, Love, Memories, Nostalgia, Parents, Travel

For the average person, there are very few really big events that take place in our lives.  You’re born – but you probably don’t remember that.  You learn to walk – don’t remember that either.  Your first day at school – maybe.  Your first visit from the tooth fairy – yep, pretty sure you remember that.

 The first date…the first kiss….the first ‘real’ boyfriend.  High school graduation then college.  Getting engaged then the big (or small) wedding day.  The birth of your first child, and every child after that.  The death of your mom, then your dad; your grandmas and grandpas if you were fortunate to know them at all.  There goes your favorite aunt and suddenly you’re so much older than you’d have thought you could get when you were 20.

 For me, most of that happened in the first 30 years.  It was a lot to pack in there.  They were all a big deal at the time….some remain a big deal in my heart, my head, even now.

 Someone once said that it’s the little things that sneak up and grab a hold of you.  They were right.

 Some of my ‘little things’ include, in random order….

 Going fishing with my dad and catching more fish than him.  He let me.  I loved the lake.  Still do.

 My friend deciding that I wouldn’t be able to deal with a club meeting when I got home after my dad’s death.  She put herself in my place and took care of it so I didn’t have to.  A little, but thoughtful thing.

 My dad poking his head into my room, handing me a $20 bill as he told me that he knew all I’d been doing around the house to help out.  Demonstrated appreciation that meant so much to me under the circumstances.

 Aunt Betty who invited me to visit her in the summers and allowed me to see myself as a valuable person like few others did.

 Learning that my friend Avis daily sang ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’ in the final weeks of her life.  I’d always hoped she would.

 Playing a game of ‘keep the car moving till the light turns green’ when taking kids home from church – it’s a fun game – you should try it.

 Having a mother-in-law who patiently listened over the years, didn’t butt in, and has spent hours on the phone with me, talking about anything and nothing.  If we were running the world, it would be a much better place.  Thanks, mom.

 Going to the beach with the whole clan; all the kids playing together; sunburns radiating.  Sea creatures scurrying out of the bucket of sand while one child screamed and the others all laughed.

 My sister-in-law and I in the ocean – without our contacts in – screaming at ‘jaws’ coming for us then laughing our faces off when we finally could tell they were just shadows.  Another time laughing ourselves silly so hard in the card section that a man ‘just had to come see why we were so hysterical’.  “There are two sides to every divorce” the outside of the card said.  “Yours and the s— head’s.” (not my words – but how we howled and promptly sent it to a sibling who may still have it today)!

 Two little faces pressed against the window waving and calling ‘bye mommy’ as I’d pull out of the driveway on my way to somewhere else.

 The surprise 40th birthday party my husband gave me where I was totally surprised.

 The kids so excited to sleep in the van the night before a vacation started.

 All the Christmas videos we made that could be Christmas any year except for the changes in sizes, hairdos, glasses and voices.

 Howling at the moon from the causeway with my daughter.

 Taking my son for his first tattoo.

 Oh, the list goes on and on and is my way of saying, let the little things grab on to you and you hold on tight to them.  In the end, they’re really the only things that matter.



Gubmint and How Gubmint Works

I did not write this.  I got it via email from a friend who also did not write it.  However, we both think it’s worth the read and is very indicative about how our ‘gubmint’ works.  Read on and feel free to copy it and send it to anyone you think might care or those who are too gullible to actually think this is the way it really is.  Maybe they’ll finally ‘get it’.

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two people; one person to write the instructions and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?” So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people; one to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So they created the following positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer, and then hired two people.

Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?” So they created an administrative section and hired three people; an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget. We must cutback overall cost.” So they laid off the night watchman.

NOW slowly…let it sink in. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter Administration?

Anybody? Anything? No?

Bottom line. We’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of this agency…the reason for which hardly any person who reads this can remember!

Ready?

It was very simple…and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.  Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

And now it’s 2010 — 33 years later — and the budget for this “necessary” department is at $24.2 billion a year.

They have 16,000 federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees; and look at the job they have done! (this is where you slap your forehead and say, “what were they thinking?”)

Thirty-three years ago, 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports.

Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports — good ‘ole bureaucracy.

And now, we are going to turn the banking system, health care, and the auto industry over to the same government?

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter.



Threats are Not Surprising
March 27, 2010, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Bankruptcy, Barack Obama, Change, Democrats, Government, Healthcare, Jobs, Legacy, Politics, Taxes

I’ve been hearing, and then reading in today’s paper, about various of our representatives and senators who are being threatened by members of our populace.  While it is regrettable, it should not be unexpected.

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”   ~  Thomas Jefferson

When there is talk of overhauling anything, you will never hear our federal government mentioned and yet the federal government is probably the most antiquated, out of touch, cumbersome, greedy, chaff-like bunch of blowhards grouped together anywhere on earth.

While they depend on us, their constituents to elect them to office, often that is the end of their relationship with us.  While they are trying to be elected they say things that they think we want to hear.  However, there is no connection between what they say to us and what they actually do for us.  Doing for us is the least of their concerns once elected to office.  Making bigger and larger government, lining their pockets with lobbyist dollars, and living a lifestyle only they are privy to is what consumes them once in office.

It is paramount these days that if you plan on walking into the Capitol Building you must automatically leave your integrity and the desires of your constituents outside the door!  It doesn’t matter how many of your constituents jam your phone lines or how many thousands of emails you get asking, no begging you to vote a big fat NO on a subject, your seem to think that your job as a representative of the people is only to do whatever the nearest lobbyist or senior senator or representative wants you to do.

Regardless of how many times we vote you out and vote someone new in, we fail to effect any change and that’s because there is no longer even one good person who can stand firm, stick with the constituents, do as they ask.  To a man, everyone can now be bought.  Every man has his price and isn’t afraid to ask for it.  Constituents?  Who are they?

“States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.”  ~  Noam Chomsky

To our discredit, we, the voters have sat back infinitely too many years allowing these shenanigans to go on.  I think we did it because we weren’t so much affected – we still had our jobs, our bank accounts.  Life was comfortable.

Well, life is changing.  Life is no longer comfortable for us.  Suddenly we see what you’re doing over there, how well you are living.  We recognize, even if you don’t, that the $1.5 trillion that you’ve thrown at cheating, lying banks and car companies is coming out of our over picked pockets.  Now, against all sanity, you’ve managed to throw another gazillion billion at a health care plan that is past the ridiculous – even though we asked you not to.  Next on the horizon?  Taking over the educational system and loans for higher education!

Other countries are getting tired of your approaches for more loans, more money.  Your interest rates are going higher as you pass out money you don’t have.  You think you can just tax us; but we can no longer afford to give you our money because you’ve worked it out wonderfully that most of our jobs, and our income, have evaporated into the Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican air through the world treaties that you’ve created!

“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”   ~ Samuel Adams

Americans are holding tea parties because we are now angry:  angry at ourselves for having allowed you to hoodwink us for so long; angry that we’ve let you get away with it all.  Americans want to take our country back, out of your misshapen hands and darkened minds and put it back on keel before we all find ourselves as the first of a new form of third world nation – the bankrupt, bereft, 300 million victims of choices made by 535 men and women!

You won’t listen.  You won’t pay attention.  You don’t vote according to what your constituents desire.  In your pit of avarice you convince yourselves that you know better what we need here in the Mahoning Valley (or Anywhere, USA) than we do. Well, you don’t and in the current climate, sooner or later, you will pay a price.  There is a consequence for every action; the choice of that consequence is yours.

“You can only govern men by serving them. The rule is without exception.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln