4 Tips for Building a Strong Relationship with Your Daughter-in-Law

Are trying to improve your relationship with your daughter-in-law? Do you want to create a better understanding and reduce tension? If these are a few of the questions that frequently enter your mind, then read on for some answers.

Mothers Are Always Mothers

I’d like to attempt to answer the question about why there is tension within the relationship. Mothers are always mothers, even when they become grandmothers. When our son marries, we often feel relegated to the back seat, second place and total background of his life. The sad truth is that this is the way life unfolds and it is a natural, necessary process. We cannot change this and must accept it. Continue reading “4 Tips for Building a Strong Relationship with Your Daughter-in-Law”

Let Go of False Pretense

“That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretense. It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you’re trying to steal their most precious possession.”    Jim Morrison

“The heart of the world is breaking under this load of pride and pretense. There is no release from our burden apart from the meekness of Christ.”    A.W. Tozer

“Whatever is above will be managed by the powers above you. Don’t live as a man, pretending to be God. Do what you can do; leave what you can’t to God!”    Israelmore Ayivor

Likely we are all tired of being afraid to admit we are scared most of our lives. Presenting ourselves as capable human beings is the norm. Any of us that fall short of the mark simply hide the truth sometimes even from ourselves. Most of our frustrations deadlines jobs and burdens have more to do with how others may perceive us if we fall short of the time restraints. Continue reading “Let Go of False Pretense”

Learn From The Kids

“How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” Jostein Gaarder

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. But I’ll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.” C. JoyBell C.

“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell C.

I had to take a break from my writing due to family issues that needed my attention. Of course I never stopped observing and learning, even if I stopped writing. I noticed how tense it felt to let go of so many tasks I would normally accomplish when I have total concentration. Instead I sat back, worried and reviewed how far behind I assessed I must be. In reality I was only behind because I saw it that way. In actuality I might be and probably am exactly where I am supposed to be at this point in time. Continue reading “Learn From The Kids”


“Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory.”    Will Durant

“Spanking and verbal criticism have become, to many parents, more important tools of child rearing than approval.” Phil Donahue

“Spanking is simply another form of terrorism. It teaches the victims that might makes right, and that problems can be solved through the use of violence by the strong against the weak.”

 “Infliction of pain or discomfort, however minor, is not a desirable method of communicating with children.”     American Medical Association

How and why did the state of Massachusetts hinder the advancement of our human evolution? I truly was shocked to hear of the Massachusetts, Justices decision to promote the guidelines for the use of physical punishment by parents. As a teacher, I am aware that loving a child and displaying kindness works far better. How is there anything LEGAL in guidelines promoting physical punishment by anyone? I suppose it sounds good and appeases parents who choose this form of discipline. Continue reading “SPANKING”

Going Back

Going Back“The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it’s not because they forget; it’s because they forgive.”    Demi Moore

It takes a strong person to say sorry, and an ever stronger person to forgive.”    Unknown

“Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”    Unknown

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”    Gandhi

How many times have we heard the phrase, “You can’t go back.” That is the saddest group of words to hear because many times we need and want to return to a person place or thing. It is like something that suddenly springs out at us like gotcha and you’re finished. The sadness can be overwhelming. Most of us think back  to choices we made and actions we committed. Contemplating a more innocence time in our lives will always bring longing.

As we grow, most of us learn from the mistakes we made. Of course we can’t admonish ourselves too much because we can’t always recall every second of our reasoning at that time in our lives. I am not giving any of us excuses but life is not about counting the wrongs as much as it is about acquiring knowledge. There are such tough lessons, that perhaps we might have absorbed sooner, but actually we must be content that we made the finding at all.

Life sends us forward full speed ahead. We plan to accomplish so much. We strive to keep up with others if not totally surpass them. We are out to conquer the world, make our mark and show others what we are capable of. We yearn for respect, love, attainment and contentment. The funny thing is that most of this can be found at any age and within any area of society as well as any socioeconomic group. That is the discovery that sometimes takes years to ascertain.

Regret is useless and pointless. If some of our picks were poor, we need to come to  terms with it and continue onward. We can’t change the past. Perhaps some situations may have turned out the same even if we had moved in another direction. We can’t know the truth. It is questionable if we should have married another person, who is to say things would be better. If we changed our minds on a job choice, maybe it still  would not be any more glorious or satisfying.

Believing everything in the past was a mistake is a mistake. Most likely it was an experience that brought enlightenment to our lives. If we treated our spouse shabbily, I have faith in the notion that we can switch it around. Unless we have given up on our marriage it is time to fess up to our misgivings and ask for forgiveness. Of course those of us in the position to forgive have two choices. We can continue the animosity or offer the absolution. If we can just look at life in terms of gaining knowledge, and accept the fact that most of us are slow learners, then we may be more than ready to exhibit mercy. Can any of us admit we have never needed exoneration from anyone?

You would be my hero if that were the case. We just don’t always think clearly enough, or think far enough ahead, to appreciate the gravity of our errors. We plunge forward with half a story, and a tenth of an idea, along with a fifth of a truth and then create our reality from that point of view. No wonder we find ourselves making errors. Some mistakes are not so easy to mend. I bet on any given day, each of us has said or done something stupid or hurtful. We are late for work so we insult and blame the spouse when we can’t find something. Of course it is their fault. Later when we discover it was us who put the laundry away, we simply forget the incident and don’t bring it up.

If we can perceive our own faults perhaps the faults of others won’t look so bad. I know there are degrees of wrongdoing but there are also degrees of wisdom before one makes the errors. Our deductions are dissimilar and incorporate feelings attitudes and burdens at that present time. Forgiveness has to be one quality we acquire at the youngest age possible. Life would be so much easier to deal with if we were free to begin again without strings attached. Perhaps that is why we give up on our marriages. We believe we can’t go back to that clean slate and innocent thinking. If we showered each other in mercy, by tolerating mistakes, the likelihood of guilty baggage would be eliminated.

There again is the crux of our problem. We are told over and over again, we can’t go back. But suppose we could. We may not be able to choose a different spouse but we might be able to handle our chosen one in an alternate manner. By bringing happiness to another individual, brings it to us. The person is full of joy and it spills over us. It seems like a good idea to keep a better mind frame.

Some choices we can’t change but we can alter the way we perceive them and the person we blame. If we can even accept our own interference in the occurrence, we have some grounds to pardon. I think that forgiveness is the key to our being able to go back. We can all return if we bring forgiveness to the table. Those we love or once loved don’t  need expensive gifts or food,  they need the nourishment of love and clemency. That washes away a lot of the pain but not the knowledge. We really do live and learn. The cost of the learning can be tremendous. Our participation in the price can be devastating. We must ask ourselves if we are going to make it about pride, revenge, anger, or if we can encompass empathy love and forgiveness. I know in the end result the later brings serenity, while the former cements stress, worry and rage.

Perhaps our attempts to grade the level of our injuries is a wearisome task which serves no purpose. It only succeeds in calling to mind more hurts and pain. We all experience pain and heartache. Did we enjoy the feeling? If not then let’s not keep it going. Release it and go back to a kinder period in your life. Recall the disagreements, accept the person’s mistakes and empower them with compassion and exoneration. It might be a daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, parent, brother  sister, child, friend or even a neighbor. If you have ever needed forgiveness yourself, endow it to another. Perhaps the person we forgive will not necessarily be the person that we want forgiveness from. We bring the gift of going back. We all like to go back to the simpler version. We have the power to do it for one another, all we need is the courage.

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”C.S. Lewis

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily.”    Joel Osteen

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”    Martin Luther King Jr.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.”    Steve Maraboli

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”    Mark Twain

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”    C.S. Lewis

“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either — or both — when needed?”    Gordon B. Hinckley

“When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.”                   Gerald G. Jampolsky


Doubt“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win,  by fearing to attempt.”
William Shakespeare

“Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief, but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief
that sustains thought and holds the world together.”    Soren Kierkegaard

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”    Suzy Kassem

Likely there are many times  throughout our day when we doubt another person. It is not like we are skeptics, but for one reason or another we perhaps believe others are out to hurt us, get us,  or put us down. No matter where we venture, we have reasons to doubt a person, or a stores perception of the truth. If there is a huge sale, we think it is because they are attempting to get rid of old merchandise. If a friend suddenly calls us to join them on an outing, we assume they couldn’t get their favorite friends to go with them. When we are the recipient of an act of kindness , we wait for the person to ask us for a favor. We just have faith that people  are always  looking for something.

How sad is that? Even worse is the fact that so many of us think this way. Of course we don’t admit it to others because that would be rude. So  we pretend we were overjoyed when another does something kind for us and we give thanks. We go home and wonder about what it is they will want from us in the future. Perhaps we are skeptics. I don’t like being a skeptic. I would rather have faith in the generosity of other people, to do something nice, without any notions of expecting the favor returned.

Teens who want to earn some extra cash so that they can buy a certain item, may receive a few job offers  from mom or dad. Their first reaction is that mom or dad are attempting to pawn the lousy, dirty jobs  off on them. Nothing might be further from the truth, but reason is nowhere to be found. The worker who brings a cup of coffee to a boss or a co-worker appears to be searching for a way up the ladder, or wants help with his workload. How about friends who offer to help us with a project, and then turn around and ask for our help with a bigger project.

We just can’t seem to get away from our reservations. We never believe anything is simply a coincidence when it comes to courtesies. How, I wonder, have we become so jaded, to have confidence in the distrustful motives of others. In a way it can make us feel unhappy. It appears to be a dog eat dog world according to the doubters. It sounds like a horrible world to imagine nobody is kind for the sake of being kind. It makes one wonder how we reached this point. Have others disappointed us so much or held us accountable for repays? Did we just misinterpret another person’s motives, for asking for support with something?

Perhaps we place the guilt on ourselves. After being the recipient of a good deed, perhaps we begin our own search for ways we can repay  the favor. It might be our own guilt that drives this payback. We have become a society that has lost the capacity to enjoy small kindnesses for the sake of goodwill. Having no strings attached is confounding to us. We assume everyone is out to receive something. Most of us have been taught that there is no free ride and therefore no assistance without expectations.

I have always cherished those friends and relatives who offer assistance without expectations. Of course there were those friends who made it clear to me that if I would babysit for them, they would return the favor. I suppose that is why so many of us assume we increase our debt with multiple gifts from others. We should consider how  awesome it would be if we could support others without making a requirement of reimbursement. Kindnesses provide us with such joyful feelings. They spur us into action and make us feel good because we have met more goals than we perhaps expected to meet. We are also empowered with our own worth. After all, someone thought we were worthy of a helping hand.

I am all for returning a favor. I think we need to have the freedom to return it on our own terms. In that way, we won’t feel pressured into repayment, when the other person deems it suitable. That way we can leisurely choose a good moment, to come to the aid of another person. If none of us felt put upon to reciprocate, we would perhaps be willing to assist  others frequently.

I suppose all of this doubt may filter into other areas of our lives. A spouse returning home from work at a late hour may be interrogated  about their whereabouts. Children who profess having finished homework earlier may also be grilled. Our doubts regarding someone’s motives, renders us questioning the motives of all those we come into contact with. Now we are living in doubt which is the equivalent of fear. We become a person who is unable to enjoy the support of others.

The  certainty of believing in the goodness of others,  is necessary, if we are to have faith in humanity as a whole. Whenever someone extends a courtesy to us, whether large or small, we should be thankful. That doesn’t mean we must feel indebted to anyone. Perhaps if we all keep a clean slate, regardless of any indulgences we have received or rendered, we will not be pressured into accepting or doing favors out of compulsion. Instead we will be assisting out of love and kindness.

It is paramount that we refuse to place obligations on the shoulders of others, whether friends or family. By living in a world free of restrictions and debts, we give blessings to the freedom of choice and a loving freewill which fosters empathy. Perhaps spouses will engender more trust in their relationship, and parents will comprehend having faith in their kids. We all can break a rule, but if we believe in each other,  we will have renewed our trust in the goodness of people, throughout our world.

“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy.”    Yann Martel

“Faith doesn’t mean you never doubt. It only means you never act upon your doubts.”    Orson Scott Card

“No one knows for sure that that tomorrow won’t come, but most people assume that tomorrow will still exist as usual. This is Toba’s Paradox, which means, hope overcomes doubt.”
Toba Beta

“If you build the faith to trust a friend as God, then your heart can never be broken.”    Michael Bassey Johnson

Unpretentious Life

Unpretentious Life“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”    John Burroughs

“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.”    Victoria Moran

“Simplicity is complex. It’s never simple to keep things simple. Simple solutions require the most advanced thinking.”    Richie Norton

All the  huge egos, including our own, are due to our attempts to find an unadorned life. That appears to sound contradictory, but actually the boastful people are just as unsure of themselves as the rest of us. They are hiding behind a different rock. Human nature  bestows similar wants and needs. For the most part the needs are the same. Perhaps the wants differ somewhat but the desire for a happy simple life is attractive to most of us.

Perhaps we begin our adult life yearning for the usual attractions of house, car and family. Our thoughts are likely at the seedling form, at this point in time. So how is it we complicate our lives with distractions? It is easy.  In many harmless ideas, we buy more items, create more fixtures, add more attractions and activities. One day, we  wake up to a more complicated life.

The strange thing is we begin blaming the spouse or children for our unbalanced  and burdensome life. We question how it developed into such a harried life. There are so many distractions, that plant seeds in our brains. They grow like weeds and eventually get out  of control. On any given day we travel from one thought to another and can barely keep up with the demands of our concepts.

Almost at the point of overload, we begin attending to the ideas and bringing them to fruition. The variety of notions is exciting. Now our lives take on a new dimension.  We no longer need to consider just what  the kids or spouse is doing, but what the plans are for bigger nd better. In a sense we are traveling down an exciting road, but one that leads no where. Our focus is on entertainment, even if we don’t recognize it, in the present moment.

The bigger yard demands more attention, or more money to have it looked after. Every item calls for more money, which places demands on us. We can’t leave the job we have, which pays a good salary, for one that we’d like to work at, which offers a lower pay. We settle because the desires are overwhelming and settled within our minds. They exhibit attractive  pictures of what we already have, or items we might have at a future time. They overtake our senses.

Have you noticed that many times our conversations with others reflect on buying new things, visiting new places, finding new restaurants, and enjoying new adventures? The conversations sometimes serve to plant the seeds of new inspirations. Our reflections are not focusing on the spouse or family. We are inspired to see our exciting new plans grow into a reality.

So many of us complain about not having enough time to do the things we want. We feel drained and caught between juggling the  children’s activities and our own. Perhaps we have simply complicated our lives with nonsense. Maybe if we pulled up some of the weeds, our lives would appear more trouble-free. Perhaps we don’t have to replace everything with something bigger or more efficient. Just because a car can speed to 250 miles does not mean we are ever going to go that fast.

Is it the bragging we desire, or the attention? Perhaps we all have so many weeds that we are comparing our gardens to see who has a worthier conception. It is extremely difficult to find our  way out of the mess. It is also hard to prioritize our lives. We need the jobs to pay for the bills, and huge amount of peripheral items. We have less time for the things that matter most. We are so busy with our complicated lives that most of us are on auto-pilot.

It isn’t really all that difficult to get caught up in a tangle of weeds. We all do it in one form or another. If it isn’t our items or activities, it perhaps is our kids. Most kids don’t have to think about playtime, because they are involved in many outside activities. Whatever the case, it seems to me, that it is time to have lives that are uncomplicated. I know it isn’t easy because I am in the process at the moment. Once you attempt to sit outside the weed garden, you begin to comprehend the magnetic pull it has. The worldly  attractions are too numerous to count.

After watching people often inhale deeply, as they attend to their many tasks, and listening to the complaints, about their mounting burdens, I am seeing a pattern. The distractions are fake. Without them our lives would be easier, and our thought processes would increase. I don’t believe we would see ourselves as failures, as often as we do today. So many of us are exceptional, in what we accomplish, yet we never have faith that it is enough. We don’t believe we measure-up, unless we  have the many toys.

I really don’t mean to insult those of us with boats etc. If that is something you enjoy that is fantastic. I am pointing out our swaying, between the many distractions of the world, right down to the latest styles in clothing. Shopping constantly draws many of us  into buying items we don’t even need. I deliberately am attempting to steer clear of stores, unless I know specifically what I am looking for. The temptation of the item or its price can be too overwhelming to resist.

The majority of people do a great job, surviving the many obstacles they confront, on a daily basis. Even our  relationships come into jeopardy. So many surveys, tell us whether or not we should be happy, or worried, about our marriages. If one spouse or another, does not receive certain requirements from the mate, the union is in distress, so they say. Many people now have the seed of doubt in their minds, and ponder just how well the marriage is. Those who didn’t question before are now questioning. Perhaps other people within our place of employment, are looking better than our spouse.

All of the doubt and fear is fabricated, most of the time. The need to see through the pitfalls and understand that as humans, we all face similar issues, is allowing one’s self to be in the know. We are the ones that must change. The surroundings won’t. The problems will likely be equivalent, within a new relationship. How do we  think that magically we won’t face any problems. The requirements for an awesome marriage remain similar. Children will always need attention and draw it away from the adults. Spouses require nurturing from each other. Accepting the reality and dealing with our thoughts on the subject, is crucial. Changing what we can is what must be accomplished. Weeding the garden is probably the best thing we can do.

We can stop the fears, stress to a point, and the false temptations of better. Observe these as the unworthy distractions that they are. Even our kids do not need all of the entertainment we provide to them and ourselves. Being real is more important. Are we real? Are we living a life, or searching for a dream world of pleasure,  that leaves us is failure. There are so many weeds, and no one can carry a burden indefinitely.

The added distractions of technology, have without a doubt multiplied the weeds. Perhaps more than any other time in the life of the world, it has  become necessary to cut down or pull the weeds. They are at the point of choking us. I use technology but I see its’ damage, influence, power and ability to destroy all life. We are so overtaken with technology.  Perhaps our last free will choice, is to put the devices away for the sake of humanity.

“No man with a complex life can be happy! The simple secret of the happiness is simple life!”    Mehmet Murat Ildan

“The complexity of your earthly array is not a guarantee for a truimphant eternity. The fact is that you need a simple life to go to heaven; not an excessively glittering body, shiny lips and charming face.”    Israelmore Ayivor

“Luxury Living Low Thinking Simple Living High Thinking”     Baba Tunde Ojo-Olubiyo

“Many of us have not been informed of the simple fact that as we go deeper into the rat race we ultimately become the things that are acquired, owned and consumed.”    Chris La Plante

“First I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work. And then I was dying to retire. And now I am dying… and suddenly realize I forgot to live.”    Author Unknown

Addicted To Technology

Addicted To Technology“The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.”    E. F. Schumacher

“If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”    Omar N. Bradley

second addicted to technology“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.”    John F. Kennedy

None of us likes to be out of control nor have things out of control. Yet, our technology has totally gotten well beyond the limits. We all fight for power and freedom along with liberty, but perhaps media and technology has deprived us of all of this. I believe  it is  manipulating, and has lulled us into an addictive type of need and love.

I use the word love because most of us can’t spend a long time away from our “Stuff”. Anyone with the tiniest bit of techno savvy is seen holding something within their hands. Some people almost appear desperate as they cling to their I- phones, I-pads and whatever. Most people have already inculcated their kids into the habit. A child as young as two might be seen holding a device and pressing buttons.

Can we admit we have gone beyond our limit ? Some people are on computers or some other device right before they go to bed. If one spouse is in the bathroom, they pick their tool up from their nightstand. It can’t be far frm them in case they get a message of some kind. I wonder at the messages, that always seem to be so important, that they can’t let them wait for a better time. There is no privacy. People including bosses, and everyone else, can reach us at any time. Forget about discretion. We can’t escape the ever-ending messages coming through.

Whenever you are in the company of someone who is obsessed with their cell phone, or I pad, or I phone, you find their eyes drifting down to it and then their fingers get busy as they smile. They have totally forgotten  who they are physically with, and devote their attention to the device. You, the physically present person,  must wait for their return. Some people attempt to hide their focus on their device by softly drifting into another room. It amazes me that they think you don’t notice their movements, nor their lack of attention to the present moment with you.

It is so widespread now, that most of us who are not dependent,  just get used to waiting, for these habituated people, to finish whatever messages they are receiving. I know when I am in the presence of these users, I don’t even mention the interruption anymore. I just wait for the interference to end. I still find it annoying, but it is right up there with the waiting time at the  doctor’s office. You don’t like it, or enjoy it, but there are no alternatives so you accept it.

I love it when some people think, they are covering their dependent behavior. This appears to be even worse. One can believe themselves now, to be unimportant,  as well as stupid.  They believe they are fooling us. They keep it on their laps at a restaurant, and glance down now and again. Their smile, when they look down is one giveaway. Other people do a chore, while they peek at their device. They let out the dog, and stand outside, viewing and sending messages.

Some people believe falsely of course, that if they share the message with you, that somehow it makes it okay. You might also get the person who confesses they sent a message earlier, and were waiting for the reply they just received. You  have to praise the people who excuse themselves formally, to receive or send a text message. They get up, act important, express a serious look on their faces, and proceed to another room for privacy.

It seems like all of this might be a danger to them. Are they paying attention to their  world? They might trip and fall as I did when I attempted to dial a phone number while walking. I had seen it done so many times by others, but unfortunately I am not a good candidate, as I missed the end of the sidewalk and fell on the street. Only my ego got hurt.

I haven’t mentioned those people who  text while driving. I place this right up there with drinking and driving. They are focused on typing and reading. I hate to think about those drivers when I enter my car. I know of one accident in which a young girl blamed it on her shoes rather than admit she was sending a text. Her fine was less.

Media promotes Facebook, and other social communities. Now we can share the food we’re making for dinner, and the last time we showered. We have the ability to get one hundred people or more, to commiserate with us, when we are having a bad day. We display the beach area we are visiting, with no care for those who are out of a job or relationship. I know this might be a good thing for some people, but I need more than words on a page.

I need the intimacy of a face, exhibiting care and concern. I like the sound of voices, and seeing expressions change. I like to hear more words than a simple feel better, even if it is only one person, instead of one hundred. Somehow it reaches me more. Some people suffer depression,  from all of the wonderful places and things people expound about on Facebook. Your life can appear very dim in comparison. We really shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone.

In actuality, it is an assessment of  who can gain more friends. This doesn’t appear to be a healthy media device, for a downtrodden individual. Now we might be jealous of many more people, rather than the close friend. Confidence and security become things of the past. Competition  reigns even for young girls, who are competing with their faces and bodies. What are we valuing in this world? Are we aware of inner qualities, or is that something we laugh at? Has our virtue and our morals gone AWOL?

The tumultuous disruptions, throughout the world, are now able to touch our children within our homes. People with questionable motives, can enter our once safe environment, and destroy our family. There are deceitful people who are bent on lying, and coercing our children. It is difficult to monitor this. These people don’t have to show a face, or it can be a false image. As I already mentioned, faces give emotions.

Another area technology is affecting us, is within the social area of  High School. There are students who arenow ridiculed, twenty four seven. Being a teen, they have faith in their ability to handle themselves. The  pain and crushing of their spirit, may eventually destroy them. Many are left with fear and or anxiety. Confidence is gone, and insecurity is instilled. I ponder about the perpetrators of such deeds. Because they are wounding with a tool type of device, likely they feel less blame. They are not involved in the full fledged pain inflicted, when one sees hears or experiences it.

I am not sure if the wrong doers are aware, that they are hurting real people. If you call somebody a name to their face, and see their reaction, it might well up feelings of sorrow for your action. When such is not the case upon using a machine, one is deprived of observing the actual pain inflicted. It  appears that technology use, releases one of blame, and societal constraints and or restrictions. It becomes a covert operation. It is similar to mob rule where no one is at fault, when people or property are injured. Hiding behind a machine, permits freelance slander, manipulation, influence and suffering.

Perhaps we are becoming desensitized, from sensing any remorse, due to our addiction to technology. We have less time for emotions, when we are busy with our fingers tapping devices. Our minds are focused on how well, and how much we can do with these devices. Little time is given to our altruistic nature. Our  minds overtake and rule the heart. Some people are proud of the greatest damage they can accomplish. Perhaps they are bullied in other areas of their lives, and find relief in bullying others on-line.

Our machines keep us too busy to reflect, on what we have done wrong. Instead of man creating machines that are more human like, we are transforming into  more of a machine like existence. This is not true of everyone, but it certainly requires our heartfelt thought.

Some homes are now quiet after dinner, because even the kids are using a device. Our language is even suffering. People use short words, to convey a message. I  find people using less words, and less sensory adjectives, when speaking with or using technology. We have too many notes to send out, and too many people to respond to. With so many friends, can we understand that we are not gaining a close relationship with anyone? Do we care anymore about depth, or quality of love within our lives?

I have noticed our conversations with our spouses, are shorter and curt. I have observed that we all use less of our sense of sight, sound, and sensory. Our hearts are being deprived of compassion, empathy and love. Some things just have to be felt through the heart first. Technology is awesome, but will man misuse it as his reputation proves. What starts off as a good thing, may devour mankind of being humane.

Do we need a law about restricting the use of our devices? Man wants dominance. Now is the time to gain it by turning our technology off when in the presence of physical people. We have the self-control, to restrain their influence and use. As smart and capable as our devices are, they can be monitored, and they do have on and off switches. Let’s  not willingly turn our command over, to a mindless and heartless device’s ability, to overtake our influence and in the process, our humanity.

 “Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.”    Max Frisch

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.”    Jean Arp

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”    Albert Einstein

“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”    Sydney J. Harris

Holiday Thoughts

Holiday Thoughts“I don’t need a holiday or a feast to feel grateful for my children, the sun, the moon, the roof over my head, music, and laughter, but I like to take this time to take the path of thanks less traveled.”    Anonymous

“The Holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings, and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.”    Terri Marshal

The holidays are coming and you can already feel the anxiety. We all have it yet think we are the only ones sensing the stress. Some of us hide our fear better than others but without a doubt none of us like being criticized or gossipped about  when the occassion is over. In truth our reality differs from what another experiences. None of us comprehend the  total meaning  behind words actions or gifts  and we fret about our own situation unaware of the bombs we drop on others.

Attempt to experience a good time without negative thinking before it begins. Don’t poison your holiday with negative expectations. Setting yourself up for a  lousy time will already define your experience. Remember that as much as you want a good time so does the rest of the family. Hurting your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law creates a disastrous happening for the son or husband. It takes only one person to make or break the happiness. It is your choice so choose wisely. It reflects on all of us. Every Holiday is different and can’t really be repeated. Love can always be present and repeated time and again. Following are a few hints derived from  my books and my  thoughts on the subject and others feelings about it.

1. Take control of the situation at the beginning. Trashing your MIL in front of the kids will fuel distrust in your kids. If you stopped loving dad and grandma you just might stop loving them one day.
2. When your marriage has ended, the kids are dislodged and dealing with many changes. The grandparent relationship becomes more significant to them, offering some stability.
3. Put aside fear, doubts, anger and especially revenge. It only leads to dumping more hurt upon yourself and your kids.
4. Talk to your MIL and explain to her how much your kids value her. Allow her to continue her relationship with them. In this way you avoid revenge which is a contagious disease that infects everyone
5. Your child’s happiness is more important than convincing your MIL she is wrong. There are no winners or losers in any confrontation. Kids suffer defeat every time a family member is absent from their lives.
6. Generating bonds of respect with your MIL will keep your ex-husband more involved with the kids. Bonds of love are always more difficult to break.
7. Your MIL loves her grandchildren and she will treat you with respect if it means her connection to her grandchildren will continue.
8. Be patient and give your MIL time to heal. Being non-judgmental allows you to heal and have some support from your MIL. The MIL, DIL relationship is like any other. It requires time and effort.
9. With tolerance and acceptance, the barriers both women have constructed will break down. We can’t fight with someone who is just not taking the bait and fighting back.
10. In the end it is wise to remember you, your ex-husband, MIL, and children are part of a large quilt which includes all of you. Your kids have roots that are tangled with each family member. Damaging any parts of their roots destroys pieces of their foundation. Keep kids healthy and strong in mind and body. Do what it takes and strive for peace.

Kids can be jealous of step kids and especially half siblings. Kids resent step parents disciplining them and one must question fairness when their own kids are involved. Kids exhibit more anger due to numerous stresses of mixed homes, many parents and disciplinarians and more kids to compete with. Be consistent, don’t compare, attempt to be on the same page, and always give respect time and love. Don’t fight in front of kids and never talk about the other parent or allow the step parent to do this as it will only hurt the child. Instill rules with meaningful consequences and provide choices. Willingly accept support from extended family members; You don’t want to cut your kids roots and thus destroy the plant. Kids are sensing a loss of family otherwise.

Reflections for Mothers-in-Law
Remember your daughter-in-law has a family, too. She cherishes spending time with them holiday central, and be thankful to share it with people you love.

Your daughter-in-law may anticipate visiting her family on the holidays. She might be more anxious to see them if they live at a distance. Try to give of yourself. When all is said and done, we remember who did what for us quicker than who gave what to us. It is fun to visit with someone throughout the year. The holidays are only a short period of time. It is the people who make the holiday special.You cannot compete with your daughter-in-law‟s mother. You can become a significant ally to your daughter-in-law. Promote your own relationship of family love with her.

Each holiday is unique in itself. It is not possible or necessary to repeat a holiday experience. Embrace each holiday. They have their own distinct moments. Give unconditionally, and you will not be disappointed. Equating the gifts from your daughter-in-law or mother-in-law to the value she places on your worth is a mistake. Most of us choose a gift we would prefer for ourselves and one we can afford. Holiday traditions change, and are a part of life. When a child starts school it is change and when a child marries it is  change. Bear with each other regarding the changes. Join in the festivities.

Reflections for Daughters-in-Law
Lend a helping hand when possible, and remember to value the person who donates his or her time and effort for you. Make an effort to visit with your mother-in-law at other times during the year. This is especially important if you do not get to spend the holi-days with her.

Remember to cherish your mother-in-law‟s traditions. They were developed over numerous years and possess profuse memories. Be fair in dividing your time and your husband‟s with your respective families. Your mother-in-law deserves equal attention. Invite your mother-in-law for a holiday as you would your own mother. She is your husband‟s mother.

Do not equate your mother-in-law‟s or daughter-in-law’s gifts to how she cherishes you.
Do not anticipate quantity from your holidays or from your gifts. Search for quality.
Accept your mother-in-law‟s invitations to holiday meals whenever you are able.
Your family‟s traditions and your husband‟s family traditions will differ. Accept and enjoy these differences. Have faith that love is shared and celebrated every day, not just on a holiday.

“Having somewhere to go is HOPE, Having someone to love is FAMILY, having both is a BLESSING.”    Anonymous

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” Bob Hope

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it”s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

“Don’t spoil Christmas Day by anticipating how it will be. Let is unfold as it does, and be grateful for whatever comes.”     Toni Sorenson

“The spirit of Christmas is found when we lift the load of others.”     Toni Sorenson

Find What Matters

blessings“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”     Antoine Saint-Exupery

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”     Arthur Conan Doyle

“Joy isn’t the natural response to blessings – joy is what comes from acknowledging them.” Richard Paul Evans

Whenever parents compare kids the consequences are harsh. Yet many parents who do not compare their kids  still find competition rampant. Their  kids compete if not with each other then with people in their social circles. I question where all of the competition begins and I find  it never ends but appears to get worse.

I am aware that the world is set up for a stage of competitiveness. We can’t take a walk without feeling we are being observed and assessed. Are we wearing the cool running shoes, walking shoes or sneakers? Do  our colors match and is our make-up right for day or night? Do we look older than our age from our lack of sleep? Will we run in to people we know so maybe we should wear the other coat? How about the hair and walk? Appearing confident is important.

Somehow the world was changed from a natural environment to one of clashes at every turn. It makes no difference if you enter the game or not. You are still measured and approved or disapproved. Of course if you are approved, people will dislike, distrust and envy you. They will also include you but attempt to discredit you. If you are found to be lacking you will be loved because we all approve of the downtrodden and we love to rescue and support others. It gives us a superiority feeling. That is good to support others but shutting down on those we technically admire is  not good.

I know some people who actually criticize themselves constant;y so that others will deflect their remarks and encourage them with praise. Other people  who just  want to share their positive news are met with smugness. Maybe that is our way of keeping the playing field even. When we notice another moving ahead we have the need to push  them back. So it goes. If we could only alter the evolving nature of the world in a more profound way.

Schools foster the competition with the prevalence of grades and honors for progress. There is no honor for work well done. It is based  on gaining rewards. I am all for encouragement and positive rewards but as a child matures the rewards should taper off allowing one to achieve for their own sake. The thanks is in the knowledge or skill and accomplishment. It might even be a voluntary support to another.

Games foster the same mentality with besting of another. It is hard to imagine any of us can keep a friend. After all, if our friend moves up in the world economically, it is a game changer. They make new friends as they travel in a different circle. Even if they choose to keep with the known group, they make them uncomfortable and end up having to make new friends. The group can’t maintain its’ own stability with the changing of circumstances.  It is a known fact that those that win the lottery usually switch everything about their lives including people they hang out with.

Liking people for who they are ought to make  us immune from such issues. It is also a known fact that two is company and three really is a crowd. Nobody enjoys fighting to be part of a conversation. One is always left in the dust feeling the pain of rejection. Is it important to be the center of attention? Must we speak a certain amount of time to  be correct in the threesome? Are we still the same person? We are the same person but sense we are losing the race. I am not sure what the race is. Most of us don’t but we perceive when we are losing.

Parents instruct the kids to include everyone yet they choose who they will sit beside at functions. I’ve seen many who bypass those they know without a thought. Many imperceptible actions are perceptible to kids who immediately pick up on what we model. Anything that can be contrasted with babies and children is made a contest that we all participate in. Unintentional situations that materialize are also suddenly an opportunity to judge. The more I think about it the more I find it hard to believe we can hold onto our friends at all. It most likely works when we are okay with the pecking order. If it transforms in any way it may topple the relationship.

If I am the one who is always searching for acceptance and my friend is the one in the leadership role offering advice, it is perturbing if we switch roles. One takes a step backward and one a step forward. In actuality the friendship might dissolve. Some friends are available for all of the problems. They relish their role as lead support. Once a person is back on their feet the connections are altered and the relationship may not go back to its original form if at all.

My point is we are never relaxed and enjoying a relationship without the added innuendos. Look at the magazines offering beautiful people. Observe the TV and the power and control of marketing. See our friends in a dither about keeping up with everyone else. Look  at the concern we have with homes kids and ourselves. Too much emphasis is placed on how others think of us and what we hold dear. I’d like to find the magic to change the world. If we could reset the button and delete rivalry we most likely would defeat many clashes.

If the world can’t be altered, the next best thing is ourselves. Resetting us might make a difference. The more we refrain from striving for nonsense things and praise, perhaps we will send others the message of relaxing when with us. We might share without judgement. I don’t care if my child pooped on the toilet at one and your child was four. If it is irrelevant to me I shall not be repeating the news to so many others. It really doesn’t make a difference to another person anyways. If I were to repeat it I still see it as inconsequential  to anyone else.

It isn’t necessary for me to make myself appear improved by degrading someone else. As our kids finish school and move into careers, we tend to dwell on their accomplishments. Although  we might be happy for them and proud,  we don’t understand that to others it may not be as important. I am not saying don’t share the news but I don’t think we must share the updates constantly. I only mention this because there are many who are suffering with their own particular adult child issues. This is no way makes their child less or more important. It also doesn’t mean they want attention. It simply means our roads are complicated and maybe we should stick to what is important.

I love hearing what is going on in other people’s lives. I do know that couples who are attempting to have a baby and are truly discouraged are not so enthused when they hear about others having kids. I don’t fault them. Sharing is one thing but flaunting is another. I remember one couple discussing their recent vacation with a couple whose husband just lost a job. I think we are just so programmed and maybe so insecure ourselves that we have the need to constantly hold up to others things we believe are to be treasured.

As I mature myself, I find worth in the simple things. Again no criticism to another s beliefs. I just place so much value on giving and receiving love. The happiness and contentment is powerful. It is so simple to find out your own gems. All we need to do is think about those things we would hold onto for the last moment as other things slipped away. That is our treasure. If you get worried about the competition surrounding your life, and the jealousy creeping in, recall  what counts in your life. you may  already have won the top prize yet you continue your search and struggle at the world’s calling. I know it is said that stuff bothers us only if we let it. By reminding ourselves of what we have to be grateful for, we dismiss the beckoning of false prizes. We do away with the competition and we get to know who our family and friends really are and we are able to keep them in our lives forever. Most importantly we find ourselves and serenity.

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of Peace.” William E. Gladstone
“Don’t count your blessings, let your blessings count! Enjoy Life!” Bernard Kevin Clive
“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” Thomas G