Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Vol 2. No. 13 - Another Week, Another Challenge

Another Week, Another Challenge

 Hello Everyone,

Yes late again!!!  It's interesting doing this newsletter.  I look at the things that have happened during the week and try and draw from them to write about.  But sometimes, it seems my head is so flooded that I end up writing about 2 or 3 different things, and it still isn't what I want to say.  That is what happened this week.  I try to keep a balance between being preachy and helping us all think about life and how we treat the world and those in it.

So this week one of the things I began to write about was A Daughter's Love.  I witnessed several acts this week between Mothers and Children that touched me greatly.  Sometimes it is  hard for me because of the relationship with my own mother and family.  I know I am a Daughter of God, I try to be a good friend to others, and when opportunity arises I can feel a small bit of nurturing playing with children and keeping them entertained.  This past Sunday Little Violet who is 8 months old sat in front of me.  She becomes fascinated with my cane for some reason.  I admit I like to tease her a bit with it, but she seems to be entertained.  So she keeps at it and so do I.  But this Sunday she got a hold of it and would not let go.  I had to struggle to get it from her grip all the while she was giggling.  Those moments melt my heart.  I don't get them very often and it helps me put things into perspective of what life is really about.

Earlier in the week I was told I was too catty, negative and judgmental because I choose to back away from those when I see a pattern.  I just don't see why it is necessary to be negative or derogatory towards others.  It is one of my biggest pet peeves and I could not figure out why.  It made me step back and think am I all these things they say or is there something else I am not seeing.

So this morning (Tuesday) I was watching The Voice that airs on Monday Night and it struck me.  Back in the days when I used to watch TV alot, one of my favorite shows was American Idol.  I remember the first time I heard Carrie Underwood in her audition, I knew she was going to be a star.  The same with Kelly Clarkson and others.  As the show became more popular everyone wanted to try out and have their 15 minutes of fame.  Understandable.  But then I heard of friend's children who auditioned and were turned down and never got to the producers, yet others with obviously no talent made it all the way to the televised portion.  That was the reason I stopped watching American Idol.  I didn't feel the necessity to make fun of someone and be cruel to them at the expense of ratings, revenue or entertainment.  It also turned me off from all other singing reality shows.  They were all singing shows and I figured there would be that humiliation and negativity I was trying to rid my life of.

Enter my friend Sondra.  She is getting ready for a trip to Nashville and we have discussed the "must See's and Do's" while she is there.  One night she is going to the Opry (A must See and Do if you are ever in Nashville!) and was seeing the Swon Brothers.  I had never even heard of them, and I think I know Country Music.  She explained they were on The Voice and really liked them.  That led me to looking them up and finding performances on YouTube which in turn made me watch The Voice to see what it was all about. So my friend Sondra has not gotten me into TWO HABITS....watching The Voice and BYU Creamery Ice Cream.  Trust me, I am working on a payback!  <g>

It really hit me while watching The Voice this morning.  We all see things so differently.  This is due to our background, how we are taught, our values or even words said to us. As I watched the singers come out and do their battles I was amazed at what the coaches saw as professionals and what I saw as an outside observer.  I seem to go by those who can capture me on stage with their presence.  Every once in a while I hear a missed note, but it is nothing that stands out to me because I look for different things than the coaches do. To me they were all good and to pick a "winner" you might as well put their name in a hat and draw one.

And I realized that is what I expect of people and especially my friends. I have tried to set my standards to a certain point and I automatically ASSUME everyone else will fall into that place that is acceptable to me and they will do the same.  But we don't.  Then I get frustrated, and hurt and it makes me want to run back to my shell only occasionally poking my head out for a look. But I can't. Because we are not all the same. That is something that can't be changed, nor do I want to change it.  I like the uniqueness of my friends.  Going back to my friend Sondra, there are times when she supports me in my chocolate endeavors and other times when she needed to give me her professional advice, but she was able to do it constructively and not criticizing.  And that is where I hope we can all strive to be.  I don't do well with negative or criticism.  I get frustrated with it.  It reminds me I how I feel my family only sees me as a failure. 

I am reminded of a story I once heard.  A new wife went to cook a roast, and cut off both ends of the roast, put it in a pan and came out beautifully.  Her husband asked her, "Why did you cut off the ends of the roast?" Not criticizing, just curious.  The wife answered "Because my mom always did."  "Why did your mother cut it off?" the husband asked? The wife in turned asked her mother why she cut off the ends of the roast before cooking it.  The mother replied, "Because my mother made it that way."  They then went to the grandmother to find out why she cut off the ends of the roast before cooking it.  "To fit in the pan" she said.

So I think it is important to ask questions, to lend support but be careful of our words and actions.  If you begin your comment or sentence with "I know I shouldn't say this" or "You probably don't want to hear this" then you should probably find a more positive way to say what is on your mind or not say it at all.  It's not going to change that person from what they are doing by offering harsh or critical words.  If anything it will drive them further to that negative road. If you lay the hint, they will get the hint and come around in THEIR TIME not yours.

I have learned when I was doing evaluations on others, there is always good about people.  I would list a few good things and then approach them with things that needed to be worked on. We got much further with improvement than just pointing out the bad.

This week I am going to try and remember to give all a chance.  So often the red flag goes up and I automatically dismiss that person for one reason or another.  But maybe just like me, they have worked on improving that habit or annoyance they have and deserve another chance.  I often wonder where I would be had I not had that second chance in life. 

Life is Good my friends!!  We may not be where we want to be, but we are just where we are most likely supposed to be.  Hope you all have a good week and watch out for those pranks.  Remember to keep those in your circles in your prayers...we all could use them!!

Hugs Laura

PS The picture of the flowers are just because I liked them and thought they were SPRINGY!

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