Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Yawn and a Vote

It's such a shame. With an office as important as the President of the United States, you'd think I could get behind somebody and get motivated or excited by a candidate. But so far, it just isn't happening.

Tonight is the Florida primary, where it's all very preliminary and doesn't actually elect anyone...but it determines who begins to rank as the frontrunner in each party and who will find it much easier to raise money and continue the race as we move towards November and decide on party nominations.

For me, in the end, it'll be an easy choice. I'll vote for whoever runs against Hillary in the general election. But it's such a shame to be voting more against a candidate than for one. You'd think out of 300 million people, someone to be excited about would emerge. But not yet. There seems to be a major flaw with all of them.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Open Hearts, All

It's been a stressful week.

I've been a bit out of commission recently due to a family emergency. My father, who turned 76 this past Saturday, underwent open heart surgery on Monday to replace some heart valves that have cratered on him. Poor guy....only about 30% of his heart was working, and he was getting so little circulation he could hardly function. I have no doubts that without the surgery, he wouldn't be with us much longer, and I mean days and weeks, not even months. He was in some really bad shape.

Thankfully, he's come through the surgery well, but recovery and rehab are proving difficult. He's feeling so poorly, he doesn't seem to want to try to recover, and we're battling a bad attitude, which can't be fixed by even the best surgeons.

So we work with him daily, try to encourage him, try to find ways to motivate him to do his breathing exercises, his walking rehab and to just be positive in general, as this is what will bring him back home.

With patience, many prayers and fingers crossed, he will get stronger each day, and maybe we can bring him back home sometime late next week.

It's so difficult to watch a parent age and go through illness and pain. When that surgeon opened my dad's heart on Monday, sitting in the waiting room, my heart hurt as well. Life is so not easy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Invisibles

How many invisible people pass through your life each day?

I'm talking about people like the cleaning lady at your office, the lawn man who works on your yard, the busboy who clears off the table where you eat....you know, the people you see but don't ever acknowledge. How many?

Have you ever noticed that these people walk all around us and amongst us on a daily basis, yet they are rarely addressed by anyone?

There's a young, humble hispanic man who works at my gym, cleaning the equipment. He zips in and out of the sweaty 'monied' crowd while they work off their overabundance, and no one ever acknowledges or speaks to him. It's like he's invisible. And he does seem so out of place -- he's very hispanic, quite possibly an illegal, and I'd be surprised if he spoke any English. To make matters worse, the poor chap has a problem with one of his eyes....it turns in and is quite possibly blind. I see this fellow 2-3 times a week as I work out, and I often think how lonely his life might be, working daily among people who don't even see him. Quite frankly, the looks of this chap might scare a small child. I can't imagine that he gets a good reaction from the world, since society is so darned visual. And I think, how sad that must be. So what do I do? I go out of my way to smile at the fellow and say hello, every time. That's it, nothing more. He always bows his head at me in acknowledgement when he sees me, and I often think perhaps I might be the only one who lets him know he's not invisible. And maybe, just maybe, that makes his day just a tiny bit better.

Every night in my office when I get ready to leave, a Polish immigrant woman comes in with her trash cart to clean the office. No one acknowledges her. She goes about, entering our offices, picking up trash, tidying things up, and no one speaks to her. Except me, of course. I always make a point to make eye contact, smile at her, say hello and ask how she's doing. And now, she seems to light up when she sees me, knowing that I always have a smile for her, when others see right through her. I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe, I've helped to make her job a little easier and her day a tiny bit better. And isn't that what it is all about?

I have always made it a point to acknowledge people who seem to be on the 'lower wrung' of society's caste system. I don't care what a person's role is in society, we're all human and we all have value, and while I'm not likely to put the 'invisibles' into my rolodex and call them up for dinner, I absolutely think they deserve a smile and a hello, just like everyone else.

So try it....look your busboy in the eye the next time he cleans off your table and say 'hello' and smile. See what happens. It might make his day. And it might even make yours.

When God gives you blessings, share the wealth.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Show Does Not Go On

The Golden Globe Awards were supposed to be on television tonight, but they cancelled the show due to the Hollywood Writers Guild strike.

I must say....I don't miss them a bit. I wouldn't have even noticed that they weren't happening if the press hadn't constantly pointed it out for us. That's how important they are -- you don't even notice when the show doesn't go on.

Up next? They're tossing around the notion of cancelling the Oscars, too. While that could be a little disappointing for those of us who see an over-the-top red carpet session as a guilty pleasure, I bet I get over that one quickly, too. In fact, the less we see of the spoiled overblown celebrities, the better off we probaby all are.

But while I don't give a rat's patootie if the celebrities show up on my television again, I do regret that the Writers Guild strike is affecting everyday people in the biz. Wealthy celebs can probably wait it out financially, but their supporting cast -- makeup artisits, limo drivers, wardrobe people, etc. -- are beginning to find it difficult to pay the mortgage. Because when the writers and the actors don't work, neither do they. And nobody gets paid.

Except for the fact that I hate to see the 'little people' suffer, personally I wouldn't mind if they cancelled Hollywood, totally.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My List

Okay, okay....I tried to avoid it, but I'm feeling the blogosphere pressure to step up and inventory some of my own New Years resolutions. Perhaps 'resolutions' is too strong a word...so let's call them my 'aspirations' for 2008:

- To show more gratitude in the coming year. To be grateful for the blessings I have and to not always want more. Gratitude will be a key driver in my life in 2008.

- To live less in the material world and more in the spiritual world. To realize that 'things' will never feed my soul.

- To give more to others and keep less for myself.

- To help illuminate the darkness, both for myself and others.

- To be kinder to my husband, who is the kindest person I know.

- To be more patient with the shortcomings of others.

- To seek balance in life.

- To hold my head high with honor and integrity, no matter what challenge comes my way. To be the model of grace under pressure.

- To honor and glorify the Creator every day.

- To get to the gym one more day a week and take my vitamins daily, because if I feel good physically, it'll be easier to achieve all the other things on this list.