At a loss

27 Aug

I think I don’t take loss very well. Not losing, like losing a game, but losing people. I noticed my last blog post was the passing of my friend Dania. Over the weekend we all lost an American Hero – Neil Armstrong. Someone we always called Uncle Neil. You see, I’m an Armstrong too. I never met him in person, but my family did visit with his family when we moved from Michigan to Illinois back in the early 70’s. I have memories of being in their driveway in Wapakoneta, Ohio as a small child. And as a small child that’s about all I remember. I was about seven at the time. My mom knew Neil’s mom and Mrs. Armstrong sent my mom (also Mrs. Armstrong) a patch that Neil took up to space. One of those nifty Apollo 11 embroidered patches. But it is a large one and very well made. Not like the kind you get in the souvenir shop. I have one of those too for comparison.

Anyway, it was still a shock to hear the news on Saturday. Still felt weird. Like something is now missing. Even though I didn’t know him, there was always that knowing that he was a distant relation. My great grandfather or great, great grandfather was the brother or cousin of his grandfather, or great grandfather. Something like that. We do share that high Armstrong forehead. And family history has never been a strong point in my family, so that’s why I have no idea what the exact connection is. But there’s always been one. And now that’s gone.

I’m finding it odd how sad about it I am. The loss of my father made an enormous impact on me. I was 23 when he succumbed to lung cancer and it was very hard on me. I felt abandoned. I was so angry and hurt and I took it personally that he left me. In reading about Neil’s death online I stumbled upon a photo (which may or may not be real, I didn’t look much closer than a glance) that showed Neil in a casket. I immediately flashed back to my father lying there in a casket. I suppose that is normal, but it surprised me. It’s been almost 23 years since my father died. I try not to think about that much anymore.

The point of this post, rather than my sad rambling, was to post something I read today regarding Uncle Neil. It was a comment on a news story. I read a lot of them today, and the comments were making me even more sad. The conspiracy theorists, the political piling on, it was really pretty nasty. But in the fray, there was one that, while still sad, I thought was quite poignant. My hats off to the author of this comment.

I think it will be a very, very, very long time before we see that kind of individual again, maybe never. It’s not that I don’t think it’s possible, it’s just that today’s mindset is so different. I wouldn’t take anything away from those who made tremendous, and in some cases the ultimate sacrifices on 9/11, or the brave and courageous souls who defend and have defended our nation. It’s just that it’s becoming more and more of a rarity. These days people quickly become so self absorbed and fail to remember the big picture. How much money and fame they can achieve becomes the ultimate goal. They don’t want to do it for the benefit of others, be it a neighbor, city, nation, or in the case of Armstrong and the likes of him, for mankind. They want to do it for themselves. It’s no longer noble to make a sacrifice for others. It really is sad. Hopefully, it will change for the better, but probably not any time soon.

 

Farewell Uncle Neil. I hope I can be half as good of a person as you were.

I miss you, dear friend

4 Apr

I lost a dear friend over the weekend. We’d only met in person once, but she was a person who came into my life like a ball of fire and left an enormous hole that I’m not sure will be filled again.

 

When I joined the “innerwebs” as she used to put it, it was a new thing. I sold stuff on auction sites. And once I found ebay I discovered I still had this love of Fisher Price toys. The Little People. Friends who are always smiling. And through Fisher Price I met Dania. We belonged to an e-group – long before the days of Facebook and social media. She was this wacky chick with a sharp sense of humor. We immediately hit it off. The more we chatted we discovered that we were like long lost sisters.

I don’t know for sure when we first met up, but it was sometime around 1997. We both had newborns. She lived in Virginia, but complained about it a lot as she was a Canadian native. We had the best of times, all online. We stayed up together on New Year’s Eve in 1999 to see if the world would end. Or computers would crash. Neither happened. But we had a blast. My soon to be ex-husband was none too pleased.

He used to call my fellow Fisher Price peeps my “imaginary friends.” But I’ve never been a very social girl. I’ve had one or two friends at a time, but as people do, they go in and out of your life. My imaginary friends, though, have been there for me. Dania in particular. Dania was the first person I told about my “situation” at home. She encouraged me to stand on my own. She listened to me. She was a wonderfully strong woman.

My dear friend Dania left behind a loving husband, two teenagers and an adorable baby girl. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her. Including me. I can see the smirk on her face and feel her rolling her eyes at me.

Goodbye Dania. I miss you more than you could possibly know.

 

Be grateful for all the things you have.

29 Feb

Start noticing how wealthy you are right now.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
qthomasbower
http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3470650293/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

Overcome negative thoughts.

29 Feb

Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes.

The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward.  No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things.  Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
Melina
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chickencat/1702576267/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

You can’t change everything.

28 Feb

Start concentrating on the things you can control.

You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
GenevaLife
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25108545@N08/2712700633/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

Bring joy.

27 Feb

Start actively nurturing your most important relationships.

Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
daya_devi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16601722@N08/5541733256/in/photostream/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

Own your choices.

26 Feb

Start taking full accountability for your own life.

Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them.  But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
qthomasbower
http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3657889982/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

Feeling good again.

25 Feb

Start being more open about how you feel.

If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it.  Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel.  Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
Martin LaBar
http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinlabar/3271089468/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

The journey begins with one step.

24 Feb

Start working toward your goals every single day.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become.  While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
Horia Varlan
http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/4273169407/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

Accept things as they are.

23 Feb

Start accepting things when they are less than perfect.

Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
nadia & massimo
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24641143@N03/2856407085/

Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
http://www.marcandangel.com
http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/

%d bloggers like this: