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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.

 

Care about people.

19 Feb

Start helping those around you.

Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
thepinkpeppercorn
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gail_thepinkpeppercorn/5084847252/

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/

Forgiveness.

18 Feb

Start forgiving yourself and others.

We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
taki steve
http://www.flickr.com/photos/13519089@N03/4854025099/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/

Focus on what you have.

17 Feb

Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations.

When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
scrappy annie
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14903992@N08/3955844975/

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/

What goes around comes around.

16 Feb

Start cheering for other people’s victories.

Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
qthomasbower
http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3657094971/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/

Be the best you can be.

15 Feb

Start competing against an earlier version of yourself.

Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
Morgana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97938841@N00/18918072/

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/

Embrace new relationships.

14 Feb

Start giving new people you meet a chance.

It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change.  As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
mararie
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/2383229392/

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/

For the right reasons.

14 Feb

Start entering new relationships for the right reasons.

Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
jasminedelilah
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasminedelilah/1767674416/

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/

It’s about taking a chance.

13 Feb

Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance.

In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.

 

RESOURCES:

Photo Credit:
Taki Steve
http://www.flickr.com/photos/13519089@N03/4854023517/

 

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/

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