Monday, February 25, 2013

More Antidote

In my post "The Antidote" dated 2/20/12, I talk about my vision for a news program that focuses on positive, empowering news, not the fear-based, negative news that seems to be all you can see on TV these days.  My vision has recently been reaffirmed.

I'm sure you've ALL heard about the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case.  No matter where you live in the world, I'm sure you've heard about it.  It was not only about Jerry Sandusky, but it dragged Penn State University through the mud too.  It tarnished Joe Paterno's illustrious career, and he was fired after all the hard working years and wonderful things he did for Penn State.  I'm not saying that Jerry Sandusky doesn't deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law.  If he did what he's accused of, he deserves to never see the light of day again.  But the university?  The WHOLE university?  Really?  Oh how the news media LOVES to tear down.  But they don't like to build up.

I'm from a city in Pennsylvania.  We have one of Penn State's branches here.  Because of that, OUR newspaper ran a story of how a Penn State Dance Marathon raised 12.37 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.  The event commonly known as THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.  Including this year's amount, students have raised over 100 million dollars for  Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital since 1977.  Isn't that amazing?  Doesn't that just give you hope for the future?

I bet a lot of you - maybe most of you - never heard this story.  Why doesn't the media want to promote the good in the world?  They'd have you believe that the world is going to hell.  There's no hope for the future.  We should all be living in fear.  Well, I'm here to tell you that they're wrong.  There is so much good in the world.  There are so many wonderful things going on.  I think it's a shame that the media doesn't cover THOSE things and cover them completely.

I'm not just talking about Penn State.  I'm talking about EVERYTHING.  Look for the positive.  Even when the media is preaching fear and doom, try to look beyond that and search for good.  It's there somewhere.  I firmly believe if more people look for the good and positive, we'll start finding more of it.  I can't do it alone.  Help me out... please.

Love,  Paula 
Click here for The Antidote

Monday, February 18, 2013

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

Have you ever had the opportunity to spend time with a child?  Have you had the opportunity to observe them?  Do you just wonder how their minds work?  There is such an innocence - such truth.  They're so precious and honest.

I'm fortunate to have such sweet, innocent, honest little ones in my life right now.  If you're not as lucky, I suggest trying to find friends with children, nieces or nephews, or volunteer in some kind of work with children.  They are wonderful teachers.  They give hope for the future.  They help us remember the joy and magic of childhood.

On Valentine's Day, my six year old grandson's kindergarten teacher was explaining the upcoming school schedule.  She told her class that originally they were scheduled to be off school on Friday and Monday.  She reminded them that they had a snow day so now they were only going to be off school on Friday.  They would have to go to school on Monday as a MAKE UP DAY.  My grandson walked up to the teacher with a concerned look on his face.  The teacher asked him what was the matter.  He asked, "What are the boys going to do?"  It took me a minute to "get" it.  Once I did, I couldn't stop laughing.

Oh the joy, magic, wonder, truth and innocence of a child!  There's nothing like it to brighten up your life.

Love,  Paula

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Perfect Ending

My mother-in-law passed away.  After several days in CCU (that's the Cardiac Care Unit, which is intensive care for heart patients), it was apparent that the end was imminent.  Mom was transferred to a step-down unit so that she and the family could have more privacy.  We're a large family and there were people in and out constantly.  In this room there could be as many people as wanted to be there and no one would bother us.

My mother-in-law was pretty coherent until her final day of life, which was such a gift.  She had the opportunity to tell everyone that she loved them and we had the opportunity to do the same.  She was cracking jokes and making everyone laugh.  The day before she died, she was listening to Italian music and singing along with it.

The afternoon of her final day, it was becoming clear that this would be her final day.  Her six children gathered around her bed and kept vigil.  They only left her side if they absolutely had to.  The extended family - daughters-in-law, son-in-law, grandchildren, their spouses, great-grandchildren - respected that sacred space and only went in occasionally and briefly to let them know that we were still there supporting them.  We didn't say a word, we were just there.

Around 8 PM we were all called into mom's room.  We stood in perfect silence, keeping vigil as mom was crossing over.  At one point she stopped breathing and we were sure she was gone.  Everyone started crying.  Then she took another breath.  One of her sons said, "Okay mom, you're in charge.  You're going on your terms."  Through our tears, everyone started to laugh.  It was while we were laughing that she took her final breath.

During her dying process, she was trying to keep things light.  She made us send her out on the wings of laughter, not a river of tears.  It was exactly as SHE wanted it.  What a perfect ending.

Love,  Paula

Monday, February 4, 2013

Attitude Adjustment

Have you ever had a "to do" list?  You know the one - it's those things you HAVE to do.  I would be shocked if you didn't have a list.  We all have them at some time or another.  For me, it seems to never end.  When I check one thing off, three more things appear.

Did you ever notice how it makes you feel?  When you say, "I HAVE to_________" - you fill in the blanks - it's draining.  It feels heavy.  It feels like a burden.

I don't know where I read this so I can't give credit, but I read, "Change the things you HAVE to do to things you GET to do."  It doesn't seem like a big deal, but you won't believe what a difference it makes.  It doesn't change your list, but it changes your attitude.  When you say you GET to do something, it's a lighter feeling.  It almost makes you excited to do whatever it is.

I don't always remember to say I "get" to do things, but when I catch myself saying I "have" to do something, I quickly change it and my whole attitude changes.  At work filing and calling for receivables are my least favorite things to do.  Sometimes I'll sarcastically say, "Oh good.  I GET to file today."  Even though it started out as sarcasm, it changes how I feel about it.

It's so simple and can make such a big difference.  Try it.  See if you get the same results I do.  It costs nothing and the reward is priceless.

Love, Paula