Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday December 18, 2011...It's finally over!!!

Barack Obama
10:54 AM (20 minutes ago)
to me
Robert --

Early this morning, the last of our troops left Iraq.

As we honor and reflect on the sacrifices that millions of men and women made for this war, I wanted to make sure you heard the news.

Bringing this war to a responsible end was a cause that sparked many Americans to get involved in the political process for the first time. Today's outcome is a reminder that we all have a stake in our country's future, and a say in the direction we choose.

Thank you.


Sunday December 18, 2011...Bill of Wrongs?

I don't know if anyone noticed, but we have some new rules set out by our "New World Order".

With the defense authorization act just passed and signed, Congress has, for the first time in 60 years, authorized the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial, according to its advocates. This is the first time that Congress has deviated from President Nixon's Non-Detention Act. And what we are talking about here is that Americans could be subjected to life imprisonment without ever being charged, tried, or convicted of a crime, without ever having an opportunity to prove their innocence to a judge or a jury of their peers. And without the government ever having to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

You better watch out, you better not cry.  He sees you when you're sleeping and knows if you'been bad or good.  Be good for goodness sake.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday December 14, 2011...Choose happiness

I just read this short article about the dying wishes of people.  What they might have done differently and left them happier.  I agree completely and try to emulate these ideas, although it's easy to forget sometimes in the hectic day-to-day living.

Top Five Regrets of The Dying

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.  
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday December 10, 2011...Blog or Facebook?

I'm thoroughly confused. I started my blog years ago, before Facebook was around. It was a good place to write down my feelings – happiness, sadness, frustration and anger and to get it out of my system and to share those feelings with whomever cared to read my blog. But, since the advent of Facebook, I find myself sharing little snippets of feelings and referring to articles I've read over my Facebook page in lieu of expounding on my blog. I'm not sure which system really works best for me. The snippets on Facebook disappear, or get buried, after such a short time and then soon get forgotten while the blog entries are there to be read and referred to again and again. Of course, who wants to listen to the frustrations and anger of a particular event or time-frame over and over again? My anger at the Iraq war has tempered with it's diminished effort and my frustration with the Afghanistan war has been relegated to a lower position with the new Occupy movement and the political deadlock. I guess there will always be things to be upset about and things that we have no control over, but wish we could change. Often my focus is towards the negatives and I tend to ignore all the positives that my life contains. I guess I just wish that all men were angels and that we all cared for and looked after each other. There will always be greedy men and there will always be bullies and it is up to the rest of us to help control them.

Anyway, until I can figure out whether to stick strictly to Facebook or to my blog I will stumble along with both and hope for the best. It's still a good way to discuss your thoughts and feelings and to share with others. I find that many folks have a hard time expressing what they feel, but they will either agree with my or debate with me so I suppose I can be a catalyst for them and help them more clearly define their thoughts.