Timing is Everything

 

 

Timing is a funny thing.  There’s bad timing which creates chaos and good timing which creates opportunities.  Then there is the perfect timing which can easily change the outcome of a situation from disastrous to excellent.

I’ve always taught my kids that if they are with the wrong crowd they can be guilty by association.  When friends make bad choices and you find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time, you may end up dealing with consequences that weren’t yours to own.  I remember a young teenager who got into a schoolyard fight.  The fight began between two other kids and this teenager didn’t need to get involved.  But, he chose to take the fight to another level and turned the whole thing into a drastic mess.  He chose to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and then he chose to become a part of something that was way bigger than he was.  The fight between the first two kids was over but he created and escalated a new fight.  The victim was seriously hurt and the teenager found himself in jail.

I gave a gift certificate to a young woman for Christmas.  It was for a ceramics studio.  I thought it would be fun to do something together.  After Christmas, we finally went to the studio to enjoy the day and make our ceramics.  We had so much fun that day.  I was trying to decide what piece I wanted to paint, I have a hard time making up my mind, so the young woman was very patient and helped me.  She is very knowledgeable with ceramics and she patiently guided me through the process of picking paint colors and explained to me how the colors must be laid down in a certain order to achieve the correct result.  As we sat and painted, we were conversing with the owner of the establishment.  She took notice of the knowledge and patience that the young woman had given me.  After many hours of painting, the owner came over and handed the young woman an application for employment.  At that time, the young woman was having some struggles at her place of employment.  This opportunity showed itself to her at the right time.  The young woman was open to a new adventure and so she was hired to do a job in a field that she loves.  Surely, this is an example of very good timing.

A woman I know recently had to have surgery.  Everything was in place.  The date was set on the calendar, the pre-testing was finished and the surgery was set to occur.  The night before the surgery, her doctor called her and stated that he was reviewing her pre-testing results and he was not comfortable doing the surgery because there was a greater risk than they had first thought.  He didn’t want to jump into the surgery without further investigation.  The woman went through some additional testing and she and the doctor came up with a new game plan.  Although very serious, the surgery was done in a more non-invasive way, which led to quicker healing time.  Other unplanned things occurred in this process and led to a life-saving intervention. My friend was definitely at the right place at the right time for this situation to happen.  If she had been anywhere else when the complication occurred, she would have died.   If the doctor had not initially reviewed her case, the risk to my friend would have been catastrophic.  All of these steps placed this woman at the right place at the right time.  She had faith and everything turned out better than if she had planned it herself.  Sometimes we don’t know what’s in our best interest and things change suddenly and unexpectedly.  For my friend, this gave her a new lease on life.

When plans change suddenly, it’s best to go with the flow and see where the path takes us.  Timing is everything.

Dog Parks are not for Humans

 

 

For the past few months, I have been taking my dog Shadow to the dog park.  I’m a newbie at the dog park.  I’m still learning about how the dogs interact.  Besides being fascinated by dog behavior, I am becoming ever more fascinated by the semblance of characters that are human.

People are very serious about their pets, as they should be.  I love my dog and he’s part of my family.  The dog park is great stimulation for a one-year-old puppy who needs to get rid of stored up energy.  Shadow has no attention span when it comes to the park.  He starts chasing after one dog and his head goes back and forth, searching for what else is happening along the way.  He darts from one end of the park to the other.  I cannot keep up with him.

When you mix different dog personalities it becomes very interesting.  Certain dogs don’t have tolerance for specific dogs.  I’m learning that they all have unique personalities, the same as humans do.

Speaking of humans, my fascination with their interactions at the dog park piques my interest even more.  One lady brought her young dog into our off-leash dog park and Shadow wanted to play with him right away.  The owner was very nervous as she shouted, “Now, don’t you use your mouth.”  My question was, “What else are they going to use?” Dogs play by mouthing each other along with using their paws to spar.  That’s what dogs do.  This particular owner was extremely over the top because the dogs were playing nicely.  Did I mention that she brought an air horn with her in case there was a boxing match between the dogs?  I was astonished at the level of fear she brought into the park with her.

I came across a different owner the other day.  Her dog looked like a Doberman but he was small and fat. I thought maybe he was a mixed breed but she was sticking by her story.  I thought Dobermans were a taller, sleeker breed.  Once again, he wanted to play but she didn’t want him to use his mouth either.  I found her to be a bit eccentric. I commented on how shiny her dog’s coat was and she went on about how people give their dogs raw eggs to make the coat shiny.  But, she explained that if eggs are clogging the arteries of people, it certainly cannot be good for the dogs so she used cod liver oil instead.  That’s what her mother gave her when she was little.  Hmm,  I wondered if it made her skin shiny.  I don’t know.

Moving along to the characters that I have met, there’s a little dog, kind of scruffy, who doesn’t like Shadow at all.  I don’t know why but he has never liked him.  Whenever Shadow approaches, the dog snarls at him and Shadow retreats.  There has never been an altercation and I stay close to Shadow so as to be able to break up a situation if need be.  The owner of this dog continues to yell at Shadow.  I was allowing the two dogs to interact because I felt this was a teaching moment for Shadow to learn boundaries and cues from other dogs.  As I stated before, I stay close to avoid conflict.  The other owner clearly stated to me that his dog is not very social but he continued to yell at Shadow.  I subsequently put Shadow on the leash and escorted him to the other end of the park.  I shared this interaction with another woman.  I was aggravated because I was at an off-leash dog park and I had to put my dog on a leash because Mr. scruffy isn’t very social.  I was ranting and raving about why a person would bring a dog to the dog park who isn’t very social.  The owner of Mr. Scruffy happens to be an attendant at the dog park and he should know better than to bring his anti-social dog to the park.

Another owner came in with who I believed to be his mother.  This man did not want any dog near his dog.  His dog just wanted to play.  I approached the man, trying to be kind and ease his fearfulness.  I asked him about his dog and he wouldn’t answer me.  His mother, who was cloaked in a long fur coat with a hood to the point that you couldn’t see her face, barely responded with the dog’s name but I couldn’t understand what she said.  I continued to try to speak kindly to the man and he kept shooing Shadow away.  He was a mean type of person and eventually, I gave up and put Shadow on the leash and led him away, muttering out loud that the other dog apparently isn’t allowed to play.  I was so irritated and went to the other end of the park and told my friends why Shadow was once again being ‘punished’ by being put on the leash at the off-leash dog park.

Most people that I encounter here are very friendly and cohesive.  Our dogs get along very well and we have all become our own little pack.  But, you never know who is going to come through that gate and what baggage they are going to bring with them.

We are talking about a dog park.  You know, a dog park for dogs to run free and play.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s not a place for the mentally deranged, over the top, off-kilter types of people.  Dogs feel the energy of their owners and that spreads to the other dogs.  Most times, the dogs come in happy and ready to be free but I wonder if some of the dog altercations are coming from the negative energy that the owners bring with them.  I’m going out on a limb here and blaming the humans.  And, that’s all I have to say about that.

No Motivation? Read this.

This is a reblog of a post by Be inspired. It has so much value that I just had to share.

Be Inspired..!!

If you’re in desperate need of some motivation, we’re going to fix that problem, right here, right now. Prepare yourself.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. You said you needed motivation. I’m going to do what needs to be done to get your ass in gear. NO EXCUSES. If this isn’t the kind of motivation you need, leave now. You’ve been warned.

Here goes :

  1. Write Down your “Why’s” – Write down all your reason for wanting to achieve whatever it is you are trying to achieve. Be specific and then keep the list somewhere handy to refer to when you are flagging. 
  2. Set Goals – Set long term goals and then spilt them down into monthly goals. Make sure they are specific, realistic and have timescales. Write your goals down. Split them down again into smaller weekly “to-do”lists.
  3. Try the “two minute” rule – Set a timer and then make yourself work on a…

View original post 180 more words

Kids will be Kids

 

 

 

The other day, I was sitting in my car in the driveway,  waiting for it to warm up.  As I sat there, I noticed two kids around the age of 8 years old, walking to school.  I noticed that neither one of them had their hoods on, even though it was very cold outside.  As I sat and watched them, a few things occurred to me.  It seems uncommon to watch children actually walk to school these days.  More often than not, parents are driving their kids to school if the kids aren’t taking the bus. If you live within a certain proximity to the school, your child is assigned as a ‘walker’.  Most of these ‘walkers’ get rides from their parents.  As I watched these two little ones, it felt very refreshing to watch them walk to school together, on their own, without parents hovering.  It made me smile to see something that took me back to my childhood.  How can children learn to become independent if they aren’t even allowed to walk to school alone?  It’s only a block or two away.  In my mind, I find this very sad.  I watch as parents indulge their children at every turn.  It is not abuse to expect your child to walk to school if they are assigned as ‘walkers’.  The simple act of walking to school, or to walk to their friends house seems to be disallowed.  The result of this indulgence by parents will enable a child to grow up and expect even more from those around them.

It’s a bigger issue here than just allowing children to go outside by themselves.  You rarely see children playing with neighborhood kids anymore.  The parents take the kids over to their friends house and pick them up.  God forbid, they require their children to get any physical activity whatsoever.  This is creating a self indulgent society for the future and we wonder why “kids” in their 40’s are still living at home with their parents.

Anyway, as I sat watching these two children, I mentioned that they didn’t have their hoods on even though it was very cold.  At that moment, I watched two 8 year olds actually think for themselves and lift their hoods on because they felt the cold.  Imagine that.  They were capable of making a good decision even without the parents hovering over them.

Being the observer of these kids for just a few moments, gave me great insight.  First, it warmed my heart to see them doing what all kids should be doing and that is walking to school by themselves.  In this society today, we live in fear of everything and we are passing that fear along to the children.  Living in fear will only create hardships.  I would love to see the children living in love, being open to the world around them.  Instead, they are holed up in their homes, playing video games and afraid to talk to people face to face.

The second thing that I realized was that without any prompt from a parent, they instinctively put their hoods on when they felt cold.  Children are smart.  They know when they are cold or not.  Parents have taken away these small lessons of children thinking for themselves and making their own decisions by insighting fear into everything and not allowing these children the space to evolve into full functioning adults, one step at a time.

Two small children gave me a bountiful gift that day.  They gave me great joy by watching children be children.  I smile when I see children playing ball in the street in my neighborhood.  It’s not something you see too often anymore.  It’s so sad to know that kids aren’t being kids anymore.  I’m even more sad to know that it’s happening because of parents’ inability to cope with their own fears and challenges.  It’s creating a cycle of sadness, dependance and self indulgence.  I can only pray that there are still those families that are willing to ‘live on the edge’ and allow the kids to be kids and learn the things that life can teach them in simple daily activities.

Visiting the Tax Man

 

 

The way my brain works is a wonder.  Sometimes, I surprise myself by the craziness that ensues while the wheels turn inside this clock of mine.

Recently, we went to get our taxes done.  I am very particular when it comes to having everything organized and ready for the tax man.  By nature, I am a very organized individual.  I have a folder for all the owner’s manuals from items that we have bought.  I still have owner’s manuals for items that are long gone.  But, if something goes wrong with the lawn mower, the treadmill, the television or the dog feeder, there’s an owner’s manual in that folder just waiting to be read.  My boyfriend admires me for keeping good records.  I admit, I am a little over the top.  Anyway, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to organization of financial or important materials.

Last year, we went to get our taxes prepared and we were listing the donations.  Of course, I have all receipts to back up my listings but there is a gray area.  That would be donations of clothing.  Usually, I bag everything up and take it to the local donation box.  I then grab a receipt and estimate an amount that I think the bag is worth.  Our tax man said that he thought that I was undervaluing those items.  He suggested that I take a picture of the items so that the following year we could get a better idea of the value of the clothes.  For the entire year of 2018, I took photos of each and every item that I donated.  When we had our taxes done and came to the donations part, I handed the tax man a stack of pictures of each and every item.  He looked at me like I had 3 heads.  I responded to him by reminding him that he was the one who told me to take pictures.  He laid each and every picture out all over his desk and with a smirk, he called in his assistant and asked him, “What do you think this Tshirt is worth?”.  At that point, I was embarassed along with my boyfriend and step-daughter.  The laughter ensued and we couldn’t stop.  We literally took picture by picture and estimated it’s worth.  Our tax man had never dealt with anything like this before.  I think he might have thought I was crazy but I was just following instructions.  That situation is going down in history like so many other ridiculous things that I do.

 

Doggy Duty

I took Shadow to the dog park today.  We usually go at the same time so he hangs out with the same group of dogs.  They have their own little pack now.  Today we had a special visitor named Sheena.  Shadow and Sheena have met before.  They are both around the same age, 10 or 11 months old.  They play perfectly together and run like the wind.  It is glorious to watch them run the entire length of the park with the wind in their hair.  They don’t have any worries.  The only thing that matters is the joy they are feeling in that very moment.

I have never really paid attention to dogs at play before.  I am becoming fascinated with their interactions.  They share a language that only the dogs know.  If you watch closely you start to pick up on their conversations.  For instance, there is one dog at the park that does not like Shadow.  He has never liked him.  I don’t know why,  but Shadow is young and still learning to pick up cues from other dogs.  He doesn’t always understand that they are not in the mood to play.  Most of the other dogs are tolerant and are teaching him what their behavior means.  He’s starting to get it.  The one dog that doesn’t like him, certainly makes it known that he is not a fan of Shadow but for some reason Shadow refuses to believe him and then a riot ensues.  I am noticing now that Shadow is starting to step back when that particular dog growls at him, but he doesn’t always back away.  He better figure it out soon, though.

As I watch the dogs play, I notice that they like to spar.  They both jump up on their two back legs and come at each other in a way that may look threatening but they are careful not to hurt one another.  They mouth each other and nip at each others’ ears.  But there is no intent to injure when they are in full play mode.  They automatically know not to bite down too hard.  Of course, there are occasions when that happens and there will be a loud yelp but no harm ,no foul.

When a dog means harm, there is no doubt what is happening.  You cannot misinterpret their cues.  Not from the human standpoint.  When they are agitated, they will make their intentions known immediately.  Shadow, on the other hand, will learn one way or another.  When I notice a problem arising, I immediately leash Shadow and walk him away from the ruckus.  All of the other dog owners do the same.  We have a little community at the dog park and we realize that some personalities just won’t mesh.

While watching the dogs interact, I realized that if humans interacted like the dogs, there would never be misunderstandings.  Dogs don’t talk about each other and spread rumors.  They do what they do and if they don’t like what is happening, they share that very loudly and clearly.  It would be great if humans could just say what’s on their mind, have it out and move on.  It would only take a second for the situation to be solved.  But, there’s the whole, getting feelings hurt stuff.  Yes, I guess humans have it a little bit more complicated.  It would feel so good if you got in a situation with someone and you didn’t like what they did or said, so you just spurted out what you thought, true to your deepest feelings ,and then both parties would just walk away with no hard feelings.  Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works.  Every now and then, I would love to just shout out what I am really thinking.

There is a lot of joy in watching the dogs run free and wild.  There are also lessons we can learn while watching.  But, humans are not dogs and we do get our feelings hurt.  We have a right to have different opinions but we do not have a right to hurt each other. Eventually, I think we will also figure it out, one way or another.  Hopefully, peace and harmony will be the outcome.  Meanwhile, I will continue to admire the strength, and willingness to have fun as I watch my four legged friends frolick in the park.

 

Heart and soul

A fellow blogger, Cristian Mihai, wrote this blog and it is so powerful that I just had to share.

Cristian Mihai

The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. – Ted Hughes

You’re going to die. No, this is not some metaphorical bullshit. You are going to die. They are going to plant you in the ground, and all that you are will decay until there’s nothing left. Your bones will turn to dust and that dust will get carried on through the ages.

Your time on this earth is limited. How do you want to spend it? Think about it. I mean, really think about it.

Lukewarm is no good. Being fearful is not worth it. Worrying about what other people think or say or…

View original post 273 more words