The Daily Quote: You are Responsible for…

” If you want to move forward in life, you have to make it happen for yourself. You are responsible for your own life, and if you’re sitting around waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you or to even help you, you are wasting your time. Because only you have the power to take responsibility to move your life forward and the sooner you get that, the sooner your life gets into gear. This is what I know from doing 25 years and thousands and thousands of interviews on The Oprah Winfrey Show:  It does not matter where you come from, whether from dire circumstances… It does not matter what your momma did, whether she had a PHd or NO-‘D.’ What matters is this moment – NOW, your willingness to see this moment, accept it, forgive the past and take responsibility and move forward.

 

-Oprah Winfrey

The Daily Quote: Facing Difficulty

perseverance

There are two kinds of people.

The first type of individual seems to experience a lot of ‘ups and downs’ in life. They often feel like they have ‘bad luck,’ or can’t seem to ‘catch a break.’ This person is often stressed by life changes and may suffer from depression. This person may do a great deal of praying, but it is usually for money or relief of a stressful situation. They often feel like their prayers go unanswered. It’s common for this type of person to feel and exude a sense of hopelessness, powerlessness, and victimization in many aspects of their life.

Then, there’s the type of individual who, when faced with difficulty, buckles down, holds tight to their faith & focus, & trudges on. This person’s disposition is seemingly disconnected from adversity or negative outcomes. This individual has a set attitude & outlook that doesn’t depend on day-to-day events, luck or misfortune. This type of person often prays for patience & the ability to cope with whatever situation they are facing. Acceptance is a common mentality, along with perseverance. This person doesn’t feel victimized or plagued by ‘bad luck’ when bad things happen; they see it as part of the journey. This individual turns their experiences into life lessons, & often, in retrospect, sees blessings in their difficulties.

I try to be the latter type; the person who faces difficulty with a positive attitude. The one who smiles in gratitude for an easy day, and likewise smiles in gratitude on a difficult day – knowing that God is teaching me something or improving me with whatever challenge I am facing.

Which type of person are you?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – Bible (James 1:2-4)

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” – Hadith (Narrated by Muslim, 2999).

The Daily Quote: A Selfie Side-Effect

“…experts say the rise in selfies, including group shots, has given rise to an unwanted, invisible, louse photo-bombing otherwise perfect pictures.”

As a school nurse, I see lice quite regularly. They are pesky, relentlessly returning critters that give even the bravest Moms the heebee-geebees. Even in the nicest schools, in the wealthiest of families, I sometimes find cases worthy of a third-world country in the heads of the most charmingly-dressed little girls.

Lice do not discriminate.

And now, older siblings & even adults are contracting them. I have come to realize that after a certain age, Parents do not see their children up close. Much less, rummage through their hair.

I have seen lice crawling in a child’s head from 3 feet away.

Lice crawl from one strand of hair to another. They cannot jump or fly. Selfies provide the perfect opportunity for lice to spread quickly from one person to several. Cases have increased, nationwide, among teenagers without siblings, & adults.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention provides information on lice & treatment options, as well as many other diseases & conditions.

Some popular over-the-counter lice treatments are:

Treatment typically involves a shampoo, combing out & picking out nits (eggs) by hand, & repeating the process. It is necessary to search the hair & pull out nits daily, in addition to shampoo & leave-in treatments, as nits can still hatch after treatment.

You can also find professional lice treatment services in your community. Some are located in salons, & some will even come to your home & guarantee their services.

 

The Daily Quote: Hurt People Hurt People

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome…”  – Joel Osteen

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I had an acquaintance comment recently on how patient & kind I am. Another friend said she told someone that I am the most compassionate person she knows, & that I would help anyone. This week, one of my coworkers called me ‘spiritual’ and ‘understanding.’ Most people who spend any time around me nowadays would probably tell you that I wouldn’t hurt a fly; that I would never dare harm a soul. Some would shudder in disbelief at the thought of me angry & shouting, much less throwing things or in a physical altercation.

I am told that I am ‘Loving’ and ‘Sweet.’ I am told that I am ‘Patient’ and ‘Peaceful.’

While flattered, & pleased that people think positively of me, I can’t escape how incredibly uncomfortable it makes me feel; like a fraud.

I am no stranger to anger. I am no stranger to darkness. I come from a very painful past, full of fighting & hurt & anger & hopelessness. I used to be a person who hurt people.

Hurt people hurt people.

I have managed to hurt most, if not all of the people that I love.

Some people left for good. A few loved me even more fiercely because they could see through my anger, carelessness or coldness to the pain & the fear that I carried.

It is an endless cycle. If you knew the truth & the weight of the guilt I still sometimes carry, you would understand why I will probably never feel that I am a ‘good’ person. I live in spiritual & emotional debt, & there is no way that I, alone, can ever repay those I have grieved. The only thing that makes me ‘good’ is the mercy of Allah. The Almighty, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, The Forgiving. He hides my sins & allows people to think good of me. He continues to heal the wounds of my heart & allow me to be a light, no matter how dim, to help others & be all of these things that I never, ever thought I could be: Loving. Patient. Kind. Compassionate. At Peace. His Mercy allows me to get up every day & try to be the beautiful person that He allows me to portray. I am still a work in progress. It takes effort & diligence. I want to please my Creator.

Healed people heal people.

I still carry the pain, but it is no longer in the form of heavy chains. It is much lighter now, just a tool; a lens through which I can see past the mask of people like me; people who are hurting. The Almighty has blessed me with a heart that is open to people’s stories, their hurts, their despair. My eyes can see through the smiles to the reality behind people’s eyes. Sometimes it’s challenging. People often don’t wish to be seen & vulnerable, but my lens can see through anger & tough exteriors, especially those of children – where there hides pain & fear & loss. I can spot it, because I have it, too. And I can meet it with the Love that He has filled the holes in my heart with.

To those I have hurt because of my own pain, I am truly & sincerely sorry. My apology doesn’t remove the hurt or the anger, the embarrassment or betrayal you felt. I have not forgotten the things I did. Seeing you keeps me humble & is a constant reminder of who I truly am – that I am not perfect. I am not the picture of humility & patience & love & grace that the Almighty allows some people to see. I am still a work in progress. I am still trying & I have not left behind the wrongs that I have committed.

Some people may never see me for the person that I now strive every day of my life to be. I have already painted a picture in living color for those I have hurt. Only the Almighty can change that if He wills.

This is my truth.

Peace & Blessings ❤

The Daily Quote: Sick

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Sick

by Shel Silverstein

“I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay,
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more–that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue–
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke–
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is–what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is—Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

Today is the first day back at my job after a five day Thanksgiving weekend. Today every one is “sick,” and I am the school Nurse. Granted, some of the children I am seeing are genuinely ill; hiding diarrhea accidents beneath jackets tied around their waists, or green-faced with nausea, or sweaty, pale, & coughing up buckets of mucus.

Mostly, though, everyone is “sick.” I like to call it “I-can’t-itis.” Sometimes it’s more aptly named, “I-have-a-report-due-today-itis,” or a severe case of “Monday.”

I see it every Monday, especially after a long weekend, & fondly recall this poem by Shel Silverstein. Here’s to hoping everyone’s better by Saturday.

Make it a great week. 🙂

The Daily Quote: Why Eating Insects Makes Sense

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Photo courtesy theidleman.com 

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I would do to feed my family should all of this shopping I’ve been doing all of my life – this store-to-table hunting & gathering & swiping of the debit card should all fall apart in an apocalyptic mess. Have you ever given thought to what you would do should a massive epidemic of disease destroy the meat industry as we know it?
” Bugs could be a solution for food shortages in the future. “
– Bill Broadbent, bugsfordinner.com
This past summer, I noticed the almost nuisance-level abundance of crickets in my yard & covering my house in the cool flower bed beneath my windows. For only a few seconds, I considered catching a few & frying them up with some cumin & garlic or chili oil just to be able to say I did it. I knew it would be harmless, as I don’t treat my lawn, & people in other countries commonly eat crickets.
That thought returned to me as I was online, searching for sources of nutrition that could help me lose weight & improve my overall nutrition & health. I have a rather sedentary job, & have had a lot of fatigue & pain due to other health conditions. All of the health shakes & meal replacement drinks that I’ve found in stores contain too much sugar and/or sodium. They cost too much. Then I’m left with plastic bottles to recycle, & to be honest – I don’t pay extra for recycling with my trash pickup.
So as I was researching online for foods with the most nutrition for my buck, I ended up looking at high-quality sources protein.
That led me to: vMealworms, including a very cool kickstarter campaign called LIVIN Farms Hive for a company that makes & sells countertop mealworm “hives.”
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Complete with recipes & online tutorials to help you make mealworms a real staple food in your household. I was fascinated. At the time this article was written, they had raised $89K of their $100K goal. There are videos of the hive, how it works, & even cooking videos. I think it looks pleasant & maintainable, & the recipes actually look delish!
My search for places to buy insect “grub” online (no pun intended), led me to a site called, Bugs for Dinner.
The information provided by this site makes an even more compelling argument as to why I should be eating insect protein. Here are a few statistics:
  • Crickets provide more protein & less fat than both beef & salmon (g/kg)
  • It only takes 1% of the water to raise & produce crickets as compared to raising cattle, etc. With water crises on the rise in places like California, we should be aware of the agricultural (specifically dairy farming) industry’s consumption of our water while people’s consumption becomes limited in times of shortage. See this article for more information.
  • Insects are high in protein, vitamins, & minerals & need no antibiotics or other drugs to raise.
  • It costs a fraction of a percentage to raise insects & you can do it – AT HOME – as compared to the expense of raising other animals for meat.
  • Crickets produce 1.5% of the methane produced by cattle & other livestock.

This site features a store, where you can buy sample packs of insect snacks such as bbq, honey mustard, or curry flavored crickets…& yes, they even come chocolate covered. There’s a fantastic information-packed blog, for those who want to learn more about folks who eat insects & why, statistics & nutritional data on sustainable insect protein, delicious recipes, & so much more. There’s even a place to inquire about becoming a bug farmer.

To say the least, I’m intrigued & willing to try adding some bugs to my diet. Here’s a great article on Smithsonian.com on 5 ways to get started.

Another great read: What happens to your body when you eat bugs.

The Daily Quote: A Diamond

“A Diamond is just a piece of Charcoal that handled Stress exceptionally well.” -Unknown

I’ve been spinning my wheels lately. I’m completely burnt out. Physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively, & even spiritually.

I do not feel like a diamond. I am neither sharp nor polished. I feel frazzled. Rough. Sluggish. Foggy. Sad. Tired. I am working so hard, but accomplishing very little because I can’t seem to give 100% toward anything.

“Have you ever felt like your life is just on auto pilot and you’re just constantly doing and going and moving and working and accomplishing and basically sacrificing your thoughts for constant activity? If that’s you, then you need to stop. You need to pause. You need to breathe. You need to think about the things you’re doing.”

I stumbled across this article about burn out. So if you are going through it, too, I highly encourage the read.

Source: Of Health: Taking A Mental Break