Showing posts with label attitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label attitude. Show all posts

Monday, January 29, 2018

Who is To Blame?

            I was on my mission when Howard Jones released "No One is to Blame" found here. Whenever I heard the song I would visualize a lower to middle class young man who had taken a job at a country club.  He has his eyes on one of the members - a girl from a prestige family background.  He would like a relationship with her and she with him, but as they are labeled into upper class and lowly servant, there is no relationship other than "client and worker"


            I now hear this song expressed in some talks given by various leaders - particularly when the talk is geared toward the family.  How many others can hear these words (symbolically of course)?

            I am grateful for the ward members that I think of as family as Roland and Jenna are my only biological family in this state.  Unfortunately not all wards are the same.  There are a wide variety of members and there are some who offend - even when it's not intentional.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Attitude is Everything

          The discussion post this week is on being an effective leader.  We need to have examples about our emotional intelligence and what skills we need to improve on and how we would improve.  Roland is always coming up with ideas that I've never thought of.  I don't see myself as a leader and I knew that Roland would have some suggestions - one was my position in the family, which of course I hadn't considered.  I tried writing a few paragraphs about that - but each paragraph felt too biography and introductory and perhaps a little too horn-blowy - which is not what I wanted.  I don't know how many times I changed it before I finally turned something in.  Meanwhile I have come up with some more thoughts for a blog post.

          I remember going to a wedding reception held outdoors.  I don't even recall what time of the year, but I remember the weather was cool but not cold.  There had been a few light breezes joined by a more powerful wind.  It had knocked over the wedding cake onto the ground.  Now there are many (I'm thinking more from bridezilla's point of view) that would be upset by it - but the wedding party - for the most part just smiled and said, "Oh, well"  

          It could have been an act - but with pleasure, they can honestly laugh about it now.  It really is a healthy thing to be able to laugh about a situation rather than get angry about it.  Our family would have never gone on family vacation if we couldn't laugh at the unexpected.  What family vacation has ever gone smooth?  Our problems were always with the car or the weather, sometimes both.

          Our muffler fell off in California.  I think it was our engine that died during our trip to Canada.  There'd been heavy rain during that trip but not like we had at Universal here

          I remember having a rooftop cargo carrier on our station wagon.  I think it was a wind that knocked it off.  My dad, normally calm and even tempered said in frustration, "Oh, just leave it" but the rest of us somehow believed it was worth saving.  Mom had a pair of panty hose that she cut into strips and she and my brother Patrick used them to tie it down to the roof, and three of us held it down while my dad continued to drive.  We may not have seen the humor in it back then, but it is hilarious to talk about it (or think about it) today.

          And then there was the time we just coming home - though I can't remember where.  My mom was driving our little orange Honda.  The car threw a rod and she pulled over.  She chose to walk to get help and the rest of us stayed in the car.  We were fortunate as to where we broke down as we were entertained by watching hang gliders soaring through the sky.  It was awesome.  Had the car not stalled where it did, we would have not even noticed the hang gliders - though I don't think mom had the same positive experience as she chose to climb over some barb wire fencing in search of assistance. 

          There was another time when we had gone to the movies during a really cold season.  The doors had froze and wouldn't open - except for the hatchback.  We sent Corey through the hatchback and asked him if he could open the doors.  We weren't really surprised that he couldn't - I don't believe he was quite four years old at the time.  So Patrick and I (both pre-teens) also climbed in through the hatchback.  The doors wouldn't budge.  Too bad mom didn't think of giving Patrick the keys to the car to at least warm it up a little.  Mom was 8 months pregnant with Kayla.  She also climbed in through the hatchback.  What a memory. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The End Result

          Primary programs seem necessary, but I loathe practicing for them.  I always have. As a child, my primary day was on Thursday right after school.  I was then a part of the Midvale East 4th ward.  I can remember on days when it would snow, an announcement would go over the intercom: there will be no primary for such and such a ward.  Never did they announce Midvale East 4th would be cancelled - not even once!  And some days we were faced with more severe snow!  I did not appreciate nor understand it at the time.  I have since thanked my former primary president for her love and devotion.

          However, practicing for the primary program, for me, was worse than crossing the street in the snow.  Though I do enjoy singing, I did not enjoy practicing them or keeping still or staying reverent while others took their turns. I would actually play hooky from primary and hang around the school playground until I believed that primary was over, and then I would walk home. Becoming a primary teacher hasn't changed my attitude toward practicing for the primary program - in fact I believe my attitude towards it has worsened.  Hooky doesn't come so easy as an adult who is trying to set an example.

          I don't know what happened with the primary program last year - why it didn't seem planned for.  I think we only had one or two practices.  I remember our chorister felt stressed about it.  We avoided that this year with five practices.  Last week we practiced on the stage.  Last week I was in a horrible mood. Sitting between two boys that can't keep their hands off each other.  Emily was very reverent.  She was moved to the middle between two other boys in order to set an example.  I watched our youngest primary boy in the corner doing his own thing.  I know I shot him looks of disapproval that the Savior himself would not have done.

          I woke up about 3:00 this morning.  I could feel a headache - though I don't know why - unless it was from the mistletoe I had encountered on Friday (because I had  a headache that day too) and told Roland that if I still had it by the time church started, I would not be participating in the primary program today after all (Oh, darn it all)

          This week I prayed to have a better attitude and better experience.  Last year wasn't bad. There are some really good primary programs and many that we're grateful that they have some to an end, like this one for example.  Today's program went rather well.  Everyone who could see them were impressed (those sitting four or five rows left of the podium did not have a tremendous view - if at all;  the floor plan adjacent to the stage is not the best I've ever seen - plus the fact that we don't have an overly large primary)


          I smiled at Christopher instead of shooting disapproving looks.  Joseph sat between us and felt amused by some of Christopher's four-year-old behavior.  Sometimes I felt myself smiling with him.  The program went 1,000 times smoother than any of the practices had.

          Danny taught the lesson.  I saw the subject had been on winter quarters and thought: "How in the world does one give that lesson in just 25 minutes?"  We had been told to cut class short today because we'd be watching a movie as a reward for having performed the program.  In addition to the children in our class who had taken part in the primary program, we had a few visitors besides.  It was funny to see the look on the primary president's face when she walked past the room to get a head count of how many children there were. 

          "Oh, my word!" she let out.  It's true.  We had fourteen children in our class alone - which is probably how many children we had on stage.  There had been at least eight in the other class.  They were given ice cream to eat while they watched the movie.  Our primary room isn't accustomed to 22 plus how many ever chairs.  Some leaders were sitting, but it appeared that most were standing.  Not me.  I'm  really not claustrophobic, but I didn't want to be smashed into the primary room

I decided I'd go to Relief Society.  My headache was back.  I still don't know why.  I left the church house and arranged for Jenna to be dropped off by one of her leaders.

          I am grateful that the primary did well on their parts and song.  I'm grateful that I didn't have to have my headache on the stage and I was able to drive myself home.  I still have my headache.  I was hoping it would be gone by now.  Perhaps it's psychological.   I missed my niece's missionary farewell this morning.  I heard that Tony and Rochelle represented the family.  Of that, I am also grateful.

Friday, November 4, 2016

We Don't Always Have the Option of Choosing Our Family

        Nicki is Rochelle's sister.  She's not in any of the family pictures that were taken at Tony and Rochelle's wedding 5 1/2 years ago.  I was not aware that she even had a third sister.  All of them have an "L" sound at the end of their name - but Nicki has chosen to go by her middle name.  I think Rochelle told me that Nicki had withdrawn herself from the family and started to go by Nicki at that time - though I could be wrong.  I actually don't know Rochelle as much as I'd like.  I certainly don't know her family - only what Tony paints for me - which is less than flattering.  But Tony always sees the lemons rather than the potential of lemonade.

        Rochelle's mother passed away only two months after she and Tony married - which wasn't a great surprise; neither of her parents was in the best of shape, but I somehow believed that Rochelle's dad would go first.

        Nicki had returned for the funeral.  I guess it was then that she decided to become more involved with different family members.  Tony absolutely does not care for Nicki.  He says she's weird.  I'm guessing that she is psychologically disturbed, but again, I don't know.

        Rochelle has had some health issues that deal with childbearing.  It's said that the first pregnancy and birthing is the most difficult and the second is the easiest.  Not in Rochelle's case.  She was scheduled to be induced on the 17th, but her concerned doctor told her to check into the hospital yesterday.  It was Tony's birthday.

        How cool would that be to share a birthday with your father?  I have a cousin and uncle who shared the same birthday.  I don't think Rosa was ever bothered by it.  Jenna, on the other hand, likes the idea of having a birthday all to herself. She hoped her new niece wouldn't be born until today for that very reason.  Looks like Jenna won out.

        Unlike many parents who pick out names before the child is born, Rochelle and Tony have also procrastinated with that.  Ester did not receive a name until just before she was born.  Unfortunately, her new sister still does not have one.  Jenna and I have decided to call her Eliza as it was one of two names mentioned and we actually like it better than the other.  Ester and  Eliza sound cute together. My new granddaughter will probably be called something different from any of the possibilities given (which, of course, wasn't many).  So she will be Eliza in my blog.  9 pounds, 7 ounces 19 inches long.  Rochelle has such a tiny frame.  She must be hurting. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Think Positive

        One of the gifts that I opened on Christmas was the Chicken Soup for the Soul "Positive Thinking"  stories full of reminders not to give up and to do whatever it takes.

        As I read I think of examples from my own life:

        Karyn was agoraphobic.  Her son had gone to a mission in Brazil and had developed feelings for a certain young lady.  After he had gone back to visit, he announced that he and this girl would be getting married and living in Brazil for a while.  Knowing that he needed some support from the family, he wanted his parents there, of course. Karyn and her husband had enough money for only one plane ticket. And because of her fears of dealing with crowds, it was decided that her husband would go.

        His job seemed to complicate the situation as far as the date was concerned.  It turned out that if he wanted to keep his job, he would not be able to fly to Brazil but said that his wife might be able to go.

        The reservations were changed so that they would be in her name, and she prayed.  She prayed long and hard.  It was a mighty challenge as she had to deal with the public at Salt Lake airport.  Imagine how terrified she was to fly into Brazil and face a more crowded airport and a more people than she could imagine.  Not to mention that the majority of people there would be speaking in a foreign tongue that she, herself, would not understand.

        She, of course, tells her story much better than I do.  I remember listening to her experience, fascinated with her determination.  I would have never guessed that she was agoraphobic - especially to the point which she expressed.  Now that's positive thinking.  I hate crowds but cannot fully relate to what she had to overcome.  What strength.  What admiration on my part.

        I wish I had all the details in order to accurately share Shauna's story.  There was a huge number of widows and shut-ins that I would go visit at least weekly.  I would go to uplift them - or at least that was my intention.  But I always saved Shauna for last or visit when I was the one who needed to be uplifted.    

        She kept records and journals that she didn't want anyone to look at until after she was gone.  She was such a great inspiration.  Her story needs to be told.  I had always thought that someone should interview her for an article in the Ensign Magazine or tell her story in any one of several  themed "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.

        I had been told that Shauna had outlived her disease by 17 years.  I don't remember the name of the disease, but it seems to me that the tissues would swell to the point of choking out all of her other organs.  We were roughly the same age, and yet she was hooked up to oxygen while I was breathing on my own.  She remained active as long as her body would allow. 

        She had such a positive attitude and would always get dressed, because "only sick people wear pajamas all day"
        I was also told that she hadn't gone back to get her nursing degree until after she had been diagnosed.  She wanted to help people and make them feel better, and served others for as long as she was able.

        Laughter truly was the best medicine.  It was what kept her going - in addition to refusing to allow anyone or anything to take her down.

I also let the words to this song fill my mind each day.  I asked Jenna to color a sign that says: Daily Proverbs.  I change the thought every other day and try hard to apply the quotes to my life.  I really am trying to think positive.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oh, My! What a Day!

After a month of being cooped up due to illness, I finally went out to see my mom.  I still have a cough and probably should not be around the elderly.  This morning she had a doctor’s appointment.

Kayla was supposed to take mom to the doctor's - and had actually been planning on it for two months now.  I said I would go out to Kearns to be with her two kids while she took mom. But because of unwelcome circumstances on Kayla's end (her car and the plumbing), I ended up taking mom. 

When I arrived at the facility, I found her in a rather foul mood.  She was waiting for someone to take her home.  Had her bags packed and ready to go.  I said that we wouldn’t be leaving for another 45 minutes at least.  She asked why we couldn’t just go NOW.

I told her that we would have to spend even longer waiting in the doctor’s office.  That did not go over very well.  She was expecting to go home.  She assured me that she did not need to go to the doctor and that we should just leave and I should take her home.

I told her that I was not in a great mood myself and that we should say a prayer before we left. I told her that we would have to come back for her stuff as I'd just be taking her to the doctor's and didn't have room in my car for all of her things.  Of course I did, but by the time we got all the way from the building to the one row of cars parking lot, she forgot to take notice or at least mention it.

Of course the entire trip was a repeated conversation about "Where are we going?"  "Why can't you just take me home?"  "I feel fine.  I don't NEED to go to the doctors” Of course once we arrived, we had to wait – which made her all the antsier.  She was irate with me and I just wasn’t in the mood for her childish behavior though I did try to stay calm and remind her that she had taken us to the doctor many times when “we weren’t sick” – actually she had taken my Grandma Helen now that I think about it.  If I was to remind her, I wonder if she would even remember.  Probably not.

Mom was actually very pleasant with the staff and willingly obeyed what they asked of her: remove her coat, step on the scale, lift her arm up, etc.

I had called Corey - not to ask him to hold her hand - but to get some information about seeing the eye doctor and other treatments.  Mom was holding a clip board and trying to process the information.  I said I could help her if she'd like.  She yanked the clip board away from me and told me she could do it.  

When she was talking to Corey (she had decided that maybe she did need my assistance with the form after all and so I had traded the cell phone for the clip board) her coat had dropped to the floor.  She told him that I had thrown it there.

While Corey kept her occupied, I wrote a note to the doctor saying that even if she was experiencing physical problems it wasn't greatly known as her dementia seems to take all of that away. It doesn’t seem she can remember things for more than two seconds anymore.

The doctor asked her the questions and kept his eyes on her, the patient – and then mom would look at me to answer for her and then get upset when I continued.  And she was actually just as irate with the doctor who was being just as intrusive as we (her children) were.  But especially me.  Mom’s has had it in for me for over a year now.

We went to the lab so the doctor could check her blood and urine.  We finished up before lunch and so I took her back to the community and she asked where we were going.

"To get you something to eat” I kept on saying.

When I turned into the Alpine Ridge parking lot she read the sign.  "Alpine Ridge.  Assisted Living.  What are we doing here?"

"This is where you're going to eat."  I said - waiting for her to get upset with me.

"Oh.  It just doesn't look like a restaurant."

She made a comment about the flowers and the wind and how the flowers looked like they would blow away.

I opened the front door of the building.  She still didn't say anything.  She stopped at the second door and happily read a sign about an upcoming Easter egg hunt.  Oh, yes.  Kayla had told me about that.  It was an RSVP and I hadn’t RSVP’d. 

I opened the second door.  Some of the residents had been seated already but they hadn't started eating.

"Oh, look.  That's Marilyn," she said as she went toward one of the residence.  "Can we sit next to Marilyn?  She's my friend."  

I was so happy to hear mom say that – although Marilyn looked oblivious to our existence or the surroundings.  I didn't think that was mom’s assigned table, but I allowed her to sit in the empty seat next to Marilyn. Mom patted the chair next to her and asked me to sit.  

"I have to go back to the front desk."  I actually wouldn't mind eating with her, but the dining area doesn't seem too roomy when all the residence are sitting down to eat.

I really did need to go to the front desk to put in my RSVP. Then I slipped out - grateful that the return was not at all painful and that she was actually happy and forgot about being at the doctor or trying to escape.

It's too bad I didn't think about returning to her room before I made my escape.  I could have returned everything to the closet or to the walls.  Perhaps next time I can just sneak in during lunch – I’ll have to wear a disguise or something – or bring someone with me who can keep her occupied while I hang up her clothes and return pictures to the wall.  Or maybe I could entertain while Sunny or Kayla “unpack” – and then when we take her back to her room she won’t figure it out right away.  When the packed items are left by her bed, it’s only a reminder for her that she would like out.

Life makes a full circle.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Just Make the Best of It

          You can’t always control the outcome of what you’ve planned – but you can control your attitude towards the outcome.


          You are driving your family to your in-laws to spend the holidays.  The car breaks down, or the weather prevents you from arriving to your destination at designated time.  What do you do?

a.    Mope about it

b.    Make the best of the situation

I would hope that if it was my family that all of us would select the answer b.  Okay, so things didn’t work out to our expectations.  We can still create positive memories.

We can stop off at the motel and learn more about the owners and/or staff that is working.  We can help them to have a more memorable Christmas.  We can sing Christmas carols.  We can tell stories.  We can have meaningful conversations.

I recall the power going out one year on Christmas day.  It was one of the most memorable Christmases for many.  Families were forced to come together because they couldn’t depend on electrical entertainment.  One could not drive anywhere.

We had gone exploring just to see how many streets were without power.  Lots!  Not many people venturing out in the snow.  Enough to wonder the same thing we were. 

Our power returned after about 8 hours or so.  Bill and Kayla were still without.  We offered for them to come stay with us.  Their power returned as they were getting some overnight bags together.  But there were some that were without for three days.

And then there are those who’ve had to change their plans due to elements – such as Sandy.

Another example: All of the children have shown up for Christmas dinner except for one – of course you are concerned – but try focusing on the ones who are there instead of dwelling over the one who’s not thus creating a worrisome holiday for everybody else.

Attitude can make or break how one may perceive Christmas.  What memories do you want to hold onto?  What memories will and do you cherish?

Keep safe this holiday and may your attitude make this the best Christmas ever!